Archive | October, 2013

Dr. Wilda Reviews health book: ‘The A to Z of Children’s Health’

31 Oct

Moi received a complimentary copy of the A to Z of Children’s Health. Here are the details from Amazon:

•Paperback: 448 pages

•Authors: Dr. Jeremy Friedman, Dr. Natasha Saunders, and Dr. Norman Saunders

•Publisher: Robert Rose (September 19, 2013)

•Language: English

•ISBN-10: 0778804607

•ISBN-13: 978-0778804604

•Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.7 x 0.9 inches

•Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

•Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item

•Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Here is what the authors say about the book:

The A to Z of Children’s Health

September 30, 2013

There has been an enormous increase in the amount of information at our fingertips since the growth of the Internet and, more recently, social media. The majority of parents in North America now have access to medical and parenting advice at the click of a mouse or with the touch of a fingertip. So why publish a book of medical advice for parents on how to deal with all of their children’s symptoms from A to Z and everything in between?

In some ways, the need is greater now than a generation or two ago, when Dr. Spock was one of our only options. The reason is that much of what you read on the web and information shared through social media is sincere in its intent but generally strongly held personal opinion and conviction. Convincing yes, but not always in context, accurate, or even true. Certainly, in most cases, not based on the latest scientific evidence or consensus among children’s health?care providers.

Our book meets this need for evidence-based information and advice published in an accessible format. We will guide you through your questions about your child’s health, advise you when you should be seeking help, and give you practical tips and strategies that will help you to avoid having to spend countless hours in your provider’s waiting room or, even worse, in an emergency care center.

This book is written by a dozen of the top pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children (a.k.a. SickKids), recognized internationally as one of the best children’s hospitals in the world. SickKids is not only renowned for the outstanding clinical care provided to its young patients and their families, but this hospital is a leader in educating patients, families, and the next generation of pediatric health-care providers, as well as a powerhouse of research, providing the evidence behind the latest and best treatments and care for children worldwide.

— Jeremy Friedman and Natasha Saunders

Here is background about the authors:

By: Jeremy Friedman, MB.ChB, FRCPC, FAAP

By: Natasha Saunders, MD, MSc, FRCPC

By: Norman Saunders, MD, FRCP (C)

An indispensable reference that is sure to become the go-to health & wellness guide for parents.

This comprehensive and contemporary guide is written by the pediatric experts at the world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). It goes without saying that no one understands kids better than these experts.

The guide covers over 235 childhood conditions and illnesses in children ages newborn to ten in a friendly yet authoritative manner.
All the illnesses and conditions are arranged alphabetically, making it easy, quick and accessible for parents — for those situations when time really is of the essence!

Parents will find expert advice on how to cope with everything from common accidents and emergencies like fever and abdominal pain to conditions such as spina bifida, infective endocarditis and shingles. Photos and diagrams are featured throughout so parents can accurately pinpoint what potential condition and/or illness their child may be experiencing.

This book addresses virtually every question a parent might have, and knowing that this kind of help is available, on any topic that may arise, provides the reassurance every parent needs and wants.

Dr. Jeremy Friedman, MB.ChB, FRCPC, FAAP is the associate Pediatrician-in-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is also the father of two young children.

Dr. Natasha Saunders, MD, MSc, FRCPC, is the mother of a busy toddler, and a staff pediatrician at the hospital for sick Children and Rouge Valley health system in Toronto. She’s completing an Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Norman Saunders, MD, FRCPC, was a renowned and hugely respected general pediatrician with over 3 decades of experience. He was also a staff paediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children and an Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto

The concise review is parents and caregivers should buy this book because it is an essential part of a caregivers tool kit. If you are attending a baby shower or welcoming new parents home from the hospital, you might consider making the book a gift. Moi began her process of review by going to the Mayo Clinic site to find out the issues that folks seek information about.

The Mayo Clinic lists issues in Children’s Health Questions and Answers:

Children’s Health Questions and Answers

Review all Children’s Health questions and answers:
•ADHD diet: Do food additives cause hyperactivity?
•ADHD: Does caffeine help?
•Albuterol side effects: What’s normal?
•Angelman’s syndrome
•Autism treatment: Can chelation therapy help?
•Autism treatment: Can special diets help?
•Autistic spectrum disorders
•Baby sign language: A good idea?
•Baby teeth: When do children start losing them?
•Baby walkers: Are they safe?
•Bipolar disorder in children: Is it possible?
•Calcium-fortified juice: A good source of calcium for kids?
•Child growth: Can you predict adult height?
•Childhood schizophrenia: How early can it be diagnosed?
•Coxsackievirus in children: How serious is it?
•Crohn’s disease in children: Are growth delays permanent?
•Croup treatment: Does high humidity relieve symptoms?
•’Cutting’ weight: A safe practice for youth wrestlers?
•Depression treatment for children: What works?
•Dystonia treatment: Can it impair bone growth?
•Flu shots for kids: Does my child need a flu shot?
•Fruit juice: Good or bad for kids?
•Gray hair in child
•Ketotic hypoglycemia in children: What causes it?
•Kids and caffeine: An unhealthy combination?
•Kohler’s disease: Does it cause permanent bone damage?
•Multivitamins: Do young children need them?
•Older fathers and autism risk: Is there a connection?
•Osteoporosis: Can kids get it too?
•Peanut allergy: Can a child outgrow it?
•Recurring strep throat: When is tonsillectomy useful?
•Septo-optic dysplasia
•Sleep apnea in young children
•Stuttering in children: Is it normal?
•Sugar: Does it cause ADHD?
•Tummy time: How much does your baby need?
•Urinary tract infections in children: Are bubble baths a culprit?
•Using an oral thermometer: How do I clean it?
•Warm-mist vs. cool-mist humidifier: Which is better for a cold?
•Weight-loss surgery: Safe for kids?

