Five Back-to-School Tips for the New School Year

Getting ready to send the kids back to school? Here are some tips for a smooth start to the new year!

August 24, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

Whether your child is starting school for the first time or is returning for another year, a new school year can be exciting and challenging—for both your child and for you.

Use these tips and resources to get your best start to the school year!

Child waking up
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Set a Schedule

Help your child get ready for his or her school schedule by setting a new bedtime several days before school starts. Getting used to a new schedule slowly rather than all at once can help your child prepare to wake up earlier and can cut down on first-day tiredness and jitters.

Parent and child outside of school
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Reduce the number of surprises in your child’s school day by helping him or her get familiar with his or her new routine.

Take your child to visit his or her school before the first day. If you can, walk around his or her new classroom and introduce yourselves to the teacher. If your child will take the bus to school, visit his or her bus stop and practice waiting. If your child will walk or take the subway, practice going together until your child is comfortable and knows the way.

Depending on how far your child has to travel to school, s/he may be eligible for a reduced-fare MetroCard. Find out more here.

Also, don’t miss these tips on How to Use the New York City Subway!

Student with packed backpack
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Be Prepared

Get the information you need ahead of time. Use this search tool to find where your child’s school is, its start and end times, and its website. The official New York City Public School Calendar has scheduled parent-teacher conferences, exams, school holidays, and more.

If your child needs new clothes for school, these NYC clothing closets and thrift stores offer gently used items available for low or no cost. Visit one of these back-to-school giveaway events to pick up a free backpack, already filled with the supplies your child needs for the school year.

Don’t miss the HabanaWorks Back to School Bash! Stop by for fun, games, and back-to-school giveaways including pencils, notebooks, rulers, and more—all for free!  

Remember, free breakfast is given to all students in NYC’s public school system. Need help paying for lunch? Apply here for school-meal benefits for your child.

If your child needs help taking medicine, using an inhaler, or getting shots, treatments, or other medical care at school, make sure you fill out and submit the right health forms early so that your child can get the care s/he needs.

Check out these back-to-school basics for even more ways to be prepared!

Parent Teacher Conference
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Get Involved

Keep on top of your child’s test scores, grades, and attendance with MyStudent. Find out how your child is doing in school and if there are areas where s/he needs help from you or someone else.

NYC public school students and families have access to family support coordinators who can work with you and your child to improve his or her school experience and performance. Find out how to contact your family support coordinator here.

Reading to your child can also help him or her do better in school. Find out Why You Should Read to Your Child.

Encourage your child to get involved with his or her school through sports, clubs, or other groups. Finding new ways to socialize and learn can help your child make friends and build confidence.

Parent and teen talking
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Talk, Listen, and Pay Attention

A new school year is full of experiences and opportunities that can be exciting, but they can also be difficult—especially for teens. Stress, anxiety, and peer pressure can affect any child at any age.

If you suspect that your child is struggling with depression, bullying, or another problem, talk about it. Together you may be able to decide on the correct action to take. If you believe that your child is in immediate danger or likely to harm himself or herself, call 9-1-1.

Always try to be aware of what your child is experiencing. Your interest and concern may be just what your child needs.


© 2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“10 Teachers’ Tips for Kick-Starting the New School Year,” Accessed July 5, 2016.

“The New York City Department of Education,” Accessed July 6, 2016.

“SchoolFood,” Accessed July 6, 2016.

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