New School

Preparing before School Starts

It’s never too early to get ready for a new school year. These tips can help you and your family be ready to learn.

Develop Good Sleep Routines

Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. The optimal amount of sleep for most younger children is 10-12 hours per night and for adolescents (13-18 year of age) is in the range of 8-10 hours per night. Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.

See Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need? for more information.

After School Care

One of the biggest challenges parents face is finding child care. It is never too early to begin touring child care facilities. The SC Inclusion Collaborative supports families by providing the following:

  • • a list of providers for you to contact that may meet your needs
  • • information about what to look for regarding health, safety, and quality
  • • information about financial assistance options
  • • tools you can use to make an informed choice

The SC Inclusion Collaborative also provides individualized training and coaching for child care providers to support the inclusion of children with disabilities/developmental delays in child care programs. If you are a provider and would like more information, visit SC Inclusion.

ABC Quality is a voluntary rating and improvement program that helps South Carolina parents find high quality child care. Visit ABC Quality to learn more about child care providers, what to ask, what to look for, what rating means, and FAQs.


Make sure your child knows how they will get to and from school, whether it is by car, carpool, bus, bike, or walking. Review safety protocols and any change in route or transportation mode.


Bullying or cyberbullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. If your child is a victim, a bystander, or the bully, these tips can help. For more information on Bullying, visit


Studies show eating a balanced breakfast before school helps students function better. Most schools offer free or reduced lunch, with several districts offering free lunch for all students.

School and Medicine

All medication must be brought to school in the original labeled container prepared by the pharmacy, doctor, or pharmaceutical company (i.e., no envelopes, foil, or baggies).

The label should include the following:

  • o Child’s name
  • o Name of medication
  • o Dosage of medication to be given
  • o Frequency of administration
  • o Route of administration
  • o Name of physician ordering medication
  • o Date of prescription
  • o Expiration date

School staff is not authorized to determine when an “as needed” medication is to be given. Specific instructions are necessary (e.g., every 4 hours, as needed for headache). For children with chronic health conditions, this can be determined in collaboration with the consulting nurse.

Medication Instructions for School Staff

School staff involved in medication administration receives special training and work in consultation with a nurse or other health care consultant.

Your child’s doctor must include the following instructions with the medication:

  • o Date of order
  • o Name of child
  • o Reason for medication
  • o Name of medication to be administered
  • o Dosage
  • o Time of administration
  • o Route of administration
  • o Length of time the medication needs to be given
  • o Possible side effects
  • o Special requirements such as “take with food”
  • o Whether or not medication may be self-administered

Managing Asthma at School

Talk with school personnel to get their opinions on how well your child is coping with asthma in school and to see if asthma symptoms are causing any of the following problems:

Missing school due to asthma symptoms or doctor visits.
Avoiding school or school activities. Work with your health care provider and school personnel to encourage your child to participate in school activities.
Not taking medication before exercise. Your child may avoid going to the school office or nurse’s office to use his inhaler before exercise. Schools that allow children to carry their inhalers with them can help avoid this problem.
Side effects from medication. Some asthma medications may alter your child’s ability to perform in school. Teachers need to know if and when your child takes asthma medication so that you can be notified if there are any problems.

Know Your Rights

Learn about the federal laws that can help you with asthma management concerns at school.

  • Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act of 1973
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

What is an Individualized Health Plan (IHP) Document?

Schools are required to have individual health care plans for students with special health care needs and policies that allow students to self-monitor and self-administer medication under certain conditions (Sections 59-63-80 and 59-63-90 SC Code of Laws). School districts are also required to notify parents or legal guardians of services and rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and medical homebound regulations at the beginning of the school year. Read more about IHP.