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Oak Knoll School Blog

How to Talk to Your Teenagers about Harmful Effects of Social Media

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 22, 2021 4:11:41 PM

The rumors are true – the teenage years are indeed filled with the inevitable messy rooms, empty kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and smelly shoes laying around the house. However, aside from the normal teenage happenings in households across the country, parents should be aware of recent statistics uncovered about teenagers and social media. 

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Topics: technology, parenting, social and emotional learning, mental health, social media

How to Talk to Your Child about Bullying

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 10, 2021 8:53:08 AM

By the time October rolls around with several weeks of school now behind families, children have (hopefully) settled into their school year. Homerooms, schedules, routines, and friendship groups by now have been established.

With many children now back to school in-person after months of learning virtually at home, they’re now back in classrooms near others who might be different from them – different races, sexualities, religions, weight, heights – and these differences may lead to bullying. 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and was first initiated in 2006 by PACER, the Minnesota parent training and information center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Program.

Although it started as National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week during the first week of October, the campaign expanded to cover the full month now unifying communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. 

While your child’s school most likely will discuss anti-bullying with students, parents, too, play an important and vital role towards eradicating bullying. 

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Topics: high school, elementary school, middle school, social and emotional learning, Bullying

3 Ways to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with Children

Posted by Melissa Miller on Sep 19, 2021 8:05:49 AM

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15 and affords Americans the opportunity to recognize the long and rich history, achievements, and contributions of Hispanics and Latino/as in the United States. Hispanic Heritage Month uniquely starts in the middle of the month to recognize the anniversary of when five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, earned their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Mexico and Chile became independent on September 16 and 18 from Spain.

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Topics: diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, hispanic heritage

Tips on Navigating Back-to-School Anxiety

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 3, 2021 4:13:30 PM

September is here and it’s hard to believe that means the first day of school is quickly approaching. Many of us are trying to soak in these last hot and hazy days of summer, while at the same time, laser-focused on getting everything done on time for our children so they’re well-prepared for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

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Topics: back-to-school, parenting, wellness, social and emotional learning

Lessons We Can Learn from Simone Biles and the Olympics

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jul 29, 2021 2:14:39 PM

The country was rocked on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, when U.S. gymnastics Olympian Simone Biles – the most decorated American gymnast with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals – withdrew from the Olympic gymnastics final. Since, she has also withdrawn from the individual and all-around gymnastic competitions – decisions Biles said were to protect her mental well-being, breaking open oftentimes the hidden stigma of mental health issues in our professional athletes.

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Topics: athletics, health, student advice, mental health

3 Quirky Classes to Take at Oak Knoll

Posted by Jodie De Jesus ’21 on Jul 19, 2021 11:08:08 AM

Oak Knoll’s Upper School offers a wide variety of classes for grades 7-12. From Darkroom Photography to HO Psychology, AP Latin to HO Engineering, the opportunities are limitless. As a student, I’ve enjoyed getting to explore these options and challenge myself academically. However, some of my most memorable experiences have been taking those OKS courses that are on the rather quirky side.

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Topics: high school, classroom, middle school, student advice, academics

How to Combat the 'Summer Slide'

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jun 29, 2021 1:29:22 PM

Summertime is here and children have been trading in their class time for pool time as schools around the country are on hiatus until late August/early September. 

Families have started to enjoy day trips, limited schedules, vacations, quality time together, and plenty of outdoor fresh air. However, although children would probably much prefer to shelve their books and ignore practicing those basic math facts – they shouldn’t, especially after this unusual pandemic school year. 

Each fall, teachers wrestle with the inevitable “summer slide” – or summer learning loss where studies show there is significant knowledge loss in reading and math over summer break if children don’t practice these skills each day. 

Thanks to COVID, learning declines throughout last year were very real for many children. However, it’s not all bad news!  Kelly Ross, Oak Knoll's Academic Support Counselor, offers several ways families can help children combat the COVID slide – the gaps of academic growth and lowered expectations due to the learning disruptions from the 2020-21 school year.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, learners, middle school, summer, academics

What My 10 Years at Oak Knoll Have Taught Me

Posted by Jodie De Jesus ’21 on Jun 22, 2021 12:54:21 PM

Entering a new school in second grade was nerve-wracking an experience that I’m sure a lot of new students can relate to. How long would I last here? Who would I make friends with? Little did I know that, at Oak Knoll, these questions would be the least of my worries and I’d actually be preparing myself for some amazing memories. As I now write this as a graduating senior, I want to share some of the lessons I learned along the way. Here are some of my biggest takeaways from the best 10 years of my life.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, middle school, student advice

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe This Summer

Posted by Robert Weck on Jun 5, 2021 7:53:57 PM

New Jersey’s weather has warmed up in recent weeks and the lazy and longer days of summer are on the horizon. This is certainly a relief after COVID-19 shut-downs and precautions left many of us feeling stir-crazy.

However, as schools here in our own state and across the country dismiss children for summer break, more children will be out and about attending summer camps, at town swimming pools, riding bikes, or walking around with their friends. 

Now is a prime opportunity for parents, adults, and caregivers to review safety tips with children. 

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Topics: parenting, tips, summer, safety

Prioritizing Mental Health in An Uncertain COVID World

Posted by Dr. Jennifer Butler-Sweeney, Ph.D. on May 21, 2021 1:46:16 PM

As we make progress moving forward during what has been an unprecedented year, we continue to see students struggle with so many facets of mental health and stress management. These concerns pre-existed the pandemic on many levels. However, as parents and educators, we are grappling with the multi-faceted impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of adolescent development and functioning – and as such – continue the need to see our students and their struggles through this complex lens. 

So, how do we help our students prioritize their mental health through this experience that is unique and eludes our understanding? While it is useful to engage in conversation that helps our teens understand the deleterious ways COVID-19 has exacerbated what was already a delicate balance of academic, social, and extracurricular pursuits, we are trying to move on from this discourse into a more future-oriented, affirming place. 

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Topics: parenting, mental health

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