Private School Begins Testing Students for Drug and Alcohol Use

Anti-drug programs are nothing new to schools, but one private school in Illinois is taking zero tolerance to a new level. The Huffington Post reports that Catholic high school St. Viator, located in a Chicago suburb, recently started screening students for drugs and alcohol in an effort to combat the dangerous effects of drugs and underage drinking. Every week, the school uses a computerized lottery system to randomly test between 10 and 20 students. According to the school principal, Rev. Corey Brost, “We want to give kids a good reason to say, 'No, I can't drink, St. Viato…


Pediatricians’ Advice: Kids Should Spend Less Time Online

According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids are spending too much time on cell phones and computers. The Huffington Post reported that the AAP feels children should not have computers in their bedrooms and that their media and Internet consumption should be limited to two hours a day. This two-hour limit would include all television viewing and time spent on social network sites like Twitter, with the only exceptions being schoolwork that requires computer usage. The recommendation has been issued to try to combat…


A Community Effort to Improve Literacy (Peter DeWitt)

"On average, professional parents spoke over 2,000 words per hour to their children, working class parents spoke about 1,300, and welfare mothers spoke about 600. So by age 3, children of professionals had vocabularies that were nearly 50% greater than those of working-class children and …


Dallas School District to Provide Free Meals for All Students

With 159,000 students, the Dallas Independent School District has a lot of mouths to feed. According to the Dallas Morning News, the district has participated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) free meal program since 1980. Over the last three decades, families have had to apply for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch, because eligibility was determined by income. In Dallas, these applications are now a thing of the past as the USDA now offers a no-cost meal option for all; beginning this year, no families in the district will need to submit applications. Meals are now free…


Are Sports Good or Bad for Schools? by Peter DeWitt

As an elementary school principal you would think that sports do not have a large impact on what we do during the day, but they do. Students play kickball and two-hand touch football out at recess, and treat those games as though they are playing in the World Series or the Super Bowl. Some of the games get a bit out of control and we end up talking about good sportsmanship.

I love recess. There is a great deal of research on the necessity of recess. I'm not a fan of taking it away for disciplinary reasons and believe that all students should be outside for at least 30 minutes a day. Getting fresh air in all sorts of weather can offer students a much needed brain break.

But what happens when student academics takes a back seat to our fascination with sports?

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