[r63] Messmer Report: Helpful tips to start your school year off right

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, August 13, 2012

This month, students across the state are switching gears from summer days to school days. For students, as well as parents, this can be an exciting but also stressful time. So, I wanted to give you a few helpful tips and reminders to help get your school year started off right.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) recently launched a new website called My Vax Indiana that was created to give Hoosiers a tool to better manage their health care and increase child vaccination rates. Through the program, local health departments and healthcare providers can now record vaccinations on a secure site. Individuals may then log in with a PIN given to them by their healthcare provider to access those records for themselves or their children.

Most Hoosier children are required to be vaccinated against specific infectious diseases, and I know from experience that it can be difficult to keep track of vaccination records over the years. The My Vax Indiana program’s goal is to reduce the burden and costs of office visits, and to help keep Hoosiers’ records in one secure and easily accessible site for your convenience. You can learn more about the program atwww.myvaxindiana.in.gov.

With school back in session, drivers, please remember to obey all school speed zones and to make a complete stop for school buses. Also, remind your children to look carefully for cars before getting on or off the bus, and to listen to the bus driver’s instructions closely. More tips and information on school bus safety can be found atwww.nhtsa.gov and under the ‘Driving Safety’ tab, select ‘School Buses’.

Next, if your student is looking for help with math or science homework this year, then you may want to contact Rose Hulman Institute of Technology’s homework hotline. It is a free service, and they will help students in grades 6-12. They offer help Sunday-Thursday from 7:00-10:00 p.m. (EST) at their toll free number 1-877-ASK-ROSE (1-877-275-7673), or you may also visit their website at www.askrose.org.

Finally, it is important to plan for your children’s future success after high school. With two kids still in high school, my wife and I have been working over the years to plan accordingly. The cost of higher education continues to increase, but you are not alone in planning for the future. The state has two excellent resources that provide tips for exploring your child’s interests and goals after high school and also information on planning to pay for college. For more information I suggest you check out www.in.gov/learnmoreindiana andwww.in.gov/knowhow2go.

I hope these tools help you get ready for a great school year and many more to come. If you have any questions, please contact my office by phone a 317-232-9671 or via email at H63@in.gov.