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These are the colleges where black students really matter

When New York’s black high school seniors return to school in the fall and start looking ahead to college admissions, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) should be at the top of their lists.
As protests over racism continue to ripple across the country, HBCUs offer a safe haven where young minds can feel truly embraced by a racially diverse faculty who will empower them for the future. According to US Department of Education statistics, 75 percent of all black people with a doctorate degree (and four fifths of all black federal judges) received their undergraduate training at HBCUs. With typically lower tuition fees and a more integrated staff than traditionally white institutions, HBCUs are a more affordable and supportive way for black kids to level the playing field.
Today, there are 107 HBCUs, and the majority of them are in the South, so NYC high school students have no choice but to look farther away from home to places like Claflin University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University and Howard University. They might feel nervous, but the journey will be worth it. Take it from me — I went from Yonkers, NY, to Claflin University, a private HBCU in Orangeburg, SC, where I received an incredible education from some of the brightest minds teaching the art of public speaking, philosophy and Black History.
I learned some surprising fun facts, too, including one about Martin Luther King Jr. not being born “Martin.” He didn’t get that name until his father came back from a church-related trip and began to call himself Martin Luther King instead of Michael King in honor of the Protestant leader. On July 23, 1957 — 28 years after his birth — King Jr.’s birth certificate was revised. Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall all attended HBCUs. In addition to having the most iconic and prestigious black alumni base in the world, here are three more reasons why HBCUs shine:
A compelling historical background: The majority of HBCUs came about after the end of the Civil War. Former slaves knew that education was their ticket to the future, and they applied the same skills they had learned as slaves to their schools’ curriculums — including painting, architecture, farming, stonemasonry, cooking, carpentry, nursing and more. During the 1930s and 1940s, when many Jewish intellectuals left Europe after the rise of Nazism and could not find work in the US due to anti-Semitism, HBCUs embraced them with open arms. While much of America was still practicing anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice in the 1940s, Albert Einstein lectured at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, an HBCU.
They have always been open and loving institutions: HBCUs weren’t created as a way to go against the dominant society; they were created because the dominant society wouldn’t allow blacks to enroll in other schools. And contrary to popular belief, HBCUs are not just schools with black students. Some HBCUs even have more white students than they do black students. Bluefield State College in West Virginia was founded in 1895 to educate the children of black coal miners. Today, this HBCU is over 80 percent white. Many HBCUs also have students who are open and proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2019, the country’s only all-male HBCU, Morehouse College, opened its enrollment to transgender men, stating that, “Morehouse accepts applications from those who live and self-identify as men.”
The culture is unparalleled to any other type of institution in the country: A culture of black excellence thrives at HBCUs, producing some of our most prominent leaders including Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Toni Morrison and Chadwick Boseman, to name just a few. But HBCUs are also renowned for their warm hospitality and homestyle Southern cooking, which tastes just as good as the knowledge you’re receiving. What other collegiate dining halls serve peach cobbler, macaroni and cheese and cornbread? Come on now. (It’s no wonder that I put on weight during my undergraduate years.) All of this: delicious food, a family-like atmosphere, manicured lawns, pristine buildings, top-notch tuition and abundant love from professors is everything that black students — no, all students — need now more than ever.
Dennis Richmond Jr. is a freelance journalist and the author of “He Spoke at My School: An Educational Journey.” He is the founder and director of The New York-New Jersey Historically Black College and University Initiative, which prepares students by exposing them to opportunities only found at HBCUs.

Return to School During COVID-19


A big question parents have right now is how students can go back to school safely during COVID-19. The latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advice says children learn best when they are in school. However, returning to school needs careful steps in place to keep students and staff safe.

Why students should go back to school–safely

The AAP guidance is based on what pediatricians and infectious disease specialists know about COVID-19 and kids. Evidence so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe disease from infection. They also appear less likely to become infected or spread the virus.
Schools provide more than just academics to children and adolescents. In addition to reading, writing and math, children learn social and emotional skills, get exercise and access to mental health support and other things that cannot be provided with online learning. For many families, school is where kids get healthy meals, access to the internet, and other vital services.

