Strategies for Organization - Tips from the Student Affairs Department 

The start of a new school year at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) is always filled with great excitement for both students and their families.  

That excitement for a new school year is often matched with the challenge of staying organized. --- preparing for courses, building strong study habits and routines, and managing the diverse numbers of co-curricular opportunities that are available.

SMCS students in class


Our Student Affairs Department comprises of Guidance, the Odette Library, and the Learning Enrichment Centre. The Department’s focus centers on helping students find success. Not only does this mean helping students become acclimatized to new courses, new curricular and co-curricular demands, but much of the focus in the first month is on preparing students for success with robust organization skills. 

WHERE TO START?

It starts at home! Building good organizational habits is critical to student success at any grade level.  Students should consider how to create organized work spaces, backpacks, and lockers that are cleared of clutter and systemized for easy retrieval of important work. 

“Parents are the primary educators. Their support in helping their children establish effective and consistent homework routines is critical,” says Frank Trentadue, SMCS Director of Student Affairs. “We work in partnership with parents to ensure the students are organized and setup for success.”

SMCS student working on school work


BEST PRACTICES TO STAY ORGANIZED

Here are a few helpful organizational tips to help students stay organized, limit stress, and help to achieve personal success. 

  1. Your computer: 
    • Keep digital notes tidy and organized using information titles
    • Check Edsby daily for homework that is posted
    • Pick a day to clean up your files 
    • File your emails into appropriate folders
  2. Effective use of binders
    • Make use of binders to keep your notes, tests, and assignments
    • Colour-coding will enhance organization
  3. Use a Homework folder 
    • Get a folder with two pockets  -- one for homework that needs to be completed and one for homework that is complete
  4. Use a planner
    • Make use of a planner to  prevent potential calendar scheduling problems
    • Track homework, assignments, tests
  5. Nightly to do lists are a MUST 
    • Make time to complete a list each night – this helps to prioritize your tasks and plan ahead.
  6. Make use of your Guidance Counsellor or the Learning Strategists in the Learning Enrichment Centre as much as you need!

WHAT SHOULD YOU ORGANIZE AND WHEN?

  • Everyday: Homework, Planner and Backpack
  • Once a week: locker, bedroom and /or study space
  • Biweekly: computer, binders, school supplies