There’s hardly anyone exempt from feeling the weight of the COVID-19 crisis. With schools on suspension as part of the preventive social distancing measures, school owners and administrators are left to deal with some serious, looming questions: What’s the best way to minimize impacts and keep school operations running while obediently putting everyone’s safety first? Consider these tips on how you can prevent crises, respond to your students’ needs, ease their worries, and sustain your business every step of the way.
Can lessons carry on with school closed for a longer period than usual? The answer is a definite yes, if you fortify the systems that you might have already put in place.
Tip #1: Keep your socials up-to-date
Make sure school websites and social media accounts are updated for important announcements. While students, parents, and school staff are still making the necessary adjustments during this period, not all of them might have stable internet connection right away. With social media being easier to access, this gets important information through faster.
Tip #2: Make room at home
Encourage your school’s teachers, students, and parents to have a dedicated workspace at home. For students, having a designated well-lit space where they park their devices (laptop/desktop, tablet, etc.) helps to prime them for school work. Make sure your teachers and students have good and stable connectivity for online learning.
Tip #3: Maximize distance learning platforms
Ease your school teachers’ worries by securing distance learning platforms. Edmodo lets educators use multimedia materials for their lessons, and students to access textbooks, personalized learning content, and a virtual library. Learning.com, on the other hand, helps teachers link technology into their curriculum and evaluate students’ performances. Brightspace allows teachers design courses, access learner reports, and customize other learning tools. This will keep teachers and their students inspired.
Tip #4: Make the most out of the situation
While no one wants to feel stuck in this situation, make the most out of it. Keep students engaged and energized by using fun online tools like Kahoot, BrainPop, Tynker, Outschool, Udemy, iReady, Beast Academy, Khan Academy, Creative Bug, Scholastic, All-In-One Homeschool, and Discovery Education.
Integrate videos while teaching from Youtube channels like Science Channel, National Geographic Kids, Free School, TheBrainScoop, ScienceMax, and more. Inspire daily activities with notes from websites Splash Learn, PBS Kids, Star Fall, Storyline Online, or Fun Brain.
Tip #1: Establish a communal work-from-home setup
Operations seem trickier to maneuver outside a physical school structure, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Convene with your employees online and agree on a reasonable system and mutual hours where everyone is available and reachable.
Since not everyone might be able to access a remote working setup, identify which roles are the most vital so that you can focus on a lean skeletal group who does the most essential tasks. Ensure that you provide them with the necessary tools that allow your team to work wherever they are, such as stable connectivity and fast, convenient software and apps that let them get in touch with the others virtually such as Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite), Hangouts, and Zoom.
Tip #2: Secure your business and your team
The most important and serious challenge is, of course, security. Check up with your staff regularly using the online channels mentioned in the items above. Make sure everyone is safe, and find out if anyone needs help through a dedicated chat group. Dedicate time to hear out their concerns. This way, you can address these by adjusting your current business continuity policies that take their pressing concerns into consideration.
Your business continuity policies should outline how you plan to asses risks, find out how the risks will affect operations, carry out procedures to lessen the risks, test the procedures if they work, and review the process. This way, you can better manage the next phases your institution will face in the coming weeks or months.
Tip #3: Be alert and informed
Fake information poses a real threat, and perpetrators of these are becoming increasingly clever. Fact check all the information you share with your team and urge them to do the same. Only get your information from verified websites. Unverified claims about COVID-19 can cost people dearly — like myths about how bathing in hot water, alcohol and chlorine “rid” one of the virus. Once your information is all properly vetted, blast it to your team, parents, and students through your chat groups or social media page.
Need more help in making the digital shift? Get in touch with us here. For COVID-19 concerns, the DOH hotline is (02) 894-COVID.
Stay safe! Build up your immunity, set up your contingency measures and school crisis response, and get verified updates as often as you can. Feel free to share this to your colleagues and friends — this could help them too.
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