Contributed by Expect More Arizona
Relatives have been visited, pool toys have been packed away and camps have closed for the season. Summer vacation is coming to a close and, as teachers all over Arizona prepare their classrooms, families are gearing up for getting their children back to school.
While parents might be more than ready to have school back in session, kids are often resistant to losing the freedom and fun that summer brings. It’s a stressful time for caregivers, but there are ways to ensure your child is well-prepared, well in advance of the first morning bell. Here are a few ideas:
- Set a positive example. If you’re frazzled, your kids will be, too. That could set them off on the wrong foot for a new school year – so do your best to exude enthusiasm. Encourage them to remember the things they appreciate about school, whether it’s their favorite instructors, subjects or friends. Help them to embrace the new challenges in their path and instill a love of learning. Seek time to read and practice math skills, in addition to other subjects they enjoy.
- Get your house in order. One of the biggest changes from summer to school is returning to the structure and early mornings. By slowly altering your family’s schedule in the weeks leading up to the first day of class, you’ll help ensure that they’re ready to return to the classroom. Be sure to fill the house with healthy, balanced foods, as well. The first few weeks will be much easier and your child’s teacher will be grateful when they arrive on time and ready to learn.
- Seek ways to support learning. Family involvement in academic pursuits is one of the most important predictors in a child’s success. Talk with school leaders to find out how you can volunteer in the classroom, or even from your own home. Check homework, report cards and other parent communications from the school. And finally, teachers work hard to inspire youth every day – don’t forget to express your gratitude.
Between shopping for school supplies and completing needed paperwork, make time to prepare for the upcoming elections. After all, your vote matters to your child’s education. For instance, did you know that the governor influences education policy and appoints members of the Arizona Board of Regents and the state Board of Education? And on a local level, whoever is elected to the school board will determine schools’ curriculum? They’re also responsible for hiring the district superintendent and managing budgets. Also, it’s your state legislators who make the laws related to schools and determine the overall state budget for education.
Many districts in Arizona are running bond and override elections to secure funding for everything from building maintenance to computers and textbooks. To learn more about bonds and overrides, visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/vote, where you’ll find everything from key questions to ask candidates to a visual look at how your vote impacts education, and more election resources. Mark your calendar – the primary election is happening on Aug. 28 and the general election is on Nov. 6.
Education should not be a partisan issue. In survey after survey, Arizona voters of every party have repeatedly said that education and education spending are two of the most important issues facing our state. To support teachers and students, don’t let another election cycle go by without voting for leaders who will work to better our schools.
Your impact on education isn’t limited to what happens in your home – by knowing the candidates and better understanding the issues, you can help ensure that every child in Arizona receives a high quality education.
Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan education advocacy organization working to ensure every child receives an excellent education every step of the way. As a 501c3, Expect More Arizona does not endorse or support specific candidates. For more information visit ExpectMoreArizona.org.