Dr. Denise Pope, author, Senior Lecturer at Stanford University Graduate School of Education and a founder of Challenge Success visited King on Tuesday, January 28, to talk to parents in the morning about A Balanced Perspective on College Fit and then in the evening about The Well Balanced Student and Child.
The morning program, A Balanced Perspective on College Fit, was co-sponsored by the King College Counseling department and the Parents' Association. Dr. Pope identified problems in the current race to college where students can become overloaded and disengaged. She discussed the hours spent on homework and extracurricular activities whereby students are trying to "tick all the boxes" for their college applications. She involved parents in an activity to evaluate what their college bound students would be looking for in a college. To identify what would excite and engage them about their next step. Dr. Pope pointed out that there may be many fits for every student, and we need to find a place where our child will thrive and engage. The College Counseling Department expressed their excitement about working with students and families to explore the exciting next chapter for these students.
In the evening, Dr. Pope The Well Balance Student and Child to parents. During the presentation she asked parents to outline a child's day to see where children spend their time. She emphasized the importance of sleep and unstructured time for children. Dr. Pope discussed how children should not be over scheduled and the the need for children to have PDF - Playtime, Downtime and Family time.
Dr. Pope also met with the teachers and administration at King during the day on Tuesday during a Professional Development afternoon. This community wide education opportunity was designed to provide information and strategies for our school and families to work together to help our students have a more balanced and academically fulfilling life.
Parents provided feedback on the events:
"I loved that Denise Pope gave researched facts and concrete suggestions. It really did lower my stress level by helping me to look at the college process differently."
"I attended the morning session with Dr. Denise Pope. I read her book (Overloaded and Underprepared) and was encouraged to hear that she was scheduled to speak with King faculty after speaking with the parents. I believe that there is room for improvement when it comes to the amount of homework King students have, particularly in higher level classes (Honors and AP). Dr. Pope's comments about lack of time for creative pursuits, reading and healthy socializing, are all too familiar to me from my own household with an Upper School student. I also enjoyed Dr. Pope's insights regarding what real "readiness" means for college."
"Dr. Pope gives wonderful insight into the college process. To take a step back and look at what matters and not get caught up in the process. It's wonderful that the parents and the administration are both receiving the same message, so that we can work together for the right college fit."
"I loved hearing about the importance of family time, downtime and unstructured time for our children. So often this important time is seen as non-productive and therefore non-essential. Dr. Pope's suggestion of 20-25 minutes 5 times per week for family time seems doable."
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