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Commentary: Open Houses prepare parents for start of school, but community can also help

A week from now both Tecumseh and Greenon schools will be back in session. These next seven days are probably the fastest week in the summer as parents attend open houses and make sure they have everything on the school supply list. There are also clothes to buy so this is a tough week on the pocket book.

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“Open house is a great time for students and families to get a sneak peek of the year ahead. They can check out the school and classrooms, meet their new teachers, drop off supplies, and pick up schedules and other important information. We hope to see all of our students and their families for open house to kick off a great year,” said Megan Anthony, Communication Coordinator.

Greenon held an Open House on Thursday for    seventh graders .

Moving up from the elementary building to secondary is a huge step for a student. As a former seventh grade teacher I cannot stress enough how important it is to attend these open houses. Parents need to be involved from the beginning. Get that teacher’s contact information and learn about the classroom rules from the beginning so you can remind your student. Teachers also need to know you.

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The rest of the open houses in western Clark County are:

Greenon’s Primary School Open House is Monday Aug. 13 from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Greenon’s Junior/Senior High School Open House is also Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Greenon.

Remember that Greenon’s first day is Wednesday Aug. 15. Kindergarten has its own special start schedule, so be sure to double check on when your student has the first day.

Tecumseh Schools need two days for all their open houses. There are some overlapping times in the schedule, but these have been carefully planned out so that parents who have to attend open houses in more than one building can manage to make them all.

On Aug. 13 Tecumseh Middle School has Open House from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Donnelsville has Open House from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

On Tuesday Aug. 14 Tecumseh High School has Open House from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Park Layne is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and New Carlisle is from 6 p.m. to 7:30.

Parents with students in more than one building should be able to make this schedule work.

If you cannot get off work, and in reality we all cannot, I’d recommend just sending the teacher a quick note explaining that work did not allow your attendance. Include your cell phone number and email address for the teacher.

Be sure to give priority to parent teacher conferences in your planning later on in the year. Scheduling is much more flexible for these.

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Now is the time for extended family, neighbors, and friends to step forward to do their part supporting education.

What can they do? How about offering to watch the youngest siblings when a parent goes to Open House? If climbing toddlers and crying babies are happier with grandma or auntie, mom and dad can concentrate on their student’s needs. These open houses are scheduled at “that” time of day when babies and toddlers are not at their best. Offering to help a single mom or dad navigate through these open houses would be a God send also.

Offering to pick up some school supplies or an extra outfit can also be helpful to the parents’ time and pocket books. Think about it.

We all need to be more aware of students walking to school or getting on and off the buses. These students are precious to all of us. They are unpredictable, so watch for them. Pay close attention to the stops that buses make in places you might not anticipate. Please be patient and keep safety in mind. And don’t forget the lowered speed limits in school zones at certain times of the day.

These are called community public schools for a good reason. Although we all contribute to education through our taxes, we also need to emotionally support our next generation and their families as they go about this learning process.

Have a great year!

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