As the world is plagued by the virus, educators and students will have to adapt to a new norm.
Back-to-school is always a time of excitement where students stock up on school supplies, line up to get their school ID, and for college kids, to move into dorms.
However, this year is different.
This year, protecting students’ health and incorporating technology will be an emphasis in all guidelines for going back to school.
The year 2021 will be unlike any school year before.
Many school events will be cancelled and the traditional classroom setting is gone.
However, we’ve compiled the best back-to-school tips for this school year.
Somes tips for preparing students to head back to school:
- Be ready to transition from traditional to digital
Having digital lessons will be a huge focal point in the 2021 school year.
Some schools are using Google for everything, such as Google classroom for their lesson plans.
Some teachers may have students use Canva to turn physical art into digital art.
Social collaboration will be done primarily through digital means such as instant messaging, emails, shared documents, project management apps and more.
- Prepare for staggered start times
Staggered schedules, social distancing and other precautions will be the new norm when returning back to school.
Ideally, you may want to consider staggering your schedule to prevent physical congregation.
This can be staggering recess time, lunch hours and breaks so that students leave in small clusters rather than big groups.
Schools may choose to adopt a half-day model or alternate days.
- Stock up on face coverings, hand sanitisers and disinfecting wipes
With any indoor public setting, the centre for disease control (CDC) advises people to wear cloth face coverings that cover their mouth and nose.
This helps to protect people around you in the event that you are infected but do not have any symptoms.
Additionally, the CDC said alcohol-based hand sanitisers help to limit the spread of the Covid-19.
Ideally, you want to purchase a hand sanitiser that at minimum, 60 per cent alcohol.
Studies have found that the virus can live on surfaces.
Make sure to sanitise your classroom and advise students to wipe down their devices, such as laptops, after each use.
Remind your students to wear face coverings properly and bring hand sanitisers to class.
- Bring your multi-port universal serial bus (USB) chargers and laptop chargers
Most schools will opt for blended learning days where class will be converted from an in-person setting to online.
Prepare your students to bring all chargers necessary such as USB and computer chargers to keep their laptop and tablets charged.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones or focus tracks
Recommend your students have noise-cancelling headphones to drown out background noises from your home.
This is important when attending webinars as it can prevent others hearing noises in your background such as roommates, air conditioner, pets, street noise, etc.
There are ways to improve mental focus, such as playing white-noise tracks or classic music playlists on Spotify.
Learning at home is a new norm for most students.
Advise students to have a quiet area, such as their room or a work station away from the television and distractions, for learning.
- Address learning loss
It’s crucial for teachers to address the learning loss and create an instructional plan for moving each student to the grade-level requirement.
There may be a wider variation of the academic knowledge gap than previous years.
Educators should work closely with students’ previous teachers and use administering assessments to evaluate their academic understanding on a subject.
This helps you to better determine the standards that need more review and attention.
There may be individualised academic support needed, such as extended school days, tutoring, technology, and support personnel. Ensure that you provide some time for students to catch up without falling further behind with the new material.
- Apply strategies for social distancing
It can be difficult to get everyone on board with social distancing, especially younger children.
Young students may find it difficult to comply and understand social distancing.
Ideally you should have great small groups and have them remain in these groups while maintaining six feet (1.8m) apart. – GoGuardian