2019 Winter HSI Newsletter

Page 1

WINTER 2019

HEALTHY SCHOOLS INITIATIVE FACTS

What you need to know Statistics from the ¹2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey and ²2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey)

30%

of high school students drank some amount of alcohol in past 30 days¹

21%

of high school students and 5% of middle schoolers used e-cigs in the past 30 days ²

Dear HSI Community, On December 18, 2018, Surgeon General Dr, Jerome Adams issued a rare advisory: “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use {vaping} among youth an epidemic in the United States.” (https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov) The young developing brain is more susceptible than the adult brain to nicotine addiction. Indicators of withdrawal for active users can include symptoms such as anxiety, mood changes, loss of focus, and sleep problems.

78%

increase in e-cig use among high school students from 2017 to 2018, and 48% for middle schoolers²

these devices, along with advice on how to start a conversation with your teen. Our HSI Wellness Team followed up with letters to their districts this past fall. This spring, SHD is collaborating with several community partners such as Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital, San Mateo County Health Department Tobacco Prevention Program, Breathe California, and the Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, in their education and prevention efforts. We want to inform the community about the real risk vaping poses to our youth. In this newsletter, we speak to experts in the field and our own school administrators, review articles, present facts, and more.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous vaping companies can easily tap into that vulnerability to ensure that they will have an entire generation of future customers. They do this through manipulation of We hope you will be our allies in protecting our our youth through social media advertising and youth. sleek product designs that mirror popular tech products. Sincerely, This epidemic has garnered local, state and federal attention. Last month, Senator Jerry Hill introduced an assembly bill to limit the sale of Karen E. Li, MD e-cigarette flavors and to require an adult Director of School Health signature upon delivery for online device purchases. Last summer, I sent out a letter (see page 5) informing high school parents of the dangers of 525 Veterans Blvd,

Redwood City, CA 94063

( 650) 421-2155

www.seqhd.org


Nicotine Poisoning Alert By 2015, e-cigarette use by

As of 2016, the federal government requires liquid nicotine to be sold in childproof

high school and middle

packaging. The American Academy of Pediatrics

school students had

(AAP) urges parents who use e-cigarettes to store

surpassed cigarette use.

the products and any refill materials in childresistant packaging and out of the reach of children. There are three routes of exposure that are toxic:

4 out of 5

who have

1) the child can be exposed to nicotine even without swallowing, through the mucous

used tobacco started with a flavored product.

membrane in the mouth 2) the child swallows the e-liquid, and it is absorbed by the intestinal tract

A single Juulpod contains

40 mg of nicotine, which is more than the nicotine yield of a pack of cigarettes.

3) the e-liquid is absorbed through the skin, just like a nicotine patch The bottles are sold in various sizes, from 10 milliliters (2 teaspoons) to more than 30 milliliters (6 teaspoons) and come in a variety of nicotine strengths. Five milliliters (1 teaspoon) of concentrated liquid nicotine can be fatal for the

63% of Juul users do not know the product always contains nicotine.

Resource list for parents: 

flavorshookkids.org

tobaccofreeca.com

truthinitiative.org

nobutts.org

FDA Tobacco Products

Glossary of Terms

average 26-pound toddler.

Liquid Nicotine Poisoning Symptoms:     

Vomiting Fast heartbeat Jittery and unsteady appearance Difficulty breathing Increased saliva

If you suspect your child was exposed to liquid nicotine, call the Poison Control Center hotline: 800-222-1222 immediately. For more info, visit the Poison Control website.

This article above is an excerpt from the online article “Liquid Nicotine Used in E-Cigarettes Can Kill Children.”. To read the full article, click HERE.


VOICES

Talking to Youth

Preschool

Preschool to Age 7

Ages 12 and up

Before the Talk

Lay the Groundwork Whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child,

Know the facts.

Be patient and ready to listen. 

you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given.

Take Advantage of Teachable Moments

tobacco-free.

The #1 reason young people try these devices is because they have flavors in them.

nicotine addiction, and what smoking does

in a nonjudgmental, open-ended way, you're

advertisement, for example, take the opportunity to talk about it. 

