Parents, students prepare for school

By Eric Butler: PNT Staff Writer

For anyone needing direction on how to prepare their kids for the coming school year, advertisers have plenty of suggestions: New clothes, a fresh coif from the hairdresser or even a new mattress to get that good night of sleep.

On a more essential level, however, parents in Portales are in the last stages of getting their children ready for school.

Public schools in Portales begin classes Tuesday and the list of needed items are being checked off.

“The first year is very intimidating and then it gets easier,” said Veronica Beattie, who is getting an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old ready for the first day of school. “I had to learn where to go to get them registered, what kind of shots they needed and all that.

“Doing this is intimidating too,” added Beattie, holding a list of school supplies. “Because you never know if you get it all.”

Julie Miller, administrative assistant to the superintendent of Portales Municipal Schools, said the easiest way to navigate what’s necessary is by visiting their Web site.

At portalesschools.com, Miller suggests clicking on the 2009-10 “Beginning School Information” to help the viewer find a way to essential documents that may be needed to register.

Most Portales students already pre-registered at the end of the last school year, so it’s generally new students — or their parents — who will have to do the extra work.

“They fill out all this paperwork before they go or the school’s gonna give them a packet and they’re going to have to sit down and fill it out while they’re there,” Miller said.

She said the municipal schools office has seen an influx of new students fueled by new personnel at Cannon Air Force Base.

“We have had lots of phone calls,” said Miller of first-timer inquiries. “Of course, one of the very important things is the immunization record, their birth certificate and social security card if they have one.”

As far as school supplies like paper, pencils, erasers and such, Miller said the best place to contact is the particular school the student will be attending.

On Thursday, Jennifer Ramirez was shopping for her four school-age children. Her kids’ school, Faith Triumphant in Portales, provided her a list of items to get and she was dutifully following it at Wal-Mart

“The school gives us a list and put it in the registration packet,” Ramirez said. “It’s just your basic school supplies: Paper, pencil, crayons, compasses, whatever.”

There’s one area Ramirez doesn’t worry about, much to the chagrin of clothing stores.

“They get uniforms — khakis and polo shirts,” she said.