Submissions to the blog …

We would be happy to have reader submissions of articles and ideas.  In order to do this, please send your comments and an electronic link to the article you’d like to share with other blog readers to caspblog@gmail.com

Once we’ve received your submissions, we can post them for everyone to see.  Hope to hear from many of you!

Is there evidence to support mindfulness education for kids?

A recent article in Vox looks in depth at the various applications of mindfulness training in schools to examine the evidence base for the practice.  Does mindfulness meditation reduce student stress?  Does it improve student academic performance?  This is an interesting review of what has become a very popular movement in schools.  If we are going to promote this practice, we certainly should know the science behind it.

Is it sleep or morning sunshine that teens need – or both?

A new study from Northwestern University, reported in Chalkbeat, looked at start times for schools across the US, and noted that increased exposure to sunshine in the morning correlated to higher test scores for high school students.  We know that sleep is also a factor for this age group.  The irony is that most districts start their elementary schools later and high schools earlier – exactly the opposite of what the biological and learning needs of the students require.  What happens in your district?

How much screen time is too much for kids, and how to cut it back?

A blog from the Harvard Medical School looks at the reality of screen time for kids these days, and the down sides.  The post includes alternative ideas for spending time with kids and a “calculator” tool, which might help parents plan more helpful screen time in their homes.  The information is good for parents, and also for teachers and school psychologists who are also parents!

Early bullying has long-lasting impact

A large-scale study from the University of Delaware, reported in EurekAlert, suggests that students who are bullied in grade 5 go on to develop serious mental health and addiction problems later in their school years.  Recommendations for pediatricians and teachers to be aware of, and prevent, the effects of stigma, which the authors suggest may be at the root of bullying, on students were made.

Smartphones may be threatening kids’ mental health

A new study from Duke University, reported in HealthDay, suggests that increased use of screentime devices is associated with higher rates of inattention and behavioral problems for children and youth at-risk for mental health problems.  Although there were positive effects associated with the social connections, including decreased anxiety and depression, the caution was made that limiting screen time was warranted for as-risk students.

13 Reasons Why

In a commentary in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Andre Picard discusses a NetFlix series called “13 Reasons Why” which presents youth suicide from the victim’s perspective.  While he does not endorse the series, he does recommend that parents watch the series with their children and discuss it.  Silence is suicide’s best friend.

Developing a positive approach to school discipline

A recent article in District Administration suggests that school psychologists can be very helpful in coaching administrators in techniques of CBT to reduce aggression and tension in students being disciplined and create a more positive school climate.  Yet another pro-active role, and professional development opportunity, for school psychologists!