by Hannah Brown

Your 2017 Back to School Guide is presented by The Dance Academy. Since 1987, The Dance Academy in Holland, PA has been offering professional dance training with a personal touch, instilling the love of dance to students and families throughout Bucks County. Under the direction of Miss Donnajean Kline (BFA in Dance, Temple University) and staffed by a group of highly-trained instructors, The Dance Academy has acquired countless awards and accolades each year at local, national, and international competitions. Through recitals, competitions, advertising publications, professional companies, and tours; Dance Academy students are spreading their passion for dance both here in the States as well as on international stages. Fall registration will open soon.

It’s finally here, the big day is coming. Orientations are being planned and bus schedules are on the way. First time moms like me are getting ready for our first day at our Super Bowl, back to school season.

It’s time to get the kids in order, we have wild hair, shabby nails and potatoes in the ears. Read on to see how we spruce up for school on the cheap.

Nail polish – Painting your daughter’s (or son’s if he’s into that sort of thing) nails can be a great bonding activity. My daughter and I do it at least once a week while my son is taking a nap. We like to go to the store and pick out colors together and by colors I mean I pick a color and she picks the one with the most sparkles. We tend to use cheaper brands like Wet and Wild or Sally Hansen, but for those with sensitive skin or allergies there are brands of polish that are less harsh on little hands. One of the most common non-toxic paints on the market is Piggy Paint. It is available for around $3 per bottle and can be found at many kids’ stores. To find Piggy Paint in your area go to and do a search for a store near you. Additionally, the chemicals in acetone nail polish remover can be hard on little kids fingers and growing nail beds. Most stores offer non-acetone removers. They take longer but the chemicals and the fumes are generally not as strong.

Piggy Paint – Piggy Paint is sold at Busy Bee Toys located at 58 E State Street Doylestown and at the Fabby Shabby Grab Bag Company at 5065 Grundy Way, Doylestown.

Haircuts – I only trust myself with touchup cuts between salon visits. But a touch up can save a few bucks and get an extra month or two out of a haircut. Minus one time I went a little too far with the bangs, but we will get to that.

First, wash your child’s hair, towel dry and brush through with a fine tooth comb to get out any tangles. Then when all the hair is straight and even around the head I take two inch sections between my fingers and cut approximately an inch off the bottom all the way around. Remember this is a touch up so I am not going gangbusters and taking off several inches. If you want to do a full on cut please find more detailed instructions or do what I do and go to a child friendly salon. After the cut you want to brush each of the sections a few times comparing them against eachother making sure they look even to the naked eye. Let the hair dry naturally then look again for any areas that are uneaven. Big tip, hair will be shorter when it is dry, shorter than you think. I cut my daughters hair for a wedding and she ended up with one inch bangs, we invested heavily in headbands for over a month. If you are cutting an inch everywhere else you only want to do about a quarter or an inch on the bangs or even cut the bangs dry.

Where to go to get ready in Bucks County: Sharkey’s salon is a kid friendly hair salon located in New Britain. The kids get to sit in play cars and jeeps, while a show chosen by the parents plays on a TV. to keep them occupied. The stylists at Sharkey’s are trained to do kid hair in a flash. The kids get to leave with a balloon and a treat and the little ladies get their nails painted too. Sharkey’s is located at 418 Town Center, New Britain.

Clipper tips – My son gets nervous around the clippers and used to dodge them. Then my favorite stylist, my mom, eased his fear by letting him hold the clippers and turn them on himself. Now whenever I take him to the salon for clipper cuts I ask that they let him hold the clippers first and turn them on and we have not had any more trouble.

Ear cleaning – Did you know they don’t even list ear cleaning as a use for Q-Tips? Back in my day my mother used a bobby pin to get wax out, disclaimer never ever do this. It was the 80s. My doctor even told me to just leave wax alone it works itself out, but I feel so gross leaving it. My mother used to warn me that if left untreated dirty ears could grow potatoes. So what’s a mom to do?  I asked around. My pediatrician and the docs at say if you must clean an ear, and you don’t really have to, just rinse the ear with a little warm water then gently rub the area with a cloth. This does not get in the canal, but I found it does clean the exterior area enough that I can be relatively certain that we aren’t going to have any potatoes growing in there. If you are noticing an excessive build up of wax please talk to a healthcare professional.

Survival Tips:

Getting back to school can be tough after a relaxing summer, so here are some survival tips to keep you sane during the school year!

  • Set up a routine. Make sure everyone is awake and dressed by a certain time, don’t breakfast, and ready to walk out the door at the same time everyday so they know the schedule by heart.
  • Practice patience-for those days when there is extra traffic on the way to soccer practice, which means you will be even later for dance lessons.
  • Pack hand sanitizer to stay away from those nasty winter germs!
  • Pick out outfits for the week on Sunday, so everyone can get out the door on time
  • Take pictures! The kids will only have one first day of fourth grade, and you will want to remember it for years to come.
  • Power in positivity-keep the kids focused on what positive things they like about school
  • Make time for a family dinner for everyone to catch up and put their electronics away.
  • Check out this bake ahead recipe for Welsh Cakes for an easy breakfast on the run!
  • During busy mornings, families often find themselves with inadequate time to prepare for the new day. But lack of time doesn’t mean your family can’t look their best when facing the day ahead! Here are 5 easy back to school hair styles.

