With most private schools in our area opening on August 25th and the public schools on September 2nd, time is fast running out to take care of all those back-to-school essentials. WebMD has provided a checklist to help parents ensure students at all levels are ready for that all-important first day of school.
Things to get:
_____ School supplies: Most schools in our area provide a list of supplies your child will need for school. You can often find these posted in stores such as WalMart, Target, Office Max and the school’s website – just to name a few places. The lists vary according to grade but typically include items such as crayons, pens, pencil, crayons, kinds of notebooks, etc.
_____ Wall calendar: A calendar in your kitchen, office or your child’s room (or online or your mobile phone) can help you keep track of important events affecting your child such as big tests, sports practices/games, rehearsals, field trips, parent-teacher conferences and other school happenings.
_____ Clothing essentials: Check out your child’s closet and make a list of items he needs. Buy only the essentials. Kids’ fashion tastes tend to change in response to what other kids are wearing. Unless your child is required to wear a uniform, it is better to take your child clothes shopping a week or two after school starts. (Tip: It’s usually better to allow your child to select her own clothes for the first day of school.)
_____ Shoes: Start your child off with at least one sturdy pair of shoes that fit well. If the school requires P.E. (and most in the state of Virginia do), make sure your child has good gym shoes, also.
_____ Backpack: Look for a backpack that is neither too large nor too heavy for your child. It should have padding on the straps and back. Your child will tend to take better care of it if he had some say in which backpack he uses during the school year.
_____ Lunch box: If your child will be bringing her own lunch to school, allow her to select her own new lunch box. That can help build excitement for the first day._
_____ Alarm clock: To help your child take some ownership in getting up on time for school, purchase an easy-to-use alarm clock for your child’s room and teach your child how to use it.
_____ Back-to-school nutrition: Stock up on fruit, low-fat deli meat, whole-grain bread and yogurt to keep your child properly fueled throughout the day. To keep the first few day from becoming so frantic, prepare some dinners and freeze them so you simply have to heat them up on the first few nights.
_____ Keep your receipts: Even with a detailed list, it is easy to buy the wrong type of notebook or pen by accident. By keeping an envelope in your purse for receipts and coupons, returns and exchanges will be much easier.
Things to check:
_____ Dress code: Be sure you are familiar with the school’s dress code before buying new school clothes. Most school ban overly suggestive outfits and those with lewd comments or drug/alcohol content o them.
_____ Vaccines: Check with the school or the school system’s website to determine what immunizations your child needs. Even if you checked last year, check again. Sometimes vaccine schedules are updated by the state during the summer, which may affect your child. Be sure you get an update vaccine form from your doctor if your school needs it.
_____ Back-to-school physical: Schedule a yearly physical at the same time you get your child immunized. Even if your child’s school does not require it, it is an important part of your child’s overall health.
_____ Permission forms: Each school has policies that must be followed and forms that must be completed. Be sure to fill these out and return them before school begins, if at all possible.
_____ Up-to-date contact information: If any of your contact information has changed – job, cell number, address, last name, etc. – be sure your school has the most current contact information.
_____ Medical records: It is imperative the school nurse is informed about any medical issues, such as diabetes, asthma, allergies, ADHD or other special needs that might need attention while your child is at school.
_____ Open communication: If there is a developmental or home issue that might interfere with your child’s performance in school, talk to your child’s teacher or guidance counselor in advance. By understanding the situation in advance, they will know how to respond should a problem arise.
Have a great school year!