Back to School

Back to School
Posted on 09/05/2014

All across the state and country children are returning to school. While summer vacation for most students was less than three months long, many of our children return to school a few inches taller, several students have either gained or lost teeth, and some of our high school students have even learned to drive. The start of a new school year truly is an exciting time in our schools and communities, and in Menomonie, back to school time has an added dimension of excitement as college-aged students from near and far have enrolled at UW-Stout.

There is no shortage of advice for parents on how to support our children and help them have a successful school experience. While I believe that each child and each family situation is unique, some practices and expectations have been proven to be important and successful over time for many children and families. Establishing a daily routine and communicating well are two strategies that my wife and I try to emphasize with our own children. 

Having an established routine can reduce anxiety and help keep our children happy and healthy. When possible, setting aside a consistent time for completing homework, sitting down for a family meal, and having a consistent bedtime may lead to greater student success. Allowing time for playing and having a snack could also be something that parents might consider. Certainly, not all families can manage a routine in the same exact fashion, but there often might be friends, neighbors, relatives, or other organizations that are willing and able to help support our children.

Educating our children is a team effort! Without good communication between parents and educators, it is difficult to provide our children with a consistent message and clear expectations. Communicating with your child and his or her teachers on a regular basis is very important. Teachers in the Menomonie Area School District can be regularly contacted by phone or email, and all of our teachers are willing to schedule parent meetings before or after school.  

If there is a problem or concern, please do not wait for parent-teacher conferences to talk with your child’s teacher. It is often best to discuss problems or concerns in private, so the teacher, parents, and possibly the principal, can work out a solution. In most cases, our children will experience more success if parents are able to support the authority of our teachers and reinforce classrooms expectations.

It is also important that community members are aware that school is back in session. It is very important that we all pay extra attention to our surroundings when driving. In addition to students walking and biking to and from school, we rely on our buses to safely transport many of our children. Please be careful to watch out for our children and obey all traffic laws. Never pass a bus when the lights are flashing! 

The 2014-2015 school year will come and go like the blink of an eye. By working together and taking proper safety precautions, we can continue to provide our children with a wonderful environment for healthy growth and successful learning.