The Relief and Fear of Back to School at the End of a Pandemic

The past year has been a learning curve for everyone. Faced with a potentially deadly virus, those across the globe have had to work together not only to prevent the spread of said virus but also how to adjust to the “new normal.” Kids especially have faced a unique adjustment with moving from in-person schooling to virtual, proving to be a difficult challenge for students and teachers alike. With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as advanced studies leading to increased knowledge on the effects of COVID-19 and how to combat infection rates, it is both a welcome relief yet a source of fear for many that most schools intend on being 100% in person this coming fall. This return to normalcy has left teachers and parents scrambling to find new and unique ways to keep the classroom even safer and ensure schools remain open.

 

One of the largest benefits of returning to the classroom is the unity it will bring between students and teachers. Children are meant to be hands-on learners and thrive with the structure in-person schooling provides, allowing breaks for lunch or snack, recess, constructive quiet reading time, and more in addition to the regular class load. Though our country’s teachers have done an incredible job of working within the limited parameters of online learning, they are not always able to help the natural enthusiasm of kids. Teachers thrive in the classroom, students thrive in the classroom.

 

However, despite the thousands of people receiving the vaccine daily, there is still fear of contracting the virus for those who have not been vaccinated or the rare case of COVID-19 infection even with scientific breakthroughs in place. The tried-and-true method for prevention, even with a vaccine in place, is to continue to wear masks in public/with members not from your direct household and to socially distance with at least six feet in between.

 

Though it can be difficult to get excited children to comply with safety guidelines, we at QManager are constantly trying to find ways to help with the transition during arrivals and dismissal with features such as mobile attendance, electronic Sign In-Out, and CDC health questionnaire. Instead of trying to find ways to keep your students socially distanced in a small holding room for end-of-day dismissal, you will have the freedom to let them spread out while monitoring pick-up progress on your phone or tablet. You will even be limiting the amount of germs spread, as a communal clipboard and pen will no longer need to be distributed. Before your students even arrive for classes, you can have their parents fill out a health and wellness survey, making sure any symptoms are caught immediately and proper protocol can be followed. (And of course, you will still be able to avoid the dreaded clipboard and pen.)

 

Technology is propelling our classrooms and enhancing our students’ experiences and knowledge. Isn’t it time our teachers and administrators benefit similarly? There is no better time to take a risk on QManager than during a time where health and safety has a potential to be jeopardized by close contact.