Croll: Is Youth Suicide Preventable?

The month of September is national youth suicide prevention month. September also happens to be childhood cancer awareness month. What youth suicide and childhood cancer have in common is that they can strike any family, in any community, of any religion, race, economic status, or ethnicity. But while childhood cancer is usually not preventable, youth suicide is preventable. But to keep our kids safe, we, the adults in our community, must band together to create a culture that fostered acceptance, inclusion, and connection for all.

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Croll: Are Loudoun Kids Getting Very Sick from COVID-19?

All over the country, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and we are hearing that the virus is now attacking young healthy people, including children. The COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective at reducing the severity of illness from the virus, but, according to the Virginia Department of Health, more than 35% of children in Loudoun County who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have not yet been vaccinated.

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Croll: Loudoun Parents May be Ready to Consider Year-Round School

Prior to the pandemic, there were more than 15 school divisions in Virginia that operated on a year-round schedule. While students who attend school year-round are in class for the same number of days as they would be on an August to June school calendar, research shows that year-round students retain more of what they learn. For some student populations in Virginia, year-round school has also been shown to dramatically increase SOL test scores.

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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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