MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The new school year has begun aboard station Aug. 26, 2013, at Matthew C. Perry Elementary and High Schools and already expectations are high for a prosperous and educational experience for the young minds attending.
Station commanding officer, Col. Bob Boucher, gave his opening comments, on the new school year, outside of the M.C. Perry Elementary school.
“Today, I mostly wanted to welcome the students and the parents to the new school year and give the students the message to set goals for themselves and to let them know that the teachers and faculty here at M. C. Perry are ready to teach them,” said Boucher. “All you need to do is to come prepared, ready to learn and to be on time. I want everyone to get engaged and get involved in the school. For (those new to M.C. Perry), such as myself, see what you can do to help out with the school, to get involved and to volunteer.”
It has been said that the progress of the minds of the young is what is most important in any school. Another saying goes that an absent mind is an untrained one.
If that is true, then the lingering concerns about absenteeism and tardiness rates from last year are justifiable.
“This is my second year here, and I believe that tardiness and absences can be improved,” said Lorenzo Brown, M.C. Perry High School principal. “One thing that could improve tardiness and absences would be if the parents registered for GradeSpeed and set up ‘attendance triggers.’”
According to Brown, GradeSpeed is an optional program offered by Department of Defense schools that allows more interaction for parents.
“We can’t force anyone to sign up for it; it is optional,” said Brown. “In addition to being able to keep track of their grades, (GradeSpeed) also has the attendance component to it. If the students are tardy or absent, the parents will get an email. GradeSpeed is very useful and both parents can register for it. So, if one parent has to leave, the spouse here will still get the email.”
Boucher also shared his thoughts on the topic of school attendance.
“There are going to be a lot of challenges this year, with all the construction that is going on around the base,” said Boucher. “It is going to take extra time in the morning to get your kids to school, so we appreciate the parents and siblings that will be walking kids to school, in order to get them there on time. We would really like to reduce the number of absentees we had from last year, so any efforts on (parents’) part, to reduce absenteeism and tardiness, would greatly help out the school.”
Contact the M.C. Perry schools for PTO meeting times, dates, volunteer opportunities and to get involved with school spirit. Register for GradeSpeed at https://dodea.gradespeed.net/pc/ default.aspx.