(WPRI) — Before you know it, summer will be over and the kids will be headed back to school. It’s a hectic time of year for sure. But, with some preparation, it can be a lot less stressful for you and your child.

Before School Starts

The new school year is a chance for a fresh start. According to experts on SchoolFamily.com, the first steps a parent should take before school starts is talk about homework rules and daily routines, then enforce family rules consistently. This should minimize disputes and stress.

Immunizations & Other Health Requirements

According to USA.gov, It’s a good idea to take your child for a physical and eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations and may need documentation. Failing to keep immunizations current could prevent your child from attending school.

Bring all health-related forms that the school requires when you take your child to the doctor. If your child will be participating in a sport, his/her doctor may have to sign a release form. Be sure to keep your own copy of any records. Let your child’s doctor know if you have any questions or concerns about the scheduled vaccines or any other health-related issues that may be affecting your child.

When it comes to good health, don’t forget the importance of teeth! Several Rhode Island communities have school-based dental programs. With parental consent, these programs provide oral health education and access to preventive services, such as cleanings and dental sealants. Extra effort is made to target children living in the state’s core cities who may be at higher risk of tooth decay.

School Supplies

School supplies can cost a small fortune. But There are ways to save.

  • Shop at home first – Many school supplies, such as pens, binders, and notebooks, can be reused. Sort through the materials you already have, separating those that your child can use again from those that should be recycled or tossed.
  • Stick to your list – Determine what your child truly needs, make a budget and stick to it. If your child insists on getting a backpack or lunch box with her favorite character, then let her know she may not be able to have the fancy binder and matching folders.
  • Shop early – It seems retailers start their back-to-school sales before the kids are even out for the summer. While the ringing of the school bell may seem eons away – take advantage of the deals when you can. Many retailers will practically give away items like notebooks, pencils, glue, and crayons just to get you in the door. Saving on the basics may free up some money for the bigger ticket items (like that fancy backpack).
  • Keep your eyes peeled – Many teachers will give you their supply list early. Keep it with you. You never know when or where you’ll find a good deal. Office supply stores, discount chains, dollar stores, craft stores and even supermarkets all sell school supplies.

School bus safety tips

10 tips for drivers and students from the NHTSA


  1. When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  2. When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  3. Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  4. Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  5. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving.


  1. Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb and line up away from the street.
  2. Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s OK before stepping onto the bus. Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  3. If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  4. Never walk behind the bus. Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  5. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.