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Mrs. Pat Reed, Assistant Principal

Hello! My name is Mrs. Reed.  I am the assistant principal.   I handle all academic and behavior issues, and work with our teachers on curriculum development.  I also will be providing online instruction for our junior high students.  I'm looking forward to an exciting year as our sixth graders join our junior high students as part of the 1:1 Chromebook Program.

I am a graduate of St. Bernadette, Mother McAuley, and Illinois State University, graduating with a BS in Finance.  I also have an MBA from St. Xavier University.   I worked in the business world for several years before entering the field of education.  As part of this transition, I also earned an MS in Education through the University of Illinois.  My graduate focus is in Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Reform. 

I have been working in education for many years, and have experience at both the college and high school level.  This is my 23rd year at St. John Fisher.  I have worked in various capacities here, including technology teacher, junior high math teacher, and assistant principal.

I am a parishioner at St. John Fisher and my three adult children graduated from SJF. This year, I will also have a grandson in our preschool.  Outside of school, I enjoy travel and gardening. I'm looking forward to partnering with our school parents in providing an exemplary education to each of our students.

Gaming

Posted on Mar 04, 2019

In recent years, the controversial topic of children spending time on video games has been researched and written about, with many potential side effects discussed including health and academic issues, exposure to inappropriate content, antisocial or overly aggressive behavior, and video game addiction.  

Recently, our junior high students were surveyed to gain a better understanding of their video game use.

Below are the results of the surveys; some interesting findings to be sure!
 

Results of 7th Grade Boys’ Survey

Results of 7th Grade Girls’ Survey

Results of 8th Grade Boys’ Survey

Results of 8th Grade Girls’ Survey

This week, students will be analyzing the results of the survey to come up with some research-based conclusions of their own.

Digital Footprint

Posted on Feb 20, 2019

The junior high students have been learning about digital footprints over the last few weeks.  You’ve probably heard the term “digital footprint.”  Everyone who uses technology has one.  A digital footprint is basically little specs of information about you that are left behind on the web, when a person surfs, searches, or posts, or even when other people post about you.  This information can be in text, image or video format.  This information develops into an “online reputation” or “digital footprint.”

The kids have learned that it's definitely o.k. to have a digital footprint, but you need to monitor your online activity closely to make sure yours is a good one.

These videos explain more.

Every Time You Go Online

Live My Digital for Students

These articles are also good resources that students read and discussed.

Will Your Posts Come Back to Haunt You

Eugene Ashley High School on Digital Footprints

The importance of a good digital footprint cannot be underestimated.  Colleges and businesses now explore social media to determine acceptances, scholarships and job offers.  Please help your children maintain a positive reputation online!

Me, My Selfie and I

Posted on Jan 23, 2019

Adults are often astounded by the self-confidence of teens and young adults, continually taking and posting selfies on all sorts of social media.   I am “friends with” a fair number of young nieces and nephews who routinely have the confidence to post a selfie at any time of the day or night, with our without makeup, with friends or alone.  I must say, I am at times awed by this confidence and wishful that my young self had had a bit of it.  There is quite a bit published about the perhaps narcissistic attitudes of today’s youth, demonstrated by the multitudes of selfies published on social media each day.  Since the dawn of the selfie (2013), nearly 70 studies have been published on this very topic.  Much of the research studies the relationship between personality and the posting of selfies.  Read more here.  

For the pre-selfie generation, teens formed an identity and individuality through hairstyles, clothing, music choices and who they called peers. Preteens and teens had a voice that they used speaking to friends, writing and sharing notes and letters, and writing in a diary or journal. 

Communication has certainly changed.  Everyone has an instant online audience (if they choose to use it).

Is posting a selfie an act of narcissism?  What does it take to post a selfie?  Well, it certainly takes a bit of bravery.  You are definitely putting yourself out there.  - "Needless to say, the intense stress and anxiety that come along with posting a selfie is almost enough to scare me away from selfies all together." Maria Fischer has a humorous but very truthful take on the selfie.  Read more here. 

Much of the recent research indicates that taking selfies is a very normal teen form of self-expression; a way to form one’s own identity.  See the research results here.  

Our junior high students recently explored this topic in depth.  I was impressed with their thoughtful dialogue.  The group as a whole said that selfies were just a lot of fun, and not narcissistic at all.  Some discussed other concerns, though. 

One 7th grade explained, “ I don't think it's the selfie itself that causes narcissism, but how the power can rush to your head when the flow of likes rolls in like a wave. Then, if you're lucky and popular enough, the comments:  Dozens of, "Gorgeous!!!" "Wow, I love your hair," "So pretty!"  If that doesn't make you want to post another selfie, well, I don't think you've ever posted one before. However, there can also be great anxiety when posting a picture of yourself; you can suddenly feel more vulnerable. And that can be an even bigger problem than narcissism.”

Middle School and the Speed of Technology Change

Posted on Nov 28, 2018

I continued to be "wowed" by the interesting and thoughtful feedback the students provide in our online course.  The junior high students are reading the article below in two parts.  This week they are reading the 2008 portion, and predicting what would be different if this happened in 2018.  They are spot on!  Next week they will read the 2018 version.

I was very pleased that a few mentioned that this would never happen at SJF.  One 7th grader wrote, "In the year 2018 the eighth graders probably would clean up the mess so a student would not fall because I feel like the eighth graders are very nice and to the seven graders.”

Another 7th grader said, “If this were to have happened today, then I think it would be a lot less embarrassing. I think that we have very nice eighth graders. . . What the 8th grader would do in this situation is help the kid up and clean up the mess. Also they would probably ask if the person who fell was okay.”

I’m so happy to hear how highly the seventh graders view the eighth graders!

This article provides a very interesting take on middle school and social media over time.

Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take
by Benjamin Conlon, 11/14/18

Let’s imagine a seventh grader. He’s a quiet kid, polite, with a few friends. Just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill twelve-year-old. We’ll call him Brian. Brian’s halfway through seventh grade and for the first time, he’s starting to wonder where he falls in the social hierarchy at school. He’s thinking about his clothes a little bit, his shoes too. He’s conscious of how others perceive him, but he’s not that conscious of it. 

He goes home each day and from the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 a.m., he has a break from the social pressures of middle school. Most evenings, he doesn’t have a care in the world. The year is 2008. 

