Tips And Expectations For A Great School Year
We, as a school, are striving to create a learning atmosphere of excellence. We are going to expect a lot from your children, and we’re going to expect a lot from you. Please be assured that what we expect is reasonable and shouldn’t be perceived as anything out of the ordinary. It’s just that we live in such a different world today, it’s best to clarify upfront so there are no surprises for you or for us. To ensure the best education your child can have, we would like the following:
1. Bring your child to school early- before 7:55. This gives him/her a chance to talk with classmates, put things away, and be mentally prepared for the day. It also helps the teacher run an orderly class. Remember, also, you are setting a routine and example for your child’s future school and work.
2. Please be positive at home about the school. If you are having an issue with something in the classroom, make an appointment with the teacher during a time when you can both sit down and discuss it thoroughly. Usually issues can be resolved when there is open communication. If you are having an issue with the school in general, please make an appointment to sit down with me.
3. Take what you hear from your child with a grain of salt. Remember they have their perception of what occurred during the day. It may be different from someone else's perspective. I remember a time when I was preparing the students to go to a track meet, and I told them to be kind no matter what they encounter. I said something to the fact that other students may be rude, but I wanted our students to practice what they've learned at Zion. Afterwards, one of my kids came up and told me that I said the other kids were going to be jerks, but they weren't. A useful saying to remember is, “I will believe half of what your child says about you if you believe half of what he says about me.”
4. Allow your children to learn how to solve their own problems. Please feel free to give them wise advice when they come to you with problems with classmates, but please don't come into the school ready to confront the classmate or teacher with this problem. Please do inform the teacher if you feel the problem is large enough that the teacher should be aware of it.
5. Help your child with homework to the degree that he/she needs it. Don't hover, but don't throw them to the wolves. There's always a good balance with what your child needs. If your kid is doing homework for hours each night, contact the teacher and we can work out a solution. Please differentiate between homework assignments and working on assignments that didn't get finished in class. If your child is not using his time effectively at school, the work may pile up for him to have to do at home. Teachers have to push a little to get kids motivated to work, just like you have to push them at home.
6. Set aside time and a quiet place for homework each day, with no electronics to distract them from their work.
7. Put your child to bed early. Kids need more sleep than adults. And it gives you some quiet time to yourself. Don’t let them take electronics to bed with them or watch tv while falling asleep. Studies show that reading before falling asleep encourages a restful sleep more than the visual stimulation of electronics.
8. Expect that your child will struggle with some aspect of their school work. It is through struggling that your child learns he/she can problem solve. If all their problems are solved for them, kids don’t gain confidence.
9. In making school a priority, please help us by limiting the amount of time your child is absent from school. I’m not talking about sickness, I’m addressing leaving school to play. Our school year is set up so that there are a lot of vacation days during the year. Please plan your vacations and play days to coincide with our days off. If your child misses school, he is required to make up the work. Unfortunately, he has also missed critical instruction that just can’t be made up.
10. At Zion, we teach students to acknowledge when familiar adults speak to them. This is tricky in a “don’t talk to strangers” world, but we want students to show respect to the adults they are acquainted with by acknowledging them.
11. Finally, and most important, partner with us in teaching your children about their salvation through Jesus Christ.