Important Dates for Schools in Bucks County:

Bucks Learning Cooperative
315 W. Maple Ave. Langhorne, PA 19047
Tuesday, August 22nd 7:30pm to 9:30 pm

Solebury School
6832 Phillips Mill Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
September 5th: New Student Orientation

Tamanend Middle School
1492 Stuckert Rd, Warrington, PA 18976
Open House: August 24th: 8:30Am- 2:30PM

Gayman Elementary School
4440 Point Pleasant Pike, Doylestown, PA 18902
Open House: August 31st

Bridge Valley Elementary
2280 Sugar Bottom Rd, Furlong, PA 18925
August 31, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM

Archbishop Ryan High School
11201 Academy Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19154
September 4: Freshman Orientation 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Higher Learning

Bucks County Community College now offers nearly 80 programs of study, including two dozen that can be completed completely online. Most fall semester credit courses begin August 23, with additional courses starting in September and October. NEW programs this fall include:

  • Health Science Major
  • Certificate in Social Media & Digital Marketing (complete in as little as 1 semester, online or in-person)
  • Fire Science Certificate
  • Fire Prevention and Investigation Certificate

….just to name a few!

New students are encouraged to come to campus for in-person advising and registration from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday,August 17, Friday, August 18, or Monday, August 21 in the Linksz Pavilion, located on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., 18940. Students can also register in-person for noncredit courses through Continuing Education, Workforce Development, or the Public Safety and Training Center on these dates.

Our noncredit offerings include everything from Floral Design to Computer Programming and everything in between. Discover the 100’s of unique non-credit course offerings by visiting: at

In addition, in-person advising and registration for credit courses takes place from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 15, at the Lower Bucks Campus, located at 1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol, Pa., 19007; and from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 16, at the Upper Bucks Campus, located at One Hillendale Rd., Perkasie, Pa., 18944.

To learn more, visit or call 215-968-8100

Important Dates for Bucks County Schools:

Newtown Friends School (Newtown)
PreK, K, and 1 Back to School
Picnic: 8/24/2017 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Villa Joseph Marie High School (Holland)
New Student Orientation: August 29, 2017 8:00 AM-12:30 PM

Tamanend Middle School (Warrington)
7th Grade Open House: August 24, 2017 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Council Rock High School (North/South)
First Day of School for Freshman: September 5th
First Day of School All Students: September 6th 

Back to School Fashion:

Bucks County is full of wonderful places to prepare you and the kids for a new school year!

Animal Lifeline Thrift Shop
1111 Easton Road, Suite 23, Warrington, PA 18976
Phone: 215-343-5050

Fashion Re-View
636 Lincoln Hwy, Fairless Hills, PA 19030
Phone: 215-428-1766

The Village Consignment Shop
Justa Farm Shopping Center
1958 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Phone: 215-364-0150

Goodwill Store & Donation Center
1487 W. Street Rd, Warminster, PA 18974
Phone: 215-441-9185

Good Stuff Thrift
3633 N. Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 267-454-7951

Plato’s Closet
467 S Oxford Valley Rd, Fairless Hills, PA 19030

Something Else
31 W State St. Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 215-340-0444

Smith & Scott
76 S Main St. Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 215-230-3390

Sports Activities

Bensalem High School Aquatics Program
Shafer Middle School located at 3333 Hulmeville Road Bensalem, PA 19020.

Swim lessons for children of various levels.  They also offer Friday Night Open Swim from 7-9pm and Saturday Open Swim from 2-3:30pm; cost is $3.00 per swimmer.

Middletown Township Parks & Recreation Programs
3 Municipal Way Langhorne, PA 19047, Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

The Sports Zone
1065 Industrial Blvd. Southampton, PA 18966
Phone: (215) 942-2212

Lower Bucks Soccer Shots
[email protected]

Hulmeville Soccer
P.O. Box 7050 · Penndel, PA  19047
[email protected]

Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Programs
100 Municipal Dr, Newtown, PA 18940
(215) 860-9802

Dance Classes

Babylon School of Dance
Chalfont, PA
Phone: 215-822-1951 ext. 3273

Debra Sparks Dance Studio
51 Walnut Street, Newtown, PA
Phone: 215-579-5678

The Dance Academy
1476 Buck Road, Holland, PA
Phone: 215-860-9530

Elite Dance Academy
130 Almshouse Road, Richboro, PA
Phone: 215-322-9175

Dance Academy at the NAC
120 Pheasant Run, Newtown, PA 18940
(215) 968-0600

Karate & Martial Arts

Competitive Edge Martial Arts
874 Welsh Road, Maple Glen, PA
Phone: 215-283-5258

Action Karate Chalfont
303 W Butler Ave, Chalfont, PA
Phone: 215-348-7110

Amerikick Warminster
1047 W County Line Rd, Hatboro, PA
Phone: 215-343-2378

Bucks County Karate School
Perkasie, PA

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