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Schools are closed now county wide in Santa Cruz California starting next week. This pandemic just got really real. Wash your hands and stay out of crowds here comes the Corona Virus. Here is the note from our Superintendent.
Good Evening PVUSD staff,
The safety and wellness of students, families, and school personnel are the highest priorities of all Santa Cruz County schools and districts. Yesterday, we received notification of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Rio Del Mar Elementary School. In advance of more COVID-19 cases that are anticipated to follow, School District Superintendents and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education have decided in concurrence with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency to close all public Santa Cruz County schools for the week of March 16-20. We will reassess at the end of next week whether an extension of school closures beyond March 20th will be necessary. Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel, reported that while the number of cases in our county remains small at this time, the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division expects those numbers to grow significantly in the coming days and weeks which may require a continued response. Schools will remain in session tomorrow, March 13, 2020. Please see the attached community letter with more information. A staff letter will follow with additional information regarding the upcoming week.
Michelle Rodriguez, Ed.D.
Working at a High School I occasionally have to team with our school nurse to talk to students about hygiene. Here are some of the materials I use.
- The Healthy Bodies Toolkits (Vanderbilt University) Boy and Girl
Old School -Things haven’t really changed too much.
What is Puberty? Decoding Puberty in Girls
All About Boys Puberty
Inside Puberty: What Are the Stages of Puberty?
I just took my mandated reporter training. In an effort to keep kids safe I am posting these links to promote child safety.
Recognizing Child Abuse: What Parents Should Know– Good resource for parents.
- 4.1 million child maltreatment referral reports received.1
- Child abuse reports involved 7.5 million children.1
- 3.2 million children received prevention & post-response services.1
- 142,301 children received foster care services.1
- 74.9% of victims are neglected.1
- 18.3% of victims are physically abused.1
- 8.6% of victims are sexually abused.1
- 7.1% of victims are psychologically maltreated.1
- Highest rate of child abuse in children under age one (25.3% per 1,000).1
- Annual estimate: 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017.1,
- Almost five children die every day from child abuse.1,2
- Seventy-two (71.8%) percent of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years old.1
- 80.1% of child fatalities involve at least one parent.1
- Of the children who died, 75.4% suffered neglect.1
- Of the children who died, 41.6% suffered physical abuseeither exclusively or in combination with another maltreatment type.1
- 49.6% of children who die from child abuse are under one year.1
- Boys had a higher child fatality rate than girls (2.68 boys & 2.02 girls per 100,000)1
- Almost 65,000 children are sexually abused.1
- More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator.6
- Estimated that between 50-60% of maltreatment fatalities are not recorded on death certificates.5
- Child abuse crosses all socioeconomic and educational levels, religions, ethnic and cultural groups.1
Who abused and neglected children?
- 83.4% (More than four-fifths) of perpetrators were between the ages of 18 and 44 years.1
- 54.1% (More than one-half) of perpetrators were women, 45.0 % of perpetrators were men, and .09 % were of unknown sex.1
CONSEQUENCES & RISK FACTORS
- Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.6
- Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking behaviors, putting them at greater risk for STDs.6
- About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.7
- In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.13
- The financial cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States is estimated at $585 billion.8
- Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Child Maltreatment 2017. Published: January 2019. An office of the Administration for Children & Families, a division of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This report presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States during federal fiscal year 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2017.pdf
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2013). Child Maltreatment 2012. Available from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment
- United States Government Accountability Office, 2011. Child maltreatment: strengthening national data on child fatalities could aid in prevention (GAO-11-599). Retrieved from: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11599.pdf
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children, Youth and Families Children’s Bureau. Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities 2011: Statistics and Interventions. Retrieved from: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.pdf
- Snyder, Howard, N. (2000, July). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: victim, incident, and offender characteristics. Retrieved from: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf
- Long – Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.cfm
- Fang, X., et al. The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect (2012), doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.10.006 Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213411003140
- Harlow, C. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. (1999).Prior abuse reported by inmates and probationers (NCJ 172879) Retrieved from: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/parip.pdf
- Swan, N. (1998). Exploring the role of child abuse on later drug abuse: Researchers face broad gaps in information. NIDA Notes, 13(2). Retrieved from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website: www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol13N2/exploring.html
- Every Child Matters Education Fund. (2012). We can do better: Child abuse deaths in America (3rd ed.). Retrieved from: http://www.everychildmatters.org/storage/documents/pdf/reports/can_report_august2012_final.pdf
- Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Bureau. Goldman, J., Salus, M. K., Wolcott, D., Kennedy, K. Y. (2003) A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice, Chapter 5, Retrieved from: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/foundation/
- Wilson, E., Dolan, M., Smith, K., Casanueva, C., & Ringeisen, H. (2012). NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Adolescents with a History of Maltreatment Have Unique Service Needs That May Affect Their Transition to Adulthood. OPRE Report #2012-49, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/youth_spotlight_v7.pdf
- Amy B. Silverman, Helen Z. Reinherz, Rose M. Giaconia, The long-term sequelae of child and adolescent abuse: A longitudinal community study, Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 20, Issue 8, August 1996, Pages 709-723. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213496000592
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, Behavioral Consequences of Child Abuse. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743691/
Bedwetting is an issue that comes up in elementary school from time to time. Here are some resources to help support this situation for your students. The good news is that for many children the problem will resolve itself over time, or can be fixed through fairly simple treatment.
Bedwetting (also called nocturnal enuresis) is very common. As the following graph shows, almost a third of four-year-olds wet the bed. By the time they are 6, only one in 10 children wet the bed, and one in 20 by age 10. Bedwetting can sometimes continue into adolescence.
Percentage of children who wet the bed at different ages
Nighttime bedwetting. This type of bedwetting is a common sleep
a problem in children ages 6–12, occurring only during NREM sleep.
Primary enuresis (the child has never been persistently dry at night)
is associated with a family history of the problem, developmental lag,
or lower bladder capacity, and is unlikely to signal a serious
problem. Secondary enuresis (a recurrence of bedwetting after a year
or more of bladder control) is more likely to be associated with
emotional distress. Interventions include the use of reinforcement and
responsibility training (such as keeping a dry night chart), bladder
control training, conditioning (e.g., bedwetting alarms), and
sometimes medication. In the case of secondary enuresis, it might be
most helpful to determine any source of emotional stress and address
it directly. (For example, if a child starts wetting the bed at night
following parents’ separation or divorce, providing counseling to
address loss issues might help alleviate bedwetting.)
When to see a doctor
You may wish to see a doctor about your child’s bedwetting if:
- your child is at least six years old (treatment for bedwetting is not recommended before this age as treatment is less effective and many children get better on their own)
- you or your child are troubled or frustrated by the bedwetting
- you punish, or are concerned that you might punish, your child for wetting the bed
- your child wets or has bowel movements in their pants during the daytime.
If your child has been dry at night for six months then begins to wet their bed again, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation.
The doctor will consider your child’s details and determine if there is a physical problem that needs to be addressed.
Nocturnal enuresis is the medical term for bedwetting. Most children
wet the bed occasionally or even nightly during the potty-training
years. In fact, it is estimated that seven million children in the
United States wet their beds on a regular basis. Controlling bladder
function during sleep is usually the last stage of potty-training. In
others words, it is normal for children to wet the bed while sleeping
during that learning process. Bedwetting is typically not even
considered to be a problem until after age 7.
Bedwetting in children is often simply a result of immaturity. The age
at which children become able to control their bladders during sleep
is variable. Bladder control is a complex process that involves
coordinated action of the muscles, nerves, spinal cord and brain. In
this case, the problem will resolve in time. On the other hand, it may
be an indication of an underlying medical condition, such as
obstruction of the urinary tract. If bedwetting persists beyond the
age of 6 or 7, you should consult your pediatrician.
