• Children and Screens is hosting a series of three virtual workshops for parents featuring leading interdisciplinary experts on the topic of “Children and Screens During COVID-19” via Zoom. Parents can register through our website www.childrenandscreens.com. Hear from the country's leading pediatricians, child psychiatrists, child psychologists, neuroscientists, educators, and parenting experts to learn:

    • Actionable information and practical tips to keep in mind with regard to screen use during this developmental period 

    • Evidence on the potential short-term and long-term impacts that COVID-19 could have on online screen use

    • Answers on specific questions from parents about how much and what kind of media to allow their children and teens to use, and in what contexts

    • New ways to engage in on- and off-screen activities with their children and teens to support lifelong healthy habits  

    The "Ask the Experts" series will focus on different developmental age groups, beginning with young children on April 28th at 12:00-1:30 EDT, moderated by Dimitri Christakis, pediatrician and editor in chief of the leading medical/science journal JAMA Pediatrics. Other panelists include: 
    • John S. Hutton, Director of the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital
    • Brandon T. McDaniel, Research Scientist at Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation
    • Ellen Wartella, Professor of Communication Studies, Psychology, Human Development and Social Policy; and Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University
    • RSVP here
    The second workshop for school-aged children (K-8) will take place on May 6th at 12:00-1:30 EDT, moderated by pediatrician Colleen Kraft, the immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Experts include:
    • Elizabeth Englander, Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University
    • Catherine Steiner-Adair, Clinical Psychologist and Consultant, Author, and Speaker
    • Moriah Thomason, Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and  Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health
    • RSVP here
    The final workshop on Adolescence is scheduled for May 12 from 12:00-1:30 EDT, moderated by child and adolescent psychiatrist Paul Weigle, chairman of the media committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. Speakers include:
    • Tracy Asamoah, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist 
    • Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen
    • And other distinguished interdisciplinary experts
    • RSVP here
    We hope that you can join us.

  • The Aspen Institute-sponsored National Commission on Social Emotional & Academic Development report, From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope, was published in January 2019.

    While we agree that the time has come to fully integrate SEL into our schools, the report calls for using SEL as a tool to make students achieve more academically. We see that as a form of child manipulation. The report falls short of what is needed to address mental health and well-being needs.

    What SEL in schools needs to be about

    Educators need a framework with a set of methods to be able to impact the emotional well-being of children in their classrooms and schools. In that regard, the authors take a step in the right direction by recommending that schools change instruction to intentionally teach students social, emotional, and cognitive skills, and infuse them in academic content and all aspects of the school setting, not just in stand-alone programs or lessons. Unfortunately, children’s emotional and psychological well-being is not the fundamental purpose for the report’s recommendations.

    Here is a link to the full story where we challenge all educators to think about the fundamental purpose of using social emotional learning (SEL) in their schools and classrooms: https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/02/18/are-educators-using-sel-empower-or-to-manipulate/

    Bottom line, the Aspen report did not further our understanding of those SEL best practices that are available NOW to teachers to produce mental health and well-being outcomes. They and we can do better!

  • This morning, the Today Show reported that more and more parents are opting their kids out of state exams. The "opt out" movement is growing larger and across more states than ever before, putting districts at risk of losing funding and more.

    Where does your district stand on this widespread issue? What has your experience been during this "opt out" movement? Do you have any advice for school administrators dealing with the increasing number of parents who are opting their kids out of these tests?

    Please comment and share your experiences so we can create an ongoing resource for others. 

    Here's a link to the full story from the Today Show: http://www.today.com/parents/more-parents-joining-opt-out-movement-against-standardized-tests-t85906
    Last reply on April 12, 2016 by Deanna Atkins

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