In an effort to replace first-day jitters with confidence and enthusiasm, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, together with the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council and Santa Monica- Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF), will host welcome events for parents whose children are entering kindergarten or transitional kindergarten (TK) this school year.
Each of the three events – held on August 15, 17 and 18 – will offer parents of students new to SMMUSD a big picture view of the district, while also giving them the opportunity to meet district and school representatives. PTA and SMMEF leaders will present information on the value of parent involvement and the roles each organization plays as partners to support SMMUSD students.
“Our goal is to welcome all of our incoming TK and kindergarten parents,” Co-interim Superintendent Dr. Sylvia Rousseau explained.
“We will provide information about what an average kindergarten day looks like, how their child will progress through the grade levels, and what opportunities our district provides for all students.”
The schedule of events is as follows:
Monday, August 15 for parents of kinder/TK students enrolled in Franklin Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School at Lincoln Middle School cafeteria (1501 California Avenue, Santa Monica).
Wednesday, August 17 for parents of kinder/TK students enrolled in Edison Language Academy, Grant Elementary School, John Muir Elementary School, Will Rogers Learning Community, and SMASH (a K-8 school) at Will Rogers Learning Community cafeteria (2401 14th Street, Santa Monica).
Thursday, August 18 for parents of kinder/TK students enrolled in Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, Point Dume Marine Science School, and Webster Elementary School at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School cafeteria (30237 Morning View Drive, Malibu).
All three events will be held from 6 to 7:30 pm, with light refreshments served. Child care will also be provided.
“We are looking forward to engaging with our community partners to provide all students with learning and enrichment opportunities,” said Linda Greenberg, SMMEF executive director, the non-profit organization that supports key academic and enrichment programs at each of the district’s 16 schools. “We are excited to welcome our new parents to that partnership.”
As a way to underscore the importance of reading in the home, the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council is providing a children’s book about the first day of kindergarten as a gift to parents who attend. “The PTA hopes these events help new parents to understand how valuable their involvement is to their children’s education and to feel part of the entire community that is SMMUSD,” SMMPTA Council President Jennifer Smith said.
The City of Santa Monica, SMMUSD and early childhood education providers developed a handbook in 2015 for families as part of Santa Monica’s Cradle to Career (smC2C) Initiative Building Blocks for Kindergarten Readiness campaign. “The smC2C Youth Wellbeing Report Cards highlight the need to focus on key developmental areas to support a child’s success in kindergarten. The campaign and welcome events work together to prepare families for this exciting journey. The handbook is a helpful guide for parents to navigate this transition and identify effective strategies to prepare for the first day of Kindergarten,” shared Karen Ginsberg, director of the City of Santa Monica’s community and cultural services.