What schools can do

To stay safe, there are a number of steps schools should take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include:
Physical distancing. The goal should be to stay at least 6 feet apart to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, spacing desks at least 3 feet apart and avoiding close contact may have similar benefits for students--especially if students wear cloth face coverings and do not have symptoms of illness.
Teachers and staff, who are likely more at risk of getting COVID-19 from other adults than from children at school, should stay the full 6 feet apart from each other and students when possible. Teachers and staff should also wear cloth face coverings and limit in-person meetings with other adults.
When possible, outdoor spaces can be used for instruction and meals. Students should also have extra space to spread out during activities like singing and exercising.
Cloth face coverings & hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is important for everyone. In addition, all adults should wear cloth face coverings. Preschool and elementary students can benefit from wearing masks if they do not touch their mouths or noses a lot. Secondary school students should wear cloth face masks, especially when they can't stay a safe distance apart.
Classroom changes. To help limit student interaction outside the classroom, schools can:
  • Have teachers move between classrooms, rather than having students fill the hallways during passing periods.
  • Allow students to eat lunches at their desks or in small groups outdoors instead of in crowded lunchrooms.
  • Leave classroom doors open to help reduce high touch surfaces such as doorknobs.
Temperature checks and testing. COVID testing ​of all students is not possible for most schools. Taking students' temperature at school also may not always be feasible. Schools should establish ways to identify students with fever or other symptoms of illness. ​They can also frequently remind students, teachers, and staff to stay home if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or have any signs of illness.
Cleaning and disinfecting. Schools should follow CDC guidelines on proper disinfecting and sanitizing classrooms and common areas.

Buses, hallways and playgrounds

Since these are often crowded spaces, schools can:
  • Give bus riders assigned seats and require them to wear a cloth face coverings while on the bus. Encourage students who have other ways to get to school to use those options.
  • At school, mark hallways and stairs with one-way arrows on the floor to cut down on crowding in the halls.
  • Outdoor activities are encouraged, so students should be allowed to use the playground in small groups.

Other considerations

In addition to having plans in place to keep students safe, there are other factors that school communities need to address:
Pressure to catch up. Students may not have gained as much from distance learning. Some students may not have had access to computers and internet. Schools should be prepared to adjust curricula and not expect to make up all lost progress. It is important to balance core subjects with physical education and other learning experiences.
Students with disabilities. The impact of schools being closed may have been greater for students with disabilities. They may have a difficult time transitioning back to school after missing out on instruction time as well as school-based services such as occupational, physical and speech-language therapy and mental health support counseling. School should review the needs of each child with an Individual Education Program before they return to school, and providing services even if they are done virtually.
Immunizations. It is important as students return to school that they are up to date on their immunizations. It will be critical that stud​ents and staff get their flu shot this year to reduce the spread of influenza this fall and winter. Your pediatrician is available now to make sure you child is ready for school.
Exams. ​ If your child participates in extracurricular activities like sports or band, talk with your pediatrician to see if they need a preparticipation physical exam.  Kewell-child visits​ are also important.  
Behavioral health/emotional support. Your child's school should anticipate and be prepared to address a wide range of mental health needs of students and staff. Schools should provide mental health support to any student struggling with stress from the pandemic and recognize students who show signs of anxiety or distress. Schools also can help students with suicidal thoughts or behavior get needed support.
Nutrition. Many students receive healthy meals through school meal programs More students might be eligible for free or reduced meals than before the pandemic. Schools should provide meal programs even if the school closes or the student is sick and stays home from school.
Students at higher risk. While COVID-19 school policies can reduce risk, they will not prevent it entirely. Even with safety steps in place, some students with high-risk medical conditions may need to continue distance learning or other accommodations. Talk with your pediatrician and school staff (including school nurses) to determine if your child can safely return to school.

Remember

Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like normal – at least for a while. But having school plans in place can help keep students, staff, and families safe.
Schools should also prepare to close again and temporarily switch to distance learning if there are new waves of COVID-19 infection.

