Winter greetings from the Education Services team at ICOE. As we prepare for longer days and signs of spring, we hope that you find a renewed motivation to continue doing the amazing work of inspiring our youth through education. We've gathered some resources to consider while working with your students and are excited to share some of the things going on in our office. If we can provide support with our programs or offerings, please reach out to our team.
The Education Services Team
“Young people who repeatedly get caught using alcohol and drugs are often labeled as “troubled,” “bad influences,” or “kids who are making bad choices.” As educators, we have a job to do—and not many options for helping students like these without also having to punish them. How can we better support students who might be struggling with alcoholism and addiction?”
This is how an article from Edutopia author, Emily Donahoe, on student addiction begins. And sadly, although the article was written four years ago, and pre-COVID, all the facts and methods for helping a teenager with use or addiction issues still apply.
We know substance users are not deterred by consequences. Yet the systems in place call for punishments and negative consequences. As the number of times a student is caught increases, so do the consequences. One sure sign of addiction is continuing to use despite getting in trouble, disappointing their teachers, and upsetting their parents. Choice to use is no longer really a choice.
“AS COUNTERINTUITIVE AS IT MAY SEEM, WE NEED TO SHOW THESE STUDENTS THAT WE ARE NOT INVESTED IN WHETHER THEY STOP USING—BUT WE ARE 100 PERCENT INVESTED IN THEM.”
Then what? What strategies can teachers and schools use?
Check all the suggestions and the full article here: Responding to Students with Addiction
February is National African American Heritage or Black History month! Webinars, gallery talks, discussions, and other virtual events can be found on this website and we also gathered many resources below. Click on the images and sign in to Calsnap, Newsela, and Britannica to view.
To prepare for the upcoming state assessments, practice and training tests are available to assist students in becoming familiar with the types of questions and format of the California Science Test (CAST) for grades 5, 8 and high school. There are new accessibility resources for CAASPP including text-to-speech in Spanish for students using the stacked translation designated support (available to all students) for the maths assessment. See all accessibility resources here or review the CA Assessment Accessibility Resource Matrix. Remember, Universal Tools and Designated Supports are available to all students and may need to be activated in the CAASPP system.
Teaching Attendance 🎓
Every day a student is absent is a lost opportunity for learning that can have lasting effects on academic achievement. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year.
Understanding parents’ attitudes, behaviors and motivators can help the school community to address the factors that are contributing to chronic absence. According to the California School Attendance Research Project, parents may not necessarily connect absences with a missed opportunity to learn, and do not track their child’s absences. They do understand, however, that attendance is important. What does this mean for communication? Effective messaging can make a difference:
- Use the word ‘absence’ vs. ‘attendance’
- Educate parents that missing just a day or two every month can make it harder to learn to read by the third grade and stay on track for graduation
- Define what is considered to be a valid reason for an absence
- Emphasize the importance of building habits and life skills such as attendance, organization, and punctuality that will serve the kids throughout school and life
- All families have hopes and dreams for their children. Being in school every day will enable children to do well in school, and graduate from high school ready for work or college.
As Teddy Roosevelt once said: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Developing a trusting relationship takes time, but can help school staff to leverage the strengths and assets of a student and family that may help them overcome challenges in getting to school. Building positive relationships can be as simple as a high five or a smile as the students board the bus, or greeting students at the door by name. Find ways to communicate and show students that you are glad they are at school and to welcome them back after an absence.
For more resources on effective messaging and building positive relationships, including parent handout and infographics, see the Attendance Works website.
The Directing Change Program offers young people the opportunity to win prizes and promote mental health by expressing their feelings, taking action, and inspiring others through art. The monthly Hope & Justice category asks young people grades 5-12 (ages 12-25) to explore how they are coping through tough times. Students may submit entries related to the themes of “Hope,” “Justice,” or the monthly prompt. All art forms accepted: poetry, original music, short films, visual art, TikToks, dance and more! To learn more, please visit this website.
The Science of Well Being For Teens
This 6-week course aims to curb this mental health crisis by bringing together the best insights from Dr. Laurie Santos’ popular Yale course Psychology and the Good Life. In this course, youth will explore what the field of psychology teaches us about how to be happier, how to feel less stressed, and how to thrive in high school and beyond. The lessons along with short weekly ‘happiness homework’ assignments will ultimately prepare youth to put these scientific findings into practice. The ultimate goal is for youth to feel better and build healthier habits. Parents, teachers, and other professionals supporting teenagers may also find the course beneficial. For more information and to register visit the website here.
The Greater Good Science Center
The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Podcasts, online courses, and a variety of materials aim to help educators, youth, and families expand their understanding of social emotional learning. The Greater Good Education Program uses a variety of methods to help education professionals understand the science behind social-emotional learning, mindfulness, ethical development, mindsets, purpose, and related topics—then apply those insights to their schools, classrooms, and other educational settings. Visit the website to learn more!
Outdoor Education with ICOE
After rescheduling to between storms, we found that the atmospheric rivers had made our normal outdoor location in the COSA into a new duck pond, so we improvised and did our outdoor education training (pictured to the right) for the 3rd and 5th grade field programs at the ICOE office. In addition to the 3rd grade Taking Root and 5th grade Branching Out programs, students in grades 2, 4, 6 & 7 will be invited to participate in day field trips to our local watersheds as part of the ESWP program throughout the spring. We are always looking for individuals to volunteer for our many outdoor programs. If you or anyone you know might be interested in volunteering, please reach out to Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you ❤️ Learning ...
- LACOE is offering a PBIS General Awareness webinar. Behavioral framework can enhance equity across the system and increase student, staff, and community success. The webinar will include a brief look on the features and how you can gain further support.
- The San Diego COE and CIEFA have a newly designed 2023 Winter/Spring Ensuring Excellence and Equitable Learning for All American Indian Students Training Series.This series will provide resources to improve the educational programs for Native youth and families. This Community of Practice will share resources and programs in K-12 education related to American Indian Education, Title VI, culturally responsive instructional materials, Native Youth Leadership, community engagement, and improvement strategies to facilitate Native community leadership and agency in schools. Register here.
- Power of Relationships in Supporting Positive School Climates: Tuesday, Feb. 28. California Center for School Climate, a California Dept. of Education initiative run by WestEd, is holding a virtual conference designed for school administrators, staff and community partners. Sessions to include cultivating equitable relationships, a collaborative approach to mental health, culturally responsive pedagogy and youth perspectives. Register Here.
Inyo county administrators, teachers and students have access to a premium Pear Deck account. This Google add-on is ready for use through Google Slides. Add Peary to your current presentations and let the interactivity happen! There are also many templates for core subject areas, SEL, icebreakers, virtual field trips, holidays and more in “the orchard” linked here.
If you have any questions about accessing this tool or want a quick training of ways to use Pear Deck, please contact Mini at email@example.com.