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Head into the new school year with confidence

Back to School 2008

Posted: August 10, 2008 8:55 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Schools across the SCV will be opening this week. Be sure to plan ahead and make sure your students are prepared for the new school year.

Anxiety. Elation. Angst.

Homework. Report cards. PTA membership drives, science projects, tears of rejection or frustration, smiles of success.

Back to routine, back to traffic jams.

The cycle starts all over again this week as elementary school districts around the Santa Clarita Valley throw open their doors for another school year.

With kids heading back to school during the "dog days" of August, it's important for them to stay cool and well hydrated - they need to drink lots of water, wear sunscreen and don light, comfortable clothing before boarding the bus or hopping in the car.

Marinne Hamor, categorical programs administrator for the Sulphur Springs Union School District, offers a host of other helpful hints for parents of elementary-school-aged students.

First, plan ahead. "For every big day we plan ahead, and this is one of those big days," said Hamor, former principal of Leona Cox Community School. "It's important to get a good night's sleep before the first day of school, and it's best to start the back-to-school bedtime routine well before the first day."

Hamor also said parents should make sure kids eat a good breakfast before heading off to school.

Parents should make sure their students have a well-lighted, quiet place to do homework, Hamor said.

And they shouldn't send their student off to school without making sure the youngster either brings a lunch or knows how to get one. Also highly recommended is a backpack.

"There is a lot of paperwork that comes home on the first day of school," she said. "Make sure your child knows to put all the papers into the backpack, and tell your child you'll go through the papers together after school.

"Then make sure you do read all the papers. You'll have emergency cards you need to return, and talk to your child about the school rules and other information."

Schedules such as the school calendar and hours for library, PE or after-school activities should be displayed conveniently for the entire household.

"It's good to post some of these on the refrigerator where everyone can see them," she said. "It's important to know what days are early release days, when school begins and ends, back-to-school night and other important dates."

If the student needs medication at school, it should be delivered before the first day back.

"The first week of school is very busy for everyone," Hamor said. "The school office is extra-busy during this week, and getting the school informed is important for keeping everyone safe."

And finally, Hamor advises parents who drive their students to school to make sure they get an early start.
Traffic jams around Santa Clarita Valley schools are notorious, and they're particularly bad on the first day of classes.


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