Make Your Best Back-to-School Checklist Yet!

Make Your Best Back-to-School Checklist Yet!

The ABCs of getting ready for the classroom

A return to the classroom can mean equal parts joy and worry for parents. No more having to find endless activities to keep our children engaged, but it also brings work with keeping tabs on homework and grades and setting up our children for all around growth and success. 

The return to school can be overwhelming, so here is a list of things to consider ahead of the start of school so you are not scrambling the night before classes begin (although, who are we kidding, there will always be some scrambling!)

1. Enrollment and School Readiness: The first step on any back-to-school checklist is to ensure your child is officially enrolled in their respective school. If they are starting school for the first time, or making the jump to middle or high school, or switching schools, this can be tricky. Visit Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), at Also, make sure to update any necessary information, emergency contacts and medical records. Check for any orientation days or meet-the-teacher events to help your child become familiar with their new surroundings.

2. Transportation Options: Plan and review transportation options to and from school. If your child is using the school bus, familiarize them with the route and schedule. Alternatively, if they're walking, biking or getting a ride, go over safety rules and guidelines.

3. After-School Programs: Explore after-school programs to keep your child engaged, learning and safe beyond regular school hours. Thanks to the generous funding from The Children's Trust, there are hundreds of programs that cater to various interests and talents. To access these programs and others offered by Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County, take advantage of the More AfterSchool Choices initiative at or simply call 211.

4. Health and Immunizations: Ensure your child is up to date with all required vaccinations. The UHealth Pediatric Mobile Unit, which visits different neighborhoods, offers free health checks and vaccinations for those in need. Ensuring your child's health is vital to their well-being throughout the school year. Visit and search for “UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic Monthly Schedule” or call 305.243.6407.

5. Addressing Emotional Needs: Talk to your child about their feelings regarding the return to school. Address any anxieties they may have and emphasize the positive aspects of the upcoming year. Encourage open communication and let them know you are there to support and listen. When they do start classes, remind them they can talk to mental health professionals and social workers, half of which are funded by The Trust. 

6. Establishing Routines: Gradually establish routines to ease the transition. Encourage your child to go to bed earlier to ensure they are well-rested for the school day. Set mealtime routines and focus on providing balanced, nutritious meals. Additionally, consider reducing digital consumption to help them unwind and focus on other activities.

7. Social Interaction: Reconnect your child with friends they may not have seen during the summer break. Organize playdates or outings to reignite social connections and reduce any social anxieties they may have about going back to school.

8. Shopping for School Supplies: Involve your child in shopping for school supplies. This can help build excitement and anticipation for the new academic year. Make a list of essential items, including backpacks, notebooks, pens, and any other specific requirements from the school.

9. Academic Preparation: Encourage your child to review previous material, particularly in subjects they may find challenging. This can help them feel more confident as they step into the new grade level.

10. Positive Reinforcement: Throughout the back-to-school preparation process, offer positive reinforcement and praise for your child's efforts. Celebrate their achievements and remind them of their strengths and abilities.

By focusing on their emotional well-being, physical health and academic preparedness, you can help pave the way for a successful and fulfilling school year. Remember, your support and encouragement play a significant role in shaping their educational journey.