Recently, there has been increasing concern expressed on many levels regarding a Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, which was released this spring. The series is based on a young-adult novel of the same name and centers around the suicide of a high school student. The intent of the producers was to help those who might be struggling with thoughts about suicide. Unfortunately, according to published reports, there appear to be many teenagers who are binge-watching the series without adult approval or guidance and support. The graphic nature of several episodes, as well as the difficult topics, is not appropriate for young teens, including middle school age students. Many educators, parents, and school counselors are now raising the alarm that the show glamorizes risky behavior, leading to potential copycat behavior. The National Association of School Counselors does not recommend this series, particularly without parental presence and support. St. Michael’s does not recommend 13 Reasons Why for any middle school students as it is rated for mature audiences. You may choose to inquire if your child or any friend has viewed the series and follow up with your own family discussions around any questions or concerns that are raised by your child.
We take the mental and emotional well being of our students very seriously and offer listening ears and support without judgment. Should we have any concerns, our faculty and staff will always reach out to parents to share concerns and partner together on behalf of a student. For more information, please refer to the National Association of School Psychologists’ website for resource recommendations for parents as well as more information about this series (www.nasponline.org).
If you have not yet turned in your yellow Confidential Emergency Health Information Form, please complete it promptly and drop it off at the School Office. This form must be completed annually with any important health and contact information and updated as often as needed.
For all new students, all sixth graders, and those students participating in sports, a current physical exam needs to be on file with the school nurse. If there are insurance issues preventing a student from getting a physical until later in the school year, please let me know so that I can note that in my records. Also, new students and 6th graders need to bring a current copy of immunization records.
Lastly, please take special precautions on extremely hot days, including dressing your children in lightweight clothing, limiting outdoor activity, and drinking plenty of fluids. If a heat advisory is in effect, we will limit outdoor activities as needed. Please make sure your student comes to school daily with sunscreen applied, a water bottle with his or her name on it, and plenty of healthy snacks and lunch to keep him or her going during the school day. We look forward to a safe and healthy school year!
Erika Huff, R.N.
Please read the attached letter from Nurse Huff about flu season: Flu vs Cold
Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has recognized St. Michael’s School as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School. St. Michael’s is the first and currently the only school in Arizona to receive this recognition.
“We applaud the faculty and staff of St. Michael’s School for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Rebecca Randall, vice president of education programs for Common Sense Education. “St. Michael’s deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”
St. Michael’s began using Common Sense Education’s innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources when we implemented our 1:1 iPad program four years ago. The Common Sense curriculum was created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyright. The free resources are currently used in more than 90,000 classrooms nationwide.
To learn more about the criteria St. Michael’s met to become certified as a Common Sense Certified School, visit http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/certification.
If you have not yet turned in your yellow Confidential Emergency Health Information Form, please complete it promptly and drop it off in the School Office. This form must be completed annually with any important health and contact information and updated as often as needed.
For all new students, all sixth graders, and those students participating in sports, a current physical exam needs to be on file with the school nurse. If there are insurance issues preventing a student from getting a physical until later in the school year, please let me know so that I can note that in my records. Also, new students and all sixth graders need to bring a current copy of immunization records.
Lastly, please take special precautions on extremely hot days, including dressing your children in lightweight clothing, limiting outdoor activity, and drinking plenty of fluids. If a heat advisory is in effect, we will limit outdoor activities as needed. Please make sure your student comes to school daily with a water bottle and discuss the importance of proper hydration. We look forward to a safe and healthy school year!
Erika Huff, R.N.
One thing that we pride ourselves on at St. Michael’s is the safety of our students. I never want parents to leave children in the morning worried about how we will care for them in their absence. It is a top priority. Recently, however, I have noticed in the morning and afternoon, at arrival and dismissal, that our front parking area is becoming increasingly dangerous. Cars are double parking in all lanes, stopping in front of gates without regard for incoming traffic entering the parking lot from Wilmot, and leaving cars unattended in the carpool lanes while walking students to and from classrooms. In addition, we occasionally see parents immediately turn left when entering the main gate at 5th and Wilmot, running the risk of hitting an oncoming car that is leaving campus.
