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Lifestyles

August 24, 2013

Local doctor offers tips to make children's transition to school easier

The back-to-school crunch is nearly here, and for first time students it means more than a backpack full of supplies.

According to Dr. Mew Kwan Chan-House, medical director at Child and Adolescent Healthcare Associates at FoxCare Center, parents of children going to school for the first time, or those transferring to a new school should talk about the new school with enthusiasm in the weeks before.

A visit to the playground is a good way to introduce a kindergartener to the fun side of school. Parents may network and find other preschoolers in the district and set up a playdate at the school. Take note, however, that some school playgrounds may be restricted during summer hours.)

“Help him focus on the positive aspects of starting school, including making new friends and having new learning adventures,” Chan-House said. 

Most schools have an orientation where the parents and children meet the teachers, principal and other faculty. For students transferring to upper grades, sometimes the orientation is held during the previous school year.

Information about school districts and individual schools is easy to find on the Internet. Calling the school office can put parents directly in touch with school personnel, who can answer specific questions.

To qualify for kindergarten, a child must be at least 5 years old by Dec. 1 of the school year. As it is in many schools, registration for kindergartners in Oneonta was held in March; however, late registration can be done through the district office. 

“They can come to the Center Street office and register,” said Eileen Lishansky, Oneonta City School superintendent’s secretary and district clerk. “They have been steadily coming in. I take the information and distribute it so we can look at the class size to determine which of our three elementary schools they will go to.”

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