Alaska’s schools start in a few weeks and families with children entering Kindergarten are already beginning to prepare. With COVID-19, families are learning to adjust to changing conditions, but by working together, this can still be an exciting time!
Once again, schools are working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by requiring various safety measures. Since kindergartners aren’t old enough to get vaccinated, it’s imperative that families work closely with their new school and teacher to ensure your child has a smooth and safe transition.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Check out CDC’s key takeaways and guidance for kindergartners and schools here.
Prepare for Kindergarten
Starting school can be stressful for families. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has developed a general help list to better prepare your child for kindergarten.
Before School Starts
- Partner with your child care teacher on how best to help your child make the transition from child care to kindergarten.
- Teach responsibility by assisting your child fill up their backpacks, getting dressed, putting on their masks, and practicing regular hand washing.
- Start your school routine early. To reduce stress and get used to new routines, adjust new bedtimes or wake up times a few weeks before school begins.
- Read books together about starting kindergarten. Check out these.
- Talk with your child about new people and things they will experience in kindergarten as well as precautions to take at school, like washing hands.
On the First Day of School
- Be positive! This is an exciting time! Give your child a hug and tell them you love them and try to avoid behaviors that might upset your child like battling over clothes and food choices.
- Set aside a time, each evening, to share your child’s day. Talk about any drawings, paintings, or scribblings created that day.
Check out NAEYC’s full list of tips here.
Despite an ever-changing and uncertain climate, now is the time to enjoy your kindergartner! This is their first step into the primary school adventure and a unique time for your family. Enjoy!
Getting Ready for Kindergarten Resources
- thread’s COVID-19 Family Resource Center
- Working Together for Kindergarten Success: Making the Transition from Child Care to Kindergarten (Child Care Aware of America)
- COVID-19 Protection Tips for Families (CDC)
- Tips for Families (ZERO TO THREE)
- School districts mitigation plans during COVID-19