Explain the addictive nature of

vaping.

Why don’t you want me to use ecigarettes?

more likely to get an

You go to the bathroom,

Show your kids that you're there’s a zero percent listening and really paying chance that anyone’s attention to them by smoking a cigarette and “So what I am hearing you there’s a

need to talk,” you might ask

Answer Their Questions*

about drugs. By asking the questions

practicing active listening:

Rather than saying “we

When you are out and about and see an

It looks like a USB drive. It doesn’t look suspicious.

Ask them what they think

honest response.

about a situation you witness together.

TV with a cigarette, talk about smoking,

Ages 8 to 12

Start the Conversation

your teen what he or she thinks

If you see a character in a movie or on

to a person's body.

Set a example by being

50/50 chance

say is— ”

that there’s five guys

Current events, such as

Juuling.

What’s the big deal about nicotine?  

Aren’t e-cigarettes safer than

conventional cigarettes?

I thought e-cigarettes didn’t have nicotine— just water and flavoring? 

Keep the Conversation Going

steroid use in professional

Share resources listed below.

sports, can be

Remind and repeat.

springboards for casual conversations about the legal and health consequences of drug use.

For the source of these tips and additional talking tips, click HERE.

Watch the video Juulers Against Juul

with your teen.

*For the answers to these questions and additional talking tips, click HERE.


INTERVIEWS By Stacey Holmes

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher Mindy Shelton Bonnie Halper-Felsher, PhD., is a professor at Stanford University and the founder and executive director of the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, a free online curriculum aimed at reducing and preventing youth tobacco use. Currently, she is promoting the Toolkit with the goal of reaching 500,000 youth by 2020.

Q: What are the main issues today? A: The number one issue for youth and ATOD is vaping/e-cigarettes. Other significant issues are opioids, marijuana, and alcohol. Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how big of a problem is vaping? A: An 8 out of 10. I have been asked daily, since last October, to talk about this subject. Two areas of focus are detection and addiction. There are two groups of high schoolers— one group that knows about vaping and don’t use. The other group knows about vaping and uses.

Bottom line: Your high schooler knows about what is going on. Q: If you had one wish to help this problem, what would it be? A: I wish for all parents to get educated. It is crucial to get educated and to have open dialogues with your children. Don’t be afraid to talk and stay current. Start the conversation about tobacco, including vaping, in 4th grade. For parents who are interested in making an impact at a national level, please feel free to contact me at bonnieh@stanford.edu.

Mindy Shelton is the Vice-Principal at Central Middle School in San Carlos. She explains that many students don’t understand the harmful effects of vaping. Ms. Shelton’s concerns include: 

Kids describe “no-nic* juice” as safe. They don’t realize there are still harmful chemicals inside.

*Disclaimer: No-nic juice may contain nicotine. The manufacturing process is not yet federally regulated and we often do not know what contents are in e-cigarettes. 

Many students don’t think to ask what is in a vape before trying in and have no way of knowing how much nicotine, marijuana, or other substances are included.

It is hard for parents to keep up with what these vaping devices look like. They can resemble, among other things, a stylus or a flash drive. After seeing examples of some common devices, one parent commented that they had seen something similar in their child’s room but didn’t realize what it was.

Ms. Shelton encourages parents to talk to their children and trust their gut. For example, if you see them having extra charging cords, that may be an indicator. If something feels out of place, follow up.


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT Dear HSI Community, We want to inform families about a recent upsurge in the use of vaping devices by middle and high school students. Teens who vape nicotine may find it difficult to stop, as nicotine is extremely addictive. They often think it's just water vapor, but the enticing fruit, candy, and mint flavored solutions can contain high levels of nicotine, along with other toxic chemicals, that are harmful to the developing teen brain.

