Navigating the New Normal: Back to School 2020-21

There’s no denying it: life looks a little different these days as families prepare for back to school. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in the Falcon District 49 will follow a “Return to Learn” plan devised to keep families, teachers, and administrators safe during this unique time. On August 17, students will head back to the classroom . . . virtually. This means that until (at least) Labor Day, all learning will be done at home.

Is your family ready for this unique back to school? Here are some tips to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible:

Be in the know

Information is constantly being updated to reflect current CDC and district recommendations. Make a habit of checking this daily by visiting your school’s website. When equipped with this knowledge, you’ll have peace of mind as you approach each day.

Follow a schedule

If your child was attending school in the physical building, what would his or her day look like? Consider following this schedule in your own home. Start the day with a healthy breakfast and be ready when the first class begins. Stick with the schedule throughout the day, and be consistent—settling into a routine may take a while, but it will be worth it to establish a flow for your weekdays. Also, be sure to follow the schedule’s focus time and breaks to prepare your child for the rigors ahead once in-person school resumes.

Designate a work space

Want to provide an environment that allows your child to remain alert and focused throughout the day? Set up a workstation—a nook, a desk, the kitchen island, or a quiet spot tucked under the stairs is an ideal option—with everything he or she will need. Avoid clutter, which often serves as a distraction, and establish basic, easy-to-follow systems to keep all papers, binders, supplies, and textbooks in order; staying organized goes a long way for productivity when distance learning.

Take it one day at a time

It may seem that no matter how well you stick to a routine, each day will present its own challenges. In these times, it’s critical to keep perspective. Be gentle with yourself and your child and allow time to adjust to the new normal. Practice flexibility, take a deep breath, and try to find the silver lining in it all.

Are you ready for back to school (from home!)? Good luck navigating the new normal on the first day of class, Monday, August 17.


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