Normandy School hosts playdates, webinars to ease transition to kindergarten

Normandy Elementary School started two initiatives this school year for incoming kindergarten families to ease the transition and calm anxiety. One of those initiatives was a summer playdate where students and their families gathered to meet other new kindergarten families. 

Being a first-time kindergarten family can be overwhelming. This year, Normandy Elementary School, Bay Village City School District’s grades K-2 building, decided to make the transition easier on students and parents with summer playdates and a monthly Lunch & Learn webinar series.

Once registered for kindergarten, Class of 2035 families had the opportunity to sign up for an optional playdate over the summer – in June or August – to attend a small-group, meet-up event. Each of the four, 60-minute playdates offered building tours, Class of 2035 T-shirts, playground playtime and a photo opportunity with their Normandy Principal Dan Sebring.

“The playdates provided an opportunity for students to see a typical kindergarten classroom and play on their school playground with some new classmates,” said Sebring. “Parents appreciated the chance to meet other parents, share knowledge and create new connections.”

In August, Normandy launched its second new initiative for kindergarten families with the Lunch & Learn monthly webinar series. This Zoom-based program for kindergarten parents invites them to spend one lunchbreak a month with Bay Village Schools’ own experts to learn parenting tips ranging from “Why It’s Important to Read to/with Your Child” to “The Learning Pit, and Why it’s OK to Struggle.” There is almost always a book recommendation, too, so that parents can continue to refine their own approach to parenting.

Normandy parent Bryan Sokolowski, whose daughter Juliet is a kindergartner at Normandy, has attended all the webinars so far, and plans on continuing to spend one lunch a month listening to the information sessions.

"I appreciate that Normandy School provides additional resources, like the Lunch & Learn webinar series, for parents like me who are new to the district,” said Sokolowski. “Once a month, I brown bag it, hop on Zoom and listen to Bay Village Schools' own experts to learn parenting tips. As a first-time kindergarten dad, I have found the time to be well spent."

Principal Sebring is pleased with the attendance and feedback from both of these new initiatives. Recently, the monthly Lunch & Learn webinar series has been opened up to all Normandy parents to also help first- and second-grade families who may want to log on. Sebring said he hopes to be able to continue offering playdates and webinars for the 2023-24 school year.

"In Bay Village, we are always looking for ways to connect with parents and support them as partners in their child's education,” said Sebring. “By using our Zoom skills, we can easily host a lunchtime session for parents who can attend in real time, and then share the recording for others who were unable to attend. We feel we have a great mix of topics to support parents as they seek to build their child's skills in academic and executive functioning areas."

For more information, or to attend the Lunch & Learn webinar series, please contact Normandy Elementary School at 440-617-7350 or call the district's communications department at 440-617-7307.

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Misciagna is the director of communications for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 14, Issue 21, Posted 10:13 AM, 11.01.2022