Town Square

Post a New Topic

Local teens describe their stresses on 'Dr. Phil'

Original post made on Mar 15, 2010

Nearly a dozen local teens told a national audience Friday night that stress in their lives comes from trying to meet the expectations of peers, family, school and getting into college. The teens appeared on television's "Dr. Phil" show Friday (March 12).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 15, 2010, 9:51 AM

Comments (44)

Posted by kk
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

I just have to comment on the silliness of Dr. Phil show (Psychology sessions on television with a "one size fits all") for the purpose of media dollars.

He is not a real Psychologists. Its television, entertainment.
Who in your right mind what put your children on this "dog and pony" show? Oh, the same parents of these kids. If anything the parents should be on this show, they are the ones pushing their kids to follow and not think.

Posted by suzie
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

I watched the show, and didn't have much of an expectation, and I was right...nothing but fluff. Nothing substantial. You could tell the show was censored as they kept mentioning a northern California city, but flashed a picture of Gunn High School on the opening credits...And I just loved the part of some actor from CSI, who was playing the part of the concerned "psychologist". He did a great job. Good actor. What a waste of time.

Posted by Judy
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

I watched the Dr. Phil show and thought that on the whole, the show was restrained and did a good job of not senstionalizing the issue of teen stress and suicide. However, I take exception to the self-serving comment of the parent interviewed on the show who very simplistically blamed the school refused to even consider the role that she and other parents play in their child's emotional lives.
Frankly, too many parents in our community overschedule, over-regulate and are so ambitious and competitive on behalf of their children that they, perhaps unwittingly, contribute to the stressors and feelings of inadequacy that perpetuate the very problem we are working so hard to eradicate.

Posted by Felicity
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

If parents don't think they are part of the problem, they are in lala land.

Posted by Parent ARE the Problem
a resident of Hoover School
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

Parents ARE the problem - just listen to the parents talk when picking up their kids... stop sharing and comparing with other parents. Your child's accomplishments, grades, extra activities should never become your identity - that is the root of the problem!!!

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hoover parent - it is probably even worse at Hoover than most elementary schools since one of the goals of Hoover is "pride in accomplishment" through "academic achievement". (From their website).

Posted by AAmazed
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

Hey Folks, Let's try to forget the blame-game. We live in a society that interacts intimately with our children and as such, we are all to blame and all responsible and more importantly, all are ABLE TO help. So let's help and quit fretting on who is at fault.

I think we need to:

* Encourage sessions to TALK about what is going on (e.g., the stresses and drama our children face, stresses and expectations parents are facing) - get a healthy dialog going and SUSTAINED to help effect change and provide support.

Let's not have any more panels of adults only speaking about "student stress" with students not having a voice.

* Offer 12-step programs for Teens and for Parents (e.g., AA and Ala-Non)

Did you know that there is an AA meeting on Thursdays with a focus on teens/young people at 4pm at First Congregational Church at Louis & Embarcadero?

* Expect the School District to provide support in terms of information on the above AND other resources like counseling

Challenge: Go visit Gunn's counseling office & ask about AA or Ala-teen Ala-non; see what information you may or may not be given. Note: visit and for a list of meetings in the area.

We are all in this together.

So let's unite for our young people and be positive, provide constructive help and quit pointing the finger at who's at fault.

I think it's great that Dr. Phil's show is helping us keep this issue alive and as such, to keep addressing it to help.

Remember, lives are at stake.

With love, AAmazed

Posted by Parents Set the Tone
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

Excuse me, but are not the parents the ones that are setting the tone at a school by their behavior and also not taking the administrators and staff to task if they really perceive it as the school that is causing the problem? Try going over to the guidance office at Gunn High School sometime and first see how long it takes before you are asked, "can I help you?" I waited 20 minutes and got nothing but disinterest from the staff as to who I was or what I was doing there. The next thing I noticed is that the guidance office is festooned with college and university banners (none that said Podunk U or Foothill College that I saw.....mostly the prestigious ones if I recall correctly). Can you imagine being a student who may be coming in to see a counselor because you are distressed about whether you are going to "make the grade" to get into an institution of higher learning befitting your parent's (or your own because you are a perfectionist) expectations? You sit down and have to look at those banners (the big felt ones) while you are waiting? How about putting up a poster on the wall saying something to the effect of, "Helping you Find Your Passion is our Goal!" Or, "Happiness Served Up Here" better yet. Parents need to get a grip and not blame the school for the dysfunctional values of our "over-achievement at any cost" culture. I was apppalled when I attended the panel forum at the Cubberley Auditorium many months back where the "student panelists" had to defer to the "experts" even sitting on the stage in the darkness while Dr. Joshi talked overtime and slides were presented that in my opinion shed very little light on the problem or possible solutions. We need many more opportunities to hear from the experts who are the students. They are the only ones who know what they are feeling. I am sick and tired of the bogus surveys and expert opinions being dealt out in Palo Alto while the young people need to be heard from.

