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Schools start means learning curve for students and parents



Spring Creek Elementary scheduled to open Oct. 14

Myrtle Philip Elementary School will be a hotbed of activity when classes start this September.

Not only will students and teachers from that school be busy in the classrooms and halls so will the staff of Whistler’s new Spring Creek Elementary School and, of course, the Francophone School.

All three schools will be operating out of Myrtle Philip until Spring Creek opens Oct 14, after the Thanksgiving Day long weekend.

"It is looking good," said Principal Ron Albertin.

"The flooring is going in. It is getting painted and the interior of the school is looking good, so it is getting close."

While the majority of students and parents are returning to a tried and trusted friend in their school others are entering a new stage of their lives.

Kids entering Kindergarten can offer suffer from separation anxiety, and so can their parents.

"It’s a tough time when your students go to school," said Albertin, offering a few sage words of advice.

"It is a tough time when they move out from school. But you have to learn to let go and you have to learn to let go when they come to Kindergarten too.

"Build it up to be a really positive experience. If the students are having a bit of trouble then go into the class with them and meet some of the other students and the teachers.

"But parents must also reach a point where they have to say, ‘OK, you can do it on your own,’ to their child.

"The teachers are all very good in terms of welcoming the students. They recognize that this type of separation anxiety occurs and they are very good at dealing with it."

There are other strategies to try in the next week or so as well.

Get some books out of the library. A few good ones are Franklin’s First Day of School, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, and Amber Waiting, which explores the feeling of abandonment a child can experience even though they love class.

Try and arrange some play dates with kids you know will be in your child’s class before school starts, so that on that first day of school there are some familiar faces.

And involve children in the upcoming adventure by getting them to help pack their snack, for example. Go over how to do up buttons, and so on, as well so these challenges are easier when they are on their own in school.

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