My daughter's school, Noe, had a three day "camp" for gifted and talented students a few weeks ago. My daughter came away from those three days excited with tales of teachers that were nice, cool science related activities they did, and even some notes she took. Every middle school in the district should do at least one voluntary school day orientation for incoming sixth graders to ease the transition.
I also was impressed with how patient Noe has been with my questions to them, as well as their office staff's attitude during those three days.
Noe's orientation (and I suspect many other orientations) falls smack dab in the middle of the work day for many of us parents. As parents and students prepare for transitions to schools, it would be nice if JCPS could figure out a way to schedule all orientations in the evening (with perhaps a day option for those who have evening jobs) so that fewer people have to make transportation and work arrangements. If this is not possible, these orientations should be scheduled even before the previous school year ends to give people who work in jobs where time off must be scheduled far in advance the opportunity to ask for those days off.
JCPS Bus Finder. I understand that shifting populations make scheduling buses difficult, but putting the Bus Finder up less than a month before school starts is totally unacceptable in my opinion, as is putting up an application that cannot handle the load placed on it when it does go live. Additionally, there is ZERO information on the Bus Finder to tell you when the bus might be returning in the afternoon. JCPS needs to understand that parents have to have time to know what their daily routine is going to be so that they can make arrangements for childcare, someone to be available at bus stops, and so they can have time to register their issues with the school system.
School supply lists need to be standardized as much as possible and posted ASAP. Our elementary years prepared us for the fact that you can't assume that there will be a standard request from teachers for supplies. Folders and notebooks might need to be certain colors (or have certain designs prohibited). Crayons might require a certain number of colors. Scissors might need to be a certain type. While I again understand that assigning students to classes is ongoing throughout the summer, it would be nice if every school had a grade specific list available by July 15th so that parents can best take advantage of the Back to School sales that seem to be creeping earlier and earlier each year.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What are your back to school triumphs and woes as the day fast approaches?