In the blink of an eye, it's that time again to start planning for the upcoming school year. It may be the dog days of summer, but hardworking teachers and center directors are getting ready to mold young minds for a bright future. The tasks can seem overwhelming, but we've got you covered with the ultimate back-to-school checklist: Write and mail a family welcome letter. This makes a positive first impression and sets the stage for a great year. Create classroom wishlists and share it with parents. Include high-use supplies like paper towels, crayons, glue sticks, sanitizing wipes, etc. Determine the best room arrangement for classrooms to encourage learning. Verify class lists and make student name tags. Label cubbies, desks, etc. Update teacher contact lists to ensure the right information is available to teams. Schedule a Fall Picture Day for your students by contacting Lifetouch Preschool Portraits. Schedule all-staff/grade-level teacher meetings to go over changes and promote synergy among teams. For existing students, review records to determine strengths and weaknesses. Speak with past teachers to determine strategies for dealing with any behavioral issues. Decide on how you want to assess students' skill levels. Select activities and plan them for the first few weeks. Tie all activities to national education standards. Plan first-quarter units, themes and lesson plans. Create the first month's calendar including important information, such as weekly themes, activities, birthdays, etc. Decorate classrooms, including bulletin boards, doorways and walls. Download our free 24x30 classroom poster onto a flashdrive and bring it to your local Office Depot to print. Decide on class rules and post in a visible location. Plan to go over these on the first day of school. Clearly state how rules will be enforced. Consider printing class rules to send home with students so parents are aware of expectations. Select an icebreaker activity for the first day. One idea is to sit in a circle and toss a small ball around. The person who gets the ball says their name and shares something special about themselves. For example, "My name is Mrs. Nelson and I like to ride horses." Choose a group craft project for the first day. For example, have everyone trace and cut out their hand print and then form into a wreath that can be hung on the classroom door. Consider planning a scavenger hunt for each class that includes finding a list of things around the school. This is a fun bonding activity and helps little ones learn where things are located so they feel more comfortable. Create a system for classroom volunteers. Convey the system to parents and post in a visible location so parents can easily sign up at pickup times. Update the website and social media pages, if you have them, with information targeted to new families. Give yourself (and your team) a pep talk. You're helping young minds grow and having a positive impact on the world! Click here to download and print this free template for your back to school checklist!