While it’s only July, the start of a new school year will be here in no time. New classes, schedules, school supplies… and, for some, a whole new school. Whether transitioning from another city or state, making the jump from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school or simply getting ready to return to the same school a grade level up, Apex Leadership Company offers tips to make any transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Get an Early Start – Routine is important for many personalities – in children and adults alike. Many people thrive on knowing what to expect or by following an outlined schedule. However, throughout the summer many school-year routines go by the wayside. Instead of waiting until the week before school starts to gather new school supplies or get back on a regular bedtime routine, start easing into these things little by little so that by the time the new school year starts, the foundation of a schedule will be in place, and the students will be prepared with their supplies. Not feeling rushed into a new schedule can naturally help avoid any tension or anxiety that comes with not feeling “ready.”

Meet the Teachers — Many schools offer a meet-and-greet event a few days before school starts which gives students a chance to meet their teachers, see their classrooms and in many cases even start loading school supplies into their desks. If possible, take advantage of this opportunity. Simply being on campus, getting the lay of the land, being introduced to the teacher (and perhaps seeing some old friends or having the chance to meet a few new friendly faces), and identifying one’s own place within his or her classroom can be very reassuring when it comes to the first day back to class.

Get Some Shut-Eye — A good night’s rest can offer some serious health benefits. And school-aged children should be getting between 10 and 11 restful hours of sleep each night. Those that don’t may end up having trouble in school — and the lack of sleep could even lead to anxiety. Helping students get their required hours of rest each night can help kids ease into the new school year and reduce the stress that a transition can cause. It’s a good idea to start instilling a solid sleep routine long before the school year starts, as it can take weeks to really get into the habit and start seeing the benefits of a good night’s rest.

Talk About It — Parents should stay in constant contact with their children during this (and any) transitional time. If children are feeling nervous or scared, they should know they can go to the parent with questions or concerns. It’s important that parents and guardians make themselves available to their children with an open line of communication, be there to listen to their children’s concerns, and suggest possible solutions to help ease the child’s concerns.

Get Involved — For young children that are taking their first leap into school with preschool or kindergarten to tweens entering middle school, having a friendly face around campus might just be the thing they need to help get adjusted at a new school. This is a good opportunity for parents to volunteer to help in the classroom (which is generally very welcomed in the lower grade levels) or for other on-campus responsibilities.

Transitioning to a new school or into a new school year can often be stressful or cause students to be a little anxious, which is natural. However, with these easy steps, parents and guardians can help their children start the new school year off with flying colors.