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Friday, August 16, 2013

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement still makes a difference during middle school and high school years.  Columbia Middle School and Columbia Central High School needs parent volunteers just as much as the elementary does.  What do you do when the school needs parent volunteers for an event, but your schedule is already busy and your teen is begging for you to say away?  “Don’t come to my school,” she says, “let the other parents do it.”  It’s tempting to be persuaded.  Does your teen really need your involvement anymore?

Research is clear: Parent involvement in education makes a huge difference for kids of all ages.  The results can include improved attendance, better behavior and higher grades.

This doesn’t mean you have to be at every school activity.  You might help with a dance, for example, but skip a play.  You may join the Athletic Boosters, but not help with the Science Fair.  In fact, lots of “involvement” happens at home.  The National Education Association strongly suggests talking about school, helping with homework and monitoring your teen’s time.  These are things you can do every day.

Meanwhile, steps such as visiting the school occasionally and staying in touch with the staff are small but essential.  They teach your teen that “School is important,”  “I care about your success,” and “Teens, parents and schools are an unbeatable team.”  Deep down, teens get these messages, so even when they say, “Don’t come to school,” they’re actually glad you are involved.

Columbia School District offers many areas for parents to get involved.  Our upcoming Back-to-School Days are a kick off to the school year.  Monday, August 26th from 5 to 6:30 pm is the Columbia Middle School Back to School Open House.  Columbia Central High School Freshman and New Student Orientation begin at 6 pm on Tuesday August 27th and the CCHS Open House for all students kicks-off at 7:00 pm.  The Columbia Elementary Back-to-School Bash is Tuesday August 27th from 5 to 6:30 pm.

During the Open Houses you will have an opportunity to join the Band Boosters, the Athletic Boosters and the PTO, meet your child or teen’s teachers, and get reacquainted with old friends.  After school begins if you have time during the school day, you may want to become a mentor in the Brooklyn Buddies Reading Program or volunteer on the playground.  If you are interested in registering your child to attend Columbia School District, please call 517-592-6641 or email me at .

Friday, August 9, 2013

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is an exciting time for children and their parents.  As your child moves from preschool or daycare to Kindergarten they may need you to help prepare him or her for this big step.  You may be able to build their confidence by doing family activities to help your child learn what school will be like.  Over the next several weeks before school  begins on Tuesday, September 3rd you may want to try some of the following activities:
·     Doing art projects with your child and incorporating the use of crayons, markers, glue, scissors, paint, and other supplies will help him or her to be familiar with activities he or she will do in school.
·     Math activities such as counting pennies, grouping items into similar categories, matching numerals with numbers of items, talking about time, and discussing differences in sizes of items such as big, little, small and large.
·     Reading books together.  The Public Library is a great source for choosing books at random or about a particular topic your child is interested in, such as dinosaurs, dogs, animals, or space travel.
Columbia School District is offering all day Kindergarten, Young 5’s, and Preschool for your children.  We believe that all day Kindergarten and all day Young 5’s program are successful in providing additional learning opportunities for our students.  The additional time allows teachers to expand and advance our curriculum providing increased academic experiences for our Kindergarteners and Young 5’s.  Our teachers are excited about the growth and achievements they see in our children who participate in all day Kindergarten.
Since beginning all day Kindergarten we have seen many benefits.  Our students learn to read in Kindergarten and they are excited when they get an opportunity to read to each other.  They are able to work on additional math facts and learn about how to count coins.  The students count pennies, nickels, and dimes.  They also have an opportunity to work with guided writing strategies.  Many of the current standards and benchmarks are very similar to what used to be taught in first grade.
Transitioning from preschool or daycare to Kindergarten or Young 5’s is a big step for children.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to register your child for one of these terrific programs, please stop by Columbia Elementary or call 592-6632 or email Mrs. Powell @ or   Together we are Building a Brighter Future for our Students!