BACK-TO-SCHOOL: WHAT IS NEEDED & HOW TO PLAN

In Bermuda, our children experienced an abrupt transition during mid-term that impacted the dynamics of education. As we prepare to adapt to the new protocols, the way we previously planned for back-to-school has morphed into something we have never seen or have had to prepare for. K.I.M.’s List is our resource for parents, providing child specific information, supplies and tools to make planning for the 2020-21 school year less challenging.

As parents, we have so many unanswered questions, confusion and limited guidance.  This fall –  schools, teachers, parents, and children will need to stay safe and work together. Safety will be the ongoing undertaking that will require complete cooperation to maintain standards that contain COVID-19 and keep it from spreading throughout the schools.

WHAT IS NEEDED

Along with the traditional school supplies relevant to your child’s grade, there will be extra items to be included. Here is a list of additional and traditional supplies needed for the cohorts and hybrids classroom model.

PHYSICAL CLASSROOMS

Thermometer: Make sure to take your child’s temperature before taking them to school and once they return.  If the thermometer reads over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, keep them home. Allowing them to have their own thermometer will help create a routine of staying aware. This measure may add a sense of safety to your child’s emotional wellbeing.

Masks: Masks will be mandatory and must always be clean and correctly placed over mouth and nose.  Take the opportunity to talk candidly about the importance of face-covering while in school.

Sanitizers/ Clorox Wipers/Tissue/Wet Wipes:  These items need to be in abundance and available daily.  Make sure your child understands how necessary it is to keep their hands clean all day. How to refrain from touching their face, teachers, and other classmates. 

Laptop/Tablet/Smart phone: There is no way around getting a device for your child to use. No matter the age every child must have a device in case schools close again. A device that is mobile is preferred.

Paper: Still a requirement, along with the traditional lined paper, or graph paper we usually purchase, printing paper will be needed as well, to accommodate the work that will be done digitally.

Folders: To keep classwork organized and separated, find colorful or themed folders to make it easier to organize. Digital folders do not have to be purchased but created, labeled, and organized for each class.

Pen/Pencils/Crayons/Color Pencils/Markers/Highlighter: It will be imperative your child has plenty writing utensils, there will be no sharing or borrowing of these items. Keep them labeled with the child’s name and contained in a pencil case or bag, which should also be labeled with the child’s name.  Be sure to wipe the items down when the child returns from school.

  • Ruler/Compass/Protractor
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Organizer/Planner
  • Index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Erasers/White-out
  • Lock (for locker)
  • Backpack/Lunchbox
  • USB/Thumb drives

Homeschooling or Virtual classes

Most important items to equip your child of any age with is technology.  No longer is there a minimum age to have a device. All children must have access to laptops, tablets, or smart phones.  Instead of purchasing binders, and notebooks, and pencils this year for the homeschooled and virtual student technology and Wi-Fi bandwidth is essential.

NON- PHYSICAL SCHOOLING

Laptop/Tablet/Smart Phone

Upgraded Device: Download updated versions of: Zoom (link courtesy of Bermuda Government YouTube How-To Video), Google, Microsoft.

Desktop Folders: Create folders labeled for each class and place them on the desktop for ease of access

Headphones

Microphone: Keep your device microphone updated and tested

Workspace: Create virtual background for class for home privacy. A comfortable desk space that is quiet, free of distractions, and well-lit with school supplies handy

Mouse: Attach a mouse for easier and quicker computer actions.

Wi-Fi/Data: Increase the bandwidth or services, giving you a faster system and cut down on overages.

USBs/Backup systems: Keep your computer memory clean by having a separate back-up system. USBs can be used to keep your child’s assignments on instead of saving them to the device. If using a smart phone keep a cloud account or store assignments in Google Docs.

Schedule: Clearly posted schedule/notification alerts for class schedule. Utilizing calendars and alerts.

HOW DO WE PLAN

Planning this school year is going to be quite a challenge.  Preparation will be best done with organization and practice.  

Start by establishing a schedule at least two-weeks before the first day of school to be able to practice the routine for a less hectic start. Make considerations for mental and physical well-being by scheduling down-time, exercise, and social connections. Utilize the toolbox below to assist.

K.I.M.’S List has provided tools to help you plan your child’s year.

K.I.M.’S LIST PARENT BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHECKLIST

Important dates for the school year 2020-21 are available here:

BERMUDA GOVENMENTS PUBLIC SCHOOL CALENDER 

When purchasing school supplies abroad it is helpful to understand your child’s equivalent grade in the U.S and Canada.  We have included this information before you shop for supplies to understand which list pertains to your child’s needs.

BERMUDA SCHOOL SYSTEM GRADE EQUIVALENCY CHART

Download a comprehensive list of standard school supply by grade, costs, and location courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST BY GRADE

To purchase local supplies and other products not found online.

LOCAL SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Other helpful links and support

K.I.M.’S LIST RESOURCES FOR MOMS

K.I.M.’S LIST RESOURCES FOR DADS

K.I.M.’S LIST RESOURCES FOR AGEING PARENTS

SPECIAL EDUCATION

K.I.M.’S LIST RESOURCES FOR MENTAL HEALTH and WELLBEING

The last step in planning, is to gather all relevant information from our toolbox. Rest assured, you will be a prepared and informed parent with the necessary information to usher your children into the ‘new normal’.  

Your plan is now safe, organized and arranged to give your child a fresh start for the 2020-21 school year.