Back to school so soon?

Sandra Beaulieu shows clothes to her daughter, Hanna Flatow, 9, both of Clovis, as the two look for back-to-school deals on Saturday at the North Plains Mall. Photo by Eric Kluth.

By Helena Rodriguez

Three words children most dread to hear each summer have begun flashing across TV screens and are now posted at local department stores: “Back to School!”
While school bells don’t ring in Clovis for almost a month — classes resume on Aug. 18 — school officials and retailers suggest parents start getting students ready now.
School supply lists are posted or will be posted by next week at local department and office supply stores. In addition, school principals are back at work now and secretaries report for duty on Tuesday. School secretaries will be at school sites from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday, should parents have questions.
Youth Opportunities Unlimited counselor Bob Collier said now is the time to change bedtime routines for youngsters.
“In the summer, it’s easy to let kids stay up late because they don’t have school the next day,” Collier said. “But the sooner you get them in the habit of getting to bed earlier, the better.”
He suggested making the changes in increments; perhaps sending them to bed an hour earlier one week, two hours earlier the following week and so on.
Collier said school officials generally do a good job preparing students for transitions from elementary to junior high or from junior high to high school. But he suggests parents still talk to their children about any concerns they have. For students new to Clovis schools, he suggests they use manners and be friendly to everyone and they will be likely to find new friends fast.
New students should enroll in Clovis schools between July 28 and Aug. 1, Superintendent Neil Nuttall said.
The back-to-school shopping season is in full swing now. Some stores already have general school supply lists posted and are expected to receive more detailed lists from individual schools next week. Nuttall said several local schools have also posted their school supply lists on their Web sites.
Besides paper, pencil and crayons in hand, Nuttall said parents need to ensure their children’s attire meets school dress codes.
“I always encourage parents at this time of year to be real conscious of clothing their children are wanting to purchase, to be sure it meets our dress codes,” Nuttall said. “We always have questions at the beginning of the year about clothes, situations where kids ask parents to buy them clothes that may not meet our guidelines. When in doubt, we ask them to visit with their school principal.”
Nuttall also recommended parents prepurchase children’s meals at their schools so students can be ensured of a hot meal that first day.
Clovis schools resume for the school year about the same time they did last year and Nuttall said there’s little variance in this year’s calendar.
“We’re taking Veteran’s Day off on Nov. 10 this year. That’s something we haven’t done in the past,” Nuttall said.
Labor Day on Sept. 1, will be the first school holiday.