Posted by DAISY
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:59 am


Posted by Parents Set the Tone
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm

AAmazed.......excellent comments. I had not read your posting before posting mine. You make some excellent and constructive comments about how to move forward. Thank you for this!!

Posted by D
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The schools have enough on their plates to just educate our kids. Let's not make them responsible for our children's emotional lives as well -- that's the parents' job.

Posted by VTC
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Parents and Teens:

The Palo Alto Y has an offsite teen center in the Ventura neighborhood equipped with brand new iMacs, video games and much more...all for the price of: FREE! Whether you need help with homework, scholarships, finding a job or just need a place to relax, Ventura is the place for you!!

3990 Ventura Ct
Palo Alto, 94306
Henry Page Computer Center (accross from the playground)
Open Mon-Fri 3pm-5pm (6pm, coming soon)

If you would like to tell us more about what you want from us please, please complete our online teen and parent surveys:
Parent Survey:

Web Link

Teen Survey:

Web Link

We need you to help us revamp and revitalize Ventura. Help us name and redesign the center, just for you!

Posted by Maria
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I just realized one thing that is so true and so important to keep in perspective, after this kid said "You see people who are successful and they say, 'Oh, I went to Stanford, I went to Harvard,' and you kind of like make the connection, like, 'You go to this school, then you're successful in life.'"

People who go to Stanford, Harvard, and a lot of top schools are a dime-a-dozen in Palo Alto. Stanford makes sense because we're near by, but all the rest come just to be here where the entrepreneurship activity is. What kids need to realize is how skewed this is from reality. Even if you go to SF or San Jose, you will not find such a high concentration of these type of people. So this phenomenon has to be taken into perpective, and their parent need to help them.

Posted by former Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Asian-American
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Patty
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Felicity is RIGHT ON .... parents, you have to get some perspective. Not every Palo Alto student is meant to go to Stanford or Harvard. Maybe they want to learn a trade, become a health tech or a teacher? They sre not all meant to be lawyers, doctors and CEO's. Let your kids find their passion in life and then just support them and love them. Why is that so hard for so many of you? Don't you just want your children to be happy and healthy? My advice .... parents, you need to take a good, hard look at what you are putting on the shoulders on your children. It's time for you to back off.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

>> Vanessa, 16, said the pressure "comes from my friends. All of us are really competitive with each other." <<

This is a very interesting article, and this statement in particular is very interesting. When I was in high-school I was not the over-achiever type, I pretty much coasted through, and if my friends had been competitive with me I am not sure how my life would have been different, although there are always different levels of competition or course.

We have a society and economy that in my opinion is inhuman and tends more towards the inhuman as every competitive advantage is perceived and exploited. it is kind of like steroids in a way, you have to give up your life to succeed, and the rest of us seem to support this idea of success, but what about the winner? Are they really happy, or does it just turn all of life into a big speed race that no one can remember of find meaning in when they get to whatever resting point or end they get to?

I remember friends that were a bit too competitive, and they did not remain friends for very long. If we define ourselves by such friends and society it will always lead to bad feelings and isolation.

I read a book about friends a while ago that was very interesting. Someone did a study where they tracked people's friends ... ie. intimate friends - the friends you can talk to, be yourself with, tell anything to. 30 years ago people have on average 3 intimate friends. Today, the average person has 0 friends. I don't know how they did this study or how valid it is, but I think we can mostly agree there is something that is being highlighted there that is true. This is a real shame and makes me feel kind of sick. What are we turning people into? And what about the people who want something different?

Just as we can unwittingly change the climate of the planet and not know it, perceive it, understand it or agree on it, we can also change the nature of the human being. Shouldn't we have some conversation about this, maybe even a vote?

Posted by A Mom
a resident of Woodside
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I commend the Palo Alto Staff and parents for their willingness to get help for teens, regardless of the method. Dr. Phil will do what he believes is best for these kids...he has helped a lot of people over many years. I've seen his interventions and they've been quite successful

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by pamom
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I disagree that parents are the main cause for stress. It's the colleges -- the bar has been going up for some time. Sure there are some parents who stress the "best" schools and that's not right. But just trying to get into the UC's can be difficult and very stressful. I've known bright students who didn't make the grade to get into a UC and were very disappointed.

