The Westside Gazette Back To School Special

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What Time Should Kids to Sleep?


Children who do not get enough sleep may not be able to learn as well as their school friends who get enough sleep.

Normal sleep patterns

 Sleep is important for children’s learning and behaviour. Sleep also helps children’s brains grow.


Role of sleep

Sleep is important for children’s learning and behaviour. Sleep helps to restore physical and mental health and keep our memory and immune system on track. Sleep also helps children’s brains grow. Children who do not get enough sleep may not be able to learn as well as their school friends who get enough sleep.

Science of sleep

Circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles, are controlled by light and dark and take time to develop. They are stages of sleep that develop from about 6 weeks of age. By the age of 2, most children have spent more time asleep than awake and overall, a child will spend 40 percent of their childhood asleep!

There are 2 types of sleep that we cycle through many times each night. These cycles last 45 – 60 minutes in children and 90 minutes in adults.

  1. “Deep” or Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep makes up 75 percent of our sleep. During deep sleep, muscle blood supply is increased, energy is restored, and essential hormones for growth and development are released.
  2. “Light” or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep makes up 25 percent of our sleep. During light sleep, our brains are active and dreaming occurs. Our bodies become still and breathing and heart rates are irregular.

Effects of lack of sleep


Lack of sleep may cause your child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. They may have a difficult time controlling their feelings; for example, they may be frustrated or upset more easily.


School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behaviour problems, such as not being able to concentrate, not doing what is asked of them and being very restless.

Thinking and learning

Lack of sleep may result in problems with paying attention, memory, decision-making, reaction time, and creativity, all which are important in school.


Broward School Board makes it easier for absent students to make up work

By Scott Travis

 The Broward School Board voted to make it easier to make up missed work for students with unexcused absence

     Whether they’re out of school for the measles or the movies, Broward students can now get full credit for any missed work.

    The School Board voted Tuesday to relax a three-year-old policy that allowed teachers to give bad grades to students with unexcused absences. Under the old policy, students could be penalized 10 percent on tests they miss and get a D on homework they turn in late due to an unexcused absence.

    That will change for the new school year. Students will now have two days to make up work, regardless of whether their absence is excused or unexcused. Teachers can extend the time but not shorten it.

    This is the third time the district has changed this policy in four years. Teachers used to have discretion whether to allow make up work and how to grade it. Then in 2015, the School Board decided that was punishing kids with excused absences and required teachers to accept makeup work. A year later, after teachers complained of large number of students failing to show up for class, the district imposed academic penalties.

Most board members said they felt the policy should be revised after seeing statistics that they felt showed the policy isn’t working. Overall attendance rates have been flat, while unexcused absences have risen. Data also showed black and Hispanic students are absent the same amount as white students, but when it comes to unexcused absences, black students have 50 percent more and Hispanic students have 25 percent more.

“The numbers are alarming,” Board member Patti Good said.

    Proponents of the change say parents of white children are much more likely to report their child has an excused absence, regardless whether it’s legitimate.

    The change came over the objections of three board members, Donna Korn, Laurie Rich Levinson and Ann Murray. They sided with the Broward Teachers Union, which argued the change in policy makes it more difficult to penalize students who skip school.

Union President Anna Fusco said teachers know their kids and know which ones are out for valid reasons and which ones play hooky.

“Teachers need to have responsibility, control and accountability in their classroom,” Fusco said. “They take many hours of professional development, attend college courses. They have common sense. They know when students need to have work turned in.”

Tips! Parents &guardians,

Don’t forget to notify your child’s school
of all absences!





Broward provides vaccines at Lauderhill Mall, Edgar Mills Health Center and Paul Hughes Healthcare Center

By Sallie James • Florida Department of Health in Broward County


Shopping for new clothes, stocking up on school supplies and picking out edgy new backpacks are some of the back-to-school rituals kids look forward to every year. Making sure their childhood vaccines are up to date is equally important and required by Florida law.

Children can’t start school unless they receive all vaccines against nine contagious and potentially fatal childhood diseases. School shots are especially important for children entering kindergarten and seventh grade, because different requirements begin at those grade levels.

