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Helping kids succeed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Parents are a key component in helping their children succeed in school, but knowing the best ways to do it is key.

Jami Jacobson, executive director of curriculum and instruction for Albuquerque Public Schools, said one of the most important things a parent can do is to stay informed by being in contact with teachers and to read all materials sent home from school. She said parents should not wait until parent/teacher conferences to learn about grades.

“At home, it’s important to reinforce school schedules and routines,” she said. “Keep communication open between parents and school, and ask how your student is doing.”

Jacobson said incorporating math and reading into everyday activities at home is important because students do not necessarily soak everything up in the classroom.


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“Have them read recipes,” she said. “Take them to the grocery store, teach them about a budget, and have them add up the prices and count the money.”

Pat DiVasto, principal of Ernest Stapleton Elementary in Rio Rancho, said the most relevant thing parents can do is carve out time for literacy and meaningful conversations.

“Go to the library, or read or find activities online,” she said. “And I know this is hard, but there should be family dinner as often as possible without the TV on and with a discussion about the day’s events.”

Jacobson and DiVasto said tardiness or excessive absences can get in the way of success.

“It’s really important,” DiVasto said. “They are missing out and falling behind. There is a correlation between academic success and absences.”

Organization, time management, setting priorities and finding ways to motivate students will help them succeed academically, according to the Great Schools website.

But parents must tailor their help as their children get older.

Here are some tips: