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HAPPENINGS: The first day of school approaches

The first day back for Okaloosa County students is Aug. 10. Where has the time gone? It doesn't seem that long ago the last school year was over; the summer has flown by.

It is now time to get our children and grandchildren ready to go back to school.

Tax free holiday

Florida's back to school tax free holiday runs through Aug. 9 this year. For a complete listing of what is or isn't covered, this Florida Department or Revenue website spells out the specific rules put into place this year:

This year the first $1,000 of a computer is tax free, which is quite a savings if your children need new computers for school. Basically the rules are that most school supplies $15 or less are tax free, clothing that is $60 or less is tax free, as well as the computer exemption stated above during this 10-day period.

This is a great way to save money. Remember that your child's school has a list of needed supplies that will be used during the year posted on their website. These lists are by grade, and in some instances, by classroom teacher.

Some additional tips for the school year

Make sure your student gets the appropriate amount of rest each night and that they have a positive attitude about learning and school.

Make learning fun at home and reinforce the lessons being taught at school. For instance, baking is a great way to reinforce and teach fractions to children.

Get your child up early enough that getting to school on time isn't a frazzled process, but is smooth and calm. Children do better when things are calm and serene before leaving for school.

Set out clothing, completed homework, and other needed items for school the night before, so no one is rushing around looking for things before leaving for school.

If your child will be riding the bus, learn the route, introduce yourself to the bus driver and make sure you are there to meet the bus in the afternoon if you have small children.

Go to Back to School night and meet your children's teachers in person. Let their teachers know you support their efforts and consider yourself their partner in your child's learning process.

Should you be able to financially afford more supplies than what is required, remember that teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year on classroom supplies. I certainly did every year I taught.

Supplies always needed by teachers include:

  • 8.5-inch by 11-inch white copy paper.
  • Kleenex.
  • Dry erase markers.
  • Pencils – most teachers prefer Ticonderoga brand.
  • Ziploc storage bags in all sizes.
  • Paper towels for clean up.
  • Post It notes in a variety of sizes.
  • Gift cards for supplies are always welcome.

Parents and children, we pray that you have a successful school year and learn many new things. Stay safe and keep a positive attitude.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: HAPPENINGS: The first day of school approaches