Joe Biden's proposal says he wants schools to reopen this fall, but is 'safe'


The comments come as Biden’s 2020 rival, President Trump, has begun promising to turn up the heat on US governors to reopen public schools in the fall.
“Of course he does,” the Team Biden source said when asked if the former vice president hoped schools would be able to return in the fall.
“That’s why he’s been making these proposals and pressing Trump to act. But we need to ensure we can do it safely, in line with the recommendations of public health experts, and Trump keeps failing us on that score,” they added.
Speaking from the White House on Tuesday, the commander-in-chief was adamant in his pledge that students would return to in-person classes in the fall.
“We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open. It’s very important,” he said at a White House event on school reopenings.
“So we are going to be putting a lot of pressure on [governors] to open your schools in the fall,” he continued.
Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement on Trump’s efforts, “Almost a month ago, Joe Biden called out Donald Trump for failing to do the work to help our schools reopen safely and effectively — and laid out clear steps that would give schools the guidance, resources, and support they need to do so. Almost two months ago, Biden was advocating for badly-needed relief to our states and cities so that they could pay teachers, but Trump and Senate Republicans are still stalling on that.”
Biden’s schools reopening plan includes significantly scaled-up funding for PPE and “enhanced sanitation efforts” for child care providers and schools — particularly Title I schools.
Speaking Friday during a virtual fundraiser with the National Education Association, Biden predicted schools would likely use distance learning “for a while longer,” before echoing the teachers union’s call for more money for safety measures.

What Are Childhood Mental Disorders?

Mental health in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities. This website provides information about children’s mental healthLearn more about specific child mental health conditions, treatments, prevention, and public health research on children’s mental health.


Mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, which cause distress and problems getting through the day. Many children occasionally have problems like fears and worries, or disruptive behaviors. If symptoms are severe and persistent, and interfere with school, home, or play activities, the child may be diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Among the more common mental disorders that can be diagnosed in childhood are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and behavior disorders.
Other childhood disorders and concerns that affect how children learn, behave, or handle their emotions can include learning and developmental disabilities, autism, and risk factors like substance use and self-harm.

Children's Mental Health Research

CDC and partner agencies are working to understand the prevalence of mental disorders in children and how they impact their lives. Currently, it is not known exactly how many children have any mental disorder, or how often different disorders occur together, because no national dataset is available that looks at all mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders together.

