By Terry Rogers
Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life and it can sometimes be stressful for both the child and the parents. For some parents, this was the first child who headed off to school when Milford School District started on Monday, August 25. In order to ease the minds of both parents and students, Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center held a “Meet Your Teacher” Night at the school on Thursday, August 21.
Parents were able to get information from 4-H, Milford Parks and Recreation and the district’s Child Nutrition Program. In addition, there were representatives from Reading Assist, the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club, the Milford Public Library, Parents as Teachers, the Milford Museum and Morris Parent Teacher Partnership (PTP).
“I have been a teacher for 35 years, teaching grades Kindergarten through fourth grade,” Lisa Eline explained to the group of parents and children gathered in her classroom. “In 1991, which was long before a lot of you were born, I was named the Delaware Teacher of the Year and I got to travel around and talk to a lot of people. I was always asked what my favorite part about teaching was and I always said ‘the kids.’ I just love kids” Mrs. Eline told the students that they would be cooking, playing games, going outside, singing songs, reading books and “spreading sparkly glitter on lots of things.”
Parents were given information regarding the upcoming school year as the children found their ‘cubbies,’ desks and other items in the room. Each classroom had a small scavenger hunt that had children searching the room for the various things they would be expected to use or do throughout the school year.
“Parents should be sure they have all medical information turned in or contact me,” said Lisa Fitler, school nurse at Morris. “We also recommend bringing an extra set of clothing in a bag labeled with their names. I want parents to understand that my office has an open door policy and that they should feel free to come in or call if they have any questions or concerns.”
Sharon Smith and Melissa Passwaters who are in the front office of the school offered tips to parents to help the school year go smoothly, including a reminder that they must bring identification with them when they come in to sign children out of school.
“Check your child’s bookbag every day,” Mrs. Smith said. “There are often important papers that are sent home with your child. It is also important to remember to send a note in for the teacher if you plan to pick your child up when they normally ride the bus.”
Parents were also given information on a program planned for the first day of school called “Tea and Tissues,” designed to give parents some emotional support after the drop their child off at school for the first time.
“If your child is riding a bus to school, please have them at the bus stop at least 15 minutes early every day,” Mrs. Smith said. “Bus times are not exact and they can fluctuate 15 to 20 minutes in either direction. Also, an adult needs to be at the bus stop when children from Morris are dropped off. Please understand that for the first week of school, bus times will be erratic. They may be extremely early or extremely late, so please be patient as the bugs are ironed out during the first week. Be sure that your child wears their bus tag at least for the first week of school, although some teachers may ask them to wear it longer.”
All Milford School District Schools began on Monday, August 25. Morris reminds parents that schools are closed on Friday, August 29 and Monday, September 1 for the Labor Day holiday.