Elementary school in Hermon has tips for kids beginning Pre-K

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
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HERMON, Maine (WABI) - Students of all ages are returning to the classroom this fall, but how should first-time student prepare to begin their academic career?

“Typically, we want to see students come in with some enthusiasm for learning. So, they’re ready to come in and learn new things and work with new people that they haven’t met before and for students to have a growing level of independence,” said Principal Melissa Davis, Patricia A. Duran School.

Back to school is a big time for kids, especially for kids who have never been to school before.

Folks at Patricia A. Duran School in Hermon have some tips to help prepare kids for their first time in the classroom.

“One thing that we really encourage most of our parents is to start to grow that level of independence when they’re in Pre-K. So, certainly we look for some of those academic pieces. Does your child’s can they recognize their name? Do they have some letter recognition? Do they enjoy being read to? But we’re also looking for some social independence too. So, are they able to put on their backpack? That’s one thing that we don’t typically think of, is our child. Is that child able to put items into their backpack, zip it and put it on? Because we have 16 students in the room, that takes a long time if everybody isn’t able to do that independently,” Davis said.

And even help with opening snacks.

“Particularly those darn Capri Suns because that straw is sometimes really tricky you can also get cartons of milk that are like the cartons of milk that we serve in the cafeteria so practicing opening a carton of milk,” Davis said.

Then, as students transition from a shorter Pre-K schedule to a longer Kindergarten schedule, some worry about the effects on kids.

“Most students who attend Pre-K with us, the transition to kindergarten is pretty easy, it’s in the same wing they get to see the teachers a lot a lot of the routine is the same it’s just stretched out over the course of the day,” Davis said.

Of all the tips, one key piece of is advice is to keep things connected.

“I think the biggest thing that parents can do is have conversations with their kids. Talk to them regularly, eat dinner together, because that’s what helps spark their curiosity and helps them learn those social skills that they need to be in the classroom and then read 20 minutes a day. There’s so much to be said about that early literacy at home and what they’re able to bring into the classroom,” said Davis said.