Next, moi started looking through the A to Z of Children’s Health.

The book is well organized alphabetically by topic. The charts are phenomenal. See, the chart for chronic abdominal pain at pp. 26-27. There are really useful info boxes throughout the book. Info heading include topics like:


What Causes ____

How Treated

Goals of Treatment


Questions to Ask the Doctor

Red Flags

Doc Talk

The book is well written and published on good quality paper. There are pictures of a diverse population. Information is highlighted so that those seeking information will easily find a topic.

Dr. Wilda HIGHLY RECOMMENDS the A to Z of Children’s Health.

Other Reviews:

Book review: ‘The A to Z of Children’s Health’

The A to Z of Children’s Health

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The 10/27/13 Joy Jar

28 Oct

Moi watched this very troubling story, Biologists search for cause of sea star deaths:

Divers were out in Puget Sound waters Saturday to see if they can help solve a mystery. Scientists are trying to figure out what’s causing one species of starfish to die in parts of Puget Sound and the waters off of Canada.

The oceans are essential to sustain life on earth. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the fervent hope for a healthy ocean ecosystem.

Looking up and out, how can we not respect this ever-vigilant cognizance that distinguishes us: the capability to envision, to dream, and to invent? the ability to ponder ourselves? and be aware of our existence on the outer arm of a spiral galaxy in an immeasurable ocean of stars? Cognizance is our crest.
Vanna Bonta

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
Mahatma Gandhi

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Mother Teresa

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
John F. Kennedy

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Saint Augustine

I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.
B. R. Ambedkar

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
Ryunosuke Satoro

The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
Blaise Pascal

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.
Morihei Ueshiba

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.
Alan Watts

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.
Ambrose Bierce

American Academy of Pediatrics policy: Kids need to go on a media diet

28 Oct

Andrew Stevensen wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald article, The screens that are stealing childhood:

Australians have smartphones and tablet computers gripped in their sweaty embrace, adopting the new internet-enabled technology as the standard operating platform for their lives, at work, home and play.
But it is not only adults who are on the iWay to permanent connection. As parents readily testify, many children don’t just use the devices, they are consumed by them.
”These devices have an almost obsessive pull towards them,” says Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us.
”How can you expect the world to compete with something like an iPad3 with a high-definition screen, clear video and lots of interactivity? How can anything compete with that? There’s certainly no toy that can.
”Even old people like me can’t stop themselves from tapping their pocket to make sure their iPhone is there. Imagine a teenager, even a pre-teen, who’s grown up with these devices attached at the hip 24/7 and you end up with what I think is a problem.”
The technology has been absorbed so comprehensively that the jury on the potential impact on young people is not just out, it’s yet to be empanelled.
”The million-dollar question is whether there are risks in the transfer of real time to online time and the answer is that we just don’t know,” says Andrew Campbell, a child and adolescent psychologist….
Authoritative standards on appropriate levels of use are limited. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends parents discourage TV for children under two and limit screen time for older children to less than two hours a day.
The guidelines, says Professor Rosen, are ”ludicrous” but the need for them and constant communication with young people about technology and how they use it, remains. ”It’s no longer OK to start talking to your kids about technology when they’re in their teens. You have to start talking to them about it as soon as you hand them your iPhone or let them watch television or Skype with grandma,” he says.
He suggests a ratio of screen time to other activities of 1:5 for very young children, 1:1 for pre-teens and 5:1 for teenagers. Parents should have weekly talks with their children from the start, looking for signs of obsession, addiction and lack of attention.

