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Parents prepare little ones for first day of school

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The first day of school is just around the corner and there are a few things every parent should know before dropping-off their children for the first time. "School starts August 17 and the Department of Education is excited to have our students return and our parent community. The superintendent of education invited actually all of our community leaders to come out actually on the first day of school so we're hoping we get a turnout of our mayors, senators, and the Governor's Office," explained DOE deputy superintended Chris Anderson.

Thousands of students will head to their first day of class on Monday, and there are ways parents can make the transition easier. "Definitely that's always an issue that parents have, is are the busses going to be there for my child so I would encourage families to do as much as they can to find out the times also to find out the bell schedules for when school starts I mean that of course is very important. Parents can definitely contact their assigned schools," he added.

Bell schedules can be found online at http://www.gdoe.net, and parents are reminded that the start and end times for elementary schools and several high schools has changed since last year. But one of the biggest issues facing children is the anxiety of going to school alone for the first time. Anderson said, "Trying to take some of the anxiety away, parents are more than welcome to bring their children to the school ahead of time, so they can see the school, see classrooms. Schools are in the process to get ready to open for Monday, but always welcome to receive parents and students just to try to take some of the anxiety away."

Parents can help alleviate anxiety by pointing out that children will likely make new friends, by leaving encouraging notes in their lunch box or backpack, or by introducing them to another student before the first day begins. Participating in back to school activities or joining school teams can also make the transition easier.

And as for school policies, there have been no major changes from previous years. "Those policies are still in effect, if folks have questions regarding that again the schools are a good point of contact they also call central office as well to get clarification," he added.

Finally, preparation for the big day starts the night before, students should get a full night's rest, lay out their clothes and backpacks, get a hearty breakfast in the morning and make it to school on-time.

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