Back-to-School Checklist: Survival Guide

With many children returning to school this week or having already started within the past few days, it can be overwhelming to adjust back into the busy school routine. Even if you’re already in the throes of a new school year, here are some handy reminders to get the year off to a great start.

Emergency plan

  • Make sure all family members know your family’s plan in case of an emergency.
  • Have a list of emergency contacts. Make sure all of their contact information is up-to-date.

Medical requirements

  • Schedule your child’s physical before school starts, if needed for participating in activities.
  • Make sure your child has all required immunizations.
  • Get your child’s vision checked before school starts if they are due for an exam.
  • Notify the school of any medications or health problems your child may have.

Arrange transportation

  • Bus – Show your child the bus stop where they will be picked up and dropped off daily. Go over the plan for getting to and from.
  • Walker/Biker – Go over pedestrian and bicycling safety. Make sure your child has the appropriate safety gear (helmet and shoes). Walk the route with your child that you want them to take.
  • Carpool – Introduce your child to the other children and parents who they will be carpooling with. Go over the carpool schedule with your child each week.
  • In case of an emergency and your child’s transportation plans change, make sure the school has a list of other parents who can pick them up.

After-school plans

  • Make sure your child knows where to go each day after school.
  • Once your child reaches their after-school destination, have them call or text you so you know they made it safely.

Plan healthy meals

  • Each week, plan your family’s meals together to encourage healthy eating habits.
  • Encourage your child to assist with cooking at least one meal each week so they can further understand the meal prep/planning process.
  • Prep as much of the next day’s meals the night before so your day runs smoothly, beginning to end.
  • Bag up fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and other healthy snacks and place in a convenient place for quick access when you have a need for on-the-go snacks.

Help your child prepare for school

  • Go with your child to the school, and walk them through their daily routine. Show them all the places that will be important to them: classroom(s), restrooms, cafeteria and so on.
  • Help your child memorize their address and your phone numbers.
  • Discuss your child’s feelings and concerns about starting school.
  • Talk about peer pressure with your child.
  • Schedule a time for your child to meet their new teacher.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, we realize, but this is a good place to start to ensure a safe and healthy school year. Good luck!


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