Assorted vape pens

Suorin Drop

FACTS

They are marketed as JUUL, Suorin Drop,

Suorin Air, or Phix. These devices are small and easy to conceal.  They can look like a thumb drive, can be recharged in a laptop, and can be refilled with other substances such as THC/ marijuana oil. There is minimal vapor, and the only odor may be that of fruit, candy, or mint, which appeal to youth. The nicotine in one JUUL pod at least equals that in a pack of cigarettes (20 cigarettes).

JUUL

HAVING A CONVERSATION Ideally, it’s best to start the conversation with your teen without causing alarm. Get their perspective, and ask “why” before suggesting “why not.” Realize that they may have done their own extensive online research. Share your concerns and the facts, while understanding that facts may not be initially accepted by your teen. The frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for decision making and critical thinking, has not yet fully matured. Try to determine if your teen is surrounded by vaping activity, takes part socially, or uses by themselves. Also keep in mind that the use of substances is often intertwined with mental health issues, so seek help for your teen if you are concerned about signs such as depression or anxiety.

Other devices, often referred to as “wax pens,” are sold specifically for the vaping of marijuana. Similar to other marijuana For further information: NY Times: Talking products such as “edibles” (marijuana in with Teens About Vaping cookies, cakes, candy, etc.), these vape devices are marketed to youth, despite the For a list of local community resources, click HERE. legal age of 21 for use of nicotine, tobacco, or the recreational use of marijuana.


BRSSD results from the California Healthy Kids Survey 2017-18

100%

BRSSD 7th graders self-reported never to have had even one puff of a cigarette

Preparing Students to Make Healthy Choices

98%

BRSSD 7th graders self-reported never to have tried an electronic cigarette or any other Vaping device

Health Education Curriculum Great Body Shop (GBS) is a

National statistics around the drastic

comprehensive

increase of the use of e-cigarettes and

health education

vaping among middle school and high

curriculum. Its mission is to equip children and

school students are very concerning (CBS This their families with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices throughout Morning's segment on Teenagers and Vaping). their lives. Although the data collected from both BRSSD students and administration show

Regardless of the topic, students practice

that we do not have an immediate problem, methods of making good decisions, learn how we know that the chances are very high that to compare and contrast, and generate our students will be given the opportunity to multiple solutions to problems as they learn to make predictions with reliable vape some time in their lives. information. All BRSSD teachers in grades TkRaising well5 classrooms utilize this curriculum. rounded students who make good

Social-Emotional Learning

choices and are

Second Step’s lessons in

ready to become

empathy, problem-solving and

successful adults

emotion management give

is not just a lucky

students the foundation for

occurrence, it

responsible decision making.

comes from the

Elementary students learn how

thoughtful

to make friends, manage their

planning of

emotions, and deal with peer

schools and of parents. To this end, BRSSD has adopted curricula which gives students the social-emotional foundation needed to help them make the right choices as they mature and are given greater independence.

pressure. Middle school students are given the tools to

Julia Robinson teaches 2nd Step to 8th grade students.

think carefully about the negative effects of substance use on themselves, their family and of their future goals. All BRSSD students are taught these lessons by a teacher or a counselor.


Drug Education Curriculum Project ALERT (PA) is a researched-based curriculum that not only teaches students about the drugs that they are most likely to be exposed to, but changes the pro-drug mentality of many teenagers by encouraging them to analyze why teens would want to take drugs. The curriculum gives them the tools to make healthy choices around drug use. All 7th and 8th graders are taught these lessons by a classroom teacher.

Yoga & Mindfulness PE Curriculum Has your child been showing off their yoga poses? To better fit the needs and interests of all students, the PE coaches have expanded their programming and have added a yoga &

Cipriani first graders are swaying like the wind in their yoga class. Yoga can turn into a life-long activity which helps children and adults cope with stress. The yoga & mindfulness unit has been well-received by many of the students and is a good complement to our existing PE curriculum (More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children by Dr. Marlynn Wei.)

The trends in tobacco and drug use are always

mindfulness unit to the curriculum, thus making changing. BRSSD is dedicated to keeping PE an opportunity to work on the whole child’s current on not only the data about drug use in well-being. Our PE programs have traditionally focused solely on physical fitness and sports

our youth but also on the best practices in

prevention in order to prepare our students and

skills.

to keep parents informed.

