Back to school: Making it the best year for students

Story and photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Students from Ramstein Intermediate School talk at the end of the school day on Ramstein. Parents can help their children transition into the new school year by actively participating with the school, and maintaining open communication with their children’s teachers.

The start of the school year can be an exciting adventure for many students, but it can also be a time of high stress when they meet new people and reorganize their daily schedules.

While families are preparing to start the school year, parents can help their children successfully transition into the venture by actively participating with the school and their children.

“Being involved in their child’s school and having open communication with teachers is the best way parents can support their child,” said Mary Salerno, Ramstein Intermediate School principal. “It allows the parents to know what is going on in the student’s life and have a more direct influence.”

Communication between parents and teachers helps alleviate any concerns parents may have about their children’s grades, attitudes, work ethics, and daily habits. Parents who communicate closely with their child’s teacher will know how they can support their child in the best ways.

According to Noreen Mantini, RIS 4th grade counselor, when students see teachers and parents working closely together they tend to be more dedicated to their time at school. Mantini also mentioned that communication between parents and their children is just as critical as talking to the teachers.

“When families are at home it’s important they slow down and make time for each other and have conversations,” said Mantini. “Parents may ask how the school day went and accept the first answer their child gives them. It’s necessary to have a deeper conversation and get to know how school is going.”

Salerno explained that aside from communication, ensuring children are living a healthy lifestyle such as a proper sleep schedule during the school year can help improve focus during the school day.

Even though being active within the school, communication with students and teacher, and healthy lifestyles are essential, Mantini believes that parents’ attitude toward school is the most influential for students.

“The very best thing, I think, is to be enthusiastic about school as a parent,” said Mantini. “Celebrate school and make rituals that you do every year as a family before and after the school year, and celebrate the successes of your student.”