Foster Youth Rights (California)

Foster Youth Rights are important to know as these students need and deserve first rate service in schools.

The CA Foster Care Ombudsperson has revamped their Know Your Rights website, which includes a know your rights activity/coloring book and a foster youth bill of rights handbook in both English and Spanish. The rights include education, personal rights, family connections, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, and more.

Source- Newsletter from- Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP)

Foster Youth Links

Individuals involved in the foster care system have rights and protections. Reinforcing these rights allows for greater success for the youth of California.


General Foster Youth Rights
Foster youth have rights regarding their health and well-being. These range from the right to see a doctor to the right to private storage space. More information can be found on the Foster Youth Bill of Rights.
Education Rights Holder


Foster youth under 18 should have an education rights holder (ERH). The ERH is responsible for advocating for the education needs of the student. This individual must be someone other than the youth’s social worker, lawyer, or staff from the youth’s group home or school.


Foster Youth Education Rights

Right to remain in your school of origin: Foster youth have the right to stay in the school they attended when they first entered foster care, the school they most recently attended, or any school they attended in the last 15 months that they choose.
• Right to immediate enrollment in school: Even without paperwork such as immunization records, foster youth have the right to attend school after displacements.
• Right to partial credits for high school students: The partial credit model allows foster youth who experience disruptions to receive partial or full credit for work satisfactorily completed.
• Graduation rights: A fifth year of school is offered for some youth who face displacements that might affect their graduation status.
• College rights: Application fees may be waived for foster youth applying to college. Foster youth also have access to specific scholarships and grants.
• School discipline rights: Suspensions are limited and foster youth or care providers can request a formal hearing with an attorney present.
• Right to school records: Foster youth have rights to their school records if they are 16 or older or have finished 10th grade.

Source- https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcirinc.org%2Ffile_download%2F2c992c6d-3bb1-4fc6-be59-52e32416f531&psig=AOvVaw1CTbDJGwuaoIHAUKQQhnHd&ust=1622914024054000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=2ahUKEwj6_cCAwP7wAhULiJ4KHQIfDY4Qr4kDegUIARCpAQ

Maple Syrup Urination Disease (MSUD)

 

MSUD Diagram

Recently, I had a student diagnosed with MSUD. It was the first time I had heard of the disease. This post will review all that I learned about MSUD.

Defined

Maple syrup urine disease is an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to process certain protein building blocks (amino acids) properly. The condition gets its name from the distinctive sweet odor of affected infants’ urine. It is also characterized by poor feeding, vomiting, lack of energy (lethargy), abnormal movements, and delayed development. If untreated, maple syrup urine disease can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Maple syrup urine disease is often classified by its pattern of signs and symptoms. The most common and severe form of the disease is the classic type, which becomes apparent soon after birth. Variant forms of the disorder become apparent later in infancy or childhood and are typically milder, but they still lead to delayed development and other health problems if not treated. Source

MSUD means that the person’s body is unable to break down protein in the usual way. This condition is a rare, non-contagious condition, which, left untreated, can result in irreversible brain damage. Fortunately, the condition can be treated by a special diet, medications and careful management during illness.

Great resource- The ASIEM Low Protein Handbook for MSUD

 

 

Books

MSUD related books published by both casual and professional authors.

 
MSUD Food List Booklet
Recipes your whole family will enjoy
MSUD & Me
Glossary of Terms pertaining to Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Talking to students about the Insurrection at the US Capitol (Teacher and Administrator Resources)

In considering the events on January 6th 2021 we must help our students process this to better understand what occurred.

Read

RESPONDING TO THE INSURRECTION AT THE US CAPITOL

RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS ON THE DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK ON THE U.S. CAPITOL.

Teaching in a Time of Crisis

Talking to Kids About the Attack on the Capitol NEA

NASP Statement on the Assault on the U.S. Capitol NASP

NASP Guidance for Ensuring Student Well-Being in the Context of the 2020 Election NASP

Teaching Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the Rampage at the Capitol New York Times

Dozens of lesson plan ideas, activities and Times materials for exploring the causes and consequences of this assault on democracy in the United States.

