Returning to School in 2021/2022
At Annapolis Pediatrics, we believe that most children and adolescents should return to in-person school this fall. During the COVID-19 pandemic, children have been isolated at home, which has affected their physical and mental health in addition to their education.
Returning to in-person learning has many benefits for students. Many children and adolescents have struggled with distance learning. It’s time to get them back to in- person school to support their learning. In addition, spending time with friends and classmates is key for the social and emotional growth of children. Getting back to school will also increase the level of physical activity for students, provide access to mental health services and improve access to services for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
Returning to in-person school is safe. While children and adolescents can get COVID- 19, they are much less likely to become very sick or require hospitalization. Masks and social distancing are also very effective in preventing transmission of COVID-19 in schools.
What can I do to keep my child safe as they return to in-person school?
- Talk with your child about the importance of wearing a mask at school and following instructions about social distancing.
- If your child has a chronic health condition, talk with your child’s provider about any special precautions needed for your child.
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone in your household who is eligible based on their age.
- Talk with your child’s school about steps the school has taken to keep students safe.
Who is eligible for continued virtual instruction during the 2021-2022 school year?
- This year, most school districts require certification of need for virtual instruction based on a physical or mental health condition of the student.
- Virtual instruction cannot be approved for students based on the health condition of a household member based on school policy.
- Children who may be eligible for continued virtual instruction include children with frequent inpatient hospital admissions due to lung, heart or neurological diseases; and children with compromised immune systems (including after organ transplant or during cancer treatment).
What if I want my child to continue virtual instruction in the fall?
- Speak with your child’s provider to discuss the benefits and risks of returning to in- person school for your child and strategies to help your child safely return to school.
- In most cases, our recommendation will be that your child returns to in-person school. Most children with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, ADHD and anxiety can safely return to school. We will work together on a plan for your child’s safe return to school.
Annapolis Pediatrics Medical Director, Dr. Edwards shares returning back to school recommendations via video.
Also, watch a video interview from our Behavioral Health providers with tips and advice on how to help our kids manage back-to-school anxiety. (these tips & resources can be helpful for anxious parents, teachers and caregivers too!)