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      Back to School advice from the Syracuse School Superintendent

      With schools about to go back into session, we sat down with Syracuse Schools Superintendent Sharon Contreras for some advice on how to make it a successful year. Here are her tips:

      ~Parents should start the year by contacting their children's teacher, just to meet, and to let the educator see who's connected to the student. This may be harder with older students, but meeting the principal, the school nurse and other school officials also helps here.

      ~Especially with older (high school) students, parental involvement is key. Attending plays, athletic events or other school activities is a show of support.

      ~Follow teachers' communications, as well as school district advisories. Districts have websites, and many are on Facebook and Twitter. Syracuse Schools are working on a mobile app, as well.

      ~Parents who feel they cannot help children with academics can get help from teachers and the schools, if they ask.Syracuse Schools also have a 'parent university' with free 'classes', sometimes at lunch (included!) to talk about helping students. Some topics are set, but they'll also take suggestions on parents on what to 'teach.'Signups are on the district website,