With Labor Day now in the rearview mirror, it is time to get serious about school, and that goes for parents as well as their kids.
Parental responsibilities start the night before a school day. Making sure a child is well rested is an important part of the drill.
Everyone probably knows, all too well, the rigors of getting a family of working parents and young scholars out of the door on time, but knowing local bus routes and carpool routines are worth studying and fine tuning.
But once the kids are out of the house, parents can still make a big difference in the quality of their child's education, and arguably, in the quality of the entire school.
We are not talking about becoming an expert helicopter parent. In fact, that kind of micromanagement can be detrimental to the child and to his or her teacher. We are referring to volunteering, fundraising and civic involvement.
In most schools, parents who are willing to volunteer are welcomed with open arms. From helping with special activities to sitting on site councils, parents can provide expertise and moral support for teachers, administrator and students.
Through memberships in organizations like the local parent-teacher organizations, parents can also raise money to help buy books and classroom supplies and fund field trips. In today's tight economy, where education budgets have been slashed, that kind of outside support is more important than ever.
Families in the Park City School District can also look to the Park City Education Foundation (http://www.pcef4kids.org/) for some creative and effective ways to support their schools. Through concentrated fundraising efforts, the PCEF has helped to establish a wide range of programs that enhance the community's education system. Some of those efforts have included establishing a preschool program, providing gifted and talented programs at the middle schools, and leadership classes for high schoolers. PCEF funds have also been used to offer music classes and teacher-recognition awards.
So now that the kids are back in school, take a deep breath and then jump in to help. All three of our local school districts North Summit, South Summit and Park City will be glad you did and your efforts will likely resound throughout the community.
For more information, please log on to your local school district website:
North Summit School District: http://www.nsummit.org/
South Summit School District: http://www.ssummit.k12.ut.us/
Park City School District: http://www.pcschools.us/