Category Archives: school

Kids cope with uncertainties

The uncertainties and fears of everyday life have triggered new attempts to help kids develop personal resilience.

This fall, some schools are prioritizing strategies to help students cope.

As a result, classroom breaks might include quiet music, a non-competitive game on the playground (even when it’s not PE!) or line-dancing. Some teachers pull out a joke book, merely to trigger laughter and a release of pent-up emotions.

Will it help children feel empowered to cope with life? It’s worth a try.

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Silent cells

“No cell from bell to bell” has become far more prevalent at high schools this year.

Students are typically told to put cells on silent and store in backpacks during the day, although some schools are allowing phone use during lunch. Parent messages come through the school office.

At least one reputable study concluded that banning phone usage in schools leads to higher test scores for multiple reasons, including the fact that students are less distracted. I’m wondering if we’ll see a decrease in cyber bullying, too.

The security arsenal expands

I’m surprised that conversations about school safety have barely touched on what promises to be a huge issue: school use of facial recognition technology.

Some question the accuracy of the technology, requesting testing across demographics, but the biggest concern has focused on privacy. Future discussions will undoubtedly include the potential of federal oversight, but it’s definitely a potential tool to consider in a school security arsenal.

Shrinking the school support gap

As a PTA president, I was on the frontline as our parents worked diligently to sell groceries, sponsor a gigantic carnival and support their children’s sale of magazines. Earnings contributed to making our school healthy and vibrant.

Some parent teacher organizations are being asked to donate their hard-earned funds to other schools, often in lower economic areas.
Often, these moms and dads can’t invest time or money to support education through school parent organizations. As a result, some of these initiatives are causing friction.

Sharing the wealth has always been a sensitive issue without easy answers, but now it’s even hitting parent organizations in our schools.

The VR fascination

If you visit your child’s school this fall, you might notice students holding cardboard goggles in front of their faces while they spin and walk around the gym.

VR, or virtual reality, has come to schools this fall.

Although the potential of teaching applications hasn’t yet been realized, thanks to low-budget headsets and platforms, more teachers are experimenting with VR.

The novelty factor is still high, so learning outcomes might be minimal. However, as more researchers and educators come together, classroom use will become more defined.

Zero-waste school lunches?

I expected the Starbucks move to replace plastic straws with “adult sippy cups” and sustainable straws to carry over into school cafeterias, but I haven’t seen that this fall.

Years ago, elementary grade students were huge drivers in the eco-move to “reduce, re-use, recycle.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if students at all levels of education begin to embrace the zero waste movement.

Fading football fever

Football fever is starting to fade in some high schools.

Although Friday night games will still be a tradition in many areas this fall, research shows a declining percentage of participating students. Concussion awareness has made coaches work harder at recruiting athletes and convincing parents the game is safe.

A ripple effect is inevitable for cheerleading squads, marching bands and booster clubs.

Participation in sports looks good on college applications, but fewer students will be listing football.