The new school year starts and educational institutions open their doors to students. And parents are understandably concerned about their safety of course. But it is also obvious that online learning is far from ideal. According to the PACE report published in June 2021, remote learning set many children back academically. The investigation published in April 2021 at JAMA Network also shows that remote education has a major toll on children's mental health.
So it is obvious that going back to school is necessary both for children and college students. Luckily, they will still have all the online resources to help them out with their studies. These include open courses, videos, tutorials, and cheap write my paper service options, for example WritePaper provides homework help on any topic which are especially helpful for college students. Sometimes professional help is what it takes to feel better, learn more from expert comments, or have less academic stress that affects mental health.
So what precautionary measures are implemented to ensure safety at schools? Here are the major points.
Vaccination is the Best Prevention Measure
The best way to dramatically increase one's and community's safety is to get vaccinated. Families that send kids to schools should be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
Also, children of 12+ years old can be vaccinated too. As for now, there is only one approved vaccine for kids of 12-15 years in the U.S., which is Pfizer BioNTech. And it is effective against the Delta variant.
Overall, schools are as safe as the community in whole. They have not been a major cause of disease spreading. With all the precautionary measures in place, they can be even safer than many other public spaces.
Face Masks Are On
Although the mandatory status of the masks in schools remains a community's choice, they will be prevalent in schools and colleges. Cloth masks have proven to be a great measure in lowering the spread of the virus.
And it should be a priority to both students and teachers. Here are some tips to cover these regulations:
Always have a clean cloth mask and an additional one with you;
Store them in a bag that can be re-sealed;
Make sure your or your kid's mask is identifiable so it doesn't get mixed with others;
Never share masks with others;
Clean hands before putting one and do not touch the cloth while doing so.
UNICEF recommends making sure that masks do not interfere with the educational experience. For example, students with disabilities (auditory problems) might have it hard to follow as a mask may reduce speech signals. Clear masks can be a great solution to add opportunities for lipreading.
Physical Distancing is The Key
It is often impossible to keep a 2-meter distance at school. But there are some rules that schools can implement to reduce the crowding, such as:
Avoiding lockers or accessing them in small groups at a time;
Reducing the number of students on a school bus (still wearing masks in their assigned seats);
Spacing desks when it is possible (at least 1 meter);
Assigning different entrances for separate classes or staying in the same classroom while teachers move between them;
Spacing out the school day so that all classes and teachers do not come in or leave at the same time;
Moved classes outdoors or into high-ventilation rooms;
Allowing students to have their lunch at their desks;
Keeping windows or doors open for air circulation;
Avoiding crowding at a pickup.
Overall, schools and colleges need to do all they can to avoid any crowds. It may include anything from hybrid educational models to arrows in a hallway to keep groups set apart.
Grouping students in smaller groups is also quite effective.
Focus on Hygiene
Personal hygiene is as important as before. Schools have to provide easy access for students to wash hands or use sanitizer at all times. Teachers also should give instructions to young kids on how and why to wash hands.
Temperature Checks and Testing
It might not be feasible for every school, but it is a great measure to conduct temperature checks every day as students enter the institution.
CDC recommends weekly screening for kids and teachers that have not been fully vaccinated yet. It helps to reduce the spreading and act fast in case one gets sick. If one shows COVID-19 symptoms, it is necessary to do diagnostic testing.
Provision of Designated Area for Possible COVID Cases
In case a child, teacher, or staff member shows COVID symptoms, there has to be a clear procedure to follow. A person needs to be taken to a designated area to be tested or picked up.
This area needs great ventilation and can be close to the exit. It is also crucial to make sure that such cases are treated with respect and no stigma around it.
Regular Cleaning and Disinfection
Another vital measure for educational institutions is to conduct regular disinfection of all spaces and surfaces.
Special attention should be given to frequently touched surfaces - door knobs, desks, faucets, etc.
The cleaning staff has to use appropriate disinfection materials and liquids. It is also great to ventilate the rooms after students go home.
If a surface is soiled, it is necessary to clean it right away.
It is understandable why parents or students may have safety concerns. However, educational institutions are pretty safe when all the necessary measures are taken care of. It is important to get vaccinated, follow safety guidance, like wearing a clean mask, avoid crowds, and keep personal hygiene at the top. The studies also have shown that the Delta variant does not cause more serious disease in children and young adults, so the chances of serious health harm are decently low.
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