“Vaccination is the best way to protect the health of your children and our community,”

said Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of the Department of Health in Broward. “Vaccines are safe and effective. Back

to school time is a great opportunity to make sure vaccinations are up to date.”

The best choice is to have the children vaccinated by your family doctor. But if that isn’t possible, you can visit county offices of the Florida Department of Health. DOH will be offering free immunizations at the Lauderhill Mall at 1267 NW 40 Ave. from Monday Aug. 5-16. The immunization campaign will include a back-to-school Resource Fair at the mall on August 10.

Children in Broward County get most of their vaccines from their healthcare provider. DOH-Broward also provides vaccines at the Edgar Mills Health Center at 900 NW 31st Ave., in Fort Lauderdale and the Paul Hughes Healthcare Center at 205 NW Sixth Ave., in Pompano Beach centers (appointments (954) 467-4705).

     Vaccinations required for school include:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – 4-5 doses of DTaP for babies and pre-schoolers. 1 booster dose, TDaP, before seventh grade.
  • Polio – 3-5 doses for babies and preschoolers.
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) – 2 doses of MMR for babies and preschoolers.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – 2 doses for babies and pre-schoolers. 1 booster dose before seventh grade.
  • Hepatitis B – 3 doses for babies.

Parents are encouraged to consider additional vaccinations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. These include vaccines against flu (yearly starting at age six months), rotavirus (3 doses for babies), Haemophilus influenzae B (3-4 doses for babies), pneumococcal disease (4 doses for babies), hepatitis A (2 doses for babies), human papilloma virus (2-3 doses starting at age 11) and meningococcal disease (2 doses starting at age 11).

DOH-Broward – Shots will be administered during the DOH’s Back to School campaign at the Lauderhill Mall per the following schedule:

* 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: August 5 -9 and August 12-16

* 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.: August 5, 8, 12 and 14.

* 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: August 10 during the Back to School Resource Fair.

Information is available online at


Important Broward School Numbers

DEPARTMENT                                   PHONE


Main Switchboard                           754-321-0000


Anonymous Tip Line                        754-321-0911


Applied Learning                             754-321-1851


Athletics & Student Activities           754-321-2550


BCPS Info Hotline                            754-321-0321


BECON TV                                        754-321-1000


Before & After School Child Care     754-321-3330


Bilingual & ESOL                               754-321-2590


Broward Virtual School                    754-321-6050


Charter Schools Support                  754-321-2135


Community Relations                      754-321-2300


Community Schools & GED              754-321-7600


Early Learning/School Readiness     754-321-1961


Elementary Learning                        754-321-1850


Emergency Hotline                          754-321-0911


Equal Education Opportunities        754-321-2150


Exceptional Student Learning Support    754-321-3400


Family and Community Engagement      754-321-1599


Literacy                                            754-321-1866


Food & Nutrition Services                754-321-0215


Guidance/BRACE                             754-321-1675


Gifted & Talented                             754-321-2620


Head Start/Early Intervention          754-321-1961


Home Education                              754-321-1558


Homeless Education                        754-321-1566


Innovative Learning                         754-321-2620


Legislative Affairs                   754-321-2608


Magnet & Innovative Programs       754-321-2070


McKay Scholarship                           754-321-3445


Mentoring Programs                       754-321-1668


Psychological Services                     754-321-3440


Office of Communication                754-321-2300


Public Records Requests                  754-321-1925


Rumor Control Hotline                    754-321-0321


Service Quality/Parent Concerns     754-321-3636


School Police/Special Investigation Unit   754-321-0735


School Social Work Services             754-321-1618


Secondary Learning                         754-321-2119


STEM                                                754-321-2620


Student Assessment & Testing         754-321-2500


Student Assignments                      754-321-2480


Student Health Services                   754-321-1576


Student Services                              754-321-1550


Student Support Initiatives              754-321-1660


Student Transportation                    754-321-4400


Title I, Migrant & Special Programs  754-321-1400


Transcripts & Diplomas                    754-321-3150


Virtual School                                  754-321-6050


Volunteers Services                           754-321-2300





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    About Carma Henry 14036 Articles
    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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