Monday, April 27

HOW TO: backing up your student’s work

As the school year winds down, now is a good time to think about the best way to save your student’s work.  If you have not been backing up regularly, summertime offers a great opportunity to clean up your student’s iPad and computer by backing up the data to an external drive.  To save work and projects, we recommend backing up data from your student’s iPad using one (or preferably several) of the methods outlined below.  Once the data has been backed up to a hard disk, it can be deleted from the iPad.
Since iCloud will save only the most recent backups, if you delete data from your iPad, the newer back up will not contain that data.  It’s recommended to use both a cloud-based and hard disk backup to protect and save your data, which will enable you to wipe your iPad clean for the next school year.  If you so choose, be sure to wait until after the school year is over, as teachers may have projects, assignments, and assessments that utilize school work completed earlier in the year.


The bottom line is to always remember to back up your computers and mobile devices regularly!


Perhaps the easiest way to back up your data is by using Apple’s iCloud feature.  With this feature enabled, your data will be backed up automatically when your iPad is plugged in, locked, and connected to the Internet.  This form of backup takes place when the iPad is charging and not in use. To activate iCloud backup:

  • Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup
  • Toggle the iCloud Backup switch to “On” setting
  • You can choose the “Back Up Now” option to create an immediate iCloud backup of your data
If you require more than the free 5 GB of storage, Apple offers additional storage space starting at 99 cents per month for 20GM


Another great option to back up your iPad is to plug it into your computer and sync it with iTunes.  If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it should automatically open when you plug in your iPad.  If not, simply open iTunes manually with your iPad plugged in. To back up your data:
  • Click on the iPad icon near the top of the iTunes window
  • Under the Backups box, click on “Back Up Now” to create a backup of your iPad

You can select how your iPad will generate automatic backups by selecting the "iCloud” or “This computer” option.  You can always create a manual backup of your iPad using iTunes even when your auto backup is set to “iCloud”

Google Drive

Google Drive is a convenient way to back up files, images, and videos.  However, Google Drive will not save your iPad apps or settings.  
To save apps or settings, you will need to use one of the above options  (iCloud or iTunes).
Many apps, such as iAnnotate and Explain Everything, give you the option to save directly to Google Drive.  You can also upload any video or picture from your camera roll to your Google Drive using the 
free Google Drive app. If your iCloud storage is getting full, the main culprit is usually the large size of your camera roll.  You can choose to back up your camera roll to Google Drive on a regular basis to free up some of your iCloud storage space.  Note that your drive has a capacity of 30GB while the free iCloud storage is limited to 5GB.  


Dropbox works  similar to Google Drive, but the free storage is smaller (only 2GB).  Dropbox will allow you to create an automatic back up from your camera roll.  To enable this feature, open the Dropbox app on your iPad then click on the Settings tab at the bottom left side of the screen.  Tap the “Camera Upload” option and toggle it to “On”  setting. 

Computer: External Hard Drive and Off-site Backup

It’s essential to back up your computer regularly to an external hard drive using Time Machine on a Mac or a number of programs on a PC.  It can be devastating to lose work and personal files if your computer becomes damaged or is stolen.  Establishing a routine to plug in the drive at the end of the week is an effective measure to back up data.  This ensures you will never lose more than a week’s worth of work.  And if you are using Google Drive or Dropbox to back up some of your files, you are creating even more insurance for protecting your data.  Other off-site options for backup include Crashplan, Mozy, and Carbonite. The best backup plan includes a local backup to an external hard drive and an off-site backup to the cloud. 
Backing up your student’s work ensures peace of mind. This protected resource of information will be useful for the upcoming school year.   It will also enable your student to safely free up space on his/her iPad in anticipation of new projects.

Contributed by the Marketing Department, Fairmont Private Schools 
Image by It's All About Laptops!

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