Coronavirus Updates

How to help children prepare for a new school year as COVID cases climb

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb as children prepare for the return to school. Wednesday, Aug. 4, the West Virginia State Board of Education will host a news conference announcing back-to-school guidelines.

In the meantime, some students say they’re feeling anxious about the unknowns.

“I’m pretty nervous just because everything will be totally, totally different,” said Katie Coakley. She’ll be starting the 7th grade later this month.

She says she is nervous about typical things for kids her age such as meeting new teachers, fitting in and making a good first impression. But this year there’s also COVID-19. She’s been vaccinated but still has some fears.

“There’s some things that I don’t feel safe about,” she said. “Just like getting the new variant and I don’t want to get it.”

According to the Child Mind Institute, Coakley’s concerns are something many kids are feeling right now. The group says you can help by acknowledging that it is a tough situation. They also suggest answering the child’s questions the best you can without sharing too much of your own anxiety.

Other suggestions include practicing being away from your child by finding childcare and going for a night out. The group suggests establishing a predictable routine to help kids feel secure, explaining the reasons for the COVID-related rules and preparing them for unpredictability.

Coakley has advice for her peers who may be nervous about the school year ahead.

“I think being focused and getting ready for a new year and how to make your grades good and just focusing on school and whatever you do after like that you love to do,” she said.

The announcement from the West Virginia Board of Education is expected Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

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