11 July 2012
Are Your Children Ready for the New School Year?

Starting a new school year is exciting. It can also be stressful for children moving up a grade, or starting in a new school where they don’t know the teachers, students, or where their classrooms are.

Prepare your kids now for the upcoming school year. Here’s how:

1. Get oriented.

As parents, part of your job is preparing your school-aged children for the new school year, and school districts provide orientation sessions to get your kids pointed in the right direction.

Clark County School District

Make sure your local school has your correct address and phone number so they can keep you up to date during the summer with the latest school news.

Listen for “ParentLink” automated phone messages during the summer that let you know if your child’s school offers a “Back to School” night for parents, usually during the first week of school. The Clark County School District also mails out notices during the summer with information you’ll need about Back to School events.

Closer to the start of the school year, each school in Clark County updates orientation information on its web site, so log on to check the latest school news at: http://ccsd.net/schools/websites/.

Some local high schools also offer get-togethers for new students at the end of August: Keep up to date and attend the local “Freshman BBQ” or similar events, to introduce your children to their new classmates, teachers and school administrators.

Washoe County

Washoe County School District also has a phone messaging system called ConnectEd. Make sure to listen to summertime updates and make notes of orientation opportunities.  Also, many schools in Washoe County have their own web sites with information on the upcoming school year, including orientation information.

To find your child’s school web site, visit: washoecountyschools.org/directory/search/schools/.

Washoe County also offers Parent University, with free classes for parents, including how to help your child with homework, how to prepare your child for middle or high school, and other valuable information.  Classes for the 2012-2013 school year begin September 25.  Check this website early in September for class schedules and registration information: washoecountyschools.net/parent_university/.

2. Spend the summer meeting the neighborhood children. Starting the year in a new school can be scary – especially for younger kids. If you’re new to town, set up play dates with neighborhood children so your child can make friends to help transition to a new school, a new teacher and new surroundings.

3. Learn to say good-bye.  Older children know they leave home to go to school, but younger children may have a more difficult time leaving the security of home. Practice saying good-bye by sending your child to summer camp or summer school to familiarize youngsters with enjoying the day without you looking over their shoulders.

4. Learn the school bus route early. School systems publish school bus routes starting in mid-summer. Know the number of your child’s school bus and when it will drive by your home or bus stop to pick up your child. Visit the bus stop several times over the summer and, with younger children, if possible, wait for the bus with them to provide additional security.

5. Buy school supplies now. Stores start advertising school supplies and school clothes as the start of the school year approaches. Shop early to save even more on clothes, backpacks, pens and paper. Let your children choose their own school supplies. They know what other kids are buying better than you do, and no child wants to “stick out,” so let the child choose the backpack that’s right for her.

6. Talk to your children. As the first day of school approaches, go over exactly what will happen that first day. Where does the school bus pick them up? Where is their classroom? What is their teacher’s name? The biggest fear children have about the new school year may be fear of the unknown, so fill in as many blanks as possible to relieve stress and get your child in learning mode faster.

7. Start putting your child to bed earlier. Don’t wait for school to start best school practices. Your young child may stay up later in the summer months, but bedtime during the school year is often earlier, so start the school bedtime schedule in early to mid-August. Ease into the school year before the school year even begins.

8. Start getting to bed earlier yourself. It takes time to prepare breakfast, make lunches and determine that each child has the right school books, permission slips are signed, and other parenting chores are completed before the big yellow bus pulls up.  Get the sleep you need to help your children adapt to new surroundings and new routines. A good night’s sleep is a good place to start – for the entire family.


The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.  It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.


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