Dear Parents,

Please read through the information below as you begin the planning stages of Face to Face learning in your homes. This information is taken from the CDC.

 

Thank you,

  • Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school. 
  • Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches. If your child has had close contact to a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school. 
  • Follow guidance on what to do when someone has known exposure.
  • Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including for flu. All school-aged children should get an influenza flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. This is especially important this year because we do not yet know if being sick with COVID-19 at the same time as the flu will result in more severe illness.
  • Review and practice proper hand hygiene at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a mask. Make handwashing fun and explain to your child why it’s important.
  • Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional (back up) mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing masks).
  • Talk to your child about precautions to take at school. Children may be advised to: 

◦ Wash and sanitize their hands more often. 

◦ Keep physical distance from other students. 

◦ Wear a mask. 

◦ Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments, and books. 

◦ Use hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol.) Make sure you’re using a safe product. FDA recalled products that contain toxic methanol. Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.

  • Make sure your information is current at school, including emergency contacts and individuals authorized to pick up your child(ren) from school. If that list includes anyone who is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider identifying an alternate person.
  • Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld. 
  • Plan for possible school closures or periods of quarantine. If transmission is increasing in your community or if multiple children or staff test positive for COVID-19, the school building might close. Similarly, if a close contact of your child (within or outside of school) tests positive for COVID-19, your child may need to stay home for a 2-week quarantine period. You may need to consider the feasibility of teleworking, taking leave from work, or identifying someone who can supervise your child in the event of school building closures or quarantine.
  • Plan for transportation: ◦ If carpooling, plan on every child in the carpool and the driver wearing masks for the entire trip. If your school uses the cohort model, consider finding families within your child’s group/cohort at school to be part of the carpool.
  • If your school uses a cohorting model, consider limiting your child’s in-person out-of-school interactions to children in the same cohort or to activities where physical distancing can be maintained.
MASKS 
  • Have multiple masks, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready. Choose masks that ◦ Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face ◦ Completely cover the nose and mouth ◦ Are secured with ties or ear loops ◦ Include multiple layers of fabric ◦ Allow for breathing without restriction ◦ Can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • Label your child’s masks clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children.
  • Practice with your child putting on and taking off masks without touching the cloth.
  • Explain the importance of wearing a mask and how appropriately worn masks reduce the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.
  • As a family, model wearing masks, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible.
  • If you have a young child, help build their comfort wearing a mask and become comfortable seeing others in masks. ◦ Praise your child for wearing a mask correctly. ◦ Put a mask on stuffed animals. ◦ Draw a mask on a favorite book character. ◦ Show images of other children wearing masks. ◦ Allow your child to choose their mask that meets any dress requirements your school may have. 
  • Consider providing your child with a container (e.g., labeled resealable bag) to bring to school to store their masks when not wearing it (e.g., when eating).
SCHOOL SPACE 
  • Talk with your child about how the school will look different (e.g., desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, the possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch).
  • Talk with your child about how school is going and about interactions with classmates and teachers. Find out how your child is feeling and communicate that what they may be feeling is normal.
  • Anticipate behavior changes in your child. Watch for changes like excessive crying or irritation, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating, which may be signs of your child struggling with stress and anxiety.
  • Try to attend school activities and meetings. Schools may offer more of these virtually. As a parent, staying informed and connected may reduce your feelings of anxiety and provide a way for you to express any concerns you may have about your child’s school.