By Danielle Lankford, Communications Specialist
It is officially August, and you know what that means – back to school time! And, it won’t just be our charter school and early learners going back to school in a few weeks. Thousands of local elementary, middle school, high school, and college students will be shopping for supplies, packing backpacks, and planning out a routine before the first day of school. No matter where you or your child go to school, we’ve put together this checklist to keep you on-track and stress free so you can enjoy the last leg of your vacation.
Here are some things you can do now to get ready for the first day of school.
1. Make time for registration or orientation
Registration and orientation days usually take place on specific dates just before the first day of school. Make sure you have marked these dates on your calendar and have made arrangements to attend. This is where you will receive the bulk of information you will need for the upcoming school year. Our parents will have two opportunities to get this information at our Registration Round-up happening on August 10-11.
2. Gather all the documents necessary for enrollment
Most schools and colleges require some documents for enrollment. These can include transcripts, photo identification, immunization records, and more. Talk to your point of contact at your school to be sure you know what documents you will need, and how to go about obtaining them if you are missing any. Gather all the documents or copies of documents in a safe place a few days before enrollment to help curb any last minute stress. Our parents will need to bring their child’s birth certificate, immunization records, a proof of income, and dental and medical forms (Kindergarten and 3rd grade only) to the Registration Round-Up.
3. Double check the dress code before you shop
Does your school have a strict dress code or require uniforms? If you’re not sure, contact your school or look for dress code information in your student handbook if you receive one at registration. School clothes shopping can be a fun time to try out new looks and styles, but you don’t want to stock your wardrobe with items you can’t wear five days a week. Our students are required to wear uniforms on most school days, and parents are encouraged to donate lightly used uniforms any time before registration.
4. Tour your school
If it’s your or your child’s first year on a new campus, touring the school can help ease first day jitters. Most colleges offer a tour on orientation day, or you can schedule one before the summer ends. For elementary and secondary schools, you can usually call the school’s front desk during summer office hours and the receptionist or principal will set up a tour time for you. For new or prospective Guadalupe students, please call (801) 531-6100 Ext. 315 to schedule a tour.
5. Practice your school day routine
We all know there’s nothing worse than having to leave your warm cushy bed to get up and rush for the first day of school. It’s easier said than done, but adjusting your sleep schedule gradually in the weeks before school starts can help ease the transition into school-mode. For younger students, practicing the rest of the school day routine can be helpful as well. Questions you should ask in the weeks leading up to school are: is my child on an eating routine similar to the school’s? Do they know how much time it will take to get ready and catch the bus? Does my child stay for afterschool activities, and do they know what time they will be picked up? Discussing this ahead of time can save mom and child a lot of worry.
6. Set up a place for homework
Designating an area for homework or outside of school assignments (for college students) can help increase productivity and performance. It seems like a no-brainer, but setting up a place in your home where you have all your tools like pencils, computer, and textbooks and where you can have some peace and quiet before the year starts will help lessen the stress when it comes to assignments.
7. Start a calendar
Keeping a calendar or planner will help you or you and your child feel on top of all the various assignments and activities going on at school. Certain times of the school year, like the end of semesters can get pretty hectic, but having a calendar will keep your family organized. For college students, keep a planner and begin writing down important dates and big assignments from the first day of school, so you will never be surprised by a deadline. For families with small children, a good idea is to keep a dry erase calendar somewhere in the home that’s easily visible and have your children write down each week their activities and assignments on the calendar. If you’re into printables, this is a great week-by-week planner template: http://worldlabel.tumblr.com/post/49882409846/classroomcollective-weekly-to-do-list-get-the
8. Plan your transportation
Transportation is another one of those no-brainers, but it’s worth thinking about in the weeks leading up to school. Are you going to take the train to school? Drive? Put your child on the bus or have them walk? How long will it take for you to arrive on your preferred mode of transportation? What time does my child need to catch the bus? These are all questions you should ask yourself to avoid tardiness and the stress of rushing to catch a bus or train and subsequently rushing to class. A day started in a rush is not going to get off to a good start, and you want to make sure you or your child is as focused and prepared as possible.
Checking off all these items before the first day of school will make for a successful start to a new school year no matter what grade, age or school. For our Guadalupe students and parents, we'll see you in three weeks!