Back-to-school tips from teachers

By PERRY SMITH / Staff Writer

For those preparing to start another year of school, dealing with last minute, end-of-summer anxiety and the back-to-school transition is not always easy.

The Shelby County Reporter polled several administrators, teachers, parents and bus drivers for advice to help avoid common problems. Their feedback is outlined below:

– Register your child for school as soon as possible. Registering even a day before the school year starts is a good way to prevent your child from missing class.

– For the first couple of days even children who normally ride the bus are dropped off, creating heavier traffic than usual. Please be patient with teachers and administrators and plan to wait a few extra minutes.

– If you have a younger child riding the bus or if you have moved recently, make sure he/she knows his/her address. This will ensure your child gets home as quickly as possible and make the bus driver’s life much easier.

– If your child gets home a little later than expected in the first few days of school, don’t panic. Calling the school is encouraged as a quick way to find out where your child is if he/she is running late.

– Make sure that if your child hasn’t started a summer reading list that he/she complete it before the first day of school. Calera’s vice-principal Brent Copes said the lists are more than suggestions and kids should plan on getting tested on the material.

– Parents who use lunchroom accounts are encouraged to periodically check to make sure their account is current, which will make things much smoother at lunchtime.

– Check the supply list and make sure your child has all of the required materials. In the last few days of summer, most stores will have back-to-school sales that will make this cheaper and easier, and a few chains will have supply lists on hand.

– Get to know your child’s teacher. This will make it easier to stay on top of your child’s progress and make it easier to approach if there is a question or problem.

– Students and parents are encouraged, when available, to use an online system that posts grades on a special Web site. This helps cut down on any surprises when report cards come out.

– Make sure your contact information is up to. In the event of an emergency, it is essential that administrators have a way to contact a child’s parent or guardian as soon as possible.

– Have a positive attitude. Your child should know that regardless of any past problems he/she may have had, a new school year is a fresh start for teachers, students and administrators