Brian has a cell phone, but it’s off most of the time. After all, it doesn’t do much. If friends want to get in touch, they call the house. The only time large groups of seventh graders come together is at school dances. If Brian feels uncomfortable with that, he can skip the dance. He can talk to teachers about day-to-day problems. Teachers have pretty good control over what happens at school.

Now, let’s imagine Brian on a typical weekday. He goes downstairs and has breakfast with his family. His mom is already at work, but his dad and sisters are there. They talk to each other over bowls of cereal. The kids head off to school soon after. Brian has a fine morning in his seventh grade classroom and walks down to the lunchroom at precisely 12 p.m.

There’s a slick of water on the tiled floor near the fountain at the back of the cafeteria. A few eighth graders know about it, and they’re laughing as yet another student slips and tumbles to the ground.

Brian buys a grilled cheese sandwich. It comes with tomato soup that no one ever eats. He polishes off the sandwich and heads to the nearest trashcan to dump the soup. When his sneakers hit the water slick, he slips just like the others. The tomato soup goes up in the air and comes down on his lap. 

Nearby, at the table of eighth graders, a boy named Mark laughs. He laughs at Brian the same way the boys around him laugh at Brian. They laugh because they’re older, and they know something the younger kids don’t. They laugh at the slapstick nature of the fall. The spilled tomato soup is a bonus. The fall is a misfortune for Brian. That’s all. It’s not an asset for Mark. A few kids hear the laughter and look over, but Brian gets up quickly and rushes off to the bathroom to change into his gym shorts.

Mark tries to retell the story to a friend later. The friend doesn’t really get it because he wasn’t there. He can’t picture it. In fact, Mark seems a little mean for laughing at all.

After lunch, Brian returns to homeroom in his gym shorts. No one seems to notice the change. He breathes a sigh of relief. The cafeteria fall is behind him. He meets his sisters at the end of the day and they ask why he’s wearing gym shorts. He tells them he spilled some tomato sauce on his pants. They head home and spend the afternoon and evening together, safe and sound, home life completely separate from school life. Brian doesn’t think about the incident again. Only a few people saw it. It’s over. 

Now, let’s imagine Brian again. Same kid. Same family. Same school. He’s still in seventh grade, but this time it’s 2018. 

When Brian sits down for breakfast, his dad is answering an email at the table. His older sister is texting, and his younger sister is playing a video game. Brian has an iPhone too. He takes it out and opens the Instagram app. The Brian from 2008 was wondering about his position in the social hierarchy. The Brian from 2018 knows. He can see it right there on the screen. He has fewer ‘followers’ than the other kids in his grade. That’s a problem. He wants to ask his father what to do, but there’s that email to be written. Instead, Brian thinks about it all morning at school. While his teacher talks, he slips his phone out and checks to see how many ‘followers’ the other kids in class have. The answer doesn’t help his confidence. At precisely 12 p.m., he heads to the cafeteria. He buys a grilled cheese. It comes with tomato soup that no one ever eats. 

At the back of the lunchroom, Mark sits with the other eighth graders. He holds a shiny new iPhone in one hand. Mark has had an iPhone for five years. He’s got all the apps. Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. He’s got lots of followers too. He doesn’t know all of them, but that’s okay.

 A few years ago, Mark made his first Instagram post. It was a picture of his remote control car. Mark used to really enjoy remote control cars. Mark checked Instagram an hour after putting up that first picture. A bright red dot showed at the bottom of the page. He clicked it. Someone had ‘liked’ the picture of the car. Mark felt validated. It was good that he posted the picture. A little bit of dopamine was released into Mark’s brain. He checked the picture an hour later. Sure enough, another ‘like’. More dopamine. He felt even better. 

For a while, pictures of the remote control car were sufficient. They generated enough ‘likes’ to keep Mark happy. He no longer got much joy from actually driving the remote control car, but he got plenty from seeing those ‘likes’ pile up. 

Then something started to happen. The ‘likes’ stopped coming in. People didn’t seem interested in the pictures of the car anymore. This made Mark unhappy. He missed the ‘likes’ and the dopamine that came with them. He needed them back. He needed more exciting pictures, because exciting pictures would bring more views and more ‘likes’. So, he decided to drive his car right out into the middle of the road. He had his little brother film the whole thing. He filmed the remote control car as it got flattened by a passing truck. Mark didn’t bother to collect it. He just grabbed his phone and posted the video. It was only a few minutes before the ‘likes’ started coming in. He felt better. 

Now it’s eighth grade and Mark has become addicted to social media.  Sure, he needs a lot more ‘likes’ to get the same feeling, but that’s okay. That just means he needs more content. Good content. Content no one else has. That’s the kind that gets a lot of ‘likes’, really, really fast. Mark has learned the best content comes from filming and posting the embarrassing experiences of classmates. 

When he notices that water slick at the back of the cafeteria, he’s ready.  Each time someone walks by and falls, their misfortune becomes an asset for Mark. A part of Mark wants them to fall. He hopes they fall.

Brian walks across the cafeteria with his soup, minding his own business. Suddenly, his feet slide out from under him. The tomato soup goes up in the air and comes down on his lap. He’s so embarrassed, that when he stands up and rushes off to the bathroom, he doesn’t notice Mark filming.

Mark’s fingers race over his iPhone screen before Brian is out of sight. That was a great video he just took, and he wants to get it online. Fast. He knows he’s not supposed to have his cell phone out in school, but the teachers really only enforce that rule during class. They all use Twitter and Instagram too. They understand. 

Mark doesn’t know who he just filmed, and he doesn’t care. It’s not his fault the kid fell on the floor. He’s just the messenger. The video is a kind of public service announcement. He’s just warning everyone else about the water spot in the cafeteria. That’s what Mark tells himself.

He gets the video uploaded to Snapchat first. No time for a caption. It speaks for itself. He has it up on Instagram seconds later. By then, the ‘likes’ are already coming in. Dopamine floods into Mark’s brain. There’s a comment on Instagram already! “What a loser!” it says. Mark gives the comment a ‘like’. Best to keep the audience happy. 

This has been a rewarding lunch. The bell’s going to ring in a few minutes. Mark sits back and refreshes his screen again and again and again until it does.

Meanwhile, Brian heads back from the bathroom, having changed into his gym shorts. He’s still embarrassed about the fall. It happened near the back of the cafeteria, though. He doesn’t think many people saw. He hopes they didn’t. But when he walks into the classroom, a lot of people look at him. One girl holds her phone up at an odd angle. Is she…taking a picture? The phone comes down quickly and she starts typing, so he can’t be sure. 

