Back to School Tips…

Back-To-School Tips

Belinda J. Wilkerson, Ed.D.

Did you know in 2017 that August is the month to celebrate Friendship Day (6), National Left Hander’s Day (13), Happiness Happens Day (8) and Women’s Equality Day (26)? The eighth month of the year, bearing the name of the first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, is the birthday month for author John Greene (The Fault in Our Stars), Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss in The Hunger Games, and two of my best friends, Karen and Valarie. As we saunter headlong into August, still enjoying time at the beach, cookouts and all that the outdoors has to offer, August means a return to school for many students throughout the country. With that in mind, I want to share some back-to-school tips for parents and students.

Parents. Stay up-to-date on the expectations of your child’s teachers by reviewing the information published on the school’s website. In Cumberland County, NC, parents have access to the Home Base Parent Portal to monitor grades and assignments to support their child’s educational progress. Find ways to be involved in school activities such as the PTA, chaperoning school events, attending Open House, concerts, plays and sporting events. Do what you can to keep the lines of communication strong between home and school. Open House and scheduled teacher conferences are excellent ways to gather information about each teacher’s expectations and policies. Having this information allows you to ensure that your child has the tools and resources to achieve success throughout the school year.

Encourage your student to work hard academically and do one or more of the following depending on his or her strengths and interests:

  • Participate in a sport or volunteer to be the team’s statistician.
  • Play an instrument in the school band or join the choir.
  • Join the Key Club or another student organization.
  • Try out for a school play or work behind the scenes.
  • Offer to tutor another student.
  • Read, read, and read every day!

Parents, access Cumberland County’s 2017-2018 Back-to-School Guide for up-to-date information on many aspects of the school year. Making it a habit to attend school regularly and being on time allows your child to participate fully in all his or her school has to offer. This habit will serve each child well during K-12 and beyond. Remember that learning continues outside of the classroom. Visit the public library, explore the variety of museums in our community, engage in service projects and enjoy the natural world by walking, hiking and biking on some of the beautiful trails and in the numerous parks we have.

Check back next week for tips for students…

Belinda J. Wilkerson is the owner of Steps To The Future, LLC, a college and career counseling service. Contact her at or follow her on Facebook at


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