Resource Guide

Resources for School Communities in Times of Crisis – Great resources on a Google Doc


Navigation
Self Care Resources for EveryoneTeachers: Curricular Resources & Lesson PlansTeachers: Navigating Conversations, Addressing Difficult Topics, and Coping with Trauma
Leaders: Leadership, Teams, & CultureLeaders: Providing SupportStudents: Activities to Process EmotionsFor Families & Communities
Above is the Navigation of the various areas of the Resource Guide.

Streaming Event

PBS NewsHour Extra@NewsHourExtra·Teachers & school staff: TONIGHT at 7pm ET (4pm PT) w/ @YohuruWilliams@kennethcdavis@saribethrose RSVP: http://bit.ly/zoom1-7 Talk w/ other educators on how to process the #insurrection w/ students & support one another. #sschat#apgov#hsgovchat#USCapitol#CapitolRiots

Consider this when talking with students-

@misskatiesings

Abbreviated version — full vid & discussion prompts on IG @misskatiesings 🧡 // #fyp #preschool #parentsoftiktok #teachersof2020 #kids

♬ original sound – Miss Katie Sings

Organize your talk using these themes below-

Sigal Ben-Porath, an expert in civic education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and fellow at the Center for Ethics at Harvard, says teachers should not ignore yesterday’s historic events.  

But they have to be prepared for the conversation. Ben-Porath suggests starting with these areas of focus:  

  • The facts about the democratic process: according to grade and knowledge levels, discussing the roles of voters, electors, the courts, state legislative bodies, and Congress. The older the kids are, the more detailed the conversation can be, and more opportunities for independent research should be offered. 
  • The events that happened yesterday. Look at diverse and reliable news sources, and apply critical digital literacy skills to social media posts that come from unverified sources. Focus on local news and on public media (such as NPR) to support a habit of consuming reliable news.
  • Discuss the reality of living in historic moments. This can be compared to the lives of people in other crucial moments for democracy. Students can talk about where they were, what they did, what others who were nearby might have felt, etc. 

Teachers holding class online because of the pandemic will also have to think about how the platform might have to change the conversation. The country is clearly polarized. In an online setting, parents can potentially hear the discussion. Students might feel uncomfortable engaging if they know their parents, or many of their classmates’ parents, would hear them disagreeing with the parents’ beliefs.

The goal: finding ways to develop together true knowledge about the events. What happened, and why it matters, are the key questions. 

The process has to include the students, so that they create this knowledge together. The only way to overcome our current polarization is by learning to share the facts, to have a shared understanding of reality. The source of a lot of this chaos is the rift in the facts we have (who won the election, what body has what constitutional role, etc). If students can learn to rely on each other, on their teachers, and on reliable sources, to understand events around them, we can start building the path back to democracy. 

Source

NASP developed election resources to assist adults helping youth navigate feelings of uncertainty and strong emotions, understand hate-based violence, and cope with cope with threatening actions or speech.

Parents: http://bit.ly/39ntkKL

Educators: http://bit.ly/35gN2pU

Class Activities

Breaking down with Incident with 3 prompts to reflect the students HEAD, HEART, and CONSCIENCE.

Holding a Community Circle for your class could help the discussion process.  

Community Circle Guidelines– Gives the concept of Community Circles and procedures.

Community Circle Flow for “Breaking News” for 3rd-6th Grade Students 

Read Aloud by author/illustrator Sarah Lynn Reul https://youtu.be/V-U3lF5Ei_E 

Opening Quote“I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect with another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. And especially if it’s from the heart.” –Rachel Naomi Remen
Round 1Let’s do a check-in. Are you mad, sad, glad, and/or afraid today? What is that mostly about? 
Yesterday was a BREAKING NEWS day in the United States. When reflecting on what happened at the United States Capitol as Congress was working to verify the election…
Round 2 I am going to put on on some calm music for one minute, while you take that time to draw a picture of how you are feeling right: mad, sad, glad, afraid. We will take time for everyone to share their drawing. 
Round 3 It’s okay to disagree with others, but what would it look like, sound like, or feel like to have a peaceful disagreement? 
Round 4 Do you think that YOU need to be a better listener? Why or why not? 
Round 5  Is there anything else you want to add to the circle about yesterday’s events that we did not talk about? 
Close the CircleLet’s take a couple of minutes to close our circle with a mindful breathing activity. (Choose your classes favorite breathing strategy-Box breathing, Figure 8, Breath in-Breath-Out). 

