10 actions to take to prepare for in-person classes

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Children might be returning to the classroom for in-person classes when school is back in session.

While schools across the country will be taking extraordinary steps to keep students safe and healthy, there are a few ways families can help plan for their children to return to class, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are a few actions and points to consider:

1. Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school.

2. Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches.

3. If your child has had close contact with a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school.

4. Identify your school point person(s) to contact if your child gets sick.

5. Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a face cover. Make hand washing fun and explain to your child why it's important.

6. Be familiar with how your school will make water available during the day. Consider packing a water bottle.

7. Develop daily routines before and after school –– for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional cloth face covering) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth face coverings).

8. Make sure your information is current at school, including emergency contacts and individuals authorized to pick up your child(ren) from school. If that list includes anyone who is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider identifying an alternate person.

9. Be familiar with your school's plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.

10. Have multiple cloth face coverings, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready. Choose cloth face coverings that fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, completely cover the nose and mouth, are secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape.