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RETURN TO SCHOOL – A GUIDE FOR PARENTS

Posted in Parents on Monday, July 20th, 2020

The pandemic continues to cause tremendous uncertainty about the future.  In particular, parents are struggling to understand what the transition back to school will look like for their children.

At Maple Bear, we are aware of these concerns and the stress parents are under.   It is important that all Maple Bear children and families feel safe and secure when returning to the classroom.

SCHOOLS ARE WORKING HARD TO BE PREPARED AND READY

For weeks, Maple Bear Global and our regional offices have been closely monitoring the crisis and seeking out the best ways to prepare for a safe return to school, when circumstances allow.

Having Maple Bear schools around the world has proven to be an invaluable asset to our organization, in particular during COVID-19, as we have been able to draw on the successes and missteps in countries that are now beyond the lock down phase and have reopened their schools.  This has helped us to develop comprehensive procedures that respect the high standards Maple Bear parents have a right to expect for a safe return to school.

The plan we have developed respects the most stringent government regulations, health and hygiene requirements.  Our staff, from administrators, teachers and teaching assistants to cleaners and support staff will all be trained in the new protocols before schools are opened.

PARENT TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION BACK TO SCHOOL

As school staff prepare to ensure their readiness and the readiness of the facility, they are also prepared to work together with our families for a smooth transition back to school.

There are several important things that parents can to do help with this transition:

  • Maintain communication and collaboration with the school and classroom teacher.
  • Monitor the health of your child closely. Any illness means your child needs to stay at home to reduce the chance of infection.
  • Be available to pick up your child if he/she displays symptoms and have a designate identified if you are unable.
  • Ensure your child wears a mask.  Explain in simple terms the reason why and practice wearing one before school starts.
  • Leave all unnecessary objects at home, which includes toys.
  • Sanitize daily at home all backpacks and any objects being sent to school.
MONITOR THE SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF THE WHOLE FAMILY

The Covid-19 crisis, with its complete disruption of the normal flow of life for families, will have affected children substantially. This “new normal”, being isolated at home away from extended family, friends and school for months and months can feel strange and is possibly stressful.   And the thought of returning to school may create more stress in a child.

It is important for parents to be available and to be as present as possible with their kids.

  • Remind your children that returning to school is a wonderful, positive step in this journey but that it will look and feel very different from what they were used to.
  • Reinforce to your children they will be learning new things in a familiar, friendly place.

Practice compassion by listening and understanding their worries.   Reassure them with positivity and encouragement that they are capable of coping with these new and different return to school routines.  This experience will help develop their resiliency.

Model good coping behaviours for your child by remaining calm, being caring and honest.  How you handle your own fears and stress can affect the way your child sees the world.  By taking personal time for exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, you are demonstrating how you manage your own levels of stress and anxiety.

PARENTS AND SCHOOLS WORK TOGETHER TOWARD A COMMON GOAL

Parents and schools are both interested in meeting the goal of a successful re-opening and transition process.  But it will take hard work, collaboration and flexibility to deal with the unpredictable nature of this crisis.   Circumstances will shift and this will require a mutually supportive culture.

Working together with transparent communication and adjusting to new routines is paramount to ensure the safety and security of our students, staff and families.  Together, we can plan a safe return to Maple Bear.

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