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School Year Checklist
The School Year Checklist

As your child returns to school, they need to prepare for the next step in their childhood education. Lack of preparation can leave a child feeling disoriented. Here is a simple school year checklist to help parents stay a step ahead of the school year. 


Children receive annual or periodic vaccines depending on their age. To return to school, ensure your child’s vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations required for children entering childcare or school (outside of homeschool) include:

  • 5 DTP/DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough) 
  • 4 Polio – IPV
  • 1 HIB (Haemophilus Influenza B) 
  • 2 Measles
  • 2 Mumps
  • 1 Rubella
  • 3 Hepatitis B
  • 2 Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Research your state’s vaccination requirements ahead of time. Parents should schedule vaccinations through their pediatrician. If you need a vaccine sooner, Minute Clinic or your Local Health Department may be able to assist you.


Children need an annual physical until otherwise directed by your state school board to enter grade school. Your child will not be allowed on the school premises until you have met the requirements. Book an appointment with your pediatrician or your local Minute Clinic. You may already have a physical scheduled, so calling the front office at your child’s pediatrician will save you the hassle. 

School Supplies 

Most school supplies will run out before your child enters their school year. Ensuring that you stock up ahead of time from locations like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walmart, or Target will ensure that your child is not behind their peers. Make sure your child’s clothing meets the dress code. For private schools, you may need to order uniforms in advance. Ordering the outfits in advance will ensure they arrive on time. Other items that most schools don’t ask for may come in handy. Here is a school preparation list to help you get started.

  • Pencils, pens, crayons, pencils, notebooks, planners, loose leaf paper, sticky pads, glue sticks, liquid glue, extra erasers, rulers
  • Small personal tissue pack
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand Cream (If allowed)
  • Mints (Email the teacher and ask her if you can place these in the children’s lunch box.)
  • Hand wipes for lunchbox
  • Water Bottles that are BPA-free, refillable, and spillproof
  • A change of clothes, socks, or underwear in case of spills or accidents
  • Sunscreen for warmer states
  • Properly fitted bookbag
  • Lunchbox
  • Paper supplies for Arts and Crafts
  • Felt tip dry erase board (Ask the teacher if it is permitted.)
  • All your school supply receipts

Before spending your money, email your teacher to make sure that folders, backpacks, pencils, or any school supplies need to be a specific size or color. Returning school items is not convenient. Emailing teachers ahead of time can help you maximize your shopping trip. If the response is late you may opt to purchase the supplies and return anything you do not need.

Keep in Mind

  • Your child’s teacher will email you any changes or updates. Make sure you are on the email list.
  • To make sure you are on the school email list. Check spam for school mail as well.
  • Your child will need at least a week to adjust to the sleeping schedule. Start placing children in bed early, and wake them up an hour before you need to leave. 
  • Give yourself a traffic buffer based on where you live. 
  • Spend time with your child and involve them in the school planning. Help them feel excited about going back to school. 
  • Schedule your child’s school orientation. Line up childcare ahead of time if your school does not allow children to come.
  • If your child has medications, over-the-counter medications, topical medicines, or creams, ask your school before sending these items.

Read through this list. Add anything else you can brainstorm to your school year checklist. Your child’s success and happiness depend on you. Help them transition back into school. 

Sources- The Importance of Annual Physicals for Children | Summit Health