Public Notices

At Pope Valley, we appreciate our involved parents and community members and desire to keep you informed of all that’s happening in our school. On this page, we’ll chronicle school activities and student achievements and publish public announcements. So check back often; we’ll update it regularly.

Good and Bad Peer Pressure – Know the Difference

Have you ever heard the saying, “If someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?” A bit extreme, yes. But that would be peer pressure. And while peer pressure is usually seen as a negative thing, it can sometimes lead to positive results. Most middle and high school students are able to identify the difference between good peer pressure and bad peer pressure.
Resisting pressure from your peers to try something with harmful effects (smoking, drugs, a dangerous stunt) doesn’t mean you aren’t cool. It means you are smart enough to make a good choice. You understand the harmful effects of the action and have made a choice that is good for you. Hopefully you know how to say “no” to peer pressure and can walk away from an uncomfortable situation.

But sometimes your peers may continue to pressure you into a situation or activity that is dangerous or harmful to yourself or others. In times like these, knowing some strategies ahead of time will help. Beyond Growth offers some advice on how to be prepared so you can make—and stick to—your decisions.

Peer pressure isn’t all bad though. Sometimes your peers can pressure you into a situation that benefits you or that you were too afraid to do on your own. Maybe a friend urges you to study for your civics exam rather than go to a movie. When isn’t studying a good thing? Or maybe a friend encourages you to enter a piece of your artwork into a contest you were nervous about competing in. Going along with the crowd or giving in to a friend isn’t always a bad thing. Just make sure the crowd isn’t trying to pressure you into something you truly don’t want to do.

Decision-making and peer pressure are part of growing up. It’s how you handle it that will make all the difference. For more information, check out The Cool Spot, which has detailed information about how your peers can pressure you as well as a bag of tricks, to have ready when you feel the pressure coming.

 

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Is your child having a problem with another student at school? Let’s face it; kids are bound to run into problems with others on campus. In fact, it’s difficult to know where to draw the line between a problem that needs attention and a mere misunderstanding between kids. However, if your child is repeatedly singled out or targeted by the same student (or group of students), or your child does not want to attend school or ride the bus any longer, these may be signs that intervention is needed. School should be a place where all students feel safe. The Health Resources and Services Administration has a website your family can go to for information, answers, and solutions to bullying. According to Stop Bullying Now, here are some signs to look for if you suspect your child is being bullied:

  • Your child comes home missing clothing or possessions, or your child’s clothing is damaged, or torn;
  • Your child has bruises, scratches or cuts they cannot (or won’t) explain;
  • Your child is fearful of going to school, riding the bus, or attending activities with friends;
  • Your child is sad, tearful or depressed when they come home from school;
  • Your child has low self-esteem or is anxious.

If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, take action! Ignoring the incident or hoping it goes away, often makes the situation worse and can leave your child feeling even more alienated.

  • Let your child know that you support him/her.
  • Get as much information about the bullying as you can from your child. Help your child explain the situation and experiences by asking him/her questions.
  • Contact your child’s teacher. Many times teachers are able to provide information about your child’s peer relationships that you may not have known. If needed, contact the school principal to let him/her know what is happening as well.

We all want our children to feel safe going to school. Working with your child’s teacher and administration is an effective way to start protecting your child. Staying informed of the situation and acting quickly to resolve any problems will help your child feel empowered and safe once again.

Online Resources for Book Recommendations

For most elementary-age kids, reading at home is a daily assignment; but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Reading a good book is a fun way for a child to unwind from a busy day and to discover far-off people and places from the comfort of home. Often the daunting part of the reading experience is not the reading itself, but rather the search for books that match both the child’s interests and his or her stage of reading independence. Fortunately, some great online resources can assist parents and children in the hunt for that just-right book.

Parents Choice: The reading section of this valuable media-review website offers a variety of articles and book lists with several geared toward reluctant readers.

Scholastic: An excellent resource for parents on all things reading related, this website is full of useful articles and tips to help you foster a love of reading in your home. On this site, you can also browse book lists in a variety of categories ranging from “Fantasy Fixes for Harry Potter Fans” to “Baseball Books for Beginning Readers.”

Guys Read: Popular children’s author Jon Scieszka started this website with the mission to “help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.” The site has great book suggestions for boys from elementary age up through high school.

Kidsreads: This website provides reviews of hundreds of books, organized alphabetically in the index. You can also sign up for a newsletter, which will alert you to some of the newest books coming from the publishers in the children’s book industry.

AR (Accelerated Reader) Book Finder: With this search tool, you can look for books by topic, title, or author. They provide a short summary of each book, with information about the AR level and number of AR points assigned to each book.

Education.com: Top nonprofit and university organizations provide book lists, articles, and tips on this website to help you choose books for your children from infancy through high school and beyond into adulthood.

If you prefer a low-tech way to find book recommendations, check out Esme Raji Codell’s How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike. The author, also a schoolteacher and librarian, has created a huge treasury of ideas and book lists to help parents and teachers select titles for all interests. In addition, don’t forget the most reliable source of all for helpful book suggestions—your local school and county librarians.