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Tips for getting ready to go back to school in Waterloo Region

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We are just weeks away from the start of the 2020-21 school year and in a normal year, parents would simply be worrying about getting the basic necessities in time for the start of the school year.

But this year, we are in the midst of a pandemic, so Waterloo Region’s top doctor Hsiu-Li Wang offered a host of tips in an attempt to get your wee ones ready to go back to school.

Read more: Waterloo Region District School Board announces staggered start for elementary classes

“We expect that transition will be more challenging this year. There are some things that families can do now to feel more prepared, such beginning to adjust sleep schedules,” she said.

She also suggested other things such as practising proper hand-hygiene techniques.

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“I am sure parents have been doing it with their children: washing hands with soap and water, scrubbing hands, including fingers, thumbs and wrists for at least 15 seconds,” she explained while suggesting similar measures with hand sanitizer.

The region’s acting medical officer of health also said it was a good idea to have children get used to masks.

“Practice putting on and taking off the mask and have your child wear it around the house so that they are more comfortable wearing it for longer periods of time,” Wang explained.

Read more: Waterloo Catholic school board makes masks mandatory for all students

Other suggested measures include practising no-touch “hellos” and having a discussion with children about the changes they will see when they return to the classroom.

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She also suggested to “have a plan in case your child needs to stay home.”

Wang says we will be dealing with public health measures surrounding COVID-19 for quite some time so we should get acclimated to these changes.

In addition, the Waterloo Region Public School Board has also published a checklist of more than 30 questions that parents can ask themselves and their children “so they can get their head in the game.”

Things the board suggests considering ahead of school are what will the mornings look like in terms of getting launched as well as when and how children will get to school.

The WRDSB suggests talking to your kids about things they might be concerned about ahead of the school year and moments from their summer that they might want to share with friends and teachers when school begins again.

The full checklist can be found here.

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