Kid.io strives to put school safety first, no matter what. This includes protecting students, staff, and teachers from anything that could be problematic. Right now, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind and is creating excessive amounts of anxiety and questions especially around preventing contagious diseases like coronavirus in schools. Today, Kid.io is determined to answer as many of those questions as possible and relieve that anxiety.

Remember, at the end of the day, preventing illness is the most important step but if you do become sick or you are in contact with someone who is sick, follow ALL guidelines given to you by medical professionals.

The Reality of the Coronavirus

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the actual health risk from the coronavirus is rather low for those in the US. And the WHO (World Health Organization) states, if you haven’t been in an area where the virus is currently spreading, there is a very small chance that you will contract the virus.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious. It means that you don’t need to be panicking about the coronavirus right now. Fear leads to more stress and more stress leads to a lowered immune system and a lowered immune system means that you are more likely to contract a virus like a coronavirus. Prevention is the best way to keep this from becoming a global pandemic.

kidio coronavirus prevention

In keeping with this theme of reducing anxiety, research by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 14%  of COVID-19 cases have been deemed ‘severe’, a mere 5% are considered critical cases, and less than 3% have resulted in death.

To learn more, read this article from The Scientist – Why some COVID-19 Cases are Worse than Others

Tips for School Staff and Students  to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Remember, the symptoms and spread of COVID-19 are very similar to those of a cold or flu and other contagious diseases so the precautions you need to take are very similar to those that you take during this season anyway. Also, keep in mind that it is cold and flu season so people with respiratory symptoms most likely just have a cold or flu and not a coronavirus.

Wash your hands regularly

The CDC and other health organizations recommend washing your hands liberally with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands after using the bathroom, before, during, and after preparing food, before eating, after touching your face, and after touching anything that could be infected. This helps to prevent the spread of any contagious diseases in schools.

wash your hands animated gif from the cdc about coronavirus

To read more about proper handwashing, check out this article from the CDC: When and How to Wash Your Hands

Don’t share personal items

This includes toothbrushes, razors, and things that you use on your face regularly.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze

It is not recommended that you use your hands to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Because you use your hands to touch so many things. It is very easy to transfer the germs from a cough or sneeze onto other things. You should cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or the crook of your elbow instead.

Get Vaccinated to Prevent Other Illnesses

COVID-19 is still a very new illness and we have much to learn about it. But there seems to be a bit of trend of cases being more severe in people with lower immune systems. Illness like the flu will lower your immune system, so preventing this and other illnesses also helps you keep yourself from contracting a coronavirus. Or if you do contract it, it won’t be as severe.

Be a Smart Traveler

Before traveling anywhere, be aware of any announcements made by health officials in the area. Don’t be afraid to cancel plans to areas that have precautions in place. If your school has pending trips, please check with your school district health officials/CDC if it is safe to travel to those areas.

To read more about traveling smartly, check out this article from the CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel

Don’t touch your face

Our hands touch hundreds if not thousands of surfaces in a single day. It is rather foolish to then touch our faces with them. Because our faces contain the best entrances for viruses to enter our bodies. Specifically through our noses, eyes, and mouths. Try to wash your hands before and after touching your face.

prevent contagious diseases by using caution around animals

Exercise Caution around Animals

The SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected in animals and then spread to humans and is now being spread through human to human contact. Because of this, it is important to be cautious around animals and wash your hands regularly when dealing with them. Teachers should pay particular attention to class pets in some schools that are in constant contact with students to spread of contagious diseases in schools.

Exercise extra caution if you are more at risk

The novelty of COVID-19 means that not a lot of distinct information is available on it. But research seems to suggest that you are more at risk for serious complications if you are elderly, pregnant, immunosuppressed or hospitalized. Children whose immune symptoms are not fully developed also tend to fall under these high-risk categories for any contagious diseases in schools.

Wearing Face Masks

Because COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and those can enter your body through a variety of points, wearing a mask when you are not infected isn’t really helpful. It is important to wear a mask if you are in the same room as someone who is infected. But other than that, you can wear one if you want but it will not keep you from contracting the virus alone.

However, if you do become infected, it is important to wear a mask to keep yourself from infecting others.

