September is an odd month – it is filled with so many mixed emotions; excitement, nervousness, angst, wonder… It shouldn’t surprise us, as it follows August every year AND marketing has done a good job of preparing us by putting back to school supplies in stores starting in July but for some reason it always does. I always look forward to the change of season and the start of a new school year will new students, eager staff, and 180 days to make a difference. The excitement in the students’ eyes on the first days of school is contagious. One question I often ask students at the beginning of the school year, because I find it so telling, is “Did the summer go by fast or slow?’ More often students say “slow.” So many of our students look forward to the routines and structure of school, me too. It feels good to get back into a familiar, predictable routine. Maybe that is why I like October so much, things are running smoothly after the dust of September settles.
The beginning of the year has been filled with helping us all get back into the “swing of school” with assemblies to review our Citizenship focus this year (Honesty), tours of the school to ease the “where am I going?” feeling, a rotation to meet all the elementary and middle school staff so students are familiar with staff they may not have on their schedule, binder set up to help with executive functioning, discussions regarding LPS and classroom expectations to familiarize students with new student support protocols, and in class assessments to ensure proper homogeneous groupings. Side note: if your student comes home with a schedule change during this time, it is means that we are learning about your student’s strengths and challenges and we are fine tuning our groups to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged.
Things that you can do at home to get back into the school routine is to check your student’s binder every night including their homework and take home folder and their goal sheet and RAPP grades for middle school students. All of these things are helpful communication tools to see how your student’s day was and what they are learning. Help your student have a functional place to do homework BUT not actually help your student do the homework. It is helpful for us to see what your student can do independently. If you have questions about homework or anything in the binder feel free to reach out to your student’s counselor or teacher with questions.
We look forward to a wonderful school year and have prepared our classrooms and lesson plans with great care. Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-965-0764 x407.