Once again it’s time for the kids to either hang their heads in mourning or perk themselves up brightly for the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year! Things are changing around the Natural State for students of all ages, and the simplicity of the back-to-school shopping lists we all used to know has evolved into something entirely new. Sure, there’s cool new clothes and gadgets being offered by every major store, but there are certain things Arkansas students will absolutely have to have for the upcoming school year – and some of these items may not be found in any brick and mortar or online store, either!
7. Basic Computer Skills
The structure of Arkansas education is changing rapidly and technology is the new foundation for what's being built for Arkansas students. It's vital for children as early as pre-kindergarten age to know how to perform such basic computer functions as pointing and clicking a mouse or being able to identify a cursor where they are to type their name. Now that Arkansas school tests are moving towards paperless methods, computer knowledge has become a necessity for education of all ages.
6. Day Planners
Many schools across Arkansas offer their own personal day planners for students to buy. These planners are crucial especially for middle and high school students in learning how to organize and schedule their day. Many Arkansas schools also require the purchase and use of a day planner as educators often use these items as another communication tool - students often record their daily schedules and homework and teachers write brief messages or other instructions for parents in student planners.
5. A Clear or Mesh Backpack
Although many Arkansas schools still allow students to purchase and carry designer book bags, the classroom standard for many kids has become the clear or mesh backpack, required as a security standard and safety measure in many Arkansas schools. Be sure to contact your child's school on backpack policies before spending your money; a lot of schools around the state offer clear or mesh backpacks for sale on their campuses.
4. Knowledge of Social Media
Slowly but surely, most schools around Arkansas are using Facebook and/or Twitter as a means of communicating with parents and students. Although the use of social media in the classroom is highly regulated, it's not surprising to find kids with their own school e-mail accounts and Facebook profiles for school-only use. Many Arkansas high school teachers have Twitter accounts where students can contact them with afterschool questions about homework or upcoming tests. It's a good idea to introduce your child to educational use of social media at home so that they can keep up with the rest of the class.
3. A Public Library Card
The school's library is definitely a big help, but it's not enough assistance when it comes to a big task like research papers or science projects. Having a public library card for your child can make a huge difference during the school year; many Arkansas public libraries offer services and programs outside of school that assist students in completing projects and gaining needed skills.
2. An Open Mind
The diversity of the Arkansas student population is the highest it's ever been. Kids across the state have more access now to different cultures than ever, and it's important that kids realize that the world around them is separate from their point of view at home. Kids should be encouraged to ask questions when curious about another culture and to respect the opinions of those with different beliefs at school.
1. A Positive Attitude
From the first day of school to the last day, Arkansas kids should keep a "can-do" spirit about themselves -whether it's making great grades, making new friends, making the team, or making a touchdown! Success starts with the individual, and Arkansas students should remember that their goals can be achieved this school year if they refuse to let any setback get in their way. Whether it's the state test or the big game, Arkansas kids should always remember to hold their head high and do their best.
Here’s hoping that Arkansas students of all ages will go forth and do well this upcoming school year! With all of the changes and challenges that exist in American education overall, it will be interesting to see how the Natural State handles the hurdles!