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After a Hybrid Year, Kids Return to School 

The new school year begins in just a few short weeks! After a year of learning from home with part-time in-person learning, this will be the first time students will be back in the classroom full-time since early 2020. For most students, it’ll be an adjustment—but you make the transition easier for your children by ensuring they have everything they need for a smooth return. Here are a few ideas to help your child be ready on day one.

Schedule a Physical

Scheduling a physical is a good idea before returning to school. Checking up on your child’s overall health is essential and can help you get ahead of developmental and safety concerns. You can schedule a visit at any CCI health center near you. To find the closest health center and schedule an appointment, call us at (866) 877-7258.

If your family is outside our service area, you can schedule a physical with your child’s pediatrician or any local health clinic. Find a Health Center.

Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 12 receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against illness and limit the transmission of the virus. Visit Vaccines.org to find a site near you.

Unsure about vaccines? Learn more about how they are safe, effective, and necessary for good health.

Mask On

The Delta variant is a more contagious strain of COVID-19 that first arrived in the U.S. in February. Since then, it has spread rapidly and is directly responsible for the recent nationwide surge of cases. As a result, both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have mandated masks in schools, and the CDC has altered its guidelines to recommend students wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

To learn more about masks and how they help, visit the CDC’s Mask Guide.

Schedule a Dental Cleaning

Routine dental cleaning is essential for staving off cavities, gingivitis, and other issues that cause pain and tooth disease. CCI offers dental services on a sliding scale—our patients only pay what they can, and we never turn anyone away. CCI’s Dental page for more information.

TIP: Get your dental appointment early. CCI dental appointments fill very quickly. 

Eat Well to Do Well

Research shows that nutritious meals and snacks are essential to a student’s academic performance. If you have questions about healthy eating, schedule a visit with a CCI nutritionist. Also, please explore these recipe blogs for quick and budget-friendly meals: Plant-Based on a Budget and Budget Bytes.

TIP: If you can’t afford fresh produce and have children under the age of five, WIC at CCI can help you.

Dress for Success

Every child needs clean and well-fitting clothes—but there’s no need to break the bank to get there. In recent years, secondhand stores and consignment shops have seen a resurgence in popularity. There are the classics such as Unique Thrift, Goodwill and the Salvation Army, but there are also stores like Uptown Cheapskate, which carry name brands and the latest fashions. Visit Yelp to find affordable clothing near you.

TIP: Some nonprofits and places of worship in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties offer free clothing based on need. Check Montgomery County and Prince George’s County resources.

Explore Educational Resources

Quality online resources exist that help students better understand the concepts they’re introduced to in class. For example, the Khan Academy features a wide range of courses with availability in several languages. YouTube is also an excellent place for educational content—check out 20 Teacher-Approved Educational YouTube Channels.

Purchase School Supplies

Students need to be ready to jump right into learning on the first day, so school supplies are a must. But what if you can’t afford them? For August, CCI will be handing out gift bags filled with supplies for our patients. You can also contact Montgomery County Public Schools and Prince George’s County Public Schools for assistance. Also, take a look at Care.com’s 8 Ways to Get Free School Supplies This Year for ideas.

Plan Check-Ins

Every student deals with challenges unique to them that may cause feelings of depression and anxiety. Let them know they’re not alone by staying in touch with their feelings. How to Ask What Kids Are Feeling

If your child is feeling stressed because of the pandemic, the CDC offers an excellent COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit that will details how to recognize your child’s challenges and explain what you can do to empower them.

If speaking directly to your child isn’t an option, encourage them to speak with a school counselor if they think it would help. If they’d rather keep their struggles confidential, they can call a toll-free crisis hotline to talk with a trained specialist. If your family is in Montgomery County, your child can call (301) 738-2255, or if in Prince George’s County, call (1-800) 422-0009.

And remember to care for yourself, as well! Here are five techniques to help you cope with stress and anxiety (TIP: these techniques work for your child, too!)

With a bit of preparation and a lot of love, parents can help their children succeed in school and become the best versions of themselves. Starting the year on the right foot will help your child learn with confidence, enabling them to reach their full potential.

CCI Health & Wellness Services are advocates for the community. You and your children can feel comfortable visiting our health centers at any time for any reason. We are your support system and friend—keep us in mind as you navigate the school year with your family.