Move over summer; school is back in session.
Some children feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of new teachers, new friends and a new school. On post, Michele Carlton and Terri Spencer, Fort Drum’s school liaison officers, are here to help assist with back-to-school issues to help parents and students who may be new to the area and want to know what to expect in the North Country.
One subject that generates questions is bus schedules and private transportation for students to local schools.
“If you have new students, just be patient,” Carlton said. “The first two weeks of the bus schedule are kind of crazy because the bus drivers are trying to learn their routes. After the first two weeks, you can pretty much set your clock by when the bus will be there.
“Also, many parents choose to drive their children to school and the safety of the children has got to be the No. 1 priority,” she added. “So parents should contact their school ahead of time to make sure they know what time they can drop their children off and where they should park so they are not in the way of the school buses.”
Carlton said there are five things parents can do during the first few weeks of school to help children get off to a good start: get to know the child’s teacher or teachers, share important information with teachers about the student, find out what is expected of the student, join a parent-teacher organization and make sure the students are at school on time.
She also discussed how parents can be involved with their children throughout the year.
“Another important thing is for parents to stay in contact with their children’s teacher or teachers,” she said. “Parents are going to be their children’s best advocate, and in order to do that, they need to know what is going on in the school.”
One more issue that comes up often is the fear of being a new student at a new installation.
“Students need to remember that if they think they are going to be the only new student, they have another think coming,” Carlton said.
“They also need to know they will get a great education here in New York, and there will be lots of extracurricular activities to choose from as well,” she added.
Carlton reiterated that her job is to help those parents and students who may have questions or feel overwhelmed as the Army relocates them.
“The school liaison office is here to help with transitions, both incoming and outgoing,” she said. “People should come see us when they are (making a permanent change of station move) so we can get them in contact with the school liaison officer at their next duty station to help the transition go as smoothly as possible.”
Parents who have any school issues they would like to discuss with Carlton and Spencer may call 772-3214 or 772-1311.