To read more about COVID-19 and masks check out this article from the WHO – When and How to Use Masks

Stay Home When You Are Sick

The best way to slow and prevent the spread of any virus is to stay away from others when you are infected. By going out in public, you risk infecting others and increasing the spread. And, you risk picking up germs from another illness and making yourself sicker. Parents should be educated to keep sick children at home in order not to infect other children in school. Teachers should also keep a lookout for symptoms among children in their classrooms and immediately notify the school nurse of any children with flu or cold-like symptoms.

Keeping Schools From Becoming Infected With The Coronavirus

Unless a public health advisory or other relevant warning has been issued for your area, there is no need to keep a healthy child out of school. Instead, teach them how to wash their hands properly and what to avoid to stay healthy.

Support students and staff who are asked to stay home to ensure that they aren’t carrying the virus.

COVID-19 is typically spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets. Those are spread by coughing or sneezing so it is crucial that you clean frequently touched surfaces and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Thankfully, children seem to be less likely to become infected than older people. When they are infected, their symptoms are milder and severe complications are uncommon. However, you should still take precautions to prevent the spread of contagious diseases in schools.

There are no vaccines for the coronavirus but there are vaccines for the flu and you should keep up to date with vaccines to keep from contracting another illness.

Novel Coronavirus What you need to know infogrpahic

If there are no cases of coronavirus in your school community

Now is the time to prepare and plan for the potential outbreak of Coronavirus in schools. First and foremost, you need to be in communication with your local health departments. You also need to be staying up to date on all information and announcements that are issued by your local health departments.

For a full list  of local health departments in the US:  https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory

The CDC has this to say about student and staff screening in schools:

“Remember that schools are not expected to screen students or staff to identify cases of COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If a community (or more specifically, a school) has cases of COVID-19, local health officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on the next steps.”

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC

Share appropriate and accurate information between departments, parents, students, teachers, other schools, and centers that work with children on a daily basis.

Create and have a plan for dealing with absenteeism that will result from a coronavirus outbreak or other contagious diseases in schools. It is best for those who are sick to stay home so as to keep from infecting others. But in order for this to be successfully practiced, your school needs to have practices in place for dealing with these absentees and keep them up to date with their schooling. It is important to discourage perfect attendance rewards. If a child or a member of their family becomes infected, it is better that they remain home.

Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces and encourage frequent handwashing. Provide appropriate disposable disinfectant cleaning products to your stuff for them to use to keep their spaces as clean as possible.

If there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in your school community

It is essential that you stay up to date with your local health officials.

For a full list  of local health departments in the US:  https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory

Prepare for the possibility of dismissing children from services and schools to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the virus. Educate people on the priority of not socializing and gathering in large groups when school is dismissed because of a virus. These large groups are counterintuitive to the action of dismissing schools.

The CDC gives these recommendations for preparing for a school dismissal because of a coronavirus outbreak or any other contagious diseases in schools:

“Determine, in consultation with school district officials or other relevant state or local partners:

To read more about what the CDC has to say about dealing with the coronavirus as a school, check out this article from their site: Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC

Tips for Keeping Your School Staff’s families  from Contracting COVID-19

Your school staff is a critical component in fighting a potential outbreak of coronavirus and other contagious diseases in the school community. Therefore it is essential to ensure the health of your staff first by educating them and their families about best practices.

Create a plan of how you and your family will deal with different outcomes of the virus

What to do if you or someone you know becomes infected

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

How dangerous is the infection?

The coronavirus in schools like other contagious diseases in schools is still rather dangerous but a study done at the Zhejiang University in China shows that while the disease spreads from human to human contact, the symptoms of those in the rest of China were different and typically less severe than those in Wuhan where the virus originated.

To read more check out this article from the Medical News Bulletin – How dangerous is the COVID-19 infection?

Also, just because the virus is spreading rapidly does not mean that it is in fact absolutely dangerous. Many cases of COVID-19 aren’t serious unlike other contagious diseases in schools.

 Many cases of COVID-19 aren't serious

As with most diseases, you are more likely to develop a more severe form of the disease if you have a pre-existing illness or are elderly.

There is also the fewest cases amongst children under the age of 9 than any other age group. This is actually almost the opposite of how most viral outbreaks have been throughout history.

“Patients with severe disease were older than those with the nonsevere disease by a median of 7 years. Despite the number of deaths associated with Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 appears to have a lower case fatality rate than either SARS-CoV or Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV). “Since patients who were mildly ill and who did not seek medical attention were not included in our study, the case fatality rate in a real-world scenario might be even lower. Early isolation, early diagnosis, and early management might have collectively contributed to the reduction in mortality in Guangdong.”

Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China – The New England Journal of Medicine

Your immune system seems to play a key role in the severity of your case of COVID-19. So, doing things that boost your immune system lessen your chances of contracting the disease and lessen it’s severity if you do contract it.

To read more check out This Article from The Scientist – Why Some COVID-19 Cases Are Worse than Others

What causes novel coronavirus?

Science suggests that COVID-19 started out inside of animals and then spread to humans and is now mostly being spread by human to human contact like other contagious diseases.

The CDC says this about COVID-19:

“The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.  All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.”

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary 

And Science Direct Says this:

“Although our phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans.”

Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding – Science Direct

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The CDC concludes that symptoms can appear in as little as 2 days or as many as 14 days.

coronavirus symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sever illness, covid-19 symptoms to be aware of for school

Is there a treatment for the coronavirus?

There is currently no known cure for COVID-19 but research is being done into an antiviral drug that could treat COVID-19

To read more about this experimental drug, read this article from the Medical News Bulletin – Remdesivir antiviral – potential treatment for COVID-19

Will the novel coronavirus ever go away?

No one really knows if it will for sure at this time. There are currently two other known coronaviruses that are similar to COVID-19

The SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was reported back in 2003 and there haven’t been any known cases of it since 2004

To learn more about SARS, read this article from the CDC – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

However, The MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) was first reported in 2012 and is still being reported to this day.

To learn more about MERS, read this article from the CDC – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Will wearing masks stop the spread of coronavirus?

Wearing a mask can keep you from infecting others if you are already infected and they could help if you are in an area where there is a high possibility of being infected. But they don’t help that much because they don’t typically cover your eyes and infections can enter your body through those.

To read more about COVID-19 and masks check out this article from the WHO – When and How to Use Masks

Is coronavirus contagious?

Yes, COVID-19 is contagious. Scientific studies show that it was probably initially caused by an animal but there has been significant human to human infestation.

How long does the coronavirus live?

Some studies seem to suggest that the virus could remain on surfaces for up to 9 days at room temperature. However, it can easily be killed with disinfectants. The American Chemistry Council created this PDF of products that fight COVID-19

Viruses love to grow inside of warm, damp climates like your mouth, eyes, and nose. So be careful when touching these and be sure to wash your hands regularly.

To read more: New Study Shows How Long Coronaviruses Can Live on Inanimate Objects and Surfaces – IFL Science

Does coronavirus cause death?

In a very small percentage of cases, COVID-19 has caused death. But the majority of cases are not severe and don’t result in death

Is the coronavirus a global epidemic?

The coronavirus is yet to be determined as a global epidemic but it has spread very rapidly throughout many countries across the world.

When will a cure be available for the coronavirus?

Drugs take a log of testing before they can be approved for human use. But there is research being done into some that will potentially cure COVID-19

Does the flu shot protect against the coronavirus?

The flu shot does not protect against the coronavirus. But getting one lessens your chances of getting the flu. And if you’re less likely to be immunosuppressed from another illness, you’re less likely to contract a serious case of COVID-19

Is the coronavirus airborne?

There hasn’t been enough research done into COVID-19 yet to truly determine if it can be airborne. But there is a high possibility that it can spread through contact with fluids from the human body. And since these are occasionally airborne (in a sneeze for example) there is potential that the disease can spread through the air. But it is yet to be proven.

In Conclusion

The Novel Coronavirus and other contagious diseases in schools is rather scary when you don’t have the proper information at your disposal to truly understand the risks. But hopefully, this article was able to give you the information you need to be prepared to deal with any COVID-19 situation.

Practicing good hygiene and educating everyone within your school community is key to prevention. Remember, stay informed with your local health authorities. Follow all guidelines given to you by medical professionals and your district health officials. Educate your staff and students on best practices. Wash your hands regularly. Isolate and quarantine affected staff or students immediately during any outbreak of contagious diseases in schools.

good hand washing hygiene prevents covid-19 in school

Resources on SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 or The Novel Coronavirus

Scientific studies, articles, and other resources published by the New England Journal of Medicine about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Characteristics of COVID-19 in China

Articles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Articles from The World Health Organization

Free PDFs and other Printable resources for your school, home or office

Other Resources

To learn more about how Kid.io keeps kids safe, set up a FREE demo of our school safety platform today!

