Getting Ready for a Great School Year: Your One-Week Countdown

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Whether your child is eagerly anticipating their return to the classroom or feeling a bit hesitant about the new adventure, a well-prepared start can set the tone for a successful year ahead. To help your family make a smooth transition, we've put together a one-week countdown checklist. Let's dive in!
Download and print your own: PDF
Lista de verificación: en Español
back to school checklist
**One Week Before: Prepare the Groundwork**
1. Re-establish Routines: Start adjusting bedtimes and waking times gradually to ease back into the school schedule. Regular routines help kids feel secure and prepared.
2. Organize Clothes & Supplies: Take an inventory of school supplies and make a shopping list for any items that need replenishing. Get your child involved in selecting their clothes and supplies to build excitement.
3. Register (middle & high schoolers) and Review School Basics: Remind your child of practical details such as school and classroom expectations and any changes in school policies.
**Four Days Before: Set the Stage**
4. Create a Homework Area: Designate a quiet and organized space for your child to complete homework assignments. Stock it with supplies like pens, pencils, paper, and a comfortable chair.
5. Talk About Goals: Sit down with your child and discuss their academic and personal goals for the upcoming year. This helps set a positive tone for their attitude towards learning.
6. Arrange Final Summer Fun: Reconnecting with friends before school starts can help ease any nerves, rekindle friendships, and bring closure to the summer. 
**Three Days Before: Get Organized**
7. Plan Breakfast, Lunches, and Snacks: Make a grocery run and plan nutritious meals and snacks that your child will enjoy. Or, check out our menus to see our free breakfast and lunch options. 
8. Double-Check Outfits: Ensure that all clothing is clean, well-fitted, and ready to go.
**Two Days Before: Ease the Jitters**
9. Visit the School: If your child is transitioning to a new school, consider attending orientation or attending welcome-back events to explore and get familiar with the campus.
10. Add Important Dates: Make sure you are updating your family calendar with upcoming dates and events, including Back to School nights. 
**One Day Before: Final Touches**
11. Pack Backpacks: Help your child pack their backpack with all the necessary items, including supplies, a water bottle, a snack, and any important documents.
12. Lay Out Clothes: Choose an outfit for the first day of school and lay it out so the morning routine is smoother.
13. Check Schedules (middle & high schoolers): figure out what classes and teachers you have, and where to go.
14. Print Out and Customize Your Back to School Signs (one for each grade level)
15. Watch the PUSD Music Video Debut on our YouTube channel
**The Big Day: Embrace the Excitement**
16. Start the Day Right: Begin the day with a nutritious breakfast and some positive affirmations to boost your child's confidence.
17. Capture Memories: Take a "first day of school" photo with your Back to School Sign to commemorate the start of a new year. It's a fun tradition that captures growth and change. Post your pics on social media with #PUSDBacktoSchool or email them to [email protected] 
18. Arrive Early: Aim to arrive a bit early to account for traffic and help your child settle into their new routine and surroundings.
19. Share Stories After School: When your child returns home, ask about their day and encourage them to share their experiences. This helps foster open communication.
20. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge your child's efforts and celebrate their small achievements, like making a new friend or successfully navigating a new schedule.
By following this one-week countdown checklist, you're setting the stage for a strong start to the school year. Wishing all of our Poway Unified students a year full of growth, learning, and wonderful memories. Here's to a successful start, PUSD!