Parent Tips for the Start of School

Before school starts:

  • Set a routine for waking, eating breakfast, dressing, going to bed and sleeping.
  • Help your child express feelings to let you know how he/she feels about going to school.
  • Take your child to meet the teacher at the new school. Show your child the route to take from the classroom to the cafeteria, to the bathroom, etc.
  • Remind your child that people at the school know how to get in touch with you and that someone in the office has your emergency numbers.
  • Visit the park/playground at your child’s school.
  • Feel confident about your school choice and let your child know how you feel.
  • Set up a meeting with the school principal to ask any questions that you may have.
  • Shop for practical clothing that your child can manage alone.
  • Make sure that transportation plans to and from school are clear to your child.

After school starts:

  • Communicate with your child’s teacher about lunch procedures, rest times, routines, etc., and tell your child.
  • Try to be accessible, helpful and available to your child’s teacher.
  • If you have concerns, talk to your child’s teacher.
  • Try to have a calm start to each day.
  • Help empower your child. On the first day of school, allow your child to pick out his/her own clothes, lunch box and backpack. Let your child decide what to have for lunch.

Things to remember:

  • Your child may be emotionally and physically exhausted for the first six weeks. Allow time for your child to adjust.
  • Help your child learn the new “rules” at school and reassure that it is acceptable to make a mistake.
  • Ask open-ended questions about their school day.

A child’s first entry into school is an exciting new adventure for both child and parent. A child’s smile that says “learning is fun” is a great reward to both parents and educators. Remember, you are your child’s first and best advocate!


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