 

Read on to discover the top 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020. Teaching is a fulfilling but challenging job that takes up a lot of your time. From grading papers to preparing exams and pop quizzes, a teacher’s workday rarely stops once their students go home. But during summer, when school is out, teachers might find themselves with a lot of free time and in need of a part-time business to keep themselves busy (and paid). Thankfully, there are lots of interesting business ideas that are perfect for teachers, both during summer and when school is back in session. 

1.   Offer private tutorship to pupils who need it

As a teacher, you know already that some students struggle with schoolwork. What comes easy for many pupils doesn’t necessarily flow as easily for others. As a teacher, you already have the requisite skills to communicate difficult concepts to pupils. You know how to make complicated mathematical issues or tricky grammar rules more palatable and easy to understand.

Consequently, you’re perfectly placed to offer private tutorship to those students in need. This could be done after school, during lunch breaks, or even as a sustained course over the summer to help students catch up. If your school approves, advertise your services on your school website or newsletter. This makes it easy for parents looking to help their children catch-up can easily find your services. This is our top pick of the 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020.

2. Independent School Sales Consultant

The third best part-time job for teachers in 2020 is the job of an independent school sales consultant. If you are a passionate teacher and looking for avenues for gaining some passive income, then this job is the right one for you. If this seems interesting, then a Leading Ed-Tech Company is looking for some school teachers to hire as an Independent School Sales Consultant. Their job description includes representing PikMyKid in the schools in your locality and basically, you will be selling to schools their dismissal automation solution. If you receive any queries about the working or functioning of PikMyKid then you will have to answer those queries. This job is commission-based and you will be paid for each successful sale. They pay a whopping thirty percent commission on every sale. However, they do not provide any base salary.

The school teachers who are good at communication and have a good sales outlook are most suited for this job. This is a part-time job opportunity which you can do after your school hours. If you think that you are a smart, empathic and competitive school teacher and want to earn a passive income along with earning your regular income by doing your K-12 job, then this is the best opportunity for you. You must grab this opportunity before it is gone. This job doesn’t require the teacher to have any prior experience in sales. The most important thing is the job of a sales consultant is your communication skills and school teachers develop this skill while teaching to students. So, they are best suited for this job. You can reach out to them here.

3.   Work at a summer camp (or start your own)

Summer camps are a fun and fulfilling experience, both for the students who attend and the teachers and coaches who work there. These are perfect for teachers because, while they do involve some academic work, there is also a great deal of emphasis on teamwork, communication, and other essential life skills.

A well-managed summer camp can offer a decent rate of pay, so it’s enough to keep you going over the summer. But beyond that, it’s also a great chance to upskill, meet new people, and enrich the lives of children to provide them with a memorable experience they won’t forget.

Check out the American Camp Association website to find available jobs and prepare a resume that highlights your educational experience. If you want to take this further outside of summertime, you could even offer weekend camps throughout the year as well.

4.   Become a freelance writer

School teachers develop extensive writing and editing skills during their careers. From writing reports to grading students’ work, your eye for detail and analytical skills are impressive. Naturally, with such developed writing abilities, this opens up a variety of writing-based jobs you might consider. As a teacher, providing expert insight into the world of education is a good start. Contribute to industry magazines or mainstream publications with a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges facing teachers today.

Alternatively, you could go freelance and offer your services to a range of industries. Editing falls into this category too. There are lots of foreign or dyslexic students who might struggle with English, for instance. Edit their essays in exchange for a fee and help them correct the little mistakes they might have missed. This is a great pick among the 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020.

5.   Make money from blogging about what you know

 

Blogging is a viable and profitable means of making money for almost anyone in 2020, but especially so for teachers. Your niche subject knowledge and experience of teaching gives you an excellent foundation to start blogging.

You could blog about life as a teacher, or you could offer helpful insights into the subject you teach or talk about school safety. Alternatively, you could simply blog about a hobby you have outside of school — it’s up to you.

Find a suitable blogging hosting platform (WordPress is a popular option but others are available) and create an account. If you’re new to blogging, try the free version first so you can get the hang of it. You can then pay for a domain and hosting as your blog grows.

Once you’ve got a good back catalog of articles and are receiving regular traffic, you can look at ways of monetizing your blog. There are multiple ways to monetize your blog:

These are just a few ways you can turn a profit from blogging. While it takes time to build your audience, once your blog is up and going, it’s a fun way to make some income on the side.

6.   Create and sell your expertise as a course

Teachers are experts in their fields. They know their subject inside and out and know how to make it easy to digest by their students.

