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HOUSTON – School districts are still making plans for K-12 students as the fall semester advances and the topic of COVID-19 is on the minds of millions of parents, students, teachers and administrators. Seeing that the coronavirus vaccine status is unknown, many are left wondering what to do.

Lakeisha Menifee, known professionally as “Dr. Kiki” is a Texas Southern University alumna and CEO of Abundance Educational Consulting. The speaker and entrepreneur wants to help prepare everyone who’s diving head-first into this unfamiliar “new normal” in education.

“Our teachers and parents are used to preparing for the school year by purchasing the traditional classroom materials and participating in tax free weekend, but those traditions may not be a factor this year,” said Dr. Kiki.  “I have helped teachers and professors all over the world, but it means so much to me to be able to provide my community with the resources that they need to prepare themselves.”

Dr. Kiki shares these tips with parents and students to better navigate this school year:

1. How to process for student registration

As we transition into this new normal, it is imperative to access all the emails and listen to the varied calls that your child’s district has been sending in regards to registration.  Registration in any school can create a bottleneck at times that could last days depending on delayed transcripts and student records even with face-to-face interactions.  In our current climate, the occurrence of possible mishaps may increase if parents and schools do not work as partners in meeting the needs to properly communicate in regards to the children we serve.  Technology deficits will have to be considered as parents may not have access to send documents, and authenticity checks of social security cards and birth certificates for new students will have to be verified in person. All of these things can flow smoothly with the proper communication and appropriated timeline which, during these times of uncertainty, do not exist.  All in all, I admonish all stakeholders to be patient with one another and do your own due diligence to seek out information in regard to registration.

2. Utilizing your Google calendar

Spring Break transitioned into the Summer break with nowhere to go but late nights and TikTok, where we were all SAVAGE (Classy Bougie, and let’s not forget Ratchet).  Now it is time to get back to business, taking with us some of the things we learned from our breaks.  During our downtime, hopefully we learned how much sleep we need to function, and we have caught up on all of the things we’ve been putting on hold.  Now, we must adapt to our “new normal” and organize our life in a way that works best for our families and the time to start taking inventory is now.  Become familiar with your google calendar, and plan the fabric of your day.  If you don’t know how to plan, simply start by documenting your day in your calendar and modify accordingly.  Parents with multiple children and limited technology will really need to be coordinated, ensuring every child is provided with what he or she needs to learn.

3. How to access Google classroom or district technology platform

Every district has a platform that is used to house information for students.  Become familiar with the platforms that your child’s district uses to access student grades and assignments.  These platforms may also vary among teachers, therefore; it is imperative to receive a direct line of contact with teachers, either through email or telephone to ensure that students have access to all learning opportunities.  In addition, parents may also preview Family and Community Engagement platforms available through most districts.  All in all, if you are not a fan of technology, please encourage your scholar to become the master.  Our children are who they become because of what we believe they are to be!

Dr. Kiki holds a Doctor of Education Degree from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. Dr. Kiki has been an education professional for 19 years in the areas of Science and Mathematics. She is currently the owner of the non-profit organization Abundance Educational Consulting (AEC) and the for-profit Stem Up Wit Dr. Kiki.