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Sun Times Feature Story

Back To School 2017 - It all starts for real this Monday

By Larry Blustein
This coming Monday, throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the school year begins, and there are indeed many anxious parents and students.

The last area of the state of Florida to start the new school year, the youngsters and their parents have had a long time to prepare, and get ready for the next nine months.

While there are many things to do to get ready for this coming school year, making sure that the students have supplies and are ready to go may be the most important.

Parents such as Aventura resident Marlene Cooper are anxious as their children will be starting new schools – and that can be a challenge in itself.

“When we were kids, I never remember that it was this crazy, going from elementary to middle school – or middle school to high school,” she said. “I have a daughter who starts Dr. Krop High School and my son will begin his first year at Highland Oaks Middle School. They know kids who are going to the schools, but they are both a bit apprehensive.”

Just like anything, if you are ready for the year ahead, the battle has been won. School supplies and knowing when things are happening at your school are perhaps the most important part of any new year.

Jade Wilson of Hollywood starts her first year of high school, and while many have butterflies and are anxious, Wilson’s mother happens to be a teacher where she will be headed this year.

While she never attended school where her mother taught, Wilson knows that it will be fun, and she should have a huge advantage.

“I won’t have my mom as a teacher until 8th grade,” Wilson said. “I have always looked at having a parent who is a teacher as a huge advantage. I am actually looking forward to seeing her during the school day. I also know just about every teacher at my new school.”

No matter what grade a student is in, the important part of any educational experience is to have the supplies that will get the school year off to a positive start.

Here is a generic look at what every student going back to school this coming Monday should have:

When it comes to pre-school, parents usually know what the curriculum will be.

Having an art smock, change of clothes for spills or accidents, 2 freezer packs for lunch boxes and a lunch bag or lunch box is always essential.

Packaged hand wipes (slip them into lunch boxes for wiping dirty hands before snack time). Also, having packaged snacks (healthy choices include pretzels, nuts—if allowed—and dried fruit).

Plastic crayon keeper or box to store craft projects. Plastic drink container with flip top to stop spills before they happen. Pocket tissue packs are always great to have. Anything that will be helpful just in case.

Here is the age where students start to develop habits that will stay with them.

Having a backpack large enough to fit a lunch box, folders, and supplies, is important. Having a box of crayons (16-count), pack of washable markers (8-count), bottle of glue (8 ounces), glue sticks and freezer packs for lunch boxes starts the year off right.

Packaged hand wipes, pink eraser, lunch bag or lunch box, No. 2 pencils and packaged snacks (healthy choices include pretzels, nuts—if allowed—and dried fruit), are also essential.

Plastic crayon keeper or box to store craft projects, plastic drink container with flip top to stop spills before they happen and shoes with slip-proof soles to prevent playground accidents will also be important to at least have.

As the students get older, they have more responsibilities, and attending a middle school will mature you quickly.

Among the important items to have includes an agenda or planner to keep track of homework assignments. In addition - a backpack, binder dividers, compass (one without a sharp metal point will be the safest), folders, pencils, highlighters in different colors, pens, protractor, ruler, mini stapler – and because a computer will be vital, a Zip drive or USB drive to save work done at home and school.

This is where your future begins to take shape – and by now – teachers are not going to play around. You need to have the essential supplies from the start of the year.

Agenda or planner to keep track of homework assignments will be very important. They are no longer going to treat you like a child. You are a young adult.

Having a backpack, binder dividers, highlighters in different colors, pencils, package of 1/4-inch graph paper, Zip drive or USB drive to save work done on home and school computers.

“We are ready for the school year ahead,” Hallandale Beach student Marcel Rodriguez said. “Starting later gave us a chance to get our supplies earlier.”