There are many different decisions that schools are making these days. I have already posted some of the struggles that our schools are contemplating in these next few weeks as we prepare for the reopening of this 2020-21 school year. The opening date is approaching soon so all schools are feeling the pressure of making plans to keep both students and staff safe from COVID-19.
Just like schools are contemplating many decisions, so are parents. There is a national survey that says over 60% of individuals do not believe it is safe to send our students back to school.
As numbers are increasing in many states some schools are already deciding to provide more online education and less traditional schools as we’ve all been accustomed to. Some schools are placing students on a rotating schedule and others are finding ways to keep students socially distanced. With all the numbers changing and constant improvisational decisions by schools, how do parents assess whether their school will be safe for their child(ren)?
Perhaps when you opened up this post you saw something called Lakeside’s Health and Safety Plan for our summer school program. This is a mandated plan that we must post to our website so that there is clarity about our plans for how our schools will function. You will see all the sanitation guidelines, how we will enforce social distancing, what our policies will be if someone has symptoms, how we will protect our schools from the outside world, etc.
We are also working on our plans for the fall. There will be several different Health and Safety Plans for each of our schools because of different environments and the different sizes of those schools. We are making plans, ordering supplies, adapting our vehicles and facilities, working on providing adequate technology and adding staff for all the demands that will face us in this coming school year.
Likewise, for parents who are working through decisions for their children, you should carefully review your specific school’s or school district’s Health and Safety Plan. In it you will find the strategies, plans and options utilized by your school that will be caring for and providing the educational environment for your child. Those plans can help you think through how well your child will be protected and what you can do as a parent to help your child make good decisions as to how they will conduct themselves in a safe way.
It is a vital set of decisions that we all will have to make whether you are a school staff member or a parent. All of us want to keep our students, staff, administrators and families safe from this very contagious virus. Becoming familiar with our policies and practices will help us support each other and have clarity on how to approach this very crucial next school year.