Last Thursday marked the last day of school for the 2017-18 school year. That means this weekend is the official start of summer! For teachers and students, summer-time brings such a liberating feeling. The freedom from schedules and alarm clocks. No more deadlines, assignments, or activities. Just sunshine and time to relax. Even parents celebrate the fun of summer. I know many of you still have to work, but at least you don’t have to make those lunches or worry about that math homework being done!

Before you get completely into your “summer mode”—here are a few things we want to encourage you to do. These are suggestions to make your summer…and your next school year…the best one yet!

1. Wrap up school year details. Make sure your child doesn’t have any overdue library books, cafeteria fines, parking fines, etc. If there is a chance any grades were incomplete or your child could be lacking credits, check in with the school office or counselor. You want all systems to be “GO” for the next school year before this current one ends.

2. Update your address, if it’s changed. If you moved during this school year, make sure your child’s school has your current address, email address, and phone number. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. If not, you will not receive notifications in late July/August regarding registration, schedule pick-up, open house, first day of school, etc. You want to do this sooner than later, because school staff take vacation in the summer. The last week in May and first week in June is the best time to find someone in the front office at your school.

3. “Like” your child’s school on Facebook. If your child is promoting to a new school, make sure you have “liked” their new school as well. This will help you stay connected with important dates and happenings this summer.

4. Clean out your child’s backpack/binder. As your children get older, they can do this themselves, but regardless- go ahead and do it now instead of waiting until August. I know it’s tempting to throw it in a corner and be done with it, but trust me…go ahead and get this done so you’ll have one less thing to do later. Save what can be used again and throw away all those papers you don’t need and that first nine weeks progress report your child never showed you. ;)

5. Inventory school supplies for next year. Again, you won’t feel like doing this now, but you’ll be glad you did in August. If your child brings home extra supplies, go through and organize those instead of tossing them in a drawer or cabinet. Make a note of what you have, because these may be things you don’t have to buy in August! You’ll save time AND money during the back to school craziness.

6. Speaking of craziness, check in with your child. May is likely your busiest month of the year. Take an hour or so and spend some one-on-one time with each kid. Ask them how they are doing and what they are doing. Refocus on family priorities. Remind them how proud you are of them.

7. Plan a “bucket list” for summer. Ask your kids what they want to do and write it down. Then try your very best to make it happen. (Within reason, of course!)

8. Make sure your summer includes reading. No matter how old your child is, they need to be reading this summer. They might need to be refreshing other skills as well- maybe an ACT prep class, or tutoring in other subjects, but reading is essential. Go to the library and find books that they love. If you have a younger child, read TO them…every day. Spend the summer adventuring in books.

9. Set goals for the next school year. While this year is still fresh in your mind, ask your child and yourself what you want to accomplish next year. Dream big!

10. Take a deep breath. A sigh of relief! Another school year is done! You made it!

We hope you have lots of deep breaths and rest over the next few months. Our staff is thankful to be surrounded by such a wonderfully supportive community. Have a great summer!