Wednesday, April 22

ARTS + CRAFTS: artistic expressions in honor of earth day 2015

In celebration of Earth Day, Fairmont students demonstrate their creativity by re-purposing common recyclables into art. In March, the art pieces were displayed at the MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim as part of the museum’s annual "TrashArtist Competition."  

There are no limits to what a child can do with their imagination!


Contributed by Marketing Department, Fairmont Private Schools

Tuesday, April 21

CHALK TALK: how summer camp boosts self-esteem and builds social skills

The end of the school year is fast approaching. How will you keep your child engaged during the three months of summer vacation? Summer camp is the perfect answer. More than just a daycare provider, summer camps are extremely beneficial for all types of children to foster what the American Camp Association calls “resiliency skills.”  As noted in their post Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects, the ACA states that summer camps provide a great environment for children to learn to apply life skills, pro-social behaviors, and boost self-esteem and self-reliance.

Just how do summer camps grow your child’s social skills and self-esteem? By removing the structure of the classroom, children are more apt to explore new situations and develop new methods of creativity. Camp allows children to reach beyond their immediate peer group and make new friends. Summer camps also create “risk-taking” situations, such as learning a new game, going to a new place, or introducing themselves to new people. By engaging students in these potentially unfamiliar activities, summer camps gently stretch children to explore areas outside of their comfort zone and help them to grow emotionally.

Summer camp also works to make your child feel special and involved in a specific community. Children who attend summer camp are immersed in a camp culture that is unique, which creates a collective identity and comradery among campers. This teaches children the importance of teamwork and taking pride in the group to which they belong.

Since the creation of Fairmont Private Schools, Fairmont Summer Programs has fostered a special feeling of community steeped in the Fairmont culture of academic success and character building. Visit to view summer school and camp offerings, and register before April 30th to receive an automatic 10% discount!

Contributed by Rebecca Merrell, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by Poconomoms

Friday, April 17


Highlights of the week:

Jack T. and Alisha H. pilot their canoe for Mrs. Paraiso's homeroom.

For the win!

Miss Harris/Mrs. Riley's Homeroom celebrate winning this year's Spirit Week!
Junior High Spirit Week

Junior high students look forward to the fun and excitement of Spirit Week held the week before spring break. Following a "Game On!" theme, students competed to earn points for their homeroom teams.  For example, on "Video Game Day," students dressed up as video game characters and played the video game Jeopardy during lunchtime. 

The week ended with Homeroom Olympics as each homeroom team built a canoe using only cardboard and duct tape for a Boat Regatta. Each class worked diligently to produce a canoe that was able to stay afloat as students paddled around the campus pool. 

Before launching the canoes, teams paraded around campus shouting their rallying cries for victory.  At the pool, teams took turns paddling their canoes around the pool and popping balloons along the course. After each lap, an additional student was added until the canoe was no longer able to stay afloat. The more laps the boat was able to make, the more points the team would earn! In the end, Mr. Briner's homeroom was the victor of the Boat Regatta.
Following a barbecue lunch, students participated in several fun games such as the human version of the board game Hungry, Hungry, Hippos; a relay race; a ping pong ball bounce; and a pasta noodle stack challenge. After all the dust had settled and the points tabulated, Mrs. Riley's homeroom (captained by Miss Jesslynn Harris) was declared the Spirit Week Champions!

Wednesday, April 15

SNACKTIME: why children should stay away from energy drinks

Seeking to gain a competitive edge in sports, 6th through 12th grade students are attracted to heavily marketed sports and energy drinks.  Unfortunately, there is confusion about the difference between the two products, which can lead to potential health risks, especially to children. Before diving into this dilemma, understand that water is the most effective means to replace a body’s lost fluids.

Sports drinks that are high in carbohydrates help replenish the body's depleted stores after prolonged exercise (60 minutes or more). Sports drinks help maintain the body's electrolyte balance and provide carbohydrates for additional energy. On the other hand, energy drinks contain stimulants in various combinations, such as caffeine and guarana (an herb containing caffeine). Labels can be confusing to read, and a single bottle may contain two to three servings of the drink with total caffeine content exceeding 400 to 500 milligrams per can or bottle.  This substantial amount of caffeine is too much for anybody, particularly a child.

By comparison, the average cup of coffee contains about 150 milligrams of caffeine while a cup of cocoa contains about 15 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption in amounts of 400 milligrams or more include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), decreased bone levels, and upset stomach. The caffeine contributed by energy drinks can cause a number of harmful health effects in children, including effects on the developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison centers received 2,810 reports of exposures to energy drinks in 2014. More than 1,600 were children age 18 and younger. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and adolescents do not consume energy drinks. Also, the American Medical Association supports banning the marketing of energy drinks to children under 18.

