Your Back-to-School Checklist | Reader's Digest

Your Back-to-School Checklist

A list of the most important things to remember for your child's new school year.

By Glenn Gordon from readersdigest.com

School supplies. Bus schedules. Medical forms. There’s so much you have to take care of when your child begins a school year, it’s a real challenge to keep track of everything. To assist you, here’s a helpful, easy-to-print checklist of things to remember for your child’s new school year with information provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

1. Call your child’s school to make sure all registration requirements have been taken care of, including emergency and medical forms. This is also a good time to verify the date and time that school begins, inquire about school lunches, and get a schedule of important dates.

2. Call your child’s pediatrician to make sure all vaccinations are up to date. If your child has any chronic medical conditions, be sure to contact the school with this information. It is also a good idea to take your child for an eye examination before school starts, in case there is a need for glasses.

3. Get a supplies list from the school or your child’s teacher before you buy more than the essentials, as some teachers have very specific requests. If you don’t want to wait until the shopping rush, try to touch base with your child’s teacher a few days before school starts. Teachers are generally setting up their classrooms at that time and will probably be reachable.

4. Be sure that your child knows her home phone number and address, as well as your work phone or the number of another trusted adult. If she is too young to memorize these facts, keep a contact card in her backpack and be sure to explain that she should show the card to her teacher or another school official in an emergency.

5. Figure out where your child will catch the school bus before school starts. This is also a good time to reinforce safety behaviors with your child, such as waiting at the bus stop after school with a friend and never accepting rides from strangers.

6. Plan for what your child will be doing after school. If you will not be there when he gets home, make sure he knows who will be responsible for him, what the rules are, and how to get help in an emergency.