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Articles: Health & Wellness

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hopes the federal government will take stronger action to restrict sales of the devices, such as raising the legal purchasing age to 21. (Gettyimages: martinedoucet).

District leaders have taken a wide range of responses to curb the alarming increase in students’ use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes.

Educators and psychologists propose a host of explanations for the apparent uptick in student anxiety. Some point to public events – terrorism, school shootings, opioid addiction, the coarsening of political discourse in the age of Trump.

Others blame technology—devices that substitute electronic contact for face-to-face interaction, and social media that transform school-hours drama into a 24-7 preoccupation.

Still others look to family dysfunction, or pressure to match parental achievements. “The anxiety comes from so many different sources.

the best medicine—A “laughter yoga” session reduces student stress in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey. The district has also provided PD to show teachers how to conduct meditation and breathing exercises to ease their own and students’ anxiety.

Across the country, districts are grappling with rising levels of student anxiety attributed to everything from academic pressures to larger social forces. 

Dallas ISD’s morning drop-in centers for homeless high school students provide necessities such as take-home food, hygiene products and a place to wash clothes.

After February’s deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there was no shortage of suggestions for improving school security, ranging from adding more guards to arming teachers.

Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis is an International Baccalaureate school serving students and parents from 54 different countries in pre-K through grade 12. When the school wanted to design a new playground, administrators wanted to demonstrate its global brand and create an area with a world theme reflective of students and their families.

Stewart Crais, Lausanne’s director of operations, says the school also needed a playground that could fit into a confined area at the front of the campus and add to its curb appeal.

Mark A. Serva is an educational consultant and an associate professor at the University of Delaware.  

With the latest season of high school football concluded, now is perhaps an ideal time to consider whether or not there should be another.

Donna Reynolds is principal of Lake Mary High School of Seminole County Public Schools in Florida.

Donna Reynolds, principal of Lake Mary High School of Seminole County Public Schools in Florida, connected with students by performing with the dance team at a pep rally.

Head lice are parasitic insects that feed on human blood and live close to the scalp.

Head lice policies are causing controversy throughout the country, as some districts abandon “no nit” rules that require sending home children who have nits (lice eggs) or live lice in their hair.

Lisa Gonzales is president of the Association of California School Administrators and is assistant superintendent of educational services in Dublin USD.

In a world of round-the-clock distractions, being a mindful leader is a powerful tool. Mindfulness is simply the act of being consciously aware and of focusing on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way.

The new New York curriculum will help students and teachers recognize the signs of a potential problem, and reduce the associated stigma. (Gettyimages.com: highwaystarz-photohgraphy).

Most states have laws mandating health education in primary and secondary schools, but New York will be the first to emphasize mental health instruction for all grades.

Many districts have adopted rock climbing, cross-training, yoga and other individually focused activities. (Gettyimages.com: remains).

School districts are elevating physical education standards and expanding athletic activities beyond traditional sports to provide a more well-rounded education as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Some of the latest models of nontraditional furniture rolling into schools feature sit-stand desks, stackable stools with tiltable surfaces, adjustable tables and desks with bikes.

Growing mental health needs of students ranked as one of the major issues facing educators who participated in DA’s 2018 Outlook Survey.

A look back at the year’s top stories sheds some light on the way forward.

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