Back To The School Year


August 2016 CST.indd

By Kathryn M. Miller ~ It’s back-to-school time in the Valley, and once the supplies have been purchased, the new threads picked out and the perfect backpack chosen, reality sets in…and maybe some first-day nerves. Whether it is the first day of kindergarten, high school, at a new school, or just the unknowns of a new year, back-to-school jitters can happen – for students and parents alike. So we asked some educators and school administrators from Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) and Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) for some tips on how to begin the school year on a positive note.

At the top of PVSchools’ list is preparation. Start to prepare children for any changes, includingschool kids starting a new school, having a new teacher and establishing new routines. Remind children that there is a lot to be excited about: reconnecting with friends and teachers, building new relationships and participating in extracurricular activities.

For some, between summer vacation and busy schedules, bed-time routines have gone out the window. But re-establishing these routines sooner rather than later, including bedtime and wake-up schedules, will help ease the transition back.

“Back to school is an exciting time, but some children may feel apprehensive about transitioning from a summer break schedule to a school schedule. Maintaining a routine with a consistent bed time, wake up time and meal times can help kids get ready for a fun and exciting school experience,” says Matt Schenk, principal at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School, CCUSD.

Another tip to avoid hectic mornings: have children lay out his or her outfit the night before and have the backpack and lunch packed and ready to go.

Creating back-to-school traditions can also help ease anxieties…and provide lasting memories. Prior to the first day of school, plan something special for your child – whether it’s going out for ice cream, leaving an encouraging note in a lunch box or a small gift to commemorate the first day.

Of course, it is not only students who may feel first day nerves. How can parents extinguish their own anxiety?

“Come to school and meet the teacher. And, just breathe! The kids are ready for school,” says Nancy Shaver, principal at Lone Mountain Elementary School, CCUSD.

Throughout the school year, set children up for success by establishing a positive homework routine. Make sure children have a quiet and well-lit area to complete assignments. And keep lines of communication open: check in with children about daily homework assignments and offer assistance where needed; ask how their day was and what they learned.

Finally, remember that learning can be fun.

“Share the joy of learning with your child,” says Dr. Micah Korb, principal at Desert Sun Academy, CCUSD. “Tell your child about an enjoyable learning experience in your life and how it has impacted you. Sharing positive memories about learning will encourage your child to have their own.” |CST

Get Ready For The First Day

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