FAIRMONT - Getting students ready for back to school means more than shopping for new clothes and supplies.
While school bells won't begin ringing for a few more weeks, it's time to start readjusting those bedtime and morning schedules, and also think of ways to keep school a top priority throughout the year.
"We have eight tips, and we just discussed this among staff," said Fairmont Elementary School Principal Jim Davison. "First, start establishing the school routines now. Adjust the bedtimes, the morning routines, and even make a trial run-through."
PREP WORK?— Kari Duehlmeyer, a kindergarten teacher at Fairmont Elementary School, reorganizes her classroom shelves Friday in preparation for the new school year.
This is especially important if there are new bus schedules, or if a child is attending a new school building this year.
For Fairmont's school district, these details can be clarified at registration going on Wednesday from 7:30 am. to 7 p.m., and from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school. During these times, parents can clarify bus schedules, lunch and breakfast meal accounts and set up conferences with teachers.
Finally, when it's the first day of school, stick to the regular routine as planned.
"See your child off, and have them follow their regular routine," Davidson said. "If they're going to go on the bus, put them on the bus. I know for the kindergarten parents it's tough, but I always try to throw that tip in."
As the school year goes on, it remains important for parents and the school to stay in touch, and for parents to remain involved.
"Make sure the school knows which buses they need to take, their afternoon destinations," Davidson said. "Sometimes parents drop them off in the morning, and we know they're supposed to take a bus, but there's no clue which one."
Davidson also said it helps to keep the school informed of any personal changes that might affect the child's performance at school.
"We see the effects, even if what's going on has nothing to do with school," he said. "It does impact them, and even if you don't tell us, they will."
And while sports, dances and other extracurricular activities are fun and can take up a lot of extra time, Davidson reminds parents that school should is the No. 1 priority. He advises that parents should continuously show an interest in what their children are learning.
"Finally, be on time, and be here everyday," Davidson said. "We can't teach your children if they're not here."