We are now in the single digit countdown to the first day of school here at PALCS — September 5, 2017 — and we are so excited to welcome new and returning students to the 2017-2018 school year! If you are nervous about the first day of school or will miss the lazy days of summer, we have 5 ways to help make this school year the most successful yet!

    1. Communicate. Be sure to keep an open channel of communication with your parents, teachers, and guidance counselor. They are here to help you be successful! Keep them in the loop and ask for help when needed. No problem is too big or too small. As long as there is ongoing communication, whether you are struggling in school or you have a personal issue, they can help you come to a solution. Participate in virtual lessons, both by being an active listener and getting involved in class discussions. Attend lesson help hours or homework help, even if it is just to connect with your teacher and give them an update on your progress. Communication is key!


    1. Stay Organized. Especially being a student in a cyber school, you need to make sure to keep everything organized, including your time, school work, and learning space. Successful time management is a huge component to your success here at PALCS. We encourage students to develop a daily routine and, for the most part, stick to it. Here at PALCS, we offer a very flexible program so students and families can choose a schedule that works best for them. Plan or estimate when you are going to work on each subject and for how long, while also writing down any appointments or events of the day. This is where a planner would be a wonderful resource. Whether you want to use an electric planner on you computer or phone, or get a physical notebook planner to write down you schedule, a planner or agenda can really be useful to students.

      It is also crucial to keep all of your school work organized and due dates straight. Of course, all of this can be added to that wonderful planner, but you also will see an extremely useful tool on PALCSchool, which is your assignment calendar that will list upcoming due dates and assignment. Become familiar with this calendar and refer to it frequently to stay up-to-date on due dates and assignments.

      Finally, we come to your learning space. Perhaps it is your room or you have a family room desk in your home where you can work on your assignments. Wherever it is, make sure it is organized and works best for how you learn most effectively. Some families find that their students are having trouble concentrating learning at home because they don’t automatically associate their room or the living room with learning or school. In these cases, we encourage families and students to designate a specific space in their house as a learning space so students associate that area with learning. Allow them to decorate the space with fun learning materials that interest them, add a desk or table and chair and let the learning begin!


    1. Positive Attitude. Always remember to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Maybe you are new this year and transitioning from a brick-and-mortar or homeschool, and maybe you are transitioning from elementary to middle school or middle to high school! Whatever transition it is, an open mind and staying positive will play a very important role in a successful school year. Stumbles and frustrations at the beginning of the year are normal, especially when new to cyber school, but try not to get discouraged. Instead, work with your teachers, guidance counselor, and parents to come up with a game plan on how to tackle the issue. Even though you are working from home, you are not in this alone! 2500 other students are in PALCS with you, with over 400 new families this year, and 300 staff members are here to help! We are here cheering you on and want you to be successful — try your very best and give your all on each assignment big or small and you will be successful!


    1. Remember to Rest. Keep in mind, the school year is a marathon, not a sprint, and sometimes there can be a few hurtles at the beginning. Try not to get discouraged on that first day or first week of school when you are still getting use to the new course material, new teachers, or working with the equipment. It will take some time to get into the swing of things and find the routine that works best for you, so make sure to not get burnt out the first week. Utilize all the resources at your fingertips including teachers, the student help desk, and your guidance counselor and develop a daily routine that best suits your schedule, but be flexible with the first few weeks of school. The new routine will get much easier after a week or two! Also, always remember you are at your best when you get good nights sleep, so make sure to get your 8 hours!


  1. Get Involved. There is always something going on in the PALCS community. Always check your PALCSchool calendar to see upcoming events, field trips, and activities to get involved with. The PALCS picnic is always a great start to the year! Join one of the great clubs or programs PALCS offers, go on an extended stay trip or join in on organized chat rooms. Parents should also join and stay active in the PALCS parent network and connect with other families!

    We also want to encourage you to get involved in your local community! Whether it is playing a sport or participating in an extracurricular activity at your local school district, joining a youth group, or volunteering in the community, you can make a positive difference in your life and in your community! Whatever it is, be sure that it makes you happy and is a positive outlet!

Most of all, we want you to have the best possible school year, filled with valuable and challenging learning, friendships, and positive experiences! We are so excited and honored to have each and every one of you join us for another wonderful school year and are always here to support you!