News Around The District

  • Communication and COVID discussed at recent Coffee and Conversation meeting

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 1/15/2021 4:00:00 PM

    Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Marc Baiocco, took to the virtual airwaves on Jan. 13 for one of his regular Coffee and Conversation meetings with the community. Among the topics he discussed were communication and COVID-19.

    “We are making sure the communications we are putting out is very salient,” Dr. Baiocco told participants.

    The district sends out notifications through ConnectEd, email and Talking Points, a two-way text system that reaches participants throughout the district.

    “It provides a whole level of connectivity with our parents,” Dr. Baiocco said of Talking Points. “We can communicate to a much larger community and are reaching 90% of our active community.”

    Although not all of the notifications the district distributes relate to COVID-19, many of them do, and the superintendent took some time to share the latest news regarding its impact on schools and what is to come.

    There is a difference, the superintendent said, when it comes to a person in isolation vs. someone who has to quarantine. Isolation means individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves in their homes and refrain from interacting with other household members as much as possible for 10 days. During that time, the district reaches out to the individual to see if it can be of any assistance.

    “We make sure they have a support network. We are here for them socially and emotionally,” Dr. Baiocco said. “The beauty of the hybrid model is that if a student becomes ill, they are able to go into our virtual model.”

    Quarantine, on the other hand, is for someone who has come in close contact with an individual who tested positive for the virus. The superintendent does not have the authority to place someone in quarantine; rather it is the county department of health that makes that determination. The district works with the department of health, which is also responsible for conducting any contact-tracing. An individual who has been in contact with someone who tested positive, may be asked to quarantine for 10 days.

    “How do we determine a close contact?” Dr. Baiocco asked. “If a child has been in contact with someone who tested positive two days prior.”

    The district will inform anyone who was in contact with the positive individual for 10 minutes or more and who was less than 6 feet from that person while not wearing a mask. The district also investigates where students were in proximity to one another in the lunchroom or on buses or other crowded spaces.

    “We first and foremost want to err on the side of caution,” Dr. Baiocco said. “But if the department of health tell us it’s OK, we will make a follow up call and let you know,” if it is necessary to quarantine.

    The school nurses are on the frontlines of conducting the contact-tracing in the schools, and cleaning protocols have been strictly maintained.

    “Together we are going to slow the spread,” Dr. Baiocco said.

    The goal is to have students return to in-person learning as soon as possible. However, it all depends on testing and the distribution of the vaccine.

    The district has had a testing plan ready since the state began to designate zones last fall. One issue with testing is having enough tests available to schools, and the district is working on that for when students return to in-person lessons.

    “We believe this will add to the light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Baiocco said of widespread distribution of the vaccine.

    Other topics covered by the superintendent included the district’s Strategic Goals, which have continued to be a priority throughout the school year. Among them are:

    • Learning-Curriculum alignment beginning with English language arts, followed by math and science
    • Whole Child Initiative-Includes focus on mental health
    • Environment-Ensuring a safe and nurturing school setting for all
    • Community Partnerships-Continuing and expanding partnerships with community organizations

    Finally, Dr. Baiocco discussed the upcoming budget and noted that “it is slow moving this year due to stalls at the federal level.”

    “The feds denied the stimulus bill. This is a critical time for us. With the change of administration, we hope to see some stimulus passed,” he said. “We will need help, a voice, in advocating, so we can transition to in-person sooner than later.”

    The next Superintendent Coffee and Conversation meeting is scheduled for May 5 at 6 p.m.


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  • Wellness Wednesday continues with more important information

    Posted by Alicia on 1/5/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Children in the Elmsford Union Free School District participate in remote learning only each Wednesday. For those at Alexander Hamilton High School, the Wednesday before a school break has developed into a time for learning of a different type: taking care of one’s mental health.

    For the second time, AHHS hosted a Wellness Wednesday on Dec. 23, a half-day of school before the holiday recess. Throughout the morning, students could log into a series of 45-minute sessions covering an array of topics. Among them were the Importance of Sleep; an Anxiety Reduction and Emotional Regulation Presentation; Girls, Inc. Self-Care and finally, Yoga, provided by the Break the Hold Foundation.

    In the Importance of Sleep school social worker Alexa Mennuti discussed how much sleep teens need to function at their best (nine hours is ideal), the type of sleep an individual experiences (NREM and REM), and the issues, both physically and emotionally, that a lack of sleep can cause (loss of coordination, irritability and more).

