School begins for Basehor-Linwood
While adjusting to a new school environment can be tough on students, school officials at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School are making efforts to make students and their families feel more comfortable.
On Friday, Aug. 24, new families into the GRE area are invited to attend a barbecue at the elementary school. The event starts at 6 p.m.
With 25 new families into the GRE area, there has been an emphasis placed on trying to include the new families into the school setting, GRE Principal Tom Saack said.
"We had talked with the Parent Teacher Organization about ways to make some of the new families feel welcome," Saack said. "This is just one way to help them get acclimated to the teachers and the school."
All the food and beverages for the barbecue will be provided by the school, although anyone interested in attending should call GRE and make reservations, school officials said.
Basehor Elementary School will also offer parents in the school district a chance to get more acquainted with their child's school.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28, BES will host a Back to School Night for parents with kindergarten or first grade students. A second back to school night has also been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, for parents with students in grades second through sixth.
During the two events, parents will get a chance to meet their child's teacher and learn about the routine of the average school day, BES Principal Terri Holmes said.
"It is not going to be a traditional open house, it will be more informational," Holmes said. "It is going to be for parents who want to learn about the teachers, the curriculum and what goes on during the day."
The first day of school for students at GRE and BES came on Monday, Aug. 20. Since the inception of GRE in March of 2000, enrollment numbers have grown steadily.
This year, the number of students rose from 276 to 293. School officials said the number of students could go up as the school year goes on.
Saack said students at the school would be
offered several new programs during the new school year.
In addition to a district-wide effort to improve on the reading and math curriculum, school officials at GRE will be advising students on the 3R program, an idea in which students learn more about how to be respectful and responsible in all relationships.
Saack said teachers and administrators would be talking to each class on the importance of the 3R's in dealing with situations with other people. School counselors will also speak on those issues during counseling sessions, he said.
Another program being added to school is the plan to construct an outdoor wildlife site with funds from the Kansas Park Commission.
The $2,000 OWLS grant will be used for developing a bird sanctuary, butterfly garden and wetland garden, Saack said.
The wetland garden will be similar to one used at BES although the wetlands at GRE will be fed from a natural spring.
The discovery of the natural spring came as a pleasant surprise to the administration at GRE when the school was being constructed, Saack said.
"We found out about it during construction and we decided to use it to enhance the wetland area," Saack said. "It is advantageous to us to use that spring."
A new program that will be instituted at BES this year is a plan to create leadership teams for sixth graders at the school.
Holmes said the students who comprise the teams would have to earn their way on with behavior and academics playing a key role.
The teams will be responsible as helpers throughout the building and as guides when tours of BES are given to visitors.
"The leadership teams are designed to help sixth graders develop leadership skills," Holmes said. "As sixth graders, they are looked at as the leaders by the students. This is something that will help them along."