See, Technology Could Lead to Overstimulation in Kids

Lindsey Tanner of AP wrote in the article, Docs To Parents: Limit Kids’ Texts, Tweets, Online:

Doctors 2 parents: Limit kids’ tweeting, texting & keep smartphones, laptops out of bedrooms. #goodluckwiththat.
The recommendations are bound to prompt eye-rolling and LOLs from many teens but an influential pediatricians group says parents need to know that unrestricted media use can have serious consequences.
It’s been linked with violence, cyberbullying, school woes, obesity, lack of sleep and a host of other problems. It’s not a major cause of these troubles, but “many parents are clueless” about the profound impact media exposure can have on their children, said Dr. Victor Strasburger, lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics policy
“This is the 21st century and they need to get with it,” said Strasburger, a University of New Mexico adolescent medicine specialist.
The policy is aimed at all kids, including those who use smartphones, computers and other Internet-connected devices. It expands the academy’s longstanding recommendations on banning televisions from children’s and teens’ bedrooms and limiting entertainment screen time to no more than two hours daily.
Under the new policy, those two hours include using the Internet for entertainment, including Facebook, Twitter, TV and movies; online homework is an exception.
The policy statement cites a 2010 report that found U.S. children aged 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media. Many kids now watch TV online and many send text messages from their bedrooms after “lights out,” including sexually explicit images by cellphone or Internet, yet few parents set rules about media use, the policy says….
The policy notes that three-quarters of kids aged 12 to 17 own cellphones; nearly all teens send text messages, and many younger kids have phones giving them online access.
“Young people now spend more time with media than they do in school — it is the leading activity for children and teenagers other than sleeping” the policy says…
Strasburger said he realizes many kids will scoff at advice from pediatricians — or any adults.
“After all, they’re the experts! We’re media-Neanderthals to them,” he said. But he said he hopes it will lead to more limits from parents and schools, and more government research on the effects of media.
The policy was published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. It comes two weeks after police arrested two Florida girls accused of bullying a classmate who committed suicide. Police say one of the girls recently boasted online about the bullying and the local sheriff questioned why the suspects’ parents hadn’t restricted their Internet use….

Here is the press release:

Managing Media: We Need a Plan

American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance on managing children’s and adolescents’ media use

ORLANDO, Fla. — From TV to smart phones to social media, the lives of U.S. children and families are dominated by 24/7 media exposure. Despite this, many children and teens have few rules around their media use. According to a revised policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Children, Adolescents and the Media,” released Oct. 28 at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, the digital age is the ideal time to change the way we address media use.

While media by itself is not the leading cause of any health problem in the U.S., it can contribute to numerous health risks. At the same time, kids can learn many positive things from pro-social media.
“A healthy approach to children’s media use should both minimize potential health risks and foster appropriate and positive media use—in other words, it should promote a healthy ‘media diet’,” said Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, co-author of the AAP policy. “Parents, educators and pediatricians should participate in media education, which means teaching children and adolescents how to make good choices in their media consumption .”

Dr. Hogan will describe the recommendations in the policy statement in a news briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET Oct. 28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Reporters wishing to cover the briefing should first check in at the press room, W203B, for media credentials. The policy statement will be published online Oct. 28 in Pediatrics and will be included in the November 2013 issue of the journal. The policy statement replaces one issued in 2001.

The AAP advocates for better and more research about how media affects youth. Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior issues. A recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media. About 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.

The amount of time spent with screens is one issue, and content is another. On the positive side, pro-social media not only can help children and teens learn facts, but it can also help teach empathy, racial and ethnic tolerance, and a whole range of interpersonal skills.

Pediatricians care about what kids are viewing, how much time they are spending with media, and privacy and safety issues with the Internet.

“For nearly three decades, the AAP has expressed concerns about the amount of time that children and teen-agers spend with media, and about some of the content they are viewing,” said Victor Strasburger, MD, FAAP, co-author of the report. “The digital age has only made these issues more pressing.”

The AAP policy statement offers recommendations for parents and pediatricians, including:
For Parents:
• Parents can model effective “media diets” to help their children learn to be selective and healthy in what they consume. Take an active role in children’s media education by co-viewing programs with them and discussing values.

• Make a media use plan, including mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices. Screens should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms.

• Limit entertainment screen time to less than one or two hours per day; in children under 2, discourage screen media exposure.
For Pediatricians:
• Pediatricians should ask two questions at the well-child visit: How much time is the child spending with media? Is there a television and/or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom? Take a more detailed media history with children or teens at risk for obesity, aggression, tobacco or substance use, or school problems.

• Work with schools to encourage media education; encourage innovative use of technology to help students learn; and to have rules about what content may be accessed on devices in the classroom.

• Challenge the entertainment industry to create positive content for children and teens, and advocate for strong rules about how products are marketed to youth.

