Here’s some advice for parents we provided for a Sunday Herald-Sun article that was published on 24 May 2020, as students returned to on-site schooling after the first lockdown.
PV suggested tips include:
- Schools allowing children to say anything arising from remote learning and with the transition back (share their stories if they want to)
- Agreed channels of communication between home and school (on anything that arises with the transition back)
- Clear information about some of the day to day practicalities ie refilling drink bottles; if children can order lunches or not; rules around sharing food; use of the playground/equipment, how lunch breaks will work, etc
- Sanitizer wipes for school IT equipment
- Where appropriate send students back with the small bottles of sanitizer/antibacterial wipes in their pockets or school bags.
- Encourage parents to have a conversation with their child/ren before returning to school about physical distancing the “why and the how” depending on age appropriate.
- Parents can seek help/assistance if they notice any changes in their child’s health or mental well being
- Re establishing routine : particularly around lunch and break times and bedtimes/morning routines so they get back into those routines Prior to returning to school.
- Reminding about basic hygiene (washing hands) encouraging them to sing happy birthday to get them in the routine of washing hands at school
- Age appropriate information: not giving children ALL COVID-19 info (eg – how many are dying or anything that will cause unnecessary anxiety or fear)
- Letting their children know because of all the work we’ve done around hygiene and physical distancing that it’s having a positive impact which is why we can return to school. This will help to minimise anxiety also.
- Remind parents we all need to trust each other, that their child’s teacher considers their child’s wellbeing and safety as being paramount
- Utilise various forms of communication and language translation for families from diverse backgrounds
- Clear signage in all areas where parents will access or be able to view.
The Sunday Herald-Sun article was titled ‘How parents can prepare students as kids return to classrooms’. The article quoted PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy and included some of these tips provided by PV. The article is behind a paywall but you can read it if you have a Herald-Sun subscription.