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back to school


FROM IN-THE-KNOW MOMS What are your best back-to-school ideas to help kids prepare for the big day?



ut-off dates for kindergarten depend on your school district (and vary widely nationally). According to the Ohio Department of Education, school district boards use either the first day of August or the 30th day of September as the date by which a child must be 5 years old to attend kindergarten. Find a link to all of Ohio’s school districts, including information on early entrance, at Kindergarten.

WHAT’S UP WITH ESSA? In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by the Obama administration after a bi-partisan effort. ESSA is designed to replace No Child Left Behind, and according to its architects, will return more control and authority to the state level, particularly when it comes to assessments. For now, Kentucky and Ohio are in a transition period gathering input from educators, school administrators, and parents for what ESSA will actually look like in your child’s schools. ESSA will be fully implemented in the 2017 - 2018 school year, but for now, get updates and submit your opinions and comments at the following: In Ohio, visit or e-mail In Kentucky, visit Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-(ESSA). aspx or e-mail KyEdListens@education.

“We’ll go back on a sleep schedule Au-

put kid scissors in lunch boxes because

gust 1. I’ve already started stocking up

sometimes they will spend the whole

on stuff to pack in their lunches, since

lunch with their hand up waiting and

the school lunch doesn’t fill them up. I’ll

not eating anything else. 3. Start going

start making pancakes, waffles and sau-

to bed earlier at least two weeks prior

sage patties to put in the freezer. Makes

and being strict on morning routines. 4.

mornings easier and cheaper than buy-

Pack extra clothes in a Ziploc to keep in

ing the store-bought frozen ones.”

their backpack, including socks. 5. Go

DustySarah Frump

over the day as best you can and if you drop off, give them a hug, a confident

“One thing I implemented is a drawer

‘You’ll do great and I will see you

system to make mornings less crazy.

soon!’ and LEAVE. 6. If you are consid-

We pick out clothes for the week on

ering doing the hot lunch, have them

Sunday after checking the weather, and

get it the first or second day when there

put everything needed in the drawers.

is extra help because then the kids can

Each morning, they find what day it is

get used to it with the extra support. 7.

and pull it open to get their clothes so

Label everything!”

they can get dressed independently

Mandy Boes

while I get dressed. I also added visual icons to the outside so they can see what sports and activities they have for the day. We watch wake-up times about a week before to get back on track. I also recommend not only taking a walk through the school, but also playing on the playground. For kids with special needs, I recommend putting together a visual social story book with pictures of the school, playground, classrooms, teachers, etc., which will help reduce anxiety.” Tina Pratt

“1. Use slip-on or Velcro shoes. 2. Practice eating lunch quickly. I don’t often send fruit cups, but when I do, I put them in easy-open containers. I also •

August 2016


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Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016


Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016

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