Friday, August 9, 2019

Back to School Tips for Parents

The transition from summer schedules to back-to-school routines can be stressful for everyone in the house. The 9 tips provided in this blog post from https://blog.ed.gov/2016/08/9-back-to-school-pro-tips/ may help ease the transition.

The first two tips - Visit the School and Meet the Teachers can be accomplished during our open house on August 12th. The 5th grade student/parent meeting is at 5pm in the gym and Open House for grades 5-8 is from 6-7pm

The school can help with the next two tips - Make Homework a Priority and Prepare a Study Area by having your child attend the CMS After School Program (CMS ASP). The CMS ASP will begin on August 21st and it runs Monday-Thursday from 3:18-5:30. The CMS ASP offers an after school snack, tutoring and homework help in the library and activities. CMS ASP also offers homework help on 1:30 Fridays from 1:30-4:30. Talk to your child about your expectations for homework completion at the CMS ASP and communicate those expectations with CMS ASP staff.

Tips 5-9 - Take Charge of Screen Time, Get Everyone to Bed on Time, Make Healthy Meals, Get a Check Up, and Read with Your Child Everyday are really about at home procedures and routines. It is best to start these before the beginning of the school year so that your child understands your expectations.

Middle School students are at an age where parents often think that their child is old enough to "know what they are supposed to do". I can tell you that is not always true. Most middle school kids need explicit directions, defined expectations and clear boundaries. I promise that they will test those expectations, boundaries and your patience on the regular. Adolescent brains are not fully developed. The prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain that handles executive functioning skills like planning, reasoning and judgement, isn't fully develop in kids until they are in their 20s. So, when your kid screws up, which they will, and you ask, "What where you thinking!" and they respond, "I don't know" they are probably telling the truth :-). This is where consistent consequences come into play.

We are looking forward to working with you and your child to help them have a successful year. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the teachers, the counselor or me if you every have any questions or concerns.

Nick Dressel
Chadron Middle School Principal
nichlas.dressel@chadronschools.net
432-0708

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Digital Devices in Teen Bedrooms

Taken from the June 3rd Marshall Memo

In this Education Week article, Alyson Klein reports on a 2019 Common Sense Media
study showing that teens’ attachment to their phones and tablets doesn’t stop at bedtime:
- 29 percent have devices in bed with them all night.

- 39 percent keep them within reach.
- 11 percent have their devices in the room but out of reach.
- 19 percent park them in another room.
- At least 36 percent say they wake up at least once a night to check their devices.
- 32 percent check their devices within five minutes of waking up.

Parents have a similar pattern, with 62 percent keeping technology within easy reach overnight,
but only 12 percent have smartphones or tablets with them in bed.

This flies in the face of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that
bedrooms should be a “tech-free zone,” and the National Sleep Foundation’s suggestion that
we should have a “digital curfew” at least 30 minutes before bedtime. For teens, ignoring these
guidelines means that many are grumpy and unfocused during the day in school. “Prioritizing
checking their phone over sleep, that is like the worst thing they could actually do,” says
Alaska middle-school principal Jethro Jones. He’s working on getting students to agree to turn
off their phones a half hour before bedtime and not checking them in the morning until they’ve
been up for 30 minutes. In his own house, the adults and four children all put their phones in a
charging station in the kitchen overnight.

“Many Teens Sleep With Digital Devices, Report Finds. Is That Why They Are So Cranky?”
by Alyson Klein in Education Week, May 29, 2019, https://bit.ly/2XmBWK4