Community Circle Flow for  January 7, 2021 for Middle School and High School

Opening QuoteRead the poem, “Let American Be American Again” by Langston Hughes https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again
Round 1As you listened to Mr. Hughes’ poem were you mad, sad, glad, or afraid? What is that mostly about? 
When reflecting on what happened at the United States Capitol as Congress was working to verify the election…
Round 2 What surprised you about yesterday? 
Round 3 What has changed or challenged your thinking? 
Round 4  How do we reject violence in our daily lives?
Round 5 What can you do to make a non-violent difference in Your Life, Your School, Your World?
Close the Circle Is there anything else you want to add to the circle about yesterday’s events that we did not talk about? 

Slide – Source

Upcoming (12-21-20) AFT Presentation on Supporting Students Experiencing Grief by Chelsea Prax

Grief Definition Flowchart

Grief might be the one topic that Schools and Teachers might be under prepared to deal with in 2021.

The AFT has many opportunities and resources available to its members. The AFT Share My Lesson website is a hub of many teaching resources such as lessons and webinars. One of the webinars available to members is about grief amongst our student population. The growing number of loss due to the pandemic places a greater burden on educational staff as we too are navigating loss within our own family circles. Earlier this year we met with Chelsea Prax from AFT to discuss offering this webinar series to our membership, but with the challenge of crisis teaching, we held off. The AFT will be offering the series in a few weeks. This article, Grief among students: tools for educators facing a wave of loss, speaks to the need to provide this webinar.

“As COVID-19 sweeps through communities across the nation, educators are on the frontlines witnessing unprecedented grief and loss among their students. Parents and other family members are getting sick and sometimes dying, household tension is rising with job loss and remote learning, routines are being disrupted and social networks shattered by the need to distance and isolate.”

If you are interested in attending this webinar is scheduled to happen on Monday, December 21 at 12 pm pacific time (3 pm eastern)

Webinar: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2873575/6BCF55E259C6F7F8515B43163CD5043E

Chelsea Prax was also recently on the Podcast The Widowed Parent called, “Exploring grief in schools in the era of COVID with Maria Collins and Chelsea Prax” One of our members shared this podcast link with us to share with members:0

Podcast Link: https://jennylisk.com/podcast/wpp091  

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Kai's Journey - A book series about grief, strength and love.


Kai’s Journey books – Kai’s Journey is a series about a little boy named Kai who, together with his mom, learns how to navigate a profound loss in their family. 

Scholastic Grieving Students logo

Coalition to Support Grieving Students –

Video- https://vimeo.com/394316350

[Infographic} 4 Grief Definitions

Say Their Names: A toolkit to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience

Say Their Names | A&U Magazine

This tool kit is aimed to help educate and shift the lens of understanding systemic racism, as well as helping educators bring these anti-racist values into the classroom.

Say Their Names

Source

A toolkit to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience

“In a racist society, it is not enough to not be non-racist, we must be anti-racist” – Angela Davis.

Say Their Names. George Floyd,  Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others that came before.

If you are planning on talking to your students or children about the recent racial violence or civil disobedience, please first read “Don’t Say Nothing” by Jamilah Pitts. This piece illustrates how vital it is to engage young people in conversations about race and racism, and Ms. Pitts lays out the argument better than we ever could.

We hope that you take this time to read, reflect, and engage with both the young people and adults in your life in conversations around how we can confront racism every day. Safeguarding our young people means that we all must do the work to think and act equitably, show up for our Black students and colleagues, interrogate our own biases, and live an actively anti-racist life.

Below are suggestions and strategies for educators and parents on having conversations with young people in school and at home about race, racism, racial violence, understanding biases, and how to take action for racial justice.

At this time, we must focus on our shared humanity, and prioritize learning and talking about the root causes of the current protests and interracial activism. This is a time to come together, listen, learn, share in the grief and in hope, and act for a more just, equitable, and racially conscious world.

If you have suggestions for any lessons or activities, please share them with us here.

For more information on social-emotional support and guidance, contact the CPS Office of Social and Emotional Learning at OSEL@cps.edu or your Network SEL Specialist.

For more information on resources, protocols, and practices for civil discourse, youth voice, civic learning, and engagement, or K–12 social science, contact the CPS Department of Social Science and Civic Engagement at SSCE@cps.edu.

