Get Ahead With This School Year Checklist
- Back to School
With the summer ending soon, it’s time to look toward the upcoming school year and ensure your child is ready to take on another year of growth. While some things can be done after the start of the school year, there are important items to complete or consider before the first day of school. The list below can be used for a smooth and informed transition for your scholar.
Here are 10 things you can do now to prepare for the 2023-24 school year:
Complete enrollment or verification.
Each year, enrollment for students new to the district and verification for returning students must be completed before the first day of school. This is an important task for multiple reasons – the information you provide ensures we have the most up-to-date contact and medical information for your child, you are notified of any new changes to our district policies, and more.
Enrollment and verification opens August 1. You can get started here.
Discuss and set academic goals.
Before the school year starts, talk with your child about their academic goals and identify at least one area of growth. Next, discuss what growth goal is attainable. Perhaps your child has been challenged with reading, so they commit to reading for 30 minutes every evening during the school week. Or maybe your child has expressed an interest in construction. Their goal might include taking a set of classes geared toward acquiring construction skills. Each child is unique, so it’s important to set goals aligned with where they are now and what they desire to achieve.
- Plan your schedule and set daily routines.
Our goal for this year is to ensure that every student attends school regularly.
Showing up for school has a huge impact on a scholar’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.
Returning to the school year routine can be a difficult shift for families, but it’s important to start thinking about how you can start preparing your child for a smooth transition into the school year for regular, on-time attendance. Did you know, missing just 20% of the school year, or just 2-3 days per month can lead to significant learning loss?
If your child’s schedule has significantly changed during the summer months, try slowly shifting your child’s wake-up and bedtime. Doing so in advance of the first day of school can help your child ease back into their school year routine, and when a child is able to wake up on time, they have a greater chance of getting to school on time as well.
Be ready to connect with your child's school.
With the new school year comes new teachers for your child. Start jotting down any questions you have for your child’s new teacher(s) and think about any helpful information you’d like to share with them. Once the school year begins, you may start to receive general messages from your child’s teacher about what’s happening in class and your child’s school will have an Open House event for families to briefly connect with teachers.
However, consider getting a head start on establishing a strong relationship with your child’s school now by taking note of their office hours and other information posted on their website. Plan to attend back-to-school events, and if you have questions, reach out to the main office at your child’s school.
Download the Parent Square app and sync your calendar with your child’s school calendar.
Parent Square is an all-in-one communications tool that allows families to stay connected from anywhere. Families can receive district, school, and classroom communication via email text, or app, sign up for appointments, receive messages in their home language, and more! Additionally, families can sync their child’s school calendar with their personal calendar to keep all important events in one place.
All FWPS families should have received an email invitation to join Parent Square in June. If you can't find your invitation email or are new to FWPS, contact Communications at 253-945-2264.
Establish childcare, if necessary.
FWPS partners with Right at School to provide childcare at every district elementary school. Check out their website and review rates to set up convenient childcare in a familiar environment for your child.
Learn more at www.fwps.org/childcare.
Stay aware when traveling to, from, and around school campuses.
Student safety is our top priority. When the school year begins, many children will be walking or biking to school, using neighborhood crosswalks, and more. Please discuss safe walking tips with your child and other ways to stay safe to and from school.
Additionally, make sure your child knows what to do if they feel uncomfortable at any point during their travels to school and how to report any incidents they experience or witness. Remember, the Safe Tip Line is available for students, families, staff, and community members to report school-related safety concerns or potential threats at 253-945-SAFE (7233).
Review meal menus and request dietary accommodations, if necessary.
All FWPS scholars can receive free breakfast and lunch throughout the school year on school days. When school begins, you can view meal menus online.
Vegetarian options are available daily. If your child has additional dietary restrictions due to food allergies or other medical or religious dietary restrictions, please get in touch with FWPS Nutrition Services as soon as possible to request special diet accommodations at 253-945-5555.
Explore class options, extracurricular activities, and clubs.
Every school year brings about new ways to get involved at school. Take the time to research what opportunities are available to your child, as some courses and experiences are grade-level specific. From running clubs and robotics to theater productions and advanced courses, there is an abundance of options to explore and participate in throughout the school year.
You can review available courses for middle and high school students in the course catalog, and browse your child’s school website or call their school to learn more about extracurricular activities.
Schedule required immunizations.
To attend school, unless there is exemption documentation on file, all families must provide medically verified immunization records that show their scholar is compliant or in the process of becoming compliant with all required immunizations. Please note, there are specific required immunizations for preschool and kindergarten-aged children and children entering 7th grade.
Luckily, there are several free immunization clinics available this summer to complete this task and ensure your child’s immunizations are up to date. Learn more about immunization requirements and plan a visit to an upcoming clinic.
These are just some of the ways you can support your scholar as they approach the new school year. You can find more information to prepare for school in the Back-to-School Resource Hub at www.fwps.org/Back-to-School.