Welcome to Bull Run Elementary!
Dear Bull Run Families,
Thank you to all parents who joined us for our Back to School Night! Please give us feedback on the evening at the following link: BTSN Survey.
These first two weeks of school have been wonderful! We are seeing many smiling faces, many fun and engaging learning opportunities, and many friendships being made and renewed. The beginning of a new school year, however, can difficult and provoke increased anxiety for many children (and their parents). Here are some recommendations from our FCPS School Psychology Services Department for helping your child overcome anxiety.
Let your child know you care. If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence in your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little anxious anytime you start something new, but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routines.
Stay calm and positive. If the first few days are a little rough, try not to overreact. Young children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially, but teachers are trained to help them adjust. If you drop your child off, try not to linger. Reassure your child that you love him, will think of him during the day, and will be back. A calm and positive approach will promote a similar response from your child.
Acknowledge anxiety over any challenging experience the previous year. Children who had a difficult time academically or socially, or were teased or bullied may be more fearful or reluctant to return to school. If you have not yet done so, share your child’s concern with the school and confirm that the problem has been addressed. Reassure your child that the problem will not occur again in the new school year, and that you and the school are working together to prevent further issues. Reinforce your child’s ability to cope. Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his own. However, encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if the problem persists. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.
Arrange play dates. Try to arrange get-togethers with some of your child’s classmates before school starts and during the first weeks of school to help your child re-establish positive social relationships with peers.
Plan to volunteer in the school. If possible, plan to volunteer at least periodically throughout the year. Doing so helps your child understand that school and family life are linked and that you care about the learning experience.
Seek out help. If your child shows a level of anxiety that seems extreme in nature or goes on for an extended period, you may want to contact the school to schedule an appointment to meet with your child’s teachers and school psychologist. They may be able to offer support that will help identify and reduce the presenting problem.
Adapted from “Back-To-School Transitions: Tips for Parents” by Ted Feinberg, EdD, NCSP and Katherine C. Cowan in Helping Children at Home and School II: Handouts for Families and Educators (NASP, 2004).
Back-to-School-Night Messages from School Board:
NAESP's Report to Parents: