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Time To Re-Pack the Backpack and Prepare for a New School Year

The past two school years were disrupted by COVID-19, new learning protocols, and plenty of stress for parents, kids, and teachers, too.

The anticipated return to a “normal” school year is approaching and while educators and parents agree that children have a better learning experience in the classroom, there are still concerns. Physical distancing may be impractical. Face masks can be uncomfortable, but necessary. Vaccines are controversial and not available to our youngest learners. How can we get our kids (and ourselves) ready for a healthier, less stressful, and more successful school year?

A panel of local experts will share good advice in a free, virtual webinar, Repack the Backpack: How to Help Your Kids Have a Great School Year, Thursday, August 12, at Noon. Presented by Spectrum Health and Human Services, panelists include:

  • Derek Baker, Principal of Sweet Home Middle School;
  • Christine Ziemba, Spectrum Health’s NY Project Hope Program Coordinator;
  • Gina Volanis, Director of Emergency Services for Spectrum Health; and
  • Melodie Baker, National Policy Director for Just Equations, will moderate and will share her experience as a mom.

Tips will include how to help kids back into a good sleep schedule, understanding re-entry anxiety and stress triggers in children, and pointers on how to talk with kids and teens about confusion and controversy.

Connect to this free Zoom webinar on the Spectrum Health website,, or participate on Spectrum Health’s Facebook page.


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