For information on the CPS Equity Framework and supporting tools and resources, please visit cps.edu/equity.

Included in this document:

Where to start? Guidance for CPS staff, families, and community members.

Note: This is a living document and will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Make a commitment to:

  • Taking care of the mental and emotional health of our youth, our colleagues, and ourselves.
  • Listen. Talking about race, racial violence, racism, Black Lives Matter, and elevating youth voices.
  • Paying close attention to the news, media, and other information sources.
  • Working to be actively anti-racist.

Take care of yourself. Take care of others.

Educate yourself.

  • Educate yourself on the current moment and learn why people are organizing. Do research to better understand these issues, and do not rely on Black people to explain their feelings or their knowledge.

Engage our youth.

Resources for Realizing Our Commitment to Anti-racist Education:

  1. Consider the mental and emotional health of our youth, our colleagues, and ourselves.
  • How can I support youth through this trauma?
  • How can I use restorative practices to host healing spaces?
  • Where can I find resources for myself and my colleagues?
  1. Talk about race, racial violence, racism, and Black Lives Matter.
  • How do I start conversations about these topics and support youth remotely?
  • How do I support Black youth without inducing further trauma?
  • How do I talk about this with non-black youth?
  • How do I talk about this with elementary-aged youth?
  • How do I show up for my Black colleagues?
  1. Pay close attention to media and information.
  • How is this story being told, and why is this important?
  • How should I consume media at this moment? What questions should we be asking ourselves?
  • How do we hold the media accountable? How are we accountable for the information we share?
  1. Be actively anti-racist.
  • What does it mean to be anti-racist and why is it important?
  • What does it mean to be an anti-racist educator?
  • How do I take action? How do I get involved?

Review additional resources for teaching and talking about race, violence, and police violence.

Consider the mental and emotional health of our youth, our colleagues, and ourselves.

Violence has an impact on all of us, especially on our mental health. The protests that have gripped our city and nation reflect the hurt, anger, and pain of generations of racial trauma. Emotional responses may manifest in different ways, including anger, irritability, grief, and hopelessness. We should be aware of signs of trauma or distress not only for our youth but also for ourselves and our colleagues.

How can I support young people through this trauma?
Title/Resource Description Link
When We Normalize Racism And Bigotry, We Do Violence To Our Mental Health This brief statement from Mental Health America calls attention to the impact of violence (including witnessing violent events in media reports) on our mental health, and especially the mental health of marginalized communities. The statement also contains links with additional information and resources. https://mhanational.org/when-we-normalize-racism-and-bigotry-we-do-violence-our-mental-health
Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: a Resource for Educators This resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is designed to help educators understand the interplay of race and trauma in the classroom. The guide reviews historical trauma and racial trauma explains the impact of trauma on different age groups and offers supplemental resources. NCTSN: Addressing Race & Trauma in the Classroom
Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events: Tips for Families and Teachers This resource from the National Association of School Psychologists provides a brief review of anger—a common reaction to trauma—and reminds adults of how the reactions of children and youth are influenced by adult responses. NASP: Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Trauma
Responding to Student Mental Health Concerns During School Closure This district guide provides guidance on responding to student mental health concerns during remote learning, including a list of mental health resources. Responding to Student Mental Health Concerns
How White Parents Can Talk About Race NPR’s Michel Martin talks to Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, about how to talk with white kids about racially-charged events. https://www.npr.org/2020/05/31/866426170/raising-white-kids-author-on-how-white-parents-can-talk-about-race
Mindfulness Techniques for Students and Staff Calm Classroom is a simple and accessible way to integrate mindfulness into the classroom or home culture. Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to our present moment. The daily practice of mindful breathing, stretching, focusing, and relaxation exercises cultivates a greater sense of self-awareness, mental focus, and emotional resilience within educational and personal spaces. https://mcusercontent.com/8b2c19337fef7c5607939c263/files/6ca21f04-5bd5-4841-be21-6bf20902f13f/Keep_Calm_Practice_Calm_Classroom.01.pdf
How can I use restorative practices to host healing spaces?
Title/Resource Description Link
How to Host a Virtual Circle Guidance on how to facilitate and adapt the model of an in-person circle for a virtual, online setting. Previous experience facilitating in-person circles is helpful but not necessary. https://healingcirclesglobal.org/how-to-host-a-virtual-circle/
Circle Forward Sample scripts for hosting talking circles from the Circle Forward book specifically related to grief, loss, and trauma. Circle scripts
Where can I find resources for myself and my colleagues?
Title/Resource Description Link
Mental Health America: Supporting Others This article shares simple actions that anyone can take to help others who are going through difficult times. https://mhanational.org/supporting-others
Radical Self-Care in the Face of Mounting Racial Stress This article from Psychology Today provides steps for cultivating hope during times of distress and provides self-care strategies for adults. Psychology Today: Radical Self Care in the Face of Mounting Racial Stress
CPS Employee Assistance Program While it is great to check in with family, friends, and colleagues, sometimes it also helps to talk to someone who is trained to help you understand and work through feelings and emotions. Please remember that you are always welcome to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program. These services are confidential. Employee Assistance Program
The American Nightmare This thinkpiece provides insight to the mental, social, and historical impacts of systemic racism in America on Black people and how we have arrived at our current state in America. The American Nightmare
Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not This article highlights the stressors of working while Black during a pandemic in which race is both a factor and a trigger. This article supports empathetic thinking and social awareness. Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Ok- Chances Are They’re Not
Detour Spotting for White Anti-racists How can white allies monitor their own patterns of behavior through an anti-racist lens in order to not perpetuate white supremacy? Detour Spotting for White Anti-racists
Avoiding Racial Equity Detours Describes four detours to racial equity work and how we can identify and avoid them. Avoiding Racial Equity Detours

