My back-to-school checklist during COVID-19

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Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant lots of change to our daily lives. This includes back to school, which may look a little different across Canada this year. Kids Help Phone’s back-to-school checklist can help young people cope with changes to their school year during the coronavirus disease outbreak.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the government in your province/territory may set new health and safety rules for schools. For example, you may be heading back to the classroom in person (with health and safety protocols in place), continuing with distance learning or doing a combination of both.

With all of this change and unpredictability, you may have questions or be experiencing strong emotions. When you’re facing uncertainty and dealing with different feelings, finding ways to get support can help. Using a checklist (like the one below) can help you manage your feelings, organize your thoughts and cope with change.

My back-to-school checklist during COVID-19

My back-to-school checklist during COVID-19

Kids Help Phone’s checklist can help students across Canada adjust with changes to their school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can check off the things that are relevant to/possible for you as you go.

To cope with back-to-school changes during COVID-19, I can…

  • check my school/school board’s website (or contact them directly) to find out what back to school will look like for me this year
  • familiarize myself with my school’s reopening plan and reach out to school staff or administration with any questions I may have
  • talk to my family and/or people I live with about my back-to-school arrangements (e.g. choosing a safer route to school if I’m attending in person, identifying a quiet space to study if I’m doing distance learning, etc.)
  • write down a list of things I need to participate in my classes (e.g. regular school supplies, technology, hand sanitizer, software, masks, etc.)
  • review where I left off in class or in my distance learning last year to refresh my memory
  • have a plan for how I’ll practise self-care (e.g. deep breathing, journaling, repeating an inspirational quote, connecting with nature, wearing something that makes me feel good, etc.)
  • try and get back to my regular daily routine and sleep schedule (if it changed over the past few months)
  • select a few people/places I can contact for help with school if I need it (e.g. my teachers, online tutors, guidance counsellors, student support centres, etc.)
  • schedule safer ways to maintain social connection with my classmates, friends, teammates, partners, etc. (e.g. through email, a phone call, etc.)
  • set boundaries for myself on what I feel comfortable with and respect the comfort level of others
  • try to take things one day at a time (as things may continue to change) and be kind to myself
  • reach out to someone I trust for support with my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being if I need to (e.g. an Elder, parent/caregiver, friend, health-care professional, etc.)

Visit for more tools, resources and info during the coronavirus disease outbreak.

If you’re struggling with back-to-school changes during COVID-19, using a checklist and thinking ahead can help you cope and adjust. If you have questions or need support, you can contact a safe adult.