Dear EMS Community,
Thank you for your support and involvement in our Student-Led Conferences. Our goal is to have 100% participation, and many of our Crews have already reached this benchmark. At the conferences, each student set goals drawing on the following information:
* Report Cards
* I-Ready Data
* CMAS Data
Our staff has also gone through a similar analysis of teaching practices, and at our professional development session Monday, we spent time analyzing data, studying lesson design, and implementing some core practices that we will monitor over the next quarter for impact on student learning.
Parents also have an important role to play, and there is a great body of research that can inform the most important actions we can take to support our kids’ education. According to John Hattie’s research, two parenting practices have the greatest effect size on student learning:
1. Parents listening to student reading and creating expectations for reading at home. 54% of students in the US read less than 15 minutes per day on average. Parents can give their kids a great educational advantage by setting up expectations in the home to read a minimum of 15 minutes per day.
2. Regularly communicate high expectations to your child for student achievement
Public health experts and psychologists have the following suggestions for parents raising young adolescents:
1. Help your child build healthy eating habits and a healthy body image. Serve balanced meals, and keep lots of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods in the house. Be a model of good eating and exercise habits for your child. It is also important for families to share meals together. Research shows that just 40% of families in the United States eat more than 6 meals together a week. Healthy dietary habits increase and unhealthy habits such as substance abuse decrease when families regularly eat together.
2. Urge your child to get some exercise every day.
3. Help your adolescent get enough rest (teenagers need nine hours per night). Also, set limits on phone, computer, and TV use after a set evening hour. In a recent national survey, 34% of 8th graders reported that their parents put limits on screen time. Another survey indicated that middle school students spend about four and a half hours of free time on a screen - over twice the recommended amount.
As a parent of a current middle schooler, I’ve decided to set some goals for myself based on this information. I am going to eat at least seven meals per week with my kids this quarter, ensure that they are reading books more than looking at screens, and find some time to exercise with them each week. Given that almost 100% of EMS parents showed up for SLCs, it is clear that we have an extremely supportive community, and I hope that this information is helpful in guiding our kids to succeed in school.