Schools prep pupils, parents for new year

PARKERSBURG – As their children prepare to head back to class today, parents are also getting prepared for the start of another school year.

Parents and their children have been attending open house events at schools in Wood County this week so the kids could see where their classrooms were, meet their teachers and allow parents to ask any last-minute questions they might have.

Madison Elementary School in Parkersburg was one of the schools holding an open house Wednesday evening.

Principal Esther Lauderman talked with parents about the challenges ahead and the rewards of a good education for their children.

“We are going to be challenging our parents to work together with us to help their children succeed in school so the children can go on and achieve their life hopes and dreams,” she said. “Our mission at Madison is to do just that.

“We want our students to have all the tools they need to be successful and to achieve in academics and all aspects of their lives.”

Lauderman said they want to build strong character in their students as well as a strong work ethic when it comes to their school work so they can achieve now as well as the rest of their academic career. That can only come with involvement from the parents, she said.

“We want to see as much parental involvement as possible, because we know that when the parents are involved with their children and their school that it greatly impacts the success of students as well,” Lauderman said. “One of the things we are doing tonight is challenging our parents to take a very active role in what happens with their children when they come home from school.”

She talked about having a regular homework routine, parents needing to read with their children on a regular basis and talking with their kids about what is going on at school as well as their hopes and dreams.

“Most important, we want parents to help the children understand that what they do at school – how seriously they take it, the practices they have at home – how that connects with what they do when they grow up,” Lauderman said. “It is important to develop great habits as a youngster that will go with them all the way through and help them achieve their hopes and dreams.”

She praised her staff, many of whom had been working throughout the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year for the 350 students at the school from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade.

Channon Dugas attended with her son to meet his teacher and see how this school year was shaping up.

“We wanted to come and see what the school year was going to bring,” she said. “I like to know what my son is coming to school for, what the goals are of the school and to meet his teacher.

“I want to know what their goals are for the class and for my child.”

Jennifer Young brought her daughters who are going into the second and third grades. They were there to hear from the principal, meet the teachers and find out what the Parent Teacher Association is doing this year.

“We always come to the open house,” she said. “It introduces the parents to the teachers. They are always trying to get parents involved in the student learning.”

Parents get a chance to meet their child’s teacher and build a rapport with them, Young said.

“If things are going on with your kid, you know what is happening,” she said. “I come as a parent so I know who the teachers are and I can create that rapport with them and where they feel they can talk to me about things and show that I am involved in my children’s education.”