Story ideas for covering back to school:
-- Technology: What kind of technology are your schools using this year that they might not have before? How can families who can't afford such technology get deals on it? How many readers are sending kids back to school with a cellphone, and at what age do they feel it's good to start this? What kinds of rules do family counselors recommend setting for child cellphone use?
-- Lunch: Your readers don't have time to make the fanciest lunches for their students, but they'll be looking for tips on making them simply and healthfully. Post schools' upcoming lunch menus online, too, so parents know whether to pack a lunch or let kids buy a healthier or favorite meal.
-- Supply drives: Round up local school supply drives and list how to donate to other agencies that need your family's used clothes/shoes, backpacks and other supplies this time of year, such as The Salvation Army or Staples' back-to-school charity.
-- Safety: There are many angles on school safety, but a far-reaching one is school bus safety -- provide tips for safety while waiting for the bus, on the bus (such as what to do if there's a bully) and getting off the bus. Also, alert readers when school buses will start to be on the roads and remind them of the laws about driving past and stopping for buses.
-- Health: What kinds of physicals does your kid need for entering kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, or for playing sports? What are ways parents can avoid the inevitable illnesses that come with lots of kids being around each other all day at school? What's the flu outlook for the fall, and will your local schools offer shots?