5 Things Children Should Know By Kindergarten

Children are required to enter kindergarten by the age of 6 in Michigan, but many parents decide to start them sooner if they are ready. Not sure if your child is prepared for kindergarten yet? Here are 5 things to teach them before they start school.

1. Their Names

At this age, children should be able to state their first and last name out loud. Additionally, kindergartners are typically expected to write at least their first names.

2. Basic shapes

Shapes are everywhere and in learning shapes are often associated with signs and games.  Hearts, circles, square, and triangles are some of the basic shapes kids should be familiar with upon entering kindergarten.

3. How to go to the restroom on their own

In addition to being potty-trained, new kindergarteners need to be comfortable going to the bathroom on their own and cleaning up after themselves. This includes being able to wash their hands without reminders.

4. Basic colors

Art is a big part of the learning experience for younger students and knowing their colors will really help them excel. Kindergartners should be able to identify the primary colors blue, red, and yellow as well as other common colors.

5. How to follow 2-3 step directions

We understand that the listening skills of children may still need work at this age; however, those entering kindergarten this year should be able to listen to instructions and complete tasks that involve at least two steps.

Do you feel your child is struggling with any of these? If so, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not ready to start kindergarten. They may simply need a little more help in some of these areas. Try working with them to see if they improve over a set period of time. If you are still having concerns, be sure to make your child’s teacher aware of them if they are already enrolled in school.

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Back to School Activity:

Plan a Bash

Summer vacation is winding down, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop just yet.  Capture the last moments of summer and celebrate the start of a new school year by throwing an End of Summer Back to School Bash for your kids!

Planning Your Bash

Your back to school bash doesn’t have to be costly or over the top; it simply has to be fun for your little ones. Talk with other parents and see if you can’t all chip in and give your children a memorable back to school sendoff. Here are a few places to start when planning your bash.


Decide where you will host the party. If you are planning it with other parents, discuss who has the best space to accommodate all of the children, adults, and party activities.  Throwing the bash yourself? Check with local parks to see if you can rent out an area for your event. These usually only cost a nominal amount.


Pick a date close to the start of the school so that your kids will be energized and excited for the new year. You can even plan your bash for during the first month of school.


Get a list together of children your friends would like to have at their party. This can also include kids in your neighborhood who do not attend Summit Academy. Be sure to invite other parents so the bash is fun for you as well.


A bash is not a bash without fun party games and food. Ask your guests to each bring a dish so that your load is a little bit lighter.  Looking for party games? Check out this list of awesome back to school games on Pinterest.

Getting ready for school can be fun and enjoyable when you find ways to celebrate a new start with your children. Let us know other ways you like to get pumped up for the school year on the Summit Academy Facebook page!

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Back to School Wisdom:

Advice from the Admins


A new school year brings new opportunities and challenges along with it. To help our students get the most out of this school year, our dedicated Summit Academy Administrators have put together some back to school pearls of wisdom as a guide for their journey.

What are some ways things new students can do to make themselves at home at Summit Academy?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Students at Summit Academy Flat Rock are like one giant family. I think you will be surprised at how many people will jump to answer your question or walk you to a classroom or activity.
  • Join a club! Clubs are great ways to get to know kids in other grade levels.
  • Introduce yourself! Reach out a hand and say, “Hi, I’m ______ and I’m new here!” I know it’s hard at first, but after the first time, it’ll get easier!
  • – Sally Racette, Principal at Summit Academy Flat Rock

What should new students look forward to at Summit Academy?

Look forward to a challenging, yet rewarding school year!  Middle school can be hard academically and socially, lean on your family and your teachers to help make this a great year.

  • – Alicia Jenkins, Principal at Summit Academy North Middle School

New students should also look forward to a smaller high school than what they may be used to previously.  We enjoy getting to know our students and we want students to share their interests with us. It builds a strong foundation in the years to come.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

I want our new students to look forward to becoming a member of the North Elementary family! They should be ready to learn in exciting and innovative ways while also making great new friends that will last a lifetime.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

How can current students make this year one of their best?

