SCHOOL REOPENINGS OR NOT. What parents need to know

School Reopening_Guidelines and Links for Parents

School Reopening_Guidelines and Links for Parents

What can parents expect when and if schools reopen? We included some great links near the bottom of the blog post for you.

Geez, I hope that old adage, “No more teachers, no more books” doesn’t come true.

Teachers are genuinely underrated, underpaid and under-appreciated…until the Coronavirus crisis. Hopefully, we all have a great appreciation for what a teacher does in a day with 20+ students under his/her care.

As the blog author, I have been married to a school administrator for 44 years. I can assure you that today’s teachers are well educated, the majority earn master’s degrees (in reading, math and administration) and work hard to stay above the ever changing educational/technology curve. They are passionate, compassionate and are now evaluated frequently during the school year based on your student’s performance. 

As the mother of a Speech-Language Pathologist, I was able to observe her preparation time, (not her sessions as she is very strict about protecting the privacy of her students) and the planning time and out-of-pocket money she spends on her students. She weaves fun and games into her very technical instruction for children ages three to 10. They look forward to her sessions. She not only helps them with stuttering or organic speech issues, but she helps them communicate so they will be able to enjoy an amazing future. Hat’s off to my Patrice Christensen!

Learning today is much more metric based, rubric-based and customized for your student. For example a scoring rubric allows teachers and students alike to evaluate criteria, which can be complex and subjective. Rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. Rubrics also help teachers authentically monitor a student’s learning process and develop and revise a lesson plan.

Teachers are observed routinely several times a year by their Principal and a great Principal knows all the benchmarks an instructor needs to meet during a lesson. It’s all very scientific today and today’s students have a much better aptitude in math, writing and reading than m own generation. 

So I digressed. 

But it’s important to know that your child’s education is truly much more advanced than 30 years ago. 

Be on alert for all messages (text, email, FB and web messages) regarding new procedures about school reopening from your school district’s administrative team.

As in any year, also pay attention to revised holiday schedules and plan ahead for inservice days (where teachers are “inserviced” to learn new techniques and new material for your students). 

In New Jersey, schools must let parents know what the new school year will look like four weeks prior to reopening. 

Be prepared the night before for the morning rush. Students may have to “trickle in”. It may be a much slower process. Allow more time. Also be prepared for the pickup procedures. 

Some districts are planning A and B schedules; alternating days when students will be in school and online.

Some schools don’t recommend locker usage and more and more textbooks may be online.

Make sure your student has their own school supplies. Hand sanitizer is an age-appropriate item; read more about the poisonous aspect. 

Did you know some hand sanitizers are poisonous? Check this site out to learn more:

Dropping off and picking up your students from school

Ideally, it should be the same person daily. Older grandparents are not recommended as they are at higher risk for picking up the coronavirus. Most schools will not be admitting children with temperatures of 100.4 (38.0C) or above or other signs of illness. Parents need to be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and to keep them home when they are sick.

How will schools keep my child safe? (from article)

Here are some highlights from the guidelines on what schools will need to do to keep students safe:

  • Social distancing must be practiced in classrooms and on buses. If students can’t be seated six feet apart, barriers should be installed between desks or desks should all face one direction.
  • Face coverings are required for teachers, other staff and visitors (unless they have a medical reason not to). Students are strongly encouraged to wear masks and must wear them if they can’t distance.
  • Districts must adopt screening policies to detect if students and staff have symptoms or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
  • If districts continue to use shared cafeterias, meal times must be staggered to allow for social distancing and cleaning between groups of students. Districts must stop self-service or buffet style lunches, opting instead for grab-and-go meals, for example.
  • Recess must be staggered and schools should consider closing locker rooms, but physical education classes may continue.

Will parents have the option to keep their kids home? (from article)

That’s up to the districts and what they put in their individual opening plans. The state has prevented districts from doing only remote learning in the fall, but allows some remote classes. Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet acknowledged some parents might want to keep their kids remote and said districts should not penalize students or parents who aren’t ready to return.

New Routines for Students

How Schools Across the Globe are Reopening

Guidelines for Parents on School Reopenings

Schools – What Parents Should Know in New Jersey about Reopening


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