By Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq., Executive Director

As a child, I always loved going back to school. I missed my friends, I missed my teachers, and, yes, I even missed math and social studies.

And after a few wonderful months of summer, I think like most parents, we are ready for our son to go back to school.

However, as a parent, I see back to school in a whole new light: through the eyes of my child. We are fortunate that our son loves school. And we are blessed with an amazing and supportive school community, filled with dedicated educators, staff and parents to support his learning.

But over the years I forgot how I used to be anxious as a child before I started a new year. I can see that nervousness in his eyes. I can see that nervousness in his eyes. Will I like my new teacher? Will I be in classes with my friends? Will 4th grade be harder than 3rd grade? Will I miss mom, dad and grandma?

Its our job to alleviate his concerns, to be supportive, to make this transition for him easy. Set up his new school routine. Get him used to a new earlier bedtime.

Prepare him for the homework he will bring home. Make sure he’s up on his math facts and still reading his 20 minutes a day. Buy markers, tissues and No. 2 pencils.

During this often stressful process, we lose sight of what’s most important. The opportunity. The promise.

The opportunity to receive a truly transformative whole-child education, one that will lead our children to successful college or career. The promise of dedicated educators ready to serve and support our children.
I truly believe public education is the great equalizer. I believe that parents and families, working in true partnership with educators and school related professionals, can make a difference in our children’s lives.

So as we calm nerves and fight over bed time, as we pack lunches and fret over homework we may not understand, I ask that you remember the opportunity and promise.

The 2018-19 school year will be filled with ways we can help our schools, ways we can help our PTA, ways that we can support our children, ways we can make a child’s potential become a reality. The 2018-19 school year will be filled with opportunity and promise. So long as we don’t lose sight of what’s important.

Happy back to school!