The Grandparents Guide for Back To School
We love being involved in our grandchildren’s lives and having the opportunity to offer support and positive influence. We are very involved with the back to school process and look forward to it each year.
I once saw a bumper sticker which read “If I had known grandchildren were so great, I would have had them first!”
How can you be involved in your grandchildren’s education?
Attend open house and meet the teachers. Allow the teachers to put a name with a face and insure child safety.
Download or Print a copy of the yearly events calendar and academic calendar.
Be Sure Your Name Is On The Pick Up List Remind your busy son or daughter to put your name on the pick up list. If you are not on the list, you will not be allowed to pick the grandchildren up from school in the event you are called in unexpectedly.
Gain your own set of Pick Up Papers/Windshield Name Signs Most schools assign each child a number and a sign to display in the windshield of your car for car riders. If you are called on at the last minute to pick up your grandchildren, not having that sign can create a delay. You’ll have to park and go into the office with your photo ID.
Tour the Middle or High School with transitioning grandchildren. Transitioning from a smaller school into a much larger one can be just a bit traumatizing for young preteens and teens. Our school system always hosts an open house to allow students, parents and grandparents to ‘walk their schedule’ and meet the teachers. Be sure to attend this event! It will help you to understand what they are experiencing. Our grandchildren attend a very large high school where it is a one mile walk from the front door to the back. If I had not visited, I would never have believed it for myself.
Get your name on the Volunteer Rooster. There is a plethora of volunteer jobs and tasks which must be completed. Some require going to the school but there are also tasks you can do from home.
Be sure to let your grandchild know each time you volunteer, so they get the joy of feeling special. A few possible volunteer tasks include:
- Classroom (grading papers, reading stories)
- Media Center (shelving books, reading..)
- Field trips chaperone
- Science lab
- Musical assistance
- Lunchroom supervision
- Booster Club activities
- PTA (fundraising, labels for education..)
Write this down. Keep a record of:
- The teacher’s names for each of your grandchildren.
- What time the school day begins officially
- What time the school day ends
- What time the student is considered tardy in the morning
- Lunch time and duration and lunchroom location in the building
- Which days are PE (sadly, PE does not occur every day) If your grandchild is spending the night with you on a school night and the next day is PE, they may require special clothing or shoes.
- The bus number and driver’s name if your student rides the bus
- Request the windshield number for child pick-up at the beginning of the school year. This is a really big deal and of utmost importance. Thankfully, just anyone cannot get those windshield signs! There will undoubtedly be times when you may need to pick the grandchildren up from school. School officials will not be able to release your grandchildren to you without proper identification and the required documents (those windshield number signs).
Go to lunch with your grandchild. Parents and grandparents are regulars in the lunchroom. The staff has accommodations in place already. Many schools have special seating areas to make the student feel special when they have a guest. Some schools will allow you to bring lunch for yourself and the student, others do not allow outside food. Check with the office for the rules at your school.
How Grandparents Can Prepare for Back To School
- Attend open house and meet the teachers
- Get yourself a copy of the yearly events calendar and academic calendar
- Get your name on the Volunteer Rooster
- Write down and keep a record of all the pertinent information pertaining to people, places, times and things
- Go to lunch with your grandchild
- Share your area of expertise
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