Navigating New Realities In Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schools across the United States, altering traditional approaches to education to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schools across the United States, altering traditional approaches to education. Education is often predicated on building personal relationships between students, teachers, parents and administrators, who all play a vital role in ensuring that students learn in a safe and supportive environment.
Schools’ reliance on these familiar, interpersonal interactions has significantly changed over the past year. An unexpected and abrupt shift to remote teaching and learning, combined with increasingly complex caretaking responsibilities at home, has created a stressful and challenging environment. Concerns exist not only surrounding parents and caregivers who now face new responsibilities to guide their children’s learning process, but also in regards to the teachers’ well-being amidst a pandemic and their ability to effectively deliver instruction to remote students. To further one’s understanding about the evolving school policies and practices, we have highlighted several innovative solutions used in many schools today across the United States.
A great deal has changed since the onset of the pandemic as the health and well-being of students, teachers, administrators and parents is of paramount importance. As the nation continues to navigate its response to the global health crisis, companies that can drive innovation by tailoring comprehensive security solutions to meet the needs of schools will be successful in not only keeping schools safe, but also will help to lead the way to a more responsible and resilient community.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals states, “School leaders must develop proactive systems to address school safety that include all stakeholders. This includes creating a personalized, safe, orderly, and inviting school environment predicated on nurturing relationships and shared responsibility.”
We can look at schools the same way we look at any community. Schools provide safe and supportive learning environments for students, employ educators and other staff members, and enable parents and caregivers to work. Preventing the introduction and subsequent transmission of COVID-19 in schools is connected to, and dependent upon, avoiding transmission in communities.
Students and staff safety are the number one priority, and often finding the right solutions and technologies available can be difficult. Solutions should be realistic, flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances, while still executing clear communication and quick response to reduce school safety risks.
Schools must be able to open as safely as possible for in-person learning to reconvene. Applying organizational strategies and policies relevant to today’s educational challenges would strengthen partnerships between students, teachers, parents, administrators and solution providers to proactively address evolving needs of all parties.
Keeping schools safe allows children to look forward to being in a positive learning environment, and teachers and administrators an environment in which they can effectively provide instruction and guidance. To maximize community safety and prepare for reopening, administrators must think beyond the current pandemic and look towards technologies that offer multiple functions to prevent violence and create safer environments for students.
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