Make wise choices for a successful school year

In many districts, school is now back in session. This can mean welcome relief to harried parents and a time of adjustment for their children as they settle back into the old routine.

The first priority for the new school year — for parents, students and drivers — is that our students make it safely to and from school.

For kids riding the bus there are three main points to remember: 1) Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and the doors are open before stepping into the roadway; 2) never put your head, arms or hands out of the bus window; and 3) when crossing the street, STOP, look left, then right and then left again before crossing.

For all drivers, remember two critical rules when around a school bus: 1) If the yellow overhead lights are flashing, be prepared to stop; and 2) if the red lights are flashing, STOP, and remain stopped until the red flashing lights are turned off and the school bus begins moving.

Once safety has been established, children are ready to learn.

Success depends on several factors in the home. First, parents must create a home environment that encourages learning. Second, they should communicate high, yet reasonable, expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers. And finally, parents need to be involved in their children’s education at school and in the community.

Make time to help and support your children. For further assistance in this area, the Michigan Department of Education has many useful resources available on its website at The “Parent Engagement” section offers numerous links and information that can be tremendously helpful.

Ensure your children get plenty of sleep, arrive to school on time, complete their homework and eat healthy meals. Build up your children’s self-confidence with positive reinforcement and encouragement. These foundations are as essential as anything else in ensuring academic success.

Keep in mind that the choices that we as parents make — as well as the ones our kids make — are the most important factors in determining success in school. So make the right choices, and have a fantastic school year!

Back to school - bus safety

Students, parents gear up for another school year

To ensure that the upcoming school year is a success, there are important roles that both parents and students must play. The first priority, of course, is student safety.

If your child rides the bus, take the time to make sure your child knows the proper safety procedures for getting on and off the bus. If you drive your child to school or for students who drive themselves, please be aware and cautious when driving in school zones and around buses.

As parents, we also need to make sure we communicate with our kids and are doing what we can to help them get the most out of their education. Show support and do what you can to foster growth in your young students. For parents of first-time students, the Michigan Department of Education’s website provides many useful resources at: under the “Parent Engagement” tab.