Dear AST Families and Friends,


We hope that everyone enjoyed their 10/10 holiday this week. Next week, we are hosting our Fun Run on Monday and conferences on Friday. Both will be valuable events for our students and our community.


I would also like to invite any parents who wish to be involved with volunteering at our school to join the PA meeting on Thursday, October 15th, at 2:00 pm. We have two significant events where traditionally our parents have had a very positive impact. The first is the Halloween Activity time on November 2, and the second is the Thanksgiving Celebration on November 21st. If you are able and willing to help, this is an optimal time to come be part of the Parent Association.


Finally, I want to share a few resources that are potentially valuable to our school community, as well as your family at home. The first is a blog called Screenagers: Tech Talk Tuesdays. This is a blog follow-up to a documentary about the impact of screen time on kids in general and teenagers specifically. The blog is written by Dr. Delaney Ruston. There are two specific recent blog posts that I want to point out.


The first is about the screen time monitoring and parent controls in the new Apple IOS. The post describes how a family can set up the parent controls and then limit screen time in general or even by an application. It would be very helpful to the school if social media apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat were disabled during the school day. It would also be good for sleep patterns if, at an agreed upon time of the night, the phones were simply disabled on school nights.


The second post is about breaking the habit of texting our kids during the school day. At school, the vast majority of teachers collect cell phones when the students come into class and return them at the end of the block. This means that for the majority of the school day, students do not have their phones in their possession. This is a deliberate attempt to help the students remain focused on their academic work during class. We have discussed ways to collect and hold the cell phones for the entire day, but so far we have not found a way to feasibly do that. Further, during lunch, we have told students that the phones and other devices must stay put away until the food is finished and the area is cleaned up. This lunchtime change has resulted in better socialization and decreased exclusion. So, we would echo the message that Dr. Ruston shares in this blog post about parents not communicating in this manner during the school day, if at all possible.


The second resource that I want to talk about is a specific opportunity for high school students. I met with representatives from InvestInEducation. They are a British organization committed to connecting students with real-life practitioners in a meaningful, hands-on way. They have been running workshop experiences since 2012, and they are now expanding to offer sessions in Hong Kong for those interested in becoming an investment banker, a doctor, or an engineer. They offer one-day sessions in November, one-day sessions in March, and five-day sessions over the summer. We have not yet sent students to any of these sessions, but the organization’s goals, analysis of internships, and core ideas are solid and well organized. I believe that this would be a tremendous opportunity for students looking for positive experiences to help them both grow personally, and to add to their college application profile.


Have a great weekend,

Anthony


親愛的AST家庭與朋友們,

希望大家在這星期都以最適合自己的方式慶祝了雙十國慶假期。下星期,我們將於星期一舉辦Fun Run 路跑活動,並於星期五舉行學生主導及親師懇談會,這兩項都是值得全體師生與家長一起參與的大活動。

我也藉此機會邀請所有的家長前來參加於10/18星期四下午2點舉行的家長月例會。AST大家庭傳統有兩大慶祝活動,家長會一直給予很大的支持。分別是將於11月2日舉行的萬聖節活動,以及於11月21日舉行的感恩節慶祝活動。如果您願意參與協助活動的進行,前來參加家長月例會正是給予活動支持的最佳機會。

最後,我想再藉此機會分享幾個值得家庭與學校參考的資源。第一個是Screenagers: Thec Talk Tuesdays 部落格。這是一個由Dr. Delaney Ruston所寫,關於追蹤青少年觀看螢幕時間長短對其本身所造成影響的部落格。我想在此特別提出兩篇此部落格最近的發表的貼文。

首先是關於新Apple IOS中的螢幕時間與家長監控。該文敘述了在家中如何透過家長控制設定,來限制孩子使用螢幕時間,甚至操控使用程序。 如果學生在上學期間被禁止使用如Facebook Messenger,Twitter,Instagram和Snapchat等社交媒體,那對學生在學校的學習將會非常有幫助。 又如若與孩子約定好在上學的前一晚,禁止在夜間睡前使用手機,那將對於孩子的睡眠模式也會有益處。

第二篇貼文是關於破除在上課時間給孩子發訊息的習慣。 在學校,大多數老師在學生進教室上課時都會先統一收集學生的手機,在上完課後在歸還給他們。 這表示學生在校期間的大部分時間裡,自己的電話都不在身邊。 這樣做是故意要幫助學生在課堂上能持續專注於學習。 學校也曾討論過整天保管學生手機的方法,但到目前為止,還沒有找到確實可行的方法。 不過,學校已告訴學生在午餐時間,電話和其他通訊設備都必須先收好,直到用完餐並將周圍環境清理乾淨後才可使用。 我們發現這項午餐時間的變化,為學生帶來了更好的社交氛圍並減少排擠孤立的情況。 因此,正可回應Ruston博士在部落格文章中所分享的信息,也就是如果可能的話,家長在孩子在學校上課期間,最好盡量不要寄發文字訊息給孩子。

另一個資源則是僅供給高中生的特定機會。 最近我與來自英國的InvestInEducation組織代表會談過。 這個組織致力於以有意義的實踐方式將學生的學習與現實生活聯結起來。 自2012年以來,他們就一直在經營學生研討會,目前正在擴大為有興趣成為投資者、銀行家、醫生或工程師的人在香港舉辦會議。 他們將在11月提供為期一天的會議;在3月也提供為期一天的會議;並在夏季提供為期五天的會議。 我們還未曾讓學生參加過任何這些課程,但這些會議課程的目標、實習分析和核心思想都很紮實,組織也良好。 我相信這對於尋求積極體驗的學生來說,將是一個巨大的機會,可以幫助他們成長,也可以豐富他們的大學申請資料。

祝大家有個很棒的周末!


校長 金安東