WARE, Mass. (WWLP) – It is back-to-school season, and schools in Ware are the first in the region to welcome students back to their buildings.

Buses, vans, and parents’ cars are expected to arrive on campus to drop off students in the eastern Hampshire County town on Thursday morning. It’s a celebrated day for many parents, and even some of the students, though not everyone is thrilled to be going back.

Indeed, anxiety is on the rise among school-aged children, causing stress- particularly on days like the first day of school. Social anxiety can rack the brain of middle and high school-aged students, while separation anxiety can turn the first day into a bad time for younger students.

Ware Public Schools Superintendent Michael Lovato told 22News that students’ mental health is a priority.

“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have all these surveys and we didn’t take all this information, so it is hard to compare what our baseline is. Normalcy is how kids react- that’s what we react, too as adults to get back in the game for what we need to do. As long as we are present, paying attention, saying ‘hi’ to kids, we will see what is going on,” Lovato said.

Psychologists with Baystate Health have some ways to help, especially with younger students:

  • In the days before your child goes back to school- hype it up! Exude confidence that school will be a great time, and that your child will be ready.
  • Do what you can to set them up for success- make sure they have the skills they need to spend a day away from you, such as tying shoes or navigating the bathroom.
  • Don’t prolong the goodbye. It can be an emotional moment for parents, but save your tears for once they are through the door. Make it clear that you will be back, and that the school day isn’t forever.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.