    “I know that seems like a lot, but it is recommended,” Ms. Mennuti said of the nine hours of sleep for teens. 

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sleep issues may have increased among teens who had to contend with a new routine. With changes in how they go to school, they may also face the added stress of trying to balance work and school or feel anxious about the information they see on social media and in the news. In addition, the new schedule of hybrid learning keeps them indoors more, and since sports have been canceled, they are missing out on physical activity. All of those factors can impact the quality and quantity of one’s sleep, Ms. Mennuti said.

    Another thing that impacts sleep, in addition to anxiety, can be location. If students are doing all of their schoolwork in their bedroom, the brain can begin to think that this is a workspace and not be able to settle down when it comes time to go to bed. Ms. Mennuti recommended students do their work in another room, if possible.

    She also encouraged students to get some physical activity whenever possible.

    “When our bodies are not physically tired from moving in the day, the body and brain are not tired at night,” she said.

    “Sleep has a profound impact on learning and memory,” Ms. Mennuti explained, adding that a lack of sleep can impair a person’s focus and attention, ability to consolidate information, physical health and more.

    “Good sleep helps muscles grow, repairs tissue and synchronizes the body systems,” she said. “A lack of sleep causes coordination problems, it impairs immune function and can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.”

    Lack of sleep can also impact emotional health in areas like making decisions and lead to or exacerbate depression and anxiety.

    When teens do not get an appropriate amount of sleep, Ms. Mennuti noted, it can lead to an increase in risky behavior and emotions can become exaggerated. It can also lead to drowsy driving.

    Teens should take some time to think about their sleep habits and how they may have changed. Changing one’s attitude around sleep can help when they begin to view it as a positive. |

    There are several things teens can do to get a good night’s sleep:

    • Create a good sleep environment
    • Try to keep the bedroom dark and cool
    • Establish a sleep routine
    • Avoid screen time an hour before bed
    • Get regular exercise
    • Pay attention to your diet and voice late-night eating
    • Avoid caffeine
    • Limit any daytime naps to no more than 20-45 minutes



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  • Christmas arrived a little early in the EUFSD

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 12/23/2020 3:40:00 PM

    Considering his busy schedule this time of year it was quite a surprise to have Santa Claus stop by during the first-ever Christmas gift give-away sponsored by the Elmsford Union Free School District.

    “Elmsford is one of my favorite places,” Mr. Claus said as he stood outside of the Alice E. Grady Elementary School. “It’s small, community driven and always in-line with the Christmas spirit.”

    He came to the right spot.

    “We have cookies for you. They are going to be extra good,” one boy told Mr. Claus when he stopped by to receive his gift.

    Earlier in the week a group of volunteers gathered to wrap more than 300 toys that had been donated from the United Way, as well as teachers, staff and community members. On Dec. 23 families were welcome to stop by the elementary school and every child received a gift and some cookies.

     “This expanded beyond what we originally anticipated,” Superintendent of Schools Marc Baiocco said. “We received donations from the United Way and put a message out to staff. We were able to offer a gift to all of our families throughout the district.”

    Elves, consisting of current and former students, were on hand to help organize the gifts. They not only assisted in the wrapping, but also passed out cookies as families arrived. Santa greets children

    “We were so surprised, it was a great turnout,” Senior and Student Government President Kate Hidalgo said of the number of donated toys.

     “Rocky,” the Alexander Hamilton High School mascot also made an appearance and greeted families. At times the event was part gift give-away and part dance party, as volunteers enjoyed the holiday tunes that played throughout the event.

     “What better way to bring joy than with a toy for the children in our community,” parent volunteer Lucie Rambaran said. “This is our first year and we will continue to do it every year.”
    Click here to see photos from the festive event!


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  • Old-time entertainment gets modern twist from drama students

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 12/22/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools, teachers and students have had to make several adjustments from academic work to athletics and even the annual drama production. However, those participating in Alexander Hamilton High School’s drama program are often up for a challenge. This year is no exception. 

    Since the drama program is currently unable to host a traditional stage performance, they have opted to present an original audio play, much like those that were performed on radio years ago. 

    “This group has taken on this project with pride and great gusto,” director Chris Guzman said of participants during a recent virtual rehearsal. Screen shot of play rehearsal

    The original production is about a group of students who take a field trip to a farm that is located three hours upstate. Things “go strange,” the director said. “They find themselves in a very difficult situation.” 

