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Back to School: Superintendents ease anxieties of first-time kindergartner drop-offs

Superintendents have advice for first time parents who are dropping their kindergartners off at school.
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 8:43 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The first day of school can be exciting and nerve-wracking, but sometimes that anxiety runs even higher for parents. Especially for those parents dropping off their child at kindergarten for the first time. It can be an emotional experience, more so during the time of COVID-19.

Alaska’s News Source spoke with a number of superintendents from around the state to see if they had any insight or tips that might be useful for those first-time parents.

Alaska’s News Source Anchor Charlie Sokaitis: “What would you tell the parent who’s either nervous or asking advice about that first day of school for their kindergartner?”

Nome Public Schools Superintendent Jamie Burgess: “It sounds kind of silly but if you’re going to send lunch with them sit down and make sure that they can open all of their lunch packages by themselves. That’s kind of important.”

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Randy Trani: “Kindergarten parents are nervous anyhow because they’re dropping their kindergartner off for the first time. So we’ve got a lot of reps with lots of kindergarten parents dropping them off for the first time and now this year we have lots of reps with kindergarten students in a COVID environment.”

Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Clayton Holland: “We’re gonna take care of your kid, they’re going to be safe with us, and are going to be welcomed with us, trust in us. I know that first drop-off is, is a hard one.”

Anchorage School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop: “If a parent is a little bit apprehensive, talk to your teacher, talk to your principal, tour your school, see what’s going on, ask about the schedule, anything that you might have a question about. Just go ahead and ask, but know that we are going to have an engaging year.”

No matter the question, each superintendent we spoke with for this series mentioned communication. They said talking to children and reaching out to the school will help ensure parents and students are comfortable for that first day of class and the year to follow.

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