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Guest Viewpoints

Returning to School After COVID-19

July 11, 2020
By Anastasios Koularmanis

Many parents are asking themselves how they personally can help keep their family safe and  COVID-19-free when they return to school. The fear of returning into a confined classroom setting and a crowded lunchroom alone would make any parents, teacher, or administrator nervous. 

There are however several actions that communities operating a school or even after-school program can take when children return in September.

Here are a few steps many other schools are implementing that can help prevent the spread of the infections.

·    Students should be symptom free when returning to school. Have each child bring in a new physical form.

·    Social Distancing by far has seemed to be the trend everywhere we go. There have been recent discussions that even 3 feet apart has the same benefits.

·    Students should always wear some type of face covering which does not hinder their breathing.

·    Students should also spend time outdoors when possible. Constant washing of the hands is vital, because it may not be possible to guarantee the 3-6 feet apart rule.

·    Teachers with younger age children should try to remind students not to touch their mouth or nose.

·    Teachers should be the only ones that move between classrooms.

·    Lunch should be held at their desks or in their same classroom setting.

·    Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater should not attend school.

·    Holding AM/PM sessions for students. This will help with having more room and less students in the building at once.

·    All parishes should follow the CDC guidelines regarding disinfecting and sanitizing classrooms and common areas.

As an administrator and educator for over 25 years it is my opinion that any student that has a high-risk medical condition should continue distance learning.

Most importantly however, I highly recommend that Schools prepare to close again and switch to distance learning if there is a spike in the COVID-19 reported cases.

Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic will definitely be a challenge for many of our Day Schools and Afternoon/Saturday programs, however, putting a plan in place can help parents feel more comfortable and help keep our children safe.  

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