Guidance Dept Newsletter - LFMS

2016-17 Edition 7 - Summer Newsletter

How to Use Your Summer Break Wisely

What happens to the knowledge you've gained over the past nine months if you take a complete break from learning? Imagine an athlete who stops training for 3 months...do you think he will return to compete at the same level he left? What about someone who breaks a leg and is in a cast for weeks? What happens to the limb? Is it the same when the cast is removed? No, in both these cases, the muscles grow weaker or atrophy and must be reconditioned to return to their former strength and ability. The same is true with your brain.


Though you may take a break from the daily routine of school lessons, be sure to exercise your brain by challenging yourself with learning opportunities offered during the summer. Take a summer review course in subjects you struggled with, start or join a book club to continue reading and thinking critically, enroll in an art class to expand your creativity, or make it a goal to learn an instrument or take a class with the School of Rock. Whatever you do, don't let your brain atrophy.


There is a larger loss in learnt skills in the USA than most countries around the world due to the extended summer break in most school systems in the USA. Parents need to take responsibility to assure their children continue to exercise their brains over the break and minimise the loss of learnt skills. Click on the title below to read statistics on the summer learning loss. Additional articles are also linked below.

Big image

Did You Miss The Screening of Screenagers? Are You or Your Child Addicted to Media Devices?

Below is an hour long Panel Discussion by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the effects of media on children and how much is appropriate. Linked below are the American Academy of Pediatrics recently published policy statements on smart and safe use of media for children to assist parents in determining appropriate use of media in their family. According to the AAP, "too much media in early childhood is associated with results in behavioral, developmental, sleep, and obesity outcomes that are suboptimal." (2016). Below are links to their new policy statements, a supporting technical report and their newly issued Family Media Plan Tool.


Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents

Media and Young Minds

Children and Adolescents and Digital Media

Family Media Plan Tool


The Family Media Use Plan is a tool developed by the AAP to allow families time to develop media guidelines for their family that sets aside time for physical activity, sleep, time to be unplugged, prioritising time for school and academics, time for device free family dinners, and include free time to be bored and learn delayed gratification.

AAP Media Panel Discussion on Children and Media

Does Your Child Have a Fidget Spinner? Is It Really Necessary?

Occupational therapist, Virginia Prooday explains in the article here why fidget spinners may be harming your child's learning.

Quicklink Resources

Guidance Webpage Information and/or links on the Academic Domain such as study skills, test taking, tutoring resources, and useful links for help with English writing and Math skills

Counselors Corner Resource Personal-Social Domain including stress management, conflict mediation, grief, and social skills

College and Career Guidance Information about high school graduation requirements, college admissions, and career choices.

Students Helping Students (SHS) This peer tutoring program matches students with a peer tutor for weekly tutor sessions before or after school or during lunch.

Mrs. Teri Graffeo - Academic Advisor Q-Z

Ms. Graffeo splits her responsibilities with Ladera Ranch MS. She will be available on site at Las Flores MS on Tuesdays and Fridays. You may also reach her via email.

Ms. Brittney Pacini - School Counseling Graduate Practicum Student

Ms. Pacini is a graduate counselling student at Chapman University and is completing her Practicum hours with Las Flores Middle School. She is available Mondays and Tuesdays.

Mrs. Sonia Eatmon - School Psychologist

Mrs. Angela Danna - Registrar, Guidance Secretary

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Board of Trustees desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district’s academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any District school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

How to Plan an Educational Vacation

Tips on how to plan an educational vacation include the following tips:


  • Make reading part of your vacation or post vacation.


Enlist your older children to research places to visit or read maps on how to get there. Let them choose some of the sites to visit and tell you why they want to include this in their holiday.


One of our spring family vacations to Amsterdam included a visit to the Anne Frank house. My youngest who was only 7 or 8 at the time was so enthralled with seeing history come alive, he chose a copy of the Diary of Anne Frank as his souvenir and asked his 2nd grade teacher if he could read it as his reading book - a book far beyond a typical 2nd grade reading list.


  • Learn a little history or tie in recent subject matter learnt in school to places you visit.


One of the most memorable vacations I recall having with my children is the year we visited Pompeii after my two oldest had begun studying Latin and began learning about many of the historical people who lived there including Lucius Caecilius and his family. They excitedly searched the City of Pompeii ruins for the homes of these historical figures and recalled and recited their Latin lessons to us.


  • Focus on language skills.


We visited many foreign countries while my children were growing up. They were eager to learn some of the basic foreign words and to use the foreign language vocabulary they were learning in school. Vendors were pleasantly please to see young children attempt to use their language and usually were more amenable to 'bartering' with them for souvenirs.


  • Become a local and immerse yourself in the experience.


Choose local cafes off the main tourist trail rather than typical tourist restaurants. You'll learn more about the local people and culture of the city or country you are visiting.


  • Have your child create a scrapbook with photos and postcards, brochures collected and write a summary of their experience or description of photos taken.


The whole vacation doesn't need to be educational of course, but take advantage of the opportunities to help your child stretch and exercise his brain while having fun at the same time.


Whatever you do LIMIT TECHNOLOGY!!