GUEST VIEW: Preparing for a honey of a school year


By Daily News • Last Updated 10:30 am on Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest View | Victoria Simon

Enter a public school in the fall and there is a beehive of activity with students and staff buzzing around in organized chaos working together, learning, discovering and creating knowledge. But just as a dormant honeybee hive in the winter contains worker bees huddling, shivering and rotating, what appears to be a quiet school in the summer contains staff ordering, cleaning and organizing for a new school year. 

If you have moved over the summer, it is a good idea to enroll your child in the school he or she will attend as soon as you can. The staff of the school needs to plan for your child in order to serve his or her needs correctly. School staff members are ordering textbooks and planning bus routes. It is helpful to know about every child ahead of time.

At Threshold Academy, for example, teachers are preparing to visit every family’s home bringing brand new books to students along with a brochure explaining the curriculum and an invitation to the school open house. The Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary of Greenville donated funds for homework school supplies, which will also be given to students during home visits.

“This year we prepared a ‘Welcome’ DVD which shows families how to get to the school, where to park, how to sign in, a tour of the school and a lot of information including events and activities that make Threshold Academy unique,” said Victoria Simon, principal of Threshold Academy.  “We have learned many parents feel awkward the first few times they visit a school because they have not been oriented to the layout of the building and don’t know the faces of the staff. The purpose of the DVD is to help families feel comfortable at their child’s school.”

In addition to the local elementary schools your child can walk to or ride the bus to, Ionia and Montcalm counties offer a K-5 elementary charter school located between Belding and Ionia. Threshold Academy offers free busing and focuses on serving the individual needs of each child with an emphasis on reading, math and behavior. Threshold is holding an open house for students and their families today from noon to 2 p.m. and will feature lunch, information on the Title I program, free hair cuts, family pictures, books and clothing.

For many students, summer is a lazy, slow, relaxed time of year. If your child has seemed “dormant” in the summer, sleeping in and watching TV, it is time to start adjusting bed time, wake up time and creating a daily routine so school will be a smooth adjustment.

“Children need sleep, healthy food and exercise to take care of their bodies and this is easy to do in the summer. It is just as important, though, to make sure your child is reading every day to take care of their minds,” said Simon. “The three R’s for August are rest, routine and reading to be ready for the three R’s of September — reading, writing and ‘rithmetic.”

For a sweet school year with productive workers, enroll your child in school now so teachers and bus drivers will be ready for your student.

Victoria Simon is principal of Threshold Academy.

The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.

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