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The Academic Year: Setting the Stage By Latasha Schraeder

Slowly, but surely, students are settling into their classroom routines. Teachers are building a rapport with the students and identifying ways they will provide appropriate supports for the remainder of the school year. While the academic year is still fresh, talk to your children about their new experiences. Ask questions. What are they enjoying about their new classes? Which subjects are challenging? Which extracurricular activities are available? Visit the district and school websites. Which online resources will be helpful as you and your children navigate the school year? Identify ways to become involved at school.

With online learning management systems such as Skyward, parents are able to access students’ grades and monitor and track any behavior referrals. While a report card is generated several times each year, I find it helpful to monitor my children’s grades weekly. This allows me to identify any issues such as missing assignments or low test grades. I am then able to speak to my children about turning in their late assignments and review with them more efficient ways to prepare for their tests. In addition, I am able to contact teachers about my observations and concerns. This way, Issues are addressed more quickly than waiting for a parent-teacher conference.

There are several opportunities to make a contribution at school. Become a member of the parent teacher organization. At the lower grades, volunteer to cut out materials or help at holiday parties. At the secondary level, parents are often involved in planning events such as homecoming week. Being involved often does not require a significant time commitment. But, being an active part of the educational environment is time well spent. This time allows parents to become familiar with faculty, staff and administration which is invaluable should your child need extra support at school.