It’s that time of year again

The 2017-18 school year starts Monday, August 21. Another important date to mark on your calendar is Back to School Night. Whether you have children at three different schools or you are sending your last child off to kindergarten, make plans now to attend. Back to School Night is a wonderful opportunity for community members to get a glimpse into what’s happening in our local schools.

Paso Robles Join Unified School District LogoMeet your child’s teachers, school administration, and staff on the following dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 5:30-7 p.m. – Flamson and Lewis Middle Schools

Thursday, Aug. 31, 5:30-7 p.m. – Bauer Speck & Georgia Brown Elementary Schools

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 5:30-7 p.m. – Kermit King & Winifred Pifer Elementary Schools

Thursday, Sept. 7, 5:30-7 p.m. – Pat Butler & Virginia Peterson Elementary Schools

At Back to School Night, teachers have the opportunity to present an overview of the year’s curriculum, share classroom management and behavior plans, and inform parents about special events and dates. Be sure to take along your day-planner or calendar and mark these dates down while you have the time.

This is a great time to see where your child is seated in the classroom and meet the parents of other children. Given today’s privacy laws, teachers are not allowed to give out a class list of phone numbers. Introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses in case your child needs an emergency ride to school or clarification on a homework assignment.

With some schools having class sizes of up to 35 students, Back to School Night is not the place for a private conference about your child. Be sure to let the teacher know the best times to reach you and that you value communication between school and home. Many teachers use e-mail to keep in contact with parents.

Take along an index or business card for the teacher that includes your name, child’s name, and contact information. If your child has any health conditions or learning disabilities, include this information as well. Think of the teacher as your partner for the next year and share any insights on ways your child learns best and responds to praise and redirection.

If you are available to volunteer or help the teacher, be sure to speak up. Helping is not confined to school hours; if you work during the time your child attends classes, consider donating supplies for a special art project or snacks for a reading rewards day.

It’s nice to ask what projects or supplies are needed in the classroom. From Kleenex, pencils, paper, and more there are plenty of items your child’s teacher would surely appreciate. Do you have a special talent or a few hours when you are able to help occasionally? Consider asking the teacher and other parents about teaming up to supply a special art lesson or field trip for the students.

Start a folder for each child with the information received at Back to School Night. Keep the folders in a designated place, then refer to and add information and paperwork as the year progresses. If there are papers to sign and return back to the school by a certain date, be sure to take care of those as soon as possible. Forms may be available online to save time and paper, so be sure to ask.

Community members are encouraged to Back to School Nights as well – if that’s you, talk with the teachers about any areas of interest or expertise you may be willing to share with students as a volunteer. Those interested in part-time, paid jobs, check the bulletin boards at individual schools or the district office for postings such as yard duty supervision.

For more information, call your child’s school site directly, or the PRJUSD office at 805-769-1000. **Note, the date/time for high school Back to School Night was not available at publication time.