Preparing Pre-K and Kindergarteners for a Safe Back to School in 2022

2022 will be a year of challenges, especially for parents of young children. For parents of pre-k and kindergarten-age kids, staying on top of school guidelines is the best way to prevent health and safety issues. Here’s what you need to know about pre-k and kindergarten safety during 2022.

Communication is Key

Communication between school administrators, teachers, and parents should be open and consistent. Any cases of COVID at the school or in a specific classroom should be communicated to parents as quickly as possible so that preventative measures can be taken. Proper communication allows for the right support for school employees, students, and parents.

Vaccinations

Generally, expect COVID-19 vaccinations to be a mandatory part of your child’s attendance at school. This is very similar to vaccination requirements that public schools likely already have in place, such as for measles, chickenpox, and the flu.

Vaccinations help prevent the transmission of diseases in high-contact locations like pre-K and kindergartens.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

Standard COVID-19 safety measures will likely be enforced in certain areas or throughout the school as much as possible. Here is how many pre-k and kindergarten campuses are using these measures.

  • Social distancing will be highly encouraged for whole-school activities, like assemblies and lunchtime. Otherwise, individual classrooms should stay together and not intermingle with other classes. In-class seating charts may help with contact tracing if a case is identified.  Staff may travel between classrooms and throughout the school.
  • Masks should be worn indoors by both students and teachers to inhibit the transmission of the virus. Masks will likely not be required outdoors, except for immunocompromised children or those who are unvaccinated.
  • Hand sanitizing stations should be accessible all around the school for both students and adults. Pre-k and kindergarten students may need help washing their hands thoroughly as well.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting should take place on a regular basis to keep all surfaces clean and virus-free.

Testing

Many pre-k and kindergarten campuses will have on-site testing for a variety of situations. They should be available for symptomatic testing where a child is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, asymptomatic testing of unvaccinated students, and outbreak testing of students in a classroom or campus that has had one or more verified cases.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation has been shown to reduce COVID-19 cases in schools, so this will be a focus for school COVID safety. Ideally, clean outdoor air should be introduced indoors instead of recycling air with an HVAC system. Wherever possible, schools may opt to hold classes, breaks, and meals outdoors.

Keeping young children safe and healthy is a priority for parents and educators alike. By following your school’s guidelines for prevention and maintaining open communication, effective prevention and protection are easy. Plus, it sets an excellent health example for younger kids to stay safe during this challenging time.

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