The goals we hope to achieve through teaching

Parent Education

yoga and mindfulness are; improvement in balance, strength, and endurance; an increase in the ability to focus and to concentrate in school; exposure and enjoyment of yoga and mindfulness.

Feb 4 - PTA Parent Ed night Ralston MUR 5:30 - 9:00

March 25 - A Well Balanced Student Ralston MUR 5:30 - 8:30

April 17 - Social Emotional Learning/ 2nd Step TBD 6:30 - 8:00

For more: SUHSD Parent Education Series


Wellness “Wonder Woman”

Part of the Menlo Park City School District’s “Strategic Directions for Wellness,” includes engaging in the outreach and support of traditionally underrepresented students. During the 20162017 school year, this effort led to the creation of a position of Flor Espinal, aka a Family Engagement “Wonder Woman” Coordinator.

their own, and how to navigate academic expectations and a sense of belonging and connection to their children’s school, to ensure wellness for all of our families. Flor Espinal leading January 17, 2019 Family Cafe

The “College Bound Family Cafe” parent The universe blessed MPCSD with Flor Espinal, a education series has one goal in mind: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS. Ms. Espinal has organized five former District Para-Educator, and District cafes since February 2018, and topics have parent whose own children fit the category for included: communicating with your child and “traditionally underrepresented their school, how to access and use the school’s students.” Recognizing as a parent and employee that there was a divide between these messenger and technology systems, and how to balance family wellness and self-care. After underrepresented families’ awareness and each event, participants fill out surveys to connection to the schools, led to her determine efficiency of the cafes, and what involvement in the expansion of MPCSD’s topics families would like to engage in next. “College Bound” program. “College Bound” provides encouragement, services, and Ultimately, Ms. Espinal’s relentless and empathic programs for students who, by one measure or approach to family engagement and wellness is another, are “underrepresented” in the nation’s beyond honorable and authentic. She supports colleges and universities. families with Spanish interpreting services, acts as a liaison for College Bound students’ At first, Ms. Espinal’s efforts focused around educational and social-emotional needs, and is MPCSD’s District English Learner Advisory always available, almost 24/7, to receive phone Committee (DELAC), and with this work, the calls and texts from the families she serves. Flor dream and vision for “Family Cafes” was cultivated. Drawing upon her own experience as Espinal has earned the title of “Wonder Woman,” and is absolutely a superhero for wellness in our a young woman and student in Honduras, as District. well as being an English Language Learner herself, Flor knew that what College Bound College Bound families needed was a safe place and time and parents engaging venue where they could engage in parent with each other at education trainings, and become empowered to Family Cafe advocate for their children. These parent trainings became specific to sharing experiences of raising and educating children in a culture that may be different than

181 Encinal Avenue

Atherton, CA 94027

(650)321-7140 Email: district@mpcsd.org


VISION

 Every child achieves academic excellence.  Every child becomes emotionally and physically stronger.  Every child discovers and grows their talents.

181 Encinal Avenue

Atherton, CA 94027

(650)321-7140 Email: district@mpcsd.org


Celebrating Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Core Values ORMONDALE SCHOOL: CORTE MADERA Be Respectful, SCHOOL: Be Responsible, Safe, and Respectful, Kind Responsible and Kind Ormondale has been Every year, Corte focusing on celebrating Madera School students for being celebrates our core examples of Respectful, value of Kindness Responsible, Safe, and during the last week of Kind students at school January with a and for also being leaders Kindness Fair. for role-modeling our During this event, students have the monthly life-skill. opportunity to sign a pledge to kindness, write Before winter break, Ormondale celebrated our inspiring messages to students and staff, and students for earning Ormondale Honors by have a positive or kind picture painted on their hosting a Hot Cocoa Ormondale Honor face. Celebration. Students enjoyed hot cocoa and Students also have celebrated their success together with the an opportunity to entire school! create a clip for Every month, teachers submit student names of those that have been role-modeling our monthly life-skill. These names are then read off at the first Monday Morning Meeting of the month and students are given a certificate that reads "You Make The Difference" and applauded for their leadership. Each month, more and more students are being nominated and it's an incredible Ormondale community opportunity for students to be recognized with cheers from their teachers and fellow students.

