Back to school tips

The British Columbia Ministry of Education has assembled a number of back to school factsheets for parents and guardians. Follow the links to read the fact sheets.

Here are a few tips provided by the Ministry of Education to help parents and guardians give students a smooth start to the school year.

Tips for a smooth start to the school year

Primary Students:

  • Confirm what time school will start on the first day. All Vancouver elementary schools start at 9am and secondary schools start at 8:35am. View bell times.
  • If your children are going to a new school, check with the school to see what information or identification will be required on registration day.
  • Get your children used to the back-to-school routine before the first day of school by having them shift to their school bedtime and wake-up routine a week before school begins.
  • Have your children choose their outfits the night before the first day to help start the morning calmly and efficiently.
  • Find out how your child's teacher communicates with parents and take advantage of the opportunities available.
  • Get involved in the school community. Contact your local board of education or the Parent Advisory Council at your child's school for volunteer opportunities.


Intermediate/Middle Students:

  • Review your children's class schedules with them to ensure all of their classes are correct.
  • Help your children figure out a plan for getting to class on time, especially if classes are at opposite ends of the building.
  • If your children are going to a new school, encourage them to check out the school before their first day. Have them locate the gym, library, cafeteria and their classrooms to get them acquainted with the facilities.
  • Talk to your children about the upcoming school year; be positive and remind them of the friends they will meet, the new things they will learn and the fun they will have.
  • Continue to be involved in the school community as this is a great way to get to know your children's teachers and other parents.


Secondary Students:

  • If your teenagers are going to a new school, have them arrange a visit to learn where to find their classrooms, the gym, the library and the cafeteria so they will feel more comfortable on their first day.
  • Encourage your teenagers to review their schedules and make an appointment with a school counsellor if there are any conflicts or mistakes.
  • Have them practise the combination on their locks to ensure they know the combination and that the locks work properly.
  • Work with your child, their teacher and principal to ensure courses, programs and graduation requirements are being met.
  • Continue to be involved in the school community.

The above factsheet is available in:


NOTE: Look for links to Chinese, French and Punjabi translations of these factsheets at the bottom of the factsheets.

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