Message from the Principal
Last week during our PTA meeting a parent who is also a pediatrician gave a presentation on the harmful effects of cellphone use on our children. This sparked several conversations between parents and educators about what we can and should be doing about this. Most of our children use electronic devices for hours a day. As adults we know how addicting cell phones can be, yet we give them to our children at extremely young ages. If you have any doubt as to the addictive nature of cellphones, come to school early one day and you will see many of our children on their phones (we cannot ask them to turn them off until school begins). Instead of playing ball, talking with friends, or even finishing up some last minute homework, our kids are on their phones. It is so sad to see digital life replacing real interactions, particularly at school where friends are sitting right there.
It is also important to note that smartphones have only been around since 2007, the same year many of our 7th graders were born. In a sense, we are conducting a dangerous experiment on this generation of children. We know that social isolation, anxiety and depression are all on the rise with our children. While there has not been enough time to conduct comprehensive studies on the effects of smartphone use and mental health, I think it is pretty obvious that the two are linked.
When I look back at my time in education, I am shocked to think about how much of my effort is spent on problems around smartphones at school. We have to worry about students using their phones during class time. When they do, we have to take them away and find a way to manage that within the classrooms so that it is not to much of a distraction to the learning process. We actually have to keep a running log of inappropriate phone usage at school. Students use their phones in the bathrooms and at lunch and recess. Parents text their children during the day. Cyberbullying is worse than ever and happens in so many different ways. It is hard for me to stay on top of all the different apps students use. Parents expect the schools to manage cell phone use, rightly so. However, these same parents are sending their kids to school with smartphones they know to be addictive.
It is my goal to help initiate a conversation around ways in which we can have a much more healthy relationship with our digital devices. We know that technology is not going away, but we need to begin thinking about ways in which we can limit screen time and promote healthy habits. I have included a link to Wait Until 8th website. This asks parents to take a pledge to wait until 8th grade to give your child a cell phone. We all agreed that this conversation needs to begin in elementary school, and several people have said it is too late now for their middle schoolers. But there are things we can be doing right now:
- First of all, if you have not already given your child a smartphone, do not - flip phone works perfectly well.
- Limit screen time. Set time parameters and stick to them. Do not use screens as babysitters or as the main toy in the room.
- Make sure you know the parental locks and safeguards that come with smartphones.
- Know all of your child’s passwords. Do not give your child the idea that he or she has the right to privacy on their devices. Check their online behavior regularly. Everybody behaves better when they know they are being watched.
- Do not allow your child to bring his/her smartphone to bed with them at night.
- Most importantly, do not be afraid to take the phone away from you child for extended periods of time, especially if they have misused it in some way. This will give your child’s brain time to be a kid again. This is called digital detox.
I hope you take the time to click on this link and I look forward to a continued conversation around how we can be managing our screen time better.
ASB and PTA have teamed up to bring you CMS Spirit Gear! Students can order through the PTA Online Store or through the order form distributed in classes today. Orders can be turned in to the front office through November 22nd. All items will be delivered in December.
School District News
Preschool & Kindergarten Parent Information Night - November 18
Have an incoming Kindergartener? Looking for a great preschool? Join us for our Preschool & Kindergarten Parent Information Night on Monday, November 18 from 6:30-8:00pm in Mustang Hall. Info Night is designed to provide parents and guardians with information about the San Carlos School District and its programs.
- How to Register for School
- Overview of our District, Schools, Preschool, Kindergarten & Transitional Kindergarten programs
- Meet the Elementary School Principals
- Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) Overview
- San Carlos Education Foundation Overview
- Resources Booths for Parents - Afterschool Programs, Healthy Cities Tutoring, Sequoia Health Care District
Visit our website for more information - https://tinyurl.com/SCSD-Enrollment
Please Note - this is a Parent Only event
Parent Information Night for Students with Learning Differences - Nov 20
Please join SEDAC and the San Carlos School District Special Education Department for a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30pm. The meeting will include a presentation from providers within the Special Education Department explaining their services and what supports are available for children with learning differences.
Join the Special Projects Committee!
At our November PTA meeting, we discussed creating a committee to research special projects for the PTA to fund at Central and Arroyo. If you are interested in joining this team, please e-mail Megan Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love your help!
Dwell is SCEF’s new exclusive real estate partner - be on the lookout for more about this exciting partnership!
Take advantage of the TAX BENEFITS of charitable giving before the end of the year! Explore corporate matching and stock donations on our website or contact email@example.com with questions.
San Carlos Little League
We are excited to announce that registration for the 2020 San Carlos Little League season is open. Established in 1953, San Carlos Little League provides a positive youth baseball experience to children of all abilities in the San Carlos community, by developing the qualities of leadership, citizenship, discipline, character and teamwork. The program is for children ages 4 through 14. Registration will be open through December 20.
San Carlos Youth Softball
Sign Up for San Carlos Youth Softball
Interested in playing softball this spring? San Carlos Youth Softball is a great way for girls to have some fun, develop skills and build friendships. The 2020 spring rec program is now open for registration.
Our program is for girls ages 4+ (as of January 2020) at all skill levels. Teams are formed in January so please sign up soon! Refer a friend new to SCYSA and both of you can get $25 off your registration!
Questions? More information online at www.sancarlosyouthsoftball.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodside Parent Education Series
What’s All the Buzz with JUUL & Similar Vape Devices?
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)
199 Churchill Avenue, Woodside
Info & Tickets: https://stanfordtoolkit2019woodside.eventbrite.com
What do parents, students, and educators need to know about JUUL, vaping, e-cigarettes, and vape devices? The Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit offers education to prevent middle and high school students’ use of e-cigarettes and vapes (including JUUL and other pod-based devices).
Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! Free admission and light refreshments. Spanish interpretation will be available.
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
High School Happenings
Sequoia High School
8th graders and their families can learn all about Sequoia HS through Group or Individual Shadowing, Info Nights, Forums and Newsletters. To learn more, click HERE
Carlmont High School
8th graders and their families can learn all about Carlmont HS through Group or Individual Shadowing, Info Nights, Forums and Newsletters. To learn more, click HERE.
Summit Public High School
8th graders and their families can learn about the Summit Public School experience HERE.
Design Tech High School
8th graders and their families can learn about the Design Tech Charter High School experience HERE.