Prepare now for a successful school year

Tinker Elementary School second-grade teacher Vicki Dudley unpacks and unstacks her classroom, getting it ready for the new school year, which begins Aug. 14. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

Tinker Elementary School second-grade teacher Vicki Dudley unpacks and unstacks her classroom, getting it ready for the new school year, which begins Aug. 14. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- The military is not the only place where schedules, organization and goals are valued. Learning experts suggests these things will help kick off a stress free school year.
   With Mid-Del schools starting on Aug. 14, there are some things parents can do to get back in the school routine and minimize stress and anxiety. 
   Enroll Early. If your child is new to the school district, enroll early. If your child attended Tinker last year, enrollment is today from 9 a.m. to noon at Tinker Elementary, said Tinker Elementary principal Carol Asseo.
   For students new to the district, including Tinker Elementary, Mid-Del Public Schools has a central enrollment center that is open year around. District officials encourage parents to enroll the moment the student moves in the school district. The enrollment center is located at 2712 S. Midwest Blvd. between S.E. 15th Street and S.E. 29th Street in Midwest City. The office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 736-0768 for more information. 
   Have all required documents for enrollment.
   o Proof of residence - Parents must provide proof that their child is living with a custodial parent in the district. If living on base, you will need a Tinker Housing verification and off base families will need an original current gas, electric or water bill only, cut off notices are not accepted. If all bills are paid at the residence, a current original lease agreement or housing contract reflecting the property address, tenant names including school age children, agent's name, address and phone number.
      o Immunization Records
      o Certified Birth Certificate
      o Address and fax of previous school
      o Student social security number
      o Certified Degree of Indian Blood if applicable 
   Other information may be requested such as IEP for special education students, gifted/talented records, unofficial transcript for class scheduling and custody papers for children living with only one parent. 
   Re-establish structure. The summer has gone too soon and it is time to re-set bedtimes, mealtimes and study times at least a week before school, said Vicki Dudley, a 17-year teaching veteran and Tinker Elementary second grade teacher. 
   Meet your child's teacher before school starts. Develop a relationship with the teacher early so that it is easy to communicate with one another throughout the year.    
   Tinker Elementary has a "Bring your supplies to school day" on Aug. 13, Ms. Asseo said.
   "Parents and children can find the classroom, drop of supplies and meet the new teacher so the kids aren't scared and anxious for the first day of school." 
   Have a set schedule and follow it. There should be a time for homework, projects and extracurricular activities. Both parents and children should plan for upcoming tests and deadlines. Following a schedule will ease anxiety and stress and limit late study nights and cramming for tests. 
   Have fun with learning at home. Read with your child daily.
   "Reading opens worlds to kids that they can never experience on their own. It gives them an open-minded view on life," Ms. Dudley said.
   Parents can hone their math skills by using math facts flash cards for younger children or encouraging older kids to compute miles and the cost of gas for a trip to the grocery store.
   Ms. Dudley said she wants to remind parents that a positive school year starts with positive parents. If the parents have a positive attitude, the kid will come in with the same positive attitude.
   "The best thing you can do is talk positively about the first day of school and refrain from bad experiences. Talk about what you enjoyed about the start of school," she said.
   Ms.Dudley also said you don't have to always do formal thing to encourage learning at home. She said just spend time with your kids, take them places and enjoy them.
   "The best way to raise your child is to make sure other people want to be around them," she said.