10 Things to Help You Prepare

It's that time of year again...

The countdown is on for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Whether you like to be prepared well in advance or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, here are 10 things to help you prepare to send your children Back to School in Northern Lights Public Schools.

1. Registration

If your child currently attends one of our schools, you do not need to complete a new registration form for the 2019-2020 school year. Students transitioning from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school will have their information automatically transferred to the receiving school.

If you wish to transfer your child to any other school within the division, please contact their current school and ask them to transfer the information to the new school - you can do this when schools re-open on August 21.

If you are new to NLPS, welcome! You can register your child online using School Engage:
KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12 REGISTRATION. If you have questions, or would like a tour of a school in your community, please drop by when schools re-open on August 21. Our staff are more than happy to assist you with completing the registration form and answering any questions you may have.

2. Transportation

Does your child need to take the bus to and from school?

If you are new to NLPS, you must complete the K-12 Registration form before you can register for student transportation. You will see the form in School Engage when you register.

If your child took the bus to and from school last year, you do not need to register again. You only need to complete the Transportation Registration form if your child is changing schools or changing addresses before the start of the new school year.

Do you have questions about Student Transportation?

Please check out our Student Transportation Guide, which outlines the responsibilities of students, bus drivers and parents, and our Frequently Asked Questions page.

3. Out of School Care

Do you need before or after school care for your child?

Students at the following schools can register for our Out of School Care program: Vera M. Welsh Elementary and Aurora Middle School in Lac La Biche: Duclos School and H.E. Bourgoin Middle School in Bonnyville; and Cold Lake Elementary, North Star Elementary, Nelson Heights Middle School and Cold Lake Middle School in Cold Lake.

If you are new to NLPS, you must complete the K-12 Registration form before you can register for Out of School Care. You will see the form in School Engage when you register.

Do you have questions about the Out of School Care program?

Many topics are addressed in our Parent Handbook and Student Handbook. You can also check out our Out of School Care program page.

4. 2019-2020 School Calendar and Important Dates

Want to know when all the "no school" days are during the year? We'll be sending home a calendar to post on your fridge or bulletin board, but until then, you can check out the 2019-2020 School Calendar.

Please note that students at Ardmore, Iron River and Caslan School have three additional "no school" days to give the staff at those schools time to collaborate with each other: Ardmore, Caslan, Iron River 2019-2020 School Calendar.

Want to know more school-specific information? Each school has a calendar on their website with information on upcoming events.

Here are some other important dates and deadlines to note as you get prepared to come back to school. Please check your school's website for information about Back to School events and other school-specific deadlines.

August 21 Schools Open and Staff are Available to Assist with Registrations
August 25 Deadline to Register for Out of School Care to Start September 3
August 26 Student Update and Verification Forms are available for Parents to complete online through the PowerSchool Parent Portal.
September 3 First Day of School (Grades 1 - 12)
  Out of School Care starts (if registered by August 25)
  Full-Day Preschool Starts
  Kindergarten Meetings
September 4 Kindergarten Meetings
September 5 Kindergarten Staggered Entry (half of students attend)
September 6 Kindergarten Staggered Entry (half of students attend)
September 9 First Day of Kindergarten for all Students
  Out of School Care starts for Kindergarten students
September 16/17 Half-Day Preschool Starts

5. School Supplies

Not sure what your child needs to bring on their first day? Did the list sent home at the end of the year disappear over the summer?

Most schools have posted their school supply lists on their school websites. Many have also provided lists to local retailers for them to share in their stores.

If you can't find the list you are looking for, please contact your school when it re-opens on August 21.

Please note that for high schools, supply lists vary depending on the courses students will be taking and may not be available until course selection has been confirmed.

6. School Fees and School Cash Online

Any school fees required for the start of the school year and/or items available for purchase should be posted in School Cash Online later this month. If you have already signed up for School Cash Online and have requested notifications, you will be notified when new items are added for your child.

If you do not already have a School Cash Online account set up and want a quick, secure way to pay school fees, instructions for creating an account are located on our School Cash Online page.

7. Student Update and Verification Form

Each year, Alberta Education requires schools to update the information they have on file for every student in their school. This is done through our Student Update and Verification Form. This form provides parents with the opportunity to review and update their contact information, as well as to review other forms that require consent on an annual basis (FOIPP, Student Use of Technology, etc.)

This year, we will be making the Student Update and Verification Form available to parents though the PowerSchool Parent Portal at the end of August. If you already have a Parent Portal account set up, you can access the form by logging into the Parent Portal on your computer (the form is not available in the Parent Portal app), and clicking on School Engage in the lower left-hand corner.

If you do not already have a PowerSchool Parent Portal account set up, full instructions can be found on our Parent Portal page.

8. School Messenger

Want to stay up-to-date with what's happening in your child's school?

Northern Lights Public Schools uses School Messenger to communicate with parents. It allows us to send automated phone messages, emails and text messages to parents, and also provides teachers with the option to have conversations with parents through the School Messenger app.

All you have to do to receive messages is to make sure we have your up-to-date contact information. If you wish to receive text messages, you will need to text Y to 978-338 to give your consent.

You can also see all of the messages sent to you through the School Messenger app (available for Apple or Android devices) or by creating an account at

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year parents throughout NLPS will also be able to report student absences through the School Messenger app and website. We will be sending out more details about this as we are closer to implementing this feature.

For full instructions on how to use School Messenger, check out our School Messenger page.

9. Bus Status App

Want to know if your child's bus is running and on time?

The Bus Status App allows you to keep track of delays or cancellations, and receive push notifications for just the bus routes that matter to you.

More information, including an instructional video, is available on our Bus Status App page.

10. Back to School Health - Family Resources

Alberta Health Services has great information about preparing your children and family for Back to School.

Check out their Back to School Health - Family Resources page for information on everything from Backpack Safety and Packing School Lunches to Healthy Sleep Tips and Helping Your Child With Stress.



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