As the beginning of school approaches, we begin the various rituals that have become associated with the big event. During the last two weeks of summer, parents might begin implementing an earlier bedtime and start to wake our "late sleepers" a little earlier. Meal times may become a bit more regular. Calendars start to become a little more important. We do these things, as well as make other preparations, because we want to make sure our kids have the best possible start to school.
For their part, the schools are also preparing. Floors have been waxed, buildings painted and supplies have arrived. New personnel have been hired. (We welcome Mr. Lloyd to 3rd Grade, Ms. Sieff to Science, Ms. Cheek to Spanish, Ms. Keeton to Preschool, and Ms. Antich, Ms. Rask and Ms. Santiago to the ranks of our paraeducators.) Sports teams have returned from camp and started official practice. We do all these things because we want to make sure our students have
the best possible start to school.
In that vein, you should be aware of the following changes that have been implemented for Raymond Schools this fall:
- All students will have free access to breakfast and lunch, regardless of family income.
- Raymond Elementary will not be posting supply lists, but will instead provide pencils, paper and other items that parents have previously purchased. (Parents will still need to buy personal items such as backpacks and gym shoes.)
- Raymond High School students will be issued laptops when they return to school; they are not required to purchase insurance for these devices. (They are, of course, still responsible to take care of the laptops.)
Student Preparation For School
Of course, none of the foregoing is of much use if the students are not mentally prepared for school. Two key components for a successful school experience are a desire to learn and "grit." Indeed, one might argue that these two ingredients are necessary for a successful life experience. This list from scholastic.com has some great ideas that we, as parents can do, to encourage a desire to learn and a "can do" attitude:
- Fill your child's world with reading. Take turns reading with your older child, or establish a family reading time when everyone reads her own book. Demonstrate how important reading is to you by filling your home with printed materials: novels, newspapers, even posters and placemats with words on them.
- Encourage your children to express their opinions, talk about their feelings, and make choices. They can pick out a side dish to go with dinner and select their own extracurricular activities. Ask for their input on family decisions, and show that you value it.
- Show enthusiasm for your child's interests. Encourage her to explore subjects that fascinate her. If she's a horse nut, offer her stories about riding or challenge her to find five facts about horses in the encyclopedia.
- Provide him with play opportunities that support different kinds of learning styles -- from listening and visual learning to sorting and sequencing. Supplies that encourage open-ended play, such as blocks, will develop your child's creative expression and problem-solving skills as he builds. He'll need lots of unstructured playtime to explore them.
- Point out the new things you learn with enthusiasm. Discuss the different ways you find new information, whether you're looking for gardening tips on the Internet or taking a night class in American literature.
- Ask about what she's learning in school, not about her grades or test scores. Have her teach you what she learned in school today -- putting the lesson into her own words will help her retain what he learned.
- Help your child organize his school papers and assignments so he feels in control of his work. If his task seems too daunting, he'll spend more time worrying than learning. Check in with him regularly to make sure he's not feeling overloaded.
- Celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Completing a book report calls for a special treat; finishing a book allows your child an hour of video games. You'll offer positive reinforcement that will inspire him to keep learning and challenging himself.
- Focus on strengths; encourage developing talents. Even if she didn't ace her math test, she may have written a good poem in English class. In addition to a workbook for math practice, give her a writing journal.
- Turn everyday events into learning opportunities. Encourage him to explore the world around him, asking questions and making connections.
The Raymond School District appreciates all of the community support we receive and we look forward to helping your children be their best in the upcoming school year!
Upcoming Raymond School District Events
- 25 August--Freshman Orientation, 6 pm
- 25 August--7th-Grade Orientation, 6:30 pm
- 26 August--Senior Orientation, 6 pm
- 2 September--First day of school
- 16 September--Back-to-School Night, 6 pm
- 30 September--Early release for teacher training
For a complete calendar of events, go to www.raymondk12.org