December 2020 Update Part 2 of 4: Talking with children about COVID-19 and school

Guidance and suggested language for communicating with children about deviations from “normal” school


Although our school has generally fared rather well so far this year with relatively few interruptions to different classes' operations, from those circumstances when some children have missed some school for reasons relating to illness, symptoms, or precaution, it is not always clear or easy to know how to talk to our children about circumstances when they might have been expecting to go to school but are not.

For guidance and suggestions about how to navigate some of these kinds of conversations with our children, I turned to Dr. Elena Tuerk, a supportive Free Union parent and child psychologist and clinical supervisor at the Curry School of Education and Human Development in Clinical and School Psychology who already has generously shared her expertise and wisdom with our faculty as we prepared for the school year in August. With gratitude for Dr. Tuerk's expertise and continued assistance, we offer the attached PDF suggesting possible language for communicating with children about various circumstances they might encounter in the coming months, like when a friend might be staying home for a period of time, a sibling's cohort might be shut down for a couple of weeks, or when having to stay home for the day as a precaution with what might ordinarily be considered a mild symptom. We hope that this resource might be helpful to some of you in the coming months whenever such occasions might arise.

See you soon, and have a great day.