Back to School Tips for New Kids on Guam

Alex & Leah Del Mundo
Published on August 8, 2015

Back to School Tips for New Kids on Guam

DoDEA bus

It’s August and it seems like the summer is either crawling by or moving at light speed toward the inevitable first day at Guam DoDEA schools. It’s a good thing that schools nowadays, give a detailed supply list early on so parents don’t have to do the mad shopping rush the week before the start of school.

For military families, however, (especially those who did their Guam PCS over the summer), there are more boxes to check off than just notebooks, rulers and pens, before the Guam DoDEA school year begins. The check list below will help you, our military parents, get the new kids on Guam ready for a successful start.

1. You and your kids are new to Guam so make sure to give the school your email address and phone numbers upon registration and have these added to the parents list. Then make sure to read everything the school emails you to assure that the kids are well prepared when they arrive on the first day at the new school. Be as thorough as possible. Keep in mind that forgetting to load lunch money may not seem much to you but it’s a big deal to your child, especially in a new school.

2. If your child has important information (i.e. medical and special education documents) then prepare the paperwork early on to provide to the school.

3. Check in with NBG, AAFB and U.S. Naval Hospital’s School Liaison Officer and Youth Sponsorship Program. Both are designed to educate and support transitioning families and new kids on Guam.  They provide resources that will direct education related questions and emphasize connecting kids with other children in similar situations.

4. Check your child’s new Guam DoDEA school website and the PTA or PTO website. These will have many useful dates and contact numbers. Schools in NBG, AAFB and U.S. Naval Hospital will often have a committee dedicated to welcoming new military families.

5. Mark your calendar to attend Back to School Night or any other orientation designed for new families on Guam. Consider doing a school walk through before the first day.  This will help your kids… and even you… be more comfortable.

6. On a related note, exploring the route to school by either walking or riding (if you are in an off-base housing) will reduce some uncertainty.

Additional Suggestions:

1. The lack of routine during summer often results on disorganization and even forgetfulness. Time catches up with you and before you know it, school starts on Monday next week! Put important dates on the family calendar well in advance to make the most out of you free days of vacation.

2. Students starting new school districts often require dental and medical exams. Make appointments with the health providers early for appropriate scheduling. It’s best to bring previous records, especially shot records.

3. Stay current on Guam local happenings by using social media to introduce your family. There are several Facebook groups for Guam military spouses and families that you can join. Those who have been here on Guam awhile are more than happy to give tips and advice.

4. Be friendly with your neighbors and co-workers. Doing so will more than likely get your family an invitation to drop by and meet their families.

5. Work on reestablishing the kids’ bedtime routine about 3 to 4 weeks out from the first day. Moving bed times back in 10-minute increments will help.

6. Find simple to prepare and healthy lunch and breakfast recipes online (instagram and pinterest are perfect resources!). Then consider making large batches of easily frozen items in advance to heat and serve as needed.

7. Haircuts! Ask around for recommendations for a good barber or hairdresser on or off-base. Have it done about two weeks out from the first day of school to let their hair grow out a bit.

Welcome to Guam and we at wish you and your kids a happy and healthy school year!