Monday 20 July 2020

Marla Ahlgrimm | Back To School

Marla Ahlgrimm
The 2020/2021 school year is going to look markedly different, says women’s health care advocate Marla Ahlgrimm. As teachers, parents, and students gear up for a new year, it’s a good idea to take a look at how schools can keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing

By now, we are all familiar with the term social distancing. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers similar advice for students. However, realizing that space is limited, most healthcare and education providers recommend having desks spaced approximately three feet apart. School systems may also request that students wear masks, which may be particularly important in the older grades, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

Encouraging hygiene

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, many of the same healthy practices we use every day are helpful in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. She suggests reminding students to wash their hands regularly and taking extra precautions to disinfect surfaces, such as water fountains, desks, and doorknobs, that are touched frequently throughout the day.

Flow change

Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm also recommends reducing hallway flow. What she means by this is that teachers should move from class to class and students should remain stationary as much as possible This may not be feasible in high schools, but elementary schools. where students may only have to change class once or twice per day, should consider this step. It is especially beneficial here as many young students can’t or will not wear a mask throughout the day.

Alternative spaces

Finally, Marla Ahlgrimm recommends that teachers hold classes in alternative spaces where possible. The lunch room or gymnasium, for example, or an outdoor pavilion are all areas where densely populated classrooms can spread out. She notes that school systems can further help stop the spread by implementing virtual options should the virus experience a resurgence.


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