By Beenish Mahmood

September 2020 Back to School is not the same as any other year. Amidst the Pandemic, a lot has changed for Students, Staff, as well as Parents. There are different modes of learning this year and the checklist for Back to School supplies has elongated. Here are the ways the school year seems different:

Different Modes Of Learning – Online Vs In-Person:

Students were faced with the choice to attend school In-Person or Virtually this year. With the In-Person delivery method, students went back to attending school physically adapting to the protocols required by the ministry of education. With the Virtual mode of delivery, children are attending schools Online using platforms like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. For many parents, it was a tough decision to chose among the two. For working parents, who found it hard to juggle between work and trying to be there with their kids at home, In- Person option was the best choice. Thousands of Ontario students returned back to school.

Extended Back To School Checklist:

Children who returned to school In-Person this year required multiple face masks and hand sanitizers that are easily accessible. The face masks require to be washed after use once the children reach home. The students are required to bring their own school stationary and are restricted not to share. Disposable lunch bags are also on the list where the students are required to bring their wrappers back home. For children attending school virtually, a device need to be setup at home with limited distractions. They need an internet access, printer, a comfortable chair and a headphone or an earphone.

Distinctive Adaptations To In-Person Learning:

With Covid-19, schools are working quite different this year. Elementary In-Person students are attending 5 days a week while secondary students are attending in Cohorts with smaller class sizes .Face coverings are mandatory while staff are also required to wear shield protection as well. Desks are kept 6 feet apart and fans have been added to classrooms to increase ventilation . Hand sanitizing stations are set up across the schools. Parents are not allowed to enter the school premises unless by appointment.

In short, no matter what style of learning you’ve chosen this fall, be confident in the fact that it was the right choice for you and your family. Please remember to give yourself, your children and their teachers a little bit of grace. These are unprecedented times and we need to be kind to one another.

About the Author:

Beenish Mahmood is an Administrative professional with years of experience working with children with special needs. She also volunteers at Literacy South Halton tutoring adults with Down Syndrome and Learning Difficulties. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, travelling, and serving the community.

School photo created by freepik –