Strengthening Families/Parenting Conference

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Jordan Family Education Center Classes

Jordan School District offers many free classes for students, teachers, and adults. These include classes such as anger management, parenting, stress management, groups for children with ADHD and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder, and many more.

Below is the class list and class descriptions for the classes that are offered.  This is a really great free resource!  Please take advantage of it!


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SAGE testing for 9th graders

I recently got some information from the State Board of Education about SAGE testing for 9th graders.  There was some talk about NOT doing SAGE this coming school year, but it the State has decided to continue SAGE testing for one more year.

This document here will give you information on that decision: SAGE Assessment Info Sheet

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Instagram and other social media

As the school year comes to a close and summer begins, many students will be somewhat lost as to what to do with all their time.  Many will turn to social media.  Throughout the year, I have dealt with situations where students have gone through a rough time emotionally due to something that happened on social media.  I came across this article from KSL that talks about some findings about mental health and how it relates to social media.  While social media can be bad, there is also a positive component to it, when used wisely.  I challenge you to read this article and become more informed on the impact that social media can have on mental health.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Find the link to the article here

A few pointers for parents when dealing with teens, social media and electronics:

  • Set strict guidelines with your teen.  Make sure they know what you expect from them, and establish consequences if the guidelines are broken.
  • Monitor their table/iPad/phone usage.  It is NOT an invasion of privacy to watch their texts and social media accounts.  You are keeping them safe.
  • Keep an open line of communication between you and your teen about mental health and other issues.  The more you talk about it, the more comfortable they will feel about coming to you when they need help.
  • Enforce a “no electronics” time frame with your family.  I suggest taking all electronics away at night.  Many of the “problems” I have seen happen when students should be sleeping, but are on social media instead.
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Mental Health Resources

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and KSL published an article on places you can go to get some mental health help, anywhere in the state.  You can access that article here. There are also resources here on my blog, under the “parent resources” tab.

Also, going along with the information on the “13 Reasons Why” series on Netflix, the DeseretNews published an article on “13 Reasons Why NOT”.  It’s a powerful article written in parts from 13 people affected by suicide.  That article can be found here.

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Class Selection for Next Year

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s time for next year’s 7-9th graders to select their classes for next year.  Your student should be bringing home a course request form, which will need to be filled out and signed by BOTH parent and student.  Next year’s 7th grader’s received theirs on Monday, next year’s 8th graders received theirs today (Tuesday), and I anticipate handing out next year’s 9th graders’ course request forms on Thursday.

I have attached a copy of each grade’s course request cards below for reference.  These forms need to be in by May 5th.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Mrs. Herrera

7th 2017-2018 Junior High Course Registrations jpeg 8th 2017-2018 Junior High Course Registration jpeg 9th 2017-2018 Junior High Course Registration jpeg

Signature page for 7th & 8th grade course requests:

7th & 8th 2017-2018 Junior High Course Registrations jpeg 2

Signature page for 9th grade course requests:

9th 2017-2018 Junior High Course Registrations jpeg 2

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Instructions on finding GPA through Aspire

You can find a student’s GPA term by term on Aspire by accessing the “unofficial report card” (there is a hyperlink at the bottom of the list of grades and classes).  This will bring up a copy of a student’s grades from 1-3rd term, with the GPA for each term listed.

If you need help accessing Aspire, please contact the front office.

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A Letter To All Ascent Academy Parents:

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Recently a series was added to Netflix, called “13 Reasons Why”.  This series follows a group of high school students as they piece together a story left behind for them by their classmate Hannah Baker, who died by suicide.

While this popular series sheds light on important topics, there are some shortcomings in its execution. Without mention of mental illness, which affects one in five adolescents, and coming dangerously close to romanticizing suicide, this show is missing a crucial opportunity to discuss an issue that is affecting so many teenagers. Additionally, there is no example of successful help-seeking with a theme of silence throughout the story. As Hannah’s classmates struggle with the aftermath of her suicide, there are no scenes highlighting her peers reaching out to talk with their parents, teachers, or coaches despite having a difficult time coping. Without showing how to ask for help, or that treatment and counseling are available, the show is only depicting what not to do without giving an example of what to do. 

We at Ascent Academy would like you to know that there are several resources offered, both here at Ascent Academy as well as in the area, for those who may need some crisis intervention.  Throughout the year, all of our junior high students have had mental health and suicide prevention lessons and presentations.  Additionally, there are resources on Mrs. Herrera (Counselor)’s blog (, in the front office, and in the magazine holder outside Mrs. Herrera’s door.  If you would like additional information or help, feel free to contact Mrs. Herrera.

13RW Talking Points JPEG

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“Preventing Youth Suicide” Presentation (Riverton High School)

Gregory A. Hudnall, founder of Hope4Utah (a Utah youth suicide prevention program), will be giving a presentation tonight (Thursday, April 20th) at Riverton High School on “Preventing Youth Suicide”.

Preventing youth suicide presentation flyer

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Sharry Buhanan-Decker scholarship – grades 7-9

The Sharry Buhanan-Decker memorial scholarship & treasure hunt.
Sharry Buhanan-Decker passed away in childbirth with her first baby June of 2016 due to a very rare and often fatal Amniotic Fluid Embolism. Two of Sharry’s biggest passions were education and nature, this scholarship is a way to celebrate both of those in her memory.

· There will be one winner per year, per treasure hunt.
· Winner must be a Utah student currently enrolled in a secondary grade (7-12).
· The Scholarship will be a one time donation of $2,100 to a Utah Education Savings Plan
· If the winning student already has a UESP account the money will be donated to the student’s account.
· If the winning student does not have a UESP account one will be made in their name with the money added to it.
· To learn more about how Utah Education Savings Plans work, click here.
· This will be an annual scholarship for at least five years. This year the treasure hunt will be in northern Utah.
· Beginning Saturday April 22nd a clue will be given on the “Sharry’s Treasure” Twitter and Instagram pages along with a quote, painting or idea that Sharry cherished.
· Every Saturday morning after the 22nd a slightly more specific clue will be given until a qualifying student finds the treasure.
· The treasure will be hidden somewhere in the Wasatch mountains in a little box (more specific description of the container may or may not be given in a later clue)
· The treasure will not be completely buried.
· Students are reminded to exercise caution and safety first in all activities. It is strongly recommended to not search alone. Bring along a parent or friend. The treasure will not be hidden in a location that places students physically at risk.
· When the treasure is found by a qualifying student (current grade 7-12) they must post a picture with the treasure and secret message on either Instagram or Twitter.
· Students must be able to verify that they are in fact a student enrolled in grade 7-12
· The winning student must agree to have their photograph posted on social media as recognition of their treasure hunt skills and promotion for following years
· If two students find it together I will divide the $2,100 into two separate $1,050 accounts.
· At that point I will contact the student to make arrangements for $2,100 and the UESP account.
· If you have questions please contact through Twitter or Instagram
· For additional insights into this scholarship and the life and legacy Sharry left behind you can read more at her blog

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