This will be my first year as a school parent. My baby girl (well, five-year-old big girl) is getting ready to go off to kindergarten and start her school career. As we prepare, there are so many things I can connect with based on our area of work.

Our local school district implemented a new system this year for paying school fees, and there were a few glitches. (We’ve certainly been there!)

I logged onto this system to pay her fees and saw her official student record and student ID (SID). It was a realization that this was official. I also made the connection to our work and all the data that will be gathered about her throughout her years in school. Details that will be reviewed and tracked by teachers and administrators, and stored in the school’s student information system long after she graduates from high school.backtoschool2

We received a very nice welcome letter from the principal today that discussed things that the school is focusing on this year, like teacher evaluation using Danielson, student growth measures, social emotional learning standards, Common Core, and a shift to using the MAP and PARCC assessments. These are all things that we have worked on intimately with our clients by discussing and reviewing key decisions, developing implementation plans, training teachers, and reviewing data in lots of different ways.

I am anxious, excited, nervous, and anticipating all the things that my daughter will experience as a school student. I am looking forward to getting involved with the school and experiencing this from a parent’s perspective.

But my focus from the principal’s welcome letter and what was on top of mind were the instructions for the first day of school, bus instructions, and drop-off instructions. I studied the map with arrows pointing through the parking lot showing where parents need to drive to drop off kids in the morning. I wondered if my daughter would be able to handle getting out of the car quickly on her own so that we would not violate the instructions that parents to stay in the car, keep pulling forward, and don’t hold up the line. If we decide to do the bus, I wonder if she will actually get on the bus when it pulls up and the doors open. I wonder if I should follow the bus to school and walk her to class since parents are allowed to do this on the first day. Then I thought about all of those first day of school things – what should I pack her for lunch, who will she sit next to, where will we do the first day of school picture?

So, here we go, it’s all happening. Welcome back to school!