It's the college admission process that needs to be changed. This would mean far more students would be notified that they are in the pool for acceptance. This would be a confidence booster that they did it. From this much larger pool of students, then have a lottery to select who gets in and who doesn't. This way students would know it's not something that they did. This would mean a certain level would have to be achieved in order to get into that pool for selection. Students wouldn't need to push so hard for A's to get into our UC's -- each university could still have different criteria for meeting the admission standards of the those eligible for the pool. This would really result in making it far less stressful. Students could focus more on what they want to do instead of trying to take too many AP's, for example.

It's the college admission process that is driving this stress.

Posted by mea
a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm

It may well be the colleges that are perpetuating the stress, but it could well be the parents that start it.

When we see parents camping out to get into the right elementary school (not happening at present in Palo Alto, but it has), and the abundance of tutoring places all over the City, to the extremes of community service by families of high schoolers, we can see that these pressures are abounding.

The big problem is not necessarily the college process, but the fact that there are gradually fewer and fewer places in the UCs for Californian residents, while the population of California is growing and the predictions are that it will grow even more. The Californian budget problems are causing the decline in places from the college perspective. The raising of fees may just be the equalizer as the lower income students are no longer able to attend and those with money may become the winners. It looks like a strange way for the middle classes to get a better education, but it could be the outcome of the current state of affairs.

Posted by A Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I went, ill-prepared, to a supposedly high stress college, MIT. Prior to my time there, they had a rash of suicides. This was blamed on stress.

I'm sure they had just as much finger pointing and gnashing of teeth as on Town Square. But what solved the problem didn't come from the finger pointing. It came from a careful and systematic review of the situation by an outside entity, and long-term commitment to implementing the recommendations from the review. Ultimately, it worked.

I'd note that the recommendations didn't make the school any less stressful. It didn't take the knee jerk attitude (as some above) that the answer is to dumb down the school and take away challenges and opportunities from the kids. It didn't blame the parents or the kids or the school. It didn't handwave the problem as unsolvable because of mental illness. The recommendations did create a better environment, and did help the kids develop a better attitude toward learning, achievement, making mistakes, and stress.

One of the most successful recommendations was to implement freshman pass/fail -- no letter grades freshman year. This accomplished several important goals: it allowed students to begin their college career without the fear of destroying their records if they pushed themselves; it allowed students from less advantaged backgrounds to get their footing; it allowed students the leeway to learn how to take regular play breaks (another recommendation). For me, probably the most important aspect of it was the I learned I could survive being less than perfect, and that the learning was more important than the grade.

Freshman pass/fail wasn't implemented in a vacuum. Professors helped students interpret the experience with the above goals in mind. The values of the community were conveyed to the students through those recommendations.

As a consequence, MIT ended up being very collegial, and the students supporting each other and helping each other in ways I haven't seen anywhere else, even while the stress level remained high -- because that's just the nature of a place where people challenge themselves.

People choose this area and the schools for the opportunities. We don't need finger pointing that destroys the opportunities or waters down the challenges for kids who want and need them. We need to find a way to evaluate our environment -- probably by an outside entity with no vested interests in our district -- and figure out what we can do to maintain a wonderful academic experience and foster a helpful and supportive environment.

Maybe we can accomplish that more than one way. Maybe going back to smaller high schools in this town would do that. Maybe fostering community outside of the schools would. Maybe there are better ways parents and teachers can help kids interpret the messages they get in school so they don't internalize the stress. Maybe all of those things would help and we can do all or choose some. The point is, rather than finger pointing and making shallow analyses about "stress" on television shows -- shows that undoubtedly cherry picked the students to make their point -- we need to systematically and carefully review our own situation in light of our goals for this community so that we can solve the problem.

Posted by Midtown Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I completely agree with Pamom that colleges set the bar too high contributing to stress and competition, but so do employers - look at Google that wants only grads with GPA of 4.0 from top universities... I know many graduates of lesser known schools that now work as baristas and waiters because their resumes were tossed out into rubbish bin by corporate recruiters. Times have changed, job markets globalized, many jobs that in the past were filled by kids out of college are now outsourced to India and China. Many parents realize this and try their best preparing their kids for harsh realities - kids have to work twice harder than their parents to succeed.

Posted by Palo Alto Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

MIDTOWN PARENT: I think that defining "success" is very important. If going to a prestigious university is the epitome of success for a child in this community even though they may be very unhappy and unfulfilled is this a successful life? I think parent's ideas of success are sometimes losing track of what really matters in life. I would feel my child was a success if they found their passion and pursued it even though they may not go to the best school.

