As school officials and parents alike struggle with the challenges of returning to class this fall, many wonder what measures and preparations need to happen to ensure the safety of all, especially young students. And while technology can solve many of these challenges, it’s essential to consider the unique elements that impact your schools, such as region, local COVID-19 cases, and technology access.
Determining What’s Best for Your School
The CDC provides a growing number of resources for K-12 and child care programs, as well as colleges and universities. Though these resources are intended to help schools prepare and respond to COVID-19, the CDC advises that all decisions regarding school-based strategies (e.g., dismissals, event cancellations, other social distancing measures) be made in collaboration with local health officials who can determine the level of transmission in the community.
Administrators should also consider the level of impact that continued school closure has on the children of their community. The lack of in-person education programs disproportionately harms low-income and minority children and those living with disabilities. Its impact on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, is well known and documented by the CDC.
Reopen School Doors with Health Screenings
In the wake of COVID-19, a growing number of state-wide reopening programs will require that schools maintaining public spaces provide health assessments before admitting students and faculty to the building. According to the CDC, the purpose of symptom screening is to identify individuals who may have COVID-19 and exclude those individuals from a setting to reduce the risk of transmission to others. While health screenings can help administrators manage building access, it’s crucial that they also reinforce the importance of students and staff staying home when sick until at least 24 hours after symptoms subside. When looking for a health screening solution, look for applications that provide dynamic results post-completion. That will allow administrators the ability to reinforce CDC guidelines, and school admittance requirements should a student be denied access to the building.
Other features to keep an eye out for when choosing a health screening application include:
- Integration with active directory and guest authentication to simplify administration
- Out of the box reporting that considers PHI and HIPAA compliance
- Custom questions that are delivered in a mobile-friendly manner
- Turn up time is fast, and the platform uptime is reliable
Continue to Support Remote Learning
With many schools still opting for e-learning or even hybrid attendance models, students will need the proper technology to make at-home learning as effective as possible. Administrators should provide educational materials and best practices for parents who are managing e-learning students. Assist in educating parents on maximizing their available internet access, device availability, and designating workspaces that limit distractions while students are learning from home. Administrators will also need to provide efficient collaboration tools, like video conferencing and persistent messaging, to bring teachers and students together while remote.
Interested in learning how Netrix can support your school’s reopening plan? Contact us today to learn how we’re helping schools of all sizes and regions empower students and increase health safety through technology.