News

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.

Science Around Us

If you are like most parents, you’ve heard the questions, “Where does rain come from?” or “How does popcorn pop?” or, our all-time favorite, “Where does the water go when I flush the toilet?” While these questions can sometimes strike fear in parents (Who wants to have to say, “I don’t know,” to their child?), there are many ways to bring science into your lives, and satisfy your child’s curiosity at the same time.

Questions lead to learning, and you certainly don’t want to squash that. If you don’t know the answers to your child’s questions, admit it. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn together and grow your minds in the process. Head to the computer and do a little research together! Talk to your child about his question, and encourage him to do most of the legwork - with your assistance.

You can always try heading off some of those difficult questions before they start: Visit a local children’s science museum. To find one near you, visit the Association of Children’s Museums, or check out this worldwide list of hands-on science centers. Many science museums offer hands-on exhibits and workshops perfect for little, curious minds!

Though we don’t always think about it, science is all around us every day. Talk to your child about some of the things related to science around your home: electricity, the Internet, recycling, gardening, cooking, digestion, etc. The more you talk, the more questions you will likely encourage. But that’s okay. Go back to that opportunity to learn together!

There are endless websites you and your child can visit together to learn about science. Among them are ScienceNews for Kids, Brain POP, Zoom (by PBS), and Science With Me, as well as others. Above all, encourage those questions, frustrating as they may be sometimes. Support his interest in science and learning!

Secrets to Raising a Successful Student

Raising a child to have a love of learning and a desire to succeed is much like walking a tight rope. If you push too hard for your child to do well, your child is likely to view reading, homework, and studying for tests as one big chore. However, if you are too laid back and don’t supervise his/her learning at all outside the classroom, then your child might lack the necessary discipline and motivation to succeed. So, exactly what steps should you take now to ensure your child will become a successful student? Below are some valuable habits you can adopt to help make the learning process fun and exciting:

  1. Encourage your child and acknowledge his/her efforts in learning. Phrases such as, “you read very well,” “you should be proud of your neat handwriting,” or “you are a good speller” all go a long way toward teaching your child to want to do well. Everyone wants praise for his or her achievements, most especially your child.
  2. Never refer to school or homework as a chore. Present an upbeat attitude and your child will eventually take the cue from you to enjoy the process of school and learning. Don’t make the mistake of simply asking your child, “How was school today?” because you will invariably get the one-word answer of, “Fine.” Instead, encourage a conversation by asking, “What interesting thing happened today?” “What did you and your friends do during recess?” “What was the most fun thing you did today at school?” These questions make your child become more aware of the enjoyable moments during school.  
  3. If your child is young, set 15 to 30 minutes a day to read together. If your child is older, set a specified time (during which the television and all other electronics are turned off) for the entire family to read silently. 
  4. Keep alert to what interests your child. Does he or she like to do puzzles or does your child like to paint? Each child is born with unique traits and talents. Observe your child to discover those gifts, and then encourage him/her toward similar activities or extra-curricular programs. By doing so, you will increase your child’s creativity and self-confidence.

Being a parent or guardian is the most wonderful role an adult will ever play in life, yet it can also be challenging. After all, your children have their own minds and personalities, so to get them to adopt your attitude and viewpoint toward learning, you will need to use a lot of positive reinforcement, praise, and patience. While that may not be easy, the payoff to having your child become a successful individual is worth all of those efforts. 

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!