From, Taking Notes in Melrose
MHS/MMS PTO Meeting: Stress Management for Teens
Many parents came out this past snowy Monday night to learn more about helping their children and their children’s friends sort out and address responses to stress. The MHZ and MMS PTO’s joint session focused on “Helping Teens Manage Stress and Painful Emotions” in an engaging and compassionate presentation prepared and presented by two of our own high school parents who are also psychologists, Lynda Field, PhD and Lisa Coyne, PhD. Also attending were Supt. Raymore, MHZ Principal Farrell and Asst. Principal Fogarty, MMS Principal Conway, and Asst. Supt. White-Lambright.
Of teens in Gr. 9-12 in the last 12 months: 17% considered suicide (22% of females and 12% of males), 13.6% made a plan (17% of females and 10% of males), and 8% attempted suicide one or more times (11% of females and 5% of males)
What is the high school and middle school doing to address this issue? These topics are included in the health and wellness curriculum at MHZ and there are discussions around yoga and mindfulness strategies in this year’s freshman seminar. They hope to share more techniques with staff next year so they can help students employ these strategies before a big test or assignment. The middle school also includes the topics in the health and wellness curriculum. Principal Conway also mentioned that there is a task force of twelve staff members who have met since December to talk about social emotional learning, and they hope to represent some of the results in this coming year’s School Improvement Plans.
This school system and the SC have some serious problems if they think that MHS is addressing this issue by “topics are included in the health and wellness curriculum at MHS and there are discussions around yoga and mindfulness strategies in this year’s freshman seminar.” This is without a doubt one of the most glaring omissions of leadership at a HS that I have ever witnessed. And, how can a SC member publish this as if this solution is the least bit adequate. These people are nuts if they think discussions around yoga and mindfulness strategies in this year’s freshman seminar is a solution. I’m so shocked by this I don’t even have words for it. All that comes to mind is IDIOTS, all of them.
Maybe the retiring AD, Pat Ruggeiro can volunteer to help with all she learned at the San Diego Safe Steps conference. One focus of the trainings was fostering resiliency in teenagers. I'm still amazed that she went to the conference this week when someone who will be actually working with students in the MPS schools next year could (should) have gone. She needs to pay back for taking the place of someone who actually could help MPS students handle stress. Who made the decision to send Ruggerio? Another example of great decision making in our school system!
Page 2 of today's Boston Globe has an interesting report about Suicide. The MPS must prioritize the emotional and social needs of students. Lip service and task forces which might highlight some vague idea in a school improvement plan in the future is not enough, Moving the 5th grade to the Middle School and the 8th grade to the High School goes against research by the American Pedriatic Association and Neuropsychologists cutting edge research. Put the kids first.....for once. The drug use, alcohol use and bullying in our schools system rampant. These issues should be part of a community conversation centered around the OCR reports as well.
The Federal Grant $ was jointly given to MAAV and the MPS. Rebecca Mooney, Patricia Wright-Lambert and Pat Ruggerrio went to San Diego.
P W-L is scared of making any waves. She doesn't have time to do her own job because CT is constantly pulling her into cleaning up her messes. Disappointed in Rebecca Mooney, though. She should have insisted that PR not go. Waste of precious grant dollars.
How the MAAV board could approve the trio who used the grant money to attend the Safe Steps conference in San Diego makes me wonder. How (Mooney in particular) could go along with posting and promoting the smiling faces of RM, PW-L and PR on the MAAV website undermines the value of MAAV's mission.
And people wonder why many of us complain about the incompetence and arrogance of this school administration! This is one great example! One person on her way out the door and another admin person actively looking to leave the system! Shame on them and shame on Ms. Taymore!
And shame on Rebecca Mooney!
Yes, and further, PW-L is the person who supposedly led the fraudulent "investigation" that resulted in the first OCR findings against the city (with the "expert" guidance of that crack legal team of losers that continue to have the district circling the drain and wracking up huge expenses). PWL has repeatedly failed to get another position (for a number of years now), so Melrose continues to be stuck with her. This will be a repeating story for all the D- bottom-dwellers (and barely qualified rookies no one else wanted) that CT has hired in the last 4 years (along w/ those "winners" JC hired), meanwhile the great ones like Dr. P leave for less pay and crappier jobs just to get away from these monsters. Note: Melrose Schools used to be a place that highly qualified teachers came and stayed, even if the pay was far below average, because it was a good place to work and a supportive community. Now it is a place that good employees won't even consider generally. Look at where some of our recent dept chairs have gone--science and math chairs now in (or going to) the great city of Chelsea! (They haven't moved onto Lexington or Belmont.) All those naive parents who are buying the argument that money is the reason for the district's troubles: Get Real! The rotten fish heads at the top of the city and schools are the reason, period.
Time for a clean sweep, including dumping the alliance w/ RM and her in-the-tank relationship w/ administration, that ultimately does nothing but a lot of posturing and staying in 4-star hotels with the other bunch of frauds leading the district right down the drain. She and her bosom buddies PWL and PR should take a permanent vacation together, along with the rest of the executive "team."
