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Planning a School Re-entry

A resource for classroom teachers

  • Speak with the child and family before the child returns to school to determine how much information the patient is comfortable sharing.

  • Speak with the family and hospital staff about any medical items the child will need and appropriate ways to explain the purpose of these items to the class.

  • Find out what role, if any, the child and/or parent would like to have in the re-entry program.

  • Prepare the class for the child's return.

  • Set a time for the re-entry program during the first or second day the child returns to school, about 30 - 60 min.

  • Invite the child to bring items from the hospital to share (ex. video, scrapbook, art, medical collages, hospital "buddy").

  • Remember each child's story is his/hers and respect his/her choice in whether or not to share the story.

  • Focus on what the returning child is still able to do with his/her friends and classmates. Remind the class that the child is still the same person they were before.

  • Avoid detailed conversations about the specifics of the illness or injury. If the class is highly focused, you may want to compile a list of questions to e-mail hospital staff so the returning child is not pressured into answering them.

  • Celebrate the child's return to your classroom and recognize what he/she has accomplished.

  • Have fun and enjoy welcoming back your student into the classroom community.