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The first day of school is not just a big day for the children themselves. For many of you, it’s the first time you have sent a child off to school which means it’s a big day for you, too.

ResponsiveEd’s Executive Director of School Operations Steve Gast has advice for making the first day go more smoothly.

  1. Be positive: It’s pretty likely that your child will be nervous to start the new school year. Being extremely positive and enthusiastic with them over the start of a new school year can go a long way in reassuring them that it will be a really great year.

  2. Start your evening routine for school as soon as possible: The sooner you get them back into the nightly routine the smoother the start of school will be. It will probably change your routine as well. It’s the first day back for parents too.

  3. Make lunchtime easy: Don’t give your child a drink for lunch that they can’t open themselves. (I’m looking at you, unnamed pouched fruit drink with a fiddly straw). Also, any ‘strange’ or ‘new’ food, however convenient it might be – again, I’m looking at you, unnamed wax-covered cheese product– should probably be avoided.

  4. Medical alert: If your child has an inhaler or medication, make sure to notify the front office on the first day and follow up to make sure your child’s teacher knows about it, and put a sticker or tag on it with instructions. If your child is allergic to anything, inform the school the first day. The school will need this information to ensure that everyone knows how to care for your child properly.

  5. Meet and chat to at least one ‘new’ parent: You’ll have a lot in common over the next many years – and it’ll be very valuable to have an ally who’s going through the same process as you.

  6. Restroom rules: It is very common in lower grade classes for the teacher to bring the class to the bathroom together, so remind your little one to go then, even if they are absolutely positive they don’t need to go. They do, and they will! Reminding them to always wash their hands and educate them on the use of hand sanitizer if appropriate.

  7. Label everything: And I mean, everything. You don’t want to be buying a new jumper and Peppa Pig lunchbox in October.  Many schools could start a clothing/shoe store with items left by our students because the item was not labeled.

  8. Know the school’s morning routines: Many schools have a morning routine or gathering point for students entering the building. Please make sure you know where your child is to go and that they get there the first few days of school.

  9. Prepare for carline: Most all schools will operate a “car line” for dropping off and picking up students. Plan to give yourself extra time to get through the carline on the first day. Please become familiar with the process and follow it at all times. This will allow for an orderly and drop off and pick up procedure each and every day.

  10. Look for shoes that are easy to tie:  For those kindergartners and 1st graders, try to put your child in shoes that have Velcro clasps. Avoid laces, for obvious reasons.

  11. Check their bags: Empty the child’s bag every day when they get home– especially in the first few weeks, this is the time much important information is sent home in backpacks.

  12. Keep school nights quiet: Your students will probably be exhausted after their first few days of school. Try and keep this in mind and try not to plan activities on school nights. It will take your child a few weeks to get back in the swing of school…..probably you too.

  13. Reassure your kindergartener, and enjoy the first day experience: When you’re dropping off a kindergartner, make sure to tell them that you will be back to collect them. Of course, if it won’t be you that will be picking them up, you need to tell this to them and of course, the school. Don’t worry, tears are totally normal for the young first timers (also known as kindergartners). They aren’t upset with you, and you’re not a ‘bad’ parent for walking away. For you first time parents or those who are dropping off a kindergartner or young student for the first time. Enjoy the morning and don’t cry until you’re in the car/bus on the way home. Easier said than done! We’ll do all we can to help and we know that nothing will ever replace your love and devotion to your little one – we’re just here to help them get on their way to great things.


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