Summer days are often long, fun and exhausting. As the summer progresses we inch closer and closer to back-to-school prep. Below are some topics and tips to consider as you prepare your child (and yourself) for the upcoming school year.
Each school, daycare, aftercare program or sports team may require a form documenting a recent check-up, up-to-date vaccinations, and clearance for participation. We recommend you check with each entity to see what is required. Please also verify when you need the forms. Depending on volume, we many need anywhere from 2 to 5 business days to complete the form(s) for your child. VHSL requires a check-up/sports physical after May 1, 2021 to count for the 2021-22 academic year. Follow these hyperlinks to access the VHSL sports participation form and the Virginia school entrance health form. Other forms your child needs may include school medication forms, asthma action plans, and food allergy action plans.
Long summer daylight hours often lead to staying up later. As you prepare your child to be on a sleep schedule compatible with their school day, consider taking the last week or so of summer break to have them go to bed progressively 15 minutes earlier each night (and/or potentially waking up 15 minutes earlier each morning). Friendly reminder that school-aged children should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep each night, and adolescents 8-10 hours.
In addition to re-establishing sleep routines, taking some time in August to bring more structure to the day can help prepare your child for school. If your child has yet to do any summer reading, now would be a great time to start. Depending on your child’s academic subject strengths and weaknesses, you may also consider doing some topical review. Try to do it at roughly the same time each day. You may find it helpful to schedule it around the time your child would typically be doing homework. Or, maybe use it as an indoor, air-conditioned break from the pool or other outdoor activities.
Returning to In-Person School
Whether your child did all virtual, virtual then in-person, hybrid, or all in-person, school may look and feel different this fall. Call or visit your school or school district’s website to see what COVID-related protocols will be in place so that both you and your child will better understand what to expect – especially if they were virtual for all of 2020-21. Lastly, we recommend parents become familiar with the school’s protocols for return to school following illness – what forms are required; what, if any, testing is required; etc.
If your child does not take their medication over the summer, we recommend resuming them 2-3 weeks prior the first day of school. If your child takes any of these medications while at school or aftercare programs, be sure to get the appropriate forms filled out ahead of time.