Back-to-School During the Pandemic
By Caitlin Bootsma
When it comes to the pandemic, most of us are experiencing a number of emotions-frustration, fear, overwhelm, stress, and uncertainty. As the school year starts, if you're a parent, you are also faced with a particular set of challenges. Not only are you engaged in the normal back-to-school preparations such as clothes shopping, school supplies, and helping kids adjust to a new routine, you are also watching out for your children's physical health as well as their emotional well-being and development.
You have likely already received guidance on safety guidelines from your school, and, we recommend following the CDC for the latest in safety protocols. During this transition time, here are four actions we can take consistently to ensure that we are protecting our family and our community:
- Be Aware: Familiarizing yourself with the school's guidance on masking, social distancing, temperature checks, and when to stay home, will prepare you and your children for the new routine.
- Be Charitable: When interacting with parents, school personnel, or others who may have different opinions or concerns than you about the pandemic.
- Be Cautious: If you're not sure whether you should keep your child home in a specific situation, quarantine them or take a COVID test after a certain level of exposure, err on the side of caution. Sending a child to school while they could have a positive covid test could impact the entire class and school, and, could also impact any vulnerable family members of those children.
- Be Consistent: Let your kids know what safety protocols you expect at home and in public. Help them build healthy habits around hand-washing, mask wearing indoors or where recommended, and physical distancing that will make school life go more smoothly.
The last year and a half has thrown a lot at all of us. In the midst of uncertainty, most of us are doing our best to adjust on a number of fronts. Join us in praying for a safe, healthy school year where kids grow in knowledge, friendship and holiness.
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