- My children returned to school during our time in China in 2020.
- To keep children in school for the entire year, strict policies were adopted.
- The US can learn a lot from our experiences.
Going back to school shouldn’t be so painful and overwhelming. My family’s past “back to school”It was in September 2020 in Beijing, where we had lived for two-years.
It was safer than Orlando, Florida where we are currently. In Beijing, multiple months passed without COVID-19 infection in the city. This was even before there were vaccines.
There are too many differences between our governments to discuss here. Many of China’s policies would not be feasible, if it wasn’t outright impossible, in the US. However, China isn’t the only place where school runs as usual. New Zealand’s school system is also on track. Vaccination rates are high and there is an ambitious plan to eliminate them..
Now that we’re back in the US, I realize there are things my school could learn. Chinese schools.
Contact tracing, contact tracing, contact tracing
A Beijing school discovered a suspect case in a classroom. The person who was found was anonymous. All parents were informed. This happened only once in the 2020-21 schoolyear, and it was not in our school.
Each day, parents needed to enter information into a computer. “health kit”App, along with their temperature, to determine if the child has any illness symptoms or if they have traveled outside of Beijing. If the child’s health kit was not green, they could not be allowed to board the bus or get on campus. This means that they have not had any symptoms and are not in high-risk areas.
While it was sometimes annoying, my anxiety about the unknown was much lower.
At school, strict visitor policies were in effect
Parents could watch all of the school holiday concerts livestreamed or filmed, which was much better than worrying about where I was sitting or cancelling festivities altogether. Even parents found it more fun to watch the concerts together.
Each grade was given a staggered start for the 2020-21 school years. Pre-COVID, caregivers would gather in a common area and then arrange the children by class. After COVID, we waited outside until each classroom was released. Parents then entered the school through a line.
Everybody had to present a school ID, their health app, as well as wear a mask outdoors.
All times except PE and recess, campus required the wearing of masks
Our Chinese school required that teachers and parents keep their children masked at all times. Children aged between 2 and 5 years old were exempted. The US should be proud that while I visited preschools in Florida in November 2021 and was impressed by the number of schools with mask requirements for adults and consistent cleaning processes.
Primary schools are an entirely different story. Many parents in Florida struggled for weeks to obtain mask mandates in school districts despite the statewide ban. Florida schools that did place mask mandates Because of low numbers, they were lifted after Halloween Children aged 5-12 years old were eligible to be vaccinated.
That’s what we’re currently dealing with. As the number of people infected rises each day, so does their burden.. Let’s not forget that these numbers are based upon reports from people who were actually You can find an appointment or at-home test.Both are becoming more difficult to find.
We could easily see school COVID counts
China’s Ministry of Education keeps track of individual COVID-19 cases at schools. It also holds press conferences whenever new cases are discovered. The US lacks transparency in regard to school case counts.
My local school will send a robocall if there is a new infected student. It will include the date and number of previous infections. “Close contacts”You can be reached separately but What exactly is close contact?It seems to vary from school to school.