The back to school countdown has officially started. Teachers reported back to schools today and in just a week students will return to classrooms.
Bus routes are now live and online. Parents can access them by visiting the "Back 2 School" section of our Web site at: leeschools.net/Back2School/.
The School District of Lee County asks that parents help prepare their students for walking, biking and riding the bus to school next week by considering the following:
- Over the next few days, practice walking with your child to and from the bus stop or to and from school at the time of morning or afternoon they would normally be walking. Talk with your child about the safest places to walk, where they might cross the street and where they might need to practice extra caution while walking the route.
- If your child is to be a regular bus rider during the school year, put them on the bus on the first day of school. By allowing them to ride the bus on the first day, your student, the bus operator and school will identify any problem areas more quickly, helping your child adjust easily in the first week.
- If possible, wait with your child at the bus stop on the first morning and use this time to exchange names and numbers with other parents whose children use the same stop.
Additionally, the district offers the following tips to help ensure your child is ready to get back into the routine of the school year:
- Make plans to attend the Open House event at your child's school. Open House dates and school supply lists can be found online. If you are unable to attend your child's Open House, you can contact the school's front office to schedule a meeting with the principal or assistant principal if needed.
- Assist your child with returning to a regular sleep schedule this week by having them head to bed as if it were a school day. Sleep is important to childhood development and learning, especially during the "tween" or middle-school years.
- Make as many preparations as possible the night prior to the first day of school. This could entail pre-packing backpacks, compiling any needed paperwork (i.e. class schedules, maps of the school campus, etc.) - anything to help avoid last-minute scrambling, which can add to the anxiety level on the first day.
- Try laying out the outfit your child wants to wear the night before - again, to avoid any last minute issues. And if you bought a new pair of shoes for school, you may want to have your child "break them in" a bit prior to "lacing them up" for the first day.
- If your child is bringing a lunch, be sure to make and pack it in time to hit the road or make the bus stop. If they are participating in the school's lunch program, be sure they have money or that you've enrolled in any pre-pay program that may exist - and don't forget to check out the lunch menu on the district's Web site.
- If you transport your child to and from school, please remember to allow for spending some extra time in the "Parent Pick-Up" line during the first week or two of school.
- Being nervous on the first day is normal - for both students and parents. There's always a certain level of excitement on the first day. Let your child know it's OK to feel that way, but remind them that they will quickly be making new friends and having fun and learning new and exciting things.
The district also offered the following tips for commuters and community members:
- Remember, summer is over and that means more vehicles on the roadways in the morning and afternoon - especially those really large, yellow school buses. Be sure to plan extra time getting to and from work.
- Watch for children in the pre-dawn hours as they make their way to school or the bus stop - drive slowly to avoid a tragic situation from taking place. Remember, many high school students begin waiting at bus stops in the early morning hours when it is still dark.
- Watch for established school zones - the flashing lights and/or signage that indicate a slower speed during certain times of the day.
- When a bus stops and extends the flashing "Stop Signs" on its side, be sure to do just that - stop. If the bus is dropping students off in the afternoon, be vigilant to ensure they don't dart out in front of your vehicle as you start to drive away.