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Entries in back to school (3)


Ask the Expert: A Pediatric Nurse on the Importance of Booking School Physicals

Our latest in the "Ask the Expert" series comes from registered nurse Lora Cartmell.

I used to be a school nurse, and August was a crazy time for us in the health offices of elementary, middle and high schools. "Did you get your school physical?" "Did you get your sports physical?" -- those were the questions I asked every parent, guardian, grandparent and yes, sometimes even the family dog. 

Photo by chickenlump on Flickr."How many months is a physical good for?” "Do they need a physical every year?" "What shots do they need?" "Can you take them home and raise them for me?" were the many questions that came back to me.

A great tool for you to keep up and be "in the know" for the current school year buzz on school and sports physicals is to hop on your local school district website and check the Health Office page or the Nurse page. Believe me, they would MUCH rather you look on the website than for you to be the lucky 100th caller to their office to ask the same thing as the previous 99. (You could get a very grumpy school nurse; not that I was EVER one.) If you can believe it, most all school districts even have the forms online, so you can print it out and get it filled out before your visit to the doctor (Hint, hint.)

Because my kids went through the Geneva school district, I thought I'd share with you what the wonderful school nurses there put together so you can get an idea of what to look for. 

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She'sWrite: Getting Ready for Kindergarten (I'm So Not Ready)

I’m preparing my entry into the scary world of elementary school. Logan starts kindergarten in the fall, but there’s already been registration, Parents Night and class screenings. Oh. My.

Photo by hakaider on Flickr.A lot of the activities (rightfully) focus on getting the kids ready. But what about me? I’m not talking about the usual “my baby is growing up” wistful feelings most moms have. I’m talking about all of the crap you have to do before you ship them off. I’m so not ready.

The school year is four months away still and I’m already ready to be done. First there was registration, which required form after form after form to be filled out, not to mention the immunization records, the physicals, eye exams, dental exams, proof of residency, vial of blood… OK, clearly kidding on the last one.

On the day of registration I came with my mountain of papers and seeing how I didn’t have some of the required paperwork for proof of residency, I brought a copy of our mortgage. The entire, 11×14 cumbersome packet. One of the PTA volunteers had to help me thumb through the reams of paper to find the information that qualified our family of residents of our quaint burb.

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Reader to Reader: Back to School Transitions,Traditions?

It's hard to believe, but public schools in the area will be resuming classes in the next couple of weeks. One dedicated Go West reader who will be sending her young daughter to school soon wondered how families handle the back-to-school transition now, compared to when we were kids. 

Photo by zaui on Flickr.The reader says: "My mom always started waking me up at the time I would have to get up for school at least a week before school began to try to re-set my internal clock. And of course that meant going to be earlier, too. At the time I hated it, but she was probably right. Just interested to hear some other things that people do to get ready for school to start, including rituals, back to school shopping, etc. Do people still go out and get new school wardrobes? There was so much pressure in junior high and high school to have the RIGHT outfit for the first day back at school."

For Go West readers with school-age kids: Are you waking your children up earlier? Trying to get them out the door faster? Or do you try to ignore the approach of the first day of school until the last possible moment? Are you ready for your kids to get back to their normal school-day routines, or are you sad to see summer end? Do any of your children worry about what to wear for the first day of school? Any special traditions your family has to mark the end of summer? And how do your children feel about returning to class? Share your stories with us!