Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

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By Sarah Gonser, Edutopia (from August 14, 2020)
The transition to middle school is a high-stakes shift for many young teens. It comes at a time when they're experiencing brisk cognitive growth as neural pathways associated with social connections and identity kick into high gear, making them more sensitive to how others perceive them and how, in turn, they interact with their peers. Indeed, belonging to a peer group is a deep-seated need—comparable to the need for food, according to some studies—just as kids arrive at their new middle schools. When that transition isn't sufficiently supported by thoughtfully developed and consistent strategies that address kids' anxieties and ease their fears about fitting in, the research shows that kids suffer both socially and academically, and their risk of dropping out only a few years later, when they reach high school, increases dramatically.
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By Tara Haelle, Medium (from August 17, 2020)
It was the end of the world as we knew it, and I felt fine. That's almost exactly what I told my psychiatrist at my March 16 appointment, a few days after our children's school district extended spring break because of the coronavirus. I said the same at my April 27 appointment, several weeks after our state's stay-at-home order.
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By Carla Silver, The Unspeakables Project
This month in the Unspeakables Project we are talking about fear and all of the ways we try to avoid it or pretend it doesn't exist Last week we heard from Ryan Burke as he explained fear and how we often want to push it away, hide from it, and protect others from it, when, in reality, fear is just a human emotion that we all experience. Ryan wrote about "Capital F" Fear and "Little f" fear and how these two types of fear are experienced both physiologically and psychologically. If you have not yet explored that article, give it a read before delving into this week's issue.
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By Jennifer Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy (from August 16, 2020)
If you're reading this in August of 2020, you're most likely in the midst of juggling a hundred different things right now. You're managing all the messy details of starting a new school year under constantly changing circumstances. You're scrambling for resources. You're debating the pros and cons of various reopening scenarios. You're wondering how any of this can possibly be accomplished, and deep inside you're pretty sure it can't.
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By Frank Bruni, The New York Times (from September 5, 2020)
In the context of a pandemic that has killed about 190,000 Americans and economically devastated many millions more, getting into the college of your dreams is a boutique concern. But for many teenagers who have organized their school years around that goal, it's everything.
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By Eliza Shapiro, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio & Shawn Hubler, The New York Times (from August 1, 2020)
One of the first school districts in the country to reopen its doors during the coronavirus pandemic did not even make it a day before being forced to grapple with the issue facing every system actively trying to get students into classrooms: What happens when someone comes to school infected?
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By Pooja Lakshmin, The New York Times (from July 29, 2020)
A combination of dread, panic and sheer exhaustion. This is what I see on the faces of patients (and friends and colleagues) when the conversation turns to the most pressing topic on every parent's mind: what to do about school in the fall.
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By Sarah Darville, The New York Times (from July 23, 2020)
Of all the American institutions the pandemic has shut down, none face pressure to reopen quite like schools do. Pediatricians exhort schools to open their doors wherever possible or risk developmental harm to kids. Working parents, particularly mothers, are in crisis, worried about having to leave the work force altogether in the absence of a place to send their young children each day. And President Trump is campaigning for schools to reopen, threatening to withhold funding if they don't.
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By Josh Michaud, & Jennifer Kates, KFF (from July 29, 2020)
Policymakers in the United States are struggling to decide whether and how to reopen schools and daycares, at the same time that parents and caregivers are trying to weigh the risks and benefits of different approaches to schooling for their children. Indeed, our latest national poll found that most parents are worried about their child or a family member, as well as teachers and staff, getting sick from coronavirus if schools reopen and think it is better to wait.
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By Emily Oster , The New York Times (from July 28, 2020)
The logistics of reopening schools are daunting. Plans are full of details about which days kids will be eligible for, and pages and pages on preventing students and staffs from getting sick. What kind of limits will be placed on class sizes? What kind of cleaning? Will there be symptom checks or temperature screens? Masks for everyone or just adults?
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By Ann V. Klotz (from July 30, 2020)
When my children were young, they delighted in singing Lamb Chop's "This is the song that never ends; it goes on and on, my friends..." to torment me. I would put my hands over my ears, crying, "La,la,la, la, la" until they stopped. I loved Lamb Chop. I hated that song.
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By Michael B. Horn, The Future of Education (from June 14, 2020)
As the United States closes the books on a turbulent end to the 2019-20 school year, many are breathing a sigh of relief—and realizing that that breath won't last long. Educators, parents, and policymakers alike are asking big questions beyond what will families do without summer camp. What will school look like in the fall? What should it look like?
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By Madeline Will, Education Week (from June 10, 2020)
Classrooms. Hallways. Buses. Schedules. Extracurriculars. Every facet of the school day will have to be fundamentally altered when students eventually return to school. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, school leaders must ensure social distancing—limiting group sizes, keeping students six feet apart, restricting non-essential visitors, and closing communal spaces. Those measures run counter to how schools usually operate, with teachers and students working together in close quarters, children socializing throughout the day, and the buildings serving as a community gathering space.
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By Dena Simmons, ASCD InService (from June 5, 2020)
During my school years, I learned about white scholars, white inventors, white ideas, and white theories. I did not read a book about a writer of color until I was in high school, and even then, it was not a part of the official curriculum. I was expected to find myself in narratives of enslaved Africans, of the three civil rights leaders I learned about each year, and of Black struggle. I did not see myself reflected in the clear faces with blonde hair and blue eyes that I read about or saw in magazines and on television. I became convinced that ingenuity could only live within whiteness.
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