Class begins. Brian is confused because people keep slipping their phones out and glancing back at him. He asks to go to the bathroom. Inside a stall, he opens Instagram. There he is on the screen, covered in tomato sauce. How could this be? Who filmed this? Below the video, a new picture has just appeared. It’s him in his gym shorts. The caption reads, “Outfit change!”

Brian scrolls frantically through the feed trying to find the source of the video. He can’t. It’s been shared and reshared too many times. He notices his follower count has dropped. He doesn’t want to go to class. He just wants it to stop. 

He meets his sisters outside at the end of the day. Several students snap pictures as he walks by. Neither sister says a word. Brian knows why. 

Home was a safe place for Brian in 2008. Whatever happened in school, stayed in school. Not now. Brian arrives at his house, heart thundering, and heads straight to his bedroom. He’s supposed to be doing homework, but he can’t concentrate. Alone in the dark, he refreshes his iPhone again and again and again and again.

Brian’s family is having his favorite dish for dinner, but he doesn’t care. He wants it to be over so he can get back to his phone. Twice, he goes to the bathroom to check Instagram. His parents don’t mind, they’re checking their own phones.

Brian discovers that two new versions of the video have been released. One is set to music and the other has a nasty narration. Both have lots of comments. He doesn’t know how to fight back, so he just watches as the view counts rise higher and higher. His own follower count, his friend count, keeps going in the opposite direction. Brian doesn’t want to be part of this. He doesn’t like this kind of thing. He can’t skip it though. It’s not like the dance. And he can’t tell a teacher. This isn’t happening at school.

He stays up all night refreshing the feed, hoping the rising view count will start to slow. Mark is doing the same thing at the other side of town. He has lots of new followers. This is his best video ever. 

At 3 a.m., they both turn off their lights and stare up at their respective ceilings. Mark smiles. He hopes tomorrow something even more embarrassing happens to a different kid. Then he can film that and get even more ‘likes’. Across town, Brian isn’t smiling, but sadly, he’s hoping for exactly the same thing. 

From the Author

I started teaching in 2009. At that time, public school was very much the way I remembered it. That’s not the case anymore. Smartphones and social media have transformed students into creatures craving one thing: content. It’s a sad state of affairs. 

But there’s hope. 

Over the last few years, my students have become increasingly interested in stories from the days before smartphones and social media. In the same way many adults look back fondly on simpler times, kids look back to second and third grade, when no one had a phone. I think a lot of them already miss those days. 

Smartphones and social media aren’t going anywhere. Both are powerful tools, with many benefits. But they have fundamentally altered how children interact with the world and not in a good way. We can change that. In addition to the “Wait Until 8th” pledge, consider taking the following steps to help your children reclaim childhood.

  1. Propose that administrators and teachers stop using social media for school related purposes. In many districts teachers are encouraged to employ Twitter and Instagram for classroom updates. This is a bad thing. It normalizes the process of posting content without consent and teaches children that everything exciting is best viewed through a recording iPhone. It also reinforces the notion that ‘likes’ determine value. Rather than reading tweets from your child’s teacher, talk to your children each day. Ask what’s going on in school. They’ll appreciate it.
  2. Insist that technology education include a unit on phone etiquette, the dark sides of social media and the long-term ramifications of posting online. Make sure students hear from individuals who have unwittingly and unwillingly been turned into viral videos.   
  3. Tell your children stories from your own childhood. Point out how few of them could have happened if smartphones had been around. Remind your children that they will some day grow up and want stories of their own. An afternoon spent online doesn’t make for very good one.
  4. Teach your children that boredom is important. They should be bored. Leonardo Da Vinci was bored. So was Einstein. Boredom breeds creativity and new ideas and experiences. Cherish boredom. 
  5. Remind them that, as the saying goes, adventures don’t come calling like unexpected cousins. They have to be found. Tell them to go outside and explore the real world. Childhood is fleeting. It shouldn’t be spent staring at a screen.

 

 

Compare and Despair and Fear of Missing Out

Posted on Nov 18, 2018

Social media continually updates users on the lives of friends, family and even total strangers.  Often, when scrolling through the glamorous, well-traveled, full-of-friends-and-family lives of others, it's easy to start feeling that your own life doesn't measure up.  EVERYONE seems so beautiful, so popular, so successful. Read here about the impact social media is having in this regard.  Perils of Perfection:   Social Media is Ramping Up the Pressure on Young People to Look Flawless.  As an adult who spends less than hour a week on Facebook, I can acknowledge and understand the feeling.  Wow, her children are so smart; they got accepted to such prestigious colleges!  Look at them, off on a beach celebrating 30 years of wedded bliss, and still looking so in love!  Another promotion?  Another grandchild?  Another fabulous vacation?  Another summer home?  Yikes!  It's no wonder children and teens, who spend countless hours on social media and are also in the least confident years of their lives, suffer from "compare and despair" as well as the highest rate of teen anxiety and depression ever seen.  

Also experienced by teens (and adults) as a result of social media is "FOMO," internet slang for "fear of missing out."  "Fear of Missing Out" is anxiety caused by knowing or believing that an exciting event is happening elsewhere, and you are not a part of it.  This is not new ... it's just been exacerbated by social media.  TIME Magazine recently reported on Why Instagram is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health.  

The anxiety resulting from Compare and Despair and FOMO causes stress way out of proportion to the issue at hand.  It can also cause physical symptoms such as sleeplessness, sweating, trembling, and heart palpitations ... this is not good!  

The above issues were a topic for a recent discussion in our junior high online course.  The insight of the students was pretty impressive.  One student wrote:

          I have been left out several times in my life and though it felt bad, I never knew there could be serious consequences for it. Sleeplessness, sweating, trembling, and heart palpitations are ridiculous. Especially when they are caused from feeling left out. I feel that if someone asks you to hang out, just say yes! No need to say "Oh, I'm busy I can't" or "Sorry, my mom said no". Unless you really can't just say sure! Causing someone to be severely stressed out just because you don't really feel like hanging out with them isn't okay. Even if you don't like them, just say yes and hang out with them for an hour or so. It really isn't that big of a deal. Out of the average 1,730,100 hours you are alive for, I'm sure sparing one wouldn't be that big of a deal. 

