Cowan Chronicles

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Social Media

An ever-shifting landscape of social media has provided opportunities and challenges. As a parent, I have struggled with navigating social media and when to allow my two children to use it. When my daughter was in sixth grade, she wanted to have an Instagram account. I wasn't even sure what Instagram was, beyond a place to post pictures, and I feared her exposure to outside influences. I think I ended up giving it to her as a birthday present (as my daughter, now 21 says "you were That Mom")! My requirement was that I needed to follow her, so that I could monitor what she was posting. She insisted that I follow her under a pseudonym (gardengirl8) so her friends would not know that her "mom" was following her. In retrospect, I probably should've chosen a cooler username.

Today, our students continue to experience a wide array of social media, and as parents, the difficulty increases as there are more, and more choices. At Cowan, we have experienced the influence of social media with students trying out the TikTok monthly challenges (restroom vandalism) and students imitating the latest Netflix offering, Squid Game, on the playground. As I talk with students about their choices and whether or not they are safe and respectful, they have had the opportunity to be reflective about those choices and what they might have done differently.

A resource that has been extremely helpful to me, as a parent and an educator, is Common Sense Media They have everything from resources on how/when to introduce tech/media, descriptions/ratings of apps, and book/movie recommendations (all by age range). Having a quick resource to turn to, when your child is asking for a new tech experience, can be extremely helpful as you navigate the waters of social media!

-Wendy Benson, Principal

COVID-19 Drop-in Testing at Cowan

Wednesdays 8-9-00 am. Please be sure to register at: (only needed one time). Testing is also available by appointment.

Red Ribbon/Spirit Week 10/25-10/29


In an effort to provide support for our local Afghan refugees within our San Juan community that are impacted by the current Afghanistan crisis, our district is collecting donations of clothing, hygienic products, bedding, towels, and new or gently-used strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, and monetary donations to help with emergency relief.

If you would like to join our effort, you can donate items at our District Office (3738 Walnut Avenue) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also make a tax-deductible donation online

Items requested include:

  • Clothing (infant, youth, adult)

  • Shoes, socks and undergarments

  • Hygiene products (soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, razors, feminine products, etc.)

  • Bed sheets, blankets, comforters, pillowcases, rugs and new pillows

  • Bath towels and washcloths

  • New and gently-used strollers

  • New and gently-used medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, etc.)

Thank you for your generosity and support of our San Juan Unified Afghan community!

Interested in becoming a Girl Scout Troop Leader?

Contact Maria Ramirez at for more information about leading a troop at Cowan!

21-22 School Site Council Members

Congratulations to our new SSC Parent Members:

Kyle Ferruolo

Nicole Mendonca

Mike Habtom

Rawaa Zaidan

Other News

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October 23rd 10-2 pm Link Below

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Where to update your contact information and delivery preferences

Parents and guardians: if your phone number or email address has recently changed, please notify your child’s school’s front office to update in our student information system.

If you’d like to set delivery preferences for the phone calls and emails you receive from your child’s school and the district through our notification system, please visit for step-by-step instructions. You can set delivery preferences through the district’s mobile app, or online.

San Juan Unified is hiring dedicated substitute teachers!

Looking for a job with flexible hours and good pay? Join our Cowan family as a dedicated substitute teacher and earn up to $225 a day. A dedicated substitute teacher is a guest teacher at one school site only but may be asked to substitute at a nearby school on certain days. To learn more visit

Looking Ahead

10/18-11/5 The Great Fall Challenge

10/25-10/29 Red Ribbon Week

11/11 No School - Veteran's Day

11/12 No School - Teacher Work Day

11/18 Skate Night 3:30-5:30

11/15-11/19 Minimum Days Parent/Teacher Conferences

11/22-11/26 No School - Thanksgiving Break

James R. Cowan Elementary

Follow us on Instagram @ cowanschool

Principal: Wendy Benson

Non-Discrimination Statement

“The San Juan Unified School District Board of Education is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in district programs and activities. District programs, activities and services shall be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or on the basis of a person's association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The Non-Discrimination Compliance Officer: Linda C.T. Simlick, General Counsel, 3738 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608, Telephone: (916) 971-7110, E-Mail:; The Title IX Coordinator: Katie Fabel, Legal Analyst, 3738 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608, Telephone: (916) 971-7110, E-Mail: