In Jenison Public Schools 6th – 12th grade students will be required to wear facemasks at all times, except for when they are eating and drinking. TK-2nd grade students will be expected to wear facemasks on our buses, hallways, and common spaces. They will also be asked to wear their masks when new adults come into their cohort classroom or when they are working in close proximity with their teacher or peers. Our 3rd-5th grade students will have the same requirements as our TK-2nd grade students with the one exception that masks will be required to be worn when social distancing can’t be maintained.
This means that all of our students will be wearing masks as they enter our buildings each day. We all know that this will be a new experience for our kids and as much as we can prepare them before they come to school the better.
Help Explain the Why of Wearing Masks
One of the best things we can do to help students is provide them information on why wearing masks is important. Here are a few videos that help explain why it is important for people to wear masks.
Social Stories for Wearing a Mask
One of the ways we help students prepare for a change and develop their own script for a change is with a social story. A social story is a short story that children read on a regular basis, could be daily. Here are a couple of social stories you could read with your child or print and give to your child to help prepare them for wearing a mask at school.
Practice Having Your Student Wear a Mask
The more a child can practice wearing a mask prior to school starting the better prepared they will be. I plan to have my daughters practice wearing their masks for longer periods of time each day as we approach the school year. If you can connect wearing a mask with a preferred activity it will help ease students into it and possibly reduce anxiety and apprehension. My daughters both enjoy screen time, that was a good motivator for them to put their masks on and try to build some stamina before the school year starts.