          Me and my friends are in fact affected by FOMO. Say one friend was hanging out with a mutual friend from a different school and you wanted to hang out with them too, why not just say yes? If you're friends with both of them, why not just have even more people. After all, the more the merrier. It doesn't feel good to be left out. Hanging out with friends is fun, and someone denying you to have fun with them is definitely heart-breaking. Especially if you know they are hanging out with someone.

          Stopping FOMO is one of the easiest things to do. Just say "Yes!" It really isn't that hard. Causing someone to have heart palpitations because of the fact that you don't want to hang out with them is horrible. Stop the heart palpitations and make more relations! Stop the trembling and start assembling! Forget the sweat, FOMO isn't worth the fret.

Another said this:

I think this issue is a terrible struggle that teenagers and young adults have to deal with. Social media is a fairly new concept, so the long-term effects are yet to be fully discovered. As more young people are harmed by these new technological advances, psychologists and researchers are realizing how social media hurts them. Having to deal with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and other consequences are what young people are forced to deal with everyday because of how addicting phones are and how little we truly know about the long-terms effects. Also, the mounting pressure and stress of getting good grades, being accepted into a good school, and getting a respectable job is more weight to lay on the shoulders of teenagers and young adults, which can be significantly intensified by the pressures to look perfect that come from Instagram and other social media platforms.

I feel like my friends and I are considerably affected by Compare and Despair and FOMO without even realizing it. I have noticed that my friends and I often talk about the lack of sleep we get, how stressed we are about grades, how we feel like we never get any time to ourselves because of overloaded schedules, and we often make self-deprecating jokes. Even as a person without social media, I feel like everyone around me (myself included) are constantly comparing ourselves to others, whether it is academically or physically. According to the articles we read, this can lead to many mental health issues, which can possibly lead to a person even taking his or her own life. I think one direct affect of FOMO is indecision. Many times in my life I have felt conflicted and unable to make a decision about whether to do or get something just because other people are, even if I know I really don't want to. I believe that people my age are much to young to be dealing with these issues, but I have also noticed that kids in many grades below me are experiencing the same troubles.

I feel like a way to make life easier for myself and others isn't necessarily to just unplug from our devices. I don't think that limiting the time we spend with technology will do much, or any, good if we don't make our phones a safe environment to be in. Only have contacts and social media followers who are good friends of yours that you don't feel the need to compare yourself with and who make you feel good about yourself just for living your life in the most healthy way possible. We are constantly taught as young children to only surround yourself with positive influences and good people in order to achieve success, so why not do the same on your phones and on social media?

Clearly these issues are more than just a psychologist’s research; they are in fact very real to our students as evidenced by the posts above and many others.  These are not new issues, but they have certainly been exacerbated by easy access to social media.

Sarahah

Posted on Oct 31, 2018


I had never heard of this app until last year.  We had a big issue with Instagram at the time.  After sending an email to the parents pleading with them to not allow their under-13-year-olds to use Instagram, a parent came to me about Sarahah.  She told me that other students were sending mean anonymous messages to her son using this app.  She had read the messages on her son's phone and was horrified, and immediately removed the app.

I had to do some research to learn more about it.  There isn't much published.  What I found is this.  Saharah is an app available in both the Google Play store and the App Store.  On the Sarahah website, you will learn that Sarahah means "honesty" in Arabic.  "Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner. "  aka bullying.

After doing a little more digging, I found pleas from parents begging Apple and Google to remove these apps that are providing a means for hateful children to anonymously torture other children.  There is even a petition that you can sign to ban apps like Sarahah.  This Queensland mom is responsible.  Click to see why.

Watch this video to see how Sarahah works.  You will see that it syncs with Snapchat and Instagram.

https://youtu.be/Q4UGsBAepMI

It's hard to believe people/children would share their Saharah link with others inviting criticism/bullying!

This video describes the dangers of Sarahah.

https://youtu.be/Q4UGsBAepMI

Read here about Australian teenager Dolly Everett and her suicide after been bullied on Sarahah.

Please ... check your kids' phones, and delete Sarahah!

 

Haters and their Victims

Posted on Oct 19, 2018

Cyberbullying.  I never would have guessed at the frequency that I would be dealing with this in an elementary school.  I'm sure the 5-6 times/year that a cyberbullying situation is brought to my attention at school is only a small sampling of the frequency that it is actually occurring.

What's different from years past:  Sadly, bullying can now happen 24/7, and children can find no sanctuary, not even in their own homes.

How it goes ... Mrs. A comes to school with her child's phone, and shows you all the hateful messages her child has received, either via text or any of the apps or Snapchat, Instagram, or some other app.  Mrs. B. comes in and tells you how a classmate has created a screen name within an app that is very close to her son's name, and that hateful and disgusting messages were sent out under that name, destroying the reputation of her son.  Mrs. C. comes in with pictures that have been posted on social media.  A picture of her daughter with a body parts drawn on, or embellished with hateful words.  The list and scenarios go on and on.

There is an interesting parallel between the bullying and cyberbullying situations to the animal kingdom.   I often compare children/teens to the animal kingdom.  A pack of wolf pups all knocking one another down, struggling for position within the pack ... this is a sight that can be seen at the zoo or on Youtube.  These animals are much like some of our students .. they think they can move themselves up in the social ranking by knocking someone else down.  But, I’m telling you, WE ARE NOT ANIMALS so acting human and humane is essential.

Dan Olweus, Ph.D of the Research Centre for Health Promotion, University of Bergen, Norway, is considered the "founding father" of research on bullying. He would disagree with my thoughts in the prior paragraph.  His research indicates that, contrary to popular belief (that bullies are individuals plagued by self-esteem issues who need to pick on others to feel good) bullies:

 

  • Have a strong need to dominate and subdue other students and to get their own way
  • Are impulsive and are easily angered
  • Are often defiant and aggressive toward adults, including parents and teachers
  • Show little empathy toward students who are victimized
  • Are physically stronger (this applies to boys)

 

Dr. Dorothy L. Espelage, associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is also an authority on bullying.  She observes,  “We used to think that bullies were social outcasts with such low self-esteem that they needed to pick on others to feel good about themselves. But in fact bullies are just as likely to be the popular kids, admired by peers and teachers, especially if they're attractive and athletic."

