What will a return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic look like?
What parents need to know about school reopening in the age of coronavirus.
Life during the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for parents and children alike. The return to school is an important and hopefully welcome step, but you and your children likely have many questions. Here’s the latest information on what to expect and how you can support your young student.
When and how will schools be reopened?
The Ministry of Education announced the reopening of schools. We would like to share the details on new class arrangements below:
- Elementary classes from 1 to 4 will attend schools on scattered schedules, with 2-3 days in classrooms starting from 15 September;
- Classes from 5 to 9 will continue distant learning until 1 October and attend classes in classrooms 2-3 days a week starting from 1 October;
- Classes from 10 to 11 will start distant learning from 15 September until 15 October and start attending classes in classrooms 2-3 a week starting from 15 October.
- A new decision regarding all classes will be made on 2 November based on epidemiologic situation in the country.
What questions should I be asking my child’s teacher or school administrator?
During such a worrying and disruptive time, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Some helpful ones you may want to ask include:
- What steps has the school taken to help ensure the safety of students?
- How will the school refer children who may need referrals for specialized support?
- How can I support school safety efforts, including through parent-teacher committees or other networks.
What should I do if my child has fallen behind?
Students have shown just how much they want to keep learning. They have persisted with their lessons under difficult circumstances, with the support of their dedicated teachers and parents.
But many children will need extra support to catch up on their learning when schools reopen.
Many schools are making plans for catch-up lessons to help bring students back up to speed. This might include starting the year with refresher or remedial courses, after-school programmes or supplemental assignments to be done at home. Since schools will implement ‘blended learning’ models, a mix of classroom instruction and remote education (self-study through take home exercises, TV or online learning) [ Visit our YouTube page for the program designed specifically for pre-school children to continue education at home] parents should give extra support to children at home by creating a routine around school and schoolwork. This can help if they are feeling restless and having trouble focusing.
You may want to contact your child’s teacher or school to ask questions and stay informed. Be sure to let them know if your child is facing specific challenges, like grief over a family loss or heightened anxiety due to the pandemic.
What should I do if my child is struggling to get back into “school mode?”
Remember that your child will be dealing with the stress of the ongoing crisis differently from you. Create a supportive and nurturing environment and respond positively to questions and expressions of their feelings. Show support and let your child know that it’s not only okay, but normal, to feel frustrated or anxious at times like this.
Help your children to stick to their routines and make learning playful by incorporating it into everyday activities like cooking, family reading time or games. Another option could be joining an online parent or community group to connect with other parents who are going through the same experience to share tips and get support.