But there are lots of people — adults included — who struggle with subjects taught in schools. Plenty of adults still find subjects like maths and literacy difficult and want to improve their skillset by getting back to basics.

As a teacher, you can help them achieve this through an online course. Create a series of lessons based on your subject of expertise that people can watch online and write some exams to accompany them.

There are lots of websites where you can sell your course. Thinkific, for instance, makes it easy for you to host and sell courses online for a small fee.

7.   Launch your own creative jewelry business

This one is particularly good for any art or design teachers out there. By using your existing creative skills, you can start your own jewelry business from home.

It’s important to find your unique angle when starting a jewelry business. Do you want to focus on affordable trinkets for a tween audience? Or do you have a passion for costume jewelry? Find something that you love and you’ll find it easier to stick to as your business grows.

Actually launching a business takes time, especially if you need to create all the products yourself. It’s, therefore, a good idea to do the bulk of the work during the summer months. This gives you the time and space to build your online store, create your jewelry, and launch your marketing strategy.

Once you’ve got your marketing running and the sales are coming in, your business can tick over nicely by the time the school semester starts again.

Teachers desk overlooking an empty classroom.

8.   Help students pick their careers

For many children in high school, choosing a job is a difficult task. There are so many potential career paths open to them, and choosing the right one can be a huge challenge.

Teachers have the benefit of both knowing what careers are out there and what skills and knowledge are required. But most of all, teachers know their students. Consequently, they know what they are good at and can offer a personal insight into each individual pupil.

Start by helping the student identify what they enjoy and what they are good at. These are the foundation of a sensible career path, helping students identify what kind of work interests them and overlap with their own passions.

It’s also important to point students in the way of useful resources that help them learn more about their prospective careers. Encourage them to get work placements and help them write cover letters, resumes, and so on. Teach them soft skills such as communicating or networking to help them get a head start on their career path.

9.   Get your real estate license

Many teachers struggle to find work during the long summer holidays. But if you want a challenging and exciting summer job that’s a far cry from the schoolroom, why not become a realtor?

Getting your real estate license costs between $200-$300 for the course and between $100-$300 for the exam. It can take anywhere between 60 hours to 135 hours, depending on which state you live in. The course involves understanding the complexities of property law, knowing various realtor terms, as well as getting the ability to understand how to assess and value a property.

Once you’ve got your real estate license, you will need to work under a recognized brokerage. Many new realtors don’t get paid a salary, and work on commission instead. But with time, you’ll be able to increase your experience and use the summer holidays to earn money selling houses. This may make you the most money out of the 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020.

10.     Start your own photography side hustle

If you’ve got a creative edge and a keen eye for a good shot, a part-time photography business might be perfect for you.

This requires a little investment upfront. A decent camera and studio equipment are worth spending a little money on, and you can always buy cheap equipment first and upgrade as you start turning a profit.

There are lots of free online courses and resources to help you hone your photographic skills too. YouTube has plenty of videos to help you get to grip with the basics, and you can learn a lot just from going out and practicing.

Plus, as a teacher, you’ll be able to offer your services to your employer for the annual school photos too. And when school is out, you can offer shoots for businesses and families too.

11.      Teach English as a foreign language abroad

If you have a passion for traveling but want to make some money at the same time, teachers would do well to consider teaching English as a foreign language abroad. All you need to do is complete a TEFL course (which should be easy given your teaching experience) and then link up with an accredited program to find a school to work at.

There are lots of countries which take TEFL-certified teachers, including:

If you’re considering spending a summer abroad in one of these countries, consider learning the basics of their language before you go. It’s not mandatory but it will help you integrate into their culture more and ultimately enhance your TEFL experience overall.

12.      Become an educational coach

Don’t keep your expertise to yourself. Share your skills, knowledge, and experience with people in need by becoming an educational coach. As a teacher, you know how to plan lessons, motivate children, make difficult concepts easy to understand, and so on. Share that knowledge online by offering your services as an educational coach. You can certainly help other aspiring teachers hone their skills, but your options aren’t limited to traditional education.

Many businesses use in-house training programs for their employees. Using your experience and knowledge as a teacher, you can help businesses create training resources. You could also provide insight into how their employee onboarding system can be improved, based on your skills as a teacher.

Create a website for your services and reach out to businesses for collaboration opportunities. At first, you might need to drum up your own work, but with time, you will earn a reputation and soon have a solid base of clients to work with. This is the most satisfying of the 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020.

