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01 Mar

Take Charge of Your Online Learning With These 7 Habits: Series

Many people have heard of the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Stephen Covey wrote it in 1989, when it quickly became a top best-seller. The “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” came many years later, penned by Stephen’s son, Sean Covey. Sean says he wrote the book to give teens a compass to navigate the messy jungle of a teen’s world.

There are Seven Habits for Highly Effective Teens:

Habit 1: Be Proactive. Take responsibility for your life.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Define your mission and goals in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First. Prioritize and do the most important things first.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win. Have an everyone-can-win attitude.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Listen to people sincerely. Habit 6: Synergize. Work together to achieve more.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Renew yourself regularly.

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28 Feb

Art for Awareness by Raquel

This featured article is written by CMASAS student Raquel.

As Mrs. Fox mentioned in her recent email to the student body, mental health and suicide is something that touches many of our lives in every aspect. Unlike pain of any other kind, mental health illnesses can invisible at first glance, and perhaps that is why it often goes so undermined and dismissed. An aching reminder of this occurred in December of last year, when Kim Jonghyun, a South Korean singer-songwriter, author and artist, chose to end his life at 27 years old.

Jonghyun was a member of the worldwide popular group SHINee for 10 years and his unexpected death deeply affected many throughout the globe. His passing was mourned not only for his unique voice and poetic writings, but for Jonghyun's kind and dedicated personality which shined on stage as much as in his every day life. Despite the devastating circumstances surrounding Jonghyun's passing, two of his fans decided to make a move for positive change by formulating Project Blue Moon.

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27 Feb

Annual Depression Screening Now Mandated in Teens

Being listless. Not caring about what used to bring joy. Feeling hopeless. It’s a daunting fact, but studies have shown cases of depression in Generation Z have risen dramatically. In light of the devastating consequences of what can happen when mental health isn’t addressed early on, The American Academy of Pediatricians has now mandated that teenagers receive annual depression screenings.

“It’s a huge problem,” Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot says, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, and associate professor at Columbia University: "What we're endorsing is that everyone, 12 and up, be screened ... at least once a year."

These screenings will typically consist of questionnaires teens fill out themselves, and can be done at annual check-ups, sports physicals, or in separate office visits. "Teenagers are often more honest when they're not looking somebody in the face," Zuckerbrot says, in regards to the negative stigma around mental health that keeps 50% of today’s depressed teens from being diagnosed. It’s hard to combat that kind of stigma face-to-face, but teens are more willing to answer questions about their mental health honestly in private.

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23 Feb

How To Best Utilize Your Online Instructor

Whatever your reason for choosing online education, the best resource in any classroom – physical or virtual – is the teacher. Many students, however, need a bit of help adjusting to online instruction, especially when transitioning out of the brick-and-mortar setting. That’s why we reached out to our Personalized Education Coaches (PECs) for advice on how to best utilize an online instructor.

Here’s what they had to say:

Use a Partnership Mindset – A teacher’s job is all about supporting the students! They ensure the material is understood, communicate with the parents on expectations and learning tools, and make sure progress is smooth and steady.

Sankalpa Bajpai - “Think of us as your teacher and your partner, because while we do teach, we’re also here to give you tips and tricks for how to get through the course efficiently and with high scores!”

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21 Feb

Using SMARTER Goals to Create an Olympic Mindset

Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to injury. After winning Olympic Gold in the women’s downhill ski in 2010, she suffered a knee-injury that required surgery and tore her ACL shortly thereafter. Between the devastating tear in 2014 and her return to the Olympics in 2018, Vonn has fractured her ankle and her arm, gotten surgery again, had a concussion, and suffered “acute spinal dysfunction” at the 2017-2018 World Cup. And yet, just fourteen hours ago, Lindsey Vonn was back on that slope, winning the bronze medal for the U.S.

How can athletes undergo so much, and still have such incredible success? According to former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing House and successful entrepreneur Michael Hyatt, knowing how to create SMARTER goals can take a dream and put it in reach.

SMARTER goals, according to Hyatt, are defined as: “Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-keyed, Exciting, and Relevant.” In his article “When and How to Use Habits to Achieve Your Goals,” Hyatt explains how knowing how to create SMARTER habits can put seemingly far-off goals in reach.

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19 Feb

Six High Performance Habits to Live Your Dream Before Eighteen

16 Feb



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02 Feb

7 Tips on How to Juggle School and Sports

Some students are blessed to have a gift that manifests early in their life, sparking a fierce, lifelong passion. For students who excel at sports, working to balance school and their passion can be a struggle. This article by League Network lays out seven tips for young athletes trying to juggle school and sports. Today, we’d like to share those tips, and how attending an accredited online school can help alleviate a lot of the issues student athletes encounter.

First, League Network says: Assess your priorities. This doesn’t mean prioritizing sports over school, but rather, studying your schedule much like you’d study a game tape. League Network suggests to look for subjects that come easily, and find the ones where you struggle. Having this information will shift your priorities when it’s time to study, as you’ll know where you need to spend more time. At Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, our students own their schedules in a way unheard of in traditional schools. Since studies have shown that students excel when taking no more than 2-3 classes at a time, our students do just that. While working with a Personalized Education Coach, they’re able to assess how much time they’ll need to take each course, personalizing the length based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Great at math but struggle in science? Students may finish a math course in four to eight weeks, but map out twelve to wrap a science course, swapping a new course in once one is complete.

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31 Jan

Featured Student Article: My Big Fat Swim Partner

My Big Fat Swim Partner by Shannon 

It’s the New Year! And even in the Sunshine State, people are dealing with chilly temperatures. So you might not get excited to step your toes into the cold waters of Crystal River in Florida.

But do it! Slip on one of the wetsuits provided by Manatee Fun Tours because they payoff is well worth the cold.

Each year, from November to early March, manatees return to the warm, spring-fed waters of Crystal River. It’s also the only place in the United States where you can legally swim with manatees. It’s a bucket list excursion that everyone should consider doing at least once in their lives.

When you go, be sure to follow the rules of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because manatees are a protected species. Included in the rules (which are listed in detail here), you cannot chase or harass these creatures. But who would want to? They are so sweet and gentle and seem just as curious about us as we are about them

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30 Jan

Tackling Bullying Through Empathy

There is a movement going around helping elementary-age students staunch bullying by exploring their own emotional intelligence. It’s called Roots of Empathy, and it’s taught by-- wait for it-- a baby. Baby Naomi helps teach nine and ten-year-olds how to use empathy to relate to others in an effort to stop bullying before it even begins. Along with her mother and Roots of Empathy instructor Kathy, baby Naomi attends class once a month to teach students about vulnerability, relatability, and cultivate a deeper understanding of human emotion.

Kathy, Roots of Empathy instructor, explains what makes their program so effective: “We use a baby as a vehicle to help children find the vulnerability and humanity in this little baby, so that then they can flip it back and apply it to their own experiences.” Kathy says this works because Baby Naomi is so vulnerable, inspiring an unconscious need for students to observe and protect her. “She’s more vulnerable than they are,” Kathy says, “and we have many vulnerable children in our classrooms.” This invites them to work a little harder to understand what hurts or upsets her.

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