The FAST Flyer
The View from Above, Vol. 5 Issue 7
September 17, 2022
10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed
1. Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences
Kids do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives. Attending back-to-school night at the start of the school year is a great way to get to know your child's teachers and their experiences.
Attending parent-teacher conferences is another way to stay informed. These are usually held once or twice a year at progress reporting periods. The conferences are a chance to start or continue conversations with your child's teacher, and discuss strategies to help your child do his or her best in class.
2. Visit the School and Its Website
Knowing the physical layout of the school building and grounds can help you connect with your child when you talk about the school day. It's good to know the location of the main office, school nurse, cafeteria, gym, athletic fields, playgrounds, auditorium, and special classes.
3. Support Homework Expectations
Homework in grade school reinforces and extends classroom learning and helps kids practice important study skills. It also helps them develop a sense of responsibility and a work ethic that will benefit them beyond the classroom.
In addition to making sure your child knows that you see homework as a priority, you can help by creating an effective study environment. Any well-lit, comfortable, and quiet workspace with the necessary supplies will do. Avoiding distractions (like a TV in the background) and setting up a start and end time can also help.
4. Send Your Child to School Ready to Learn
A nutritious breakfast fuels up kids and gets them ready for the day. In general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy and do better in school. Kids who eat breakfast also are less likely to be absent, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.
You can help boost your child's attention span, concentration, and memory by providing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein, as well as low in added sugar.
Kids also need the right amount of sleep to be alert and ready to learn all day. Most school-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night.
5. Teach Organizational Skills
When kids are organized, they can stay focused instead of spending time hunting things down and getting sidetracked. What does it mean to be organized at the elementary level? For schoolwork, it means having an assignment book and homework folder (many schools supply these) to keep track of homework and projects. Also, keep a special box or bin for completed and graded projects and toss papers that you don't need to keep.
6. Teach Study Skills
Studying for a test can be scary for young kids, and many educators assume parents will help their kids during the grade-school years. Introducing your child to study skills now will pay off with good learning habits throughout life.
Teach your child how to break down overall tasks into smaller, manageable chunks so preparing for a test isn't overwhelming. You also can introduce your child to tricks like mnemonic devices to help with recalling information. Remember that taking a break after a 45-minute study period is an important way to help kids process and remember information.
7. Know the Disciplinary Policies
Schools usually cite their disciplinary policies (sometimes called the student code of conduct) in student handbooks. The rules cover expectations, and consequences for not meeting the expectations, for things like student behavior, dress codes, use of electronic devices, and acceptable language. The policies may include details about attendance, vandalism, cheating, fighting, and weapons.
It's helpful to know the school's definition of bullying, consequences for bullies, support for victims, and procedures for reporting bullying. It's important for your child to know what's expected at school and that you'll support the school's consequences when expectations aren't met. It's easiest for students when school expectations match the ones at home, so kids see both environments as safe and caring places that work together as a team.
8. Get Involved
Whether kids are just starting kindergarten or entering their last year of elementary school, there are many good reasons for parents to volunteer at school. It's a great way for parents to show they're interested in their kids' education.
Parents can get involved by:
- being a classroom helper or homeroom parent
- organizing and/or working at fundraising activities and other special events, like bake sales, car washes, and book fairs
- chaperoning field trips
- planning class parties
- attending school board meetings
- joining the school's parent-teacher group
- working as a library assistant
- reading a story to the class
- giving a talk for career day
- attending school concerts or plays
Check the school or teacher website to find volunteer opportunities that fit your schedule. Even giving a few hours during the school year can make a strong impression on your child.
9. Take Attendance Seriously
Sick kids should stay home from school if they have a fever, are nauseated, vomiting, or have diarrhea. Kids who lose their appetite, are clingy or lethargic, complain of pain, or who just don't seem to be acting "themselves" should also might benefit from a sick day.
If your child is missing a lot of school due to illness, make sure to check with the teacher about any work that needs to be completed. It's also a good idea to know the school's attendance policy.
10. Make Time to Talk About School
It's usually easy to talk with elementary students about what's going on in class and the latest news at school. But parents can get busy and forget to ask the simple questions, which can have an effect on children's success at school.
Make time to talk with your child every day, so he or she knows that what goes on at school is important to you. When kids know parents are interested in their academic lives, they'll take school seriously as well.
(Excerpt from an article retrieved 9/19/22; KidsHealth.org)
We’re the FAST Astros! Together, we will achieve great things!
Parent Teacher Conferences
The Astros played strong in their first game this week against Autrey Mill. The Astros ended in a 3-4 loss, but were impressive on the field. We are so excited to see where Coach Chang leads them this season!
We encourage everyone to come out to the games and cheer on the Astros. The full schedule is posted on the FAST website.
Middle school students are permitted to bring their Chromebooks home on a daily basis. We encourage everyone to obtain a cover to prevent any damage to their device as students will be held financially responsible for damages incurred. Students should charge their device each night and bring it to school every day. We do not have extra Chromebooks available to loan students who forget theirs at home.
And good news: Yay Lunch is offering 20% off your order when you use the code SAYYAY20 at checkout. This offer ends October 2nd and applies to one week of orders.
FROM THE PTO
FAST FBI is for ALL fathers and father figures! No special signup needed. It’s just a fun name to catch the attention of DADS to encourage them to participate and volunteer at our school. The group does have a cool shirt (limited sizes & quantities available)! If t-shirts are your thing, ask for one!!
Volunteers are needed for morning carpool and setting up outdoor picnic tables and umbrellas on Monday, 9/19. Signup to help!
It takes a village - and we’re so glad you are part of the FAST Community!
Do you have orange yarn lying around? What about old science themed toys? Please consider donating them to the FAST scarecrows! You can find out more details here:
Sept. 21: International Day of Peace
Sept. 22: Parent Cafe
Sept. 22-23: Parent-teacher conferences (students off)
Sept. 30: Out of Uniform Day
Sept. 30: Bingo Night