The Times West Virginian


August 25, 2013

Working together is key for great school year

We’ve got one week of school under our belts. Things aren’t so scary for the kids anymore — they know their schedules and their teachers’ names, they’ve made a few new friends and have reunited with ones they lost touch with over the summer months. The brand new sneakers have a few scuffs, and the brand new shirts have some spaghetti stains on them.

School personnel have more than a week under their belts, too. They’ve gotten to know the kids that will be with them throughout the year. They probably have a pretty good feel for how the year will go, what to adjust to meet the needs of their students and the dynamics of the class.

Working together is key. That’s going to take a monumental effort for students, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents and guardians, too.

With all that in mind, we ask that all invested keep a few things in mind as the school year progresses.

Be involved.

Talk to your kids about their day. Go through their backpacks and folders with them for flyers and paperwork they may forget to hand off. Discuss assignments. Look at their planners provided by the schools and encourage them to use the planner. Volunteer at the school. Join the PTO. Send in school supplies that will benefit the entire class, like tissues and antibacterial wipes.

In the same way, we encourage school personnel to be involved with students. If you take just a small interest in their lives, they will see this is more than just a job and they are more than just a number. That will go miles toward earning their respect.

Give students a chance.

It’s been a long summer, though the calendar still says August. Days were filled with trips to the pool, vacations, hanging out with friends, nonstop chatter on social media sites, television, eating when you’re hungry, late nights. It’s an adjustment for kids to get up at dawn and be expected to sit at a desk for seven or more hours on their best behavior. But the “Season of Forgetting” is over. We know how frustrating it can be to reteach things they should have mastered two years ago, but give them a little time. Their brains will warm up and they’ll get into the swing of things.

And please also remember that kids carry around the weight of the world in their backpacks. Maybe there are family issues or money problems or peer interactions that are distracting them from their course work or causing an interruption in the class. We can’t fix all of their problems, but we can sure make good use of the support system that is in place within the schools before issues escalate into problems.

Give teachers, school personnel and administrators a chance.

There was a lot of paperwork to fill out. There were letters from teachers about policies, requirements and expectations. There are school rules, like attendance, cell phone use and dress code policies. Read them. Don’t get angry about a possible problem three months down the road. Show your child that you support the school and the teachers and the rules that have been set in place. Policies and rules are usually set in place because of past experiences, and school administrators want to curb potential problems so that the day goes smoothly from the first bell to the last.

Support schools and their athletic teams.

School fundraisers have started already. Children in bands and on athletic teams are tagging at area stores. Understand that the money raised benefits programs that could not exist without donations and fundraisers. We know that tax money goes toward schools, but it often isn’t enough for the extra things that enrich a student’s education, like music and extra-curricular activities, technology and more. So whether it be pepperoni rolls or cookie dough order forms, school logo attire or a kid in uniform in front of a convenience store, give what you can.


Almost every problem or potential problem can be solved with a little communication. Whether it be phones calls, emails, text messages or hand-written notes, the flow of communication between school personnel and parents should never stop. And communication, like old-fashioned phones, works both ways. Never hesitate to pass on crucial information to the ones who need it.

You know, we have a feeling this is going to be a pretty good school year, too. Sure, there may be a few bumps along the way. But in the end, if everyone works together in the best interest of the children, the 2013-14 school year has the potential to be a stellar year.

Text Only
  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads