Back to school success


By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]



Many schools in the area have begun a new year. This can be an exciting, albeit trying, time for both parents and students.

Dr. Anthony Maxwell is the principal at Middlesboro Elementary School and has some words of advice for parents.

“We get used to the new routines we’ve developed over summer and you come back to early mornings and being ready to go and being put together. There’s an expectation of a full day too, so students have to be on their game about being up, being at school on time and being successful,” said Maxwell.

Routine is an important part of going back to school and requires special attention from both the student and the parent.

“It’s important to establish a routine so the students know what’s going on — when to go to sleep or get up. We all have emergencies and we vary from the routine on occasion, but for the most part it really helps the students to know what to expect every day,” said Maxwell.

School-aged children need between nine and 11 hours of sleep every night. Having adequate sleep can help to prevent mood swings, behavioral problems such as ADHD and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school according to the National Sleep Foundation.

“Students need more rest — children need more rest than adults do — so they can’t always live on an adults schedule. Sometimes parents just need to be aware of what their kids needs are, even basic needs, in order to be successful at school,” said Maxwell.

Separation anxiety is a common problem at the beginning of a new school year. As the coordinator for the Family Resources Center at Middlesboro Elementary School, Farra Shoffner sees this problem all too much with young students.

“It’s important to outline the day — tell kids who is dropping them off at school, what bus they’re riding, and other simple information — so that kids know what to expect when they go to school. It’s something that gets overlooked, but it really can make the day go a lot smoother for young children,” said Shoffner.

Shoffner also urges spending some down-time with your child at the end of the day before bed. She suggests reading or talking with your child about how they spent their day at school.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardmbdn.

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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