As the 2019-2020 school year drew to a close no one could have imagined what challenges would be faced then and in the ensuing months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, great challenges still lay ahead as schools reopen this fall. Yet, God is fully aware of what we face, and He invites us to look to Him in faith and to partner with Him through prayer to provide help and to fulfill His purposes. Please consider the following prayer points as we move into the new school year.
1. Protection of students, administration, faculty, and staff against COVID-19 infection
Concerns with the ongoing pandemic are heightened as schools reopen this fall. Pray that appropriate protocols for protection will be available. Pray also for God’s hand of protection against infection. Pray that the spread of the virus will be halted, permitting freedom among teachers and students to fully engage and learn.
2. Effective administration of in-person and virtual learning experiences in our public schools
Various schedule options for students have been established among school districts as the academic year begins. Some students will attend in-person five days a week, while others will alternate between in-person class attendance and at-home virtual learning. Still others will be entirely involved with online learning. Pray for creative and meaningful methods to convey information to students and to monitor learning progress. Pray that limited in-person learning and school closures will soon be averted, allowing students to return to normal schedules.
3. Availability of substitute teachers
Due to absences involved with COVID-19 and growing challenges to find full-time teachers, there is increased need for substitute teachers. Pray that many qualified substitutes will respond to requests for their services. Pray that they will be able to connect quickly with their students and provide meaningful learning experiences.
4. Nutritional care for students
For many students, school breakfast and lunch programs are their greatest source of nutrition. Those attending in-person only two or three days may not have access to adequate food. Pray that communities, agencies, and ministries will respond to this need and help provide needed nutrition for these students.
5. Emotional and physical wellbeing among administrators, faculty, and staff
Providing effective educational experiences under normal circumstances is demanding, but even more so during the current pandemic. Pray that God will undergird those guiding the process with a supernatural measure of strength. As opportunity warrants, send notes of encouragement to those serving under adverse conditions.
6. In-home student supervision and guidance
Some parents and guardians with students at home face significant work schedule challenges. Pray that employers will consider flexible arrangements that will permit adult supervision and engagement. Pray that other family or friends will be available to fill in where needed. Pray also for parents and guardians who face economic challenges in providing computer equipment and Wi-Fi access in the home; pray that provision will be made for those needs.
7. Student safety and welfare
At-home learning and lack of social interaction can lead to significant stress in the home. Pray for the safety and welfare particularly of younger children who may experience abuse or neglect. Pray that help will be provided to ensure their safety.
8. An amazingly successful and meaningful school year
Despite unprecedented challenges faced with COVID-19, pray that school leadership, parents, and students will have amazing learning and growing experiences. Pray they will come to appreciate one another as never before. Pray that challenges will become opportunities to learn not only academically but to discover new life lessons as well. Pray that hearts will turn to Jesus Christ and find in Him their source of joy, peace, and fulfillment. May we seek ways to bless and encourage one another throughout the school year and be carriers of God’s love and presence.
by John T. Meempa | AG News Service
Editor’s Note: The CDC website currently has this info about schools: “The best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children. Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults. To put this in perspective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 17, 2020, the United States reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths. Although relatively rare, flu-related deaths in children occur every year. From 2004-2005 to 2018-2019, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons ranged from 37 to 187 deaths. During the H1N1pandemic (April 15, 2009 to October 2, 2010), 358 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC. So far in this pandemic, deaths of children are less than in each of the last five flu seasons, with only 64.† Additionally, some children with certain underlying medical conditions, however, are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”