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Back-To- School Checklist for Parents

Parents themselves can be a little nervous about the first day of school, especially if they’re seeing their little one off for the first time or if their child is going to a new school.

To help make going to school a little easier on everyone, here’s a handy checklist:

What to wear, bring, and eat:

  • Does the school have a dress code? Are there certain things students can’t wear?
  • Will kids need a change of clothes for PE or art class?
  • Do your kids have a safe backpack that’s lightweight, with two wide, padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, a padded back, and multiple compartments?
  • Do kids know not to overload their backpacks and to stow them safely at home and school?
  • Will your kids buy lunch at school or bring it from home? If they buy a school lunch, how much will it cost per day or per week? Do you have a weekly or monthly menu of what will be served? Is there an account number that they need to remember? Can they open bags and bottles on their own?
  • Have you stocked up on all needed school supplies? Letting kids pick out a new lunchbox and a set of pens, pencils, binders, etc., helps get them geared up for going back to school.

Medical issues:

  • Have your kids gotten all necessary vaccines?
  • Have you filled out any forms that the school needs, such as emergency contact and health information forms?
  • Do the school nurse and teachers know about any medical conditions your child has, such as food allergies, asthma, diabetes, or other conditions that may need to be managed during the school day?
  • Have you made arrangements with the school nurse to give any medicines your child might need?
  • Do the teachers know about any conditions that may affect how your child learns? For example, kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be seated in the front of the room, and a child with vision problems should sit near the board.

Transportation and safety:

  • Do you know what time school starts and how your kids will get there?
  • If they’re riding the bus, do you know where the bus stop is and what time they’ll be picked up and dropped off?
  • Do you know where the school’s designated drop-off and pick-up area is?
  • Are there any regulations on bicycles or other vehicles, such as scooters?
  • Have you gone over traffic safety information? Make sure kids know the importance of crossing at the crosswalk (never between parked cars or in front of the school bus), waiting for the bus to stop before approaching it, and understanding traffic signals and signs.
  • If your child walks or bikes to school, have you mapped out a safe route? Does your child understand that it’s never OK to accept rides, candy, or any other type of invitation from strangers?
  • Does the school have the information needed so that other family members or trusted friends can pick up your child?

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