Aug. 20 marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year for Pasco County students. You can make the transition a little easier by attending school orientation.
Meeting your teacher is a big deal for elementary students, who can to stop in Aug. 15 for an introduction and, often, a tour of their school. Be sure to contact the school or check the school's website for specific times.
This is a good time to drop off school supplies or pick up a list. Sign up for the parent organization and apply for free and reduced-price meals. Schools will have information on after-school programs from outside providers and the district in-school PLACE programs. Those who want to help out at the school or plan on chaperoning any field trips should fill out a volunteer application (or do it now at www.pasco.k12.fl.us/communications/volunteer/).
Don't forget emergency contact phone numbers. Pre-K and kindergarten teachers also want to know how your child will get to and from school and will often provide some kind of tag/sticker for bus riders, car riders and those who walk.
Aug. 14 is orientation day for middle and high school students. Some high schools hold an alternate date for incoming freshmen, so parents and students should check the school website or the school newsletter for dates and time.
At orientation, students will be able to pick up their schedules, locate their classrooms and their bus stop. Some teachers will have school supply lists on hand or posted on their classroom doors. Typically there is information on student clubs, the parent/teacher organization, volunteer paperwork, and free and reduced-price meal applications.
The Pasco County Health Department will be onsite at all county middle schools, offering free Tdap immunizations for incoming seventh-graders. Bring any emergency contact information you will need — parent or guardian work or cell phone numbers, emergency pickups, physicians, etc.
Don't forget your checkbook so you can take care of student fees and pay for lockers, student parking tags, gym uniforms or get the early-bird deal on the school yearbook.