Schools across the nation are in varying stages of reopening. Some chose not to reopen at the start of the school year, some adopted hybrid programs with 3 or fewer classroom days or extracurricular activities per week, and some opened up but had to close again as the pandemic began to spike. In addition to the school’s individual choice, many parents have decided to continue homeschooling their kids until local Covid-19 rates decline. This makes staying connected with parents and students more important than ever. Here’s how a first day of school sign can benefit you during these times, and into the future.
Communicate Through Your Website
Many schools have made major changes to their school-specific or school district website. This information could also be placed on your first day of school sign. This should include a large range of information including all-access or login only access for:
- District wide-opening and closures
- School-specific opening and closures
- School-specific updates and information
- Direct links to teachers contact information
- Direct links to class schedules
- First day of school signs and reminders and daily updates
Whether your school is open or closed, it’s time to leverage digital school signs to their full potential. They are a convenient option as they can be accessed and updated from any computer with internet. Teachers and school staff can preschedule a variety of messages in advance and make real-time changes.
Signs placed in the drop off and pick up area have always played a vital role in communicating with parents and students. From an enthusiastic first day of school sign to extracurricular activities, school spirit, reminding students and parents of half days, wishing students a happy safe weekend, and much more. Post COVID protocols, updates on school exposure rates, reminders of social distanced group events, first day of school sign for your hybrid week, etc. If parents are not allowed inside the school, post the procedures for stopping by to pick up homework on your digital school sign.
Many schools have added additional digital signs to strategic locations throughout their campus, adding text-only safety protocols, photos, and videos. This is particularly helpful in creating revised directories in areas where the school is closed, or access is limited.
Parents and teachers utilized email prior to the pandemic, but email is far more essential now. This includes group emails to parents, the entire school, or an individual class—as well as emails to and from parents and teachers and students and teachers. Some schools are also utilizing instant messaging during school hours for students to ask quick questions about homework or schedule one-on-one tutoring.
Most parents are connecting with teachers more than they did pre-pandemic, as their role has shifted to a semi-teaching role. Schools are making it as easy as possible, even creating parent support groups to help lighten everyone’s load. Parents must make sure they understand all of their resources and school-approved communication tools, which are designed to keep stress to a minimum.
School-Issued Notebooks Or Laptops
For privacy, security, and because not all students have a computer at home—many schools are offering school-issued notebooks or laptops. With schools being closed they have more money in the budget for electronics.
The notebook or laptop has homeschooling software and includes additional software or apps for email, class schedules, weekly assignments, and chat and video functions between the students and teacher, group classes, tutor, and other students.
Some schools and communities are also offering discounted and free internet access so that kids can stay connected.
Manual Drop Off And Pick Up
This year is a first for many students, as they have only met their teacher virtually. Schools have systems in place for the drop off and pick up of physical learning materials, such as subject books, school supplies, and workbooks that require physical lessons. Drop off and pick up are often socially distanced and can be a fun outing for kids cooped up at home. In smaller school districts many teachers drive directly to their students’ homes.
Even if they are just picking up supplies, post a first day of school sign at the physical location of the school, to welcome kids back from the holidays, spring break, summer break, or the most recent pandemic shutdown. It’ll be a nice morale boost if you happen to pass by the sign on the weekends or while doing errands, and pointing it out to the kids. Reinforcing a sense of normalcy here is the key.
Live And Virtual Small Group Learning
Some hybrid schedules have teachers coming to school 4 or 5 days per week, but only teaching half the class at a time so that social distancing can be maintained. Many K thru 12 and university classes and lectures are being streamed live. However, elementary teachers find that full-class virtual sessions are not the most effective. So instead, they are live streaming with 10 or fewer students at a time.
When teaching virtually, it’s also easier to connect and engage with groups that are small enough that the teacher can see each of their students on-screen. Virtual lessons are often limited to an hour or less per day, and the rest of the day is spent in self-study or in private tutoring.
Whether live or virtual, the time together is valuable as it keeps kids connected and supports different learning styles.
Sign Kids Up For Messenger Kids
Help your kids keep in touch with their classmates, friends, young family members, and parent-approved adults with Facebook’s Messenger Kids. Not to worry, there is no need to set your kids up with a Facebook account—and no risk of creepy strangers. This app is set up and managed through your Facebook account. You supervise friending, including who they can be friends with, and who to unfriend. Your kids can video chat and message with anyone you approve, but you always have access because it is connected to your Facebook account. And yes, many schools and extracurricular kid’s activities are using Messenger Kids to socialize and host classes during the pandemic.
In Need Of Digital School Signage?
From a vibrant first day of school sign to school spirit, reminders, and safety protocols. If your school is in need of additional digital signage we invite you to reach out to Mega LED Technology. We custom build your sign for your local weather, desired viewing distance, and the size and features to achieve your objectives.