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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Get Smart about Halloween

October 31, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff How we celebrate Halloween is a sign of the times: what costumes are popular, what the weather may bring (snow, hurricanes, ice or wind) and even what we dole out to eager trick-or-treaters. Considering nearly 1 in 13 children has a food allergy, a rate that has increased about 50% since 1997, it makes sense that food allergy awareness and its associated color, teal, are joining the wave. FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is encouraging families to think about making a few additions to Halloween. Their website provides ways for families to create a map of allergy-friendly treat givers, to print a teal pumpkin sign or sheet of stickers, and advice on how to distribute… Read More

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Now You See it, Now You Don’t: Cognitive Blindness

October 25, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff A few days ago, my six-year-old brought home a book from school that was considered a “right-fit”. Her assignment was to read the book to me out loud. We’ve been doing this since the start of the school year. It was a routine assignment and from what I could tell from the book’s jacket, a routine kind of book for a typical first grader. But this was not routine. A few pages into the story, she lost much of the fluency I would have expected given the book’s vocabulary. And why? Because she was distracted by the pictures. “That man is not wearing a helmet,” she said, looking at a man on a motorcycle depicted… Read More

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American Promise: Race & Independent Schools

October 9, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Earlier this week, I went to a screening of American Promise, a documentary that follows the path of two middle class African-American boys through The Dalton School of New York. The next day, I read Otis Lawrence Graham’s article  “The Rules: making sense of race and privilege,” in my husband’s alumni magazine. And today, as I write this, I realize how little I’d really thought about race and education in independent schools. I had assumed that the abundant resources, highly educated parents, and having teachers and administrators freed of some of the bureaucracy of the public educational system was the best of all possible environments for doing things right. And in some ways, perhaps the… Read More

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Saboteur: Parents Who Just Have to Wave

October 3, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff If your child was about to walk a tightrope in a circus act that demanded great dexterity and focus, would you yell and wave and try to get her attention, or would you let her concentrate on the task at hand? Why, then, I wonder, do parents yell and wave and try to get their children’s attention when they step on stage to sing? I’m about to outline five things parents do that sabotage their children’s growth in the realm of live performance. These tacit rules are in danger of being obliterated by parents who just can’t let go. Am I fired up about this? You bettcha. But I’m not getting on a soapbox to preach… Read More

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