    The production will be released in three parts on consecutive days, each episode lasting 20 minutes. 

    Mr. Guzman proposed the audio play to students in September and said that they were immediately on board and ready to give it a try. 

    After searching for existing audio plays to perform, Mr. Guzman did not find anything he thought the students would enjoy. He proposed that they write their own. 

    As the process began, Mr. Guzman invited in virtual guest speakers to share with students suggestions regarding how to approach assembling the production. Students began with virtual meetings to share ideas for a story and soon settled on the “mystery on the farm” scenario. 

    “Chris came to us with a proposal to do an audio play,” said senior Bailey Proctor, after admitting that she had been upset that last year’s spring musical had been cancelled due to the pandemic. “I had no idea what an audio play was. The first thing Chris had us do was research to learn more about it. That was a learning experience.” 

    Bailey explained the audio play is definitely different than being part of a stage production. She added that she enjoyed being part of the writing process. 

    “It’s more challenging,” she said. “You can’t rely on your physical stance. One of the best parts is we created the characters. We crafted them. They speak to our strengths… It was an outlet to do something we enjoy. Chris was there to guide us. He is an excellent writer.” 

    Junior Corey Grant said that because the students created the characters, they are responsible for developing them as they see them, rather than relying on what a play’s author had in mind. 

    In addition, Corey said there is less pressure for the actors because the audio play is pre-recorded and actors can record their parts repeatedly if necessary. As opposed to being live on stage where an individual is on the spot to get things correct the first time.

    Students have been rehearsing virtually for several weeks and are getting ready to start adding in sound effects to their performance. 

    “It will be a fully immersive audio experience,” Mr. Guzman said. “It will sound like you are right on the farm.” 

    Mr. Guzman is in the process of working out how the audience will be able to listen to the production. He is hoping to have it broadcast on platforms where one listens to podcasts, such as Spotify or Apple Music or even YouTube. He hopes to have the yet-to-be-named show debut in late January. Each evening, the performance will leave audience members in suspense. They will have to tune in the following evening to find out what happens. 

    “I want to say how proud I am of everyone and myself,” said eighth-grader Alexandra Schmitt. “The play is coming out really, really well. It helps me to see everyone getting along and learning from each other… This is my first official thing I’ve done at Alexander Hamilton High School. To have done it with all of these amazing people, I am so proud of everyone.” 

    This is not the first time Mr. Guzman has directed a show for the high school. The students’ commitment to each performance has always impressed him and the audio play is no different.

    “This is such a spectacular group and they are very committed and motivated and love to rehearse,” Mr. Guzman said. “It’s a collaborative production. I don’t think they realize what an accomplishment they have achieved with this.” 

    Further details about the production will be released at a later date. 


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  • Another annual tradition is in the books: Day of Giving

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/30/2020 2:45:00 PM

    Once again the Elmsford Union Free School District stepped up to help families in need during its annual food basket distribution.

    The district collected donations of turkeys, canned goods, pasta, fresh produce, stuffing and other items from the school district, area businesses, local organizations and individual families. Volunteers organized the items in boxes. Each box included a special note wishing families a Happy Thanksgiving and a special Alexander Hamilton High School face mask, donated by the school’s student government.

    Typically, the food is distributed to families with the assistance of the Elmsford Police Department. Due to COVID-19, the district opted to have families drive up to the front of the Alice E. Grady Elementary School, where volunteers placed the boxes in waiting vehicles the day before Thanksgiving.

    “It’s our annual Day of Giving,” Superintendent Marc Baiocco said. “We’ve been doing it nine years. It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back to families in need and to be able to see our families before Thanksgiving.”

    This was the first-year volunteers from all three schools in the district assisted with the program, including teachers, administrators and students.

    Click here to enjoy some photos from the Day of Giving!

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  • Sharing Day gives a glimpse into student work

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/30/2020 2:30:00 PM

    Classes enjoyed a morning of showing off some of their year’s work. Students working remotely logged in to see their classmates discuss their work and, when it was their turn, the students at home did the same, sharing their research projects, artwork, videos and creative writing

    Like so many things this school year, Sharing Day went virtual on Nov. 20 at Alice E. Grady Elementary School. 

