Parent-Student Seminary Orientation

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It is here!!!!
Back To Class for School and Seminary!!!!
A Parent-Student Orientation meeting is key to a smooth start for your early morning Seminary year. Parents are making the sacrifice to drive their children to class each morning and when they know the class expectations and blessings that will come to their children (and family), they are able to be supportive-especially when the 4:45 alarm goes off.
My class is comprised of two Wards, so I held our meeting last Sunday at noon after the first Ward meetings were over and during Sunday School for our Ward. It was good to have everyone together so they could see who is involved in Seminary.
Every teacher and class situation is different, so adapt the following suggestions and make them work for you. Leave a comment to add your own suggestions.
Here are are my thoughts on planning and hosting this meeting (not in any particular order):

  • Invite the Bishops and Ward Youth Leaders. (Leaders need to be reminded of the commitment and schedule early morning Seminary students have during the school year and be mindful of ending week-night activities on time. Ward and Stake Leaders need to be reminded that Saturday sleep is precious for students (and parents who drive their students), therefore, planning Saturday morning activities should be kept at a minimum. Parents and all Leaders need to be protective of Seminary students’ time and be careful not to overload their schedules with extra activities, especially late nights and weekends.
  • Obtain a list from Ward Clerks to determine who should be attending Seminary.
  • Send out invitations at least a month in advance, or even announce it the last week of class in June as an FYI. (people are traveling in the summer and need to get this meeting on their calendars) 
  • Have the details of the meeting printed in Ward bulletins and newsletters, announce in auxiliary meetings. 
  • Be organized and have a specific agenda.
  • Stay focused on the agenda and be prepared to answer questions, yet do not allow lengthy discussions-suggest you meet one-on-one with a parent or student who has a question that does not pertain to the group or is not easily answered.
  • Be enthusiastic. Do not dwell on the 4:45 alarm, the dark and early start time, etc. 
  • Emphasize that we are all in this together and will will support each other throughout the Seminary experience.
  • Do not feel like you need to serve food, but it is a nice touch to serve muffins, juice, etc. Totally an extra and something you should not do if it is a burden.
  • Introduce Self
  • Have Parents and Students introduce selves to class
  • List schools all students attend (we have 9 schools within our class) and suggest parents arrange carpools.
  • Introduce Course of Study
  • What is Seminary?
  • Graduation requirements, Church School Seminary requirements, some countries are requiring proof of preparation ( Ministerial Training or Certification) for our missionaries to enter and teach in their countries-Seminary qualifies them. ( I just had this occur for one of my students who received a call to Brazil-our CES Supervisor had to verify his Seminary completion)
  • Give overview of year.
  • Show journals and explain the use of Seminary Journals.
  • Class Expectations such as NO cell phones or electronic scriptures of any type. 
  • Supplies
  • Budget
  • Start  and End time (discuss being on-time and attendance policies)
  • Which room we meet in and which door to enter in the morning
  • Days we meet (every day school is in session)
  • Need for full set of LDS Scriptures and how we will use them
  • Final Registration
  • Have Parents and Students provide all contact information. Discuss how we communicate outside of class (Email, Text, our Class Facebook page)
  • Distribute my contact information
  • Introduce Scripture Mastery (Show Scripture Mastery Cards and give each student a set) Discuss Scripture Mastery Awards
  • Reading requirements and Awards
  •  Course Completion requirements
  • Invite Parents and Leaders to join in Reading and Scripture Mastery
  • Solicit Parent support
  • Suggest that students receive a Back-To-School AND Back-To-Seminary blessing (remember to have the same for you, the teacher)
  • Food in class policy
  • Birthdays
  • Twice per year parents and siblings are invited-Christmas and End-Of-Year
  • Weekly room set up after Sunday meetings 
  • All Award descriptions
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Share your testimony of Seminary and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Express love and gratitude for students and parents. Acknowledge sacrifices made to attend Seminary and testify of the blessings that are poured on students and their families.

Have you hosted a Parent-Student Orientation meeting?If so, what was helpful?Please share.Happy Back To Seminary!!!!

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