Tips to Get Your Child Back on Track at School

17/01/2022

Returning to school post quarantine has taken on new meaning and a new set of worries for parents and other caregivers. Schools must now balance the educational, social, and emotional needs of their students along with the health and safety of students and staff during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision on what school and learning looks like is usually made on the local level by school boards and government officials. Overall, schools largely choose from one of three options:

Distance learning. All instruction is done remotely in this model using technology and other tools.

In-person schooling. This model is like traditional schooling with enhanced health and safety precautions and procedures.

Hybrid schooling. This model includes elements of both distance and in-person schooling.

Being prepared for a variety of schooling environments can empower you and your child while simultaneously reducing anxiety. In each case, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of COVID-19 to help your child feel safe and make informed decisions during this tumultuous period.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can also help keep your child in school and more safely have playdates and participate in sports and other group activities.  Your child is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Regardless whether or not your child is vaccinated, many schools throughout Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia are taking precautions to further reduce the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Prevention in Schools Throughout PJ and Kuala Lumpur

Practice safe distancing at school.

Social distancing, or physical distancing, is the practice of allowing enough space between individuals to reduce the spread of disease. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend keeping at least 6 feet (2 meters) of space between yourself and people outside your household to meet these goals.

Steps to encourage social distancing during in-person schooling may include:

  • Eliminating lockers or grouping them by student groups, or cohorts;
  • Creating one-way traffic in school hallways;
  • Using outdoor spaces when possible, for instruction, meals and recess;
  • Reducing the number of children on school buses;
  • Spacing desks out and having them all face in the same direction;
  • Using physical barriers, such as plexiglass shields and partitions, to separate educators and students;
  • Dividing students up into distinct groups or cohorts that stay together during the school day and reducing interaction between different groups.

Wear masks at school.

Wear a face mask in indoor public spaces, such as schools. If you are in an area with a high number of new COVID-19 cases, wear a mask outdoors in crowded areas or when you are in close contact with others who aren’t fully vaccinated.

If your child’s school requires or encourages the use of cloth face masks, consider these tips:

  • Wearing cloth face masks should be a priority especially when it’s hard to maintain social distance, such as on the bus, at carpool drop-off or pickup, and when entering the building.
  • Have multiple cloth face masks available for your child. Provide your child with a clean mask and back-up mask each day and a clean, resealable bag for them to store the mask when they can’t wear it, such as at lunch.
  • Label your child’s mask clearly so it’s not confused with another child’s.
  • Practice properly putting on and taking off cloth face masks with your child while avoiding touching the cloth portions.
  • Remind your child that they should clean their hands before and after touching their mask.
  • Instruct your child to never share or trade masks with others.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of wearing a face mask and model wearing them as a family.
  • Discuss with your child why some people may not be able to wear face masks for medical reasons.

Wash hands regularly at home and at school.

Practice handwashing at home with your child and explain why it’s important to wash his or her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before and after eating, coughing/sneezing, or adjusting a face mask. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. When handwashing isn’t available, suggest that your child use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, explain that he or she should avoid touching his or her eyes, nose, and mouth.

Schools in PJ and Malaysia should encourage routines that encourage frequent handwashing and following good hand hygiene practices, such as asking children to cover their mouths and noses with their elbows or tissues when they cough or sneeze and then washing their hands.

If your child attends in-person schooling, develop daily routines before and after school that foster healthy habits, such as packing a back-up face mask and hand sanitizer in the morning and washing their hands as soon as they come home.

Clean and disinfect the entire classroom at school.

Whether your child is being schooled at home or at school, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces can help reduce the risk of illness. This includes frequently touched items such as doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, tablets and phones.  Little Human Scholars preschool, playschool, kindie and daycare centre has had strict and rigorous disinfecting processes before the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to enforce this program within their walls.  Sending your child to a school that has staunch disinfection processes may greatly minimise the chances of your child contracting the virus.

If sick, stay home and don’t go to school

You should monitor your child each day for signs of COVID-19. These include:

Fever

Nasal congestion or runny nose

Cough

Sore throat

Shortness of breath

Fatigue

Headache

Muscle aches

Nausea or vomiting

Diarrhea

Poor appetite

New loss of taste or smell

Belly pain

Pink eye

Some schools may recommend daily temperature readings as a part of COVID-19 symptom screening. Again, Little Human Scholars in PJ has been doing this since first opening their doors in 2015.  But since many of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as the common cold, allergies and influenza, the effectiveness of this screening can be limited.

To limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as other germs, children should stay home from school and other activities if they have any signs of illness or a fever. Contact your doctor if you have questions.

Don’t skip vaccinations

Whether classes are happening at school or at home, make sure your child is up to date with all recommended vaccines and boosters. All school-aged children should get a flu shot each season. Getting a flu vaccine is especially important this season because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar common signs and symptoms. Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of the flu and its complications. It’s another layer of defense to help prevent missed school days.

What to do if your child is exposed to COVID-19

If your child will be attending in-person school, take steps to be prepared for possible exposure to COVID-19 and changing scenarios.

  • Develop a plan to protect family and household members who are at risk of severe illness, such as those with compromised immune systems or chronic conditions.
  • Make sure that your emergency contact information and school pickup and drop-off information is current at school. If that list includes anyone who is at risk of illness, consider adding an alternate contact.
  • Find out how your school will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 happens and how they plan to maintain student privacy.
  • Plan for periods of quarantine or school closures. Schools may close if COVID-19 is spreading more in your community or if multiple children or staff test positive. Your child may also need to stay home if he or she is exposed to a close contact with COVID-19.

Following these steps can help you feel assured that your child is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on what measures your local schools are taking to reduce the risk of illness, check with your local school district or health agency.

About Little Human Scholars Preschool, Playschool, Kindie and Daycare in PJ

Little Human Scholars is an all-in-one childcare solution.  It is a preschool, playschool, kindergarten, nursery and full-day daycare centre (with extended hours) located in the heart of PJ.

In fact, the location is one of the things which makes Little Human Scholars so sought after – it is conveniently nestled near Jalan Gasing, University hospital, PJ Old town, PJ New town, Jaya One, Jaya33, and the PJ IT Mall.

The best part is LHS school in PJ has premiere services many other schools in PJ don’t offer such as full-day daycare with extended hours, CCTV access for parents, and a nifty little phone app that provides parents with automatic updates on their child’s development, behaviour and health checks.

With full-time guards always present at each of their locations, access to CCTV (which is in every room except the office, bathroom and kitchen areas), and very strict pick-up and drop-off rules, Little Human Scholars treats every child who walks into its hallways as one of their own children!

This place has it all:  location, safety, health, IGSCE curriculum and play-based learning.  What more could you ask for?  Did I mention they also have transportation services and offer meal plans for students?  It doesn’t get any better than that.

If you are interested in a tour of one of our centres (that’s right, there’s more than one), all you need to do is fill out the form here or call +6017-7303-025 and an LHS administrative staff will get back with you shortly!

Cheers,

Education in a Post-COVID WorldLHS COVID-19 Updated Safety Requirements