Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back to School Questions You Should Ask

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles


Learn As Much As Possible Before School Starts

Has your child gone back to school yet?  We visited our son's new school for orientation this week.  I knew that since we moved this summer, I would have plenty of questions since it is a new school for him and I want to make sure the first day of school goes as smoothly as possible.  As we walked around the school, visited the classroom and met his new teacher, I came up with a few more questions which I'm glad I did before we left.  If you haven't met your child's teacher, here are a few questions or food for thought I wanted to share that I think are important to ask about if you don't already know the answers.

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Things to Know About Your Child's School/Class Before Heading Back to School

Many of the answers to these questions are usually found on the school's website or the teacher will provide the information ahead of time by sending a folder or paper with the answers.  It's always good to ask, however, if you are not sure! 

Questions to Ask Your Child's Teacher:
  • What time does school start/end?  What's the earliest you can bring your child to school?  I know, this is an obvious one to figure out but it's always a good idea to be certain what time your child can actually be dropped off at school and what's the latest they can be picked up before they are sent to extended day.  Things happen that you can't always control so you need to know what happens to your child in those circumstances if you arrive a few minutes late.
  • Where is the pick up/drop off for your child's way of getting to and from school?  If your child is a walker, make sure you and your child know where he is supposed to go, what time they are released and what to do in case of inclement weather.  Know the procedure for picking up your child in the car lanes and what you need to do if there is a day you cannot pick up your child if you normally will be doing that.  
  • Is there a form to write the names of who you will allow to pick up your child other than his usual way home?  What is the procedure for pick up in case of emergencies or appointments where he needs to be picked up early?
  • If your child will be buying lunch, do you need to send him with money every day or is there a parent account you need to deposit money into?  
  • Does your child need to wear specific type of clothes, shoes or other outerwear for P.E.?  Consider asking about what day P.E. is on so you can make sure your child wears proper attire that day and enough sunscreen!
  • What is the best way to get in contact with your child's teacher if you need to have a parent conference or a quick question to ask during the school year?
  • If you are available to volunteer, ask about different ways you can help out during the school year.  Can you chaperone field trips, help with parties, bring in treats for your child's birthday?
  • Does your child need to bring in any extra items that were not on the list?  For instance, we found out at orientation that our son needed to bring his own water bottle daily since his class room is in a portable and there will be no water fountain nearby.  He is also required to label it with his name along with placing labels or marking his name on all of his belongings.  

We are glad we found out all of this information ahead of time so it lessens the stress and anxiety of the first day.  Our son feels more confident now for his first day of school and so do I!

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What are some other questions you would ask your child's teacher?

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