kindness, make a wish on a kindness tree, and help build a kindness chain. We want to reinforce the importance of kindness to others and to ourselves by promoting positive activities during lunch recess during the week and creating connections between students in the different grade levels. Student Council and School Climate Committee students help run and supervise these activities at various locations on campus. We culminate the fair on Friday- "A Cookie for Kindness" by encouraging students to wear our school color blue and receive a cookie at lunch to celebrate kindness.


PARENT EDUCATION IN PVSD This year, Sequoia Healthcare District and Children’s Health Council (CHC) are partnering together with the Portola Valley and Woodside School District to bring in professional speakers to work with our parent community. In the fall, Ali Meyers presented to our families on “Building Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills” and parents learned about Executive Functioning (EF) skills development and methods for organization and time management that can be taught in the home. In February, Dr. Pearston will present information on “Managing Anxiety and Building SelfEfficacy”. Families will learn strategies on building resilience and how to teach students to manage anxiety about school, homework, and effectively cope with stress and failure. A big thank you to Sequoia Healthcare and CHC for sponsoring these events in Portola Valley!

PORTOLA WELLNESS TEAM The Wellness Team understands the importance of keeping our staff healthy and connected. Every Tuesday, after school, we offer a free Yoga course to all staff members from both schools and invite the District Office personnel as well. We alternate school sites, and Instructor Allison Kroeger (a parent volunteer in our district) leads our staff in relaxation activities and challenging yoga poses! A big thank you to Allison for donating her time to our staff.


REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PARENT EDUCATION SERIES VAPING/JUUL EDUCATION WORKSHOP Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit Thursday, May 2, 2019, 7:00pm - 8:30pm John F. Kennedy Middle School (Gym) 2521 Goodwin Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061 FREE for all parents!

RCSD Wellness Committee Meeting Thursday, April 18, 2019, 2-3:30pm Sequoia Healthcare District (Conference Room) 525 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063 Please join parents and community partners to discuss and learn more about Health & Wellness activities in RCSD! All are welcome! Andrea Garen, MA, RD

Director of Health and Wellness

Redwood City School District

Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit presents this informative parent workshop. Attendees will leave feeling well informed about the physical impact and risks of vaping and e-cigarettes.


How to talk with your children about vaping Adapted by Michelle Remond based on Lisa Damour’s article, published in the New York Times 02/14/2018 (https://nyti.ms/2ExIj3b) Electronic cigarettes (also known as “vapes”) have become one of the many dangers that parents want to avoid for their children.

Share the concern

Vaping involves using an electronic cigarette to inhale a flavored aerosol that contains nicotine.

* Experimenting with vaping may be less risky than experimenting with other drugs, but there are health consequences, especially for the young developing body and brain.

Many vaping companies advertise their products as a "healthy" alternative to cigarettes.

* Substances in the body can lead to an addiction, especially in children and teenagers.

However, research has shown that nicotine is a substance that affects the adolescent brain and involves health risks.

* Nicotine is very addictive and, when withdrawn, causes anxiety. Why take the risk?

The only way to avoid nicotine addiction and health risks from e-cigarettes is to not use them.

Accept your limits

Consider their point of view 

If we tell young people, “The research says… " they probably will not listen to us. And if you ask, “Do your friends vape?” they may become defensive.

The best option to start the conversation is to ask youth what they know about vaping and if they have questions or concerns.

Ask why 

Teens have their reasons for vaping. Youth may find it attractive since some brands look like a portable USB, and they are easy to carry and use without being noticed by school authorities.

It may also seem cool to vape, and the flavors are appealing.

Parents can say: "It's not about ruining your fun. It’s because I love you, and I care about your future.”

 Some

parents force their children to obey, which causes more rebellion. It is better to say: "Vaping causes harm and I expect that you’ll stay away from that. You will decide for yourself, not me."

