Protect Children at School

Protect Children at School
Updated Jan. 8, 2021

School May be Different this Year

Some children will learn at school.
Some children will do remote learning.
Some children will do both.

Learning at school may be different.
Children may be in small groups all day.
Special services at school may be different.
Ask about the plan for special services.
Ask about the plan for activities.

School Will Have Rules to Protect Children

The rules will protect children from COVID-19.
The rules may help schools serve meals.
The rules may help schools offer childcare.
The rules may help schools have after school activities.
Adults can help children learn the rules.
Some schools will stay closed.
Some schools may open and then close.
Schools may close because of COVID-19.
Children with COVID-19 must stay home.
Children must stay home after being near someone with COVID-19.

Learning at School

Talk to your child about school rules.
Talk about washing hands often.
Talk about wearing a mask.
Talk about wearing a mask on the bus.
Talk about wearing a mask in a carpool.
Talk about staying at least 6 feet apart from others.

Tell your child to avoid sharing.
Sharing objects can spread COVID-19.

Your child will need different things for school.
Pack an extra mask.
Pack hand sanitizer.
Pack a water bottle.

Children Who Feel Sick Must Stay Home

Children with a fever must stay home.
Children sick with COVID-19 must stay home.
Here are ways COVID-19 can make children feel sick.
Some children will have a fever.
Some children will have a cough.
Some children will have sore muscles.
Some children will have a headache.
Some children will have a sore throat.
Some children will have a runny nose.
Some children will have a stuffy nose.
Some children will have an upset stomach.
Some children will have diarrhea.
Tell the school when your child is sick.
Make sure the school can contact you.

Ask How School Will Tell You About COVID-19

School should tell you when children are exposed to COVID-19.
School should tell you when someone has COVID-19.
Schools may need to close because of COVID-19.
Have a plan if school must close.
Children may need to stay home because of COVID-19.
Have a plan if your child must stay home.

The Changes at School May be Hard

Talk to your child about school.
Watch for signs of stress.
Crying often may be a sign of stress.
Worrying more may be a sign of stress.
Changes in eating may be a sign of stress.
Changes in sleeping may be a sign of stress.
Talk to the school when your child is stressed.

Practice Hand Washing at Home

Practice good hand washing.
Practice washing hands each time you get home.
Wash hands often.
Wash hands with soap and water.
Wash hands for 20 seconds.
Sing the happy birthday song twice while washing your hands.
Use hand sanitizer if that is all you have.
Rub the hand sanitizer all over your hands.
Rub your hands until they feel dry.
Washing hands with soap and water is best.

Practice Wearing a Mask at Home

Get more than one mask for your child.
Choose masks that fit well.
The mask must cover your child’s nose.
The mask must cover your child’s mouth.
The mask must fit under your child’s chin.
The mask must be snug on your child’s face.
Make sure your child can breathe easily.
Put your child’s name on the masks.

Practice Taking Off a Mask

Keep your hands off the front of the mask.
Touch only the strings or loops.
Use the strings or loops to take off the mask.
Fold the mask.
Put the mask in the laundry.
Wash hands with soap and water.
Make sure you get a flu shot.
Make sure your child gets a flu shot.
Take care of yourself.
Be a good model for your child.

Many Children will have to Learn at Home

Children might have to learn at home.
Children might use the internet.
Children may use materials from the school.
Learning at home may be safer.
Learning at home may be lonely.
Schools can help children connect with friends.
Ask the school how children can connect with friends.
Special services are available with remote learning.
Ask the school about your child’s special services.

Make a Plan for Remote Learning

Make a schedule with your child.
Schedule time for learning.
Schedule time for other activities.
Find a place for learning.
Find a place that is quiet.
Find a place where your child can focus.
Ask when your child can connect with teachers.
Ask when your child can connect with friends.
Ask how your school will provide meals.
Ask about special services.
Ask about support for technology.
Attend school meetings.
Share your concerns during the meetings.
Some children will learn at home and school.
Make a plan for learning at home and school.

Original Guidance: Back to School Planning: Checklists to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers


Development of these materials was supported by a grant from the CDC Foundation, using funding provided by its donors. The materials were created by the Center for Literacy & Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided subject matter expertise and approved the content. The use of the names of private entities, products, or enterprises is for identification purposes only and does not imply CDC endorsement.