Summer memories are behind us now, and it’s that time of year again when we try to find a routine and start the new school year with enthusiasm and joy.  As a  teacher, mother, and grandmother of nine, I know the feeling of starting a new school year when the students do not seem to remember the foundational aspects of their previous school year.  Don’t fret if your own children start out the year with what educators refer to as the “summer slide”.  Remember that your child(ren)  are not just academic scholars.   Try seeing each child from a whole child perspective with many different areas of growth.  You have given your child(ren) learning experiences over the summer that incorporate much more than book facts.  The emotional learning, physical learning, and character learning are just a few important qualities that make up who your child(ren) will become as adults.  You are making a real difference in their future!

So instead of starting the school year with stress and doubts, think about where each student is in their growth journey and find ways to enhance and encourage continued learning and discovery in the new school year.  We do want our students to excel in their grades, but remember grades don’t determine the overall person.

Begin with a plan for each child by setting up a space, a time, and a goal.  Think of a goal as if you were programming a GPS system.  Without knowing where you want to go, a GPS system has no idea what course to plot.  It is like the saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” However, once you know your destination, many other decisions can be made: travel time, eating establishments, traffic conditions and more. Destination is everything when it comes to making purposeful choices.

Some possible goals this year may include some of the following:

  • Be engaged and present everyday during study time.
  • Focus on learning, not just grades
  • Create a good balance between school and life
  • Keep on pace with your work
  • Eat healthy and get a good night's sleep

Remember to make the most of every moment. As the saying goes, “The days are long and the years are short.” Don’t get caught up in the day to day stress that you forget to make the most of the little moments that you are given each day.

Have a great year,

Debra J. Kennedy

QPA Superintendent