Video resource library for parents, studentsDec 02, 2022 12:57PM ● By Jet Burnham
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
What is a citizenship grade? What were the results from the school survey? Why is my teenager acting like this? Middle school students and their parents have a lot of questions. Fort Herriman Middle School staff members have a lot of answers, and they are sharing them through a series of videos.
Principal Eric Price invites school staff members to talk about a variety of topics on camera to create videos which are posted on the school’s social media pages.
The videos are part of a growing library of resources for parents and students. Some videos share tips: understanding the science behind mindfulness, suicide prevention and dealing with stress and anxiety. Other videos address topics that are often misunderstood, or highlight school resources and school policies: skills students need to be employable, graduation requirements, results of the school survey, etc. Price interviews school counselors, teachers, administrators and district leaders who are knowledgeable in these areas.
Price said they make a video whenever they have an idea, and the ideas just keep coming.
The videos also provide a way for students and parents to get to know staff members. One video introduced the school’s new SRO Marisha Manzano and gave her the opportunity to explain what a school resource officer’s role is.
“My main focus is to build relationships,” Manzano said. “I'm really in the school for the purpose of helping the students and to build relationships in law enforcement.”
She said to do her job well, she needs to get to know the students so it was helpful to have a forum to introduce herself to the school community to start building those relationships.
FHMS morning announcements are delivered through video, as well.
“The reason we went to video versus just the overhead announcements is because it's different when you can see people,” Price said. “We tell the kids we love them every day. And so it's different when you can see them say that versus just hearing it over the loudspeaker.”
Price first began making regular video announcements when the school was closed due to the pandemic during the spring of 2020. Price used them to stay connected with students and parents. He discovered it was a great way to address rumors and misunderstandings.
“I felt like there was a lot of miscommunication on what we were trying to accomplish,” he said. “We're trying to help them understand what education looks like now, because the pandemic caused a lot of things to change—why we're using more Chromebooks and what that's replaced and all the things that can come up in the education system now that are different than the way that we were educated.”
Price hopes the videos are a helpful resource for parents, who often struggle to understand their teenagers’ behaviors. He and his staff members often share the latest research on adolescent development.
“We try to keep up to date on some of the newest research and evidence of what's going on in these kids and in their brains,” Price said. “The brain science is showing us what's happening with these kids and how we can help them to calm their emotions. And with the tragedy that happened here in Herriman a few years ago, we want to do everything we can to prevent that from happening,” said Price, referencing the rash of teen suicides which occurred in 2018.
The school continues to send communications to parents through email and skylerts; the videos are just another way to reach more parents.
“I think a lot of social media is where people are heading these days to get their information and so we try to hit them there as well,” Price said.
All the videos are available to watch any time, so even if the topic isn’t relevant to someone at the time, they can find it later under videos on FHMS’s social media page when they need it.
“We're hoping that people will come back,” Price said. “They're always going to be there so they can always go back and look at them.”