Talk about race, racial violence, racism, and Black Lives Matter.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

These resources explore our responsibility as educators, parents, and citizens to discuss race, racial violence, racism, and Black Lives Matter with youth, as well as resources to help us do this work.
Please note that schools and teachers should provide families and youth with an opt-out option. No matter how well-planned and expertly-facilitated these conversations are, they can be re-traumatizing to Black youth.

How do I start the conversation and support youth remotely?
Title/Resource Description Link
Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is. This article provides information about the root causes of the protests and emphasizes why we need to focus on police brutality and racial discrimination. Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is
Facing History and Ourselves: Teaching In The Wake Of Violence This resource is a guide for teachers on navigating conversations with their students after news of a mass shooting, terrorist attack, police violence, and other violent events. Teaching In The Wake Of Violence
Teaching Tolerance: Black Lives Matter Still Matters This resource outlines why it is important to teach young people of all races about the Black Lives Matters movement, its origins, and its continued relevance. Black Lives Matter Still Matters
NYCSchools: Fostering Community During Remote Learning~Teacher Reflection Guide This guide provides reflection questions and ideas for teachers seeking to foster a welcoming and affirming remote learning environment. This guide can be used for individual reflection and as a jumping off point for group reflection. Fostering Community During Remote Learning~Teacher Reflection Guide
Anti-Defamation League: George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement “Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events” This reading provides suggestions for how educators, parents, families, and caregivers can discuss George Floyd, police violence, racism, and protests with youth. It also includes discussion questions and suggestions for how to take action. Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events
Talking About Race.  The National Museum of African American History and Culture Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. These tools and guidance are designed to empower your journey and inspire conversation. Many of the tools for educators are PK-12. And there are great resources for individual work, no matter your role. https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
How do I support Black youth without inducing further trauma?
Title/Resource Description Link
Teaching Tolerance: Black Minds Matter This resource outlines the impact of racial disparities in mental health access and treatment and how schools and educators can play a major role in helping to mitigate those disparities. Black Minds Matter
Teaching Tolerance: Don’t Say Nothing. Silence Speaks Volumes. Our Students Are Listening. This resource outlines the importance and duty of educators to acknowledge and discuss race and racism with youth. Don’t Say Nothing. Silence Speaks Volumes. Our Students Are Listening.
Teaching Tolerance: Ending Curriculum Violence This article from Teaching Tolerance explores how despite the best intentions, teachers can create “curriculum violence” that can have detrimental effects on our youth. Ending Curriculum Violence
How do I talk about race, racial violence, racism, and Black Lives Matter with non-black youth?
Title/Resource Description Link
Anti-Defamation League: How Should I Talk About Race in my Mostly White Classroom? This resource provides guidance and considerations for how to engage in reflection and discussion on race and racism with white youth. How Should I Talk About Race in my Mostly White Classroom?
Safe Space Radio: Tips and Strategies “Talking to White Kids about Race and Racism” This resource provides tips for educators and parents on how to have a conversation on race and racism with white youth. Tips and Strategies: Talking to White Kids about Race and Racism
Letters For Black Lives: An Open Letter Project on Anti-Blackness This resource includes letters written by Asian American and Latinx American youth to their parents about the importance of centering Black lives in any discussion on race, discrimination, and injustice. It is an example for how non-black students can engage in learning and reflection on race, racism, and Black Lives Matter. Letters For Black Lives
New York Times: A Conversation on Race This resource includes a series of videos on different racial and ethnic groups describing their experiences with racism, including the following:

