Q: How can we help make our child's school year a success?
A: More than 3,000 students in the Norwalk City Schools have been attending class for almost two weeks. The way in which you start the school year can determine how well the rest of the year will go. Teachers, counselors, and parents say doing these things will help ensure children get off to a great start:
Review safety lessons how to walk to school safely or ride the bus; classroom and school rules for behavior.
Put you child's name on things so they won't get lost.
Set the scene for homework. Match the environment to your child's work style. Some children need quiet; others are helped by a little sound - like soothing music.
Start your morning at night. Help your child choose the day's clothes. Pack lunch. Gather homework and sign school papers. Plan for breakfast.
Establish bedtime and homework routines. Pick a time that your child will do homework and go to bed. Then stick to it.
Don't over-schedule your child. Give him time to unwind after school especially during the first few weeks of adjusting. Make sure he has free time to play everyday.
Teach respect by showing respect. Say "please" and "thank you" to your child.
Be genuinely interested in your child's school work. Ask about school each day. Ask him to teach you what he is learning.
Say at least one positive thing to your child each day.
Insist that your child try hard to be a good student. If school is important to you, it will be important to him.
Meet your child's teacher. How can you help him or her? Ask about homework. How can you help your child at home?
Attend fall Open Houses or Parent Orientation meetings. At the Middle School and High School Open Houses, parents will have the opportunity to follow their child's schedule, spending a few minutes in each class. While the meetings for Main Street School and Pleasant Elementary have already been held, the schedule for the remaining open houses and orientations is as follows:
League Elementary parent orientation: at 7 p.m. Monday.
Maplehurst Elementary parent orientation: at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Norwalk Middle School: at 7 p.m. Oct. 1.
High school open house: at 7 p.m. Oct. 15.
Dr. Wayne Babcanec is the superintendent of Norwalk City Schools. His column appears every other Saturday. For more information on Norwalk City Schools, call (419) 668-2779.