PSA Parents, Students, and Staff!
For my October blog I’d like to discuss “searching students” at school. Unfortunately, we live in a society where drugs and weapons are readily available to people—even children. Searching a student at school for drugs or weapons is a touchy subject—are the lines blurred when it comes to safety and civil rights? At PSA, our goal is to keep kids safe above all, but to also respect our cadets’ civil rights, just as we would expect our own rights to be respected.
As stated, this is a touchy subject, so I would like to address how we deal with student searches at PSA. First and foremost, we abide by all State and Federal laws regarding searches. But the 4th Amendment is seen a bit differently in educational institutions, as, student safety supersedes everything. Students have the 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. However, whereas in society, law enforcement would need a warrant and probable cause to search someone, school administrators need only “reasonable suspicion,” per ed. code. This means that if we are given cause to suspect that a child is carrying something dangerous, we have the right to search that student’s backpack/belongings, as well as ask the student to shake out their boots and pockets. Under NO circumstances are schools allowed to strip search, or do anything of that nature.
I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I welcome any parents or family members to sit down with me to discuss this further if they have any concerns. I want my students and extended PSA family to know that I care about your children’s safety, and while searches are sometimes necessary, they are conducted within the confines of the law, are only conducted under reasonable suspicion, and in an effort to maintain a safe, drug-free, and weapon free campus.
Have an outstanding October!
—Mrs. Stickel, Principal
Principal’s Blog, September 2017
By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer's best of weather, and autumn's best of cheer.
—Helen Hunt Jackson
Hello PSA Parents, Students, and Staff!
As we jump into September it’s time to reflect on our students’ academic progress thus far. In focusing on academics, the article entitled: The Global Achievement Gap: Why America’s Students Are Falling Behind, by Cindy Donaldson, may be worth reading. In this article, Donaldson points out that our kids may not be developing the following 7 skills as thoroughly as they should be: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Leading by Influence, Agility and Adaptability, Initiative and Entrepreneurialism, Effective Oral and Written Communication, Assessing/Analyzing Data, as well as Curiosity and Imagination.
Public Safety Academy Staff is committed to integrating the development of these skills alongside with the regular curriculum. We ask that parents try to reinforce these skills at home as well. Donaldson offers the following ideas:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: What you can do: Have your child help you figure out real-life problems at home. Let him help you assemble a Christmas present, fix a broken light socket, research your summer vacation, or plan a party. When he encounters an obstacle, resist telling him the solution. Instead, help him find ways to analyze the problem and develop solutions. And when the teacher assigns a project, resist the urge to over-help. He may struggle at first, but over time he’ll develop confidence in himself.
Leading by Influence: What you can do: Let your child join a team or organization, and learn to work with a group. When she has a problem with a teacher, coach or a friend, help her practice what she wants to say, but let her take care of it. Children can’t learn to advocate for themselves if the adults in their lives speak for them all the time.
Agility and Adaptability: What you can do: Model flexibility. When you encounter a change in plans, don’t get upset. Instead, use it as a chance to teach your child how to think on her feet. For instance, if your flight gets cancelled, let her help you find a new one. If you get lost, let her use the map or help ask for directions. If your oven breaks on Thanksgiving, have her help you brainstorm ways to put a turkey on the table. By showing her that the world doesn’t end when plans change, you’ll instill a can-do attitude that will benefit every part of her life.
Initiative and Entrepreneurialism: What you can do: Let your child develop and follow his own interests. Resist the urge to force him into activities that you choose. Children can endure anything, but they truly blossom when they find an activity they enjoy. Once he’s involved, encourage him to show initiative by taking his activity to the next level: run for an office, manage a fundraiser, or recruit friends. He’ll be more motivated when he’s doing something he loves.
Effective Oral and Written Communication: What you can do: Eat dinner together as a family whenever possible. Interact. Bring up hot topics, and have debates. Have your children write thank-you notes. Read their English essays and tell them about sections you really like.
Assessing and Analyzing Data: What you can do: When your child asks you a question, don’t just tell him the answer. Go to the computer together, and look things up. Talk to her about what you find – can you trust the source? Is it reliable? Discuss the markers of good information.
Curiosity and Imagination: What you can do: Encourage questions, no matter how tired you are. Offer to explore ideas and projects your child is curious about. Let him lead the way. When he finds something he really loves, encourage him to pursue it. Help him do research, get him some supplies, and take him places where he can explore the topic to his heart’s content.
Have a splendid September!
—Mrs. Stickel, Principal
Hello! My name is Jennifer Stickel, and I am the principal at Public Safety Academy. I’d like to share a bit about myself so you may all get to know me better. I look forward to getting to know you as well.
I have been working in education for 17 years. I began teaching in 2000. I came to PSA in 2009, and took over as Principal in 2013. Before becoming a teacher, I attended UCR. I earned my teaching credential at the University of Redlands, and my Masters in Education at CSUSB. I love working in secondary education, and I hope to remain at PSA for many years to come.
I am happily married with 4 stepchildren. We love to play cards and board games, go to the movies, and take vacations to the beach together in the summer. Our two oldest daughters are in college, our son is a 10th grader this year, and our youngest daughter is going into middle school.
I love to paint, play the piano, and read historical fiction. I am passionate about animals and donate to several animal rescue organizations. I have a dog named Lady, and a cat named Penny. I love being a school principal, and look forward to coming to work every day!!
Advice for a Successful School Year:
READ READ READ, every night! Studies continue to prove that literacy is the key to getting better grades in all subjects. Putting down the phones, tablets, and other technology, for just 30-60 minutes a night, and reading a book, magazine, or newspaper, can increase student achievement drastically.
Have a splendid school year!!
Principal Jennifer Stickel