Most concerning to me is the number of students who are darting across the parking lot without regard for cars coming and going. Our children feel a sense of safety, but for drivers in the morning and afternoon, small children may not always be visible behind cars that are backing up or trying quickly to leave the parking area. Please, please, please be aware of all traffic patterns and be ever vigilant of children in the parking lot. We would also ask that you always accompany children in the parking lot, not allowing them to run ahead of you to the sidewalks. Thank you for helping to keep all of our students safe and reducing the risk factors in our parking areas as we come and go from the St. Michael’s campus.
Head of School
If one were to take a morning or afternoon to observe the parking lot, it would be crystal-clear why we have signs pointing the way, providing orderly and safe passage for parents and children coming and going from school. In the haste of getting from point A to point B, on occasion we have observed cars that turn left in the main entrance to the school rather than following the posted “One Way” signs, or sometimes choosing to turn left off of Wilmot into the back parking lot to avoid a short wait at the light, even though the posted sign says “No Turns.” When we hastily make those decisions, it puts drivers, parents, and children in the parking lot in jeopardy, and accidents can happen. So…please follow the posted signs for the safety of our parents, children, and staff. No one wants a decision made in a hurry that results in an accident or injury to a member of our community. Thank you for observing and honoring our traffic patterns…for safety’s sake.
Hearing Screening Scheduled for May 7-9, 2014
Hearing screening statutes legislatively mandates all Arizona educational institutions to provide hearing screening and referrals to school-aged children. The mandate requires that all private, charter, and public schools make available to their students a systematic screening for hearing disorders in order to allow early identification and appropriate intervention. This school year, hearing screenings are scheduled on May 7 through May 9 for the following grades: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 6, and all new students. Please make a special effort to make sure your child is here on those dates. The results of these screenings are confidential, and referral letters will be sent home only if a child needs further evaluation. Please be advised that the screenings we provide do not replace a complete examination with an audiologist. Opt out forms will be sent home this week; should you need an extra copy, it can be downloaded here. Any volunteers willing to help escort students to and from classrooms on Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday mornings 8:30-10:00 A.M. will be greatly appreciated! Please contact our School Nurse at 722-8478 x219 or at email@example.com.
In keeping with their mission to promote a healthy community through running and walking, the Southern Arizona Roadrunners is pleased to announce the 2014 FitKidz Racing Series.
The FitKidz Racing Series is comprised of completely FREE one-mile races for kids not yet in middle school so that means for grade school age and younger. The events will be loads of fun and will include official timing so that the kids get the full race experience!
2014 FitKidz Racing Series schedules the following:
* Dave’s Run – March 16
* Cyclovia FitKidz Run – April 6
* TMC Meet Me Downtown – May 31
* Sabino Canyon Kids Classic – September
* Great Pumpkin Race at Buckelew Farms One Mile Race – October
* TMC Get Moving Tucson Event – Cox Charities One Mile Race – October 19
For more information, visit their website.
2nd Grade: Writing Good E-mails: Students learned how to communicate effectively by e-mail, taking into account the purpose and audience of their message, and the tone they want to convey. Family tip sheet: k-5-familytip-effectiveemailcommunication
3rd Grade: Advertising Detectives: Students learned to recognize five different kinds of on-line ads prevalent on children’s sites. They learned how to distinguish advertising content from other content on a website. Family tip sheet: k-5-familytip-evaluatingwebsites
4th Grade: Picture Perfect: Students learned how photos can be altered digitally. They considered the creative upsides of photo alteration, as well as its power to distort our perceptions of beauty and health. Family tip sheet: k-5-familytip-boysgirlsmediamessages
5th Grade: Group Think: Students will identify actions (this Thursday) that will make them upstanders in the face of cyberbullying. Family tip sheet: k-5-familytip-cyberbullying