by KARA NELSON
What's Hot For Back to SchoolSummer vacation may be over, but summer temperatures tend to linger a little longer in these parts. That’s why this sleeveless knit dress from Deux Par Deux—paired with a classic wood-handle purse—is a logical yet fashionable choice for back-to-school. Palm Patch, 5933 Magazine St.,
899-9797, 800 Metairie Rd., 833-0039.

What's Hot For Back to SchoolThere’s just something about personalized stationery that makes a kid feel important. These note cards will give your child a sense of pride and help them develop a sense of style when they select their favorite design from an array of colors and patterns. P.B. Invitationers, 734 Nashville Ave., 891-0045.

What's Hot For Back to SchoolProper English attire for a proper English rain—or a New Orleans downpour! This weatherproof ensemble is a G-rated offering from Madonna herself, a new clothing line named for her popular children’s book, The English Roses. Little Miss Muffin, 768 Harrison Ave., 482-8200.

What's Hot For Back to SchoolQuilted for comfort and perfect for preschoolers, this starter backpack has friendly bug characters stitched on the flap, just for fun. Mignon for Children, 2727 Prytania St., 891-2374.

What's Hot For Back to SchoolDancing with the Stars
One of the things little girls love most about taking classes at the Loyola Preparatory Ballet Program is performing alongside the “big girls” from Loyola University’s ballet program in the fall and spring. The girls work hard all semester toward the performance, which seems more like a production than a recital. The school offers four levels of classes for children ages 7 and up. Loyola Ballet, Loyola University, 865-2778.

Keyed Into
If you’re looking for a no-risk way to get your child interested in playing piano, take advantage of Hall Piano’s free introductory classes for children ages 6 to 17. You get four Saturday group classes (one month) at no charge. Follow up with private lessons—offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels—where you can choose the focus: classical, pop, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, gospel or jazz. Practice makes perfect: rent to own a piano for as little as $35 per month.
Hall Piano, 901 David Dr., Metairie, 733-TUNE (8863).