Open Accessibility Menu

Back to School: Tips for Returning After COVID-19

Back to School: Tips for Returning After COVID-19

While going back to school may have been an exciting time for your child before 2020, heading into this school year will feel and look differently post COVID-19. As you prepare your child for the school year, there are tips you should keep in mind if your family did not choose the virtual learning option.

First, ensure your child has all they need like the right clothes, supplies, and resources. Most importantly, work together with your child’s teachers and pediatrician or primary care provider to ensure their mental and physical needs are met.

If your child plans to attend school in person, they will be back in a formal school setting for five days each week. (Check the Frederick County Public Schools website frequently for updates as this may change.) When transitioning your student from virtual learning to full in-person learning, consider how stressful going back can be.

There will be some excitement, but there will also be first-day jitters that may last longer than the first day—and extra precaution as the pandemic continues. Here are some tips to prepare your family for success and help your child have a great school year.

  1. Set expectations and small goals.

Ask your child how they feel about returning to in-person learning. Create new expectations and small goals with your child that are centered around their classes, social life, and personal needs. For example, encourage your child to learn all their teachers’ names during the first week of school or tell your child to check in with at least one friend.

  1. Refresh your morning routine.

Your morning routine must change-again. While at home, your child had everything they needed and may have slept in a little later in the mornings. It will be different at school. When you set a clear, simple morning routine with a checklist, it will make getting out the door that much easier. Wake your child up with enough time to shower, brush their teeth, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, and check that they have all classwork and other learning materials.

  1. Make sure your child has everything they need.

Your child’s needs will be different this school year, and most of the items needed are on the supply list. There may be additions you’re not used to seeing, too. For example, you may have to purchase cleaning materials and hand sanitizer to ensure health and safety. You may have to purchase face coverings if they are required inside the school building.

If your child struggled with classes during virtual learning, you would want to look at their most recent report card to see where help is needed. In some cases, you can talk to your child’s teacher about tutoring or advice about getting a tutor if needed.

  1. Consider your child’s mental and physical health.

This school year may be stressful for your child in a way that will impact behavior. After a year of uncertainty, connect with your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider for health screenings and teachers for updates on how your child is doing.

  1. Schedule time for fun.

Since last year, your family may be used to spending more quality time together. Now that your child is heading back to school, there will be fewer opportunities to spend with one another. Support your child by scheduling time to talk and do activities after the school day. Start weekly routines that are healthy and engaging.

  1. Teach your child about mask safety.

Talk openly with your child about how to be safe in school. Make sure your child understands the school’s safety rules and tell them to always follow social distancing and mask rules. If possible, send extra masks to school. Make sure the mask is tight and it covers both their nose and mouth.

  1. Practice handwashing.

Teach your child to keep their hands clean by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. To make sure it’s done right, tell them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times. If your child can’t get to a sink, they can use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

  1. If your child feels sick, keep them home.

If your child feels sick or has a fever, it’s best for them to stay home to limit the spread of COVID-19 or other germs. Ask your child’s teacher for missing classwork and see if there’s a virtual learning option available. If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, take them to Frederick Health Village for curbside testing.

Your child will need a lot of support this year. With these tips, you can make sure it’s a smooth transition. Encourage and guide your child along the way, and they will be ready for whatever happens next.