There are many anti-bullying programs in place, including guest speakers, subscription online programs, and more.  We have done these for our students in prior years and will do it again in just a few weeks.  However, nothing seems to make a difference.  At a certain age (junior high in this case) it's ok to talk about the serious consequences for some children who are bullied.  

Ryan Halligan's suicide occurred quite some time ago, but it was among the first to result from cyberbullying that was widely publicized here in the states:

Click here for the video.

Research also indicates that teen suicide is way up since smartphones:  

Click here for the video.

This video discusses "Bullicide" - Teens and sometimes even younger children, committing suicide as a result of being bullied.

Click here for the video.

The statistics on cyberbullying are staggering.  HALF of all adolescents and teens have been cyberbullied, and HALF have also been the cyberbully.  

So what will we do?  It's in the students' hands at this point.  We will continue the education, and continue to deal with individual situations, but until students themselves STAND UP against bullying/cyberbullying, the problem won't be solved.  Can we make SJF a bully free zone, and protect all of our students from bullying and cyberbullying?  Let's encourage these students to make it happen.

Predators and Prey

Posted on Oct 10, 2018

I often find myself struggling with what our kids have to face every day.  Last year, we spent the last two weeks practicing lock downs and updating our crisis plan following the Valentine's Day Florida School shooting.

This week I will share information with you about online predators.

So what is an online predator?  In the animal kingdom, a predator is an animal that hunts and kills (usually for food) a smaller or weaker animal (prey).  In the human kingdom, an online predator uses the Internet or social media to “hunt” or to find smaller, weaker, younger individuals (prey) with the intent of in-person harm, abuse, or abduction (kidnapping).

About the predator:

  • Most are male.
  • Most are married with children.
  • Most are not scary-looking.
  • Most have good jobs.
  • Half went to college.
  • Most have a religious affiliation.
  • Most are heterosexual.
  • 90% of child molesters target their own family members or children they know.  
  • Child molesters are about twice as likely to target a girl than a boy.
  • In 100% of cases, the victims have gone willingly to meet with the predators.

Some of the tactics used by predators "grooming" potential targets are as follows:

  • Develop trust and secrecy: manipulate child by listening to and sympathizing with child’s problems and insecurities
  • Affirm feelings and choices of child
  • Develop an online relationship that is romantic, controlling, and upon which the child becomes dependent
  • Drive a wedge between the child and his or her parents and friends
  • Make promises of an exciting, stress-free life, tailored to the youth’s desire

Please watch this video.

Your junior high children are learning how to keep themselves safe online.  Regular conversations about the risks will help avoid dangerous situations.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Snapchat

Posted on Oct 01, 2018

Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About Snapchat

Snapchat is a social networking app in which the user can take photos or video, enhance with filters and other icons and graphics and captions, and send to online friends.  Snaps can be viewed once and then they're gone (though there is an option to post your snap to your "story" which stays available for 24 hours.)  Like Instagram, Snapchat has a minimum age of 13.  

There are variety of concerns in regard to children using Snapchat.  First, there is a "discover" section in which you can view high profile snaps, many of which are of inappropriate content.  Second, parents cannot easily monitor their child's snapchat activity as the content is here and gone so quickly.  It is possible for the receiver of a snap to screenshot the snap (though the sender would be notified) or to take a picture of the snap with another device.

Because of the "here and gone" nature of Snapchat, it is also a favorite for sexting.  

Here is an overview of how Snapchat works:

https://youtu.be/lD_k8ih--QU

Snapchat also has a geotagging feature, which is a favorite for online predators.  Read more here, and watch the video below.  Fortunately users need to "opt in" to activate this feature, so it is essential that children and teens don't opt in.

https://youtu.be/4Q-gjHtttGQ

Snapchat is also used to bully.  Please read Bullying Game on Snapchat.  Snapchat fuels the increase in teen suicide, leaving no evidence for police of the messages sent.  Sam Abel was one recent victim.  

You may have heard the Knudson Story.  This is a story of a black girl adopted into a white family, the hate she experienced on Snapchat, and how her dad fought back.  

https://youtu.be/z_snmzVJ5hc

Advice for students/parents:

  • If the child is under 13, he/she is not old enough to use Snapchat.
  • For children 13 and above, if parents allow Snapchat, it needs to be closely monitored by the parent.
  • Minors should have setting set to private using this guideline.
  • Minors should be reminded regularly that exchanging any nude or sexually explicit images is considered "distribution of pornography" which is a felony.  Sending or sharing sexually explicit or nude photos of a minor is a further crime of distribution of child pornography.
  • Younger users should be reminded regularly that the adult is aware of the bullying that occurs on Snapchat.  If it occurs, the child should immediately tell an adult.

There is no way to prevent teenagers from using the "discover" section, unfortunately.  

 

Choosing a High School

Posted on Sep 20, 2018

The process of selecting a high school from the many high-quality options requires time and thoughtful consideration. 

We will be hosting High School Options Days for our eighth graders on October 17 and November 1. Representatives of the various high schools will present and students will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Our area high schools also host open houses and other recruiting events during the fall (see below), and you are encouraged to attend with your child.  Many of the schools offer additional opportunities to students.

In order to best prepare your child for high school, we ask that you only schedule shadow days when St. John Fisher is not in session.  Upcoming student holidays are:

Monday, October 8, Wednesday, November 21, Friday, December 7

We appreciate your support in this matter.

Brother Rice 
http://brotherrice.org/admissionsforbr/events/

Open Houses, Sunday, October 14th and Sunday, November 4th, 11 AM – 1 PM, and Wednesday, November 28th, 7 PM

Academic Bowl, 10/13

8th Grade Math Contest, 11/3

Robotics Clinic, 11/10

Crusader Clash Olympic Night, 11/20

 

Marist High School,http://www.marist.net/admissions/open-house-events/

Open House, Sunday, October 28, 2018 – 11am to 2 pm

Meet Marist, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 & Friday, November 30, 2018 – 6:30 to 8pm
Marist's 1 Book, September 17-26. 
Marist
 6th-8th grade Christmas Stage production.Auditions are September 21 and 28, and rehearsals are Fridays from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The show is December 14. 
Fall Basketball Camp, October 7, 8, and 10 
Marist’s Athletic Department invites all grade school students to all of the RedHawks’ regular season home games for free. Schedules are available at
 www.marist.net.

