Dexter Community Schools will be hosting a community conversation and book study on the mental health of students in competitive learning environments on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 6 pm in the Dexter High School Center for the Performing Arts.
In a letter dated Nov. 28, 2018, Dexter Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Timmis invites community members to attend a book study as a springboard for conversation about the growing concern of the mental health of students in today’s educational arena.
“I’ve been fortunate over my career to live and work in communities with diverse demographics. With the thousands of students and families I’ve encountered, there is one common hope shared universally by parents: they want their children to be safe, healthy, and happy. However, this goal is occasionally clouded by the push for students to excel academically, artistically, or athletically.
“As a school district, we strive to prepare our students to be successful adults. The key to this preparation is their social-emotional well-being. Last year, we surveyed our students from grades 5-12 regarding their engagement in school along with questions about how happy, safe, and healthy they feel. Some of the results were what we anticipated and others were fairly alarming. One theme that we believe we must address, as a school district and community, is the mental health of our students.
“Our opening conversation for this very important subject is a community book study that begins on Tuesday, December 4th at 6:00pm in the Dexter High School CPA. This talk is appropriate for parents of children of any age. We’ve distributed over 300 books and we are looking forward to a community study, reflection, and discussion. Dr. David Gleason (author of “At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools”) will present his research and findings about adolescent emotional well-being. We will meet as a community several more times throughout the school year to have discussions to determine how we can all best meet the needs of our students.
“While we don’t believe we are a “fiercely competitive school,” many of the examples outlined by the author mirror experiences we’ve shared in Dexter. As a parent and educator, I found the book to be incredibly insightful and caused me to reflect on how we are raising our kids in today’s world.
“Raising children to be healthy and happy adults is a community effort. Please join us December 4th at 6:00pm at the CPA.”