Ways to ease concerns about school during COVID-19

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When will school reopen? What will happen to prom and graduation? How do I keep up at home? School disruptions are happening across Canada and the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know young people can have a lot riding on their school year. So it’s totally understandable you may have questions and concerns while schools are closed.

Right now, no one really knows how long the pandemic will last. This makes it harder to find answers to the questions you may have about school. The good news is there are things you can do while practising physical distancing to help ease feelings of stress/anxiety/sadness/etc. about school closures.

Here are some things you can do if you have concerns about school during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • check your school/school board’s website and social media channels for updates on closures, cancellations, procedures and online learning opportunities as they become available (e.g. your school may have a calendar showing the number of hours you need to spend on each subject per week, instructions for using a tool like Google Classroom, info on how to access technology/devices, plans for virtual events like prom/graduation, etc.)
  • if you’re off to a new school next year, keep an eye on their website and social media for updates and next steps
  • visit the government’s website in your province/territory for info about school closures and e-learning
  • make a list of ways you can learn/study during school closures (e.g. by reading, watching webinars from Elders and knowledge keepers, searching online lessons, etc.)
  • try to organize your day the same way it would be at school (e.g. make a daily calendar with set time to study different subjects, have lunch, take physical activity breaks, etc.)
  • if you have siblings, work together to share your learning (e.g. if you did a fun activity in your class earlier this year, try repeating it at home with others in your living space, etc.)
  • look for virtual ways to connect with your friends/peers/teachers (if possible)/etc. for support (e.g. through social media, school websites/forums, email, a phone call, etc.)
  • consider how you’ll take care of yourself while learning at home
  • take a break from school worries by doing breathing exercises or trying a stress buster
  • write a letter sharing how you’re feeling/words of encouragement with other kids and ask your peers to do the same (more details on this project here!)
  • adapt your safety plan to go virtual (if you’re struggling with abuse, substance use or anything else, remember to connect with a safe adult)
  • reach out to someone you trust for help (e.g. a teacher, guidance counsellor, parent/caregiver, friend, etc.) if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your school work
  • try to take things one day at a time — it’s important to allow yourself to feel your emotions in the moment. Be kind to yourself!

School closures related to COVID-19 are temporary. It’s important to stay informed and have the facts about your school, how you can stay on track and how to take care of yourself. If you need more information or support, you can always connect with someone you trust.