Posted by mom 1st, MD 2nd
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm

MIDTOWN PARENT---I completely agree. Thank you for putting that so well.
If my kids become productive and happy adults who support themselves by doing something they love, I will consider that successful. I don't care what school they go to as long as they get a stimulating and varied education.

Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I went to a non-prestigious college and barely graduated. Ironically, I'm probably the most happy and financially successful (not luck or inherited, self made) of my friends in Palo Alto. When my friends bring up college, most of them went to Stanford/Harvard etc, I did not. I am in my late 30s and could retire now. My observation is people who focus on what everyone is doing, are too afraid of taking the chances required for true success in life because they fear looking foolish in front of their peers. They take the safe route of constant self comparison, and this route leads to a job and life you hate, albeit with a nice diploma to show off. I think children and people should enjoy the challenge that's called life, and forget about the outcome, whether it be called success or some other name. Ironically, when you enjoy the challenge, the outcome is often better than if you were just working for the reward.

Posted by ann
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm

old palo alto.....very well said and done....

Posted by The OneT
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

There is no stress in this community. Go elsewhehere you whil not find it

Posted by 2000 BC
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm

> Ironically, when you enjoy the challenge, the outcome is
> often better than if you were just working for the reward.

Sweet, it is one of the fundamental teachings of the Bhagwad Gita. Most Hindus will agree with you.

Posted by A Loving Grandma
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I suggest a teacher, parent, student or casual observer take a 10-minute test any day or days you have a chance in any location around town.
Sit down on a bench or comfortable spot and notice what students are doing when they come out of class, walk around campus, go shopping at the malls, or in the living room at home. Write down what the young people are doing in those 10 minutes. How many are talking on cell phones, texting or talking to other people without the hand held instruments of communication? Estimate the percentage of those doing each of those things. Think about the results of your test and wonder why this is happening. Is it healthy?
You might just consider this phenomenon as you go about your day.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I graduated from Gunn several years ago. THere was a lot of stress and pressure. This came from the culture of the community. Expectations were high. This culture stememd from many different places: teachers, parents, school officials, fellow students.

The main point that I want to make is that I wish teachers could take more responsibility for the level of stress that students feel. I had some great teachers, but also had some AWFUL teachers that favored the brightest students, and focused way too much on AP scores and grades. It was ridiculous. Teachers need to stop assigning so much homework, and pay attention to all students. They need to foster an environment where TEAMWORK is promoted, so that students can be less competitive with each other.

I can tell you that I still remember some comments that specific hurtful comments that some teachers made to me. I know that college is difficult, and they are trying to prepare us for it. However, they need to keep in mind that these are still kids. They need to help students build confidence in their work. The school needs to cap AP classes at a certain number. There are so many things that can be done. These are things I wish were done when I went to Gunn. I did so well in college, because I was out of that ridiculously competitive environment. I thrived in my college classes. At Gunn, I never stood out. I felt pretty worthless.

Posted by A Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:48 pm

As a parent of an elementary school student, I think this district should take a more careful look at the homework policy. The kids get too much homework (it's geared to the level of the redshirted kids, not the ones who are the right age for the grade). There is no evidence that homework at this early stage is helpful, but there's a lot of evidence that play is. The level of homework seriously limits the ability of my children and their peers to play and develop their friendships outside of school. My kids might work hard to get their homework done, but then their friends might not have. Week to week slips by and 90% of the chances they have to get together with friends are thwarted by homework.

Teachers and administrators need to consider the whole child -- in the context of their lives -- and think about how to foster physical activity, play, and friendships, not just homework to add on to what they are already doing in school.

Posted by mom 1st, MD 2nd
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:35 am

I agree with A Mom that kids need more time to play. I would like to make another point that I don't believe I have seen anywhere else: homework cuts into family time.
There have been many times that I wanted to takes my kids to a concert, make dinner together or have a weekend outing to a museum or park but the kids had too much homework. Sometimes it is difficult even to find time to eat dinner together. I am really glad that I was able to do these things with my kids for years before moving to this community. We have found the schools to be excellent (Jordan, Paly), the teachers terrific but the homework: way too much!
I believe family time is extremely important; a lot of important communication happens during times like these. Having strong family relationships as well as friendships with other kids helps people weather the slings and arrows of adolescence, academic and social pressures. Down with excessive homework, up with families!

