The ‘What’s Happening?’ page is dedicated to content that is current, meaningful, educational and perhaps even a bit provocative every now and then. At Fleming Education Group we believe in sharing information that will spur new ideas and constructs for supporting children and maximizing their promise.
THOUGHTS BY BRYAN
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc upon school systems everywhere. As such, students, teachers, and families across the nation have been thrust into a new environment, and the impacts of this new reality will be felt both now and in the long run. These impacts will be especially acute for students who have typically been under-served in our nation’s schools – students of color, students with special needs and students from low-income households. With many couples confined to their homes, homeschooling children, and facing deep financial uncertainty, it should come as no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic is placing additional strain on marriage relationships that were already struggling. So, as families find themselves at these difficult and painful junctures, how, then, should they go about determining a best-fit learning environment? What are the critical factors and school attributes that parents and guardians should weigh as they make one of the most important decisions related to their child's well-being?
Determining where a child will attend school for separated or divorced parents can be overwhelming. When parents share joint legal custody, they are required to make educational decisions together as co-parents. However, as family law professionals, we often see parties engage in high conflict, unilateral decision-making, and ulterior motives when it comes to deciding school choice related issues for their minor children. How then should we as family law professionals better approach school choice related issues? This article, co-authored with Amanda Crain and Katie Lammers of Heimerl & Lammers LLC, discusses the faults in the current approach to school choice, how this impacts children, and considers when and how school choice should be addressed when parents cannot or will not agree.
The Fleming Education Group (FEG) Team is acutely mindful of the impact that parental conflict and stress tends to have on children. Of course, children are resilient; they can be inspired to cultivate new friendships in new settings, and, in time, can learn to thrive in new academic surrounds. Credible research substantiates that, in many instances, a child’s capacity to leverage her/his resilience and grit is directly correlated to the degree and frequency of ‘variable stressors’ they are required to navigate in their lives.
Families often choose strong schools because they are academically rigorous, diverse and defined by exceptional, supportive teaching. We believe too that parents also hail a school’s caring and committed learning community as additional key factors. Caring and commitment to learning can translate into the cultivation of resilience, a key attribute in achieving academic success as well as success in life.
Those of us with children in private schools have chosen our school for many important reasons, one of which may be that it is an independent, or “private,” school. Yet when family, friends and neighbors ask, “Why do you send your student to a private school?” many of us find it difficult to articulate the answer.
Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. New York: Houghton Miflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.
Dweck, Carol. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. Print.
Bronson, Po and Merryman, Ashley. NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. New York: Hatchette Book Group, 2009. Print.
Ginsburg, Kenneth. Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection With Trust. Elk Grove: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015. Print.
Levine, Madeline. Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More Than Grades, Trophies, or "Fat Envelopes". New York: HarperCollins Books, 2012. Print.
Mogel, Wendy. The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Print.
Weissbourd, Richard. The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development. New York: Houghton Miflin Harcourt, 2009. Print.