Research on prevalence
Using different data sources
Healthcare providers, public health researchers, educators, and policy makers can get information about the prevalence of children’s mental health disorders from a variety of sources. Data sources, such as national surveys, community-based studies, and administrative claims data (like healthcare insurance claims), use different study methods and provide different types of information, each with advantages and disadvantages. Advantages and disadvantages for different data sources include the following:
  • National surveys have large sample sizes that are needed to create estimates at the national and state levels. However, they also generally use a parent’s report of the child’s diagnosis, which means that the healthcare provider has to give an accurate diagnosis and the parent has to accurately remember what it was.
  • Community-based studies offer the opportunity to observe children’s symptoms, which means that even children who have not been diagnosed or do not have the right diagnosis could be found. However, these studies are typically done in small geographic areas, so findings are not necessarily the same in other communities.
  • Administrative claims are typically very large datasets with information on diagnosis and treatment directly from the providers, which allows tracking changes over time. Because they are recorded for billing purposes, diagnoses or services that would not be reimbursed from the specific health insurance might not be recorded in the data.
Using different sources of data together provides more information because it is possible to describe the following:
  • Children with a diagnosed condition compared to children who have the same symptoms, but are not diagnosed
  • Differences between populations with or without health insurance
  • How estimates for mental health disorders change over time
Knowledge on the prevalence of mental disorders among children informs the work of many health care providers, public health researchers, educators, and policy makers, and any single data source and study methodology can provide valuable insight. However, it is only after prevalence estimates from complementary studies are considered together that distinctions can be made to more deeply inform an assessment of community needs, including diagnosed prevalence versus underlying prevalence, differences between insured and uninsured populations, and how estimates change over time. National surveys, community-based studies, and administrative claims data each provide a different type of information that builds broad understanding. This article presents some of the overarching complexities of the issue, discusses strengths and weaknesses of some common data sources and methodologies used to generate epidemiological estimates, and describes ways in which these data sources complement one another and contribute to a better understanding of the prevalence of pediatric mental disorders.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) Web site includes a convenient, online research tool called the “Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder,” which is designed to help parents and other adults who are seeking psychiatric care for their children to locate psychiatrists who have reported to AACAP that they are providers of psychiatric care for children and adolescents. Choosing the psychiatrist who is best qualified to meet the needs of your child involves a number of considerations, and should not be based on the limited information that is available through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder.
If you need immediate assistance, please dial 911.
AACAP does not give endorsements or recommendations concerning any particular psychiatrists, and no express or implied endorsement or recommendation is intended by the information that is made available through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder.
The Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, and the information it contains, is the property of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. By using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, you agree not to download, republish, resell, or duplicate, in whole or in part, the listings or other constituent elements of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder. You also agree not to use the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder for commercial purposes, including, without limitation, for purposes of compiling mailing lists or any other lists of physicians, engaging in a solicitation to listed physicians, or establishing data files or compendiums of statistical information.
You agree to access the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder Psychiatrist Finder only through the interface provided by AACAP. In particular, and without limitation, you agree not to use any computer programs, robots, spiders, or other technologies to access the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, or to attempt to harvest or collect any data from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder. Notwithstanding this restriction, you are authorized to collect contact information for individual physicians as long as the collection is exclusively for personal use.
By accessing the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, you agree that you, your employer, employees, and agents will indemnify and hold AACAP harmless from all claims, damages, or other losses resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with your use of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, whether authorized or unauthorized, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
Disclaimer of Warranties and Liabilities

The information available through the Psychiatrist Finder is self-reported by AACAP members and is not supervised by the AACAP. AACAP makes no express or implied representations or warranties whatsoever, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose, regarding the information you may receive through the Psychiatrist Finder service or the advice you may receive from a listed psychiatrist. In no case shall AACAP be liable to you or anyone else who relies on the Psychiatrist Finder or information received from the Psychiatrist Finder. Any damages for any reason shall be limited to the amount paid to access the Psychiatrist Finder, if any. By using the Psychiatrist Finder, you agree to do so exclusively at your own risk.

Private School verses Public School - The Debate Continues

There are many arguments about whether you should send your child to a private school or a public school. The debate will never end because everyone has their own opinions about education. Getting a good and safe education is a very important goal to accomplish in this day and age. Although most children go to a public middle and high school in their area, many still begin and end their education in a private school. Here, we will bring up some points and arguments for both sides.

Many people swear by public schools. They have attended them, received a great education and will tell others it is perfectly fine and safe for your children to attend these schools. Also, they do not cost nearly as much money as private schools do. They are actually free! Other than paying small fees and bringing supplies into class each year, the fees are very small. People who are against public schools will argue they are really dangerous and terrible tragedies happen at these schools every single year. Although there may be some merit to those statements, there are more police officers being put into schools and also numerous safety measures being instated to make sure everyone at the schools are safe- faculty, staff and students a like.
For the people who can afford to send their children to a school other than a public school, it is not guaranteed to be safer. Just because a family has a little more money than most other people does not mean they will properly raise their children and keep a close eye on what they are doing every day. Supporters of private schools will argue the curriculum is better at their elite and prestigious schools, and maybe that is true. Certainly the children will be exposed to much more culture because their parents will have the money to send them on field trips to see and experience the world. This does not make their opinion wrong. It just means they prefer one over the other.
At the end of the day, as long as children are being well-educated, we should all be supportive of one another- public or private school. Since children are our future, we need to make sure they learn as much as they can, and also understand how to survive and avoid dangers and other harmful things this crazy world has to offer. Good people should stick together to fight evil!

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