Road Safety for Back to School and More Back to School Tips
It's that time again! The children of our community are on their way back to school, which means we have to be extra cautious on the roads in the mornings and afternoons.To help you prepare for the season ahead, we have a few driving and general tips to make the first days of school run smoothly. Here’s to an A+ in Back to School Readiness!
Driving Tip #1: Get an Early Start
If you are rushed in the morning, you may want to leave a few minutes early, especially if you pass through a school zone. Or you may want to find an alternate route to avoid traffic congestion.
Driving Tip #2: Take a Second Look
Look twice before backing out of driveways and parking spaces, and go slowly.
Driving Tip #3: Watch for “School Zone” signs
Watch for signs indicating schools zones and obey posted speed limits.
Driving Tip #4: No Texting or Talking in the School Zone
Don't talk on the phone or text while driving.
Driving Tip #5: Maintain a Safe Distance from School Buses
Keep your distance behind school buses, and never pass a bus when it's loading or unloading.
Driving Tip #6: Watch for Children at Intersections
Take an extra moment to look for children at intersections, crosswalks and bus stops.
Driving Tip #7: No Tailgating!
In heavy traffic, maintain a safe distance - at least three seconds - behind other cars.
The following are general tips to make sure that both you and your children are prepared for a successful school year.
Tip #1: Re-establish School Year Routines
Use the last few weeks of summer to get used to the school-year schedule. Re-establish bed times and practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time each day. Start eating meals on a “school day” schedule as well. If possible, plan an early morning trip or two to get the kids accustomed to getting out of the door in a hurry.
Tip #2: Nurture Independence
Your child will need to manage a lot of things on her own while in school, so prepare her by giving her age-appropriate responsibilities. These can include organizing school materials, bringing home homework, etc. A younger child can practice tying his own shoes or writing his name.
Tip #3: Create a Launch Pad
Designate a space in your home where backpacks and lunchboxes are kept so that they can easily be located. A list of things to take to school each day can be posted in the same location.
Tip #4: Set Up a Time and Place for Homework
Establish a time and place for studying at home and make yourself available to monitor your child’s progress, as your schedule allows.
Tip #5: After-School Plans
Since most children finish school before their parents get off of work, determine where they will spend the hours immediately following school.
Tip #6: Make a Sick-Day Game Plan
Before the school year begins, line up a trusted babysitter, family member or parental group to assist when your child gets sick. You may have to sign forms ahead of time listing the people who have permission to pick up your child.
Tip #7: Attend Orientations to Meet and Greet
Attend the orientation and information sessions that your children’s school hosts at the beginning of the year. This is a prime opportunity to meet the teachers, administrators and front desk personnel that are responsible for your child(ren) during the day.
Tip #8: Talk to the Teachers
When you talk to your child’s teachers, ask about their approach to homework: Is it given as a means of practicing skills or will the assignments be factored into the child’s grade? Ask for a schedule of tests and major tasks so that you can help your son or daughter to manage his or her time.
Tip #9: Make it a Family Affair
Involve your child in preparing for his success in school. Work together to create a routine chart or schedule: After school, will she engage in recreational activities or homework first? The more input your child has in the planning process, the more likely he is to succeed.
Tip #10: Create Calendar Central
Create a centralized space in your home for all family calendars and schedules. This is a great way to coordinate school events, after school programs, volunteer work, medical appointments and more.
Tip #11: Plan Before You Shop
Take a day and assess each child’s clothing needs before shopping for new uniforms or outfits. Have a super laundry day (or two) to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go. If there are items that can be recycle from an older child to a younger child, do that as well. As for school supplies, make sure that you have an up-to-date list from the school and shop early!
Tip #12: Gather Your Papers
Be sure to have your immunization and medical records in a convenient location. Also keep a copy of your child’s birth certificate handy, just in case it’s needed for school registration.
Tip #13: Make a Practice Run
Before school begins, make a practice run to get kids ready and out the door on time. If they are walking to school, be sure they know the the route that they need to take. If they are a part of a car-pool, be sure to leave enough time to account for rush-hour traffic. If they will be riding a bus, make sure they know the location of the bus stop and when it is scheduled to pick them up.
Tip #14: Spiff Up Household Systems
The laid-back days of summer are a thing of the past, so it’s time to get better organized in general. Work on discovering ways to clean fast, get healthy meals on the table in record time, and stay on top of the paper overload that usually occurs when children start bringing assignments home. A little preparation time now will save you lots of time later.
Here’s to an awesome school year, both on the road and at home!