Posted by Katie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

@ A Mom,

If you are complaining about excessive homework in elementary school, you'd better pack your bags now. I have two children and we have attended both Palo Verde and Duveneck and neither had too much homework. Depending on the day, they don't even follow the 10 minute per grade level rule. My children often had less than the 10 min. rule. Sometimes more, if a project was due.

Once we got to Jordan, the workload increased dramatically.

And then Paly increased significantly.

Palo Alto schools are not the place for you if you think elementary school has too much homework. I would prefer less homework in middle and high school, but certainly not elementary.

Posted by pap
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

I have to agree with Katie. My child's elementary homework is finished in 5 minutes. And, no, he wasn't red-shirted.
Send your kid to Ohlone or the Peninsula School in Menlo Park if you're that concerned about homework.
Likewise, if you really don't believe homework makes a difference, tell your child not to bother about it. You're in control here. Quit blaming others.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

mom 1st - I agree with you, homework significantly cuts into our family time. Our weekends and evenings are planned around homework.

pap - can you imagine the teachers reaction if a child went to school and said that their parent told them "not to bother" with the homework?

Regarding homework load - I would say 4-5th grade averaged about 45 minutes a night, middle school about 45 minutes a night just for math, high school - hours...

I would like to just eliminate the "busy work" homework and the projects which are so often done partly or mostly by the parents. Homework should either reinforce something learned that day or prepare you for the next day.

Posted by pap
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

Have a meeting with your teacher and explain why. It's not up to your child to enforce your convictions. That's your job.

Posted by A Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:09 am

My elementary kids get some things that take only 5-15 minutes every night to finish, and if it was only that (as the Duveneck and Palo Verde parent are talking about), I wouldn't be complaining. But there are other things starting in 3rd grade that end up taking hours, 2-3 hours nearly every night, not including all the breaks these kids take because they just don't concentrate at this age for such long stretches on things they really have no interest in. I don't think you had the same homework, because there's no way even doing these things fast that kids would be done in less than an hour (there's a time requirement for some of it, no less).

I have approached the teachers about what the purpose of this homework is and about not doing those things, but have neither gotten a satisfactory answer of why nor a satisfactory way for my kids to avoid it.

Posted by ecomama
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm


I'm a P.A parent of an elementary school child. I gotta tell ya some you parents are out of control! Your kids are acting out because you are all setting these ridiculous standards of academic perfection. Many of the kids are very cruel to the ones they think are not as smart as them. I have decided to homeschool my son next year if I don't move out of PA before then. My decision is strictly based on the treatment my son receives from the some of the kids (and teachers actually) at his school. My son tells me he hates himself,thinks he is the stupidest kid in class and gets picked on for poor penmanship. He's as smart as a whip and for the most part happy, but his self esteem is sadly low at times.
You don't think these kids just woke up one day and decided to end their life. They were depressed and had not enough self worth those ask for help. I am in total agreement with the student who wrote in wondering how they can escape the pressure when there is a Stanford banner in the counselors office! Quit pointing fingers at each other and ASK the kids how you can help them! This community is seriously out of touch.

Posted by Katie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

@ A Mom,

There's something wrong with your picture. Two to three hours of homework each night? What kind of projects? Which elementary school? I find that really hard to believe.

@ ecomama,

Sorry to hear of your experience. We had your principal, Mr. Goddard, at Palo Verde and he was fantastic. Perhaps it's time to speak with him.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

My oldest is in 4th grade in aNorth PA neighborhood school. He spends maybe 10 minutes on his homework every night. He has never spent more than 20 minutes ever, except for maybe a project he blew off (then maybe spent 40 minutes the night it was due). If a kid is spending hours, I would definitely talk to the teacher. It sounds like there could be a problem. It seems to me that the multiple activities a day after school causes more stress on the kids. Some kids can handle it, but many cannot.

Posted by Another parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm

This is a reminder to anyone who has a friend who might be overly stressed, emotionally troubled, or mentioning thoughts of suicide - please contact a trusted adult and let them know. Although academic stress is rampant in our community, this doesn't automatically put someone at risk. If you are not an adult, you aren't qualified to assess someone's condition. Nor are most adults, who should bring in a professional if needed. In keeping these problems hidden from adults you are not helping your friend. Please give your friend the best chance of a good outcome.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm

In 5th grade, both of my kids consistently had 30-45 minutes of homework, 20 minutes of required reading and 20 minutes of required practice on their instruments.

Posted by Mama
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm

My fifth grader has on average 15-45 minutes of homework.The reading and music requirement is up to the discretion of the parents. It's nice that the school doesn't pressure the kids with either.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,437 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Ch. 1, page 1
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,589 views

By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 752 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.