Conclusion

Some of the jobs above are perfect for summer, and some are great for all year round. Whatever business you decide to get involved in, plan carefully and think about whether it is right for you. Don’t let it compromise your primary job as a teacher, and you’ll have a part-time business that benefits you time and again. Hope you enjoyed browsing our top 12 part-time business ideas for teachers in 2020!

Ten years, that’s how long I’ve known Tahvia Shaw, Principal of Terrace Community Middle School in Thonotosassa, Florida. But back then she was just Ms. Shaw, my 7th and 8th-grade Algebra teacher. I still remember the first time I entered her classroom; the chairs were in a circle, and we went around the room to break the ice on the first day.

Small class sizes, rigorous academic programs, and an involved teacher/parent community meant that there was no shortage of support pushing me toward my goals. But still, I struggled with a lot of anxiety and insecurity on that first day, and most days after.

Pen lying on a page of homework

Math was one challenge in particular that often brought me to panic induced tears. After a particularly bad breakdown during one of her exams, Ms. Shaw had a student escort me to the nurse, and let me stay during my lunch hour to finish the test.

From then on, she made me feel heard, respected, and comfortable in a way that most adults outside of school didn’t.  In hindsight, I notice that she had shown me something rare: the value of challenging students academically while developing and preserving their emotional intelligence.

Without even realizing it, I was becoming excited and driven to be involved in my own learning in the way that my teachers were.

Ashley Fosse with her Middle School Teacher

Experiments in the school parking lot, Jeopardy reviews, and acting out plays in English class meant I never knew what to expect from a day at school; which didn’t leave a lot of room for indifference and nerves.

So after 2 years in her classroom, countless questions about life and math later, it was a bittersweet goodbye to someone who I looked forward to seeing every day.

In hindsight, she had shown me something rare: the value of challenging students academically while developing and preserving their emotional intelligence.

Ms. Shaw

Ms. Shaw and Ashley Fosse at TCMS's 20th Anniversary Celebration

When she was promoted to Principal, I was so proud to know the school was in the hands of someone who understood the responsibility to impact young minds positively. Even during the pivotal moments of her career, she still took time after school to meet with me to talk about the pivotal moments in my life; from starting high school, graduating college and finding my first job.

I felt compelled to keep up with her and the other teachers who had shaped my successes, most recently at the school’s 20th-anniversary gala.

And for good reason.

I don’t know where I would be without my experience at TCMS: maybe with teachers who cared a little less, winged their lesson plans, and didn’t take the time to know their students, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to own my professional and personal responsibilities.

Ashley Fosse's graduation photo at the University of Florida Stadium

This week especially, I’m thankful for every mentor who invested in my personal development and saw me as more than as a test score or success metric. They have ingrained in me such strong values of kindness, understanding, and appreciation. So instead of just going through the motions to #ThankATeacher this week, think about what attributes you owe to the teachers in your life and how we can support these teachers who take the time to motivate students beyond the classroom.

In part one I defined schedule change management, and how the system works to aid school staff in the process.

Emergency Contacts

The most common method for gathering emergency contacts is at the beginning of the year. The school stores emergency contacts on a white/blue card or in a large notebook which contains 1 to 3 approved emergency contacts. Parents may need to make changes during the school year that were not captured on the cards at the beginning of the year. Should we not have a more dynamic system that takes care of all these tasks with a high degree of accuracy?

Accessing cards or notebooks can be a timely task at the end of the day when everyone is trying to leave in a hurry. Giving parents the accessibility to change guardians as needed alleviates stress on the school and front office. All approved guardians and their emergency contact information are housed within the PikMyKid program.

Someone filling out Childcare Emergency Contact Form.

Parents rarely notify the school when their contact information changes throughout the year. At the beginning of the school year, parent contact information is about 90-99% accurate. By the middle to end of the school year, parent information declines to 40-70%. The PikMyKid safety platform manages contact information through the parent app. Parents are unable to announce or manage schedule changes if their information is out of date. Parents will update their information with school support contact to ensure they are current with all alerts at all times.

In the case where a person other than the primary parents needs to pick up a student, our system requires the parent to send a secure delegation through the parent app.
The procedure allows a school to be more organized and takes the guesswork out of the reunification process.

