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Monfredo: The Start of a New School Year - Parents Are You Ready?

Saturday, August 25, 2018


With great anticipation the beginning of the new school year starts on Monday for the Worcester Public  Schools.  The start of the new year marks the beginning of new adventures for students … a new school beginning, friends to meet, and more memories to make.

Worcester Public School Superintendent Maureen Binienda issued a statement about the start of school. She stated, “ All of our schools are excited to begin the new school year.  School buildings are clean and shiny.  Middle School sports return to all middle schools.  All elementary schools have new literacy programs, and the secondary schools begin two new initiatives…Innovative Career Pathways and Early College High School.  We are looking forward to greeting every student on Monday, August 27.”

For the parents, it’s a time to get to know your child’s teachers and a time for you to be engaged and involved with the education of your child.  Remember, research shows that when parents are involved in their child’s school they perform better and adjust better at school.

Research goes on to say that no matter what the parents income or background is students with involved parents earned higher grades and test scores, enrolled in higher level programs, attended school regularly, had better social skills, showed improved behavior, adapted well to school and graduated and went on to post-secondary education.  Even with very busy schedules parents can make a real difference in their child’s education by encouraging them to talk about their day and by listening to them explain the events at school.  Talking to your child about school sends a message that you value their education and the discussions provide an opportunity for children to use language they are learning in school.

At home parents need to set up priorities at bedtime for sleep is at the center of a healthy lifestyle and for your child to get off to a good start at school. According to research, it’s essential that parents keep a bedtime routine, especially during school time. Sleep deprivation can affect cognitive skills and academic achievement.  A  continuing lack of sleep is linked to serious health problems including many well-known diseases.  Another suggestion is that an hour before bedtime put away all electronic devises to help them wind down and use that time for reading.

It will be easier for your child to complete daily lessons, homework, and tests if he gets to school on time every day. Limit the time your child misses for family trips and activities. Contact the school immediately if your child will be absent.   Absenteeism is a major problem for some students and being absent often hurts the child’s ability to stay on track and in many cases frustration takes place due to falling behind in their school assignments.

Parents need to develop good management practices at home for their children such as homework time and packing their backpacks before turning in and placing them at the outside door.  Speaking of backpacks parents need to retrieve them as soon as their children come home and get those papers out … sign permission slips and add appointments on the family calendar.  Routines can be a potent force in keeping everyone on the same track.

Be sure to form routines at home. Routines can be a potent force in keeping everyone on the same track. Here are just a few for you to consider:

  • Setting clothes out in the evening for the next day and pack backpacks  the night before
  • Have the children get dressed for the day before they eat breakfast so that they're ready to roll as soon as they eat or if they are eating at school ready to get on the bus.
  • Doing homework together, as a family, at the same time each day.
  • Starting homework right after school or right after dinner so there's enough time to complete it.
  •  Looking at the next day's schedule while everyone's together at dinner or bedtime.
  • Create a family calendar – Time management is tricky for everyone, especially for teens, but planning is an important way to save everyone’s sanity.  Having major deadlines, due dates, events and extracurricular activities in one place helps children visualize their week, manage their time and stay on track.
  • Empty the child’s bag everyday – especially in the first few days, where notes and envelopes may be sent home.
  • Learn everything you can about your child’s school so review the school’s handbook and the district’s web site.
  • Contact the teacher immediately if your child doesn’t understand an assignment or if you notice a change in your child’s behavior or school performance.
  • Worth mentioning… participate in parent meetings and conferences and special events at the school. Do join the school’s Parent organization.


Also, remember the importance of reinforcing reading for it ’s a key to a successful school year.  Here are some reading tips…

  • Read to and with your child every day (including weekends).
  • Make sure your child sees you reading regularly.
  • Talk to your child about what you are each reading.  In addition to keeping your child on track, regular reading activities with your child will help you spot any possible problems in plenty of time to work with teachers and prevent them from becoming serious. So practice day to day reading and include writing by having your child write in a journal about the day’s events.  Be consistent and have this done perhaps before bedtime.


Best wishes for a great school year and should you need any advice please feel free to contact me at [email protected].


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