Sunday Scoop with the Supe
September 3rd, 2023
News and Notes from the VPSS Central Office
From the desk of the Superintendent
As we round out the first three weeks of school, I want to share a little insight on some of the normal transitions we see at the beginning of every school year and give you a few insights on how you can help your child be successful in their academic endeavors.
At the primary grade level, we all need to realize the importance of the 1st grade year in building a strong foundation of reading skills that will benefit the students for life. While the transition of learning becomes a little more structured, it is helpful if you make sure your child is getting structure at home. The consistency of structure at home and school will help your child adapt and thrive. It is also crucial that you work with the school on the critical skills of a developing reader. Read to your child as often as possible and have your child read to you. Learning and mastering site words will go a long way to future success. Practice these words in fun and engaging ways so that your child can learn and enjoy this time with you. Another 1st grade transition that can be difficult for many students is that nap time no longer exists. You can help with this transition by ensuring that your child gets to bed at an appropriate time each night so they are ready to go the next day.
Our next great transition happens for our 3rd graders across the district. A move to multiple teachers, and a move from social living to social studies and science being taught daily with letter grades that are factored in the students GPA, can be a lot for all to take in. It is also the first year of preparation for state testing. Just because children become a little less dependent on adults, it is not the time to shy away from being a part of the learning process. Allow productive struggle and be supportive as they make their way through the third grade journey. Help your student develop study skills and time management by having them review content daily rather than waiting until the night before an assessment to study.
If you are a parent of a sixth grader, make sure you are having conversations regularly. For many it is a new school building, different teachers for every subject and the hustle and bustle of junior high. Most importantly, however, is the exposure to social media, peer pressure, and things that 6th graders ten years ago knew nothing about. Make them tell you about the day, make them explain their homework and what they learned. Perhaps even ask what was the best part of their day?
6th grade becomes about understanding larger concepts and seeing the big picture. Talking about school work helps them learn this valuable skill.
And finally for our 9th graders, high school is a new beast. Some things are easier, some things more difficult. The opportunities for social activities and extracurricular activities are abundant, but they can’t get in the way of the educational priority. Each class counts, each grade counts, and you can’t move on without passing each course. Make sure your child is just staying ahead of the game and studying on a regular basis. Little assignments add up to lots of points and your child needs to be reminded of this daily. Take all assignments seriously, regardless of how little or big they are.
I remind you all again and thank you in advance for being part of the positive village for your child. They will have tough times, they will have to persevere through tough assignments and tough days when things don’t go well. We can all play a role in learning to handle productive struggle. Have a great week.
Your Partner in Education,
Superintendent Tommy Byler
District events for the week of September 4th
- Monday, September 4th
- Labor Day - Schools and Central Office Closed
- Wednesday, September 6th
- Principal's Meeting at Central Office - Meeting #1 (23-24)
- Friday, September 8th
- Week #2 High School Football
- September 13 - Progress Reports Sent Home
- October 9 is the first of four distance learning days for K-3 students so that teachers may complete mandatory state training on the "Science" of reading.
- October 16th and 17th is Fall Break
- November 6th - Parent Teacher Conference Day
Information and Resources from the VPSS Curriculum Team..
As we transition into the month of September, our school year is in full swing. September is an important time for students, and it's equally crucial for parents to be well-prepared to set a strong foundation for their child's academic journey. Throughout the year, we will share tips, academic resources and upcoming look-fors as your child grows in our Vermilion Parish School System,
Here are some valuable insights and tips to ensure a smooth start and a successful school year for your child.
1. Establish a Consistent Routine
Getting back into the swing of things can be a bit challenging, especially after a long summer break. To help your child adjust, create a consistent, predictable daily routine. Set regular bedtimes, meal times, and study times. A well-structured routine can ease the transition and provide a sense of stability.
2. Stay Informed and Communicate with Teachers
Effective communication with your child's school and teachers is essential. Stay informed about school events, important dates, and academic expectations. Read school newsletters, check the school website, and follow the school's social media accounts for updates. Attend parent-teacher meetings or open houses. Reach out to teachers or administrators via email or phone to introduce yourself and discuss any concerns or special needs your child may have. Building a positive relationship with teachers can greatly benefit your child's academic progress.
3. Set Goals Together
Sit down with your child and set some academic goals for the school year. Encourage them to think about what they want to achieve and how they plan to do it. These goals can be related to grades, extracurricular activities, or personal growth. Having a clear sense of purpose can motivate your child throughout the year.
4. Be Supportive
Your child may encounter challenges throughout the school year. Be there to provide emotional support and encouragement. Listen to their concerns, offer guidance when needed, and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Your support can make a significant difference in their confidence and motivation.
5. Foster Independence
As your child progresses through school, it's important to gradually foster independence. Teach them how to manage their stress, time, assignments, and how to respectfully advocate for themselves when needed. These skills will serve them well in high school and beyond.
The first month of school is a time for new beginnings, and with the right preparation and support, your child can start the year off on the right foot. Remember that every child is unique, and it's essential to tailor your support to their individual needs. By working together with teachers and staying actively involved in your child's education, you can help them thrive academically and have a successful school year ahead. Wishing you and your child a fantastic start to the school year!
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that Vermilion Parish uses ZEARN Math in Kindergarten-8th grades? Zearn Math is an online platform that supports students as they explore the important math ideas of their grade level with immediate support. It helps make sense of math with pictures and interactive models. Zearn gives students experience with solving math problems in lots of different ways, all with built-in math help!
Recent research indicated that elementary and middle school students who consistently used Zearn Math scored significantly higher on 2022 LEAP than matched peers who did not use Zearn Math. The impact of Zearn for Louisiana students showed that students gained 1.5 to 2.0 years of math learning in one academic year when they consistently used Zearn Math. We are proud of our ZEARN efforts and hope you continue to support your child’s math development!
Click the Zearn Button below for more information.