Mature women using her phone on a bicycle

Grandparents are a good example of an emergency contact on a contact card who would normally be approved to pick up year-round. Always having a year-round approved guardian can be a problem because it can create miscommunication and allow a secondary guardian full access to that child. After talking with many schools, I have heard of this example many times, when a grandparent picks the child up and then mom or dad shows up left wondering where their child went.

Car Pooling

Reducing congested cars in the pick-up line is one of the biggest benefits carpooling and ride sharing provides to schools. When a school provides a platform that empowers parents to reduce the number of cars in line, they are not only reducing dismissal times but they are also saving teachers time.

Parents can now easily collaborate with other parents for carpooling or play dates. This is all handled within the parent app of PikMyKid. The app simplifies delegation to another parent, sibling, relative or trusted family friend to pick-up a child.

Confirmation

Checks and balances. Today we get a confirmation when we book a doctors appointment or buy something online. Yet typically, parents do not receive a notification confirming their child’s schedule change. This added step of accountability can make an impact in mitigating risk and liability. As a school safety consultant with PikMyKid and speaking with so many schools, I have heard of many dismissal mishaps that could have been prevented with a confirmation from a schedule change management system.

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are standing outside of a school bus and are waiting to get on.

There are so many incidents where a school put a child in the wrong car or put the child on the bus instead of the car due to miscommunication between the school and the other person on the phone. Many times the school has to explain to the parent how something so profound happened. There is no accountability for the other person on the phone. With today’s system, it is a one call/email message sent to the school. Hopefully, this message is received in a timely manner and relayed properly.

The parent, in this method, has no way of knowing whether or not the change got to their child or teacher but with confirmation, both parents on the child’s account can make sure the change is correct and have the peace of mind that their child is taken care of.

Special Needs

For children who require a little extra attention, an automated security system is needed. Special education teachers are amazing at what they do for their students. Typically, they end up getting to know their students and parents very well due to the classroom sizes but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like something to further aid in accountability. PikMyKid gives them the necessary tools to further increase communication, accountability, and rapport with parents.

Communication with parents of special needs children is vital in making sure their children are getting home safely. A dismissal scheduler can communicate any changes directly to their child’s calendar for all staff to see without the need for notes, emails or calls. Typically, mom and dad may need extra help from time to time picking up their child from school. Usually, grandparents or a third-party care centers help parents with the day to day needs. Having access to make changes from their phone gives parents complete control.

When the child is sent home with a new guardian or on an activity bus, our platform gives parents real-time alerts saying they have been dismissed for the day – adding to the accountability and peace of mind everyone involved.

Custody Issues

Custody Issues come up a lot when speaking with schools about how that is managed through PikMyKid. Currently, with custody issues, it is hard to know with 100% accuracy who is allowed to make changes to a child’s calendar or pick them up.

PikMyKid makes sure the primary custodial parent has control over the information and the other parent can only pick up on authorized days.

After School Programs

If the parents know they are going to be late in the car line, they can easily send their child to an after-school activity. Schools with many programs love the organization PikMyKid provides to ensure every student is accounted for. SIS systems do not always allow for after school attendance. Currently, attendance is taken the old fashion way using paper and pen.

PikMyKid recognized the vulnerability in today’s method and address the Afterschool program dismissal.

Multi-ethnic group of teen students in computer lab with teacher in foreground. Classroom, education, school setting. Latin descent teacher.

Teachers’ Time

Teachers are one of the most stressed resources in today’s schools. Schedule changes bring interruptions within the classroom. These interruptions are in the form of notes, calls, and constant message tracking. PikMyKid not only reduces the calls to the front office by 70-90%, but it also limits classroom interruptions..

During these interruptions, students and instruction get sidetracked. The whole classroom is distracted by one note. Time and energy is wasted on trying to get students back on track. When a substitute teacher or after-school volunteer are involved, they can’t easily figure out who and where each child needs to go to. Having the whole school on one system simplifies the entire process and gives them insight into proper approval and delegated changes with quick precision.

At first glance, you wouldn’t think something as simple as relaying a message to the school could be so complex and involve so many different factors. This process has not changed much in the last 50 years with the exception of email. I know when I was going to school, it was based on the honor system and we did as we pleased.

All too often, I hear of schools and districts losing kids! They say it as though it is an inevitable and hopeless occurrence. This is utterly unacceptable! We owe it to our children to take the proactive approach to prevent anything like that from ever happening again especially since we have the technology to do so.

Interested in taking a closer look at all the features in that makes our program the first comprehensive School Safety Platform?