Want a competitive edge? Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. The bottom line is to avoid energy drinks as they pose potential health risks for children and teenagers.
See Sports drinks: Better than water?  A tip from the Mayo Clinic

Submitted by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS RD
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company
Image by Mother Nature Network

Tuesday, April 14

ARTS + CRAFTS spring time crafts

We love spring crafts! The bright, beautiful colors, along with flowers and bunnies, make everything cheerful. Here are some great ideas for the little ones, and even the big ones, to get creative this Spring! 

Stained Glass Kites:
There is nothing more perfect than kite flying on a windy day in Spring! While you wait for a windy day, have your little ones decorate the windows with these super-easy, no-mess, cute and colorful tissue paper stained glass kites from Make and Takes.


Cupcake Paper Flowers: 
Spring is about blooming flowers and bright colors. Here is a great, simple craft for children, especially toddlers or preschoolers, from Laughing Kids Learn. It teaches them about the beauty of Spring and how seasons change over time. 

Contributed by Neha, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, April 8

FAIRMONT FIVE: good reasons for attending summer school

The last day of school--students look forward to it throughout the school year (even if they secretly love to learn).  Students, teachers, and parents yearn for the slightly less structured days of summer and look forward to a well-deserved break from tests and homework! The tricky thing about summer is that students have a tendency to get a little rusty in mastering academic skills. Education circles call this the “summer brain drain phenomena.”

Did you know that students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months?  When you compare standardized test scores taken at the end of the school year with the same test scores taken at the end of summer, there is a significant dip in student achievement.  Summer brain drain is a fact, but it's not inevitable.

Studies show that quality summer programs keep the learning going all year long. This boosts a child's academic achievement and confidence ahead of the new school year. Here are five reasons to consider summer school for your child:
  1. Extra practice and review of key concepts in reading, writing, and math help reinforce academic skills and fill any gaps in a child’s education over the past year.
  2. The smaller class sizes often available in summer school classes foster closer student and teacher engagement. A child may feel more confident to speak up and ask for help.
  3. The relaxed environment that summer school provides is more beneficial to a child’s brain development than hours of watching TV or playing video games. Plus, during summer camp, a child has opportunities to engage with friends while building character and participating in a variety of rewarding activities.  
  4. The slower pace of summer school allows a child to "play" while learning new subjects, discovering new areas of interest, and developing important problem solving skills.
  5. Overall, summer school helps children build confidence in academic abilities, and a little confidence can go a long way in helping your child to succeed in the coming school year.  

    Find out more about Fairmont's summer programs including day camp, summer school, and enrichment programs by visiting  Save 10% on summer school and summer camp if you enroll by April 30th!

    Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools 

Thursday, April 2

HOW TO: managing a child’s screen time

A parent’s involvement in their child’s recreational screen time is important particularly in the preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school years according to Dr. Rebecca Osborne, Technology Enhanced Curriculum Specialist for Fairmont Private Schools.  Studies show that spending too much time passively staring at a screen can affect brain development, especially among younger children.  Sherrelle Walker, M.A. lists the reasons why parents should pay close attention their children’s passive screen time in her blog post entitled “Why Limit Screen Time? Reasons You Should Limit Screen Time.”

To help children avoid too much passive screen time viewing, parents should track the amount of free time a child spends in front of a screen and set limits to encourage their child to engage in other activities. Screen time refers to the use of tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, desktop computers, and good-old-fashion television. Parents are also encouraged to set an example by limiting their own passive screen use. Together, children and parents can turn off their screens and together play a board game, take a walk, or enjoy some time at a park.
Helpful tips to help parents manage their child’s screen time:Talk to the child’s teacher to understand the amount of classroom time devoted to iPads and computers each day as beneficial interactive educational tools. Parents can then set a time limit at home that balances well with their screen time at school. The rule is simple: when time is up, turn off the screens and begin another activity.

The Time Lock app ($0.99 in the iTunes App Store) allows parents to set a time limit for iPad, iPod, or iPhone use.  Once the time limit has been reached, the device will lock and require a parent pass code to unlock it. Similar apps are available for Android devices. For children under the age of five, it is recommended that recreational screen time at home not exceed two hours per day. For children five and older, passive screen viewing on a daily basis should be limited to four hours per day.

Introduce the principles of time management and add variety to a child’s day.  By limiting screen time, parents can encourage their children to engage in a mix of creative and physical activities each day. For example, when the time comes to switch off the game console, encourage children to get their bodies moving by engaging in outdoor physical activities such as riding a skateboard or playing basketball. Activities such as reading a book, drawing a picture, and figuring out a puzzle help exercise the brain.

Encourage children to use their screen time to engage in interactive games that promote critical thinking. Some great puzzle games that develop problem solving and critical thinking skills include World of Goo ($2.99), Dwelp ($1.99), Magnetized ($2.99), and Luminosity (Free, with in-app purchases).  A few subject-specific apps that offer interactive features include Flags Fun (Free) and Art by Puzzle World Games ($0.99).

By managing screen time, parents will help children appreciate the benefits of a well-balanced day of activities that foster healthy academic, personal, and physical enrichment. 

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by  Portia Stewart