  • A Conversation with my Black Son
  • A Conversation About Growing Up Black
  • A Conversation With Black Women on Race
  • A Conversation with Latinos on Race
  • A Conversation with Asian-Americans on Race
  • A Conversation with Native Americans on Race
  • A Conversation with White People on Race
  • A Conversation with Police on Race
A Conversation on Race
How do I talk about this with elementary-aged youth?
Title/Resource Description Link
Teaching Tolerance: Y’all Still Don’t Hear Me Though This text for grades 6-8 features a 2015 essay by Lecia J. Brooks as she recounts her perspective as a protester who participated in the Los Angeles Race Riots that followed the trial of those who had committed police brutality against activist Rodney King. Her account details the pervasiveness of police brutality and why demonstrators protest against it. Y’all Still Don’t Hear Me Though
Children Community School: Social Justice Resources This site contains resources and considerations for how to discuss race and social justice topics including racism, police brutality, and protests with youth. Children Community School: Social Justice Resources
Edutopia: Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice This resource contains five strategies for engaging youth in learning and discussion on bias, diversity, and social justice. Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice
Oakland Library: Talking to Kids about Racism and Justice, a list for Parents, Educators, and Caregivers (Pre-K and up) This resource provides a list of educational resources to engage young people (Pre-K and up) in learning about racism and justice. Talking to Kids about Racism and Justice, A list for Parents, Educators, and Caregivers

Pay close attention to media and information.

Media has power. What we see and hear shapes what we think, how we see ourselves, and how we engage with the world around us. Teaching young people at all ages critical media and information literacy skills is key for preparing youth for civic life.

How is this story being told, and why is this important?
Title/Resource Description Link
Facing History and Ourselves: How Journalists Minimize Bias This lesson from Facing History and Ourselves asks youth to consider how biases and stereotypes influence the way we interpret the world around us and how both journalists and media consumers address issues of bias in themselves and others. How Journalists Minimize Bias
5 Key Questions and Concepts that can Change the World It is important that we cultivate critical media dispositions and skills in our youth so that they consume information effectively. Edutopia: Social Media and 5 Key Concepts

Free lessons from the Center for Media Literacy using 5 Key Concepts/Questions that can be used with students every day.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (And Other Conversations about Race) The chapter from Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book “Defining Racism: Can We Talk?” explores the definition of racism, its cost, and impact. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Here’s What You Need to Know About Breonna Taylor’s Death This article provides a timeline of the events surrounding the killing of Breonna Taylor, whose death has received national attention and whose name has been included alongside Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd in discussions about violence against Black Americans. Here’s What You Need to Know About Breonna Taylor’s Death
How should I consume media at this moment? What questions should we be asking ourselves?
Title/Resource Description Link
Teaching Tolerance: Living with the Bear This article discusses how constant exposure to violence via social media is harming our youth, and how we can give them the support they need. Living with the Bear
Teaching Tolerance: Teaching Students about Confirmation Bias This article focuses on concerns about the impact of fake news by helping youth know and understand confirmation bias (our tendency to more readily believe information that supports—or confirms—our existing worldviews and to exclude information that might contradict previously held assumptions). Teaching Students about Confirmation Bias
Teaching Tolerance: A Classroom Discussion About the Media, Trust, and Knowledge This article encourages students to think through problems in the contemporary media landscape to help them become more active, open-minded knowledge-seekers. A Classroom Discussion About the Media, Trust, and Knowledge
How do we hold the media accountable? How are we accountable for the information we share?
Title/Resource Description Link
Vox: Media Coverage of Protests Sure Looks Different when Demonstrators are White This article examines how the media covers protests when the demonstrators are white. Vox: Media coverage of protests sure looks different when demonstrators are white
When They See Us: Improving the Media’s Coverage of Black Men and Boys This article shows  how media coverage shapes the ability of individuals and communities to receive fair and equal justice and how persistent trends of distorted media depictions of Black men and boys contribute to negative stereotypes, inequitable treatment, and unequal opportunities. When They See Us: Improving the Media’s Coverage of Black Men and Boys

Be actively anti-racist.

