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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

8 Tips for Keeping Your Organic Garden Free of Insects, Weeds, and Disease

Organic gardening is a fabulous trend that is hopefully here to stay. Plants or food that are considered organic are grown without using pesticides or chemicals. The plants or seeds themselves are not special in any way other than they grow free of insects, weeds, or disease with a little bit of help from their owner.

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Topics: Food

Why Our Global Studies Program Matters

Sewickley Academy's Global Studies Certificate Program has helped me develop my opinions on global interaction. Before participating in the program, I had a vague idea that there was a world beyond the small town of Sewickley, but I had little incentive to step outside my comfort zone and become a part of it. Through my international travel and the Global Gtudies courses, both required by the program, I’ve become a more informed global citizen.

The Global Studies courses offered by the school were one of my favorite parts of the program. After three years of summer travel abroad, I had reached a point where I wanted to learn more about other cultures. Yes, one learns most effectively by immersion, but being a student, I hardly had the time to pack my bags and travel the globe. These courses offered an alternative method to learning about the sensitive issues in other countries. Too many times when I traveled had I experienced kids my own age mocking American ignorance.

“Americans are so full of themselves.”

“Americans don’t know about politics besides their own.”

“Oh you wouldn’t know about this issue, you’re American.”

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Topics: Global Studies

Being Ready to Listen

I’m always a little jealous when I talk to other parents who seem to know EVERYTHING about their child’s school day. They know who sat with whom, and who got called on, and what happened at recess, and which girls are best friends. Meanwhile, my reaction to this knowledge is more along the lines of, "Wait, there are girls in my sons’ classes?   I’m just kidding, of course, but to hear my sons talk, you’d think Sewickley Academy was an all-boys school.  I hear very little about girls, or about anything that goes on most school days, to be honest.  I once learned from a friend that she had substituted for my son’s class for three days.  “I’m sure he told you,” she said. Actually, not a peep. 

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Topics: Parenting

It Pays To Have Responsive Classroom

In a February 26 article in Education Week, Timothy P. Shriver & John M. Bridgeland describe recent research into the efficacy of social-emotional learning programs in schools, including Responsive Classroom (RC), which we have implemented here at Sewickley Academy in Grades Pre-K through 5. Often in education, particularly in the tax-payer funded sector, education programs are judged on a cost-benefit basis, the benefits having to demonstrate themselves most often in improved test scores. This article reviews recent research undertaken at Columbia University that examines the costs and benefits of social-emotional learning programs to determine their financial costs and their economic benefits, if any. The authors conclude:
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Topics: Education

What Type of Laptop Do I Need?

Whether you're browsing the aisles of your local retailer or an online reseller, you can expect to find many choices in the laptop department. Which type of laptop you choose depends primarily on personal preferences and how you intend to use it.

Below are a few laptops at different price points that I recommend for our students here at Sewickley Academy:

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Topics: Technology

#SAHelpsOut: 2015 Day of Service

On Friday, April 10, Sewickley Academy had its fourth annual Day of Service, a full school day committed to service projects both on and off campus throughout Allegheny County. All members of the Academy community – students, faculty, staff, and administration – volunteered to make a positive impact. Check out some of the day’s projects through the eyes of those volunteering and the #sahelpsout feed:

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Topics: General

Five Ways to Lose All Your Money in High School

Welcome to high school, the premier destination of financial instability, second only to college. You’re going to want to take a seat, literally, because the moment you stand up and do anything, it’s probably coming out of your pocket. Now it’s true, one of the last things high school students will ever care about is their market presence and portfolio management ability, but when college hits, and they’re stranded without the luxury of a parent’s income, they’re going to be wishing they had a plan and that they had saved a little more. Everyone’s financial circumstance differs, and coming up with a suitable plan to fit your specific needs should be tailored to your skillset, so presenting you with a general template won’t work. Instead, I’m going to share with you, from my experience, some of the largest money black holes to which a high school student can fall prey.

Here are the five ways to lose all your money in high school.

  1. Go to the movies. People, stop buying the popcorn, treats, and sodas! I’m not crazy, right? That junk is expensive and bad for you. Where did this notion of a ‘movie-going experience’ come from? In today’s age of technological advancement and time wasters, there are so many other areas where a student can spend his or her time. Part of some students’ movie tradition is getting a large tub of greasy popcorn, large sodas, and boxes of candy, then shoving that into their mouths noisily while everyone else is trying to enjoy a film. That’s not the worst part, though, it’s
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Topics: General

What Is an Independent School?

What is an independent school, and why don’t you just call yourselves private schools? An independent school is an independently organized non-profit school governed by a board of trustees. Unlike private schools, which might be profit or non-profit and which could be beholden to some over-arching organizational framework that could dictate how it is to operate, Independent Schools are free from external control. They represent the ultimate in school-based management, which has been shown to produce excellent outcomes for students, even in the public sector where experiments in school-based autonomy have been undertaken.  Independent schools are also financed independently, most often through a combination of tuition revenue and philanthropic support.  This means that independent schools are unencumbered by most state mandates, including the burdens of standardized testing, which has not been shown to improve outcomes for students.  

So independent schools can do whatever they want?

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Topics: Education

Teachers are Learners, 2

In my last blog post I reported to you about teachers learning with and from one another on the February 13 day of professional learning and collaboration.

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Topics: Technology

I Like Skype

Of all the television programs from my childhood, it is the Jetsons that seems to have stuck with me the longest. I loved all of the technology and the bells-and-whistles of that gleaming future society which stood in contrast to the Stone Age Flintstones. While I am still waiting for my flying car and robotic maid, there are parts of that fictional future that have, much to my delight, come true. One of these things is video telephony.
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Topics: Technology

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