The upcoming presidential debates present a unique opportunity in our children’s learning experience. As I was watching the conclusion of the Ryder Cup on Sunday afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the political ads that were on the television. I could only imagine what our students would be thinking if they were watching. Who would our students vote for? Why? With all the ads on TV and in the media, which opinion would they listen to? Several of our classes are teaching civics and the different processes and viewpoints on the election this year. However, I wonder if that would be enough to answer all of their questions. So, I challenge our parents and community to engage in conversations at the dinner table or whenever you can as a family to discuss the election and upcoming debates. Below are some helpful questions I researched to ask your children:
How does voting work? Hold a family election to decide which board game to play. Which choice gets the most votes? What does it mean to have a majority? What happens to those whose selections weren't picked?
What's special about the voting process? Why is voting done in private? What might happen if people had to vote in public? Why is there no "electioneering" allowed near the voting booths? Who counts the votes? Why must the counting be done in a trustworthy way?
What are political parties? Why do people with similar views band together to support a candidate? What is a party platform? What happens when there's disagreement within a political party? What is a primary?
What is a representative democracy? Why do people elect officials to make important decisions? What would happen if everyone in the public voted on every issue that came up? What happens if elected representatives don't do what the public supports?
What are government responsibilities? What are some of the things that the government does? Who are some of the people in your community who work for the town, city, state, or federal government?
The most important thing to remember is to talk to your children about the process. The more we engage them in the value of voting and in democracy, the more they will embrace the history of our country to arrive at the point we are today in our political process. Most of all, I encourage you to take your child to vote even though we hold mock elections at the school. By bringing them with you, you truly demonstrate the value and importance of the right to vote.
on Tuesday October 2, 2012 at 08:56AM
What an amazing place Southern Maryland is! While I have only been a resident for the last three months, I have already been a proud recipient of its hospitality and community spirit. One aspect of Southern Maryland that I am astounded by is the amount of resources and opportunities for our students. I had the privilege, at the invitation of one of our parents, to visit the Patuxent Naval Air Station. I visited several testing labs and spoke to many engineers. What amazed me were the opportunities that our students have to interact with the engineers at NAVAIR to experience real life applications of chemistry, math, and physics. What other place in the world can our students have the ability to be exposed at such an intimate level to the testing and application of knowledge. While many of our students have had the opportunity to have internships in these facilities, the opportunities for younger Calverton Students to be inspired to pursue science and technology, will be the focus of continued and increased relationships with the Patuxent Naval Air Station Educational Outreach Division. I look forward to writing our community in the near future about what new opportunities all of our students will be able to experience.
on Wednesday September 12, 2012 at 10:25PM
Before I answer the question above, I want to thank all of our families, students, teachers, and staff for a very successful start of school. The hallways are filled with energy and laughter as we begin a new school year.
As we approach the long weekend, I was thinking about why we, as Americans, celebrate Labor Day. Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union of New York City sought to create "a day off for the working citizens". Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. Most Americans celebrate Labor Day as the symbolic end of the summer. It has always been, and will always be, a time for family to get together and enjoy each other’s company. So, if I had to narrow my answer to the question above, I would say that Labor Day is a time to reflect and celebrate, with our families, the determination and pride we have for our contribution in building a great country.
on Wednesday August 29, 2012 at 04:11PM
Just a little over a week until the school year begins. On Wednesday, I had the privilege of meeting the majority of our freshman class. They are energetic, and poised to lead, as they begin the first year of their high school career. I cannot wait to get to know the remainder of our school community in the weeks to come. By now, you should have received the welcome packet with information about the start of the school year. If you have any questions, please contact the school so that we can assist you. I also want to remind everyone that on August 27th, we will have our school registration and family picnic. We look forward to seeing you there - so that together, we may enjoy our community coming together prior to the start of school year. I look forward to seeing you and your children on campus. We have missed you!
on Friday August 17, 2012 at 09:31PM