School Re-Entry: How Fit and Fun Can Help
In one way or another, it seems that the majority of kids in the United States will be returning to the classroom in the fall. How, you might ask? Most educators couldn’t tell you.
It isn’t their fault by any means. No one is at fault here, since no one has experienced something like the COVID-19 pandemic before. This pandemic has brought unprecedented change to the classroom and while the federal government, individual states, counties, and even individual school districts attempt to solve the myriad problems associated with classroom re-entry, teachers and administrators are (mostly) left in the dark, waiting on instruction.
This delay has caused a ton of unnecessary stress on teachers and administrators, who were already stressed out to begin with. In an effort to combat the uncertainty surrounding school re-entry, SHAPE America has released an incredible document titled “2020-2021 K-12 School Re-entry Considerations: K-12 Physical Education, Health Education, and Physical Activity” to help guide administrators and educators on how exactly to handle the upcoming school year. The 32-page document is filled with helpful information about what teachers and administrators should consider as students return to school in the fall.
Five Takeaways for Re-Entry from SHAPE America's Guidelines
1. "Prior to school reentry, teachers and staff should be properly trained in required safety protocols and on any new protocols recommended by the school-wide COVID-19 response team. Teachers and staff should also receive sufficient professional development on distance learning strategies and technologies, hybrid learning, and flipped classrooms to prepare for multiple models of learning that may be implemented."
2. "Schools should proactively engage and communicate with students and families throughout the process of developing a plan for reentry. Ensure that all school stakeholders can provide feedback on the school reentry plan and can share any safety or health concerns directly with school administration."
3. "In preparing for school reentry, intentionally incorporating SEL (social-emotional learning) will be essential to supporting students through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many administrators and educators have struggled to effectively incorporate SEL throughout the culture of their school, even prior to COVID-19. Physical education and health education naturally support and align with CASEL’s SEL core competencies."
4. "Recess should not be eliminated if schools are operating under a model of in-school instruction with physical distancing. Recess helps students achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children and adolescents, which can improve strength and endurance, enhance academic achievement, and increase self-esteem. Recess also helps students practice social skills such as cooperation, following rules, problem-solving, negotiation, sharing, and communication. Opportunities for free play, to engage in physical activity, and to practice social skills are especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic."
5. "While maintaining physical distancing measures is critical in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, classroom teachers can still provide opportunities for students to be active throughout the school day (in addition to physical education and recess). Incorporating activity breaks during classroom learning can increase the amount of time students are physically active throughout the day and limit the amount of time they are sedentary."
Those are just a few (and believe us, a few is an understatement!!) of the takeaways from SHAPE America's amazing document, which you can download by clicking here.
Fit and Fun Is Here For You!
Here at Fit and Fun Playscapes, we’ve also been in contact with tons of school administrators and educators specifically about what they’ll need to begin the 2020-21 school year safely and effectively. Based on SHAPE America’s guidelines, and in communication with education professionals and specialists (like adapted PE teachers and occupational therapists), we’ve been working hard to adapt and develop products to help. Thus far, we've added new products to our three main lines, which can be used as follows:
Super Stickers® sticker sets – Safety is paramount. Our stickers have a textured anti-slip surface, making them safer for kids and a #1 choice among schools. They are made specifically for floors and flat surfaces with quality adhesive, making removal easy and leaving little to no residue behind. We can also help you turn your social distancing hallway markings into a sensory pathways whenever you feel the time is right!
Reusable Stencils – We’ve thought through every detail so you don’t have to! By partnering with Sherwin Williams, we’re able to provide perfect-match paint kits that have everything you need for a flawless application. Each of our Reusable Stencils products also have multi-site licenses, which means you'll need just one purchase for an entire school district!
We've done the work for you and taken our best products for social distancing and placed them in a single category! Whether you're looking for stickers, stencils, or Roll-Outs, we've placed the best activities into a single category for easy navigation.
Our CEO, and a few of our employees, have school-aged kids of their own and are left just like you -- wondering what the 2020-21 school year will bring. The question is not if there will be challenges, or how many, but how prepared teachers, education professionals, and parents are to confront and overcome them.
If you have any questions or concerns (or just need some help!) in regards to the upcoming school year, please know that we are here for you and are willing to assist in any way we are able.
Best of luck,
The Fit and Fun Team