Now That We’ve Passed The 1st Grading Period – How Are We Getting Along At School And At Home?

As we celebrate our students and teachers we get to know more about their various learning styles.  We also find that depending on the age (younger are more receptive, where as the older MS/HS students like to be more independent) there is opportunities to incentivize study habits. We find that working at home can be a complicated process. Students first do need a time to play with friends and outside, and they also need a structured working at home patter doing homework as they prepare for adulthood.  Young men especially think that by osmosis the work will be absorbed in their sleep :).

Students At SC Philharmonic

I’m bringing this up because we know students will resist taking notes from their reading at home, they may not read at all when at home, and this will not be helpful as they mature, graduate, and attend higher education.  Of course these are skills that will need to be relearned should higher education be a part of their future.  Students and parents should have an understanding of required study times.  For example in Higher Education for every 1 hour in class 3 hours are expected for outside reading and research.  Now, this is not the case in HS but an hour is recommended of reading with some note taking expected during that time.

Such tools that aid a child in the classroom, and ways the teacher can better communicate success in the classroom requires study at home.  Although the expectations of the student in their learning process will fight you as the parent, you are shaping their skill sets as time progresses. These 3 items can make for a very successful student or it can bring about a good portion of frustration in years ahead.  For example, did the student remember to bring home the materials to study and if not what is a fair consequence?  Did the teacher communicate adequately for the work to be accomplished and did the student take any notes?

If not what assistive technology resources are available to assist the student in achieving a level of understanding where everyone is progressing.  For example, can a calculator or laptop assist in making math simpler if there is a disability / difference involved, or would a recording note-taking pen (Livescribe) be possible?  These types of items can make for a reduced level of frustration.  It will not eliminate the boundaries and consequences required for study habits to be formed.  If this goes unaddressed there will be long term issues for the child in adulthood.

The first step in such questions is to meet with Mrs. Cevallos of course to review your student’s profile.  Sometimes an accommodation is beneficial, but other times the student is using their disability to prevent an ability that they do have.  The next step is simply to talk with your classroom teacher about what is of importance according to their classroom plan (syllabus).  The teacher is on your side, and is supportive of your child’s progress.  I promise you, there is always two sides to a story when a student suggests otherwise, please come and observe the student in class (we would love to have you visit class).

The progress made from the 1st marking period in class between students and teachers will be the difference needed to keep everyone moving forward for a 2nd marking period.  My encouragement to you is to discuss this with your student, to make a plan as to how to best operate when at home (tv, friends, study times, reading locations, extra activities that may interfere with school like Boy Scouts or college football games) and what goals as a family do you wish for your student to embrace.

These shared goals with your student will either provide a reference point when an activity may be a diversion or when there is a lack of structure the family arguments increase.

Your agreement will aid in their overall understanding of your expectations, and can assist you in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so you don’t, as the parent, feel like there is no long term hope when addressing your student’s requests.  There are counselors, and a great deal of research to support these comments, but that may not be enough for your student.  Please spend some time reading not just articles, but a few authors on this subject.  If you need some suggestions we have many.  Your success is our purpose for being.
Chris Winkler
Head of Glenforest School

8.20.12 Parent Back 2 School Open House Reminder

Wow, summer is coming to an end and Glenforest School is hosting the 30th annual parents back 2 school open house (what a mouthful!).  For 30 years since 1983, Glenforest School has been educating students that have a variety of learning styles.  More than 5,000 students have attended with some 300+ graduates now spread all over the Southeast region Glenforest School has much to be proud of.  Our graduates have attended over 45+ universities, and certification programs in higher education; and many other graduates have gone on after HS to full time employment or service within the United States military.  What a rich history!

Glenforest is excited to have such a strong and diverse alumni.  These examples are role models to many of our current and prospective students for a variety of reasons.  Graduates have excelled in higher learning after receiving their diploma from Glenforest.  Many of our alumni are now giving back to their community and to our student body with such activities as “Career Day”, chamber functions, and other on-campus events.

As we embark on 30 years we as administration and faculty will be reminding the graduating class of 2013, our Student Government Association, student activity leaders and underclassmen that this year is a defining moment in their academic journey.  Why?  Because, do to the hard work, sacrifice and investment of many, this 2012-2013 student body can experience a wonderful and courageous environment known throughout the Midlands, the state of South Carolina, and in the world of learning differences!  This is our Bulldog pride found at Glenforest School.

So on Monday evening, returning and new families will gather at 6:00pm to meet their teachers, see their classrooms and tour their campus.  Then at 6:30pm a general meeting will be held in the auditorium to share highlights planned for 2012-2013 with representatives at various tables to assist in PTSO, school uniforms, carpooling, guidance and booster club activities.  Many bits of information can be obtained at these tables to better assist family planning for the 2012-13 school year.

Shortly after 7:30pm families can continue the campus tour, visiting with friends and faculty, reviewing packets of information, and /or attending the annual athletic meeting held in the gym with our very own, Barefoot Coach William Knopf.  The open house will conclude at 8:30pm.

MONDAY PARENT AGENDA 6-8:30pm
6:00pm  Open House (Visit Classes/Teachers)
6:30pm  General Meeting (Auditorium)
7:30pm Options (Visits / Athletic Meeting)
8:30pm  Wrap Up / Teachers Return Home For A Good Night’s Rest

The first day of school will begin at 8:00am, however doors will open at 7:30am for those needing to get a jump start on their day.  Drop off will be supervised in the canteen, and of course parents are welcome to walk their student to class if they desire.  A general assembly will be held from 8:15am to 9:00am where our very own Dean of Students will welcome back our students for his 28th year.

Afterwards there will be a full day of classes that finishes at 3:10pm and a study hall will be available until 4pm in class rooms.  Students are asked to either remain in study hall, or leave campus with their rides.  Athletic practices will begin at 4pm with their teammates.

As a review the 1st day Wednesday timeline is as follows:

7:30am  Early Drop Off
8:00am  First Bell
8:15am  General Assembly (Parents Welcome)
9:00am  Classes continue through the day
3:10pm  Classes end
Study Hall Available / Students depart campus with ride
4:00pm  Athletic Practices begin

The first day will be used by the teachers to set an exciting tone for the year.  Their information will also be found online with our Sycamore resource.  The details of their course can be found in the class syllabus for your preview and family discussion.

This short synopsis is posted to assist you as you begin your 2012-2013 academic year here at Glenforest School, where educating students differently for the last 30 years is our mission and privilege.  If you still have further questions many of the answers can be found online and in Sycamore. Thank you for your time in preparation for the school year.

Very Respectfully Yours,

Chris Winkler
Head of School

Summer 2012 Youth Opportunities

There are a number of summer activities that your student may find interesting that are academic and leadership oriented.  The first is the Lexington Youth Leadership program.  Click on this link to read more.2012+Youth+LLC+application+cover+letter

Further programs will be posted as the information is shared. This includes scholarship opportunities here in Greater Columbia, SC.  Thank you.