Week of 11/5-11/9/18

Hello Panthers!
I have been doing some writing lately and the feedback was that I use the same words over and over, so I am going to switch it up a little bit. I hope you had an unbelievable weekend! The weather was perfect for being outside unless you were on the wrong end of a two-point conversion. Anyway, we are set for a fun week at Ridgeview, culminating in our Veteran’s Day parade.

Wrapped up two and starting the third Six Weeks
This week we begin the third six weeks and final six weeks of the semester. We wrap up football and basketball gets under way. Fine Arts wrapped up a busy weekend, but for many of our band students they will compete again at Regionals this weekend. 32 of the 44 students who made District will be competing for a spot at Regionals. Theater competed in One Act Play. We had two Honorable Mention All-Star Cast members, two All-Star Cast members, a Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards as well as outstanding technical contribution award. Great job!

Veterans Day - 11/9 - 7:45 - 9:00 am
Each year Ridgeview hosts a Veteran’s Day parade! We encourage all veterans and active military or spouses to come and celebrate with us. Let us treat you to breakfast and show you how much we appreciate what you do for our country. Please RSVP here so we can plan accordingly. The event will start around 7:45 in the morning. Parking will be available in the South lot and East lot. If your veteran has mobility issues, please feel free to drop them off on the southside of the building by the Lecture Hall entrance. All veterans will report to the library to start the morning. Breakfast will be in the Lecture Hall. After a short performance, we will start the parade! We invite all community members to join us in the celebration!

Rise Against Hunger
Hunger doesn’t have to exist — let’s end it together.
The Cedar Ridge Learning Community is coming together to raise funds for Rise Against Hunger as a service project. We will be collecting donations for the next two weeks. More information will come out about how to make your contribution. We are hoping to raise $1 per student as a minimum goal.
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030.
2018 mission video (long version; 4:57): https://youtu.be/ap5sVWSCL_s

2018 mission video (short version; 2:00): https://youtu.be/3vbnUzTjCCs

Bus Passes
There have been a few changes with the transportation department that we wanted to pass on to parents. At this time our buses are maxed out for our campus, so transportation is not able to accommodate additional bus passes. The only exception is a new student to Ridgeview who has not been added to the roster.

Boys Basketball
Boys Basketball Tryouts 7th and 8th Grade

ATHLETES MUST ATTEND BOTH TRYOUT SESSIONS!

Thursday, November 8th 
7th Grade- 6:00-9:00 am
8th Grade- 2:50-5:50 pm

Monday, November 12th 
7th Grade- 6:00-9:00 am
8th Grade- 2:50-5:50 pm

Please have 7th grade athletes report @ 5:45 am at the earliest. Doors will not open sooner that the stated time. 

Color Run
Thank you so much to PTA for putting on a wonderful Color Run. I also want to thank our community vendors who came out to support the Healthy Lifestyles event! We will have another event in the Spring if you were unable to attend.

Understanding Teens
I recently had a parent ask me why her teen was acting the way he was acting. I resisted the urge to say, “Have you looked in the mirror lately?” Instead, I related a little bit of science. Teens act like teens because they are not adults. We want them to act like adults, but the reality is that they are still becoming adults. The most critical piece of this is, along with maturity, is brain development. Students frontal lobes will not be developed until the age of… are you ready for this? Age 25. Now some might be developed as early as 18, but the majority of people will not have full functional capacity until 25.

You might be asking yourself, what does this mean? Well it means that teens will act like teens until they are adults, and by this definition, they will not really be ready for adulthood until age 25. That doesn’t mean they need to stay home until they are 25, that just means that they will be more ready to behave responsibly at age 25. In case you are wondering, the frontal cortex controls the following functions: Attention, Complex Planning, Decision Making, Impulse Control, Logical Thinking, Organized Thinking, Personality Development, Risk Management, and Short-Term Memory. Needless to say, all the control that a teen needs to stay out of trouble and focused on school and work.

Not all hope is lost though. Just because the frontal cortex isn’t fully developed is not an excuse for the actions or decisions that teens make. In fact, there is much hope, because that means that the brain is active in terms of molding what it will become. Some ask, is there anything that I can do to promote the right development. I found a website that seemed pretty good that talks about promoting healthy brain development and detrimental influences. I thought this fit in perfectly since we just had a healthy lifestyles fair with the color run.

Let’s start with a few of the healthy suggestions:
  1. Cognitive Challenges - hopefully students are being challenged each day at school. The brain is a muscle like any other in the body and needs to be pushed and challenged in order to grow stronger. Reading, writing, and problem solving are great ways to challenge the brain.
  2. Dietary intake - keep it healthy. A balanced diet of moderation with fewer sugars and processed foods.
  3. Exercise - exercise leads to better blood flow, better control of emotions, and optimal levels of neurotransmitters. Think balance in body and mind. Here is a website with more information on neurotransmitters if you are interested or curious what I am talking about.
  4. Meditation - Mindfulness is good for stress reduction, which can lead to enhanced brain development when the brain is not stressed.
  5. Sleep - Sleep lets your brain rest, process, recover, and rejuvenate.
  6. Socialization - positive contact and conversations with other humans helps stimulate the brain.

Sounds like six easy ways to improve the health of your brain. Although the study says that the frontal lobe is fully developed at 25, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enhance what is already there with these same practices. I am a big believer in neuroplasticity which means that the brain is capable of making new connections and neurogenesis which means the brains can grow new neurons. These both give insight as to how we can improve the functionality of the brain, even as we get older in life.

Here are a few of the detrimental influences:
  1. Alcohol and Drug Abuse - no surprise here. These can lead to serious impairment if used by teens at an early age while the frontal cortex is still developing.
  2. Chronic stress - stress can work against the brain because the body is constantly working to get itself in balance. 
  3. Poor diet - leads to poor health
  4. Relationship issues - toxic relationships lead to shutting down, which keeps us from using the creative talents in the brain when interacting with others and expressing emotions.
  5. Sleep problems - this keeps the brain from being able to rest and rejuvenate properly
  6. Social isolation - perhaps most interesting on the list. As a social constructivist, I believe that you learn from interactions with others. If you are never in interactions with others, you can still learn, but are prone to being easily influenced by whatever information you are taking in, rather than being able to test that new knowledge against others. It also impacts mood and personality in social situations. A great reason or argument for putting down the screen for some face time.
Hopefully these suggestions make sense or reinforce what you feel is common sense. I hope to start a series of blurbs on the book Generation IY. I think this will give some insight to parents raising teens and what is happening with them, not only from a physical and emotional standpoint, but also from a societal standpoint as well.

Make it a tremendous week Ridgeview! The choice is yours!

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