The date may creep a little earlier each year, but back to school is a ritual that has remained the same for decades: The new school supplies and clothes; the excitement of reuniting with one’s friends; the dread of losing summer mixing with the anticipation (whether or not older kids will admit it!) of what a new school year may bring.

It has been this way at least since I was growing up, and it’s still the same even after more than ten years on the other side of the desk. I am so excited to meet our new families, to hear about returning families’ summers and see how all the kids have grown. Even at their most challenging, kids just overflow with energy and possibility – how can you not be excited about that?

There is always a lot to read as we prepare to go back to school. Here are three articles that I found particularly helpful and practical this year:

  • On re-establishing a routine for sleep and getting up: (Hint: power down the TV and the gadgets – and that goes for the parents as well.) http://yhoo.it/12WLafO
  • On back to school shopping: http://bit.ly/160pVuR
  • Here is a great article from the National Association of School Psychologists on back-to-school transitions: http://bit.ly/2szhWM

As a parent, there is also wondering how you will pay for it all. As charter schools, we are tuition free – and you can be assured that we’re doing our best to extend bus service, meal programs and other resources to make things a little easier.

But the most important thing you, as a parent, can do doesn’t cost a cent. Just as important as new stuff is preparing your child mentally and emotionally, because the first few weeks of school can set the tone for the year. Spend time with each child individually – not just to say what you expect, but to hear what the child is looking forward to (or not). Each child is different from his or her siblings, and concerns may change from year to year, as the child grows up or your family’s circumstances change.

On our end, we welcome many new school team members who are raring to go. Meet the Teacher nights have been scheduled and I urge you to make the time. This is not just a social occasion; teachers are your biggest partners in your child’s progress, and even a simple face-to-face meeting is incredibly helpful.

With that, the adventure begins. See you in school!

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