Just out of curiosity, whats the parents role in dealing with teen stress/suicide? On top of dealing with drug and alcohol issues, bullying, cyber bullying and racism, incompetent parents now want to add teen stress and suicide to the schools list of responsibilities? And then you want to beat on non-profits and volunteers also doing your jobs? Kkds go to school to learn how to read, write and do math. The rest of these issues are a parents responsibility. Get your heads out of your @sses and parent your kids.
"non-profits and volunteers"
No. RM is well paid and part of the cozy political patronage system that keeps this district hostage.
Over the last few years, $500,000 from the feds has produced a few posters, videos and assemblies at the high school. It's produced a few parties for the chosen students and several all expenses paid vacations for Patti and Pat.
You want to make real progress in education - get rid of the unions! You can't get one thing done without first consulting these convoluted union contracts that govern everything. The only thing that unions do - is protect the incompetent. Good teachers don't need protection.
This administration,is the reason unions were formed in the first place[8)]
Ahhh...Waka, Waka, Waka
Ahhh...shutta, uppa, clowna...
Schools were/are suppose to be for the 3R’s. The kid’s problems are the responsibilities of the parents not the taxpayers.
Have a good day[:)]
So what would you have the teachers do when the parents are not meeting the "responsibility" of handling the kids' problems? When kids come to school unable to attend to the three Rs, because there are other issues clouding their mind? What about the research that shows that kids learn better when they believe their teachers care about their well-being? You clearly have no idea what schools are like today, or what teachers HAVE to do for/with many students in order for them to ever even get to effectively teach the 3Rs.
Ignorance is bliss.
Because the kid who got a trophy for everything he did in life eventually hits the brick wall that is reality; you don't always win, you don't always get a reward, and oh, by the way, we've opened our borders to people from low-trust cultures that bring their children up to compete and win by whatever means necessary, so deal with it.
That these kids are escaping their realities with drugs and alcohol isn't surprising. That they believe they can handle it is nothing new, but one can only hope that the numerous examples to the contrary, The Artist Formerly Know As Alive being the latest, shows them differently.
Low trust cultures are defined by excessive control and hovering. Disempowerment happens when too many rules, regulations and suspicions kill creativity, risk taking and individual responsability. In low trust cultures problems are denied and covered up. The fear of imperfection impairs problem solving, self reflection and being able to admit mistakes. Today kids in schools are products of "Low Trust" Parents. Stephen Covey has interesting theories about how "Low Trust Cultures" breed toxicity, anxiety and distrust. Here elected officials, (Mayor, SC and BOA), MPS Administrators and City Hall Departments Heads all promote and perpetuate "Low Trust Cultures". The toxic environment in the Melrose government and school system exemplifies what damage a "Low Trust Culture" can do.
So all you whiners’ (MFD etc.) out there stop complaining about the school budget. people on this board seem to think it’s the schools job to take care of peoples nutty offspring and the teenage junkies..
Have a good day
Where are the parents in all this? I thought that parents were responsible for their children’s welfare not the city. Parents are the ones who should take responsibility for their children and get them the help when they need it.
Think of all the money the school system could save it their job was just to educate them not raise them.
But maybe part of this stress is the schools responsibility. I was talking with a friend, whose child was placed in an AP class and is stressed about it. He had tried to get her reassigned, but to no avail. If the school is taking kids and placing them in AP classes to increase their averages, to look good
this is wrong and part of the problem.
Give me a break with all of this non sense. These kids are fine, it's society that has changed. We allow them to be little whiners and brats. I mean think about it, how is this the most "depressed" generation? They're by far the most pampered and spoiled! They get everything they want, never get disciplined, and never get told "no." Time to bring back 1950's society when everything (minus the colored bathrooms) seemed to make sense.
Looks like everyone on here can agree on one point.
That Mooney, Ruggerio & that inept sped person should not have gone on that trip.
If you think that teens need in-school help, then the actual helpers should have gone.
If you think teens should only receive help from family intervention, then no trip was necessary.
My opinion is if you are going to try to help teens at school, then really try. Send the right folks for training.
If you are not going to attempt to help, be straightforward & not put forth the illusion that you are.
All this other stuff such as the trip is just window dressing to give the appearance that help is offered. But it's only an appearance. Real help takes real work & it's not always pretty.
All of the fundamental social & behavioral issues that the school department deals with have roots firmly implanted at home in the parenting of the child.
Kick a Ginger Day, social media/cyber racism and bullying, bullying, drug and alcohol use, disrespectful students and in many cases lack of adequate preparation for the school day due to a lack of emphasis on homework, good study habits and good sleep habits. 100% the parents responsibility. Its convenient to lay the blame at the administration's feet but any parent who blames someone else for their child's behavior and school performance is setting themselves and their kids up for failure. The biggest differentiator between the kids excelling inside and outside at MHS or any other school, and the kids struggling, is work ethic, attitude, discipline and behavior. All part of a parents core responsibility to their child. If a kid is smoking pot, drinking, all over social media, 24/7 on the cell phone and getting lousy grades...and plenty of them are at MHS...the parents need to look in the mirror. Too many parents in Melrose don't do their job and then b*tch about the system when their kid doesn't want to go to college or get lousy grades, SAT or MCAS scores.
It's not about the students. The students on the whole are good kids. As the OCR knows, we need to be concerned about the continual misbehavior of top administrators, mayor, city solicitor and the SC chair and a very small cadre of teachers. Get off the kids' backs. It's about the misbehavior of the above.