Over the past several months, schools have been closely monitoring the advice of local and state health agencies regarding the upcoming school year. Schools have used the summer months to collect information to traverse the ever changing COVID-19 dilemma. It’s a sensitive topic, as schools must consider the impact on students, parents, teachers, and staff.
While a return to in-classroom learning is preferable as soon as it is safe and practical to do so, schools are having to come up with multiple alternate scenarios as the situation evolves. Here are the top 5 of many considerations schools have when it comes to resuming this fall.
#1: What does the school ‘normal’ look like next year?
A return to what we used to know as normal is something that many have wondered if or when it will be possible.
After several months of dealing with the impact of COVID-19 — closures, social distancing, extra sanitation measures, masks, and screenings such as temperature checks — it can be hard to visualize what ‘normal’ will be in the context of school.
How will social distancing work on school buses, for instance? If students and staff are on campus, where and when will masks be required, and how will that be enforced? What about recess and lunch breaks? Will the school be responsible for providing items such as masks, and where is that in the budget?
One thing is for sure — there are going to be a lot of changes, and you will need all the fundraising help you can find.
#2: Are classes back in session or online?
Some schools are still waiting to pull the trigger on this decision, while others have opted to go online for at least the first quarter to buy some more time to figure out the physical distancing and sanitation pieces of the puzzle.
If classes are online, schools will need to figure out solutions to an array of items such as technology, security, communication, assignments, grading, and overall expectations in an online environment.
There are several different platforms to consider, such as Zoom, Google, or Microsoft Teams, and schools must also consider accessibility problems for students who don’t regularly have internet or a computer access at home.
That last point also brings up the next: what about families with multiple students and only one home computer? Or families with parents who work remotely now and also need use of the computer?
Most importantly, where will the school find the extra budget to cope with this?
#3: How are we handling attendance and social distancing?
The overcrowding of classrooms is going to be a big challenge when it comes to social distancing.
One option is alternating days of attendance to keep class sizes down, but what does social distancing look like in a full classroom? Will portable buildings need to be brought in and more teachers hired so classroom sizes can be small enough to social distance? Will the school also need to budget for installing plexiglass dividers between the desks?
#4: Can we have sports and extracurriculars, and are we going fan-less?
Following suit of the major sports leagues, if schools want to keep their extracurricular activities going, they may need to consider having their games without fans.
Of course, that’s not the only consideration: they’ll still have to figure out what precautions must be taken not only among teammates, but also when exposed to opposing teams — especially when it comes to contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer.
If fanless extracurricular activities and sports can keep going, consider using photo delivery to keep the fans and the parents involved. If sports and activities need to be put on-hold, you may actually leverage the photos that you already have for fundraising instead.
#5: Can our budget cover all of these new guidelines?
A common theme among these considerations is the school budget. Every single one of them is going to add additional costs that schools aren’t used to shelling out for.
At this point, helping your school raise a solid amount of money sounds like the best way to make sure the next school year won’t go down the drain.
That being said, traditional fundraising methods are going to prove tougher than ever — with quarantine, how do you do physical fundraising events? On top of that, most fundraising ideas require time, effort, and upfront cost, which are as scarce as can be for schools this year.
So, the ultimate question here is: how?
What if we told you there was a way to effectively fundraise for your school, regardless of quarantine, using assets that you already have, at zero cost?
Waldo is a free photo-finding and delivery platform that will be perfect for your school’s fundraising. Waldo uses AI-powered, secure facial and jersey recognition to find and deliver photos to your students and their families snapped during school events, extracurricular activities, and sports. Parents pay for Waldo to find them these photos, and you get to keep the funds!
If your school cannot run activities for the time being, you can leverage all those photos stored up in your hard drive and get them delivered to the families that will cherish them — it’s an easy, costless way to start fundraising! Your school can also crowdsource student, teacher, and parent photos, allowing a robust photo album that captures all the best moments throughout the school year.
Especially in a year like this where events may be limited in attendance, Waldo allows your families to feel like they aren’t missing a moment.
One final question
Here’s a final question for you: Do you want to help your school solve the budget problem for the school year, at absolutely no cost?
If your answer is yes, let us show you how. 👇