It’s that time of year again! And much like 2020, this school year is full of challenges and new procedures as children return to in-class instruction. It’s our responsibility to our children to ensure that they are prepared as much as possible. COVID-19 has created quite a strain on kids and parents alike. Remote learning taught us all something, but where did it leave our kids in terms of educational milestones? What new procedures are being implemented to keep kids safe? What supplies will they need? This August, make sure you and your children are well prepared for the adjustment by taking a look at some of these considerations to include in your supply list and beyond:
1. Refillable Water Bottle: Let’s delve into this a little bit more. The National Sanitation Foundation found that more bacteria were present in the communal drinking fountains than inside the bathrooms. They reported a staggering 2.7 million bacteria cells per square inch! Not to mention, pathogens like E. coli, legionella, and coliform are renowned for thriving in water fountains. The use of a reusable bottle is not only environmentally sound, but it protects your child from bacteria transmission.
2. Ziploc Bags: With the rise of COVID-19 cases, many school systems are implementing a mask mandate requiring all students to wear masks. These Ziploc bags are a great way to store extra clean masks to keep them sanitized.
3. Clorox Wipes and Sanitizer: These are kind of routine at this point, but necessary to list as they are imperative to transmission risk reduction.
4. Headphones: Make sure your child has their own devices or accessories that are normally shared in the classroom. Some school systems are prohibiting the use of Air Pods so be sure to check with your school so you are clear on what type you will need.
5. Expo Markers: School lists are probably naming this one as well, but again, this is related to the narrative of anything communal. Ask your child what other items they may share with both the staff and other students while in class.
6. A Return Home Plan: THIS IS IMPORTANT! Transmission is occurring more often in the adult groups than in our elementary groups. However, your sweet little first grader could be harboring the bacteria, often in ways, you haven’t even considered before this year, such as the bottoms of shoes. Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent the spread of infections. Having your child use hand sanitizer when arriving home or in the car would ensure an extra layer of protection. Whether you pick up your child or they ride the bus home, be sure you have a clear plan that centers around sanitary precautions.
7. Emotional and Mental Health: We know that this has influenced our kids, but it is important to take the time to speak with your children regularly and ask them how they are doing and feeling. Having an outlet of any kind can be helpful, especially in lieu of peer groups or clubs that might otherwise offer support for your child when classes resume and activities are limited.
8. Extra Help: Futurelink has always strived to ensure every child understands the importance of STEAM and how it impacts the world around us every single day. Through hands-on learning, we engage kids beyond the classroom and inspire them to ask questions, all questions. Igniting the spark of curiosity in our kids will guarantee them success in the future. We use project-based learning and innovative methods to create an interactive and fun environment where kids can link their textual knowledge to real-world and use case scenarios all by doing.
Our innovative afterschool initiatives, STEAM Club and STEM Inventor’s Club, have led to students presenting their ideas to their local governments in previous years. The staff comes directly to you, providing materials, and leads the programs where kids can apply what they have learned to create exciting projects, from beginner to advance. We also offer other services such as tutoring and summer camps that will help your child to excel, despite the missed class time. These core skills will be the essential building blocks to build advanced, collegiate-level concepts.