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EdNews Parent: Teacher trouble, beating a bully, cafeteria food

Hi, we’re so glad you have found your way to EdNews Parent, a free resource for all Colorado parents. Our goal is simple: To engage more parents in school issues, particularly those dealing with healthy schools, teaching and learning, and safe schools. Not only do we want to stimulate your ideas for solving problems – from childhood obesity to school violence and failing schools, we want to give you the tools to take action.

For starters, we have a fantastic crew of experts in each topic area who are ready and waiting for your questions. We will publish your first name only and your city or town – unless you prefer that we don’t. You will be notified immediately if your question is selected, and you will see all expert responses featured in this e-mail newsletter, which you will receive every other week, as well as on the site. Click here to ask a question now in the areas of healthy schools, school safety or teaching and learning.

Oh, and Happy International Walk to School Day. If you forgot this morning, there’s still a chance for your child to walk home.

Now, for some EdNews Parent highlights:

Healthy schools

School kitchen inspections fall short EdNews Colorado and EdNews Parent reporter Rebecca Jones spent a few weeks pouring over inspection data for the state’s school kitchens. And here’s what she found behind the commercial stove, so to speak: More than half of Colorado schools failed to meet federal regulations requiring that school lunchrooms be inspected at least twice a year.

School lunch reformer Ann Cooper gives parents tips Watch this short video of nationally known “renegade lunch lady” Ann Cooper urging parents to eat at their children’s schools and review their district’s wellness policy. Or, listen to her suggestion on how to apply for a free school salad bar.

Ask an Expert: A friend’s son seems depressed Read how EdNews Parent expert Steve Sarche, a Denver psychiatrist who treats juvenile mental health issues, responds to a question from Jamie of Denver about how to confront a parent whose teen son is showing signs of depression.

Teaching and Learning

Teacher shares middle school math tips Carrie Heaney is an award-winning teacher at Cherry Creek’s Sky Vista Middle School. Listen to her simple – but smart – suggestions on how to help your middle schooler with math in this short video.

Ask an Expert: How do I confront my child’s teacher? Read EdNews Parent expert Karla Scornavacco’s response to a parent question about handling a conflict with a teacher. For starters, she suggests “cooling down with some help from friends or just your own parenting journal.”

What Colorado district has the most certified teachers? The answer might surprise you. Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.

Safe schools

Ask an Expert: How to keep my teen daughter safe on Facebook You’ll want to read how to use the popular social networking site safely from EdNews Parent expert Mike Harris, an investigator with the Jeffco DA’s office.

Ask an Expert: A group of boys is teasing my sixth grade son EdNews Parent expert Bethy Leonardi weighs in on how to handle such a situation.

Ask an Expert: Should my fourth grader get a cell phone? The question of when to give a child a cell phone is becoming more and more relevant in our technology-obsessed society. Read what two EdNews Parent experts have to say about it. For starters, it has to do with a child’s maturity – not his age. Is your child mature enough? Read this post and you’ll find out.

Thanks for reading. You’ll get your next EdNews Parent newsletter in two weeks. Meantime, tell your friends and family members to sign up for the newsletter. Or come visit us at EdNews Parent to see more posts on everything from a recent spate of suicides among gay teens whose families say they were relentously bullied to the current Silly Bandz craze and attempts by some districts to ban them. Welcome to our new Colorado parent community. Please e-mail us with any questions or suggestions for the site or the newsletter.


Julie Poppen, editor

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