There are both primary and secondary forms of bedwetting. With primary
bedwetting, the child has never had nighttime control over urination.
The secondary form is less common and refers to bedwetting that occurs
after the child has been dry during sleep for 6 or more months.
Secondary bedwetting may be caused by psychological stress but may be
the result of an underlying medical condition such as constipation or
urinary tract obstruction. With secondary bedwetting, contact your
doctor for an evaluation.
Commonly prescribed behavioral methods for treating the problem include:
Establishing a regular bedtime routine that includes going to the bathroom
Waking your child during the night before he/she typically wets the
bed and taking him/her to the bathroom
Developing a reward system to encourage your child, such as stickers
for dry nights
Talking to your child about the advantages of potty-training, such as
not having to wear diapers and becoming a “big kid”
Limiting beverages in the evening – even those last minute water requests
Using a “bell-and-pad” which incorporates an alarm that goes off
whenever your child’s pajamas or bed become wet during an accident.
These systems teach your child to eventually wake up before the
As a last resort, a doctor may prescribe medication for bedwetting,
either for short or long-term use. Some examples are imipramine (an
antidepressant), which relaxes the bladder, and desmopressin, a
man-made copy of a normal body chemical that controls urine production
at night. Although medication usually helps, bedwetting typically
resumes once the child stops taking the medicine. As with any drug, it
is important to monitor your child’s response to the medication.
Coping with Bedwetting:
There are products that parents can buy for school-aged children with enuresis:
Disposable absorbent underpants
Reusable absorbent underpants
Sleeping bag liners
Moisture alarms that go off when the child begins to wet the bed
There is no reason for punishment if your child wets the bed. Your
child cannot help it. Talk to your doctor about treatment options and
following these coping tips may help:
Be patient, understanding and attentive
Do not talk about the bedwetting in front of others
Talk to your child about how the bladder works
Avoid fluids in the hours before bed
I ran across this Nemours website by accident looking for developmental reading resources and I found so much more. I hope you find it as useful as I have in looking at reading and health subjects in a very concise and accessible format.
- Building a Culture of Health Through Safe and Healthy Elementary School Recess
- Dr. Ken Shore’s Classroom Problem Solver Playground Behaviors
- A Parent’s Guide to Conflict Resolution & Peer Mediation (School Example)
- Playground Management Plan (Very Clear and Comprehensive)
- Good practical collection of tools utilizing the “Peace Program”
- The Importance of Outdoor Play and Its Impact on Brain Development In Children
- The Importance of Recess, Play, and Active Classrooms
- A Research-Based Case for Recess
- Give me a Break! Can Strategic Recess Scheduling Increase On-Task Behavior for First Graders?
- Is the Elimination of Recess in School a Violation of a Child’s Basic Human Rights?
- Playing Fair: The Contribution of High-Functioning Recess to Overall School Climate in Low-Income Elementary Schools
- Recess in Elementary School: What Does the Research Say?
- School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior
- School Recess and Social Development
- The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools
- The Role of Recess in Children’s Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment
What you promote by creating a positive recess experience:
Outdoor Play Allows a School-Aged Child to:
-Increase the flow of blood to the brain. The blood delivers oxygen and glucose, which the brain needs for heightened alertness and mental focus.
-Build up the body’s level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, BDNF causes the brain’s nerve cells to branch out, join together and communicate with each other in new ways, which leads to your child’s openness to learning an more capacity for knowledge
-Build new brain cells in a brain region called dentate gyrus, which is linked
with memory and memory loss.
-Improves their ability to learn.
-Increase the size of basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in
maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate
actions and thoughts crisply.
-Strengthen the vestibular systems that create spatial awareness and mental
alertness. This provides your child with the framework for reading and other
Addressing Conflict on the Yard
Conflict is normal
Conﬂict is a normal part of children’s lives. Having different needs or wants, or wanting the same thing when only one is available, can easily lead children into conﬂict with one another. “She won’t let me play,” “He took my …”, “Tom’s being mean!” are complaints that parents, carers and school staff often hear when children get into conﬂict and are unable to resolve it. Common ways that children respond to conﬂ ict include arguing and physical aggression, as well as more passive responses such as backing off and avoiding one another.
