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It’s almost here…

GIF of man sneaking up behind a tiger and catching them by surprise

On Thursday, September 8, 2022, New York City public schools will open for the first day of the 2022–2023 school year. And with less than a month to go before our classrooms reopen, thousands of DOE staff members are hard at work getting our 1,800+ schools ready to provide your children with rewarding educational experiences from 3-K through grade 12.

That said, most of us know how tough it can be wrangling our children out of “Summer Mode” for success throughout the school year—after all, it’s been an entire season filled with extended bedtimes, TV show binges, City adventures, and lazy mornings! But fret not, because we’ve got some great tips and suggestions below that can help make the transition to the new school year a little easier for you and your children. Check out our list below, and see if some of these tips can make the first day of school a little smoother for you and your family. Let us know in the comments section if you have other ideas that could work for City families!

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Tips for a Smooth Start to the 2022–23 School Year

Get a Physical Exam

Is your child starting school or a child care program for the first time? Before school starts, make sure your child receives a complete physical exam from a health care provider, documented by the Child and Adolescent Health Examination Form (CH205). Learn more on our “Health Requirements to Attend School” webpage.

Stay Up to Date with Required Immunizations

New York State Public Health Law requires students to get certain vaccines in order to attend school or child care programs. Before the school year begins, your child should receive all required immunizations—check out our “Immunizations” webpage to learn more.

Set Standard Bedtime Routines Now

Bedtime routines are very important for children. Schedule a regular bedtime, and start sticking to it now. The earlier you can get your family back into a school-year bedtime routine, the easier September will be for everyone in your household.

New to a School? Practice Your Morning Commute!

Make sure your child gets to school on time! Take a few test runs to the new school before the start of the school year so you don’t get tripped up on Day 1.

Establish Your Family’s Morning Routine Before the First Day

Practice your family’s morning routine at least a few days before the first day of school. Set your morning alarms, wake up on time, get ready for work/school, and get to your car/subway station/bus stop on time as you and your family would throughout the school year. This will help everyone adjust!

Four elementary/middle school students running down a school hallway

Don’t leave everything to the last minute—take advantage of the time you still have left before the start of the school year and get prepared ahead of the big day! (Photo by Norma Mortenson)

Update Your Contact Information

Can your child’s school reach you in an emergency? Make sure your child’s school has your most current phone number, home address, alternate contacts, etc. by updating your contact information listed in your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA). You may also complete a “Blue Card” emergency contact form provided by your school to update your contact information.

Don’t have a NYCSA? Visit our NYCSA webpage to learn how to sign up!

Seek the Protection of COVID-19 Vaccines

We strongly recommend that all New Yorkers, including children over six months of age, obtain COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters for everyone who is eligible. They are safe, free, and available regardless of immigration status. Visit the City’s Vaccine Finder or call (877) 829-4692 for a location near you.

Please note that COVID-19 vaccinations are still required for students participating in high-risk extracurricular activities, including high-risk PSAL sports. Vaccinations are also still required for all visitors entering school buildings, as well as DOE employees and others who work in schools.

Get Tested for COVID-19 Before Day 1

Give yourself and your children peace of mind by testing them at home for COVID-19 infection the day before the first day of school with either a home test kit or PCR test administered by a health provider—help protect your school community against the spread of the virus!

Mask Up

Don’t get caught slipping! Students are strongly encouraged to wear a well-fitting masks on school buses and in crowded indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required under certain circumstances, such as visiting the school nurse’s office or medical room or if exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at school. Stock up on masks for your children to wear! Visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information about our schools’ health and safety policies for COVID-19.

Meet Your School’s Parent Coordinator

Parent coordinators can provide answers to many of your school-related questions and concerns, including access to translation resources and sign language interpretation services. Call or visit your child’s school to get your parent coordinator’s contact information.

To get your school’s main office number, use our “Find a School” tool to access your school’s Overview page—this page will contain your school’s address, main office number, fax number, and a link to your school’s official website.

An older man and a teenager fishing at a pier.

Go on one last summer adventure before the start of the school year! Check out our post, “Take the Family on an NYC Adventure Before Summer Ends,” right here on TMB! (Photo by Ron Lach.)

Get Your Children to Read

One of the best things a child can do to help prepare themselves for the upcoming school year is to read a book! Reading helps prime our brains for learning and language retention, so children who read at least one book in the last week or two before the first day of school are better prepared to learn.

Review the 2022–23 NYC School Calendar

Stay in the know about all DOE holidays, parent-teacher conference dates, deadlines, and more with this year’s NYC Schools Calendar. Check out our “2022–23 School Year Calendar” page for printable files in multiple languages and a listing of important dates this school year!

Set House Rules for the School Year for Electronic Devices

Electronic devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and videogame consoles, can be fun and educational, but they can also distract students of all ages from their studies. Set house rules and expectations for the use of these devices before the school year begins in order to make it clear to children that school comes first.

Choose Backpacks with Wide and Padded Shoulder Straps

Reduce the risk of neck, back, and shoulder pain by purchasing backpacks with thick shoulder straps. To improve weight distribution, consider buying backpacks with waist straps.

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We can’t wait to see you in our schools on Thursday, September 8! On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish you all a smooth start to the new school year!


Banner photo by Anastasia Shuraeva. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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NYC Department of Education, 2019