Now Is The Time To Talk With Your Kids About The Upcoming School Year

July 29, 2020

There is general anxiety with students around this time of the year with the looming start date of another school year. But as we have learned, this year will be especially tough thanks to COVID-19. Schools are scrambling to prepare for students during a pandemic, parents worried about the health of their children and teachers pressured to accommodate both in-person and online learning. While adults are better suited to handle this stress, kids are still developing those skills. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to sit down with your kids to talk about what this school year might look like. Start by asking them how they are feeling about the school year, or what their hopes and fears are so you can help support them. If there is one thing 2020 has taught us so far, it is the ability to live for months in a stew of uncertainty—and this fall will be no different. Kids want to know what back-to-school is going to look like, but the truth is that we really don’t know. Even if your district has announced its specific plan, by now we all know that things can change very quickly. So we can tell our kids what we do know, and what has been decided so far, but we should also acknowledge that everything is subject to change. Nobody can live within complete uncertainty, though; kids need to have some control over something. So talk about what they can do to prepare for the school year. They can pick out school supplies with you. If they’ll be going into the classroom, they can choose a few new masks with fun patterns (since they are mandatory). Talk about the safety precautions that will be put in place for them by administrators, staff and teachers, and then talk about what they can do to contribute to the safety of themselves and others. Regular hand-washing, wearing their mask, coughing or sneezing into their elbows, staying distanced whenever possible and avoiding touching their faces are all things kids can practice doing regularly to keep themselves and others safe. And keep your negative feelings to yourself. You might think your school is being reckless with how they’re handling back-to-school, you might think they’re overreacting or you might think the district is being run by a bunch of idiots—and you might be right. But save the ranting for when the kids are in bed and you can unleash on your partner or a friend.

While the state has declared August 10, 2020 as the start of the 2020/2021 school year, Alachua, Marion and Columbia County has push it back two weeks and will begin on August 24, 2020. Citrus County will begin on August 20, 2020. 

SOURCE: Offspring

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