“In a racist society, it is not enough to not be non-racist, we must be anti-racist” – Angela Davis.

These resources explore what it means to be anti-racist and its importance to our role as educators, parents, and citizens. We must first listen, then learn, discuss, and act.

What does it mean to be anti-racist and why is it important?
Title/Resource Description Link
National Museum of African American History and Culture: Being Anti-racist This hand-out explores and offers guidance on the  the following topics:

  • What does it mean to be anti-racist?
  • Becoming an anti-racist as a white person.
  • Becoming an anti-racist as a person of color.
Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing
Teaching Tolerance: White Anti-Racism: Living the Legacy A conversation about power, privilege, identity, and what it means to be anti-racist with community activists incuding:

  • Diane Flinn, a white woman and managing partner of Diversity Matters.
  • Georgette Norman, an African American woman and director of the Rosa Parks Library and Museum.
  • Sejal Patel, a South Asian American woman and community organizer in South Asian immigrant communities.
  • Yvette Robles, a Chicana and Community Relations Manager in Los Angeles.
White Anti-Racism: Living the Legacy
How can I be an anti-racist educator?
Title/Resource Description Link
Edweek: The Urgent Need for Anti-Racist Education As educators, we don’t just teach content; we teach life lessons. Here are changes we can make to ensure we are breaking down racist beliefs and systems of white supremacy in our own classrooms. The Urgent Need for Anti-Racist Education
ASCD: How to be an Anti-Racist Educator Included in this article are five actions we can take to be anti-racist educators for our youth, including “Engage in Vigilant Self-Awareness,” “Study and Teach Representative History,” and “Talk about Race with Youth.” How to be an Anti-Racist Educator
Edutopia: Creating an Anti-Racist Classroom This resource helps us to reflect on our own biases and about our own practices in the classroom as we engage in anti-racist work. Creating an Anti-Racist Classroom
Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti-Racism Chicago ROAR is a regional program of Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training. The purpose of Chicago ROAR is to dismantle systemic racism and build anti-racist multicultural diversity within institutions and communities by training institutional transformation teams
They are offering free virtual workshops.
Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti Racism

Additional resources for teaching and talking about race, violence, and police violence.

Title/Resource Description Link
NY Times: First Encounters with Race and Racism: Teaching Ideas for Classroom Conversations This is a lesson plan from the New York Times on how to engage youth in conversations about race, including discussion questions, videos on race and implicit bias, and voices from youth about their experiences with racism. First Encounters with Race and Racism: Teaching Ideas for Classroom Conversations

Nemours Has Great Resources for Reading and Health

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.

READING

HEALTH

TEACHERS

Teacher Site for Health Topics By Grade Level

Basic Phonics Skills Test 3rd Edition (BPST III)

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Overview

Basic Phonics Skills Test III (BPST III) (For students reading below a 4th-grade decoding level) by John Shefelbine

Basic Phonics Skills Test III

Purpose
The Basic Phonics Skills Test III (BPST) is a phonics assessment that consists of the recognition of letter sounds, specific phonics patterns, and the blending of single syllable and polysyllabic words out of context. The BPST is a tool for teacher to isolate the phonics sounds students can identify and blend successfully.

Administration
– Give the student a copy of the BPST Student sheets.
– Begin with the letter sounds portion of the test, or begin with the word lists if
individual letter sounds have already been identified or are not a concern.
– Ask the student to read the sound and/or words aloud from left to right. Words must be blended, not simply sounded out, to be considered correct.
– Record the student’s correct responses with a check mark above the corresponding letter and/or word on the BPST Teacher sheet.
– You may choose to also record the student’s incorrect responses by writing the mispronunciation given above the corresponding letter and/or word.
– Consider stopping when the student is unable to correctly read all or most of the words in two consecutive rows.
– Do not offer the student any assistance except to ask him/her to move on to the next word as needed.

