Back To School Tips and Start Dates

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If you’re like me, the end of August and return to school is bittersweet. We will miss those carefree days of summer spent at the Cape without rushing the kids to school, daycare or other activities.

Making the transition back to school can be a change for kids and parents alike. Kids who’ve been sleeping in, now have to get up early again. Leisurely lunches will give way to lunches that require planning and packing. As for homework? Yes, it’s time to start that drill again too!

But going back to school doesn’t have to be difficult for you and the kids if you follow some of these tips we found from Mom bloggers, teachers, and experts. So, don’t worry, from advice on preparing for a new school year to important dates and links, we have you covered!

Bedford

The first day of school in Bedford is on Tuesday, September 5th for all four schools; Bedford High School, John Glenn Middle School, Lane Elementary School, and Davis Elementary School.

There are a number of orientations and other opportunities for students and parents to tour the schools. Check out the Bedford District School Website.

Concord-Carlisle

The first day of school in Concord is on Wednesday, August 30th with Friday, September 1st off and then returning on Tuesday, September 5th after Labor Day. For more information go to the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Website.

Lexington

Lexington has a staggered school start schedule. The Lexington Public School Website has additional details, but the general schedule is as follows:

Lexington High School – Grade 9 begins on Tuesday, September 5th and Grades 10 – 12 begin on Wednesday, September 6th.

Diamond and Clark Middle Schools – Grade 6 begins on Tuesday, September 5th and new students in Grade 7 and 8 should come for a New Student Orientation on Tuesday, September 5th.

On Wednesday, September 6th, school will begin for all students.

Hastings, Bridge and Fiske Elementary Schools – Kindergarten begins on Tuesday, September 5th and all other grades begin on Wednesday, September 6th.

Acton

Acton has a number of schools including a high school and junior high school that are shared by a neighboring town, Boxborough. Many schools have staggered start dates. Be certain to confirm times on the Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools Website which has links to all schools.

Acton-Boxborough High School - Grade 9 begins on Tuesday, September 5th and Grades 10 – 12 begin on Wednesday, September 6th.

RJ Grey Junior High School – Grade 7 begins on Tuesday, September 5th and Grade 8 begins on Wednesday, September 6th.

All Elementary Schools – All schools start on Tuesday, September 5th.

Back to School Tips

Ease into the back to school routine – Your summer routine was probably more relaxed, with kids staying up late and sleeping later in the morning. Even if your kids go to camp or other programs during the week, it is still more laid back and is going to take a bit of adjustment. Experts recommend practicing your routine a few days in advance of the new school year. Set the alarm clock, go through morning routines, and even get in the car or to the bus stop at the same time you will when school starts. This will help get the entire family “school schedule” ready.

Kick Start the Brain – Fun days at the pool, the beach or lounging around the house are often part of a summer day’s activities, but it is time to kick start the brain to get ready for the upcoming school year. One way to start is to encourage your child to read a book or to do a crossword puzzle or word search together.  If your child likes math, do math problems with them, flash cards, multiplication or children’s Sudoku.  This will help prepare your child for the upcoming school year.

Set a Place for Studying – Even kindergartners have homework these days, so having a dedicated place for school work is important. Set up an area that is ONLY for homework; buy a small table, put up a cork board and calendar.  Have a place for assignments, to do and completed.  Set up this area with the kids so that they can be involved and get excited about the new school year.

Talk About the School Year – The school year not only means a break from the summer routine, but it also means new teachers, new friends and maybe even a new school. Be sure to talk about this new school year, when the day starts and ends, what your schedule will be like, who will be taking them to school and who will be picking them up.  If your child will be walking to school, walk with him/her a few times before school starts.  If your child is going to take a bus, walk them to the bus stop and explain bus pick up and drop off times.

Tool Up for School – Most teachers and/or schools will provide you with a list of supplies that your child will need for school, but being prepared ahead of time will make the first day easier and help to avoid the long lines at school supply stores once school starts. Many schools have rewards programs and charity programs where credit for purchases go toward supporting a school cause or program, be certain to check this out before you make a purchase.

Safety First – It is important that your child (no matter what age) has emergency phone numbers and has reviewed some basic safety tips. Some important numbers for them to have are parents, grandparents, neighbors, school #, and police.  Remind younger children of their home address and “stranger” rules.

Back to School Clothing – Your child will likely want to follow the latest trends in fashion, but before you head out (or go online) to shop for school clothes, search the school’s website for the school district’s dress code. Another tip is to wait a week or two so your kids can see what others are wearing before doing school clothes shopping. This will let your child get a sense of new fashion styles worn by other students and will allow you to take advantage of sales.

New to Area – If you are new to the area, be sure to register ahead of time. Arrange to visit your assigned school and arrange to meet their new teacher(s). Some experts feel that younger children benefit by going to the school’s playground to play before the school year starts. It helps ease anxiety and helps kids feel comfortable with the new surroundings.

We hope these Back To School Tips are helpful and that you have a wonderful and successful school year. In the meantime, I am not quite letting go of summer and looking forward to Labor Day Weekend before it all begins again!