Everything You Need to Know for Going Back to School in West Michigan
I know that it’s time to start thinking about fall when I see the school supplies go on sale. Even though I’m not ready for it yet, I am looking forward to a return to routine and having a quiet house again.
We’ve got a pretty powerful back-to-school lineup with tips for getting your school year started on the right foot. To make it even easier for you, we are putting everything all in one place.
Keep reading to find our back to school hacks for pleasing the teachers and making lunches, as well as our massive list of when kids go back to school in each district.
Simple Hacks to Make Your Life Easier
As a former elementary school teacher, I know how much work teachers put into getting their classrooms ready for a new year. Every little thing parents did to make my life easier was always so appreciated.
I noticed little things like getting kids to bed early and labeling supplies. Now that I’m on the parent end, I do as much as I can to help out my kids’ teachers.
Packing lunch every day is one task that I am not looking forward to. I make my son pack his own lunch but I’ve still got to figure out what foods to have on hand for him to use.
If you’re a nicer mom than I am, our 10 lunch packing hacks will give you some ideas on how to keep this dreaded task more interesting.
I love a good bargain, so I’m always watching for the back-to-school sales. Shopping the deals, labeling supplies and setting up a homework area are just a few ideas from our list of 10 ways to make a smooth transition back to school.
Where to Find Sports, Haircuts, Shoes and Field Trips
As I write this, I’m looking at my son’s floppy hair. When it gets long enough for me to run my fingers through it, I know it’s time for a haircut. These reader recommended hair salons for a good place to make sure the kids are ready for fall pictures.
Our readers also chimed in on where they like to go shoe shopping. (Don’t forget gym shoes as well, if your school requires that!)
Soccer, baseball, karate, gymnastics… There are so many choices for activities these days. I’m waiting for my kids to ask to do a sport before I decide where to enroll them. And when that day comes, I’m going to let our massive sports guide do the work for me.
When I think of school field trips, I automatically think of the zoo and the children’s museum. While these are fantastic destinations, our field trip guide has even more ideas on all the cool places there are to go visit, learn and play around Grand Rapids. We also have cool printables and a downloadable field trip and enrichment guide!
Let’s Talk About Health
Going back to school means a return to kids in tight quarters, passing their germs onto to each other.
Michigan law requires all children attending school or childcare to be fully immunized. Your child’s school or childcare facility must have a signed copy of your child’s immunization records or a waiver if they are not fully vaccinated.
We tracked down flyers on required immunizations for school (4 – 18 years) as well as for childcare and preschool (ages 2 months – 5 years). We also gathered FAQ’s and key points on filing a waiver. Please visit the State of Michigan website for more information on waivers and immunizations.
When Do Kids Go Back to School in Your District?
If you’re new to the area and researching schools, be sure to look over our schools guide. Preschooler families can find a great fit with our huge list of area preschools and homeschool families will love these homeschool resources in West Michigan
Now that Michigan schools are no longer required to start after Labor Day, it can be hard to keep up with when everyone goes back to school. We have assembled a huge list of the first day of school. This list has been divided into public, private and charter schools.
This list has been updated for 2019.
Aug 5: Innocademy
Aug 19: Creative Technologies Academy, Cross Creek Charter Academy, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, Ridge Park Charter Academy
Aug 20: NexTech High School, Vista Charter Academy
Aug 21: Black River Public, Knapp Charter Academy, Vanderbilt Charter Academy
Aug 26: Byron Center Charter School, Chandler Woods Charter Academy, New Branches Charter Academy, River City Scholars, Vanguard Charter Academy, Walker Charter Academy
Aug 27: Excel Charter Academy
Sep 3: Wellspring Preparatory High School, West Michigan Academy of Arts & Academics
Aug 19: Grand Rapids Christian Schools (all campuses), Tri-Unity Christian, Unity Christian High School
Aug 20: Grand Rapids Adventist Academy, Holland Christian School, Holy Spirit Catholic School
Aug 22: All Saints Academy, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School, Corpus Christi Catholic School, Divine Providence Academy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Holland Adventist Academy, Holy Trinity Catholic School, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, Our Lady of Consolation Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic School, St. Patrick Catholic School – Parnell, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School, St. Robert Catholic School, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School (K 8/23)
Aug 23: Grand Rapids West Catholic School (orientation 8/22)
Aug 26: Ada Christian School, Algoma Christian School, Byron Center Christian School (grades 6 – 8, all others start 8/28), Covenant Christian High School, Dutton Christian School, Grand Haven Christian, Jenison Christian School, Lamont Christian School, Legacy Christian School, Northpointe Christian School, Our Savior Lutheran School, Plymouth Christian School, The Potter’s House, St. Mary’s Catholic School, West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, West Side Christian School (Young 5’s 8/27), Zeeland Christian School
Aug 27: Allendale Christian School (middle school students, all others start 8/28), AnchorPoint Christian School, Hudsonville Christian School, St. John’s Lutheran Day School – Grand Haven
Sep 4: Calvary Schools of Holland, Libertas Christian School, Sacred Heart Academy, Trinitas Classical School, Zion Christian School (pre-k 9/9)
July 30: Emmons Elementary School – Caledonia Community Schools
Aug 19: East Grand Rapids Public, Godfrey-Lee Public, Godwin Heights Public, Grandville Public, Kentwood Public
Aug 20: Caledonia Public, Grand Rapids Public, Jenison Public, Kelloggsville Public, Lowell Area Schools, Thornapple-Kellogg, Wyoming Public
Aug 21: Hamilton Community, Holland Public
Aug 26: Comstock Park Public, Coopersville Area, Forest Hills Public, Hudsonville Public, Kent City Community, Northview Public, Rockford Public, Sparta Area Schools
Aug 27: Allendale Public, Byron Center Public, Grand Haven Public, Kenowa Hills Public, Spring Lake Public, West Ottawa Public, Zeeland Public
Sep 4: Cedar Springs Public, Saugatuck Public
Back to School Events Around West Michigan
Is there anything else you need to know to get ready for school? Let me know in the comments!