LBPSB offers back to school tips for parents and students

By Kevin Woodhouse

The summer holidays are rapidly coming to a close for Lester B. Pearson School Board’s elementary and high school students with the first day of class scheduled for next Thursday morning.

In an effort to make the first day of school and the entire school year as constructive and positive as possible, students, teachers, principals and parents were consulted to offer tips to make the transition from the summer slack mode back into the educational milieu as painless as possible.

The following include some thoughts for students:

1. Be yourself—enjoy, laugh have fun. Accept that you will make mistakes and learn from them. We all do.

2. Don’t miss the first day of school and be on time. Being present on the first day sends a strong message to your teachers that you are committed to school.

3. Learn to take effective notes. Make notes short and to the point.

4. Be open-minded. Don’t pre-judge your fellow classmates and teachers. The boy or girl who seems standoffish may just be shy. Give yourself a chance to get to know them.

5. Try to be organized from the beginning of the year; do your assignments right away so they don’t pile up on you. Have a plan to keep your locker organized. Label your binders.

6. Choose your friends carefully—don’t let them choose you. And don’t let random circumstances decide who your friends will be.

7. Don’t be shy to ask questions; half of the class is probably asking themselves the same thing but nobody wants to speak up. We learn from asking questions.

8. Get involved in school activities. The more active you are in school life, the more you’ll get from your high school experience. School is the place where you get to try out all sorts of new things—some of them may become passions for life.

Since some of the students’ best school habits will come from home, the following list includes some suggestions for parents of school aged children:

1. Start weaning your kids away from late-night summer bedtimes before the school year begins. A half-hour or hour earlier every week or even every day can get their body clocks timed right for school.

2. Give your child some strategies for coping with conflicts such as bullying and cyber-bullying; don’t give in to any bully’s demands; walk away or tell the bully to stop, talk to an adult at school. Let your children know they can talk to you.

3. Make sure your kids are well-rested and prepared for their school day. Help them with organization so they aren`t scrambling in the morning or at school.

4. Use the agenda to communicate with your child’s teacher.

5. Set up a quiet work space in your house that is conducive to doing homework, an area that is easy to monitor is preferable, especially if your child is using a computer. Be available to your child if he or she needs your help.

6. Have supplies on hand—things like pens, paper, a dictionary—and if you can, buy extra school supplies like loose leaf paper, Hilroy Canada booklets, poster board, pens and pencils. There are often sales after the big back-to-school rush and supplies are handy to have for the inevitable 9 p.m. weeknight announcement that they need one of those items the next morning.

7. Become a school volunteer—not only are you helping out, you can get to know the staff and other students and parents.

8. Read with your child every night or encourage them to read for pleasure—literacy is the greatest gift of all.

9. Remember, the school has your child’s best interest at heart.

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