Here’s Your Family's Back-to-School Checklist

Whether your child(ren) are returning to school in person, remotely, or a combination of boththere are some important measures every family can take to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s Weill Cornell Medicine’s family back-to-school checklist: 

My child knows how to thoroughly wash their hands for a full 20 seconds.

Choose a favorite song that will keep them washing before and after meals and trips to the bathroom.

My child understands the importance of social distancing and not sharing school supplies or food.

Familiarize yourselves with your school’s layout in spaces that don’t allow for six feet of distance.

I have a supply of appropriate masks for my child to wear in school and on the school bus.  

Make sure you know whether your school provides “mask breaks.” 

My child is aware of whether their school is changing its layout and traffic flow inside school buildings. 

Find out whether they’ve incorporated clear signs and floor markings.

I’ve updated my child’s school list of medical contacts in case of an emergency. 

Know who they are and make sure they’re in your personal contact list.

I’m aware that I should not send my child to school with any signs of illness. 

Know whether your child’s school is taking children’s temperatures and asking families to complete wellness surveys before children enter the school building.

My family is aware of the common symptoms of COVID-19. 

Make sure you know of some places close to home where you would be able to take your child for a COVID-19 test.

I’ve spoken with my child about how the school experience will be different this year. 

Interactions with teachers and students may change, and it’s helpful to know how your child is feeling about this so you know if they’re having a difficult time emotionally.

My child has a place to learn at home if school moves fully online. 

Look for a quiet, dedicated workspace customized for your child’s needs, and find out when breaks occur. 

Additional Resources 

  • In this online discussionWeill Cornell Medicine pediatricians address the topic, “Should I send my Child Back to School?”   
  • Here’s school reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • The New York City Department of Education also has some helpful back-to-school information. 

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