The Department of Education (DepEd) is proposing to open School Year 2022-2023 on August 22, 2022 by using blended learning with more face-to-face classes. Among 47,000 public schools and 12,000 private schools in the country, more than 14,000 schools nationwide are ready to hold limited face-to-face classes amidst the pandemic.
Parents and students alike are understandably still anxious about returning to school. To help curb some of those fears and concerns, here’s a list of things to remember before heading back:
It is important for all children, especially those in school, to be up-to-date with all vaccination schedules. COVID-19 vaccines are not required for children, but are encouraged by the Department of Health. As of April 2022, 5,779,534 learners have received their COVID-19 vaccinations and over 90% of teaching and non-teaching personnel have been inoculated as well.
Flu vaccines are also particularly important because of the similarities between flu and COVID-19. For example, both cause similar symptoms such as fever or runny nose. The vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but it can lower the chances of developing the flu and stave off any complications that may arise from it. This is another way to help prevent missed days at school.
The best way for parents to prepare for face-to-face classes is to talk about it with your child beforehand. Be sure that they understand the importance of following all protocols, including not coming into contact with infected people or touching objects that have touched someone who has been exposed.
It’s important for them to understand exactly what they are, why they’re in place, and how important it is that they follow them. Explain to your child that these rules must be followed 100% even if they find other people not doing so.
Prepare a hygiene kit
Prepare a hygiene kit for your children. The kit should include alcohol, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and a face mask. These items will help prevent the spread of the virus at school and at home.
Practice safe distancing
It is important that you teach your children about safe distancing from others and what to do if they are exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19. This will protect them and reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
Students must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet when talking with another student who has exhibited flu-like symptoms in the past 48 hours. This includes coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose in public areas (hallways, restrooms, lunchroom). This rule applies even if both students attended the same elementary school and/or middle school. If a student does not comply with this rule and another student becomes sick as a result, both students will be immediately suspended from their classes (until further notice).
If your child needs more time than others to acclimate themselves back into their daily routine, give them the time they need without judgment or pressure from yourself or anyone else involved.
If they need extra time between classes or after school activities, give it to them so that they can adjust as needed without feeling overwhelmed by expectations from anyone else involved (including yourself).
Keep the whole family healthy
As a parent, it's important to be aware that COVID-19 can enter your body through one or more of your senses: touch, taste, smell or sight. Therefore, it's important to take precautions against possible exposure. This can be done by practicing good hygiene in all aspects of life, including eating meals together as a family every day and washing hands regularly with soap and water.
It is also important that they get enough sleep each night. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can increase susceptibility to infections like this one by weakening our immune systems and making us more prone to getting sick. It also makes us more likely to spread germs around as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that parents take their child’s temperature every day. Though some schools use this monitoring for symptom identification, the fact that many illnesses share similar symptoms—such as a fever or a cough—can limit the effectiveness of this screening.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, parents should keep kids home from school if they show any signs of illness.
At the end of the day, as classes resume and students get back to their routine, the goal should always be to keep our children safe. It is vial for parents to remember that schools will be better prepared now than ever before.
Good health is contagious—so encourage your children to practice good habits. Eat nutritious food, get plenty of sleep, and have fun with them. By doing so, you’ll be helping both them and yourself to make the most of their school year!