New Vistas Center for Education in Chandler launches a series of classes to help Valley parents support their child’s education, BASIS Phoenix opens and Gilbert Public Schools work to build coping skills that prevent suicide. Details on these efforts and more in this week’s education roundup.
HIGHLAND STUDENTS RESTORE HABITATS
Highland High School students in Kathryn Rizzo’s biology class worked at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in Phoenix. Parents and students parents removed buffalo grass and other invasive plants that flourish in the riparian area which is now a lush, restored habit with five miles of paved and dirt trails as well as an excellent bird-watching area.
PREVENTING SUICIDE IN GILBERT SCHOOLS
Signs of Suicide (SOS) program coordinators at Gilbert Public Schools are visiting school sites to address several key topics with students. The grade level-appropriate program begins with fifth and sixth grades, where it focuses on coping methods for students who may be experiencing anxiety, or having problems identifying their feelings.
With middle school and high school students, SOS coordinators focus on other behaviors and signs that may be experienced by this age group in order to identify students who are depressed or who may be considering suicide.
Although the problem of suicide may not affect the younger students as much, the acquisition of coping skills at a young age can make a big difference. “What we are trying to do is really go as young as we can developmentally to address those issues of helping kids develop healthy coping strategies. That way, when they do get a little older, they don’t engage in risky behavior,” says K-12 Prevention Coordinator Susan Cadena.
NEW VISTAS HELPS PARENTS SUPPORT THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION
New Vistas Center for Education in Chandler is opening a Parent Partnership Institute (PPI) to support parents Valleywide. Twelve different classes will be offered throughout the 2012-13 school year. The first class will focus on how parents can help their children develop productive homework habits and other study skills.
Subsequent classes will address topics such as:
- supporting learning for gifted students
- parenting and child development
- parent expectations and student achievement testing
- tools to support students in dual language families
“Research demonstrates a direct correlation between high academic achievement and knowledgeable parent collaboration between home and school,” says Eleanor Jordan, director of EAJ Institute at New Vistas. “Even though our parents come from many different countries and cultures, they share a common expectation that they are vital part of their child’s educational journey.”
The classes are taught by education experts from New Vistas and other programs throughout the Valley. Parents can attend on a class-by-class basis depending on interest or need. (Find a class schedule here.)
Cost is $10 (free to New Vistas parent) and reservations are required. 480-963-2313.
CANDIDATE FORUM AT CAVE CREEK UNIFIED
Cave Creek Unified School District is hosting a school board candidate forum on Thursday, Oct. 4. Five candidates are running for three, four-year terms. The candidates are: Janet Busbee, Jay Kules,, Cassandra Perkins, David Schaefer and Karen Tuffs.
The forum is at the Cactus Shadows High School Fine Arts Center south of Carefree Highway on 60th street. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the forum running from 6:30 to 7:30. Candidates will give opening and closing statements and answer questions from a list submitted by students and the audience.
BASIS OPENS PHOENIX SITE
BASIS Phoenix will dedicate its new facility at 11850 N. 32nd St. in Phoenix from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3. Speakers include Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Congressman Ben Quayle, BASIS Schools co-founders Michael and Olga Block, former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Keegan and Craig Barrett, Ph.D., retired CEO/chairman of Intel Corporation and current president and chairman of BASIS Schools, Inc.
HEALTH SCIENCES COLLABORATION ON HIV/AIDS
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS and the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix have announced a clinical education affiliation providing HIV/AIDS health sciences education through internships and student fellowships. UA medical students will begin internship rotations at Southwest Center beginning in 2013.
According to a press release, this is “the first medical student internship affiliation program developed with an Arizona-based HIV/AIDS agency and the Arizona Board of Regents in the history of the AIDS epidemic.”