• As the media landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the AAP calls for a federal report on what is known about the media’s effects on youth and what research needs to be conducted. The AAP calls for an ongoing mechanism to fund research about media’s effects.
Editor’s Note: More information and recommendations from the AAP about the effects of media on youth may be found in additional AAP statements, available in the media kit on children and media.
More information for parents on creating a family media use plan is available on

– See more at:

Helpguide.Org has a good article on treating internet addiction in teens. Among their suggestions are:

It’s a fine line as a parent. If you severely limit a child or teen’s Internet use, they might rebel and go to excess. But you can and should model appropriate computer use, supervise computer activity and get your child help if he or she needs it. If your child or teen is showing signs of Internet addiction, there are many things that you as a parent can do to help:
o Encourage other interests and social activities. Get your child out from behind the computer screen. Expose kids to other hobbies and activities, such as team sports, Boy or Girl Scouts, and afterschool clubs.
o Monitor computer use and set clear limits. Make sure the computer is in a common area of the house where you can keep an eye on your child’s online activity, and limit time online, waiting until homework and chores are done. This will be most effective if you as parents follow suit. If you can’t stay offline, chances are your children won’t either.
o Talk to your child about underlying issues. Compulsive computer use can be the sign of deeper problems. Is your child having problems fitting in? Has there been a recent major change, like a move or divorce, which is causing stress? Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling if you are concerned about your child.

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal,9171,1200760,00.html See, also Family Dinner: The Value of Sharing Meals
Perhaps, acting like the power is out from time to time and using Helen Robin’s suggestions is not such a bad idea.

Two studies: Social media and social dysfunction

Common Sense Media report: Kids migrating away from Facebook

Is ‘texting’ destroying literacy skills

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Concussions: American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations for “return to learn” checklists

27 Oct

Moi wrote in Don’t ignore concussions:
Kids Health has some great information about concussions at their site:

What Is a Concussion and What Causes It?
The brain is made of soft tissue and is cushioned by spinal fluid. It is encased in the hard, protective skull. When a person gets a head injury, the brain can move around inside the skull and even bang against it. This can lead to bruising of the brain, tearing of blood vessels, and injury to the nerves. When this happens, a person can get a concussion — a temporary loss of normal brain function.
Most people with concussions recover just fine with appropriate treatment. But it’s important to take proper steps if you suspect a concussion because it can be serious.
Concussions and other brain injuries are fairly common. About every 21 seconds, someone in the United States has a serious brain injury. One of the most common reasons people get concussions is through a sports injury. High-contact sports such as football, boxing, and hockey pose a higher risk of head injury, even with the use of protective headgear.
People can also get concussions from falls, car accidents, bike and blading mishaps, and physical violence, such as fighting. Guys are more likely to get concussions than girls. However, in certain sports, like soccer, girls have a higher potential for concussion.
See, Update: Don’t ignore concussions

Jan Hoffman reported in the New York Times article, Concussions and the Classroom:

Because of heightened awareness about the hazards of sports-related concussions, many states have implemented standards determining when an injured student may resume playing contact sports. But only a few states have begun to address how and when a student should resume classwork.
On Sunday the American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations for “return to learn” checklists to alert doctors, school administrators and parents to potential cognitive and academic challenges to students who have suffered concussions.
“They’re student athletes, and we have to worry about the student part first,” said Dr. Mark E. Halstead, the lead author of “Returning to Learning Following a Concussion,” a clinical report in this week’s Pediatrics.
For adolescents prone to risk-taking behaviors, concussions are not just the nasty by-products of sports. Dr. Halstead, an assistant professor in pediatric sports medicine at Washington University, recently treated a 15-year-old girl whose concussion came not from a soccer match, but because “she was running backwards in a school hallway and cracked heads with someone.”
The academy emphasized that research about recovery protocols and cognitive function is scant: There is no established rest-until-recovered timeline. The new recommendations are based on expert opinions and guidelines developed by the Rocky Mountain Youth Sports Medicine Institute in Denver.
Doctors generally recommend that a student with a concussion rest initially, to give the brain time to heal. That may mean no texting, video games, computer use, reading or television. But there’s a big question mark about the timing and duration of “cognitive rest.” Experts have not identified at what point mental exertion impedes healing, when it actually helps, and when too much rest prolongs recovery. Although many doctors are concerned that a hasty return to a full school day could be harmful, this theory has not yet been confirmed by research.
The student’s pediatrician, parents and teachers should communicate about the incident, the recommendations said, and be watchful for when academic tasks aggravate symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and difficulty concentrating. The academy acknowledged that case management must be highly individualized: “Each concussion is unique and may encompass a different constellation and severity of symptoms.”
Most students have a full recovery within three weeks, the article said. But if the recovery seems protracted, specialists should be consulted.
Many school officials do not realize they can make simple accommodations to ease the student’s transition back to the classroom, the academy said.
To alleviate a student’s headaches, for example, schedule rests in the school nurse’s office; for dizziness, allow extra time to get to class through crowded hallways; for light sensitivity, permit sunglasses to be worn indoors. Students accustomed to 45-minute classes might only be able to sit through 30 minutes at the outset, or attend school for a half-day.
“Parents need to follow up with schools and make sure plans are being followed,” Dr. Halstead said….


