Oh My Goodness, August is already here! Back to School the Kiddos Go!!!
I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year where it feels like I’m being pulled in every direction imaginable. Every year the preparation list gets longer and longer. I’m not talking about that long supply list that is waiting for us in the local stores. I’m speaking of the list of things we as parents need to do but we somehow forget to. Considering the ways of the world we live in, it’s important that we are proactive as parents and not just reactive. After working in different school districts, I’ve noticed that the areas below are the most problematic areas. If we tackle these areas, I promise you it will eliminate some issues that may have occurred in the past. Check out the list of “Must Covers” we’ve provided for you with a few of Lynnie’s Parent to Parent thoughts sprinkled in the mix.
As parents make sure you know your school district’s “Policies and Procedures Guidelines.” If you don’t know them, make sure you at least know where to find them. It’s important that you know what to expect from the school and what the school is expecting from you and your child.
1. Cellphones aren’t supposed to be seen nor heard during school hours. Most schools have very strict cell phone policies. Make sure to go over those policies with your children. Parent to Parent: Most children in elementary hang their bookbags up in a designated area in the classroom. Provide your child with ways to keep their phone on them at all times. I was so happy with the fanny packs came back in style. My children have small fanny packs that they wear around their waist and it is the best thing I could have purchased for them. For my godson we try to make sure that his phone is able to fit in his front pocket without being noticed. Make sure you emphasize the importance of keeping it on silent.
2. If your child has medical needs that will need attention during school hours, make sure to complete and submit the proper Medication Admin Form with all the required signatures. You do not have to wait until school starts to get this form completed. You can stop by the school to pick one up. Most pediatric care offices have them as well. Parent to Parent: Make sure your child knows the details of how the school staff is to administer their medication. Your child should know the time they need to take it and the amount they should take. Most importantly, teach them to look for their names on the containers that the meds are being stored in (the bottle, bag, pump, etc). We have to keep in mind that teachers and nurses are human too.
3. Now I know on the first day we receive a huge stack of forms to complete. It is very very very important that you read every form that your child brings home. Make sure your Emergency Contact Form is current. Every time your number or address changes make sure to inform the school right away. Parent to Parent: In most schools you are given the Emergency Contact form, or card used to list all those you are allowing to pick your child up. Make sure you list everyone that you are allowing to pick up your child, even if you have to write some names on the back of the form. The school is not allowed to release your child to anyone that isn’t on that list. Also remember that you and anyone else will have to present a government issued picture ID before most schools will even call the child to the office.
4. It’s a must that you get well acquainted with the Bullying Policy. Make sure your child knows what bullying looks and feels like so they will know if and when they are experiencing or displaying it. Believe it or not a lot of children really do not know what bullying is. It’s not just someone trying to take your lunch money. Parent to Parent: Have transparent moments with your children. When your; children know you have experienced something they feel more comfortable talking to you about it. Remember we want that conversation. Also keep in mind bullying does not always come from other children.
Oh snap, I can’t forget this very important item.
5. Make sure you know your school’s Lock Down procedures. Go over the Lock Down procedures with your child and explain to them how important it is. Parent to Parent: After watching the movie Faith under Fire, I actually took the time to practice this drill at home with my daughters. I expressed the importance of listening to their teacher and being quiet so they can hear but not be heard. I also told them what to do if they see something that looks dangerous. I know these topics are tough topics to think about but it important that our children know how to be safe in all things.
Remember the key is to be Proactive Not Reactive.
Here’s to a Productive and Safe School year!!
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