When conﬂict is poorly managed it can have a negative impact on children’s relationships, on their self-esteem and on their learning. However, teaching children the skills for resolving conﬂict can help signiﬁ cantly. By learning to manage conﬂict effectively, children’s skills for getting along with others can be improved. Children are much happier, have better friendships and are better learners at school when they know how to manage conﬂict well.
Different ways of responding to conflict
Since children have different needs and preferences, experiencing conﬂict with others is unavoidable. Many children (and adults) think of conﬂict as a competition that can only be decided by having a winner and a loser. The problem with thinking about conﬂict in this way is that it promotes win-lose behaviour: children who want to win try to dominate the other person; children who think they can’t win try to avoid the conﬂict. This does not result in effective conﬂict resolution.
Win-lose approaches to conflict
Children may try to get their way in a conﬂict by using force. Some children give in to try to stop the conﬂict, while others try to avoid the situation altogether. These different styles are shown below. When introducing younger children to the different ways that conﬂicts can be handled, talking about the ways the animals included as examples below might deal with conﬂict can help their understanding. It introduces an element of fun and enjoyment.
Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour Force Shark, bull, lion Argues, yells, debates, threatens, uses logic to impose own view. Give in Jelly fish, teddy bear Prevents fights, tries to make others happy. Avoid Ostrich, turtle Thinks or says: “I don’t want conflict.” Distracts, talks about something else, leaves the room or the relationship.
Sometimes these approaches appear to work in the short-term, but they create other sets of problems. When children use force to win in a conﬂict it creates resentment and fear in others. Children who ‘win’ using this approach may develop a pattern of dominating and bullying others to get what they want. Children who tend to give in or avoid conﬂict may lack both conﬁdence and skills for appropriate assertive behaviour. They are more likely to be dominated or bullied by others and may feel anxious and negative about themselves.
It is possible instead to respond to conﬂict in positive ways that seek a fair outcome. Instead of being seen as a win-lose competition, conﬂict can be seen as an opportunity to build healthier and more respectful relationships through understanding the perspectives of others.
Win-some lose-some: Using compromise to resolve conflict
Adults have a signiﬁcant impact on how children deal with conﬂict. Often adults encourage children to deal with conﬂict by compromising. Compromising means that no-one wins or loses outright. Each person gets some of what they want and also gives up some of what they want. Many children learn how to compromise as they grow and ﬁnd ways to negotiate friendships. It is common around the middle of primary school for children to become very concerned with fairness and with rules as a way of ensuring fairness. This may correspond with an approach to resolving conﬂict that is based on compromise.
Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour Compromise Fox I give a bit and expect you to give a bit too.
Win-win: Using cooperation to resolve conflict
Using a win-win approach means ﬁnding out more about the problem and looking together for creative solutions so that everyone can get what they want.
Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour Sort out the problem
Owl Discover ways of helping everyone in the conflict to get what they want.
Skills required for effective conflict resolution
Effective conﬂict resolution requires children to apply a combination of well-developed social and emotional skills. These include skills for managing feelings, understanding others, communicating effectively and making decisions. Children need guidance and ‘coaching’ to learn these skills. Learning to use all the skills effectively in combination takes practice and maturity. However, with guidance children can begin to use a win-win model and gradually develop their abilities to resolve conﬂicts independently.
Skill What to encourage children to learn
- Manage strong emotions
- Use strategies to control strong feelings
- Verbally express own thoughts and feelings
- Identify and communicate thoughts and feelings
- Identify the problem and express own needs
- Talk about their own wants/needs/fears/concerns without demanding an immediate solution
- Understand the other person’s perspective
- Listen to what the other person wants/needs
- Understand the other person’s fears/concerns
- Understand without having to agree
- Respond sensitively and appropriately
- Generate a number of solutions to the problem
- Think of a variety of options
- Try to include the needs and concerns of everyone involved
- Negotiate a win-win solution
- Be ﬂexible
- Be open-minded
- Look after own needs as well as the other person’s needs (be assertive)
Guiding children through the steps of conflict resolution
1. Set the stage for WIN-WIN outcomes
Conﬂict arises when people have different needs or views of a situation. Make it clear that you are going to help the children listen to each other’s point of view and look for ways to solve the problem that everyone can agree to.
