Getting back into the school routine is already a rough transition from a long summer break. With COVID-19, this school year is going to be a little different for our Athlos community. Despite our circumstances, we are remaining optimistic to ensure that these first few weeks set the tone for a successful and safe school year.
Whether your student is learning in a classroom or virtually from home, the first few weeks of school are among the most important. This is the best time to establish expectations and daily habits for your family to follow for the rest of the school year.
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Here are 7 strategies that can help you and your family start a safe and successful school year off right:
Remember grit and optimism.
The first few weeks can be daunting for students, especially if this is their first time away from home or sitting still to learn for a long period of time. The Performance Character traits grit and optimism can help you and your family focus on accomplishments and daily growth. You can help your family develop these traits at home: Grit and Optimism.
Establish clear communications.
It’s no secret this school year is going to have unique challenges and homework expectations, which is why it is especially important for parents to talk with their children for at least 15 minutes every day. By starting the school year with a pattern of communication, your children will become more open to discuss successes and challenges such as bullying and stress.
This is also an opportunity to help your students memorize the big four:
Set a routine everyone can agree with.
The Athlos PBIS family matrix can help your family hold meetings, establish expectations and schedules/routines, address needs, and set rules and rewards for family members. Strive to hold additional family meetings throughout the school year to follow up and make adjustments as needed.
NOTE: Always remember to let the school know if a student needs to switch between on-campus learning and distance learning!
Practice self-calming strategies together.
Just as it’s important to maintain physical health, both parents and students should take time to maintain mental health as well. There are many ways to manage anxiety and stress as a family. These can include sports, exercise, meditation, hobbies, and more. In cases of severe anxiety and stress, seek professional help. Many schools have counselors and other resources available to help families manage anxiety and stress.
Learn to know your child’s teachers, classes, and friends.
You do not need to know every detail of your child’s life, but whether they’re on-campus or learning from home, knowing their class schedule, and names of teachers and classmates will aid you in building a list of contacts for help and answers to questions throughout this school year. This will especially be helpful during school closures and in cases of emergency.
Learn how to navigate the school website.
Take a moment to become familiar with the areas of the school website you will use the most throughout the year. This is especially important if your student is distance learning. Please take a few minutes to locate and familiarize yourself with the following:
- PowerSchool login
- Clever and Zoom
- Meal payment portal
- News & Updates section
- Calendar & Events tab
- Parent Resources tab
- School Newsletter
Volunteer at the school or PTA.
Athlos families are encouraged to volunteer up to 30 minutes to 1 hour a week for the school. Whether it’s reading virtually to students or helping at Driveline on campus, there are dozens of volunteer opportunities at the school and with the PTA, even online! Contact the school today to find out what you can do to become involved.