by Lucia Sullivan on 04/19/2018
At yesterday’s staff meeting Nicholas Zefeldt, Instructional Technology Coordinator for Contra Costa County, came and trained staff in Common Sense Media’s Educator tools for digital literacy. All staff enjoyed the training and plan to implement lessons in class shortly. Are you familiar with Common Sense Media? I have always enjoyed the site for picking family movies. They provide a clear synopsis with attention to violence, sex, drugs, product placement and messages that allows parents to make choices aligned with the needs and wishes of their families. I highly recommend it. As I was perusing the site I came across this article about 4/20 and thought it might be interesting to parents.
I was surprised by how much my own children knew about the “4-20” holiday and in reading the article above have come to understand that in the last year, as public opinion has swiftly shifted , mainstream advertising online is incorporating pot jokes in ads. Regardless of your personal views on cannabis, it is important to have tools to speak to your teen or tween about their health and safety. On that note, I had the opportunity to hear Ralph Cantor, retired high school science teacher and now drug educator speak at a Berkeley middle school about how to talk to kids about marijuana. He has a fact-based non-judgemental approach that I found very helpful. This attachment is a little dated, but pages 10-11 focus on Ralph’s work and could be useful to parents as we move into 4-20. I figure we can always benefit from more information.
Students in grades 3-8 are scheduled to begin state testing in the last week of April and first week of May. If you are opting your child out of testing, please do so in writing ASAP. Please don’t plan any unnecessary absences during that time. Make ups are complicated and stressful.
Planned parenthood will present an education program for students in grades 5-8 including: HIV prevention, human sexuality, hygiene and health in late April and early May. If you are opting your child out of sex education, please do so in writing ASAP.
The Batizado originally scheduled for May 9th has been postponed to next fall. I know this was disappointing news for some families. The reasons for this are financial. Ken would like to do a ceremony recognizing kids’ achievement (including belts and visiting Capoeira masters), but we had not budgeted for this for this school year. Given our current finances, it made sense to roll the costs of the event into next year’s field trip funds and have the event in the fall. Thank you for your understanding.
I mentioned in an earlier dispatch that the Acalanes high school district has decided to no longer accept inter-district transfers. This is unfortunate for our school as Canyon residents matriculate to Acalanes and doing so without their cohort of peers feels unfair. The decision making behind this process appears to be financial in nature as Acalanes has a funding structure whereby they get no additional funds from transfer students. The Canyon School Board is making a motion to have this detail in the funding mechanism changed at a state level so inter-district transfer students would be able to carry ADA funding with them wherever they attend school; we have no idea what will happen. If you would like to learn more about school funding in California, you can read this report: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_913MWR.pdf
I think this is important information for everyone to have so that parents can begin thinking about high school options for each student now. If you are an inter-district family, it will be helpful to cultivate relationships with parents whose children attend your local high school so that you have access to key information as each city’s process has different timelines and hoops to be jumped.
If you haven’t already purchased your tickets for the Speakeasy on Saturday, it is not too late! Our little school appreciates all your support. Purchase tickets online here: https://canyon.k12.ca.us