Tourette syndrome & school
According to the Tourette Association of America (TAA), one in 100 students is affected by Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Tic Disorders.
More than half of school-aged children with TS have a co-occurring condition, like ADHD, anxiety or depression. These conditions, along with other learning disabilities, can have a negative influence on learning and can make it extremely difficult for students to concentrate in the classroom.
The upcoming school year will be vastly different in light of COVID-19. Whether classes are in-person or virtual, the Tourette Association can provide resources and tips for every type of classroom setting.
Members of the TAA’s Education Advisory Board offer these practices to help reduce anxiety, and give some predictability and routine to the school year.
- Get into a sleep and morning routine to help keep your child healthy and reduce stress.
- If working from home, have a space dedicated to schoolwork where your child can focus and be most productive. And, find exercises that can be done during break times. Mindfulness breaks may be helpful.
- Plan ahead with your child’s school for specific sensory breaks.
- If your child has trouble wearing a mask, find a mask that is most comfortable for your child. Build in time each day for your child to keep his or her mask on, and extend the amount of time each day.
- Have either hard copies or electronic copies of the TAA Educator Toolkits to give to everyone working with you or your child. To order hard copies, email .
- You or your child can write a one-page email or a letter to all educators and highlight your strengths, symptoms, and accommodations that work best. Help to educate staff and peers about TS, either in-person or virtually. Consider making a very short video to share. If you need help educating others, call (718) 224-2999, or email .
- If your child has an IEP and receives services at school, communicate with the school about what these services will look like. Support in managing assignments is important.
- Your child listens and can pick up on your anxiety. Share how school is going to look different this year, and be positive about the decisions you have made.
- Listen to your child’s concerns about the school year. That way you can be more prepared to help them with their emotions.
- Communicate with the school about any anxiety your child or teen is facing about the school year. A school counselor or social worker may have tips for supporting the student and may be able to communicate the issues to classroom teachers.
- Trust that you are doing your best to support your child through this.
For more information, visit Tourette.org.
MOSI in a Box
MOSI is offering live, virtual hands-on, inquiry-based, STEAM activities and interactive Q&As, available until Dec. 31, for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and their families.
There are three programs offered through Zoom:
- Planetary Explorers: Choose a mission, design spacecraft and follow in the footsteps of astronauts, engineers and scientists.
- Mission Health: A Look at the Human Body: Explore the mechanics of bones, muscles, lungs and the heart
- Forensic Investigators: Gather clues, analyze evidence and make observations to solve a crime
Each program is one hour.
For cost and registration, call (813) 987-6000, or visit MOSI.org.
Meal applications available
Pasco County Schools is accepting free and reduced-price household meal applications for the 2020-2021 school year, and will serve free breakfast at 49 schools.
In accordance with the National School Lunch Act, households that are below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines may qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch benefits. Households must complete a new application each school year.
Visit PascoSchoolMeals.com for a link to the online application, frequently asked questions, income eligibility guidelines, cafeteria menus and more.
Schools in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area that will serve free breakfast are: Centennial Elementary, Centennial Middle, Chester Taylor Elementary, James Irving Education Center, Lacoochee Elementary, Pasco Elementary, Pasco High, Pasco Middle, Quail Hollow Elementary, R.B. Stewart Middle, Rodney B. Cox Elementary, San Antonio Elementary, West Zephyrhills Elementary, Woodland Elementary and Zephyrhills High.
For information, call Pasco County Schools Food & Nutrition Services at (813) 794-2522.
Gift card drive
United Way of Pasco is hosting a Stuff the Bus Gift Card Drive for Teachers.
Those interested can donate a preloaded gift card from a favorite school supplies retailer, to be delivered to Pasco County school teachers.
Mail gift cards to the United Way of Pasco, 17230 Camelot Court, Land O’ Lakes FL 34638.
Donations also can be made online at UnitedWayPasco.org/stuff-the-bus-2020.
Fee adjustment meeting
Pasco-Hernando State College’s (PHSC) District Board of Trustees (DBOT) will consider approving proposed adjusted course-related fees at its board meeting on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., at the Spring Hill campus. If the meeting is switched to virtual viewing, details will be available online at PHSC.edu.
Fee adjustment proposals are reviewed and approved for DBOT consideration by PHSC’s Council of Academic Affairs, a committee that includes representation by administrators, deans, academic department chairs, program directors, faculty and staff.
For details regarding the adjustments, justification for the fees and fee implementation details, visit Policies.phsc.edu/policies-and-procedures/public-disclosure.
Questions or concerns about the proposed fees should be directed to the appropriate dean listed on the webpage.
Many fee adjustments relate to vendor increases for workforce courses, laboratories, and program testing. Some fees may be covered by financial aid, scholarships and grants. All fees charged by vendors are negotiated by the college, with additional fee increases and decreases expected in the coming academic year.