Parent Guide: Back to School

generic-istock-back-to-school-resizedBefore you know it, summer will be over and the kids will be headed back to school. It’s a hectic time of year for sure. But, with some preparation it can be a lot less stressful for you and your child.

Before School Starts

The new school year is a chance for a fresh start. According to experts on, the first steps a parent should take before school starts is talk about homework rules and daily routines, then enforce family rules consistently. This should minimize disputes and stress.

Immunizations & Other Health Requirements

MED Flu SeasonAccording to, It’s a good idea to take your child for a physical and eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations and may need documentation. Failing to keep immunizations current could prevent your child from attending school.

Bring all health-related forms that the school requires when you take your child to the doctor. If your child will be participating in a sport, his/her doctor may have to sign a release form. Be sure to keep your own copy of any records.

Let your child’s doctor know if you have any questions or concerns about the scheduled vaccines or any other health-related issues that may be affecting your child.

When it comes to good health, don’t forget the importance of teeth! Several Rhode Island communities have school-based dental programs. With parental consent, these programs provide oral health education and access to preventive services, such as cleanings and dental sealants. Extra effort is made to target children living in the state’s core cities who may be at higher risk of tooth decay.

School Supplies

School supplies can cost a small fortune. But There are ways to save.

  • Shop at home first – Many school supplies, such as pens, binders, and notebooks, can be reused. Sort through the materials you already have, separating those that your child can use again from those that should be recycled or tossed.
  • Stick to your list – Determine what your child truly needs, make a budget and stick to it. If your child insists on getting a backpack or lunch box with her favorite character, then let her know she may not be able to have the fancy binder and matching folders.iStock_chalkboard-money
  • Shop early – It seems retailers start their back-to-school sales before the kids are even out for the summer. While the ringing of the school bell may seem eons away – take advantage of the deals when you can. Many retailers will practically give away items like notebooks, pencils, glue and crayons just to get you in the door. Saving on the basics may free up some money for the bigger ticket items (like that fancy backpack).
  • Keep your eyes peeled – Many teachers will give you their supply list early. Keep it with you. You never know when or where you’ll find a good deal. Office supply stores, discount chains, dollar stores, craft stores and even supermarkets all sell school supplies.

The Wheels on the Bus

istock generic school busMany students get to school on those big yellow school buses, others on RIPTA buses. Here’s a list of the 2015-16 bus routes by school district: 2015-16 Bus Routes

Updated bus routes typically come out a few days before the start of school. Keep checking back for updated information

During the School Year

Healthy Eating

Photos: Adorable school lunch ideas »
Photos: Adorable school lunch ideas »

Nutrition is an important factor in academic performance. Studies have shown that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches are more alert throughout the school day and earn higher grades than those who have an unhealthy diet.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. While a bowl of cereal or scrambled egg are good standbys, here are some healthy recipes you can take on the go.

Of course, when they get home from school, your kids will probably be STARVING! Giving them a healthy snack doesn’t have to be hard. Stock up on things like fruit, fresh veggies, cheese and yogurt to tide them over until dinner. You can also try some of the great ideas below.


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