Parents can help make new school year a success

BELLE GLADE — Teachers call it the “summer slide.” Over the summer, many students experience a decline in academic skills, which must be retaught when school resumes in the fall. According to scholastic researchers, it’s not unusual for students to lose two months of reading skill progress over the summer.

One way to ensure your kids keep reading is to schedule regular trips to the library.

In addition, Scholastic Books offers additional ideas to incorporate reading into the regular summer routine:

• Find something to read every day. Encourage kids to read the comics in the newspaper every morning, or online resources while playing on the computer.

• Find things your kids want to read. Ask the librarian at your local library for recommendations based on your child’s age, reading level or interests. Peruse book lists at the Scholastic website or from your child’s school. Kids who like what they are reading are sure to read more.

• Read out loud. Ask your child to read a paragraph from his current book to you at night, or read to him before bed. Children of all ages – including teens – can benefit from hearing books read aloud to them, especially children who are currently struggling with their own reading skills.

Math skills may also decline over the summer. One way to keep math skills sharp is to find ways to add math to daily activities, such as asking the kids to help plan the budget for a family trip, or calculate the number of gallons of water it will take to fill a swimming pool.

When the new school year starts, Glades Central High School Principal Angela Moore encourages parents to help keep the students on track for a successful school year.

Her tips include:

• Visit the student’s assigned school before school starts to learn more about dress code requirements, book bag type, physicals and more.

• The first 11 days of school counts! Parents must send their students) to school during the first 11 days of school. Schools receive funding based on student enrollment. This funding impacts the number of instructional and non-instructional positions needed to ensure a successful school year for students.

• Get students to school on time! When students are rushed in the morning, it sometimes affects the student’s academic focus for the entire day.

• Once school begins, parents should require their student to read at least 45 minutes each day. In addition, parents should require students to use some form of adaptive technology (iReady Reading, Reading, Plus, Khan Academy). Parents should not accept the “I don’t have any homework” phrase from their student. Every day the student should engage in some form of learning whether it was assigned by the teacher or not. This is where adaptive technology and reading independently, as a part of the student’s routine, will come in handy.

• Parents should conduct frequent checks of their child’s academic performance through Edline or by scheduling a parent conference with a school counselor. Parents should make this a part of their routine each trimester (elementary) or nine weeks/quarter (secondary).

• Parents, please provide the school with updated phone numbers, and/or email address as well as emergency contact information.

* Every day, parents should review the daily agenda or homework folder with their children,

Sleep is important, added Belle Glade Elementary School Principal Roberta Walker.

‘ It is important that students are to bed on time and is well rested for school each day,” she said. She recommended parents spend at least 45 minutes each night reading with their children to help them develop a love of reading.

Michael Aronson, principal at Pahokee Middle High School, also stressed the benefit of reading.

“My best advice is to make sure that your children are reading daily,” said Principal Aronson. “I would encourage parents to even read with them so that they can have discussions with them on what they have read. If you’re having trouble getting them to read novels, start by encouraging them to read the newspaper or their favorite magazine.”

K.E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary School Principal Derrick Hibler said parents will receive a copy of the parent/student handbook when their child starts school. They should read this information with their child, he said.

“Parents should contact transportation and/or visit the Palm Beach County School District’s website to locate the bus stop for their child prior to the first day of school,” he added.

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