The 2020-2021 school year was a whirlwind full of distance learning, constant changes, and multiple unknowns. Now looking into a brighter future for the 2021-2022 school year, students and educators are excited to return to a sense of normalcy with in-person learning. However, “normal” may look a little different, and transitioning back to fully in-person may be more difficult than expected for students. We’ve compiled a list of six back-to-school essentials students will need for a successful return to in person learning that you won’t find in a backpack. 

BTS Essential #1: An Open Mind

Last school year initiated several changes in education, so “normal” in-person learning might likely look a little different than students remember. Teachers and school leaders will likely take what they learned during distance learning to make changes to the classroom this year. Schools may have new protocols, alter teaching styles, or choose to increase or decrease technology use. Whatever the changes may be, students must have an open mind toward learning. Adjusting to change can be difficult but having an open mind is what allows students to be the best learners they can be. 

BTS Essential #2: Healthy Hands

Though the vaccine has made it much safer for students to return to school, it is crucial not to neglect all the health and safety procedures adopted during Covid. Clean hands and healthy immune systems should still be a number one priority. Students should continue to refrain from sharing food and drink with others and always ensure your child feels healthy before sending them to school. It also doesn’t hurt to keep hand sanitizer as a backpack essential. 

BTS Essential #3: More Sleep

Transitioning from online or blended learning back to fully in-person can take a toll on students. It may be difficult adjusting back to being in a classroom for 7-8 hours a day, leaving students feeling more tired than they used to in school. Sleep has countless benefits associated with student success, and as students experience fatigue through this transition rest must be a top priority. This year, in particular, ensure your children receive enough sleep every night to be well prepared for the school day ahead of them every morning. 

BTS Essential #4: Exercise

Another necessity for this school year is exercise. Returning to a somewhat normal school year full of assignments, tests, group projects, and speaking presentations can be very overwhelming for students. This may spike an increase in stress levels in your child as they re-learn how to balance schoolwork with their personal life. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to decrease stress, so this 2021 school year exercise should be encouraged more than ever. Plus, with many schools once again allowing team sports, this is a great year to get involved. The CDC recommends that children ages 6-17 should do at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least 3 times a week, and even daily if your child deals with anxiety.  

BTS Essential #5: Extra Academic Support

Distance learning was a challenge for everyone. Don’t be surprised if there are a couple of concepts that your child did not fully grasp when taught in an online setting. This year, they may need some extra academic support to ensure they solidify previous concepts and successfully learn a new one. See if your child’s school offers academic support services like tutoring or has any recommended resources to help students get back on track. Khan Academy is an amazing free online platform that has thousands of instructional videos and practice problems for all grade levels and subjects. This is a great resource to visit to ensure your student meets their academic goals this year.

BTS Essential #6: The Right School

The Coroniavirus instigated massive changes in the American education system, creating greater opportunity for school choice. Education is not one-size-fits-all, and the 2020-2021 school year made that very clear. This coming school year, don’t settle for a school that doesn’t suit your child’s needs or interests. Schola can help your family discover, connect, and enroll in the ideal school for your child. You can give your children the opportunity to succeed by finding the right school for them

This 2021-2022 school year will be full of excitement and transitions. It may take students more time to get back to the swing of things than in the past, however, returning to a sense of normalcy in education is a huge step forward from the pandemic.