Expanding Our Notion of Success

A-B Challenge Success Newsletter - February- March 2018

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Online Safety, Privacy, and Netiquette

Since so much of our life is now spent with technology, we must ask ourselves, “What attitudes and beliefs do I communicate to my child(ren) with my online presence and my device usage?” Digital proficiency is not the same as digital citizenship, which is why children need our help to navigate the Internet and use devices safely.

According to nationally-certified School Psychologist David Streight, “Role modeling is one of the most powerful tools you have in your parenting tool belt to influence the direction of your children’s character, whatever their age. When used to best advantage, you can pass on the values you want your children to adopt so that they become the adults you would like them to be.”

Our children are constantly watching us. Ultimately, they incorporate many of our attitudes and beliefs into their own personalities as they mature, so it’s critical for us to be intentional about what we model for them around online safety and privacy, and netiquette and human interactions.

Our Challenging Reality

  • Most 3-4 year-olds can download apps
  • Many children can take photos and create videos by the time they are 5
  • Average age for getting a first smartphone: 10.3 years
  • 64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet
  • 39% of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years. 11% when they were even younger
  • 24% of kids have 'private' access to the Internet from their bedrooms

Source: Tech Crunch, Mary 2016

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Online Safety and Privacy

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Netiquette and How Devices Affect Us and Our Human Interactions

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Our Challenge Success Data - Grades 6-8: Most Common Free Time Activities by Grade

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Our Challenge Success Data - Grades 9-12: Most Common Free Time Activities by Grade

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Device-Free Dinners

In the hustle and bustle of parenthood and raising children these days, sitting down to a family dinner is not always easy. Watch as one family laments over how much they miss their father, and how they all hold each other accountable to 'device-free dinners.'

Advice from Janell Burley Hoffman on Devices and Contracting

iRules author and national speaker Janell Burley Hoffman offers parents and caregivers practical advice for how to set up expectations for our children about device safety, privacy, and netiquette.

Challenge Success Mantra

At Challenge Success, we believe that our society has become too focused on grades, test scores, and performance, leaving little time for kids to develop the necessary skills to become resilient, ethical, and motivated learners. We provide families and schools with the practical, research-based tools they need to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. After all, success is measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of a semester.

“Our current fast-paced, high-pressure culture works against much of what we know about healthy child development… our largely singular focus on academic achievement has resulted in a lack of attention to other components of a successful life – the ability to be independent, adaptable, ethical, and engaged critical thinkers.” (Pope, et al. , 2015)


An award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world.

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Attunement and Somatic Regulation: A Body Based Approach Toward Increasing Understanding & Resilience Within Your Child

Tuesday, Feb. 6th, 7-8:30pm

RJ Grey Junior High School Auditorium

We welcome Heather Finn, LICSW, for this presentation, which will build participant understanding of a child’s developmental and regulatory needs from a “bottom up” perspective and explore the role of interpersonal attunement and somatic regulation in helping children cope with and rebound from stress. Specific focus will be placed on helping participants make sense of children’s behavioral responses to stress, and to develop skills that can help children regulate their emotions and behaviors more effectively through use of body based interventions and sensory tools. Participants will also be introduced to Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART), a therapeutic intervention designed to explore and expand the repertoire of regulating experiences for children and their caregivers with the aim of nurturing healing, growth and resilience.

Heather Finn, LICSW

Heather Finn, LICSW, is Clinical Director and a practicing psychotherapist at the Trauma Center at JRI. Heather specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and families who have been impacted by chronic adversity and traumatic stress. She has particular interest in the healing role that physical play and movement can have in building positive attachments and supporting resilience on individual, family and community levels. Heather is a trainer and contributing developer of the Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) model, and a trainer for the Attachment, Regulation, Competency (ARC) trauma treatment framework. She is also the lead-author of a case study demonstrating the utilization of the SMART model "The boy Who Was Hit in the Face: Somatic Regulation and Process of Pre-Verbal Complex Trauma" in the Journal of Child Adolescent Therapy.

A-B Wellness Website

Over the last few years, our district has engaged in work in the area of health and well-being for all members of our learning community, including social emotional learning (SEL).

We are excited to launch a website with a variety of resources for families, teachers, students, and the greater learning community: http://abschoolswellness.weebly.com. Here you will find a variety of pages and resources to support our mission to develop engaged, well-balanced learners through collaborative, caring relationships.

Partnership with Stanford University's Challenge Success Organization

In the spring of 2016, ABRSD entered into a partnership with Challenge Success, out of Stanford University. Challenge Success aims to "provide schools and families with the information and strategies they need to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for their kids." The team at Challenge Success partners with educators, parents, and students to implement best practices and policies in areas such as assessment, homework, and schedule.