Back to school: How the students get their groove back
BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
Children are getting ready for the new year at St. Celestine School.
Whether your kids are ready or not, whether you are ready or not, school will be back in session before you know it. Lazy summer days of sleeping in and staying up late will soon be replaced by routines, schedules, scholarly activities, social events and after school commitments.
“Students can best prepare themselves for the new school year by getting plenty of rest and eating well,” said Jeanine Rocchi, principal at St. Celestine School in Elmwood Park.
Dawn De Bois-Weber, principal at Chesterbrook Academy Elementary School in Naperville said, “We recommend that parents re-establish a morning and nighttime routine two weeks before school starts.”
DeBois-Weber also advises that over the summer, parents should institute a reading ritual with their children.
“We post a list of back to school book suggestions on our school’s website,” she said.
Discussions about academic objectives, with your child as well as with their teachers, are also beneficial for a successful start to the forthcoming year. “We also encourage students to email their teachers with their goals and strengths as a student or write about a favorite summer memory they’d like to share with the class when they return,” said Debois-Weber.
In addition to motivating and inspiring kids to read, Rocchi believes that, “practicing math facts is also helpful.”
Once the students’ brains and bodies are well primed, you still must address their social attentiveness. Kids that moved to a new neighborhood, which means attending a new school, as well as returning students that are simply entering a new grade or building, might be a little apprehensive about what’s ahead. Taking part in school activities and events as well as joining afterschool clubs and organizations might provide a great comfort, as well as new friendships, for your child.
“We have many school events to welcome everyone, especially our new students,” said Rocchi.
St. Celestine School preschoolers and kindergarteners attend orientation on the first day of school, which parents are invited to attend. “Kindergarten families will go on a teddy bear hunt to find bear stickers around the school, familiarizing themselves with the new surroundings,” said Rocchi.
Rocchi goes on to say that, in addition to the parents night event, the annual book fair, and the first school liturgy, the parish “hosts a fun-for-the-entire-family community barbeque, where there is good food, games for the children, and entertainment.”
At St. Celestine School, children may take part in afterschool activities and organizations such as the reading club or student council. As with most schools, St. Celestine School also offers an array of athletics: soccer, basketball and volleyball, among other sports.
Chesterbrook Academy Elementary School has many opportunities for children to find a social outlet as well, including family events.
“Attending the back-to-school family picnic is a great opportunity for our students to see old friends and make new ones,” said De Bois-Weber. “During the school year, kids can also join the Hispanic Honor Society, lead by Spanish teacher Ruth Artiga.”
You and your kids might not be geared up for the school year yet; however, one thing is for sure: teachers and school administrators are.
“We are ready!” said Rocchi.