    Madysson, a student in teacher Leandra Fulgione’s third grade class, enjoyed a special surprise. After she concluded her report on the Dominican Republic, all of her classmates sang “Happy Birthday” in recognition of her special day. Screenshot of thank you note

    Students in her class shared information that they had researched about different countries. Some of the detail’s students revealed about their countries included that Puerto Rico was founded in 1508, that Mandarin is the national language of China and that rapper Wyclef Jean is a famous person who hails from Haiti. 

    “I’m very impressed with these country reports,” Ms. Fuglione told her students. 

    Fifth-grade students in teacher Kim Breen's class shared their work from the different assignments they have had. Some wrote personal narratives, while others took a closer look at ateh book "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Munoz Ryan. Using the online bulletin board, Padlet, students created videos of their work or made ones relating to different elements of the book.

    During Sharing Day, the videos were posted online for friends and family to view. "Some of these projects were fabulous," Ms. Breen told the logged in crowd. "The kids are really proud of their work."


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  • Students take time for a mental health break

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/30/2020 2:00:00 PM

    There are the everyday stressors and then there are those that have developed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is enough to make anyone feel unsettled, depressed and anxious.

    That is why Alexander Hamilton High School hosted a Virtual Wellness Wednesday on Nov. 25. The school district is always mindful of students’ social and emotional wellbeing, and this was one more way to assist students who may be struggling.

    “I have always been passionate about bringing attention to students' wellness and mental health awareness,” Principal Joseph Engelhardt said.

    The virtual event took place during a half-day session before the Thanksgiving break on a day when students were all remote, enabling every student the opportunity to participate.

    Working with district partners, the day included several virtual sessions with the JCK Foundation, which works with communities to provide assistance with mental health issues; Hope’s Door, an organization that works to end domestic violence; and School Social Worker Alexa Mennuti, who discussed the “Dangers of Vaping.”

    Throughout the morning students logged in to each 45-minute session. Logo for organization

    In the “Mental Health Awareness” session, John Tessitore, founder of the JCK Foundation, shared his story and encouraged students to be open-minded when it comes to their own mental wellbeing and that of their friends and family.

    His session began with a quick survey among students. He asked students first if they felt comfortable talking about mental health with their friends, if they felt their peers would judge them if they sought help for their mental health and finally, do they have access to mental health resources. The polls showed the majority of students felt comfortable talking about the issue, that they would not be judged, and that they had access to help — all things Mr. Tessitore said were encouraging.

    Mr. Tessitore grew up in Dobbs Ferry and while in middle school he began to have recurring thoughts, some of them disturbing, and he exhibited compulsive behaviors. He had no idea what or why any of this was happening and was hesitant to say anything to anybody until it became almost intolerable.

    He finally sought help and was put on medication and given resources for further assistance. What truly made a difference for him, he said, was when one of his good friends, John Kelly, shared with him that he too suffered from OCD and depression.

    “He was like my brother,” Mr. Tessitore said, adding that sadly his friend passed away at the age of 24.

    “When you are struggling with what is going on in your head, having someone tell you they are going through the same thing, that someone had my back, that was a gamechanger,” Mr. Tessitore said.

    It was Mr. Kelly who inspired Mr. Tessitore to start the JCK Foundation, named after his good friend. Mr. Tessitore said he wants the organization to be what Mr. Kelly was for him — a strong supporter.

    Since its founding the JCK Foundation has worked with 2,500 students in 15 schools in the region. The goal is to connect students to resources and start conversations about mental health issues.

    When asked what mental health meant to them, students were willing to share.

    “It’s anything having to do with your mental wellbeing,” student Dana Grosvenor said. “It has something to do with your overarching outlook.”

    When students were asked how they take care of their own mental wellbeing, several said through listening to music, exercising, talking with friends or spending time outdoors. One student said she created limits for herself on how long she could feel stressed about something. Others said that therapy had been very beneficial.

    Mr. Tessitore also shared a list of resources with students if they felt they needed additional assistance.

    The Virtual Day of Well Being was just a first of a series the school is doing, and plans are in place for additional workshops to take place later in the school year.

    “I am here for you. Hamilton is here for you,” Mr. Tessitore assured.


