Monday, August 25 will mark the start of school for all Milford School District students, but for some students this will not only be the first day of this school year but the first day of school ever. As parents drop their children off at Morris Early Childhood Center in Lincoln, many of these kids will be introduced to the concept of school for the first time as they have their first glimpse of education and society outside of the home.
As a feeder school to Lulu Ross Elementary, Mispillion Elementary and Banneker Benjamin Elementary, Morris Early Childhood’s first priority is ensuring that their 360-plus students enter the next level of the public school system with a solid foundation of learning. Principal Beth Conaway and Vice Principal Jon Lobiondo have worked hand in hand over the last several years to give each student the opportunities they need for success.
“Our priority is that students and families have as positive an experience with school as possible,” commented Principal Conaway. “In addition to academics, many of these children will be learning classroom and school rules that they have not been introduced to before.”
Noticing the anxiety and nervousness that can delay a child’s acceptance of the classroom and the structure of school, the administration encourages parents to walk their children to their classroom on the first day to ensure students are comfortable with the new experience. As parents walk away from the classroom they will be invited to join other parents for‘Tea and Tissues’ where they can talk with administration and other families.
As children begin their public education experience for the first time, teachers and administration will face a challenge together that affects all preschool facilities around the country. The challenge is how to educate all children collectively and individually as each student will come to school prepared with a different level of knowledge. For this reason, Vice principal Lobiondo states that it is essential that teachers immediately asses what level of knowledge each student possesses so that an appropriate plan can be made for the success of each student.
“Some children will come to school in August with the ability to read and understand full sentences and some children will not know their colors yet,” said Lobiondo. “Being able to asses each student right away allows us to use our resources to prepare these students for first grade.”
By the end of kindergarten, students will be expected to write six to eight connected sentences about one specific subject. Common Core Standards structures the academic focus for these five- and six-year-olds to include reading, math, writing, science and social studies. With Response To Intervention (RTI) classes for students that need extra help, the leadership of Morris Early Childhood Center is preparing kids for their academic careers by offering extended group and individual learning in reading and math.
As students and families start the educational career, Principal Conaway suggests that parents make it a point throughout their day to read to their children, talk to them about what activity they are currently doing and get involved with Morris Early Childhood Center. Parents can get involved in several different ways like attending the Open House and Meet the Teacher evening on Thursday, August 21 from 5:45 to 7pm. Families will meet their student’s teacher and be given important information on the upcoming year. On Tuesday, September 30, parents will have the opportunity to learn more about the Common Core Standards in reading and math during Parents’ Night from 5:45 to 7pm.
“Our goal is to make sure that all of our children’s academic and social goals are met,” commented Conaway. “If there are any questions, we want parents to call us immediately.” Parents are welcome to visit and observe their students at Morris Early Childhood Center and are encouraged to contact Principal Conaway or Vice Principal Lobiondo at 302-422-1650 with any questions.