From the Eagle’s Nest: Welcome to the new school year!

Geneva Watts-Gomez, SUIMA Kitchen Manager and Tony McCook, SUIMA Cook Assistant hand out meals at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students for pick up, Monday mornings from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and lunches available for pick up Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sign up by calling Geneva Watts-Gomez, at 970-563-2770.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

With the school year beginning, the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA), is excited about how the guides and teachers will deliver lessons.

Many hours of planning have taken place to ensure that our 106 students are connected with their peers; are provided with lessons and materials for learning; and are set up for success.

There are 34,576 private schools across our country, with over half of them offering online learning, which means that SUIMA is in good company. Our first week of school opened in a slower than normal way, but that allowed for students and parents to meet the teachers, check out Chromebooks, understand expectations of attendance and participation, and pick up the first home-learning packets. As the school year moves into its third week, routines should be getting established with the school and at home.

By setting expectations and routines, your child will be ready to learn. Here are a few pointers to help set your child up for a good year.

Choose a good place to learn. Ask your child for input and then help set up a “mini” classroom. Your family’s regular learning space for occasional homework might not work for extended periods so set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and has a good internet connection.

Help your child ‘own’ his/her learning. No one expects parents to be full-time teachers. Provide support and encouragement while expecting your child to do his/her part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice. At SUIMA, your child usually engages with other students and any number of adults several times each day. Many of these social interactions will continue from a distance, but they will be different. You cannot replace them all, and that’s OK.

Begin and end the day by checking-in.

In the morning, you might ask:

  • What subjects are going to be taught today?
  • How will you spend your time?
  • What can I do to help?
  • At the end of the day you might ask:
  • How far did you get in your learning tasks today?
  • What did you discover? What was hard?
  • What could we do to make tomorrow better?

These brief grounding conversations matter. These check-in routines can help avoid later challenges and disappointments. They help students develop self-management skills for life. Parents are good life coaches. And we have the best parents around!

Stick to a sleep schedule. While it might be tempting for your older children to stay up late every night and sleep late every morning, changing healthy sleep habits is not going to help with physical and mental health.

Stay in Touch. Guides and teachers will mainly be using our online platforms and virtual learning environments, yet may call, text, or email you. If you have concerns, questions, or just to talk to someone, please call the school anytime at 970-563-0253.

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