OPINION: Gearing Up For Back To School

It is time to tackle the to-do checklist.

The countdown has begun— a mere 9 days until the school bells rings to usher in a new academic year in Marlborough. Nine days until the alarm clock rings and the rush to get the kids dressed, fed and out the door to meet the school bus begins. Now is the time to buckle down and gear up for all the pre-school preparations.

There are a number of items on the to-do checklist that must be completed in order for your child to start off the school year successfully.

1. Make sure that your child has had a recent physical. Schools require students to have their immunizations up-to-date and must be notified of any allergies, chronic illnesses or changes in medical history. 

2. Stock up on healthy snacks. By offering your children nutritional choices for breakfast and lunch and avoiding the quick fix of sugary cereals and pre-packages lunches, parents teach their children to make smart food choices for themselves. Offering fresh fruits and vegetables and water or low-fat milk as opposed to chips and soda goes a long way towards promoting a healthy lifestyle and maintaining an appropriate calorie intake.

3. Plan ahead for before and after school care. There are plenty of ways to avoid the pitfalls that accompany a latchkey kid (those left home with no supervision). If there is not a friend or neighbor who can help with the child care, both the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest (Discovery Club) and the YMCA of Central Massachusetts (School’s out Program) offer before school care beginning at 7am and runs after school until 6 pm.

For more information on these programs contact:

Boys & Girls Discovery Club: Annette Vargas 508-485-4912 or Annette.vargas@bgcmetrowest.org

YMCA School’s out Program:

Jaworek site coordinator: Chelsea Ambrozaitis @ CAmbrozaitis@ymcaofcm.org

Kane site coordinator: Amanda Lauze @ ALauze@ymcaofcm.org

M-Intermediate site coordinator: Brett Erickson @ BErickson@ymcaofcm.org

4. Stock up on school supplies. Teachers will often post classroom supply lists on the school website or, for younger children, lists are sometimes sent in the mail along with a welcome note. Because back-to-school supplies provide tremendous revenue for stores, sales are not hard to find - check the newspaper and even Facebook for coupons.The National Retail Federation estimates the cost of a student’s school supply list to be $89 so it is prudent to shop around and reap the benefit of big savings.  

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