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May 4, 2004

Conference to focus on school-related stress

In response to a rise in the number of students seeking mental health services as they struggle to meet increasing academic expectations, the School of Education and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health are co-sponsoring a conference that includes a public plenary session at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 7, in Cubberley Auditorium.

"SOS - Stressed Out Students: Helping to Improve Health, School Engagement and Academic Integrity" is designed to address the growing concern that adolescents are often compromising their health, personal values and commitment to learning as they try to cope with growing pressure to achieve in school.

"This is a real crisis," said Denise Clark Pope, a lecturer in the School of Education, who will participate in the Friday evening panel. Pope is the author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic and Miseducated Students. The book reveals how today's high school students are frustrated by being caught in a "grade trap" that makes future success dependent on high grades and test scores, Pope said.

School of Education Dean Deborah Stipek will moderate the panel, which also will include Richard Simon, principal of the Wheatley School, a public high school in New York that has introduced strategies to address academic stress. A Stanford freshman, an eighth-grader at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto and a 10th-grader at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino also will participate in the discussion.

Editor Note:

The conference on Saturday, May 8, is closed to the public, but reporters may attend the College Admissions Panel from 12:50 to 1:50 p.m. in Cubberley Auditorium. The panel will feature admissions officers from Stanford, Santa Clara University and the University of California-Santa Cruz.



Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,


Denise Clark Pope, School of Education: (650) 736-1779,

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