Parents are more than twice as likely to go shopping in preparation for the new school year than engage in activities recommended by experts to help children effectively prepare for the coming school year, according to the Back-to-School Benchmark Survey released by GreatSchools (, an independent nonprofit organization that empowers parents to support their children’s educational success.  While nearly all parents shop for back-to-school clothing and supplies, fewer than half find out what their child will be learning, meet their child’s teacher, get their child on a nutritional breakfast schedule, or increase their child’s reading time and reduce their video/computer game playing time.  “Shopping has become synonymous with back to school but parents are searching for more meaningful guidance about preparing their children to transition back to the classroom,” noted Bill Jackson, GreatSchools’ founder and CEO. “GreatSchools is having that conversation with parents by connecting them with practical advice on how to effectively prepare their children.”  The survey also found that while 80% of parents do seek out educational advice — most often from schools and teachers — a surprising majority are overlooking the Internet as a back-to-school resource. With the launch of its Back-to-School online resource center, GreatSchools aims to broaden the focus of back-to-school season beyond shopping and provide parents with expert advice on all aspects of helping their children successfully begin the new school year. “Schools are simply too over-taxed and under-resourced to provide everything to every parent, so the web is a natural resource,” said Jackson. “GreatSchools is serving as a partner to parents by providing them with easy, low-cost ways to help their children prepare mentally and physically for back to school and return to the classroom with a positive attitude.”