It Can Work…. But It’s Not Going to Be Easy Requiring Students to Wear a Face Mask



The Academic Support and Resource Center reopened today for our Second Session of our Summer Reading and Math Bridge Program after being closed in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Returning to the Center after being quarantined for several months was a bittersweet experience. On one hand, I was happy to be back with the students but on the other hand, I was still stressed about the coronavirus, especially since there is not yet a vaccine.

The day started great with new center guidelines, which included a temperature check, parents signing a liability waiver, wearing a facemask, and a mini-lesson on handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer. All students, tutors, and parents are required to wear face coverings (mask) while participating in programs at the Academic Support and Resource Center.

My first client was a young student who is going to kindergarten in the fall. He was excited about being there and came in had his temperature checked and without hesitation put on a face mask. Although he had to be redirected several times about wearing the face mask, overall he kept it on during our 2-hour direct instruction session. I said he kept it on I did not say he kept it on correctly. At times it was below his nose other times below his chin, but it was ALWAYS ON HIS FACE! During the 2-hour session, we took frequent breaks and even went outside to get some fresh air. He complained several times about the face mask, but he kept it on HIS FACE.

I had toiled with the idea of asking parents whether they wanted their child to wear a face mask (making it optional), but after reviewing the CDC guidelines I decided to make wearing a face mask a requirement for service at the Academic Support and Resource Center. The CDC requires that everyone wear a face mask when it is difficult to socially distance. The lesson here is that face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. So, everyone who enters our doors is required to wear a face mask.

Finally, after 2 hours with this little person, I have concluded that it is unreasonable to require or even mandate that a small child wear a face mask longer than 2 hours. However, as I stated in the beginning, it will work but it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take the 3 P’s: practice, patience, and perseverance.

For information on our Summer Reading and Math Bridge Program – Session II (Registration is still open- this session runs through August 6, 2020) or our Supervised Learning Support and Direct Instruction Services visit our website at academicsupportatl.com or call 770-655-6440 to find out about a customized program geared just for you and your child.

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