Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 7, 2014

Back to school — for parents

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City area parents will have a chance to go back to kindergarten at Grand Traverse Academy on March 13.

The annual event, dubbed “A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner,” is meant to give the parents of children who are starting kindergarten in the fall a firsthand look at what it’s like in a kindergarten classroom at the charter school.

Grand Traverse Academy Principal Allyson Apsey believes it is important for parents considering where to send their child to physically go into the schools to get a feel for the academic and social environment, rather than merely reading about the institutions on paper.

“The cool thing about this event is they’re going to have an opportunity to learn about our school as a whole and then be able to visit kindergarten classrooms to get a glimpse of what the day actually would be like for their kindergartner next year,” Apsey said.

Parents will hear about the school’s background and mission before they step into a kindergarten classroom. Once inside the classroom, they’ll be able to observe the day’s happenings, including the daily calendar, Spanish instruction and movement activities.

The hour will wrap with a question-and-answer session.

Sandra Conrad is one Grand Traverse Academy’s six kindergarten teachers. She’s been teaching there since it opened in 2000 and said inviting prospective parents into the school is the first step in keeping parents involved in their children’s education.

“They just get a picture of everything that happens in a small amount of time,” Conrad said. “This is an awesome place for kids because the kids’ needs come first, and the parents are highly involved.”

The most common questions Conrad hears from parents are about class size, school uniforms, tuition and movement.

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