School Decision-making Tool for Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians
Many parents, caregivers, and guardians face new and difficult choices about how their child will return to school in the fall, such as deciding between in-person and virtual learning.
This tool is designed to help parents, caregivers, and guardians weigh the risks and benefits of available educational options to help them make decisions about sending their child back to school. It is organized to provide parents and caregivers with:
- Information on COVID-19 and why safely reopening schools is so critical.
- Tools to:
- Help you assess your child’s and your family’s risk of COVID-19;
- Consider factors that will help you make a choice, if offered, of instructional format (e.g. virtual, in person, or a hybrid option); and
- Prepare for the school year, regardless of format.
Back to School Planning: Checklists to Guide Parents Guardians and Caregivers
For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school will have new policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may also be starting the school year with virtual learning components. Whatever the situation, these checklists are intended to help parents, guardians, and caregivers, plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.
Some of the changes in schools’ classroom attendance or structure may include:
- Cohorts: Dividing students and teachers into distinct groups that stay together throughout an entire school day during in-person classroom instruction. Schools may allow minimal or no interaction between cohorts (also sometimes referred to as pods).
- Hybrid: A mix of virtual learning and in-class learning. Hybrid options can apply a cohort approach to the in-class education provided.
- Virtual/at-home only: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
Helping Children Cope
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Support for Teens and Young Adults
Some of the questions you might be asking are, “Should I be freaking out about COVID-19?” and “Why can’t I hang out with my friends in person?”. You may be feeling worried, bored, or frustrated. COVID-19 is frightening, and you are not the only one feeling stressed.
While anyone can catch the virus that causes COVID-19 and people of all ages and backgrounds can get severely ill, most people have a mild illness and are able to recover at home. But regardless of your personal risk, it is natural to be concerned for your friends and family or about uncertainty and changes in your daily routine.