Back to School

With summer coming to an end, a new school year will begin. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your student has a successful school year.

Immunizations

California State Law requires students to be vaccinated for various diseases. It is important to check with your health care provider prior to the start of the school year to ensure that your student(s) is protected from dangerous diseases.

The law does allow legal guardians to submit an exemption form for immunization based on personal beliefs or medical conditions.

Nutrition for a Healthy Mind

Another way to keep your student healthy is to ensure that he or she eats nutritional meals. If you are financially unable to provide your student with meals, you may qualify for the State Meal Program. This program is a student nutrition program funded by the State of California. It offers free or reduced price nutritional meals for students who qualify for such benefits. These meals are distributed in away that doesn’t show others that the student is receiving free or reduced priced meals. To qualify for the State Meal Program complete and submit an application, which can be found athttp://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/eligmaterials.asp. For further questions, contact the School Nutrition Program Unit at 800-952-5609.

The CalFresh Program also offers food assistance by adding to your food budget so you can put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at various grocery stores. Certain non-citizens are eligible for CalFresh benefits. Eligible household members can receive CalFresh benefits even if other members in the household do not qualify. To apply to the program, visit www.benefitscal.com. For more information about eligibility requirements call 1-877-847-3663.

School Supplies

For your student to be prepared for the first day of school he or she should have items such as a backpack, No.2 pencils, a pencil sharpener, pens, erasers, and binder paper or notebook. Additional supplies may be necessary depending on your student’s courses.Generally his or her teacher will distribute a list of necessary supplies on the first day of instruction. If you need to financially plan out school supplies purchases, contact the teacher or school principal asking for a materials list in advance.

Throughout the school year, and during summer, many businesses within Sacramento hold school supply drives for families. Many of these drives provide children with backpacks, pencils, notebooks, and other various school supplies they need. Some even provide healthy snacks and food for students to have during the school year. If you know you will not have money to allocate for school supplies try reaching out to local non-profits or your student’s school prior to the first day of class. Occasionally teachers will have extra supplies for your student to use.

School Attendance

It is important your student stays as healthy as possible so they may avoid too many school absences. Attendance is vital for educational success. When students are chronically absent, they are missing in-class assignments and will not be prepared to do their homework. Homework teaches students the importance of responsibility and helps them fully understand the subjects they are learning in school. Homework is practice for students before tests, so if the yare not turning in their assignments and are not in class then they will not do well in school. This creates a cycle for poor academic performance, because it is less likely that they will graduate or move onto the next grade. Having an excellent attendance record is the foundation for success in school at any age. Attending school everyday will help students succeed in their education and help them create a bright future.

California’s education laws require children between the ages of six and eighteen years of age to attend school, with a limited number of absences. Understate law, a student, without a valid excuse, who misses up to three full days of school within a year, or is tardy or absent from class for more than30 minutes on three occasions in one school year, is considered truant. Once a student is truant, state law requires schools, districts, counties, and courts to intervene to ensure that the guardian and student receives certain services to assist them in complying with education attendance laws. When these interventions fail, parents can face penalties, such as: community service time, parenting courses, counseling, jailor fines. These interventions and penalties exist to ensure that students remain in school.

According to The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools, absences can be separated into three categories—students who cannot attend school,students who will not attend school,and students who do not attend school.

n Students who cannot attend school are absent because of illness, or family responsibilities.

n Students who will not attend school are absent to escape bullying or embarrassment.

n Students who do not attend school are absent because they do not seethe value of their education and choose to skip.

As a parent, it is important to make sure your child does not fall into these categories, especially the last one. Parents should always make sure their child is healthy enough to attend school, and talk to their children if they are experiencing social problems like bullying.Students with higher attendance ratings are more likely to succeed on standardized tests, graduate from high school,and be admitted into college.