Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Synthetic Drugs Pose Big Risks

Click here for an indepth explanation of "bath salts", K2, and "Spice"--three synthetic drugs that parents need to know more about.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Upcoming Events of Note...

Drug Awareness -- Tuesday, February 28th, 6:00 pm, Osborne Elementary School: The Sewickley Police Department is holding a presentation on drug awareness. Richard Shaheen, Senior Supervisory Special Agent from the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Investigative Services, will lead the event. According to Shaheen, the evening is appropriate for students in 7th grade through high school, as well as their parents and other interested community members. The event will last 45 min to 1 hour.

Youth Anxiety and Depression -- Friday, March 9th, 10:30 am, YMCA Community Activity Center: Youth Connect is holding a panel discussion of professionals addressing the topic of adolescent and teen anxiety and depression.

“Cyber-Smarts” -- Wednesday, March 14th, time to be determined: Sewickley Academy is hosting an event for parents entitled “Cyber-Smarts for the Digital Generation”, and is generously making this open to the community. Further time and location information will follow.

“Race to Nowhere” -- Thursday, March 22nd, 11:30 am and 7:00 pm, Sewickley Public Library: Two showings of “Race to Nowhere”, an award-winning documentary that addresses the realities of today’s obsession with achievement. The approximately 1 hour-long film will be followed by brief discussion.

Monday, February 13, 2012

AIU to present on Dyslexia

Click on the image for a full-sized version:

"Cyber-Smarts" presentation at SA open to all parents

On Wednesday morning, March 14th, Sewickley Academy will host a presentation for parents regarding internet safety. More details will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, here's a bit about the presentation:

Cyber-Smarts for the Digital Generation
Teens are building resumes with grades, activities, sports, music, and… their Facebook Profile. Do you know how college admissions officers and future employers are looking at technology profiles? How do they look and what counts? Will negative free speech impact your future career? How many friends is enough friends in your network?

Does anyone get in trouble for using Limewire or BitTorrent programs? Who is at the other side of your Skype sessions and Chatroulette spins? Whom are we socializing with during X-Box live outings and Halo episodes? Do you know how predators and thieves use Twitter, Facebook, and Club Penguin to locate their next targets? Identity theft, intellectual property issues, and HotorNot ratings… the landscape of today’s technology is an new path, not always well-planned for most of us. Do you read the Terms and Conditions of use of all the .com’s housing your data and identifiable information?

Attendees of all “skill-levels” will benefit from this interactive program as it effectively bridges the gap between parents and their children caused by the explosive growth of the Internet, video games, and other popular technologies. These technologies have revolutionized youth social scenes in ways we are only beginning to understand and unfortunately many of us are only scratching a perceived
practical surface.

In this session, facilitators lead the audience through a tour of live websites frequented by adolescents and discuss insights on youth online behavior. Our presenter’s insights into online behavior are gleaned from research, experience, insider-information from today’s teens as well as partnerships with technology-focused institutions and the FBI. The program covers everything from deciphering secret IM chat codes to comprehending the techniques of online pornographers to
venturing into online gaming. Come, be challenged, and enjoy our cyber-trip!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Educational Achievement Gap explored

Click here for a shortened clip of the Kettering Foundation's film on the educational achievement gap in the United States, and how communities are stepping up to make a positive difference. What are we doing right in Sewickley? What more do we need to do, or what can we do better?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An announcement from Union Aid Society



The Union Aid Society will award a $4,000 need based college scholarship to a high school senior who resides within the Quaker Valley School District area.

The scholarship is for the first year of college, $2,000 per semester. Consideration will be given to students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Application materials include financial information, references, high school transcript and an essay; interviews will be scheduled with finalists. The application deadline is April 10, 2012.

For more information contact the Union Aid Society at 412-741-9240 or

Monday, February 6, 2012

From our colleagues at Sewickley Academy

Research shows that sexting is on the rise among teens and tweens. Could your kids be doing it right under your nose without you even knowing?
By Allison Takeda, Senior Editor

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2011 — Some 10 percent of tweens and teens have exchanged sexually suggestive photos via phone, the Internet, or other electronic media, according to a new study just published in the journal Pediatrics. But even more — up to 39 percent, according to a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy — have sent or received sexually suggestive messages, such as texts, e-mails, or IMs.

Sexting, the transmission of such messages and images, primarily between cell phones, is an increasing concern among parents — and though the study released today indicates it’s not as widespread a problem as we’d previously feared, such behavior can have serious consequences, not just for your child’s emotional well-being and privacy, but from a legal standpoint as well. If you have teens, you’re likely already on the lookout for red flags. But do you know what those flags are? Many sexually explicit messages aren’t actually that explicit — to parents, anyway. A lot of sexting is done in code, using acronyms and decoy words.

Here are just a few of the many (many!) examples of shorthand that teens and tweens use to sext:

53X = sex
8 = oral sex
Banana = penis
CD9 = code 9, parents are around
P911 = parent alert
CU46 = see you for sex
GNOC = get naked on cam
GYPO = get your pants off
IMEZYRU = I'm easy, are you?
IPN = I'm posting naked
ITS = intense text sex
IWSN = I want sex now
J/O = jerking off
Kitty = vagina
LH6 = let's have sex
LHU = let's hook up
NFS = need for sex
PRON = porn
TDTM = talk dirty to me
RUH = are you horny?

If you spot any of these messages on your child’s phone, don’t just get angry and take away his or her text privileges. Talk with your teen about why and with whom they’re exchanging such messages, and discuss the potential consequences of their actions. Then make a plan to check in with your child about his or her text habits in the future. You may also want to consider monitoring cell phone and computer use for further inappropriate behavior, and contacting the parents of the other child involved.

Read on about the dangers of sexting from Everyday Health’s medical director, Mallika Marshall, MD.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012