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  • Family partnership meeting provides update for community

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/30/2020 8:30:00 AM

    In a school year like no other, faculty, staff and families are having to make adjustments on a regular basis due to the disruptive pandemic. The school district has continued its efforts to keep families well informed. On Nov. 19, the principals at Carl L. Dixson Elementary School and Alice E. Grady School hosted a virtual Principal/Family Partnership meeting as a way to check in with their families.

    “This came about to just make sure we are communicating as a community,” Dixson Principal Jeffrey Olender said. He added that the COVID-19 situation has families relying on extended family members to navigate their children’s schooling, and these types of meetings can help everyone stay in the loop.

    “We want to make sure we hear and address concerns,” Mr. Olender said. “We are certainly willing to have these conversations tomorrow and beyond as we move forward.”

    The meeting came on a day when Dixson decided to go all remote until after Thanksgiving break due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

    “Safety is a priority,” Mr. Olender said. He encouraged participants in the virtual meeting to remain vigilant with their safety protocols, including filling out the attestation form before their child arrives at school.

    Dr. Hamilton noted that principals and teachers understand how student and teacher engagement has changed recently. To that end, both schools will continue to use the standards-based report card for the time being.

    “We are looking at these standards and really extending grace. We thank you for extending the same grace to our teachers,” Dr. Hamilton said.

    Report cards will indicate a C, for consistently; M for most of the time; S for some of the time; and N for needs improvement.

    The meeting was also an opportunity for the principals to share results from the parent survey.

    Results indicated several things that families thought were working well. They expressed appreciation for teachers and support staff, communication, the learning models, and both synchronous and live instruction. Among the thing’s parents felt were not working as well were asynchronous learning, technology glitches, too much screen time and a high stress level for students.

    Parents said they wanted more in-person learning, but keeping virtual learning as an option; more synchronous learning; technology support for parents; and the ability to blur backgrounds in Google Meet.

    While not directly part of the survey, Dr. Hamilton did assure parents that their children’s social and emotional health were priorities, and the district will be reaching out to students to check in on them.

    Going forward, Mr. Olender said, the district is working on increasing live, or synchronous, learning, including enabling students to log in to their classrooms on their off-cohort days. Schools are also planning small-group instruction. And specials will remain primarily live. These changes are scheduled to be put in place on Dec. 14.

     “All initiatives are subject to change pending local, state and district developments,” Mr. Olender reminded everyone.

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  • A message from the Union Free School District

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/10/2020 3:50:00 PM

    Greetings EUFSD family,


    A short time ago we were informed that an individual at Alice E. Grady School tested positive for COVID-19. The person was last in our Grady School on Friday, October 23, 2020. The individual is currently in quarantine and we hope they are feeling better soon.  In an effort  to respect their privacy, information about their identity cannot be released. 


    The District notified the Westchester County Department of Health, who is responsible for contact tracing. However, since the individual had not been in our schools for several weeks, we have been advised that no further action is necessary at this time. Although the district is closed tomorrow in observance of Veteran’s Day, all of our schools are scheduled to open on Thursday, November 12th. 


    I write to you to share this information in the event that you see the positive case reported on our COVID-19 tracking report.


    I wish you well and have a great evening!


    Yours truly,


    Dr. Marc Baiocco

    Superintendent of Schools


    Saludos familia de EUFSD,


    Hace poco tiempo se nos informó que una persona de la escuela Alice E. Grady dio positivo por COVID-19. La persona estuvo por última vez en nuestra Escuela Grady el viernes 23 de octubre de 2020. La persona se encuentra actualmente en cuarentena y esperamos que se sienta mejor pronto. En un esfuerzo por respetar su privacidad, no se puede divulgar información sobre su identidad.


    El Distrito notificó al Departamento de Salud del Condado de Westchester, quien es responsable del rastreo de contactos. Sin embargo, dado que la persona no había estado en nuestras escuelas durante varias semanas, no es necesario realizar ninguna otra acción en este momento. Aunque el distrito está cerrado mañana en observancia del Día de los Veteranos, todas las escuelas están programadas para abrir el jueves, 12 de noviembre. Le escribo para compartir esta información en caso de que vea el caso positivo informado en nuestro informe de seguimiento de COVID-19.


    ¡Les deseo lo mejor y que tengan una buena tarde!




    Dr. Marc Baiocco
    Superintendente de la escuel

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  • Family Engagement Night focused on important educational topics: assessment and sleep

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 11/10/2020 10:40:00 AM

    Families from throughout the district gathered around their computers on Nov. 4 for a virtual Family Engagement Night with two presentations: one on student assessment and the other on the importance of sleep. 

