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School Crossing

By Guy Nahmiach

The Carnation Festival parade just ended a few hours ago and I'm still feeling great about a community that gets together once a year to celebrate its heritage. Families and friends came out on floats, in cars and on foot. There were amazing decorations, loud cheers, singing and dancing as far down 38th Avenue as you can see, showing us how communities can gather to celebrate education, classrooms and school spirit. As a parade judge this year, I had a front seat to an amazing show. I was so impressed with how the new principals in town came out swinging with Stevens stepping up their decor and Wilmore Davis showing up with more students than anyone else. It was also great to see Pennington with a renewed level of energy.

The parade, of course, was peppered with political aspirations, from local politicians to county and state representatives. It's a gentle reminder of the politics that live in and out of our classrooms. I constantly hear from parents that while they support our teachers, their biggest wish is to eliminate the rhetoric from the hallways and classrooms and, perhaps, focus our energy on moving first day of school back to where it belongs, after Labor Day weekend.

As we head back to class in the next couple of weeks, it will be business as usual for most families. But parents enrolling their kids for the first time will have much to learn: How to check on your student’s grades, homework due, long-term projects and attendance. If you are waiting for a call asking the whereabouts of that book review your son worked on, that is probably still at the bottom of his backpack, don't. It's on you to make sure that all assignments have been handed in. When your cellphone rings and shows a caller with a 982 prefix number, you should probably finish your dinner first before listening to that message. I am kidding, of course, but please realize that technology has taken over almost all forms of communication between parents and schools.

I urge you to get to know your child’s teacher and develop an ongoing line of communication. Don't wait for parent-teacher conferences or a school function when their time is limited. Your teacher will appreciate that and your student will benefit from it. While you're at it, why not volunteer for a position on the PTA or Accountability boards? When a principal or staff see parents working hard for the benefit of the school, you can almost feel them match your efforts with theirs. Although you could encounter a push back from your own kids, who consider school grounds as their own territory and don't want you anywhere near it.

Adding to the “Ask the Super” column, where our superintendent answers questions from the community, a new section has been added by the name “School Visitor Pass,” where guest writers will include principals, school board members, etc. This issue features Ali Lasalle and Amanda Stevens, both school board members with the Edgewater and Wheat Ridge articulation areas. If you would like to hear from specific members of our education community, please write or call me.

There are so many topics coming up in the next few months, like the growing debate over homework – we’ll hear from educators on both sides and all levels of the issue. Updates on school closures: Will they or not? Is it too late? Holding back students, and who is responsible for those who arrive at high school still reading at an elementary school level? The age-old conversation about charter and neighborhood schools and, of course, what list wouldn't be complete without GT funding?

I’ll leave you this month with a question I've been asking educators: Does a teacher’s job include not only teaching the curriculum, but also to excite the student about the subject matter? You'd be surprised at the answers I've been getting. Call me with your thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading.

Contact Guy Nahmiach at 303-999-5789 or Guy@NostalgicHomes.com.