Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Preparing for Back to School


The return of a new school year and the continuation of our journey of growing and celebrating in our faith, learning, loving and serving together is fast approaching.  Soon students will celebrate the first day of school, see friends again after a long break and start fresh with a new teacher.  School’s return could be a mix of excitement, adjustment and maybe some elevated stress/anxiousness.


These adjustments include the return of a familiar morning routine, changes to sleep schedules and modifications of the casual summer routine.  For some, heightened stress may be caused by separating from parents.  As the first day of school is quickly approaching, consider some helpful steps to ease the transition from the norm of summer to school mode. 


  • Practice a school bedtime and wake-up schedule to readjust to school schedule

    • Getting enough sleep is important for their health and for being well rested and ready to learn

  • Talk about what things you are looking forward to this school year. Conversation starters can be found in the Family Table Talk!

  • Familiarize your child with a picture of their classroom teacher 

  • Practice morning routines

  • Talk about what after school routines look like

  • Focus on the positive things about returning to school

  • Have school supplies ready and clothes picked out ahead of the first day of school


For our younger students, have you considered enjoying a read aloud together? Some favorites are:


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn


The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing


The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing


Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin



Seeing the faces of our students filling the building with joy is much anticipated. We look forward to seeing, hearing and feeling the energy of our students filling our classrooms!  




Getting Comfortable Mask Wearing


The pandemic has prompted a variety of changes taking place around us. Even with these changes, many constants we anticipate still arrive. Students look forward to the excitement of new school supplies, picking out a lunch box and backpack, and seeing their classmates again.  This year we can extend the fun by picking out masks and building our comfort with wearing one.  For some, the mask will be an added fun item, others may feel indifferent and some may find it challenging. To help normalize the mask or the tasks that go with it, it will be helpful to practice wearing one for extended periods of time and learning how to care for it before the first day of school.  With practice, students will feel comfortable and confident with their masks.


Some helpful ideas include:

  • Allow your child to pick out their mask 

    • Favorite school appropriate design/patterns

    • FInding a style that fits comfortably

  • Provide opportunities to practice at home (Practice increasing time with a mask on, incrementally)

    • Play a board game together with masks on

    • Spend time together reading a book with masks on

    • Watch a tv show or movie together with masks on

  • Practice putting the mask on and taking off (practicing covering their nose and mouth)

    • Have a picnic and practice taking off the mask, eating and then putting the mask back on

    • Wear a mask as you prepare for a meal and set  the table. Practice taking the mask off, eating then during clean up put the mask back on

  • Practice talking to others with your mask on

  • Continue to build emotional literacy skills with masks on. Play a game of Feelings Charades. It is played with wearing a mask while making different faces representing various feelings. Have your child guess the feeling by looking for clues on the face with a mask on. This could include looking for clues in the eyes, eyebrows and body language.

  • If your child is frustrated or uncomfortable wearing a mask. Listen to their concerns and validate their feelings. Take the opportunity to talk about the safety of themselves and others. Listen to their ideas as to what might make it more comfortable for them.


For more specific information regarding mask wearing at ASA, please see the COVID-19 Handbook Appendix 2020-2021. We look forward to seeing all of our students and families soon! 






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