GREENWOOD, Indiana — As Indiana schools are beginning to release details for returning to school, parents are making decisions about how to keep their child safe. Education expert Jennifer Brinker decided to do a Q&A with 13News anchor/reporter Alyssa Raymond to give tips to parents on getting the kiddos ready to return and considerations they can take.
Watch the interview in the video player above, or read about it here:
Alyssa Raymond: So many schools have shared that they are going to be in person this fall and are slowly starting to release some specifics. What should parents keep in mind this upcoming school year?
Jennifer Brinker: If you haven't already heard from your district, I'm certain you will soon. A tip I would give parents is that when you get this information, review it privately as parents before you share all of the information with your child. You want to make sure that you are being positive in your approach so that your child has a positive attitude about not only returning to school but also about safety measures in place. They will follow your lead and your attitude on this. Let them pick out a mask they like for back to school shopping just like you would for backpacks, just any way to put a positive spin on it.
Alyssa Raymond: Most districts are strongly suggesting and sometimes requiring that students wear masks. Parents are probably anticipating their kids will most likely lose their mask though. Any tips for this?
Jennifer Brinker: Yes, I have seen some very creative ways out there to keep your child organized with all they need. I have shared a couple pics that I have seen where parents are purchasing lanyards for their child that masks and travel-sized hand sanitizer can clip onto. I think that this is a great way to make sure your child has what they need. I would also suggest purchasing these hot items like masks and sanitizers well in advance as they are selling out quickly!
Alyssa Raymond: Most parents and students are very happy that school will be back in session and hope it stays that way. What else can parents do to help?
Jennifer Brinker: Most districts are releasing health checklists for parents to ensure that students are healthy before they enter the building. These are measures that parents will take each morning, including taking your child's temperature, before they come to school. I know that it is an inconvenience, but it is necessary to keep our doors open and keep everyone healthy. We are relying on parents to do this with fidelity. Make it a part of the morning routine just like eating breakfast and brushing teeth.
Alyssa Raymond: What if a child is sick? Will parents need to keep them home if they are sick but don't have COVID necessarily?
Jennifer Brinker: Again, this will be an inconvenience, but schools have to be overly cautious right now. That includes not being at school if they are showing ANY symptoms. If your child is displaying symptoms, they will need to stay home, and schools will follow the directives of the health department on this. In the past, we've encouraged kids who maybe just have a cough or the sniffles but no fever to toughen up and come to school, but now is not the time for that. We realize that it will affect parents having to potentially come up with other options or miss work to stay home with their kids in some cases, but we want to avoid positive cases of COVID that could shut us down for a long period of time again.