 

Mother McAuley
https://www.mothermcauley.org/admissions/recruitment-events

Junior High Choir, Thursday, September 20 and every Thursday through April 4-5 p.m.
Junior High Art Workshop, Thursday, October 11, 3:30 – 5:30

Ghouls Night Out, Friday, October 19 Click here to register.
 

Mt. Carmel High School

Open Houses, 10/28 and 11/18
 

  • Shadow Day:  Monday, 10/8 (No school at SJF)
  • Prospective Moms Shadow Day, 10/25, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Baseball Clinic, Grades 6-8, 11/3, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  • Honors Program Preview, 11/7
  • Basketball Clinic, 6-8, November 11, 2018, 9-11 a.m.
  • Soccer Clinic, K-8, November 17, 9-12

St. Ignatius
http://www.ignatius.org/administrative/admissions/open-house/
Open House, Sunday, November 11, 2018 from noon – 3 p.m.

 

St. Laurence High School
http://www.stlaurence.com/prospective

Open House, Sunday, October 14 and Sunday, November 4 from 10 am to Noon
Personal Tour Nights, Wednesday, September 26, Thursday, October 18 and Wednesday, November 14 at 7 pm

St. Rita High School
Open House, October 21, 12-2
Basketball Shooting Clinic, October 26
3 on 3 Basketball Tournament and Volleyball Clinic, 10/27
Prospective Moms Shadow Day, 11/2
Honors Program Information Night, 11/7
11/11 – Open House

Chicago Public Schools
2019-2020 GoCPS application period for the Chicago Public Schools opens on October 1, 2018, and closes on December 14, 2018.

This document provides an overview of the Go-CPS Process-- Elementary School

Click here for Open Houses for Selective Enrollment High Schools

 

 

Student Comments on Social Media

Posted on Sep 16, 2018

Wow; our junior high students are very thoughtful and have quite a bit to say on this topic.  The online course is going so well; I really feel each student has a voice on some very important topics.

From Liza:

Social media has been proven many times by many different researchers to be dangerous to children and teens' mental and physical health. Many kids think of the number of likes and followers they get on social media as a form of validation. They believe that the more likes or comments they have, they better they are. This can lead to an increased risk of depression and even suicide. Many of the likes and followers children or teens have on their social media are from people they don't know. Getting likes stimulates the reward center of the brain in a similar way to drugs. Children and teens are constantly told at home and at school not to do drugs, but they are allowed to use apps that treat the brain in an alike way that drugs do. Social media can distract kids from going outside, spending time with friends and family, schoolwork, and even getting enough sleep. Even though social media is a way for children to stay in touch with people they do not get to see often, the negative aspects outweigh the good.

I do not use any social media myself. I do not feel the need to have any sort of social media. I think that if I want to know what is happening with a person during the day or if they wish to know what I am doing, I could talk to them in person or over the phone. Social media is a distraction, and very few features of it have been proven to be good for your brain or body. After reading this article, I feel more encouraged to remain without social media and spend less time on my phone.

From Kevin:  

In my opinion, I think the whole "likes" thing isn't good. It makes a gap between kids who get a lot of likes and have a lot of followers and the kids who don't. For example, one kid might not feel good about himself if he can't get as many likes as another kid. Like the article said, that kid who didn't get as many likes as the other kid might be at risk of depression. And for the kids who get a lot of likes? They will just get addicted to social media and a bunch of random people liked their picture. The positives of likes? There aren't any. In this situation there are way more negatives than positives in this situation. 

From Maggie:

I have never been a big fan of social media. I simply never understood the point of it. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't come with some perks. Such as, being able to find hundreds upon hundreds of people all with the same interests as you. It's oddly comforting when you first come across these people, whole communities sharing similar interests all appear online. Since I like art, I never would've thought it'd be true if you told me a few years ago that there were hundreds of people just like me online. I believe, due to exposure to more experienced artists on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, I have been able to better my artistic abilities without having to take expensive art classes. I learned from these people to become self taught, it's much easier to be your own boss. I believe, as long as monitored correctly, social media can be a safe haven for kids looking for people who think similarly to them.

However, not all people are interested in finding people who share similar interests that they do. Young people my age post not because they have something worthy of being shared, but because they want other people to see what they are doing. Sometimes things I see classmates post have no point whatsoever. However, I have to admit, I have fallen victim to this habit more times than once. But mostly it was just spur of the moment posting, however I quickly learned to stop and that no one cares. One thing that seems to go unnoticed by people is everyone have their own things going on in their lives. 

Sharing your thoughts and experiences can result in positive interactions. However, the opposite can also be true. Online posting can result in negative attention which can damage someone's self esteem. To combat this, you have to have a balance of online interactions, and interpersonal relationships. Negative feelings often happen online, and what we all need to remember is that we can always pull away from those experiences. That's what I thought to myself before I deleted Snapchat and Instagram from my phone until I was ready to come back.

 

Wow.

"Getting High" on Social Media

Posted on Sep 10, 2018

Our junior high students got off to a pretty good start with our online course.  We had a few technical difficulties, but I think they are all worked out now.  The kids have some new responsibilities this year compared to in previous years, and will have homework, assessments and letter grades in both technology and Spanish.

I've been very impressed with their thoughtful comments and ability to look at both sides of an issue and argue a point, most recently on screen time in our lesson, "Technology and the Brain."

I'm posting their next assignment a bit early today because of FisherFest coming up.  This assignment is due on Sunday, September 16th at midnight, but I'm hoping most finish early.    This assignment is called "Getting High on Social Media."

This will probably come as no surprise, but a recent study at UCLA looked at brains of teenagers and their response to "likes" within a social media platform similar to Instagram.  The study found that the "reward center" of the brain was stimulated by "likes" in ways similar to winning money or seeing loved ones.

Is this ok?  I find it worrisome.  First off, children and teens are highly motivated to gain the largest number of "followers" on social media as possible.  Because of this, I would guess that many of their followers are not in fact friends, family or even acquaintances.  Is this group of many strangers the group who can affirm your children's value?  This article also talks about social skills ... more on that later.

The article "Social Media v. Your Brain" reiterates the idea of social media likes and the resulting reward center brain activity.  But it goes further to talk about the addictive nature of social media and increased risk of depression and suicide among teens that are frequent users.  

We have to carefully look at ways to communicate to our children and teens an awareness of these complicated issues.

