As summer draws to a close, it’s time to get ready for the new school year that’s about to begin. Below are some tips on how to make it a smooth transition for parents and kids.

Before school starts:

  • Schedule a Doctor’s appointment during the summer for your child’s mandatory school vaccinations.
  • Establish a bedtime and wakeup time for the school year. Practice this new schedule during the last week of summer break to prepare for those early mornings. 
  • Discuss the routine as a family. Ensure everyone is on the same page regarding Pick up/Drop off plans and the Before-and-After-School schedule.
  • Plan ahead for Before-and-After-School Care, school closings and scheduled school breaks. Militarychildcare.com can offer options for families on base. Check with the Resource and Referral office for community child care options. 
  • Check your school website for School Supply Lists. Some stores offer online ordering and curbside pick-up. If you need assistance, check with your local Department of Social Services for Stuffed Back Pack pick-ups.
  • Visit the school or attend Back-To-School Night to familiarize yourself and your child with the school, teachers, and administrators. Save school contact information.
  • If you have a child with Special Needs, confirm with the school IEP/504 Plan accommodations are in place. Initiate communication with your child’s teachers and school counselors to discuss past/present successes and challenges, so everyone is utilizing the same methods to help your child be successful. Your Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Case Worker can assist you in advocating for your child.  
  • If you have a child enrolled in EFMP reach out to your Family Case Worker to gather information on End-of-Summer and Back-to-School events.   

During the school year:

  • Prepare the night before. Help or encourage your child to pick out an outfit for the next day, prepare lunch & snack, pack backpacks.
  • Establish a study space and stick to a routine for homework. Make homework a priority and a daily habit.
  • Encourage your child to read or read to your child each day to promote literacy. Reading also calms the nerves and increases language and reasoning skills.
  • Stay involved! Attend school functions as often as you can. Talk to your child about school to learn how classes are going, friendships they’re making, and any struggles they may be experiencing.
  • Communicate with your child’s teachers if you have concerns. Don’t be afraid to speak up… you are your child’s strongest advocate.
  • If your child has an IEP/504 Plan, contact your Exceptional Family Member Program if you need additional support or if you have concerns about how it is being implemented. You can also review this IEP checklist to make sure you’re on track.

Contact your local School Liaison Program or more information as the new school year approaches.