Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting kids (and parents) ready for the classroom

Going back to school can be exciting or terrifying—or both!   DC Public Schools and the Department of Health are reaching out to parents (and this blog is reaching out to providers) with all kinds of information to make going back to school easy and less stressful.   So providers, here is what parents should know:
  • Immunizations:   Schools require that children and youth are up-to-date on all of their shots.   Parents can accomplish this by getting kids in for a well-child visit or by just getting shots (I vote for the former by the child's regular doctor).   You will find the information in English only (that's right, no Spanish or other languages) on the Department of Health web site.
  • Pre-k and pre-school readiness for school:   Early Childhood Transition Week takes place the first week of school for pre-school and pre-k children.   What is Transition Week?   It is a time for children to get used to going to school, being in a classroom with other children and their teacher, and going home from school.   (I also think it's to ease parents into sending their kids to school!)   All pre-school and pre-k children will attend school for three days during the week of August 23.   Last names beginning with the letter A through the letter K will attend August 23 and 24.   Those whose last names begin with the letters L through Z will attend August 25 and 26.   All children attend Friday, August 27.

    Volunteers and school staff will do a door-to-door canvass the weekend of August 14 and 15 to personally inform families about the structure and benefits of Transition Week.   DCPS staff and volunteers will leave information whether people are home or not.   And Wards 1 and 4 will have Spanish speaking walkers; the captains in charge of those wards also speak Spanish.   English materials are here and Spanish here.

    If you are interested in going door-to-door to get the youngest students ready for school, email Jennie O’Brien.

  • Registration for DDOT's School Transit Subsidy Program starts August 9:   The School Transit Subsidy Program has started accepting SY 2010-2011 applications at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW).   Before you head to Reeves Center, know that
    • students/parents must bring with them, from their school, a completed Student Travel Application.   Completed means that the application is signed, dated and stamped by your school principal.
    • those eligible to receive discounted travel on Metrobus and Metrorail are those who meet three qualifications.   First, the student has to be under 19 years of age with the exception of student with disabilities who are eligible until 22 years of age.   Second, the student must be a resident of the District.   Third, the student must be enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, charter, private or parochial school that is located in the District.
    • you take your completed paperwork to the first floor in the Reeves Center, near the DC Lottery Office.   The phone number is 673-1740.   The hours are Monday – Friday 8:15 am – 4:45 pm and Wednesdays 8:15 am – 7:00 pm (August-October).

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