Analysis
– Consider carefully the errors the student made in each section to determine
possible areas for instruction and intervention. Any section in which a student
achieved less than 80% proficiency represents a possible area of focus. The order of
sections does not represent a particular instructional sequence.
– It is important to note that a student who mispronounces polysyllabic words out of
context may demonstrate a need for vocabulary instruction versus phonics intervention. Listen to the child read polysyllabic words in the context of an
appropriately leveled text to determine if a vocabulary need is present

Source

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BPST-III – – Basic Phonic Skills Test (Word Doc)

BPST III (PDF)

Why is this important?

Phonics is the process of mapping the sounds in words to written letters. This is one of the earliest reading skills children should develop, because it introduces them to the link between letters and sounds, known as the alphabetic principle.

A lack of phonics instruction in early childhood can lead to reading difficulties further down the track. It’s important that children can grasp the concept that printed text represents the sounds of spoken words. There are many phonics activities that you can do with your child at home, which will help your child to develop early phonics skills, although it’s important to remember that these activities should always be complemented with regular reading.

Source

We use measures like the BPST 3 to help understand the child’s level of phonics competency to help inform our instruction. Some children who score low will need additional practice with developing their understanding of phonics.

How to talk to kids about school violence

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The day after the mass shooting occurred in Florida many kids were talking about the massacre. They were asking a variety of questions like, “Will that happen to us at our school?” or simply “Am I safe at school?”  As educators, parents, and community members we have an obligation to know what to say to our kids. This post will review what the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) recommends.

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

  1. Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
  2. Make time to talk. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.
  3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.
    • Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.
    • Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.
  4. Review safety procedures. This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.
  5. Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.
  6. Limit television viewing of these events. Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.
  7. Maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children

    • Schools are safe places. School staff works with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.

The school building is safe because … (cite specific school procedures).

  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
  • There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.
  • Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and probability that it will affect you (our school community).
  • Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event.
  • Sometimes people do bad things that hurt others. They may be unable to handle their anger, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from mental illness. Adults (parents, teachers, police officers, doctors, faith leaders) work very hard to get those people help and keep them from hurting others. It is important for all of us to know how to get help if we feel really upset or angry and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Stay away from guns and other weapons. Tell an adult if you know someone has a gun. Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence.
  • Violence is never a solution to personal problems. Students can be part of the positive solution by participating in anti-violence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

NASP has additional information for parents and educators on school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response at www.nasponline.org.

PDF

The handout, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers is available in the following languages:

Source

Related Readings

Violence Prevention: A Mental Health Issue Tips for Parents and Educators (NASP)

15 Tips for Talking with Children About School Violence (Colorín Colorado)

School Violence Prevention-Brief Facts and Tips (NASP)

Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

PREPaRE Training Curriculum

NASP Resolution on Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence 

Kidpower a Great resource for keeping kids, parents, and educators informed about child safety

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https://www.kidpower.org/

Kidpower is an excellent organization with a world-class reputation in supporting child safety. Their materials and training have helped many schools in our area and I can attest to their commitment to building safer communities.

Resource Library

Books

Training

Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International is a global non-profit leader dedicated to child protection advocacy and empowering people of all ages, abilities, cultures, beliefs, and identities with life skills for safety and success. Our vision is to work together to create cultures of safety, respect, and kindness for everyone, everywhere.

Since 1989, Kidpower has protected nearly 5 million people, including those with special needs, from bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence by empowering them with awareness, knowledge, and skills – and has prepared them to take charge of their safety and well being. Worldwide, thousands of educators, mental health experts, public safety officials, health care providers, community leaders, and parents recommend Kidpower for being effective, positive, hands-on, safe, trauma-informed, culturally competent, age-appropriate, and relevant.

Kidpower delivers services through:

  • Hands-on experiential workshops for families, schools, organizations, businesses, and agencies

  • Training for people wishing to learn how to use and teach our programs

  • Partnerships with groups that share our commitment to safety and respect

  • Consulting and coaching calls, for individuals and groups, to provide long-distance support

  • Extensive online educational resources including articles, handouts, posters, and videos

  • Cartoon-illustrated books for children, teens, and adults and other publications

  • Initiatives such as International Child Protection Advocacy Month in September