Stay Organized The Whole School Year With This Free Printable School Reference Sheet
Last week I focused on tips to get organized and ready for back to school (if you missed the post, you can read it here). Continuing my mission to make this your most organized back to school ever, this week I am focusing on keeping important school information organized.
Organizing School Information, Websites and Apps, Oh My!
Many schools today have gone digital. No longer do we call the school to report an absence; there is now a website for that. There is a different website for filling out and returning forms to school. And there is a different website for placing the school lunch orders. Not to mention online reading programs, classroom websites, school social media sites and digital communication platforms.
While I am generally in favour of going digital, I quickly realized I just can’t keep track of all the different information and sites in my head. There is only so much information my brain will retain and the school online reading app just doesn’t make the cut. But, not surprisingly, I also don’t like paper clutter or wasting time repeatedly searching through numerous papers or websites to find the specific information I need. So, what’s a parent to do? Well, if you are like me, you create a School Reference Sheet: a one-page document where all important school information regularly referred to is kept together.
What To Include In A School Reference Sheet
The School Reference Sheet I prepared has a section for general school information: school name, address, phone number, the names of the principal, vice principal and administrative assistants, the school website and any other social media used by the school to communicate information. It also has a section to record class and room number information, the names of the teachers and educational assistants and the best way to contact them. Finally, it has a section to record the programs and resources used by the school, the associated websites and the passwords for them. The names may vary depending on your school, but includes things such as reading apps, lunch orders, online attendance reporting, parental portals, classroom specific sites, digital communication platforms and online payment platforms. And if you aren’t comfortable writing down your passwords, you can write down prompts that will remind you of the passwords instead.
A School Reference Sheet Saves Time, Reduces Paper Clutter and Keeps Your Whole Family Organized
Having a single piece of paper with all this information reduces paper clutter, makes it quick and easy for me to find and access the information throughout the school year and makes it easy for my husband to as well. My husband truly is my parenting partner, but as in most households, we each take the lead on certain things in our family life and I’m the primary on school information. Of course, that doesn’t mean my husband doesn’t need access to the information. The School Reference Sheet allows him to easily find what he needs (and here is the real bonus) WITHOUT having to ask me.
The School Reference Sheet is a great resource for us, but I also take comfort in knowing that all of my daughter’s important school information is easily accessible to our family should they need it. My husband and I hope to take a trip to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary next year and my super amazing mom has agreed to stay with our daughter while we are away (thank you again mom!). The School Reference Sheet has all the information she needs for everything school-related while we are away.
Where to Keep Your School Reference Sheet
Having this piece of paper with all school information on it is great, but is only useful if it is kept in a convenient and easily accessible location everyone knows about. We keep ours in the kitchen in a 3-ring page protector in our Home Management Binder. I promise there will be more to come on Home Management Binders in a few weeks, but in a nutshell, it’s a binder where you keep the important home and household information that keeps your house (and life) running smoothly. It is the perfect place to keep the School Reference Sheet. Maybe the perfect place for your family is in the office, or den. It just has to be a location everyone knows and can easily access.
You may be thinking, “Sure, that sounds great Heather, but what about when I need to access the information when I am not at home?”. It’s a great question as I know many of us are filling out forms or making school lunch orders when we are at work on our lunch breaks. My tip is to fill out the form and take a picture of it with your phone. Most people always have their phones with them and this way all the information is still in one easily accessible location no matter where you are.
Get Your Copy Of The School Reference Sheet
The School Reference Sheet has helped my family keep all the different school information, websites, apps and platforms organized and streamlined (and reduced our paper clutter). I hope that it will help your family too! For your copy of the School Reference Sheet, click here. If you liked this article, please share it! And keep your eyes open for a full post on Home Management Binders in the coming weeks and how they can help keep your house and life organized.