I tried to alleviate some of that beginning of year stress by making these:
I went around the school on the first full day, taking pictures of necessary items, like the bathroom, the water fountain, me!, my teaching partner, the nurse, and a few other things. Then I labeled them and laminated them. My second grader keeps hers in a little ziplock- she carries it around everywhere! It's the cutest thing. She knows now that all she has to do is bring her card to the teacher, and the teacher will understand. Eventually we will work on repeating the word on the card, and then the sentence on the card, but right now I just want to associate the procedure of "asking" when she has to go somewhere with a positive experience. For someone who's never been to school before, that's a big step!
For my kindergarten newcomer, I laminated the cards the same way, but instead of putting them on a binder ring, the Kinder teacher and I decided to velcro a sentence strip to her desk and tape the laminated cards on there- sorry no picture!
If you have students who are in their silent period, or students who are still learning crucial school vocabulary, consider making your own communicator cards! They took about an hour to photograph, upload, edit, and print. It's worth it to know that some of the stress of navigating the school day is taken away for both my students and the teachers I work with!