Current students can make this year the best one yet by being present and on time every single day and by showing effort every single day.  There is never an excuse for a “zero” in the grade book, always make the attempt and I guarantee this effort and attitude will pay off!  Also, students should focus on getting involved in one new way this year that differs from how they were involved in the past.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

What would you like to say to students entering their senior year of high school?

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

This is an excerpt from taken from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a poem by Robert Frost and I think it sums up the start of the senior year perfectly. While the allure of the senior year can be “lovely”, it is not the time to check out and become lackadaisical.  Seniors must remain engaged to be successful and to enjoy the experience.  They will work hard, but it will be worth it in the end. This is not the end, but rather the beginning of even better things.  Keep reminding yourselves that it is one step in the journey and far from the end of the road!

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

This may be the most exciting year of school that you will have! Your senior year is a time to set goals for life after high school, to reflect on all of the great times you have had to this point, and to make sure to take time to enjoy the present.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

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Tips for Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping has become such an integral part of American culture. In fact, many retailers bank on this tradition as a boost in their third quarter sales. As you scramble to get the best deals on school supplies and clothes for your kids, here are a few things to consider to help your money go farther.

  • 1. Stick to the list – Advertisers make it really easy to distract back to school shoppers with deals on items that they may not even need. No matter how tempting that new laptop may seem, if it isn’t something your kids really need, save the money for the things they do.
  • 2. Shop used – Every year we are amazed to see how much our students grow physically over the summer and we can only imagine how hard it is for parents to keep replenishing their children’s closets to accommodate the changes. Resale shops are incredibly popular and easy to find these days. Before shelling out a lot of cash on new pants and shirts at retail prices, even if they are on sale, check out the resale shops near you. This can save you a great deal of money on clothes your child may not be able to wear for long.
  • 3. Shop out of season – Yes, this one applies to clothes, but the same is true of school supplies. Historically, school supplies are much costlier in the month of August and in early September. If you can wait to purchase some supplies until a couple of weeks into the school year, you will likely find better prices.
  • 4. Feel free to stock up on essentials – You can count on the fact that your child will need notebooks, paper, and pencils. These items can always be used and will not go to waste, so if you get a good deal, feel free to splurge. Additionally, these items can also be donated to the school in order to assist those students in need of supplies. The same goes for Kleenex, tissue, and paper towels.
  • 5. Talk to your child – There may be things that help your child study or that they feel they need to help keep their home workspace organized. Of course discretion should be used (a new iPad is not necessarily a need). Still, we encourage parents to help students think about what tools will best help them succeed during the year.

If your family needs assistance acquiring the school supplies on your child’s list, please contact the school. We are always here to help.

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Back to School Tool for Parents:


Whether you have enrolled your child at Summit Academy for the first time, or your child is a returning Dragon, staying on top of their schoolwork is likely your top priority. We make it easy for you to easily follow the academic progress of your kids through the use of PowerSchool.

What is PowerSchool

PowerSchool is an online gradebook where teachers record the grades and progress of each student. As a parent, you are able to review this information throughout the school year and use it to help their child reach their academic goals. The system also gives you the ability to set reminders, receive emails from teachers, and to receive updates at home. PowerSchool can help you make missing assignments a thing of the past for your child by providing you with a backup to their student planner. We encourage you to utilize this information to identify problem areas early on and to reach out to teachers for help where it is needed.

Ultimately, utilizing PowerSchool gives you the power to take a lead role in their child’s education. It encourages an effective parent/teacher team.

Accessing PowerSchool

To access PowerSchool go to https://odin2.summit-academy.com/public/home.html. You should see the screen below.

If you have already signed up for PowerSchool, simply enter your username and password and click the “Sign In” button in the bottom right corner.

If you have not previously signed up, click on the “Create Account” tab in the upper left corner. You should see this screen:

Then click the “Create Account” button in the bottom right corner. You will now see the screen below.

Once you reach this screen, enter the correct information. You are able to sign up for access to up to 7 students’ records. You will need the Access ID and password for each student. If you do not have this information, please contact us to receive it.

After you have successfully signed in, you will be able to select your preferences and begin monitoring your child’s grades online. As always, please contact a staff member if you have any questions or need help using PowerSchool.

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