Posts belonging to Category school

Establish Exceptionally Positive Relationships with Your Child’s School

Today’s post comes from Dr. Stanley T. Crawford, a public school administrator in the schoolDallas/Fort Worth area. 

Three Easy Ways to Establish Exceptionally Positive Relationships with Your Child’s School

Of course a list this short is by no means all inclusive; however it is an excellent starting point for the development of exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school. The three ways of establishing these relationships are to:
1. Meet your child’s teacher.
2. Introduce yourself to the school principal.
3. Join the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

The first step is to meet your child’s teacher. In our high technology times, there are several ways of doing this. You can meet the teacher in person, by telephone, or through email or other electronic means. The most personable method is to meet the teacher in person. Meeting the teacher in person allows for the communication and understanding that occurs through eye contact, voice tones, inflections, volume, and general appearance of each individual; both the parent and teacher. In these busy times this is not always the most convenient method for parents or guardians to meet their child’s teacher.

Another possibility is to meet the teacher by telephone; this is another traditional method of introducing yourself to your child’s teacher. Less personable than in person, the telephone method still allows for meaning to be conveyed through voice tones, volume, and inflections. Telephone communication offers a level of flexibility that is hard to match by other means of communication.

If time or distance does not allow for in person or telephone introductions, then one should consider an electronic means, such as email or SKYPE, just to name a few. Here we will focus specifically on email as SKYPE and other methods have their own logistical challenges. If you must use email remember that the tone of email is not always clear and is usually heavily influenced by the reader’s perception. In addition, email has been noted to generate misunderstandings between parties, from time to time, especially in sensitive situations. When sending an email as an introduction, consider attaching a picture of yourself. This way the teacher has some idea who you are.

Once you select your method of introduction, decide whether you are going to convey support and help to the teacher. Let the teacher know whether you are interested in volunteering to help the school. Remember, how much you are able to discuss with the teacher often will depend on whether you have an individual meeting or are part of several parents visiting the school, such as a meet the teacher, or open house event.

We now turn to step two. Here you should introduce yourself to the school principal. Often the best way of meeting with the principal is during open house; meet the teacher night, PTA nights, basketball games, football games, and other events. In most cases these settings will not allow for in-depth discussion, but an opportunity to gain better insight into school leadership etc.

It is possible to set-up a meeting to meet most principals, but keep in mind there is often one principal and several hundred parents to several thousand parents at the secondary level and scheduling can become a bit tricky, however, if you have a special situation that the principal should know about then an in person meeting should be considered. Again, just as with the teacher, other methods of meeting the principal are by telephone and through email.

The third step you should take is to join the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), or Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Just by joining the organization your dues will provide a level of support to your child’s school. In addition, to joining the PTA/PTO/PTSA you should plan on attending as many meetings as possible. This will keep you informed as to what activities the PTA/PTO/PTSA is planning and conducting.

This organization will focus on the students and the teachers that teach the students. The range of activities that a PTA/PTO/PTSA oversees is practically limitless. It all depends on the creativity of the PTA/PTO/PTSA and the school. The ultimate involvement with a PTA/PTO/PTSA is to become a board member of committee member. These individuals are heavily involved in the planning and execution of events and programs.

In summary, if you meet your child’s teacher, introduce yourself to the school principal, and join the PTA/PTO/PTSA you will be on your way to establishing exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school.

About  Dr. Crawford: Dr. Crawford has a Doctorate in Educational Administration and a Masters of Arts in Management. He is a book author and has written several published articles on education. Dr. Crawford’s Facebook address is


Keeping Kids Safe as They Go Back to School

 As another school year begins, the American Red Cross suggests steps that everyone can take to make the trip back to school safer.

“When kids go back to school, parents should make sure the child knows his or her home phone number and address, parents’ work contact information, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1,” said Dr. David Markenson, chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and pediatric expert.

“Parents should also teach their children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know,” Markenson added.

Bus Safety

If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps for students include:

  • Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed you to get on.
  • Only board your bus and never an alternate one.
  • Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and staying in the crosswalk.
  • Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

Motorists should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean:

  • Yellow flashing lights — the bus is getting ready to stop, and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign — the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.


If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”), and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.

All drivers should be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down, especially in residential areas and school zones.

schoolBiking and Walking

Students who ride their bike to school should always wear a helmet, obey all traffic signs and ride on the right in the same direction as traffic.

Those who walk to school should only cross the street at an intersection, and use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards. Parents should walk young children and children taking new routes or attending new schools at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Thereafter, arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

Take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course so you’ll have the knowledge and skills to act if an injury or emergency happens. You can also download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll always have first aid information at your fingertips.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or their blog at


Bringing Germs Home From School

The following guest post is by Staci Marks, an earlier contributor to this site. Ms. Marks has a passion for health, fitness and exercise, which has led her to pursue a career in writing. She works as a part-time health-care writer at


As a habitat for germs, a school is not that different from any other location on our germ-filled planet.

Bacteria and viruses are always with us, and we literally couldn’t live without them. In fact, there are 10 times as many microbes in a healthy human body as there are actual human cells, and many of those microbes play critical roles in our survival.

Of course, not all germs are benevolent and schools, though they may be no more crowded with germs than offices or homes, are excellent environments for the transmission of all sorts of germs from person to person.

Children are particularly good at passing germs among themselves. They share paper and scissors in the classroom. They might share a drink at lunch. At recess, they do a lot of touching. To make matters worse, they are not very good at keeping themselves clean, and, even if they could be counted on to wash, they don’t always have easy access to soap and water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control,  the primary means of transmission is by sneezing and coughing, when infected droplets spread through the air and reach the noses and mouths of people nearby. Those droplets can also reach other surfaces, and infection can be spread to someone who touches an infected surface and then touches his eyes, nose or mouth. According to the CDC, some of those infectious agents can live for two hours or more after they land.

It follows, then, that avoiding germs at school depends on the behavior of people in two different situations.

On one hand, there are the children who are already ill, including those who have not yet begun to develop a full range of symptoms. The CDC recommends that those children cover their coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue, and wash their hands after every cough or sneeze. If tissues are not available, coughing or sneezing into the crook of the elbow is a better option than using the hands.

No one can guaranty that those practices will always be followed, so children who are in the vicinity of sneezing classmates may have to take some of their own precautions. For them, the two most important steps are washing hands frequently and trying not to touch their own eyes, noses and mouths after they have touched a potentially infected surface.

When children remember to use them, soap and water are effective against germs, but a quick rinse is not enough. It is important to spend enough time washing.  Many authorities recommend the “Happy Birthday” method: Wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing the one song all kids know, “Happy Birthday to You,” two times from beginning to end.

When children do not have the option of soap and water, gel and alcohol-based sanitizers kill germs just as well.

School bathrooms have more than their share of germs, but at least they are equipped with sinks that kids can use. Even so, children should learn to avoid touching surfaces like doorknobs and taps when possible, and to use a paper towel when touch is unavoidable.

In the end, there is no magic bullet.

Germs are everywhere, but children can take some simple steps to minimize, if not eliminate, the chance of coming down with a miserable cold or flu.