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A big question parents have right now is how students can go back to school safely during COVID-19. The latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advice says children learn best when they are in school. However, returning to school in person needs careful steps in place to keep students and staff safe.
Ideally, local school leaders, public health experts, educators and parents can work together to decide how and when to reopen schools. These decisions will need to take into account the spread of COVID-19 in the community, as well as whether schools are able to make in-person learning safe. Schools and families should also prepare to go back to virtual learning if COVID cases increase in the community.
Why students should go back to school–safely
The AAP guidance is based on what pediatricians and infectious disease specialists know about COVID-19 and kids. Evidence so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe disease from infection. They also appear less likely to become infected or spread the virus.
Schools provide more than just academics to children and adolescents. In addition to reading, writing and math, children learn social and emotional skills, get exercise and access to mental health support and other things that cannot be provided with online learning. For many families, school is where kids get healthy meals, access to the internet, and other vital services.
What schools can do
To stay safe, there are a number of steps schools should take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include:
Physical distancing. The goal should be to stay at least 6 feet apart to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, spacing desks at least 3 feet apart and avoiding close contact may have similar benefits for students–especially if students wear cloth face coverings and do not have symptoms of illness.
Teachers and staff, who are likely more at risk of getting COVID-19 from other adults than from children at school, should stay the full 6 feet apart from each other and students when possible. Teachers and staff should also wear cloth face coverings and limit in-person meetings with other adults.
When possible, outdoor spaces can be used for instruction and meals. Students should also have extra space to spread out during activities like singing and exercising.
Cloth face coverings & hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is important for everyone. In addition, all adults should wear cloth face coverings. Preschool and elementary students can benefit from wearing masks if they do not touch their mouths or noses a lot. Secondary school students should wear cloth face masks, especially when they can’t stay a safe distance apart.
Classroom changes. To help limit student interaction outside the classroom, schools can:
Have teachers move between classrooms, rather than having students fill the hallways during passing periods.
Allow students to eat lunches at their desks or in small groups outdoors instead of in crowded lunchrooms.
Leave classroom doors open to help reduce high touch surfaces such as doorknobs.
Temperature checks and testing. COVID testing of all students is not possible for most schools. Taking students’ temperature at school also may not always be feasible. Schools should establish ways to identify students with fever or other symptoms of illness. They can also frequently remind students, teachers, and staff to stay home if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or have any signs of illness.
Cleaning and disinfecting. Schools should follow CDC guidelines on proper disinfecting and sanitizing classrooms and common areas.
Buses, hallways and playgrounds
Since these are often crowded spaces, schools can:
Give bus riders assigned seats and require them to wear a cloth face coverings while on the bus. Encourage students who have other ways to get to school to use those options.
At school, mark hallways and stairs with one-way arrows on the floor to cut down on crowding in the halls.
Outdoor activities are encouraged, so students should be allowed to use the playground in small groups.
In addition to having plans in place to keep students safe, there are other factors that school communities need to address:
Pressure to catch up. Students may not have gained as much from distance learning. Some students may not have had access to computers and internet. Schools should be prepared to adjust curricula and not expect to make up all lost progress. It is important to balance core subjects with physical education and other learning experiences.
Students with disabilities. The impact of schools being closed may have been greater for students with disabilities. They may have a difficult time transitioning back to school after missing out on instruction time as well as school-based services such as occupational, physical and speech-language therapy and mental health support counseling. School should review the needs of each child with an Individual Education Program before they return to school, and providing services even if they are done virtually.
Immunizations. It is important as students return to school that they are up to date on their immunizations. It will be critical that students and staff get their flu shot this year to reduce the spread of influenza this fall and winter. Your pediatrician is available now to make sure you child is ready for school.
Exams. If your child participates in extracurricular activities like sports or band, talk with your pediatrician to see if they need a preparticipation physical exam. Key well-child visits are also important.
Behavioral health/emotional support. Your child’s school should anticipate and be prepared to address a wide range of mental health needs of students and staff. Schools should provide mental health support to any student struggling with stress from the pandemic and recognize students who show signs of anxiety or distress. Schools also can help students with suicidal thoughts or behavior get needed support.
Nutrition. Many students receive healthy meals through school meal programs More students might be eligible for free or reduced meals than before the pandemic. Schools should provide meal programs even if the school closes or the student is sick and stays home from school.
Students at higher risk. While COVID-19 school policies can reduce risk, they will not prevent it entirely. Even with safety steps in place, some students with high-risk medical conditions may need to continue distance learning or other accommodations. Talk with your pediatrician and school staff (including school nurses) to determine if your child can safely return to school.
Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like normal – at least for a while. But having safety plans – and making sure schools have the resources needed to follow them – can help protect students, teachers, staff, and families.
- Last Updated
- American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2020)
If you watched the Netflix movie, Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madame CJ Walker and had an ounce of entrepreneurial spirit within you – you were inspired and motivated to new heights!
The movie brings the biography of Sarah Breedlove On Her Own Ground to life, as it documents the life of Sarah Breedlove (Madame CJ Walker), daughter of former slaves played by Octavia Spencer. After a few failed marriages and a daughter from one of her marriages, named A’Lelia, she moved to St. Louis and was employed as a washerwoman for many years. While beauty regimens were overshadowed by the daily hardships and work, many women began to work as beauty agent for Annie Turnbo Malone, an established black female entrepreneur. With her knowledge as an agent, Sarah would take Annie’s recipe and evolve it into a product that she sold door to door in Colorado.
In 1906, she married Charles Joseph Walker, an advertising salesman, whose name she adopted as her brand name. Sarah had little to no education but was a natural when it came to business. She used that savvy to enlist other women and take her brand to millionaire status, branching out to Central America and the Caribbean.
In the Netflix film, her tenacity and determination caused her to be resilient in her business after many upsets and downfalls. She even divorced her husband Charles Jones Walker because he could not understand her focus and drive and eventually got fed up with feeling as if he did not matter in their marriage or business.
This is a great movie that you should see a few times if you are a black female entrepreneur. There were some great takeaways from the film that you can keep in mind while building your brand or empire.
Some key points that I took away after watching were:
- Marry for your future
Sarah Breedlove married CJ after she had already begun her business. He was an advertising agent that helped her tremendously with marketing her products in the beginning. But, the business side of things were difficult for him to grasp and their marriage did not work because of it. I know that love is blind, but as a businesswoman perhaps she should have married for her future. She knew which direction she wanted to go in business, but did he? Not saying that it works for everybody – but it is important to marry someone that’s headed in the same direction as you in life so that you will not grow apart.
- Make Sure Your Team is Tight
Have members of your camp sign non-disclosures or non-compete forms to ensure that they will not take your brand secrets and cater to your employees or clients. Without these agreements in place Sarah was able to do this to Annie, and Charles did it to Sarah when they divorced and he tried to re-brand with his new wife. Protect your brand at all costs.
- Tell Your Story – It Sells
That’s right, your brand story is important! Your brand story is the series of events that led up to the inception and launch of your brand. For Madame CJ Walker, her brand story revolved around her losing her hair to alopecia and what she did to make her hair grow. Every brand has a story, you just must find a way to tell it and make it go with the narrative of your brand’s mission and message!
- Remember, the best reflection of you is YOU.
Madame CJ Walker’s husband wanted to market the product using a visual that was not what she wanted. Madame CJ Walker wanted her brand to stay true to its mission and her brand story. She did not want to falsely advertise her product on a woman with long silky stands already coming from her scalp. It was something that she had to ponder over for a little while, until she finally realized that she was the best face for the brand. She was the face behind the story. Represent your brand and be present in it.
- Becoming self-made isn’t for the faint of heart.
When you are self-made, no one is paving the way for you. No one is investing in your journey like you; you must make every step, turn – right or wrong on your own. Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint at heart. There will be upsets, downfalls, roadblocks, no’s and rejections, but if you are truly in it because it is your purpose and passion, then you won’t be detoured. Madame CJ Walker persevered through obstacles, fires, and then some – only to be one of America’s first black millionaires, along with her daughter A’Lelia in New York.
These are just a few takeaways and I am sure there are many more that can be found each time you watch this great film about black female entrepreneurship.
The movement known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been getting some flack in the recent events that have taken place in our nation. Protests to end police brutality have resulted in killings, looting, vandalism, and more. There are white people and black people alike, that are against the movement regardless of what lives were lost as a result of contact with those that are to protect and serve. Both sides feel as though blacks don’t care about each other, thus making BLM is a false movement. We can all agree that the movement should first start at home in the inner-cities where black people live. We do have those great movements such as Cease Fire and Don’t Shoot that carried the mantra for crimes among our people in our communities. But is that enough? Where are those chapters now?
With the numbers of so-called Black on Black crime increasing daily in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Memphis, to name a few – many believe that black lives only matter to some black people. Well, there is no argument there. It’s true. Truth is, every black person does not believe in the Black Lives Matter movement. We must remember that. There will be some who do not care about their brothers or sisters for whatever reason and commit crimes of opportunity. Truth is, there are crimes of proximity and opportunity that happen in our neighborhoods; easy licks, gang and drug wars. We just happen to all live around ‘us’. Black on black crime is not a phrase coined by us. Why isn’t there a white-on-white crime? We must remember that whatever race commits a crime, it is simply that – a crime. To say, ‘well they are killing us because we kill us’ is a lie. We kill us because people kill – period. No matter what nationality. Yes, we have to get better as a nation of people after thousands of years of oppression and menticide, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to continue to kill us and it doesn’t diminish the fact that Black Lives Matter.
Learn why ghettos were created to oppress, suppress, and depress us mentally. Learn why our brothers cannot get jobs and by nature it becomes a ‘get it how you live’ mentality. Learn how a system was put in place to deliver guns and drugs unto our communities and not theirs, learn how education and schools in our communities are underfunded and understaffed to cripple our youth.
African-American people continue to suffer police brutality and other racially motivated crimes by the hands of those that are to protect and serve, but not all black people agree with the movement. There will be some that will try to twist and distort the movement and filter it with a black on black statement.
We must remember what the BLM movement is about. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized movement in the United States advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against African-American people. Stay focused on what the movement is about. Look for other organizations that support atrocities that happen in our inner-cities or start one yourself, but most of all stay safe!
Thank you for your interest in writing for Life in the Overflow! In 2020 we are celebrating 10 years and we are re-branding the publication to be the lifestyle publication that it was meant to be and we’d love for you to be a part of our journey!
With the new year approaching, Life in the Overflow is looking for contributors to share their blogs, expertise, and writings with our readers.
Our forthcoming 2020 issues will be centered around lifestyles, fashion, beauty, entertainment, entrepreneurship and technology.
We are currently looking for contributors that are looking to add to their portfolios; who are willing to have their own place and platform as a contributing writer within each issue. Short stories are welcome!
For your contribution, you will be able to promote your product, business or service with an ad copy (advertisement) in each issue that you contribute in; also receiving a free print copy of each issue.
Those that are looking to be permanent staff writers will receive compensation! Please check under our careers section for more information about a Career with Life in the Overflow Magazine.
Summer 2020 Anniversary submission deadline is Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:59pm CT. Please send your editorial submission of 300-500 words or one page via email, including high resolution photos (300dpi) to use with your submission. Also submit a short bio (3 sentences) and photo of yourself to be printed in the issue.
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Americans are trying to adapt to a new way of life in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Parents with school age children have been challenged with trying to maintain a safe household, while making sure their child’s education doesn’t fall beneath standards.
With almost 1 million confirmed cases of Americans affected by Covid-19, many quarantine orders are in effect. Schools and businesses deemed non-essential were closed done to curve the spread of the serious and sometimes deadly Coronavirus. More
The world is starting to reopen since many states began to implement quarantine rules for the Coronavirus. Jacksonville, Florida opened their beached, although many expressed concern about a possible increase in the number of those infected.