While it is wonderful to be back to school in person, COVID-19 has made the school experience drastically different, so you may need to switch up the routine that you have relied on in the past. Below are some suggestions for what you should do the night before school and in the morning to ensure that you and your child have a smooth start to the day. Depending on your child's age will dictate how much guidance they will need when preparing for the school day.
PReparation for the Night Before
- Check to make sure your child's homework is completed and either submitted digitally or packed neatly in a folder or binder.
- Help your child pack their backpack by putting materials for each class in the order that the class occurs. Many students are unable to use lockers during the day, so they need to bring all materials with them in their backpacks to make the class transitions more efficient. This way, your child won’t have to frantically search for materials before each class.
- Prepare a packed lunch and snacks ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator. Remember to include a refillable water bottle! If you need some culinary inspiration, check out our blog 3 Ideas for Nutritious and Delicious Lunches!
- Charge computers/tablets and headphones.
- Pack a small zippered bag with hand sanitizer, 1-2 extra masks, and tissues. You may also want to include lotion to moisturize after repeated hand washing or breath mints to make sure that your child’s mask-covered breath is minty fresh. Add this bag to an easily accessible pocket of your child’s backpack.
- Pack extra layers that include a sweatshirt or jacket in the backpack in case it gets chilly. Some classes may choose to meet outdoors to give students some time in the fresh air, or your child may go outside for a mask break.
Preparation For in the Morning
- Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier than you did on a pre-Covid school day. You want to have plenty of time to complete extra steps without feeling rushed or running late.
- Start the morning with a health check. Take your child’s temperature and ask if he or she is feeling any different than the previous day. Try to submit any required health screening forms right away so that you don’t forget as you move through the rest of the morning.
- Eat a hearty breakfast. Because of mask requirements, students are typically only able to eat at specific times, so you want to avoid having your child feel hungry before the designated mealtime.
- Help pack your child's backpack with their lunch box (waiting in the fridge) and electronic devices (already fully charged).
- Keep a small bin of clean masks near the door so that your child can grab one while walking out to the bus or car.
Keeping a routine, especially after a break, will help establish some normalcy. Although it does take a bit of preparation, using these tips can help make the morning routine quick and painless for both you and your child!
At Sanford School, we want to deliver the safest experience possible during the pandemic. To learn about the steps we're taking to protect our school community, visit Sanford's COVID-19 Response Plan.
Christine DiUbaldo received a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University with a minor in Urban Studies, and her graduate coursework was completed at the University of Delaware. After teaching third grade at Sanford for twenty-one years, she has taken her love of Sanford to the roles of Director of Summer Programs and Assistant Director of Admission.