 

Instagram-Finstagram

Posted on Sep 04, 2018

I know many of our SJF parents are active Instragram users.  For those of you who are not, Instagram is a social networking tool utilized on a smart phone or other smart device.  It is designed for photo sharing to the public or privately to pre-approved followers.  You can "jazz up" your photos with cool filters and interesting captions.  Instagram has 800 million active users, with 500 million using it daily.  It is owned by Facebook and is the number one app used by teens.   There is a significant celebrity presence on Instagram.  

We had various instances involving Instragram with our fifth-eighth graders last year.  The two main issues were mean-spirited behavior and students accepting strangers to follow them.  Some informational emails to parents were pretty successful at reducing the number of incidences and the number of active users.

Our kids with new iPhones had recently (and for the most part innocently) created Instagram accounts and were actively seeking "followers."  This goal of increasing followers which is inherent in Instagram resulted in many students accepting strangers to follow them.  

You may not be aware of the age restrictions or the risk children place themselves in when they use Instagram. This app, with a minimum age of 13, is often used to solicit inappropriate photos, or bully or harass children.  It also provides immediate access to pornography, violence and hate.  Read more here about how disturbing Instagram is for 8-12 year olds.

As if that weren't enough, please click here to learn about how you give up your exact location and other elements of your privacy, which is a huge benefit for stalkers, pedophiles and burglars.

 We also have students creating “Finstagram” accounts, separate profiles kept secret from their parents and some viewers.   A "finsta" provides the user with a place to post "racier, more explicit, or controversial images" to a much smaller, specially-selected audience.  Read more here.  Watch the video below to see how children and teens are keeping their "finsta" accounts secret from their parents.

https://youtu.be/cJm4QUx71ys

A recent UK survey indicates that Instagram is very harmful to the mental health of teens.  There is a big emphasis toward young women and body-consciousness.  Instagram also allegedly results in loss of sleep, loss of self-esteem, and an overall sense of isolation.  Read more here.

So how can you keep your children safe from Instagram?

First – Don’t allow your children under 13 to use the app.

Second – If your child will be using Instagram at any age, please help your child:

  • Purge all unknowns from their followers list (ask - who is this person, and how do you know them?  If you don't get a solid answer, purge.)
  • Get rid of Geotags.  Watch the video below to learn how.

https://youtu.be/CAwxCjXkFnk

It take a village!

Technology and the Brain

Posted on Aug 25, 2018

For the past 23 years, I've been a big proponent of putting technology in the hands of students and teachers to improve teaching and learning.  I would certainly say it has transformed the classroom.  This week, I’m very pleased that we successfully rolled out chromebooks to our 6th-8th graders and had all the students in fifth-eighth join a Google Classroom for each of their teachers.  We will also be presenting Internet/Social Media Safety to our junior high students using an online presentation program, Moodle.  Our junior high students will participate in an online course for the first time ever.

The biggest improvement I've noticed in the move to instructional technology is the acquisition of higher order thinking skills.  In the past, the teacher delivered the content and the students, at least at the elementary level, were encouraged to commit that content to memory.  Now the "facts" are readily available to students on the web, and a greater focus is placed on processing that information.  Students are now also creators of content that can be easily shared with others.  The opportunities for collaboration and communication with the teacher and peers have increased dramatically due to Google Classroom/Suite and other networking tools.

Despite the many benefits, many teachers and parents have some reservations about "screen time."  My own particular concern is with our youngest students, and not necessarily about what happens in school.  Many of us have seen an ordinarily placid toddler turn into an enraged and screaming child when an iPhone or iPad is taken away. So there is an important question here ... what does technology do to the brain?  Researchers have been busy looking for the answer to that question.

The questions, along with explanations for the lack of good answers at this point, are described well in "What Touchscreen Technology Is Really Doing to Your Child's Brain." In addition to the issue of lack of proper sleep, technology (and other social factors, most likely) have a significant impact on the childhood obesity rate, children's exposure to the outdoors and sunlight, and harmful blue light.  But most importantly (in my opinion) is the effect on a child's ability to concentrate/focus for extended periods of time. Many teachers agree that lack of focus is one of the most troublesome issues in the classroom today.  The classroom teacher can never be as entertaining and fast-moving as the video game that is waiting at home.  This article also contends that extended amounts of screen time will result in a lower ability to think critically or creatively.

So I urge you, if you aren’t already, to take some time to monitor your child’s use of their devices, make sure they complete their homework, and have “real conversations” with yourself and other members of your family.  As reluctant as your child may be at first, I think your child will reap huge benefits over time.

Welcome

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

I'm looking forward to an exciting year!  There are many new faces among staff and students, and so much to look forward to.  

Over the summer, we had a language arts committee that worked hard to make significant changes and improvements to our reading and writing curriculum.  Be sure to check your child's teachers' blogs for more information.

We are also excited to be adding sixth grade to our 1:1 Chromebook initiative.  We will be distributing the devices to our 6th-8th grade students on the first few days of school.  Students will also participate in an orientation that will help them review Chromebook operation and school policies regarding the use of technology.  We will ask you to read and sign various documents.  

We are also pleased to add Spanish to our curriculum.  3rd-6th grade students will have Spanish once/week, and 7th-8th will have Spanish twice/week.  Because of this change in the specials schedule, junior high students will not have a computer class with me during the week.  However, they will participate in a year-long online course where they will be expected to read, answer questions and participate in online discussions.  The first trimester will focus on Internet/Social Media Safety.  I will be using my blog to provide important information to parents on a weekly basis, so please check back frequently!

As most of you know, I am also responsible for student academic and behavior issues.  I hope we have very few this year.  Please don't hesitate to email me at preed@sjfschool.net if you have questions about curriculum, technology, student issues of all kinds, and home/school communication.

I look forward to working with your children (and you!) in the coming year.

Happy Fall

Posted on Oct 23, 2017

Happy fall!  We’ve had a great start to the school year.  I’ve had the chance to visit some other schools recently, and none can compare to St. John Fisher.  We have the BEST KIDS and the BEST TEACHERS. 

We had very impressive gains on the ACT Aspire across all subjects, but especially in math and writing.  This year, the Archdiocese has asked us to work on our reading curriculum.  We have already had quite a few faculty meetings and grade level meetings, along with two after-school training sessions to work on this.  Everyone on our staff teaches reading in some capacity, and all are dedicated to helping our students succeed, with a focus this year on “Integrating Knowledge and Ideas,” which involves critical thinking, understanding different points of view, and interpreting information from multiple sources on similar topics or themes.

