August 16th, 2018
We recently provided Part 1 of a series of five suggestions to help transition your child with special needs to the upcoming school year. The tips below complete this series. Remember the words of Hall of Fame coach John Wooden: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Good luck with the upcoming school year!
6) On school nights, organize, with your child, everything needed for school the night before, and do not leave these organizational tasks for the morning of a school day. This means setting out clothes for the next day, organizing school supplies/book bag, and even setting out breakfast items as much as possible. This preparation will reduce the stress of school mornings, and involving your child in these preparations will teach the importance of organization in even seemingly mundane tasks.
7) Develop a habit of talking about school with your child every day – preferably both before school and after the school day is completed. This simple process teaches your child that you are also engaged in learning and reflects the importance that you place upon your child’s success.
8) Attend parent teacher conferences—if possible, two parents should attend these conferences, as two sets of ears and two minds are important in understanding the input of the teacher, and in making sure that no important facts to be provided are overlooked.
9) Learn and follow the rules of your school district about observing your child in school. Pennsylvania law permits parents of children with special needs to conduct at least some observation during the school year, which must be at reasonable times, places, and manners, and cannot interfere with the learning of your child or others. When this type of observation can be arranged, it can provide important information to parents.
10) Whenever appropriate, write your child’s teachers or administrators a thank you note to reflect a job well done by faculty, staff, or administrators. This type of personal courtesy goes a long way, and reflects appreciation for the hard work of these professionals on behalf of children. From personal experience, we know that this type of statement of appreciation reflects very positively upon both the child and the parents.
In addition to these tips to help transition your special needs child to the upcoming school year, we wanted to provide parents information regarding where people can donate and pick-up school supplies. According to Hunting Bank’s Backpack index, which tracks the average cost of school supplies, for the 2018-2019 school year parents can expect to pay the following amounts in school supplies per child:
  • $637 for elementary school children;
  • $941 for middle school children; and
  • $1,355 for high school children
We are all familiar with the ancient proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” Even if you can afford school supply expenses, many of your child’s classmates cannot. Therefore, we have provided links to various organizations in Pennsylvania and Delaware where people can donate school supplies or pick-up free school supplies.
This link is to a Delaware online article that breaks down by county where families can donate or pick up school supplies.
This link provides information regarding various organizations in the Philadelphia area that assist families with obtaining school supplies.
Cradle to Crayons is an organization in Philadelphia help provide low income children the essentials they need that may extend beyond school supplies. 

McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. is a nationally recognized firm that provides families of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Area, and New Jersey with exceptional legal representation in Special Education, Estate Planning, and the representation of individuals involved in higher education allegations of misconduct.
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