For 12K and Beyond, Back to School Tips for Parents
by Dawn Davidson-King
• Use permanent marker to clearly write your student’s full name on personal property (including clothing).
• Save your money. Avoid purchasing all supplies on standard lists until after the first day. Your child’s teacher will let you know what actually is needed.
• Typical autumn back-to-school outfits are adorable, but Las Vegas does not cool down until well after September. Dress wisely.
• Send your little scholar to school with a bottle of water. Most teachers will allow water to remain on students’ desks throughout the day.
• Complete all forms at enrollment — this is particularly important for those applying for free/reduced lunch benefits and/or transportation services.
• Buy a planner to help teens and “tweens” practice effective time management and organization skills. They’ll be working on a lot more lengthy projects now.
• Visit the school with your child before the first day. Many students going to the first year of middle or high school are more anxious than parents may realize.
• Discuss bullying and the importance of being themselves – focus on this step throughout the year.
• Ask your child to list the most challenging things about taking tests; then share the list with teachers for help with test-taking strategies, study skills or an after school tutor.
• Encourage your child to join a club or sport. Students involved in these activities typically achieve more academically and socially.
• Inform teachers and health office personnel of all allergies your child may have.
• Continue to administer medication according to the same schedule you followed all summer – and make sure any necessary medication and forms are submitted to the health office.
• Remind college students of the importance of using a planner or electronic calendar to juggle a busier-than- ever schedule.
• Students should become familiar with the writing format required for papers and other written assignments. For example the APA Style writing format is popular, the manual can be purchased or viewed online, and there are several websites that allow students to submit drafts to check for compliance.
• Both physical and online campuses provide writing and math centers. Encourage your scholar to utilize their services if and when they struggle with writing or math.
• College campuses (including online campuses) also provide special resource centers for those students with learning or physical disabilities. Students who face such challenges are strongly encouraged to utilize their services to ensure accommodations and modifications are provided.
Dawn Davidson-King, M.Ed., is a special education teacher at Canarelli Middle School and a faculty member of the University of Phoenix. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.