In junior high computer classes recently, we are focusing on improving our use of G-Suite, Google’s toolkit for education, as well as developing writing and math skills.  We just completed a unit on the “Persuasive-Argumentative” Essay; by far the most difficult, and the one that is most used in high school, college and work.  I was very impressed by how well the students listened, followed directions, and in general, took the project very seriously.   They’ve done a wonderful job.  In the months ahead, we will try similar essays in a timed format so students can practice “on-demand writing.”

All junior high students are also currently using Khan Academy.  I have assigned topics as review of previously taught content.  My reservations with the Common Core have to do with the pace of the math instruction.  I will provide as much additional practice as possible to make sure the students leave St. John Fisher with a strong math foundation. 

We will again be reviewing some Internet Safety topics, with a focus on cyberbullying and predators.  These are some mature topics, but we can’t spend enough time reminding the kids how to use the technology safety.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding curriculum and technology!

Welcome Back!

Posted on Aug 18, 2017

I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming school year.   I will be spending quite a bit of time working with students in grades 5-8 as we roll out another 30 Chromebooks to our fifth and sixth graders and continue our 1:1 Chromebook program with  the junior high students.

On Monday, August 21, we will distribute Chromebooks to junior high students.  They are expected to charge them overnight, and we will conduct a Chromebook orientation on Tuesday morning, August 22.  Students and parents will be asked to digitally sign agreement to our Responsible Use Policy.  Students will also have an assembly to discuss the Academic and Behavior Policy.

Fifth and sixth graders will meet on Tuesday to review our Academic and Behavior Policy and our new 5th and 6th grade Chromebook and iPad policy.

We will be discussing online safety in computer class during the first few weeks of school, and then move on to projects that support math and language arts.

Best wishes for a successful and happy school year!

May 8, 2017

Posted on May 08, 2017

The school year is speeding by!  Our last day of school is one month from today.

Junior high students wrapped up the Stock Market Game, and unfortunately, we didn't have a winner this year, though we did learn much and have fun.

We are finishing the year with "A Bucket List of Travel."  Students are researching beautiful and exotic places around the world, and constructing their own illustrated map using Google My Maps.  This is just one more of the amazing tools provided by Google, and of great benefit to us in school now that we have our Chromebooks and Google Accounts.

Happy May!

 

March 2, 2017

Posted on Mar 02, 2017

The junior high students have made much progress in the last few months in a few areas:

  • Construction of a Geometry Reference Book that includes terms, definitions, and illustrations.
  • Learning Javascript computer programming using Khan Academy's Introduction to Javascript.
  • Working cooperatively on a Stock Market Game team; effectively investing $100,000 on well-researched companies, monitoring the progress of each investment, and making strategic trades as warranted.
  • Working in pairs in a competitive game called "Earth-Picker" which utilizes Google Maps and Streetview.  Students land in a specific location on the globe and must do research to figure out precisely where they are.  Scores are based on number of meters from the actual location, and the goal is to have the lowest score.

In the coming weeks, 7th graders will work on a Geometry in Architecture project, and 8th graders will design a TIME Magazine cover in which they are featured 20 years in the future.

 

Hour of Code

Posted on Dec 01, 2016

Next week is "Hour of Code."  Hour of Code was established to acquaint students with computer coding.  We have been "celebrating" Hour of Code for four years now.  This year, we are definitely well beyond an hour of code.  We will be introducing and advancing our students in grades K-8 in computer coding over the course of the year, specifically using Javascript.  We will incorporate creativity and collaboration to help our students gain enthusiasm for this content area that has so much potential in their futures.

Our older students will use Khan Academy and our younger students will use Code.org to advanced their knowledge of computer programming.

 

September 28th

Posted on Sep 28, 2016

We are almost finished with our first full month of school, and we're off to a good start.

I'm greatly impressed by the responsibility demonstrated by the junior high students with their new Chromebooks.  We've had a few small issues (forgetting to charge the device, touchpads not working properly, etc.) but overall, this endeavor has gone extremely well!

The junior high students started the year in computer class with an Internet safety unit, and now have moved on to a Geometry project.  Geometry is be the focus of our school-wide math curriculum improvement project.  Students are making their own Geometry Reference Book in Google Docs.  This will be an ongoing project throughout the year.

September 2, 2016

Posted on Sep 02, 2016

We're off to a great start to the school year!  The junior high students are confidently using their Chromebooks as if they always have been.  

This week in computer class, the 8th graders learned about the significance of creating a positive digital footprint, and the 7th graders learned about safe online communication.  I hope you will reinforce these important lessons at home.  The Archdiocese has adopted the "Common Sense Media" Digital Citizenship curriculum, so each student will participate in at least three lessons.

Thank you for coming to our "Meet and Greet" event on Tuesday night.    If you missed it, we covered some new initiatives our faculty has researched and implemented, including new science content and the adoption of Raz Kids for students in K-4.   Look for Aspire results on Thursday!

Have a great weekend!

Welcome Back!

Posted on Aug 24, 2016

We look forward to greeting over 700 students on Thursday, August 25th!  We have many exciting initiatives to start this year.   

Last April, all students in grades 3-8 at St. John Fisher and throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago took the ACT Aspire test.  We have received our students' scores and are very pleased with the results.  In every subject at every grade level, our students surpassed the Archdiocese and the national averages. The Archdiocese is still working out the details of distributing these scores to students.  These scores will be made available to students soon.

Our website development committee worked all summer, creating a brand new presence for St. John Fisher School on the web.  We hope this will be an effective source of information and a valuable method of communication between school, parents, students and the community.   

Our K-4 teachers have been trained and will be implementing Raz Kids, a leveled reading program.  This will be used as a supplement to our existing reading curriculum.  Our students will be reading leveled books and stories which will allow the teachers to individualize reading instruction.

We will also be providing Chromebooks to every student in 7th and 8th grade to use 24/7 throughout the school year.  Our junior high faculty have spent last year and all summer preparing for this; learning new and innovative ways to utilize this technology in the classroom.

Our faculty and staff are amazing; everyone is pitching in to make sure we get the year off to a great start in Sr. Jean's absence.  Thank you for all you do in support of our school and parish.

 

 
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