Winter, 2014
NIPSA School Ranks in Top 1.5% of Country 

Quarry Lane School, with campuses in Dublin and Pleasanton, California, was recently ranked in the top 1.5% of the nation on the website Headmaster, Sabri Arac, is very proud of the school's ranking and of many other recent achievements including:
  • The High School robotics team participated and won the FIRST� Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament held in Walnut Creek on Saturday, January 17th.
  • One of their freshmen students competed and finished in the top ten in a National Speech Tournament at the Martin Luther King competition on MLK weekend.
  • The Quarry Lane School Lower Division Robotics Team won the Design Award at the VEX IQ Robotics Tournament held at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga on last month. Approximately 34 teams from schools spanning the San Francisco Bay Area competed in the tournament.

In an effort to achieve in the area of community service and to give back to others, Quarry Lane broke their record in this year's annual food drive.  This year, the students and staff of Quarry Lane contributed a total of 8,745 lbs. of food during the Annual Food Drive, translating to a total of nearly 7,300 meals provided.


Congratulations to Quarry Lane School!

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Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, individuals need to be focused and calm. Brain breaks can be used with focused-attention practices to positively impact emotional states and learning. These breaks refocus neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.

A brain break is a short period of time in which there is a change-up in the dull routine of incoming information that arrives via predictable, tedious, well-worn roadways. Brains are wired for novelty because individuals pay attention to any and every stimulus in their environment that feels threatening or out of the ordinary. A brain break refreshes thinking and helps discover another solution to a problem or helps one to see a situation through a different lens. 

A focused-attention practice is a brain exercise for quieting the thousands of thoughts that distract and frustrate each day. When the mind is quiet and focused, individuals are able to be presented with a specific sound, sight, or taste. Research repeatedly shows that quieting minds ignite the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing coping strategies to effectively handle the day-to-day challenges that keep coming. Thinking improves and emotions begin to regulate so that we can approach an experience with variable options.




CUE 2015 Annual Conference
(Computer Using Educators)

March 19-21, 2015

Palm Beach, CA 

Palm Beach Convention Center





Sugata Mitra (Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the US)


This session will be about his earliest experiments while working at NIIT in Delhi with the Hole in the Wall project, through to setting up SOLEs (self organised learning environments). Sugata discovered that children's innate sense of learning is magnified when they are given the freedom to explore the internet in small groups.


In 1999 Sugata and his colleagues at NIIT made a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in Delhi, installed an internet-connected PC, and left to see what happened. Almost immediately, children from the slum began playing with the computer and in the process taught each other how to use it and get online. This experiment, which inspired the book 'Slumdog Millionaire' that went on to become the Oscar winning film of 2009, was replicated in other parts of India, both urban and rural, with similar results.  Also importantly, his research has also shown that it's not simply a case of taking teachers out of the equation: children in remote areas often perform poorly at school because they do not have access to good teaching. 



Adam Bellow (Founder of eduTecher and eduClipper)


This quick paced and humor filled keynote session will look at the past, present, and future of education with a lens on the role of technology with a view of advancing education.  


Jennie Magiera (Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership)


So often the "news" is about how new devices, pedagogies or teaching philosophies are "transforming education". This session explores the transformation trap - the idea that something simply being "different" or new is better. It refocuses the discussion of innovation and educational technology back on the students and how these changes can truly support their learning in real classrooms.



Click here for more information on the conference.



Recent Articles That May Be Of Interest To You Or Your Staff

Upcoming Conference - Making Lasting Memories :
Using Brain Science to Boost Memory, Thinking and Learning

February 12-14, 2015

San Francisco, CA 

At the historic Fairmont Hotel, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 


Neuroscientists are discovering strategies that make learning easier, more effective, and that can boost long-term memory, thinking and academic performance. By using mnemonics, movement, active learning, discussions, gestures and varied practices, teachers can improve their students' ability to learn, reflect and remember. Discover how the "Science of Learning" can help boost student retention, recall and retrieval of information.


Click here for information on the conference. 


Ten Compelling Studies Favoring Greater Support for K-12 Music Education

Although the benefits of music education, both tangibly studied and intangibly felt, are numerous, this article only speaks to recent scientific evidence that favors the support of K-12 music education.  Here are ten exceptionally compelling studies and their outcomes demonstrating how seriously music education should be taken, in no particular order of importance.

�     Significant Predictor of Higher IQ In Early Adulthood

Study summary published in American Psychological Association (June 2006, Vol. 37, No. 6, Page 13)as well as Journal of Educational Psychology (Vol. 98, No. 2)


      Protective Against Dementia

Study summary published in the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, December 2014 - Study Abstract on PubMed


      Improves Emotional Outlook

National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development, January 2015 - Study analysis published on News Everyday


      Higher GPA

Study findings published in The Untapped Power of Music: Its Role in the Curriculum and its Effect on Academic Achievement (Joyce Kelstrom, April 1998, NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 82 No. 97, Pages 34-43) - Summary of main points covered on


       Enhances Social Skills

Review of studies published In Trends In Cognitive Sciences (April 2013, Vol. 17 No. 4). Authors are faculty members at McGill University's Department of Psychology


      Develops Superior Reading Ability

Meta-analysis published in Applications of Research in Music Education (November 2008, Vol. 27, No. 1 Pages 17-32) - Article by Jayne M. Standley


      Sharpens Cognitive Function

Study summary published in The Atlantic (October 9, 2013)


       Linked to Greater Likelihood of 

Study/survey disclosed in a report by Harris Interactivetitled Understanding the Linkages Between Music Education and Educational Outcomes (July 2006)


          Promotes Motor Task Competency

Study summary published on, (2013)


�  Flourishes Artistic and Personal Expression

Journal of Research In Music Education, titled A Case Study of Teaching Musical Expression to Young Performers (March 2013)


To read the full article and to click on links to each of the 10 studies, click here. 



NIPSA Board of Directors 2014-15

President - Kyle France, Kehoe-France School, Louisiana
Vice President, Therapeutic - Allan Blau, Ed.D., Director, Cornerstone Day School, New Jersey
Vice President Accreditation, East - Mercedes Ricon, Director, Killian Oaks Academy, Florida
Vice President Accreditation,West - Alan Mask, Director, Sunset-Mesa School, Arizona
Secretary - James McGhee II, Headmaster, Alexander Montessori Schools, Florida
Treasurer - Anita Lonstein, Ft. Lauderdale Prep School, Florida

Sabri Arac, Director Quarry Lane School, California
Eric Larson, CEO, Center Academies, Florida & Georgia
Jeri Dye Lynch, Director, Pinecrest Schools, California
Domenick Maglio, Ph.D., Director, Wider Horizons School, Florida
Karyn Murray, Director, Brookfield School, Nevada
Jeff Poole, Senior VP, Fusion Schools, California, New York, New Jersey, Texas
Jane Samuel, Admissions Director, Lakehouse Academy, Flat Rock, North Carolina
Cindy Thomas, Director, Especially for Children, Florida
Terry Young, Co-Head, Kittredge School, California

Executive Director
Teri Logan, J.D., National Office, Florida
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