During the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to school has brought forth a new set of challenges and worries. The worries are the same for the caregivers and the parents. Schools have to find a way to balance the social, educational, and emotional needs of a child.
However, this should happen without compromising on their safety and health of the students and the staff in the middle of the pandemic. Deciding on what the learning and looks should like is majorly taken at a social level by the government officials and school boards.
Here is a list of some steps that you can take to ensure the safety of the students with regard to education during COVID-19.
There are three different kinds of models that schools can follow. Depending on the convenience and the available facilities, you can make your pick.
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As part of this kind of learning, all the transfer of information and instruction happens remotely. In this, online tools and technology are the two most vital prerequisites.
Such a model is pretty similar to the traditional forms of schooling. It is your usual face-to-face schooling wherein learning happens in the classroom setup, but there is no compromise on the safety precautions and the procedures.
It is a model that utilizes a mix of distance remote learning and in-person schooling. This can be implemented like a child comes to the school and follows the requisite safety precautions for two days a week, and on the other three days, they practice distance learning or vice versa.
‘Generally speaking, schools can implement one or more than one approach during the pandemic school year. At all times, you need to be prepared for different kinds of schooling environments. These can empower you and lower the anxiety that parents and kids face during these times,’ comments Sonya, an educator who offers marketing assignment help services.
Regardless, at all times, you need to gauge the COVID-19 risk and ensure that a student who comes to you feels safe during the pandemic.
Some safety precautions
Practice social distancing
Physical distancing or social distancing is a practice that should be dedicatedly followed when you have children coming over to the school for studying. There should be enough space between you and the students and between one student and the next. According to the WHO and CDC guidelines, a minimum distance between two people should be approximately six feet.
However, it might not be the most feasible solution in most schools, particularly the schools with young children. Moreover, this new strain of virus is rampant in children too. Thus, proper precautions and care are mandatory.
Some steps that you can take for social distancing include:
- Grouping the students into small groups.
- Having one-way traffic in hallways
- Creating a safe outdoor space for recess, meals, and instruction.
- Lowering the number of children per bus.
- Keeping adequate distance between two desks
- Having all the desks face in one direction.
- Using barriers, such as partitions and shields.
- Calling students in badges.
Weigh in the pros and cons of in-person schooling, and then make your call.
Wear a mask
Wearing a face mask is another recommendation by WHO. Whenever you step out in a public space, you need to keep away from one another. At all times, there should be a thick layer of face mask between you and the other person.
Honestly, it can be quite challenging to prevent close contact with the other person, and it only gets all the morning challenging at school.
‘In school, regardless of whether it is possible to maintain social distancing or not, wearing a face mask is mandatory,’ shares Alexis, an educator with EduWorldUSA.
Every child should carry more than one mask to school. So, they can change it to a new mask post lunchtime. Parents can also label their child’s mask. It will help ensure that their mask is kept separate from the masks of other students. Also, teachers and parents need to remind their children to keep their hands clean when they touch their masks.
Keep the hands clean
Anytime a child touches a surface, they should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap under running water or sanitize them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is particularly important before and after eating, adjusting a face mask, or sneezing or coughing. Schools, too, must encourage frequent hand washing.
Clean and disinfect
Regardless of whether the child is at school or home, disinfecting and cleaning frequently touched surfaces is pivotal. It lowers the risk of illness. It also includes surfaces, such as phones, tablets, keyboards, faucets, and doorknobs.
Stay at home if sick.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you must stay at home. Some of the key signs that you need to watch out for include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Muscle aches
- Poor appetite
- Loss of smell or taste
- Belly pain
- Pink eye
However, as some of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, it is best advised to get tested anytime you notice the symptoms, to keep yourself and those around you safe.