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Back to school

PRINCETON — This week marks the first back to school day for many students around Bureau County.

Teachers are putting together the last touches in their classrooms and parents are preparing to send their students back as they shop for the last bits of required school supplies.

To ensure that transition back to school is a smooth one, there are some things to keep in mind.

Ohio Superintendent Sharon Sweger said the basic things are to remember to get a good night sleep, eat a good, healthy breakfast, and pack the book bag the night before to make sure everything is ready to go in the morning.

One of the biggest things she has noticed over the years is parents who talk positive about school, teachers and learning pass that attitude onto their students. Sweger encourages parents to take the time to talk with students about the importance of schooling and doing their best.

Spring Valley Elementary School District Superintendent Jim Hermes is preparing to show off the new John F. Kennedy School addition to parents and students this school year. To ensure the transition back to school is a smooth one for students, Hermes reminds parents to check over the class schedules and bus routes so they are well known.

He encourages all parents and students to attend the Meet the Teacher Night, as there are many new teachers in the district this year. Also parents and students are encouraged to attend the upcoming school open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 28.

On another note, as August is school preparedness month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) encourages parents to include emergency preparedness in their back-to-school plans.

IEMA Director Jonathon Monken said for many, back to school means picking up those required school supplies, but the new school year also is a good time to make sure parents know their school’s plan for keeping kids safe during an emergency.

Some tips provided by the IEMA include:

• Know your child’s school or day care emergency plan.

• Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.

• Ensure emergency contact information is up to date at the child’s school.

• Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.

• Have a family communications plan and review the plan periodically with your child.  The plan should include contact information for an out-of-area family member or friend, since local telephone networks may not work during a major disaster.

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