Remote School Struggles: Helping Parents Cope

Remote School Struggles: Helping Parents Cope

As we continue to combat the health crisis and navigate the unorthodox and at times disorganized COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, many parents are wondering what the future holds. For months, parents of school-aged children have been faced with extreme pressure. As we are sure you are acutely aware, some are coping with the emotional toll of having lost a loved one to COVID-19. Some are dealing with chronic symptoms after their own recovery, or are juggling telework schedules while supervising children who are receiving remote or hybrid curriculums. Others are navigating job loss or substantial income depletion, waiting for stimulus money to make ends meet.

A lot remains uncertain – including that magical date when parents can anticipate sending their kids back to a safe, normal in-person school setting. While our guess is as good as yours with fluctuating federal and state guidelines, no concrete plans for children to receive vaccinations, and new virus strains popping up, we’d like to help you assist parents as they navigate COVID-19 remote-learning fatigue. These times are not without moments of overwhelming emotion and frustration, but we believe together we can support our communities to remain strong, safe, and successful!

Keep Communication Open

If we’ve learned one thing about living in a pandemic, it’s that information is constantly changing and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Take one extra weight off of a parent’s shoulders by removing the guesswork from the unique remote-learning model your school has established. Make sure that your school website is updated frequently to avoid confusion or misinformation. Consider establishing a weekly newsletter or text alert system to enable families to review changes that are coming so they have time to prepare and keep their kids in the loop. Ensure that teachers and other relevant school staff members are connecting with parents, especially if they have concerns about a particular student’s ability to keep up with assignments or activities. While this arrangement has stripped away much of the reliable consistency of a “normal” academic year, you can still set students and parents up for success by regularly communicating plans.

Provide Free Resources

We know that many school systems are dealing with stretched budgets and financial challenges as adjustments to adhere to safety policies and procedures have cut into funding. We also know that parents still rely on your educators to help them make sense of the remote learning model. Maybe a household has a range of kids, from pre-k to college-aged students, all trying to learn under the same roof. What can you do to go above and beyond, to set your students up for success? Reach out to staff and brainstorm a list of favorite apps, websites, or digital resources you can compile to address parent’s needs. For your convenience, check out this short list of free, quality classroom resources for each grade band and subject area. Each tool has scored well on independent nonprofit Common Sense Media’s research-based ratings rubric. More importantly, each tool is something we think would work well given the unique circumstances of the pandemic.

Bring Empathy

To create a loving, ethically sound community, we need empathy to exist at the core of all of our actions and behaviors. We are all experiencing heightened stress and emotions, and while parents are tuning in to assisting their children, they need to feel supported, too. All educational policymakers should continue to come from a place of empathy for parents and caregivers, students, and teachers. Remember, parents aren’t trained teachers, and even trained educators are juggling teaching their students and sometimes their own children. Lean in to support families in any way you are able to during this unprecedented time. Maybe for your community, that looks like organizing a virtual book club, hosting virtual meditation or yoga classes, or recruiting the help of a professional therapist to host group sessions for struggling parents. Additionally, direct parents to reliable resources that can help them cope. Check out the Child Mind Institute’s supportive resources here, to remind them they aren’t alone.

By helping you to help the parents and caregivers in your student’s lives, we hope we are easing some of the daily pressure your dedicated staff members are up against. We admire and appreciate the endless commitment of Hudson Valley’s educators, and hope we can assist your future professional needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team members today to discuss how RBT can help your team succeed.

Ignoring this Program is Costing You Millions

Ignoring this Program is Costing You Millions

While the pandemic continues to have devastating and staggering impacts on the health of the American people, it did push telehealth into the forefront of the medical industry – granting millions access to crucial care from home. In addition to the expansion of telehealth services, construction professionals are anticipating several new trends when it comes to building hospitals, urgent care centers, and other facilities in 2021 and beyond. Picture wider hallways and expanded waiting rooms to accommodate social distancing practices, updated HVAC systems, and a focus on automation to cut down on the number of surfaces that have previously required touching. For you, this might mean investing in new facilities for clinical expansion. If that’s in your future, look no further than the 504 loan program to access millions of dollars.

What is the 504 program?

It provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation. Generally, these loans max out at $5 million, but can go up to $5.5 million for “Small Manufacturers” and for certain energy projects. 504 loans are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), the Small Business Association (SBA) community-based partners, and the loan is distributed among three parties. The business owner puts up a minimum of 10%, a conventional lender (typically a bank) puts up 50%, and a CDC puts up the remaining 40%. Most businesses find that when their 504 loan closes, the rate is highly competitive with other financing options, making this an accessible, cost-effective opportunity you may not have tapped into. Ultimately, it’s a chance for you to hold onto as much-coveted working capital as possible.

How could your medical company benefit?

SBA 504 loan money can be used to buy a building, finance ground-up construction or building improvements, or purchase heavy machinery and equipment. You can also use the loan for the improvement or modernization of land, streets, utilities, parking lots and landscaping, or existing facilities.

To be eligible, your healthcare facility must:

  • Operate as a for-profit company
  • Have a tangible net worth of less than $15 million
  • Have an average net income of less than $5 million after federal income taxes for the two years preceding your application

The range of businesses that could qualify for commercial real estate lending extends across a wide spectrum, including:

Individual medical providers: like dentists, doctors, optometrists, physical therapists, or counselors needing more office or treatment space.

Medical and healthcare groups in the same class, with the same needs, seeking more room to treat patients.

While each of these facilities has unique real estate needs, they are all considered ‘owner-occupied’ healthcare businesses, which makes them eligible for SBA 504 financing. Additionally, businesses must meet the SBA’s definition of a small business, which typically means fewer than 250 to 1,500 employees. One of the most notable borrower benefits? Because payments are consistent over the term of the loan, the long-term, fixed interest rates make it easier for your company to budget each month. Keep in mind that a 504 loan cannotbe used for working capital or inventory, consolidating, repaying, or refinancing debt, or speculation or investment in rental real estate.

How do you apply?

The first step to apply is to contact your bank to learn more about the program, then prepare and assemble your 504 loan authorization package, using the SBA’s 504 Authorization File Library to identify the documentation you will need to apply for your 504 loan. This past fall, the SBA announced updated interest rates you can take advantage of to bounce back from COVID-19 financial disruptions. The program now allows for 10, 20, and 25-year interest rates as low as 2.2%. On average, the loans take around 30-45 days from application to funding. Approval time can, however, take anywhere from one to six months. Right now because of the Economic Aid Act, all borrower fees are waived through September 30, 2021, which means even more financial savings for your business. So, what are you waiting for? If you still have questions about how to get started, give our team a call today, we are happy to help out and can’t wait to get you access to the capital you need.