While SFUSD has announced that the school semester beginning on August 16th will be in-person, it is unknown what children’s activities will look like or how comfortable individual households will feel with their children participating in activities outside of school. Supporting our children as we start transitioning into a post-COVID world is challenging even for those of us with a background in education. Our community is listening and responding to these needs and concerns. Children’s Council team includes former teachers and early educators who have crowdsourced some opportunities, best practices, and resources as you prepare for the new semester.
- Since city-sponsored sites and activities are still getting back to normal, parents may feel compelled to organize pods of their own with friends, families and neighbors. Consider creating a pod that resembles the economic, racial and related diversity of San Francisco.
- Check out the SF Department of Public Health’s guidance for child and youth programs, especially since children under 12 are not eligible for vaccination as of July 6th, 2021.
- Explore the feasibility of remote, hybrid, or in-person learning support by an existing or new child care provider. For information on getting help paying for child care, visit childrenscouncil.org.
- Create a schedule and routine like you might when attending in-person instruction – here are some tips for getting started.
- Check-in with your child about their progress throughout the day. Ask questions like:
- What did you enjoy?
- Did you experience any challenges?
- How can I support you?
- Ensure adequate Wi-Fi access (especially if you have multiple users throughout the day – check out our related article about free/discounted internet access).
- For help with slow internet, check out the Children’s Council’s article “Why is my internet so slow and what can I do to fix it?”
- Set up permission settings on computers and other devices to limit screen time and restrict access to sites and apps through parental control settings.
- Have a child with a suspected or diagnose special need or IEP? Talk to your school and teacher to set realistic expectations. San Francisco-based Support for Families of Children with Disabilities has guidance for our current COVID-19 context and Case Advocacy has example questions to ask when advocating for your child’s educational success.
- Keep engaged with your school and participate in initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion during remote learning. Our article on these important topics can help keep the conversation going.
- Attend SFUSD townhalls to share input and hear updates.
- Regular physical activity is important for all children’s development. Consider taking a self-assessment and setting physical activity goals via Children’s Council’s Healthy Apple program.
- Check with community-based organizations for additional resources, tools and supports. One example is Support for Families of Children with Disabilities’ multilingual kits with supplies to supplement what’s being provided by school districts geared to supporting adult caregivers.
- Listen for lessons learned from experts and follow related blogs, podcasts and news as parents, teachers and technologists share strategies and learnings.
Finally, consider registering for a monthly Children’s Council Parent Café and related learning opportunities to discuss topics like this with peers and experts in a supportive virtual community.
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