This past Sunday several students and their parents distributed books and treats to children in Zumbuahua, where children face challenges your children can hardly imagine. Participating in this was a clear example of there being more joy in giving than in receiving. Thank you parents for supporting our students in having the chance to help others through the recent Thanksgiving Drive. The next big opportunity to give back to our community will be our PTSA Bingo event. Please note the message about this in the Cotopaxi Conversations and other communications.
The upcoming holidays are a time for family, celebration and reflection. This is also the time for New Year’s Resolutions, when one resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their lives. As key members of our learning community I would like to see all parents make a New Year’s Resolution to have ALL our students arrive to school on time each day.
I recently observed how students arriving late were impacting my colleagues’ ability to start their class. Each class is like a sports team. Just as a coach cannot really put his or her team on the field without all the players, it is a challenge to start class that does not have a full team.
I asked Academia Cotopaxi teachers to complete a questionnaire on student tardiness:
- 60% report tardiness has a negative impact on teaching and learning.
- 40% report tardiness has a significant impact on teaching and learning.
- 65% report some students are consistently late.
- 25% believe this is a broad concern impacting learning at our school.
Research shows that students who are frequently late to school often miss out on important opening announcements and academic activities. They also perform worse on their test scores. But their peers who arrive on time also perform lower! Late students negatively impact the learning of other students. Students arriving late leads to class being disrupted, placing group and class projects on hold. Just as a late player can cause a team to lose a match, students who arrive late negatively impact the learning of the entire class. Another study on Schoolwide intervention to reduce chronic tardiness at the middle and high school levels found that ‘instructional time lost to widespread tardiness is likely to significantly affect the capacity of the entire student population to meet rigorous academic standards’.
Consistently late students develop habits that will lead into adult life, affecting their education, career, and social connections. In contrast, students who participate fully in school activities will have more opportunities to achieve academically, make healthy and informed lifestyle choices, and develop character traits for success through life.
Here are some tips for success with this important New Year’s Resolution:
- Establish and keep a schedule at home; children thrive on routine.
- Going to bed and waking up earlier.
- Preparing for the morning the night before by laying out outfits, packing backpacks, and pre-packing lunches.
- Investigate other means of transportation, such as carpooling with other families.
- Plan to arrive to school 20 minutes before the bell to give a margin for traffic. Our teachers and administrators are here. We would prefer to see a student arrive a little early than late.
It takes a community to educate a child. Having your children, our students, leaving home a little earlier each day is an important way to support our learning community.
Happy holidays and a prosperous, punctual 2020 to all!