It’s almost that time! School will be back in session in the blink of an eye. Here’s all you need to know before the kids go back to school! If you want even more fun, check out our Back to School Pinterest board!
There are many options for education in the Stateline area including public school, private school and homeschooling. If your kids are 2-5, check out our post on Preschools in the Rockford area. This guide is focused on resources for kids in public school.
Public School Age Requirements in Illinois and Wisconsin
In Illinois, kids can start kindergarten at age 5 if their birthday is before September 1st. The compulsory age is 6 years old as of 2014. There is currently a bill in the works to change the compulsory age to 5 years old.
In Wisconsin, kids can start kindergarten at age 5 if their birthday is before September 1st. The compulsory age is 6 years old. In order to enter first grade, students must have completed 5 year kindergarten or have received an exemption.
Public Schools in the Stateline
You can find out which school your child will attend in a few ways. Using your property taxes, look up your parcel number (PIN) in Winnebago, Boone or Stephenson county on the GIS site. You can also find your home on the map then click it to view the information.
Another option is to look up your address on Illinois Report Card or the Wisconsin Education Boundaries site. You can also call the school district in your city to confirm that your child should go there.
Stateline Public School District Start Dates
- Beloit: September 3, 2019
- Belvidere: August 20, 2019
- Harlem: (Loves Park, Machesney Park): August 14, 2019
- Kinnikinnick: (Roscoe): August 21, 2019
- Rockford: September 3, 2019
- Rockton: August 21, 2019
Stateline Health Requirements for Public School
Each school may have their own requirements for deadlines on physical, vision and dental exams. Check with your school for exact dates.
In Illinois, the official deadlines for physical exam, vision exam, and immunization records or exemptions is by October 15. Dental exam must be on file by May 15.
In Wisconsin, the official deadlines are not in place because physical and dental exams are not required by state code, however school districts may have their own requirements so contact yours to find out. Eye exams are required prior to kindergarten and must be on file by December 31.
School Supply and Clothes Shopping
Each school district, and individual school, typically posts the lists of school supplies for each grade level. Check your school or district’s website for information on what your child will need this year. If you need help with school supplies or backpacks this year, here’s a list of backpack and school supply giveaways happening in the Rockford area.
Before you go shopping, check the Krazy Koupon Lady for deals on what you’re looking for. If you’re a teacher, Meijer offers 15% off for school supplies if you show your teacher ID. This deal is good until September 28, 2019.
If you don’t have time to go shopping, Target has a School List Assist option where you can add all items from your kid’s list to your Target order and pick it up within two hours! Basically Target does the shopping for you! Look up your kid’s list on Target’s School List Assist here.
If you’d rather not go in the store, you can use online shopping or store pick-up. Walmart has a store pick-up option. Use FAMECARS for $10 off your first order.
For reasonably priced school clothes, check out Once Upon a Child in Rockford. Be sure to sign up for their text list to get additional discounts and coupons.
School Supply Donation
If you have extra school supplies you’d like to donate, there are some great options to help kids in our community.
August 13th: Stuff the Bus Donation Drive at McDonald’s (314 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL) from 6 am – 6 pm. Drop off school supplies for students in the Rockford area. The most needed items are #2 pencils, pens, colored pencils, glue sticks, bottles of glue, scissors, folders, crayons, backpacks, wipes, and other school supplies.
August 17th: JB815 Jam The Van at Roxy Carmichael Boutique (310 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL) from 10 am – 4 pm. Help “Jam The Van” by buying an extra notebook, or a pack of pens, or a spare backpack, or any other school supplies then dropping them off in the JB815Mobile van located at Mary’s By Design. There will also be face painting, snacks and fun to benefit our local area youth.
Kindergarten is a big transition and can be tough on little ones. Here are some tips on how to make the transition a little easier:
Attend the open house and meet the teacher events. Seeing the school before it starts, getting an idea of where their classroom is and meeting their teacher can help lessen some of your child’s anxiety.
On the first day, get your kid settled, but don’t draw out the goodbye.
Consider being involved in your kid’s school. Join the PTA, sign up to be a room parent or to help with parties, events, or field trips, and be active in the parent-teacher conferences.
Borrow books from your library about starting school or buy some from Amazon. Here are a few suggestions:
- The Kissing Hand
- I am Absolutely Too Small For School
- Kindness Starts With You At School
- Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes
- First Day Jitters
- The Day You Begin
- Mae’s First Day of School
- Kindergarten, Here I Come!
- On the First Day of Kindergarten
First Day Traditions
It can be fun to set up a first day of school tradition with your kids. We asked Stateline Kids readers what their first day of school traditions were and they had some great ones:
“Our boys and neighbor kids are all in their 20’s now, but for YEARS, we had “Breakfast at the Bus Stop” the week before school started. Yes- a trial run for timing and showing off new backpacks and shoes. Those who overslept were awakened by banging on their bedroom windows! Several years, their bus driver came too since she was practicing her route! We have so many memories!” – Tina
“Making homemade donuts for breakfast!” – Shannon
“Picture by the front door before she gets on the bus, then going out for brunch with a friend.” – Kate
Here are some other ideas:
- Putting a handprint on the back of a t-shirt with their graduation year on the front
- Chalkboard with their favorite things written on it
- Ice cream, or other treat, after the first day
- Taking a short video asking how your child’s first day was when they get home, repeat every year
School Lunch Ideas
Kids can be picky eaters, but there are lots of options for school lunch ideas.
Check out our Pinterest board for a bunch of fun ideas for traditional lunches, non-sandwich meals, Bento box options, vegan food, and homemade Lunchables!
Here are some other great ideas:
Homework Help and Organization
Homework starts early and can be a source of conflict between kids and parents! These articles can help make it a little easier.
Check out our Pinterest board for a bunch of ideas on homework organization, desk set-up and more.
Here are some other great ideas:
Rockford Area Back to School Events
Your child’s school will likely have an open house or get to know the teachers event before school starts, check your school or district’s website to find more information.
The following events are open to the public.
Monday, August 12 from 6 – 7 pm
Jim Gill Back to School Concert at Grace Lutheran Preschool
343 Grand Ave., Loves Park, IL
Children’s musician Jim Gill will be performing a free concert and all are welcome.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2072523256383092/
Friday, August 16 from 9 am – 3 pm
Free Kids Haircuts at Bridget’s Be Bella Salon
14467 De la Tour Dr., South Beloit, IL
Bethany will be giving free kids haircuts. Call 815-624-0609 to schedule an appointment with Bethany.
Sunday, August 18 at 12 – 3 pm
Back to School Community Event at Carlito’s Tacos and More
7828 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park, IL
Free haircuts, free cheese quesadillas, music, fun, raffles, and free school supplies.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/462440181274224/
Sunday, August 25 at 2 – 7 pm
Washington Park Community Center
3617 Delaware St., Rockford, IL
Freedom “A Church Without Walls” Rockford is throwing a back to school youth celebration. There will be a cook-off, free hair cuts from Classic Cuts, free hair-dos if you bring your own hair, food, games, fun, and giveaways.