Regardless of your status as a new or returning student family, school check-in can sometimes be stressful. Add in the new regulations implemented by the spread of COVID-19 and your blood pressure may begin to rise.
Check in at Florida Prep will largely follow our established procedures; with the addition of appointment times and social distancing. However, by using the following tips, the process can be streamlined, saving you time and more importantly, allowing you to enjoy the experience with your student.
Tip No 1 - Are your financials in order?
It’s a fact that as you check into most private schools the first person you’re going to meet is the Finance Officer. Your meeting can go one of two ways, either a cheery “hello” with a tick by your name or “Let’s step into the office to discuss your account”.
If you are a new student it’s always a good option to check with your admissions officer in advance of check-in that everything is in order. You don’t want to spoil that first day due to a misunderstanding regarding your payment.
If you’re a returning student, and you’re invited to ‘step into the office’ then it’s to be expected your account is delinquent in some way and generally the school will have notified you of this fact long before check-in.
Don’t ignore those notices, call the finance department, and check if there are payment options available to you. Don’t leave it until the day of your child’s return.
Check-in day and the days around it are extremely busy for the finance office. Addressing financial issues in advance is far more likely to yield a sympathetic response with flexible options. Do not return with the expectation that it will all work out on the day.
If you are requested to make a payment have options or a strategy available!
Tip No 2 – Annual Physical
In some parts of the country, including Florida, students are required to have an annual physical on file. If your child is also an athlete they will also require the physical notice issued by the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association). Local doctors and health centers often begin “Back to School Physical” promotions a month prior to students returning to school. This year we have been made aware of limited appointment times or simply no appointments at all. If this applies to you please contact Nurse Kaufmann for assistance. firstname.lastname@example.org
Without FHSAA documentation Florida Prep students are precluded from training with or representing any team. Given the current hold on FHSAA activities this is currently not an issue; however, should sports restart under the FHSAA umbrella during the school year we will ask for the documentation to be available.
Tip 3 – Insurance
During check-in, you will be expected to provide proof of medical insurance for your student.
U.S. Students must hold their own medical card, even if attached to their parent's insurance. It’s also a good idea if you are located out of state to check with your insurer the agreements they may have in place with local hospitals and provide that information to school medical staff.
All medical bills are the responsibility of the parent. If your provider does not have a local affiliate it may be worth investigating a local carrier for your child.
All International students must purchase an insurance plan designed for International Students. A travel plan will not suffice.
Ask about available options prior to leaving for the USA, prices, and coverage vary!
Tip 4 – Clothing/Uniform Options
Check in advance the items that must be purchased from the school store and those that might be purchased outside. Review clothing policies: Are skinny chinos acceptable, what is the expected length of shorts, may I wear a hoodie? Details are available in the Florida Prep student handbook.
Purchase sufficient clothing from the school store to ensure your child is able to have at least 2 sets in the laundry while wearing one. A good option is to assume a polo shirt per day and at least 4 pairs of trousers or shorts.
Ensure your child has sufficient gym-wear, particularly if they are athletes. Dorm room odors do not make you popular!
Items purchased outside the school store may often be more ‘fashion forward,’ allowing your child to express their personality, while still adhering to school rules, however, ensure they are designed to be hard wearing and non-iron. Our School laundry does not have a delicate wash!
Tip 5-What to Bring
If your child is checking-in as a boarding student, ensure you read the ‘What to Bring’ list on the school website. Most dorm-rooms offer a limited amount of storage space. Make a list of items that are absolutely necessary and those that might be nice to have. Trim it down!
Aim to layer clothing to alleviate the need for bulky sweaters or large winter coats, which are rarely required in Florida. Your child will probably purchase items throughout the school year and school fleeces can double as weekend wear if necessary. One ‘special occasion’ outfit should be considered, keep the remainder casual.
If your child uses a particular type of product, such as shampoo or contact lens solution, bring only a small bottle. After their arrival, they will join other students on shopping trips and will soon learn where to replenish that item.
Ensure your child has two sets of bedding, one in use, one for the laundry, along with their own pillow(s). Florida Prep uses single standard sized bedding. Purchase sheets and a quilt to suit that size. Consider purchasing a mattress pad. You may also purchase your own mattress after you arrive at school.
On the Day Quick Tips
Please adhere to your appointment time. Social Distancing will be in effect and each ‘zone’ will be entered in a specific order.
If your name is difficult to spell, or English is not your first language, consider printing business cards with your name, address, telephone number and email address.
Check the ‘School Supplies List’ Walmart and other stores offer major discounts on back-to-school supplies. Ensure your child is prepared for that first day. Middle school students will receive supplies upon arrival.
Take advantage of the State ‘Tax-Free Holiday’ for electronics, school supplies, and dorm-room items. The Florida holiday is August 7-9.
Be patient; remember everyone is going through this.
Bring water. Staying hydrated will keep you comfortable.
Remember your child may need to carry that box/suitcase/guitar etc. up flights of stairs. Pack what you can carry! Due to COVID-19 restrictions only students and Florida Prep staff will be allowed in the residential halls.
Keep an open mind. That student speaking loudly, wearing a hideous T-Shirt, or making faces may become your best friend for life!