Baltimore County Now
Stay on Track
It’s that time of year again: the sun sets a bit earlier, the weather gets a bit cooler, and “back-to-school sale” ads are constantly running on television and in our news feeds online.
School has become the focus for kids and families everywhere, including me, as I start my junior year of high school next week. Stores are packed with shoppers, and students are rushing to complete the homework packets they were supposed to work on all summer long. A little switch turns on inside students and parents alike, making us shift gears from leisure mode to work mode for the next nine months.
Tips for Students
With the new school year comes new ideas, new people, new challenges, and new experiences. Here are my back-to-school tips for students. And actually, most can apply to grownup endeavors too! Head back with a new attitude and challenge yourself with a new routine. Set goals like keeping organized, creating study guides for every test, accepting a few more AP classes, and even expanding your group of friends or challenging the status quo. This can keep your ideas fresh, help you stay on track, and create a sense of accomplishment that will last the whole year.
My suggestions include:
- Get plenty of sleep. Students need lots of rest to stay alert and focused in class. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep a night to help you perform your best each day.
- Stay organized. Organization is important for having a successful year. Classes can become overwhelming sometimes, but if you keep a neat locker and organized binders, school will flow more smoothly.
- Set goals. This will keep you on track and focused throughout the year. As American author Earl Nightingale put it, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Let your goals be your guide.
- Manage time effectively. Time management of academic life and social life can be difficult, but it’s the key to good grades and a great school year. In other words, do your homework and limit your daily social activities as needed. Managing your time well helps you meet deadlines and stay on track.
- Start your daily routine in advance. Going back to school can be a shock to your system after a few relaxing months off. Ease back into things by getting up early and starting your morning routine a few days or even a week before school starts.
- Remain positive. Writer Anthony J. D’Angelo once said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your sunshine.” With intense classes and tons of homework, school can get a little stormy. Everything may not go your way all the time, but staying positive will help you push through the year with confidence and success.
- Establish a close rapport with your teachers. Participate in class and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Teachers are there to guide you with advice and encourage you to succeed. Also, don’t forget about those all-important colleges recommendations!
- Make new friends. High school is the perfect opportunity to form lifelong friendships. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, speak up and reach out to new people. In the words of Italian Renaissance writer Francesco Guicciardini, “Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.”
- Prepare the night before. Mornings can be hectic. Choose your clothes and pack a lunch the night before for a stress-free start to your day. And of course, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast!
- Create a homework zone. A well organized, spacious area at home is essential for a getting your homework done. Designate a quiet, well-lit spot to help you do your work thoroughly and efficiently.
Sure, this time of year can certainly feel like a hassle, but laying down some smart ground rules and challenging yourself with new goals will get you back into the swing of things at school in no time flat. The best part is, you’ll return wearing a confident smile. Now that's how to go back-to-school in style!
Rashi Pachino, Intern
Baltimore County Office of Communications
Blake Lubinski, Communications Intern, Baltimore County Public Schools
Long before the schoolhouse doors open for a new year, preparations begin for 10 months of teaching and learning. From classroom housekeeping and lesson planning to summer reading and supplies shopping, educators and students are thoroughly involved in back-to-school season.
But what about you? Does back to school involve you, too? According to Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), it does!
From now until the end of October, BCPS invites you to gear up for the new school year through its “Back to School Involves You, Too!” campaign. Including special workshops open to the community through the school system’s Parent University, back-to-school programming airing on the school system’s television station and contests beginning after the first day of school, the campaign also offers opportunities for Baltimore County residents to become active members of Team BCPS.
To start, visit the “Back to School Involves You, Too!” webpage on the BCPS website to download and print one of three 8.5-by-11-inch signs welcoming the students back and wishing them a great school year. Then, on Wednesday, August 27, the first day of school for BCPS students, take a photograph of the sign posted in your community or held by your BCPS student. The best photographs submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or received through Facebook or Twitter (@BaltCoPS, #BCPSfirstday) will appear on the BCPS website or Flickr page.
What’s more, when back-to-school season ends later this fall, Baltimore County residents can remain active Team BCPS members throughout the school year by attending school events, becoming business partners, offering internships to BCPS students and volunteering at their local schools. And, to stay up-to-date on school system happenings all year long, Baltimore County community members can download the BCPS Now app, follow the BCPS Deliberate Excellence blog and subscribe to the weekly BCPS e-newsletter.
Back-to-school season comes once a year, but BCPS students prepare every day to become Baltimore County’s future citizens and workforce. Help the students with their preparations by following the first rule of back to school: be involved!
Blake Lubinski, Communications Intern, Baltimore County Public Schools
Great news! You made the team – Team BCPS!
Team BCPS includes ALL current, former and future students, teachers, staff, parents, neighbors, volunteers and supporters of Baltimore County Public Schools – everyone whose lives are impacted by the County school system.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15, 2014, BCPS will launch “We Are Team BCPS,” a new campaign intended to promote pride in and encourage engagement with the school system. Unfolding over the year, the campaign will include multiple opportunities for community involvement.
Among the opportunities is Team BCPS Day. Scheduled for the campaign’s launch date, the day calls upon the community to dress in “BCPS blue” (which is any shade of blue) and submit photographs and videos. The best photographs and videos received through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BaltCoPS) and Twitter (@BaltCoPS, #BCPSblue) will appear on the BCPS website, www.bcps.org, and Facebook page.
A second opportunity for involvement is through story-sharing. BCPS invites Team members to share their stories of the school system’s impact on their lives through short paragraphs and videos. Select testimonials submitted to email@example.com will appear on BCPS-TV, the BCPS “Deliberate Excellence” blog, the BCPS Facebook page or in the weekly BCPS e-newsletter.
The community may become involved online, as well. In addition to the debut of a new “We Are Team BCPS” page offering opportunities to get involved with the school system, the BCPS alumni webpage allows former students to relate their high-quality BCPS education to their accomplishments in their respective professions. Graduates may submit high-resolution photographs and brief profiles, including the name of their alma mater, a short description of major achievements/activities and thoughts about BCPS’s role in preparing them for the future, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any nominations for inclusion on the alumni page must include direct contact information for the nominee.
Visit the BCPS website to learn more. And don’t forget to go blue. Team BCPS is bound to score on January 15!