From the American Academy of Pediatrics
Clinical Report
Returning to Learning Following a Concussion
1. Mark E. Halstead, MD, FAAP,
2. Karen McAvoy, PsyD,
3. Cynthia D. Devore, MD, FAAP,
4. Rebecca Carl, MD, FAAP,
5. Michael Lee, MD, FAAP,
6. Kelsey Logan, MD, FAAP,
7. Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, and Council on School Health
Following a concussion, it is common for children and adolescents to experience difficulties in the school setting. Cognitive difficulties, such as learning new tasks or remembering previously learned material, may pose challenges in the classroom. The school environment may also increase symptoms with exposure to bright lights and screens or noisy cafeterias and hallways. Unfortunately, because most children and adolescents look physically normal after a concussion, school officials often fail to recognize the need for academic or environmental adjustments. Appropriate guidance and recommendations from the pediatrician may ease the transition back to the school environment and facilitate the recovery of the child or adolescent. This report serves to provide a better understanding of possible factors that may contribute to difficulties in a school environment after a concussion and serves as a framework for the medical home, the educational home, and the family home to guide the student to a successful and safe return to learning.

Here is the press release:

After a Concussion Students May Need Gradual Transition Back to Academics
American Academy of Pediatrics offers new guidance on “returning to learning” after concussion
ORLANDO, Fla. — A concussion should not only take a student athlete off the playing field – it may also require a break from the classroom, according to a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
In the clinical report, “Returning to Learning Following a Concussion,” released Sunday, Oct. 27 at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, the AAP offers guidance to pediatricians caring for children and adolescents after suffering a concussion.
“Students appear physically normal after a concussion, so it may be difficult for teachers and administrators to understand the extent of the child’s injuries and recognize the potential need for academic adjustments,” said Mark Halstead, MD, FAAP, a lead author of the clinical report. “But we know that children who’ve had a concussion may have trouble learning new material and remembering what they’ve learned, and returning to academics may worsen concussion symptoms.”
Dr. Halstead will deliver a plenary address on concussion injuries at 10:30 a.m. ET Oct. 27 at the Orange County Convention Center. A news briefing on the new clinical report will immediately follow. Reporters interested in covering either event should check in at the press room, W203B.
Research has shown that a school-aged student usually recovers from a concussion within three weeks. If symptoms are severe, some students may need to stay home from school after a concussion. If symptoms or mild or tolerable, the parent may consider returning him or her to school, perhaps with some adjustments. Students with severe or prolonged symptoms lasting more than 3 weeks may require more formalized academic accommodations.
The AAP recommends a collaborative team approach to help a student recovering from a concussion. This team should consist of the child or adolescent’s pediatrician, family members and individuals at the child’s school responsible for both the student’s academic schedule and physical activity. Detailed guidance on returning to sports and physical activities is contained in the 2010 AAP clinical report, “Sport-Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents.”
A symptom checklist can help evaluate what symptoms the student is experiencing, and how severe they are.
“Every concussion is unique and symptoms will vary from student to student, so managing a student’s return to the classroom will require an individualized approach,” said Dr. Halstead. “The goal is to minimize disruptions to the student’s life and return the student to school as soon as possible, and as symptoms improve, to increase the student’s social, mental and physical activities.”
Because relatively little research has been conducted on how concussion affects students’ learning, the AAP based its report primarily on expert opinion and adapted it from a concussion management program developed at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Center for Concussion in Denver, Colo. The AAP calls for further research on the effects and role of cognitive rest after concussion to improve understanding of the best ways to help a student recovering from a concussion.
Information for parents about returning to learning after a concussion also will be available on (starting Oct. 27).
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

Parents must be alert to what is happening with the children when they participate in athletic events and activities.




Concussion – Overview

Related :

Study: Effects of a concussion linger for months

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The 10/26/13 Joy Jar

26 Oct

The ‘Joy Jar’ exercise will end on December 25, 2013. Christmas represents birth and a new beginning. The ‘Joy Jar’ was a response to the Mayan Calendar end of the world thing. It is an exercise in counting moi’s Blessings and Being Grateful for each day. Seattle is emerging from several days of fog and the trees are a riot of color. There are leaves everywhere. The leaves are a sign of the cycle of life. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the cycle of life represented by falling leaves.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
Martin Luther

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
Henry David Thoreau

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
Rabindranath Tagore

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
Walt Whitman

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.
Hal Borland

One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches, is this: do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call.
Tryon Edwards

The ‘Joy Jar’ exercise will end on December 25, 2013. Christmas represents birth and a new beginning. The ‘Joy Jar’ was a response to the Mayan Calendar end of the world thing. It is an exercise in counting moi’s Blessings and Being Grateful for each day. Seattle is emerging from several days of fog and the trees are a riot of color. There are leaves everywhere. The leaves are a sign of the cycle of life. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the cycle of life represented by falling leaves.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
Martin Luther

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
Henry David Thoreau

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
Rabindranath Tagore

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
Walt Whitman

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.
Hal Borland

One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches, is this: do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call.
Tryon Edwards

The 10/25/13 Joy Jar

26 Oct

One of the greatest philosophers was Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, in full Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, original name (until 161 ce) Marcus Annius Verus (born April 26, 121 ce, Rome—died March 17, 180, Vindobona [Vienna], or Sirmium, Pannonia), Roman emperor (ce 161–180), best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius has symbolized for many generations in the West the Golden Age of the Roman Empire.

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the wisdom of Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Marcus Aurelius

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
Marcus Aurelius

Confine yourself to the present.
Marcus Aurelius

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Marcus Aurelius

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Marcus Aurelius

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
Marcus Aurelius

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Marcus Aurelius

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Marcus Aurelius

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Marcus Aurelius

Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
Marcus Aurelius

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
Marcus Aurelius

Poverty is the mother of crime.
Marcus Aurelius

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
Marcus Aurelius

who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.
Marcus Aurelius

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
Marcus Aurelius

A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.
Marcus Aurelius

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Marcus Aurelius

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.
Marcus Aurelius

The 10/24/13 Joy Jar

26 Oct

Moi will be spending the winter working on her web site and marketing “” She will be a success. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is success.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Bill Cosby

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Albert Einstein

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
Swami Vivekananda

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
Napoleon Hill

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Vince Lombardi

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
Abraham Lincoln

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
Vince Lombardi

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
George S. Patton

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
Booker T. Washington

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.
Mark Twain

Military families embracing homeschooling

26 Oct

Moi wrote about homeschools in Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu. There are fewer children being homeschooled than there are in private schools. There are fewer children in private education, which includes homeschools than in public education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the vast majority of students attend public schools. Complete statistics can be found at Fast Education Facts

The question, which will be discussed at the end of this comment, is: What is so scary about school choice? After all, the vast majority of children are enrolled in public school and school choice is not going to change that.

What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.

Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA

Kimberly Hefling of AP reported in the story, Military Bases Open Their Doors To Home-Schoolers:

Some military families also cite the same reasons for choosing home schooling as those in the civilian population: a desire to educate their kids in a religious environment, concern about the school environment, or to provide for a child with special needs….
Participating military families say there’s an added bonus to home schooling. It allows them to schedule school time around the rigorous deployment, training and school schedules of the military member.
“We can take time off when dad is home and work harder when he is gone so we have that flexibility,” McGhee said.
Sharon Moore, the education liaison at Andrews who helps parents with school-related matters, said at the height of the summer military moving season, she typically gets about 20 calls from families moving to the base with home schooling questions. She links them with families from the co-op and includes the home-schooled children during back-to-school events and other functions such as a trip to a planetarium.
“It comes down to they are military children and we love our military children,” said Moore, a former schoolteacher. “We recognize that they have unique needs that sometimes other children don’t have, and we want to make sure that we do our best to serve them and meet those needs because they have given so much to this country.”
This kind of support for home schooling by the military was uncommon in the 1990s, said Mike Donnelly, a former Army officer who is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, based in Purcellville, Va. He said that changed in 2002 with military-wide memo that said home schooling can be a “legitimate alternative form of education” for military member’s children. Most military bases today are friendly toward home-schoolers, he said….
Home schooling in recent decades has grown in popularity in the general population, with the most recent government statistics estimating that about 3 percent of school kids are home-schooled in America.
Within the military population, Donnelly said his group estimates that from 5 percent to 10 percent of military kids are home-schooled. An estimate by the Military Child Education Coalition, using very limited research data, estimated that up to 9 percent of military kids could be home-schooled.
The vast majority of military kids attend local public schools, with a much smaller percentage attending Department of Defense schools and an even smaller percentage attending private schools or home schooling, the National Military Family Association estimates.
Like home schooling parents in the general population, military families at home often use online curriculum and materials to enhance instruction. Some hire tutors for areas such as advanced math or foreign languages.
Home schooling, of course, isn’t for every military family. It requires a parent who can stay at home, and it can create an extra level of stress for the parents at home if the spouse is deployed, some spouses have told researchers.
For military families and others who do opt to home-school, there’s very little scientifically rigorous research about the long-term social and academic effects, said Joseph Murphy, an education professor at Vanderbilt University who wrote a book about home schooling.

School Choice is Good for the Education Process

Homeschooling is not a conspiracy, it is simply a choice. There is a difference between “education” and “schooling.” “Schooling” is defined as:

• the act of teaching at school
• school: the process of being formally educated at a school; “what will you do when you finish school?”
• the training of an animal (especially the training of a horse for dressage)

“Education” is a much broader concept. It is the process of continually being curious. Eric Hoffer aptly distinguishes the difference between “schooling” and “education.”

The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.


‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college

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Washington schools have teens sign contract to decrease lewd prom dancing

24 Oct

Tina Patel of Q13 Fox News reported in the story, Students must sign dance contract: No twerking, no ‘sex’ dancing:

LACEY, Wash. — Students and their parents had to sign contracts before they could go to homecoming dances at River Ridge and North Thurston high schools in Lacey.
When Miley Cyrus took the stage at the Video Music Awards a couple months ago, some parents were shocked by her ‘twerking.’
“It is kind of surprising that that would be considered normal dancing,” Julie Evans, the mother of a 16-year-old girl, said Wednesday.
But officials with North Thurston Public Schools know times have changed, and students are used to seeing things like this on a dance floor.
“It’s that YouTube generation,” said Courtney Schrieve, a spokeswoman for North Thurston Public Schools. “They have a lot more exposure to a lot of different things, so we have to constantly stay on top of that.”
A few years ago, school officials heard about another district canceling homecoming because of inappropriate dancing.
“Some of our activities directors at the high school got together and said, ‘Let’s nip this in the bud, get ahead of this,’” said Schrieve.
They came up with a dance contract. At River Ridge High School in Lacey, students may not bend over 45 degrees or more while dancing. The contract also states there cannot be “lap dancing” or dancing that “looks like you’re having sex.”
“Some of the things are things that you wouldn’t think should have to be in writing,” Evans said.
In the spring, Port Townsend and Port Angeles schools instituted a ‘Face to Face’ dance policy to try and cut down on ‘grinding.’ Students responded by boycotting the dances altogether.
But the students in Lacey say they don’t mind signing a contract.
“No, I was OK with it,” said River Ridge freshman Angel Allen. “I understood why and stuff.”
“It’s just one of those things, like how you have to get a permission slip to watch a movie in class,” added senior Joely Manning.
They said the contract makes parents feel better. But they said that if parents came to the dances, they would see there’s no reason to worry.
“We have teachers,” Manning said. “And you’re in your high school. You’re not going to be pulling a Miley Cyrus out there.”

Letty Maldando echoes the advise to keep in touch with your teen in herehow article, How to Plan a Safe Prom Night for Your Teen:

Step 1
Prepare a complete itinerary of the prom night events. Include:
*Prom pre-party, party, and post party location information
*Phone numbers – friends, locales, limo driver, prom chaperones, etc…
*Transportation alternatives
*List of people they’ll be with – include phone numbers and parent info
Make sure that both you and your teen have a copy of the itinerary so that you can reach other in an emergency.
Step 2
Discuss prom night safety issues well in advance. This should not be something that parents should be shouting atteens as they are leaving. Prepare what information you want to share. Bring notes if you think you might trip up on your words. Don’t be shy about the topics (alcohol, drugs, sex). If need be, pull out some news stories and pictures of the consequences of unsafe behavior. Sometimes visual aids are more memorable than a lecture.
Step 3
Agree on an “unconditional” call for your help and/or a ride home if something should happen. If you are worried that your child won’t call you (even with this agreement) then assign a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor that will take the phone call and help them out of whatever the situation may be.
Step 4
Hire a driver to ensure that your teen has reliable transportation. If this is not financially feasible then make sure that you know the person who will be driving on prom night. Meet your teen’s friends and don’t be afraid to have the “no drinking and driving” conversation with them as well.
Step 5
Set up a check in time for each part of the evening. If they are going to be hopping around to several locations make sure to receive a call from them as they arrive at each place. If your teen doesn’t want to call in or misses a check in then set up a text message that they can respond to with a code word that indicates that they’re doing well. It’s best to speak to them directly but a text message is the next best thing.

According to Maldando and the Partnership for a Drug Free America,parents should communicate both before and during the prom. They should know what their children’s plans for are for the evening.

To many observers, many forms of freak or dirty dancing are really simulations of sex acts. A lot of issues arise such as setting boundaries for teen sexual behavior, peer pressure to engage in inappropriate behavior or dress and the general question of is this really good for teens?

What is Freak or Dirty Dancing?

Love to Know: Party defines freak dancing:

Freak or dirty dancing is sexually suggestive dancing and the question is whether it is appropriate for teens in middle or high school?

What are Sexual Boundaries?

Women’s Health Center has an excellent definition of boundaries

A boundary is your personal physical, emotional and sexual comfort zone. We all have a gut feeling that lets us know when our boundaries are being broken.

Below are examples of how boundaries can be broken:

Interrupting a conversation

Taking someone’s possessions without her or his permission

Teasing or making fun of someone

Asking very personal questions

Telling other people stories about someone

Making someone uncomfortable by always being around or invading their private space
Saying or doing things that others find offensive or vulgar
Forcing someone into doing something sexual
Physically assaulting someone
Using inappropriate language or touching

Using violence in any way
Healthy Place says the setting boundaries are important to minimize sexual assault

Teens must understand that communication is not only verbal, but physical as well. What they are communicating with body language or apparel may or may not be what they intend to communicate.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sexual Boundaries

Stop It Now MN has some excellent guidelines about talking to kids about sexual boundaries.

Things have sure changed from back in the day.


Prom Night Perils

Keeping Teens Safe and Sober on Prom Night

Prom Lessons Learned the Easy Way


How to have a sane prom

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School choice: Community schools

23 Oct

Moi wrote in Improving education: Community schools:
There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. For some communities and for some children, “community schools” might improve education achievement. The Coalition for Community Schools is a great resource for those interested in “community schools.”

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
o Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
o Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
o Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
o Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
To learn more about the Coalition’s vision of a community school, read the section An Enduring Vision in the Coalition’s report, Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools. Also, watch as the U.S. Secretary of Education speak of the importance of community schools on Charlie Rose.
For more information on what it means to be a community school, read Community Schools: Partnerships for Excellence (PDF, 426k).

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post wrote an interesting article about “community schools.”

In Why community schools are part of the answer, Strauss wrote:

Community schools, by directly dealing with many of the out-of-school issues that affect how students do in school — such as violence, family mobility, etc. — help to create the conditions that allow young people to actually concentrate on academics. Community schools seek to create conditions for learning that include:
*Fostering early childhood development through high-quality comprehensive programs.
*Providing students qualified teachers, challenging curriculum and high standards and expectations.
*Addressing the basic physical, mental and emotional health needs of families.
*Creating safe, supportive school climates through community engagement.
There is not a single model of community school initiatives but rather a number of different ones that share common principles, according to the Coalition for Community Schools. The coalition is an alliance of elementary, secondary and post-secondary organizations at the state, local and national level that are involved with education, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services and more.
One of the many models of community schools, which serve millions of children around the country, is called “Schools of the 21st Century,” which provides school-based child care and family support services.
Created by Edward Ziegler, a professor at Yale University who was an architect of the Head Start program, this model is now being used in 1,300 schools across the country and turns regular public schools into year-round centers where different services are provided to families the before, during and after school hours. You can learn about other models here.

Strauss has updated here report with a piece by Brock Cohen.

In the Washington Post article, Why community schools are a no-brainer, Cohen wrote:

The community schools framework rejects this notion. This is because each of its foundational principles reveals the imperative of addressing low achievement through a holistic course of action. Such a transition represents a radical departure from past school initiatives because it has the audacity to shine a light on gaps carved out by social inequity. As importantly, the movement’s current champions (Sen. Liu among them) refuse to shy away from naming poverty and social injustice as the primary impediments to student learning. As a call to arms, they direct us to the sprawling body of evidence that proves how futile any reform effort will become without quickly addressing 0-4 poverty-induced learning gaps, summer literacy erosion, or a failure to ensure that all children have quality physical and mental health care.
They also emphasize how community schools are as much an exercise in sober fiscal pragmatism as they are a moral call to action. The consequences of academic failure are everyone’s problem, costing the state over $58 billion each year in incarceration expenses, health care, and taxable income.
But the gaps aren’t insurmountable. They can gradually narrow by leveraging partnerships; engaging families; and re-defining schools as safe, stable, welcoming community spaces. And because the needs of children vary across demographics and geographies, the model embraces flexibility: Each school site should customize its own approach in conjunction with local agencies and civic partners that understand the primacy of nurturing the whole child. So while community schools seek to address all domains of student need, some may allocate more resources toward specific services or strategies. For example:
• Pasadena’s Madison Elementary has teamed with Healthy Start to provide comprehensive on-site health, wellness, and social, and parent education to all of its students and families
• Four Redwood City Schools have formed a consortium with civic partners to make 0-5 education and enrichment a regional imperative.
• Behind the support of the Community Heath & Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success (CHAMPS), Oakland Tech High has detailed programs in place to boost student engagement and youth leadership.
• Joining forces with Inner City Struggle (ICS), East L.A.’s Esteban E. Torres High School offers primary healthcare, mental health, reproductive services, and dental care to all of its students.
Past school reform initiatives focused on channeling limited fiscal and human resource inputs to schools and districts. What makes the community schools framework more substantive and sustainable is that it establishes inputs as the process by which each of a child’s needs domains are fulfilled. If community partners and resources (as inputs) are actively engaged in addressing these needs (health, wellness, literacy and cognitive growth) the outcomes will take care of themselves.
The past decade-plus of school reform has been as notable for its soaring rhetoric as for its inaction on the issues that truly hinder learning and achievement. But as an educator who’s fresh from the classroom, I cannot stress how gratifying it is to see evidence of collective and intentional action springing up in schools throughout the state. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that each of the schools on the Pathways to Partnerships bus tour has shown seismic improvements in campus-wide learning, health, and wellness since fully committing to the community schools framework. But scores of others throughout California have followed the same pattern.
Still, it goes without saying that community schools are not a cure for soaring child poverty (afflicting 1 in 4 children statewide). And an even bigger nemesis may be the “not my kid” mindset that seems to afflict a vast number of citizens who remain undeterred by California’s nationwide ranking of 49 in per-pupil expenditures….

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education:
Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.
The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child.

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

• Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.
• Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.
• Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.
• Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.
• Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.
• Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.
• Encouraging parental and community involvement.

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.
The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.
Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest
Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.
Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….
If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download theindicators (PDF).
Whole Child Tenets
o Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
o Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
o Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
o Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
o Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

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