ROSEBORO — In a couple of weeks, Megan Strickland will watch her son Wallace begin his kindergarten year.
She got a head start on his experience by joining a group of parents at Roseboro Elementary School. The tradition of educating the parents of those young children continued Tuesday morning at Roseboro Elementary School with PACKS (Parent Academy: Creating Kindergarten Success).
Two sessions were held Tuesday with a purpose of giving parents a chance to learn about expectations in school.
“It’s very informative,” Strickland said. “A lot of parents don’t have a clue.”
For Strickland, the academy made the process easier.
“I remember coming with my oldest and I was totally lost,” she said about being overwhelmed in the beginning.
PACKS was designed to put minds at ease. It began about four years ago, during a time when schools began moving toward Common Core, a set of academic standards throughout the United States.
Some of the topics included homework tips, purchasing the right supplies and subjects such as science, social studies and math. Another important topic was the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) testing, held at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. Children are tested on skills such as sound fluency and reading comprehension.
Teacher Gina Cain, an organizer for the program, was assisted by kindergarten teachers Bianca Johnson, Elizabeth Bell and Felicia Bradshaw.
“Kindergarten has changed so much, people don’t understand how important kindergarten is,” Cain said.
Johnson is teaching kindergarten for the first time. “I’m really looking forward to it and I was glad to be here to meet them,” she said.
During the session, Johnson sensed a lot of nervous tension from parents.
“I know it’s overwhelming, but once it starts, it will all balance out,” she said.
Bell expressed the desire teachers at Roseboro Elementary have for students and their success. She also believes the school is progressive when it comes to preparing kids for the next level.
“We love their kids like they’re ours,” Bell said. “At Roseboro Elementary, we are family. We’re family with the staff, we’re family with the kids and we work together.”
As kindergarten teachers, they believe the grade level is an important foundation in education.
“We’re the bottom of the totem pole,” Bell said. “If it wasn’t for our foundation the totem pole will fall.”
The PACKS program is one of several back-to-school initiatives being held in Sampson County Schools. The majority of open house events and orientations are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.