 You

can also add, "If we discover that you are using it, there will be consequences in the house." Clear limits help youth make better decisions.

Left: regular cigarette Right: Juul device

As difficult as it may be, talking to children about drugs leaves the door open for dialogue, and provides them with attention, information, and love. That closeness is one of the most powerful antidotes in preventing addiction.


Recent LLESD health and wellness highlights, 2018-2019: Our school nurse, Kelly Muenzen, in collaboration with the San Mateo County Health System, is providing student education on dental hygiene with an engaging, interactive program this spring at Las Lomitas. Additionally, our RNs and PE teachers have been partnering with Palo Alto Medical Foundation to plan upcoming lessons on nutrition for 3rd grade PE classes.

As part of LLESD's growing Safe Routes to School program, each school was able to participate in special assemblies this past fall, including performances from Bay Area Children's Theater and Perfection on Wheels BMX Bikes, which featured educational lessons about bike/pedestrian safety.

LLESD hosted a successful event with the Parent Education Series on 1-29La Entrada Middle School PTA 19: a screening of "LIKE", partnered with Rise Against the new IndieFlix Original Hunger non-profit to create a documentary that Winter Service Project for explores the impact of social media and students in grades 4-8. This technology on our lives. The film had service learning project audiences asking the question, “Are you involved a meal-kit build, during which using technology or is technology using students assembled 33,480 nutrient-dense you?” meals for students in Cambodia. All participants received a take-home resource describing long- and short-term ways to advocate for food security and fight hunger. Some student reflections after the event included the following remarks: "Even a small school can make a big difference" and "It's important for kids to know about world issues." In addition to making a difference in other people's lives, service work such as this can reduce stress and significantly improve mental health for the volunteers, according to recent studies.

We hope to offer a new parent ed workshop in the fall to educate families on the risks of vaping and how to utilize educational resources such as the Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit. This spring, Sequoia Union High School District is offering a Vaping/JUUL Education Workshop presented by Stanford’s Tobacco Prevention Toolkit scheduled for Monday, March 18th, 7:008:30pm at the SUHSD District Office. These workshops are free for the LLESD parent community. Register HERE.



the goal of helping others to find “a happy place” Mia Garcia— Award Winner in a safe and supportive environment. Woodside Elementary 8

After presenting her ideas to the school th

faculty, Mia has founded a student-led

grader Mia Garcia organization that seeks to create a safe and is the 2018 inviting environment for everyone regardless of winner of the

their gender or sexual orientation. The

Juan Barajas

organization, Fusion, would be a place where

Youth Leadership Award. The award, meant to

students could drop in whenever they feel

recognize leadership, has been given to various

stressed, emotional, overwhelmed, or if they

youth throughout the past 11 years in honor of

simply need a quiet place to relax. Mia describes:

the foundational work Juan

“kids need an expanded

Barajas accomplished with Outlet.

Founded in 1997, Outlet

hangout spot” and as well “to

empowers Lesbian, Gay, Bisex-

talk about social-emotional

ual, Transgender, Queer and

issues including stress, friend

recognizes LGBTQ+ youth who

Questioning (LGBTQQ+) youth

problems, mental health,

have made outstanding

and builds safe and accepting

gossip, and unnecessary

achievements not only in their

communities through support,

bullying” among other topics.

activism supporting the

education, and advocacy.

She notes these areas of

Mia’s recent award

community, but also in their own personal growth. Outlet is youth-centered, respecting all individuals and honoring

concern are not always being addressed at an early enough age and that students can benefit from “opening

their differences. Outlet program staff provide a up to such mental health topics much sooner.” safe environment that is confidential, inclusive,

Mia’s vision has led to the involvement of

and non-judgmental. Striving for social justice

several faculty members at Woodside

and engaging youth in achieving freedom,

Elementary in developing just such a “safe place”

fairness, and equality for all are the core

to be available for all the students at the school.

elements of the program. Outlet services

Her dream is for the program to continue on

support the emotional, physical, and social

after her graduation so that future students can

development of youth as whole individuals.

share the same “safe place” benefits that have

It was at Outlet that Mia describes that she “found her voice” and realized how she could both become a better person and find

meant so much to her personal growth as well. A big thank you to Sequoia Healthcare District for supporting Woodside Elementary

meaningful ways to give back to the community. School and the development of Fusion Club, It was a place “where I was not being judged and Outlet, and Adolescent Counseling Services. felt safe and included.” From this, she developed


Social-Emotional Learning: Staff Education

To do this, we must learn strong selfawareness, self-monitoring, and self-control. We must learn how to adapt our physical posture depending on the context, how we use our eyes to better understand others and communicate, and tools for conversational language to relate to others.

This past month, Jennifer Mitchell, our wonderful speech therapist, presented an 3. Our social thinking and social skills directly interesting and informative program on impact how others feel about us. This impacts how we are treated, how we feel about others, social thinking. Here are the takeaways: 1. Social thinking is our meaning maker. We

and ultimately — how we feel about ourselves!

At the end of the day, our social experience is an emotional experience. The purpose of social thinking is to produce social behavior The first step to improving social thinking is to that gives others the emotional experience keenly observe the social world that surrounds you intend to give. us. The Social Thinking Methodology teaches 2. When seeking to engage or simply share people to be more aware of their emotions space with others, we use social thinking to and better predict and relate to the emotions adapt our social behaviors /skills effectively as of others.

observe and listen to interpret the perspectives of others.

a means to meet our social goals.

Parent Education Night: Woodside/Portola Valley This year, Sequoia Healthcare District and Children’s Health Council (CHC) are partnering together with the Portola Valley and Woodside School Districts to bring in professional speakers to work with our parent community. In the fall, Ali Meyers presented to our families on “Building Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills.” Parents learned about Executive Functioning (EF) skills development and methods for organization and time management that can be taught in the home. In February, Dr. Pearston will present information on “Managing Anxiety and Building SelfEfficacy”. Families will learn strategies on building resilience and how to teach students to manage anxiety about school, homework, and effectively cope with stress and failure.

A big thank you to Sequoia Healthcare District and CHC for sponsoring these events.


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SUSHD Educates Students on ATOD Issues The valid concerns related to our students’ growing interest and access to tobacco and marijuana via new devices also present opportunities to further educate and support our students. While we continue to address Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, overall, it is vaping (ecigarettes) that has come to the forefront of our attention due to the great increase in use. While access to and use of vapes has increased among students, their overall understanding of the harm associated with these substances and devices is low. Research is catching up, but we cannot wait to educate the community about the risk and harm vapes can cause. Education and conversations with our students are what will counteract the marketing and packaging that are also influencing their perceptions of these products. Sequoia Union High School District is committed to educating our students while providing support and resources where necessary. Through our Neuroscience of Addiction curriculum (developed by Addiction Education Society in collaboration with Sequoia Healthcare District), all ninth graders get a deeper understanding of the harms of substance use, as well as strategies to

avoid falling into addiction and practicing ways to positively influence peers. When students are in possession or under the influence of harmful substances or devices, our schools have counseling and education programs to help address the behavior, and we continue to work on expanding these learning opportunities. Through a partnership with Redwood City 2020, more Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug educational events are available to our communities. SUHSD also provides the Parent Education Series across our district and has a Vaping/JUUL Education Workshop presented by Stanford’s Tobacco Prevention Toolkit scheduled for Monday, March 18th, 7:00-8:30pm at the SUHSD District Office. SUHSD’s Wellness Advisory Council has also committed to focusing on this topic. The group’s three Focus Areas are: Alcohol and Other Drug Education, Student & Staff Mental Health, and Sexual Health Education. The Focus Area groups started working toward program & project goals in each of these areas and invite you to participate. For more information, contact Javier Gutierrez, Health & Wellness Coordinator: jgutierrez@seq.org

For additional upcoming Parent Education events, please visit: http://www.seq.org/STUDENTS--PARENTS/Parent-Education-Series/index.html