Tips for parents and caregivers for back to school

The thought of back to school can be a big adjustment for students, parents and caregivers. In order to help with the transition, our schools and staff prepare to ensure all students are welcomed back to a new school year and set-up for a successful year of learning.

To help you prepare for the first day of school, Waterloo Region District School Board is providing the following tips to help ease the transition back to school:

  • Re-adjust your child’s sleep schedule a week or two before school begins.
  • Create a morning routine. Children benefit from a written list or pictures to remind them of what they need to do in the morning in order to be ready on time.
  • Children feel more confident if they feel prepared and independent. Have them practice opening their lunch containers and backpacks, tying their shoes, or doing up their coat. For older students, preparation might be including practicing opening their lock for their locker, walking home from the bus stop or locking up their bike at school.
  • Speak positively about school. Help your children remember things they enjoyed the year before and remind them they will get to see old friends.
  • Keep evenings open and relaxed until they feel more adjusted to full days at school.
  • Encourage students to advocate for themselves. Whether it’s a 4-year-old who needs to ask to go to the washroom or to get a bandaid, or a 14-year-old who would like some clarification on the homework or who must explain why their assignment is late.
  • Don’t dismiss fears. Listen to your child and validate any fears by letting them know it is normal to feel nervous about change. Talk through the reasons why they feel concerned about the unknown.
  • The transition to high school is exciting, but also brings new pressures. Teens may be balancing school work, extracurricular activities and social life in a way they haven’t before. Be there to help them develop skills to find a healthy balance and learn how to prioritize.
  • Get involved. Whether your child is in kindergarten or in high school your involvement matters. You can learn more about your child’s school experience through school website subscription, teacher blogs, newsletters, school planners and School Council meetings.

If you have any questions throughout the school year, please talk to your child’s principal, teacher or guidance counsellor.