Clear Creek ISD schools are preparing for all students to be on campus by September 14. The district plans to open schools in phases and will be implementing safety protocols such as masks and social distancing. If your children — like ours in Coastal Point — will be returning to the classroom, it’s important to talk with them about the changes they will encounter.
Be Aware of the District’s Plan
No matter how old your children are, let them know what the district’s plans are. Clear Creek ISD will open in three phases. Students in Pre-K, kindergarten, sixth grade, ninth grade and some self-contained classes for students with special needs will return to campus beginning August 31. Everyone else will participate in online classes until September 14.
Continue Distance Learning?
The Texas Education Agency states that all districts must allow distance learning for parents who choose to do so. If you choose to continue educating your children at home, discuss it with them. They may not understand why they are staying home when their friends are in the classroom. Don’t scare them but be honest about your concerns.
Listen to Them
Take time out of your day to sit down with your kids and discuss how they feel about the school year. Some of them may be unhappy because they will miss their friends or they don’t enjoy virtual learning. Other children may not want to return to the classroom out of fear of getting sick. Ask them open-ended questions such as, “What parts of the new school year excite you and what parts scare you?” Then listen.
We are already seeing schools shut down after starting on-campus learning. There is a very real chance that this could happen once your children return to the classroom. Prepare them for this. Let them know that you can’t predict how things will go and reassure them that you will be there to help them make the transition.
Set Expectations for Online Learning
If you choose not to send your child back to school, talk to them about your expectations for getting schoolwork done. Assure them that you will help them with schoolwork just as you would if they were coming home with homework.
Talk to Them About Protocols
When children can return to the classroom, they will most likely be required to wear masks and social distance. For young children, this may be difficult as masks can feel hot and uncomfortable. Listen to their objections and then explain that they wear masks to help keep people safe (for younger kids, give them a comparison that they can relate to, such as they need to wear a mask the same way a superhero does). Model mask wearing and social distancing. Remind teens that if they want to continue going to school with their friends, masks and social distancing could mean the difference between staying on campus with their friends or going back to virtual learning.
Be There for Them
This will not be an easy school year for anyone so it’s important to be patient. Your kids could be experiencing grief or depression because they can’t be with their friends. They may find distance learning frustrating. Whatever it is, sit down and talk to them. Let them vent. Don’t tell them “not to worry about it” or to “just get over it.” Remind them that you are all in this together.