6 Things Parents Can Do to Help Prepare Students for Going Back to School

posted Aug 5, 2011, 12:38 PM by jbkulow@acpsparentcouncil.org   [ updated Aug 14, 2011, 6:06 PM by Lisa Medders ]
From Dr. Pam Moran, Supt of Albemarle County Public Schools.
See the Superintendent's Blog here to read the entire post.
  1. If your child has been staying up later on summer evenings, begin this week to adjust his/her sleep schedule back to school year “bedtime” hours. A well-rested child is a more attentive child in school.  In fact, the symptoms of too little sleep and attention disorders are very similar. A good night of sleep pays off for your child in school.
  2. Discuss breakfast and lunch choices for healthy meals that sustain energy and that are wellness friendly. Our kids today are characterized as the most unhealthy younger generation in decades and much of that is because of diet. Diet impacts body chemistry in a variety of ways – particularly a child’s sugar, salt, and fat intake. The USDA offers a number of website resources on healthy lifestyle choices for children that address diet, wellness and fitness. School menus and other information about the school lunch program can be found here.
  3. Check your school calendars for info about Open House and Back to School activities.  For younger and older children and you, going to school with you to meet teachers sends a message from the start that you to be involved as a partner with the teacher in supporting your child(ren)’s education.
  4. Consider volunteering in any way you can. It models responsibility to being a part of the solution to offering the best education we can for all children and volunteerism is a civic virtue in America. Plus, we educators need you and your help –even if it’s doing one thing that you can do. We realize parents are busy people who have their own jobs, but when you can help us out we appreciate it. To find out more about volunteerism, please visit our Community Engagement website or email Gloria Rockhold at grockhold@k12albemarle.org
  5. If you have questions or concerns, don’t sit on those until there’s a big problem. While all of our workloads have increased because of email and voicemail, we want to know when something is a burning question or concern. Finding the balance between waiting too long to contact the teacher and being a “helicopter” parent is important. Some things that should not wait include bullying of your child or another child, bus problems, your child feeling overwhelmed with work at home or being upset about relationships with the teacher. If your inner instinct says that something isn’t going well, it’s better to at least reach out and check in with the teacher.
  6. Lastly, thank an educator for helping your child- or other children – in some special way. The many fabulous educators in our schools, just as teachers before them, work a farmers’ schedule plus. They are up early and late to bed because of their commitment to their work. I know many educators- administrators and teachers alike- who pull their own money out to pick up the educational tab for an individual child or a class. There is nothing as valued by an educator as a personal note, email, or call from you saying “I appreciated when …..”