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Prepping for a New, Virtual School Year

Dear parents and guardians, 

As most of our children begin a new school year, I wanted to take some time to share with you a few tips and tricks that can make the online learning experience a much better and effective way of learning for youth of all grade levels.

Build Motivation

For elementary school kids, use a motivational board to keep kids on track. Buy a white board, a few dry-erase markers and a few cutouts of pictures (stickers are also a good alternative). Motivational boards are great places to write down goals for the semester and track progress. Goals should be created with your child and should keep their strengths and challenges in mind. Plan for affordable rewards such as baking cookies with mom or dad, playing games or staying up late (see image below for more ideas). For older kids, you might need to expand your creativity and use the resources you have available to help them stay motivated.


While middle school aged youth can complete assignments more independently than younger children, they still need positive social interactions from their family members during quarantine. Communication between parents/guardians and teens and quality time is now more important than ever. The more quality time you spend with them, the easier it will be to have open conversations. Activities such as walking around the neighborhood, having snacks together, and visiting outdoor places with low-risk of corona transmission can make a big difference. If you're looking for support on how to communicate with your child effectively, especially around topics such as underage drinking and mental health, join us virtually on our Scoop of Advice event for parents and guardians! Click here to learn more.

Prepare snacks and meals

Aside from motivational strategies and communication, having meals and/or healthy snacks throughout the day can also be a big relief for some parents. This can open more time throughout the week for check-ins and other school tasks. Set aside at least 2 to 4 hours to meal prep for a few days of the week (excluding shopping).

Snack ideas: Set a bowl out with easy to grab fruit like washed apples, bananas, pears, clementines, or cut-up watermelon (take out from the fridge during snack or lunch hours). Divide cut up fruit in individual baggies to avoid washing dishes. Other snacks can include nuts or almonds, chips, crackers, or veggies.

Move your body!

One last thing, students (and parents/guardians at home) need to build in time each day to move their body. It is not healthy to stare at a screen all day. Try activities like: walking around during breaks, or taking a bike ride at the end of the day. Take breaks from the screen- looking out the window, watching trees and cars go by can make a big difference in someone’s mental health during quarantine.

Wishing parents/guardians, caregivers, and teachers in our community the best for the new school year. We are all in this together!


Rosa Arvizu

CCPRD Project Lead

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