It’s back-to-school time in Otoe County, and we asked Maddie Fennell, the executive director of the Nebraska State Education Association for her tips for starting the school year off right.
First, “back up that bedtime” at least a few days before the first day of school so students can adjust to the transition between the summer and school schedules, said Fennell, who has 27 years of teaching experience.
The change in schedule applies to high school students as well as those in the elementary and middle school grades, she said.
Next, talk to your children about the new school year, said Fennell.
For elementary students, Fennell said,“Ask them who their teacher will be, and what they’re looking forward to learning this year.”
Fennell encouraged parents to take part in Back-to-School Night, but not to expect too much one-on-one time with the teacher that evening.
As the school year starts, Fennell said parents need to stay on top of the paperwork that comes home to ensure the school has the most up-to-date information about a child’s health and a parent’s contact information.
Parents also need to make sure students get to school on time, said Fennell, which she acknowledged can be a challenge as the year gets underway.
Fennell believes one of the best ways parents can help students succeed in school is to read aloud to them, or to have the child read aloud to his or her parents.
“Ask your child questions about the story” to test his or her comprehension, said Fennell. Parents can also ask questions about the author if the child has read several books by the same writer, or the genre of the book.