As we are approaching 2018, schools are still using the same labor-intensive method to communicate a schedule change from a parent to the child or teacher. This two-part article will go over safety objectives and key areas where PikMyKid’s Schedule Change Calendar is beneficial in increasing school accountability, safety, communication and teachers’ time.

Introduction

A student schedule change management program streamlines many aspects of operations the front office and teachers are responsible for. With a program that is as easy as accessing email, school staff and teachers now have one less thing to worry about. Workflow usually starts with a call or an email to the school. The school then needs to verify the person making the phone call, has permission to make changes to the student’s account. Once verified, the assistant sends a note to that child’s teacher by a runner or email. Finally, the teacher and child are made aware of the change.

This communication can happen at the beginning of the day; allowing the child to forget as the day goes on or even worse, last minute changes right before the final bell rings!
The room for error is astronomical when a child’s safety is put at risk. Unfortunately, forgetfulness or last-minute changes happens in the majority of schools today. Since technology is readily available it should be utilized to make schools safer and run more efficiently.

Student Schedule Change Management: An Overview

Throughout a single school day, a parent can make many different changes for their child. These may include pick-up mode changes, delegation requests, absentee notifications, early release requests, after-school program changes etc…

Children walking home from school

In the 21st century, there is no longer a need for a parent to call the school when the school has a schedule change manager in place. As parents easily delegate a new guardian for specific days, the school will receive instant notifications.

Digital Calendar

Having a digital calendar for each child in which a parent and school can manage, makes it a lot easier for everyone. Recurring changes saves time so that a parent doesn’t need to resubmit a change weekly or biweekly. Biweekly or monthly events can get confusing at times, and this automation keeps everything flawlessly organized.

Delegation Requests

Delegation requests are one of the most common changes a parent can make. A delegation could be anything from an approved guardian picking up, or changing the primary dismissal mode to the car-line, bus, walker or after school. For example, parents make a change on their app to say their child is carpooling with a friend or going home with grandma. All parents have to do is add the delegate’s name and mobile number and they are connected through a secure portal to the correct child.

Just as simple as delegating a new guardian, the parent can change the mode of dismissal. If a parent knows they are going to be late or is going to miss car-line, they can send their child to an after-school program to be picked up later. PikMyKid added the option for parents to mark students absent or early release. With this quick validated process, there is no longer a need for handwritten notes because the parent can communicate why their student is out of school directly through their app.

Stressed business lady with sticky notes.

On the school’s end, the front office has real-time notifications regarding every change. Teachers also have the ability to look at all the changes made for their classroom in their school dashboard.

Now that we have an idea of what student schedule change management is and how that process works, part two will explore the system’s beneficial characteristics and problems and solutions of real-world examples.

The PikMyKid system was designed with winter in mind. Our safety platform has some nifty tools that help make the winter dismissals a breeze. Being on a PikMyKid’s safety platform during these chilly months is riddled with perks.

No more standing in the cold in winter dismissal

Cold winter dismissals to board school bus in January.

Teachers and students no longer need to stand out in the cold waiting for parents to show up during winter dismissal. They can comfortably stay warm inside while watching the PikMyKid dispatcher screen. Teachers will immediately know when the parent arrives at school and what time to precisely dismiss the student. The less time our kids spend out in the frigid cold, the better!

Stress-free absentee management

Sick boy with thermometer laying in bed and mother hand taking temperature.

Parents can mark children absent directly through the PikMyKid application without having to call the school, Giving them more time to focus on tackling their kids cold or ill-timed flu. The school staff and the administration will get a live update of the current absentees directly to their dashboard, so they can adjust and react accordingly.

Better communication for emergencies & delays in winter Ddsmissals

School busses and other vehicles during winter dismissals

Schools can quickly send custom messages to families in case of an emergency or delay during winter dismissals. Whether it be a school closure, transportation cancellation or challenge, or a deceptive snowstorm, the school administration can rest assured that parents have the most up-to-date information.

Give your parents and teachers an early present during this winter dismissal.

It’s not too late to equip your staff with the technology needed to run a quick and efficient dismissal. The less time spent out in the cold during winter dismissal, the more time we can spend indoors teaching or enjoy some hot cocoa and coffee.

To better help keep your kids safe during these chilly months, PikMyKid is now available through several Grants

Arming your teachers and parents with the right dismissal tools will keep the joy of the winter season alive and well.

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