It can be difficult to think about school while you’re still enjoying summer vacation, but September comes quickly, and being prepared makes all the difference for a successful school year.

Here’s a helpful back-to-school checklist for parents, to take some of the the sting out of prepping for back to school this fall!

1 month before school

  • Mark important school dates on your calendar.
  • Make sure immunizations are up to date.
  • Schedule medical checkup, dental checkup, and vision test for your kids.
  • Research extracurricular activities for the year.
  • Look for before- and after-school care.
  • Coordinate/confirm end date of summer care and start date of school-year before- and after-school care.
  • Check the school’s list of supplies your child will need.
  • Go through kids’ fall clothing and donate or toss anything kids have outgrown or worn out.
  • Start your back-to-school shopping for backpacks, lunch bags, school clothes, and shoes.
  • Review the school’s summer learning requirements.
  • Find out if the school has an orientation or other program or event for parents.

2–3 weeks before school

  • Familiarize yourself with your child’s school dress code, regulations, emergency procedures, and other policies.
  • Get organized! Set up a “go” station by the door to get kids ready on time, consider setting up a homework station and creating a shared calendar for the whole family.
  • Schedule kids’ haircuts for the week before school.
  • Buy school supplies like pencils, pens, crayons, paper.
  • Start gradually moving kids back to the school-year bedtime.
  • Establish a filing spot for all school notices you receive.
  • Set up an inbox/outbox for forms that need to be signed/returned.

1 week before school

  • Get back on school-year bedtime.
  • Get haircuts.
  • Stock up on pantry essentials for lunches and snacks as well as sandwich bags and ice packs.
  • Prep lunches, snacks, and quick breakfasts, and some frozen dinners.
  • Confirm before- and after-school care and extra-curricular activities for kids.
  • Practice getting to school with kids and make sure kids know the pickup and drop-off routine.
  • Make sure young kids know how to open all their lunch bags/boxes and food containers on their own.
  • Talk with your child about what to expect at school and discuss any concerns s/he may have.
  • Make sure your child knows your home address, home phone number, and work phone number.

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