10 Back-to-School tips to ensure a great start to the new year

Updated: Jul 24, 2019



July 23, 2019 - Team Duval is ready to kick off another dynamic year in education. Below are 10 Back to School tips to help ensure our families and students have a smooth and successful start to the year.


  1. Register in Advance – If your child is new to Duval County Public Schools – or had previously left the district and is now returning – please ensure they register for school in advance. This prevents confusion and ensures they have the appropriate schedules on the first day of school. Registration can be accomplished in a few simple steps. Visit our Registration webpage to see the process and learn what documents are needed.

  2. Know Your School Assignment: Make sure you know what school your child is attending before the first day of school. Students are assigned to their neighborhood school unless they have filled out an application for – and have been accepted to – a magnet school or special transfer option school. If your child is on the waiting list for a magnet school or special transfer option school, you must register him or her at their neighborhood school while you wait. To find your neighborhood school, just use the School Locator on the district’s website.

  3. Attend Orientation: Schools are hosting orientations throughout the next two weeks. This will provide families an opportunity to meet and talk with school leaders, learn about the school’s vision and culture and ask questions. Contact the school or visit their website for its orientation date/time.

  4. Know Your School Hours: You can check out the list of school start and dismissal times here.

  5. Identify Your Bus Stops and Routes – Fall bus routes will be available on the Transportation web page on July 30. Make sure you view them as there may have been updates from the previous year. (Every summer, bus routes are reviewed and needed changes are made.) Also the Transportation Call Center Hotline (904-381-RIDE (7433)) will be available to answer your questions July 30 – Aug. 23, from 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Special note – There will be changes to bus routes for Andrew Jackson High School, Wolfson High School, and Matthew Gilbert Middle School because these schools are now dedicated magnets. Visit here to review these updates.)

  6. Complete Kindergarten Dismissal Form – Do you have a kindergartner who will be riding the bus for the first time? Make sure you complete the Kindergarten Dismissal form and return it to your child’s school before the first day of school. This letter is a MUST! It provides instructions to the bus drivers on how you want your kindergartner dropped off after school. Bus drivers are not able to transport any kindergartners for whom they DO NOT have a copy of this form.

  7. Review the Updated 2019-20 School Calendar – In June, the School Board approved an updated 2019-20 school calendar. You can view the updated calendar – as well as a list of important school dates and the report card schedule here. One of the changes to the 2019-20 calendar year is fewer early release days. There will now be one early release day a month, amounting to 10 early release days for the year. Students will be dismissed an hour and 45 minutes earlier than the school’s standard dismissal time. This is another change from previous years, in which students were dismissed 75 minutes earlier than standard dismissal times. The reason for this change was to assist parents who had difficulty making transportation arrangements for early dismissal times; and to provide more time for educators to participate in professional learning.

  8. Download the DCPS Mobile App – Stay up to date with events, activities and important matters with your child’s school by downloading the FREE Duval County Public Schools mobile app. Once downloaded, select “Follow Schools” and select the schools you want to follow.

  9. Visit our Back to School webpage – Go to www.duvalschools.org/backtoschool to find helpful links on everything from school supply lists to registration information.

  10. Come to School: The new school year begins on Monday, Aug. 12. Plan to arrive early on the first day and week as parent drop-off lines can be longer than expected.

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