Croll: Summer School is Not Just for Remediation Anymore

Summer school is being embraced this year by parents and students across the country as an opportunity to augment K-12 education. Many parents of elementary age students are looking for opportunities to help their children fill in learning gaps, reinforce concepts and stay on pace with state standards. Middle and high school students are taking classes during the summer so they can accelerate their coursework, meet graduation requirements, and expand their options for in-school electives. There are more education programs available this summer for Loudoun students than ever before.

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Croll: Confessions of an Extrovert During Quarantine

As the days of the pandemic drag on, and COVID-19 positivity rates continue to be high, some of us are acutely feeling the negative effects of having to quarantine. Extroverts like me who draw energy from being with other people have been stressed for a long time now about the lack of available connections. When a human being experiences stress, no matter what the cause, the body goes into fight or flight mode and the brain responds by releasing cortisol. Chronic activation of this stress response, say over a period of many months during a quarantine, can lead to serious health issues.

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Croll: Before You Hand Your Child That Device, Please Read This

With COVID raging in our community, and school out for the holidays, many devices are likely to find their way in the hands of children this holiday season. Parents are tired and, frankly, many of us are out of ideas for how to entertain our kids at home. Letting children access screens makes them happy and it gives us a break. As a result, screen usage by kids has gone through the roof.

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Croll: Suggestions for Keeping Your Halloween Safe in 2020

“A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.” This is the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control related to trick-or-treating safety this year. The CDC goes on to label traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating as a “higher risk” activity for potential transmission of COVID-19.

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Write Your Way to Better Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When this period in history is over, future generations will ask us what it was like to live through quarantines, lockdown and social distancing. Most of us will quickly forget (in fact, many of us cannot wait to forget). Capturing our thoughts and feelings in a journal not only records rich details about what life is like during this historical time, but the mere act of writing could make us healthier in the process.

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Croll: P.E. Teachers are About to Get Some (Long Overdue) Love

When we reflect back on our favorite teachers from childhood, few of us conjure images of physical education teachers. In fact, I cannot remember the name of any P.E. teacher I had in years K-12. Because it is an elective, phys ed class has always been considered secondary in importance to core school subjects. But that is changing now that we are in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, I would argue that P.E. is the most important class your child will take this year.

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Croll: The Key to Surviving 24/7 with Your Kids? Setting Boundaries

The word “boundary” has always had a negative connotation for me. I put “boundary” in the same category as “diet” or “budget”—a limit. I have never been a big fan of limits. Maybe it is because I grew up in New York where speed limits were considered optional. However, since quarantine began, I have developed a newfound appreciation for the concept of boundaries.

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