    Angelo Gitto, a representative from Curriculum Associates and iReady, shared with parents what the iReady assessment is, how it is taken and how teachers use the information gleaned.

    Students use a computer to take the assessment test, which is considered “adaptive diagnostics.” That means children are expected to get 50% of the answers incorrect. Students will answer a question appropriate for their grade level. If they answer correctly, the next question will be more difficult.

    Tests are administered three times a year in grades K-12, focusing on reading and math.

    “The data is instant,” Ms. Gitto said. “The teachers get the data once the child is finished taking the test.”

    The data includes what grade level the child is performing on and how he or she measures against state standards. The results also group students together who may need similar support, allowing their teacher to work with them. Teachers can also look into individual student information.

    Once a test is completed, iReady will generate materials and resources teachers can share with their students. This is especially helpful, Ms. Gitto said, as parents and teachers are concerned about the learning loss some students may have experienced when their classes were suddenly forced to go online last spring.

    “It identifies any unfinished learning and provides teachers with a path,” Ms. Gitto said. “Teachers can see what kids need to be successful in the next grade level. This has been huge. It gives educators the ability to pivot on the spot.”

    Students in the Elmsford Union Free School District are currently in a hybrid learning model due to the pandemic, having in-person classes two days a week and working from home on the others.

    While it may be tempting for parents and guardians to sit and assist their children while they take the test, Ms. Gitto stressed the necessity for them to let their children manage the test on their own.

    She assured families that iReady will walk their children through the steps to log in, and then it will be up to them to work through the questions.

    What parents/guardians can do is create a quiet, safe place for students to take the test. They can encourage their children to do their best but understand that they might get some questions incorrect. They may even allow them to take breaks when needed. The tests are expected to take students about 45 minutes.

    During the question-and-answer portion, Ms. Gitto noted that the test is completely adaptive to students and uses different types of questions. Students also have access to any resources they may need, such as calculators.

    While a correct answer may result in the next question being more advanced, there is a cap and no question will go more than 2-3 grade levels above the student being tested.

    “iReady is a tool used throughout the district. Teachers find it invaluable, but it is not the only tool used,” Jeffrey Olender, Principal at the Carl L. Dixson Primary School said.

    The second presentation of the evening focused on how lack of sleep is a detriment to students.

    Alexa Mennuti, the student assistance counselor at Alexander Hamilton High School, shared a presentation she had given earlier in the year and was asked to share once more by popular demand.

    The importance of sleep has taken on a new role, due to the pandemic and the disruption in school schedules or other areas of our lives dating back to the spring. “Anxiety and stress are keeping us up at night,” she said.

    Changes in routine, lack of physical activity, news shared through social media and living in spaces during the pandemic that normally are reserved for sleep are some causes of anxiety.

    As students have been doing more or all of their schoolwork at home, their sleep schedules may have changed, Ms. Mennuti said. They may go to bed later or sleep in, a pattern that can disrupt both NREM or non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep, which typically happens between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and is necessary for things like restoring tissue and strengthening the immune system. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, is sleep that is important for emotional regulation. It typically occurs between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. and can also be interrupted.

    “If you go to bed later, you miss the non-REM sleep and wake up feeling tired and groggy,” she said.

    Lack of sleep can cause us to have difficulty concentrating, which can impact schoolwork.

    Experts recommend children get between nine and 12 hours of sleep each night.

     “Less can lead to sleep deprivation,” Ms. Mennuti said. “The quality of sleep makes it so the brain can do its job and consolidate information.”

    The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are many. It can help with muscle growth, repair tissue and more. A lack of sleep, on the other hand, can lead to coordination problems, impaired immune function, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

    It can also impact a person’s emotional health. Anxiety and depression can result with less sleep and decision-making can be impaired.

     To counteract the negative effects, Ms. Mennuti shared several ideas to help parents help their children, and perhaps themselves, sleep better.

    Among them were to limit screens an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from the screen confuses the body into thinking it is daylight and the body does not fall into its natural rhythms. Establishing a going-to-bed routine can be beneficial — such as doing yoga, journaling or listening to calm music, and avoiding caffeine. Students should limit daytime naps to 20-45 minutes.

     “I think sleep is something that is a critical piece of the puzzle,” Mr. Olender said.





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