Can you believe its back-to-school time already? It feels like summer just flew by!
Back-to-school to me is a bag of mixed emotions. I am excited for my children as they start on a new adventure. I am a bit sad that our carefree time during the summer is ending. I have a slight anxious feeling as well. After all, I am sending my most precious gifts out into the great big world, and I won’t be by their side all the time.
As a parent my number one job is to keep my children safe. While I know that they are safe at their schools, it still tugs at my heart that I can’t be there to protect them 24/7. I also know for their own good that I cannot watch over them like that. They need freedom to grow and learn and become self-sustaining. However, I need to guide them to becoming self-sustaining, back-to-school provides the prefect opportunity for this to all come together!
Back-to-school is a great time to discuss school safety and all things related with your kids. We cover topics from how to be safe getting to and from school, safety drills used at school, and what to do at school if they find themselves in an unsafe situation. This gives them the knowledge and confidence to handle different situations they may face.
Safety to and from School
- If you drop your child off and pick them up from school, remind them about safe car exiting and entering techniques.
- Remind them about walking to the building and car, rather than running.
- If your child is going to be walking to and from school, remind them the importance of walking with a group, staying on the sidewalk, and using crosswalks.
- If your child is going to be a bike rider to and from school, remind them to wear their helmets the proper way, use hand signals, ride on the sidewalk, ride with a friend or two, follow all stop signs and cross at crosswalks.
- If your child is going to be a bus rider to and from school, remind them to walk to and from the bus, use the handrail when stepping into the bus, always remain seated when sitting on the bus, and to cross in front of the bus as long as the stop signal is displayed but look both ways before crossing past the bus.
Safety at School
Last year school safety was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the media was plagued with different reports centered around incidents at schools across the nation. Please know our schools are safe, your child’s teachers, principals, and districts place your child’s safety as their highest priority. This does not mean that an incident will not happen, however, I want you all to have peace of mind knowing that it is unlikely and that everyone at the school is doing all they can to ensure all our kids are safe.
To make sure our kids are prepared and safe, schools will hold many different drills. These drills include fire drills, tornado drills, and intruder drills. During fire drills, students are evacuated from the building. During a tornado drill, students are brought down to the lowest level of the school and they take often take shelter in hallways or away from windows. They kneel facing the wall with their hands over their heads for protection. During an intruder drill, teachers will make sure all doors to the classroom are locked, blinds closed, lights off and students may go into a closet, bathroom, or lay on the floor out of sight with their teacher and remain completely silent.
Please stress the importance of remaining quiet, including not using their phone to text or make a call. Parents, if an actual incident happens at your child’s school, please refrain from calling them or texting until you know for certain it is safe to do so.
Parents and teachers share the common position of advocating for kids. Kids also need someone at school they can approach should they need something or need to report something. They need someone they are confident will be their advocate. Encourage your child(ren) to be open to approaching teachers with any concerns they have. These concerns could be about the way something is done at school, to concerns about behaviors another student is exhibiting. If your child is experiencing bullying type behavior from someone at school, encourage them to report it immediately.
With the tools above we are helping our kids learn to be self-sufficient. There are going to be some situations that require parents to step in and advocate for children. Never be wary of being your child’s advocate. You know your child best and what is best for them!
Cheers to the back-to-school season, here’s to a safe, fun, and growth filled year for us all!