– Everything went pretty much according to plan Wednesday morning, said Hebron Elementary School Principal Marilyn Fox, reflecting on the first day of school. It was a clear, cool morning following a long, hot, and very humid summer. “It went very smoothly in the morning,” she said, even though this was the first day of new bus routes for the Lakewood School District. Fox said it was tougher to ensure each student boarded the proper school bus at the end of the day, but, again, there were no major problems. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” she said, just the usual issues of parents changing addresses and not informing the school.
Fox said there are many things parents can do to help ensure the first day of school—or any day, for that matter—is smooth. “Make sure they get a good night’s sleep and breakfast,” she said. “Make (the day) a positive experience.”
Fox said a major issue is students arriving late in the morning—and the students aren’t to blame. “They’re at their parents’ mercy getting them to school on time,” she said. Fox said some parents believe the school day begins at 9 a.m. “It starts at 8:50,” she said, and students should be at the school by 8:40 a.m. so they are in their rooms and ready to learn at 8:50 a.m.
Filling out the proper first day paperwork is critical, said Fox. The school staff really needs back-up phone numbers with which to contact parents if necessary, and people at the school need to know where each child is supposed to go at the end of the day because sometimes, frankly, the really young children aren’t sure. It’s common for the very young not to remember their own addresses. “Tag that in their book bags,” she said. It never hurts for the child to have his or her address or afternoon destination written down in his or her book bag.
Fox again stressed the importance of making school a positive experience for children. “Deal with any problems right away,” she said to parents, and always be sure children know, “The school is a good place to be.”