Tips for the start of the year
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The following is from an article from Treehouse (http://www.treehouseforkids.org/back-to-school-success/). Treehouse focuses on youth in foster care, but we thought the information was applicable to all students. We've added (in bold italics) Sammamish specific ways to follow these tips. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll connect you with someone who can answer your question.
Establish A Routine: Kids and teens who eat a healthy breakfast and get a good night’s sleep are more alert and prepared for a full day of learning. After school, it’s important to set limits on when homework should be completed by so students don’t put it off until bedtime or the next morning.
Require Proper Attendance: Make sure your student gets to school (and on time!) each day. When unavoidable absences come up, make sure to follow up on missed school work and activities with your student’s teacher. Poor attendance can have a negative rippling effect on academic performance, so getting them there is extremely important. Use Parent Internet Viewer (PIV) to receive "Unexcused Absence" notifications. Instructions can be found here. If you don't know your password, contact your counselor. You can find your counselor here.
Check-In: Do a “check-in” with your student on a daily basis. Making time to talk with them about the day’s activities lets them know you are interested and are listening to what they have to say.
Monitor Homework and Assignments: Try to set up a regular homework routine for your student, with set expectations for when work needs to be completed. Missing assignments can negatively impact a student’s grades, so keeping youth accountable for turning in work is especially important. You can use PIV to check grades, e-mail weekly reports, or notify you if grades drop below a threshold you set.
Build Relationships: Communicating regularly with your student’s teacher and school staff will help you understand what is being taught in the classroom, as well as give you an opportunity to make the teacher aware of your student’s specific needs. Attend curriculum night (9/11) and PTSA/STEPS meetings (the first is 9/29). The principal attends PTSA/STEPS meetings and provides a great deal of information. Watch for news about international coffee meetings. Attend class parent meetings to know the parents of your student's friends. Make sure you receive the Totem News for information about these parent meetings. Email email@example.com to be added to this weekly newsletter.
Be Aware: Make sure your child is giving you all school notices they receive, and when in doubt, check your school’s website for important updates and information. Connecting with other parents in your child’s class can also be beneficial to make sure you never miss important dates and deadlines. Most information is found in the weekly Totem News. Useful websites include the school's website, the athletic website, and PTSA/STEPS website.
Spend Time at School: The best way to know what is going on at your child’s school is to spend time there. Research shows that caregivers attending school events can make a significant difference in student success. Volunteer! We'd love to have your help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have lots of opportunities both inside the school and at home: attendance phone calling, tutoring/coaching, passing out schedules, helping with picture day, staff appreciation events, etc. Also, attend parent events such as curriculum night and PTSA/STEPS meetings.
Do you have any additional tips or tricks that you have used to help your kids transition? Share them with us by emailing email@example.com. We wish you and your family a great 2014-2015 school year!