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    Amanda Bagheri
    Assistant Principal
    Medea Creek Middle School
    818 707-7922

     
    Welcome to Medea Creek Middle School


                There are lots of ways to get involved at MCMS. These include joining Clubs, participating in ASB events, signing up to attend Homework Club (offered Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Library), doing Community Service on and off campus and joining MCMS Safety Squad, which helps the MCMS community prepare and plan for emergencies. If you would like to know more about these opportunities, check the Website, or ask me!
                                              Please find below the Challenge Success Newsletter for September.  OPUSD works with Challenge Success, based at Stanford University.  Challenge Success is a great navigation resource for schools, parents and students who daily work to balance school responsibilities, family and personal growth.  Scroll down to see some video clips previewing a new book, Overloaded and Underprepared.  See me if you would like further information and resources on the topics mentioned in this Newsletter.

    Bay Area Friends: Join Us on Friday, September 25th!
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    New to the Blog


    A Fresh Start: School Without Trauma by Madeline Levine.
    “Nothing matters as much as raising a kind, well-adjusted, reflective kid. If you don’t know this in your heart, trust me on it. No amount of external accomplishment compares to knowing that you are sending a good, capable child out into the world when the time is right. Your child will thank you. And you will sleep better.”

    Happiness Within Reach: The Open Secret by Carole Pertofsky.
    “Happiness IS within reach. Enjoy life’s healthy pleasures. Challenge yourself to grow, engage with life and master new accomplishments and skills. Above all, discover your unique capacity to bring greater joy and meaning to your personal life, as well as to the greater good of our communities.”


    Office Hours with Professor Pope


    Last week, I participated in a panel discussion for parents at Menlo-Atherton High School in Northern California with Challenge Success board member Julie Lythcott-Haims. We received a few questions about the current state of college admissions and how the process seems to be a contributing factor to the issue of stressed-out kids and parents. As high school seniors are entering the application season and juniors see college on the horizon, here are a few things to keep in mind:  
    1. It’s about the fit, not the name brand. Remember, a school is only a "good" school, if it's the right match for your kid. I know this can be difficult to keep in mind when you hear so many competing messages. Make sure your child takes the time to explore a wide range of schools – even those you may not have heard of – and that every school on the final prospect list is one that your child would be excited to attend. 

    2. Consider schools with alternative admission processes. Many schools across the country are changing their admission requirements and applications. Over 1000 schools are now test-optional – which means you don’t have to take a standardized test in order to get in, and you don’t have to spend time and money on hours of test prep. And several schools are now using alternative admission processes where students turn in research essays or portfolios instead of transcripts and scores. Learn more at fairtest.org.

    School Notes


    Many of our partner schools are focusing on issues surrounding the climate of care for their students. Why does this matter? Research has demonstrated that when students feel safe, connected, and supported at school, they are also more motivated and engaged in their academic lives. This emphasis on the overall well-being of students is a very positive shift for the education environment. Here’s how a few schools are making wellness an integral component of campus life:
    1. In Palo Alto, California, Gunn High School is moving forward with plans for a new Wellness Center which will provide integrated mental health services and set aside space for students and staff to participate in meditation and other restorative practices.

    2. When developing a new strategic plan, Latin School of Chicago designated “Wellness as a Foundation for Education” as one of its four key strategic priorities.

    3. Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, created an Optimal Learning Experience (Ole) Day where classes were taught in an alternative manner, and activities such as zumba and yoga were offered during lunch.

    Book Report


    It’s been a little over a month since the release of our first book, Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids. The book immediately climbed the charts as the #1 New Release in Education Theory on Amazon. It was also featured in a column in The New York Times and The Washington Post (see below). And, we are happy to report that schools from across the country have made large quantity purchases of Overloaded and Underprepared to give to all staff members at the beginning of the school year. Nothing could make us happier. 

    Share Overloaded and Underprepared with the principals, teachers, school board members, and parent leaders in your community. 100% of the authors’ proceeds from the book will directly benefit Challenge Success.

    Take a look at these book related video clips — perfect for back to school:




      

    CS in the News

    Recent interviews, comments, and quotes: 

    How to Bring Playfulness to High School Students, KQED Mindshift

    Today’s Exhausted Superkids, The New York Times
     
    What Kids Need for Optimal Health and School Engagement, KQED Mindshift
     
    Challenging Definitions of Success, The Huffington Post
     
    Overloaded and Underprepared: Kids Go Back to School, BYU Radio
     
    How to Handle School Stress Without Blaming It All on Advanced Placement, The Washington Post

    Good Reads

    The most popular articles from our Facebook community:

    Off To College: The Serious Talk You Should Have With Your Child, scarymommy.com
     
    Things We Say to Kids That Sound Positive But Can Be Detrimental, The Washington Post
     
    Encouraging Nature Play, PBS.org
     
    5 Parenting Styles That Cause Entitlement in Kids — And How to Change Them, Today.com
     
    See Your Children Leading Healthy Lives? Research Suggests Parents Should Look Harder, Motherlode, The New York Times

    Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out, Slate
     
    Just Like That, scarymommy.com

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