- Ask, “What’s the problem here?” Be sure to get both sides of the story (eg “He won’t let me have a turn” from one child, and “I only just started and it’s my game,” from another).
- Say, I’m sure if we talk this through we’ll be able to sort it out so that everyone is happy.”
2. Have children state their own needs and concerns
The aim is to ﬁnd out how each child sees the problem. Help children identify and communicate their needs and concerns without judging or blaming.
- Ask, “What do you want or need? What are you most concerned about?”
3. Help children listen to the other person and understand their needs and concerns
In the heat of conﬂict it can be difﬁcult to understand that the other person has feelings and needs too. Listening to the other person helps to reduce the conﬂict and allows children to think of the problem as something they can solve together.
- Ask, “So you want to have a turn at this game now because it’s nearly time to go home? And you want to keep playing to see if you can get to the next level?”
- Show children that you understand both points of view: “I can understand why you want to get your turn. I can see why you don’t want to stop now.”
4. Help children think of different ways to solve the problem
Often children who get into conﬂict can only think of one solution. Getting them to think of creative ways for solving the conﬂict encourages them to come up with new solutions that no-one thought of before. Ask them to let the ideas ﬂow and think of as many options as they can, without judging any of them.
- Encourage them: “Let’s think of at least three things we could do to solve this problem.”
5. Build win-win solutions
Help children sort through the list of options you have come up with together and choose those that appear to meet everybody’s needs. Sometimes a combination of the options they have thought of will work best. Together, you can help them build a solution that everyone agrees to.
- Ask: Which solution do you think can work? Which option can we make work together?
6. Put the solution into action and see how it works
Make sure that children understand what they have agreed to and what this means in practice.
- Say, “Okay, so this is what we’ve agreed. Tom, you’re going to show Wendy how to play the game, then Wendy, you’re going to have a try, and I’m going to let you know when 15 minutes is up.”
Key points for helping children resolve conﬂict
The ways that adults respond to children’s conﬂicts have powerful effects on their behaviour and skill development. Until they have developed their own skills for managing conﬂict effectively most children will need very speciﬁc adult guidance to help them reach a good resolution. Parents, carers and teaching staff can help children in sorting out conflict together, by seeing conﬂict as a shared problem that can be solved by understanding both points of view and ﬁnding a solution that everyone is happy with.
Guide and coach
When adults impose a solution on children it may solve the conﬂict in the short term, but it can leave children feeling that their wishes have not been taken into account. Coaching children through the conﬂict resolution steps helps them feel involved. It shows them how effective conﬂict resolution can work so that they can start to build their own skills.
Listen to all sides without judging
To learn the skills for effective conﬂict resolution children need to be able to acknowledge their own point of view and listen to others’ views without fearing that they will be blamed or judged. Being heard encourages children to hear and understand what others have to say and how they feel, and helps them to learn to value others.
Support children to work through strong feelings
Conﬂict often generates strong feelings such as anger or anxiety. These feelings can get in the way of being able to think through conﬂicts fairly and reasonably. Acknowledge children’s feelings and help them to manage them. It may be necessary to help children calm down before trying to resolve the conﬂict.
- Praise children for ﬁnding a solution and carrying it out.
- If an agreed solution doesn’t work out the ﬁrst time, go through the steps again to understand the needs and concerns and ﬁnd a different solution.
The information in this resource is based on Wertheim, E., Love, A., Peck, C. & Littlefield, L. (2006). Skills for resolving conflict (2nd Edition). Melbourne: Eruditions Publishing.