COVID-19

Why Some Families Choose to Repeat Grades After Remote Learning

In the wake of COVID-19 and remote learning, some families are considering having their children repeat grades. This was true for Lauren Phillips, 37, of Los Angeles. After months of schooling through a screen, her 6-year-old daughter, Lola, would finally get the real kindergarten experience. As it turned out, in-person kindergarten wasn’t much different from remote learning. Lola sat in a room with her classmates while her teacher, who was home for medical reasons, taught…

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How To Improve Mental Health at School

Mental health has only become more important and more fraught as the pandemic has confined children to their homes and limited their social interactions. With parents losing jobs and COVID-19 claiming loved ones, adolescents are experiencing a lot more strain on their mental health, so it’s essential to try to improve mental health for students at school. “There’s just a lot more worry about everyday things. So there’s anxiety about things – and I’m not…

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How to Help Students Re-Adjust to Social Settings

For Muniya Khanna, strong emotional reactions and increased social discomfort are predictable responses as youngsters emerge from more than a year of isolation and students re-adjust to altered routines caused by the pandemic. Khanna is a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania who specializes in treatment of childhood anxiety. She explained that anxiety is part of the body’s fight-or-flight response to uncertainty. While in-person activities may be billed as a “return to normal,” Khanna said it also…

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6 Strategies for Safer Classrooms as Delta Rises

It’s the kind of news story that keeps parents of school-age children up at night: kids go to school, dutifully wear masks, and still half the class ends up getting sick. That’s what happened this past spring at an elementary school in Marin County, CA. The school seemed to be taking all the right precautions against COVID-19 transmission. They tried to create safer classrooms by requiring teachers and students to be masked while indoors, placing…

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Student Loan Freeze Extended For a Final Time

The current federal student loan freeze — a lifeline pausing repayments interest-free for millions of borrowers in the wake of the pandemic — will now last at least through Jan. 31, 2022. The student loan freeze was first enacted in 2020 and has been extended several times, but the Department of Education has referred to the current deadline as the “final extension” for this relief. With the no-interest repayment pause now unlikely to continue beyond…

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Secretary of Education Says ‘Politics Have No Place’ in Reopenings

When it looks like the U.S. has the answers to the pandemic, COVID-19 keeps changing the questions. Parents and teachers must now contend with the Delta variant as millions of students starting or preparing to go back to school. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says he is paying attention not just as a federal official but also as a father. “I want to make sure that when my children return to school, I’m sending…

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10 Back-To-School Tips to Help Students Adjust This Fall

The 2020-2021 school year was unlike any other. Millions of students spent part — or most — of the year learning remotely. After months physically away from teachers, classmates and a traditional school day structure, some kids may need some time to adjust when it comes to tackling the start of a “normal” school year this fall. Here are some practical tips from educators, administrators and counselors to help students adjust to school. 1. Know…

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Contention Over Masks in Schools Rises as Academic Year Begins

It’s still August, but the 2021-22 school year has started for some students around the country, even as coronavirus cases are rising sharply in places with low vaccination rates and contentious debates about masks in schools are escalating. Despite strong hopes that the new school year would mark a return to full-time, in-school learning normalcy after more than a year of unprecedented pandemic disruptions, school district leaders are facing new challenges to achieving that goal.…

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Why Are School Nurses Being Left Out of Reopening Conversations?

We’ve heard a great deal about teachers and their struggles through the Covid-19 pandemic, but one group of school personnel that has gotten little attention is school nurses. Even before the pandemic began in 2020, school nurses played a critical role in schools, often serving as primary health-care providers for many students — but covid-19 has made their role much harder. School nurses have been quietly doing their jobs throughout the pandemic to try to…

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Could the Delta Variant Stop a Normal School Year Before it Starts?

For a brief moment, it felt like parents had made it. School was wrapping up. People, including kids 12 and older, were getting vaccinated. Mask mandates were easing. But now we’re facing the delta variant — a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. States with large outbreaks are seeing rising case numbers among children as well as adults. As it reaches into our communities, how does this strain affect children, and how can we help…

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