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Why your middle school student is supposed to make you crazy: Letter To The Editor:

Dear Editor,

Middle school can be an incredibly emotional, complicated and confusing experience… and that’s just for the parents. For the kids it’s just a natural part of their own personal and educational development. It can run the gamut from smooth sailing to constant drama, usually in the same day. But fear not parents and guardians. Help is on the way.

In 2009, the Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTA’s, under the leadership of President Shari Davis, created a priorities committee with the goal of identifying and bringing clarity to much of the work that we do. Four main pillars were adopted: achievement for all, communication, funding issues and culture & climate. At the same time, SMMUSD identified our middle schools as an area of greater need and focus and moved to adopt a “Whole Child” philosophy. This fit in perfectly with our PTA Council focus on climate & culture.

In the spring of 2011, middle school teachers, students and parents were surveyed on various topics, spanning how challenged and engaged students were to health and safety issues. The results were studied, analyzed and then an action plan was created to try to implement our findings.

On Saturday May 19 at the Lincoln Middle School cafeteria from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we will be presenting an extremely informative and entertaining round table forum on the Whole Child Initiative, affectionately referred to as “Why your middle school student is supposed to make you crazy!” All of our SMMUSD middle school principals and counselors will share their experiences with the audience as important topics about our kids are addressed. Parents will also have a chance to ask questions and raise concerns about what they would suggest as a way of strengthening the middle school experience in our district.

It has been an extremely educational and rewarding experience as the chair of this PTA Council committee and I am proud of the partnership with Dr. Sally Chou in creating and promoting this terrific opportunity for our community. Hopefully many of you will attend, listen and participate in what will be a very worthwhile morning.

Jon Kean

SMM-PTA Council Priorities

Committee Chair

Santa Monica

in Opinion
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