Keansburg School District

Weekly Roundup - December 11, 2015

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Innovation Specialist Don Wettrick on Unlearning - Inside Quest


PARCC and Assessment

Common concerns about PARCC among teachers and educators

PARCC Guide for Teacher Parent Conversations



2016 Conference for Educating the Whole Child Keynote Presenter Announced

Larry Bell, a Citadel graduate, is a 30+ year veteran in education. Fifteen of those years were spent as a classroom teacher where he was nominated for the National Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. As a teacher at Gar-field High School, a school with over 3,000 students speaking 36 different languages, Larry was recognized for his innovative classroom strategies that allowed his so called “Tough Kids” as well as his “Gifted and Talented” to excel!

For seven years, Larry Bell served as the Supervisor of Multicultural Education for Prince William County Schools providing hands-on workshops for teachers and students in 67 schools with 3000+ teachers and 50,000 students.

As an educational consultant for the last 20+ years, Larry has worked with hundreds of schools across the nation sharing his strategies with teachers and administrators helping them increase their students’ achievement. The success of the teachers and administrators that have consistently implemented Larry’s techniques is a testament to the effectiveness of Larry’s strategies. In addition to his strategies, Larry’s unique and inspiring presentation style makes him one of the most sought after speakers in education today.

About Larry Bell

Spring 2016 PD Academy Call for Proposals

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Parent Guide to the PARCC

From Parents Anonymous - Thanks to Jeff Johnson

Call for Help...

It's A Sign of Strength


December 2015

Winter Issue

Join us in our "Call for Help" Campaign to

Support Parents & Protect Children

Please assist Parents Anonymous® of New Jersey, Inc. in promoting our new Campaign "Call for Help", to support and expand our 24-hour toll-free Parent Stressline/Family Helpline, 1-800-THE-KIDS. Did you know there are over 10 lines to report child abuse and only one statewide line to "Call for Help"? We provide a caring volunteer with an emphatic ear who listens, provides crisis intervention and community referrals.

Just one "Call for Help", can change a possible tragedy to a feeling of hope and help. Donating to support our Program today

@ will not only prevent tragedies, but will be a safety net for ALL PARENTS!

Please help Parents Anonymous® keep this volunteer answered, valuable resource available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Join the "Call for Help" Campaign to support parents and protect children. Our goal in this campaign is to recruit at least 20 new volunteers and 1,000 more callers. You can help us reach this goal!

Parents Anonymous of NJ staff will come to a site of your choice to provide training if you recruit a group of 5 volunteers or more. Call 609-585-7666 for more information.

Home for the Holidays

Tips for Overcoming Holiday Anxiety and Stress.

By R. Morgan Griffin, WebMD Feature, Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD Feature Archive

The holidays offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious -- the gifts you haven't wrapped, the pile of cookie exchange invites, the office parties. But for many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family -- the family dinner, the obligations, and the burden of family tradition. And if you're fighting clinical depression, or have had depression in the past, the holiday stress can be a trigger for more serious problems.

"There's this idea that holiday gatherings with family are supposed to be joyful and stress-free," says Ken Duckworth, MD, Medical Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "That's not the case. Family relationships are complicated. But that's doesn't mean that the solution is to skip the holidays entirely."

With holiday family reunions looming in your calendar, what are some ways that you can prepare yourself and cope better this season? We turned to the experts for some tips on beating holiday stress and anxiety.

What Causes Holiday Stress?

First, ask yourself this: What about the holidays gets you down? Once you cut through the vague sense of dread about family gatherings and identify specific problems, you can deal with them directly. For many people, holiday stress is triggered by:

  • Unhappy Memories.
  • Toxic Relatives.
  • What's Changed. The holidays can highlight everything that's changed in your lives -- a divorce, a death in the family, a son who's making his first trip back home after starting college. Any of these can really unsettle a gathering and add holiday stress.
  • What's Stayed the Same. For others, it's the monotonous sameness of family holiday gatherings that depresses them -- the same faces, the same jokes, the same food on the same china plates.
  • Lowered Defenses. During the holiday season, you're more likely to be stressed out by obligations and errands. It's cold and flu season and your immune system is under assault. It's getting dark earlier each day. You're eating worse, sleeping less, and drinking more. By the time the family gathering rolls around, you're worn out, tense, and fragile.

Changing Your Outlook

The next step is to challenge some of your assumptions. If you enjoyed the holidays differently this year, what would happen? What if you didn't bring the poinsettias to your grandfather's grave?

Your gut feeling might be: Calamity! Disaster! But get past that initial reaction. Think about what would really happen. Instead of trekking to your grandfather's grave, could you honor him in a different way -- lighting a candle or saying a prayer?

The key is to be conscious about what you're doing. This holiday season, don't unthinkingly do things the same way just because that's how you always do them. If the old holiday traditions aren't working, if they're not making you happy and causing holiday stress, it's time to do something different.

Tips for Beating Holiday Stress

Once you've taken a clear look at the holidays -- about what works and what doesn't -- it's time to make some changes. Focus on the holiday stresses that you can control. That includes making different plans and changing your responses to situations. Here are four key don'ts for the holidays.

  • Don't do the same old thing. If the usual family gathering is causing holiday stress, try something else.
  • Don't expect miracles. If your holiday anxiety stems from a deeper history of family conflict, don't expect that you'll be able to resolve any big underlying issues now.
  • Don't overdo it. To reduce holiday stress, you have to pace yourself.
  • Don't worry about how things should be. "There's a lot of cultural pressure during the holidays," says Duckworth. "We tend to compare ourselves with these idealized notions of perfect families and perfect holidays." But in fact, most people have less than perfect holiday gatherings -- they have family tension, melancholy, and dry turkey too.


Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director, National Alliance on Mental Illness; assistant professor, Harvard University Medical School.

David Dunner, MD, director, Center for Anxiety and Depression, Mercer Island, Wash.; professor emeritus, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, University of Washington.

Mental Health America web site: "Holiday Depression and Stress."

Gloria Pope, director of advocacy and public policy, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Chicago.

David Shern, PhD, president and CEO, Mental Health America, Alexandria, Va.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Parents Anonymous of New Jersey, Inc.


The mission of Parents Anonymous of New Jersey, Inc. is to protect children by strengthening families through mutual support, parent leadership, and advocacy.

  • Parent Support Groups: These free, professionally facilitated self-help groups create an environment in which parents help each other develop methods of coping with stress and learn alternative methods of discipline. Groups meet weekly throughout the state.
  • Online Parent Support Group: Available to any parent with access to a computer and an internet link, this group "meets" once a week on the Parents Anonymous website,
  • Father Time™: A three-pronged program for fathers who want to deepen their connections with their children, families and communities. .
  • The Parent Stressline/Family Helpline and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (1-800-THE-KIDS): The only 24-hour statewide phone line dedicated to family issues. This line offers a place to vent, information and referrals and crisis intervention. This line also offers a place teens can call who fear they may be pregnant and need a confidential resource for help.
  • H.O.P.E.S. (Healing Ourselves Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually): Professionally facilitated self-help groups for adults (who may or may not be parents) wishing to deal with the trauma of physical, emotional or sexual childhood abuse.
  • Training and Community Education: Speakers are available to schools, churches, community groups and others to educate about the issues of parenting, parental stress and child abuse prevention, and advocacy.

Want something added to the Weekly Roundup?

Contact Dr. Tom Tramaglini at any time...