While this is not the first September when I have looked at what back to school may mean to you, this year is unlike any other – if only I could get a dime for everytime I have said that phrase since March, I could be rich.
It seems unbelievable to think that part of our childrens’ supply list should contain hand sanitizer and face masks, and yet, here we are. So while times are new to all of us, there are some basic guidelines to protect your children and family and hopefully help you make the school year as stress free as possible, given the circumstances.
Let’s start by recognizing some of the old standards which have NOT changed, but will be more important this year than ever.
- Establish a routine, including a good night’s sleep and a set schedule to complete homework to reduce stress and anxiety;
- Clearly outline time tables and expectations so that everyone in the family is on the same page and you can reduce unnecessary power struggles; and
- Try to keep things fun; acknowledge that this is a new “adventure” for everyone.
So, what has changed? For the first time ever, in-person attendance is voluntary and an online educational option will be made available. Check the Trillium Lakelands District School Board website at www.tldsb.ca for more information. If attending in person, your child will be required to wear a mask indoors, with some exceptions, and to use proper hand hygiene. As well, their schedule may be staggered from other students so they may not be able to see all of the classmates they are used to.
Students, teachers and staff will be asked to check for symptoms of illness daily. You can find the school self-screening test at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ . If your child has any symptoms or is feeling ill, they will be required to stay at home and may be asked to be tested for COVID by their health care provider before returning to school. If your child falls ill whilst at school they will be isolated in a safe area and will not be able to use the school bus to return home.
Does all of this sound more than just a little daunting? Not to fear, with some extra planning, back to school won’t be a nightmare, so make a plan to have fun.
Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT