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Archive for May, 2013

Goddard Systems, Inc.® Welcomes Dr. Craig Bach to Serve Inaugural Role of Vice President for Education

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, a leader in franchised educational childcare for 25 years, is pleased to announce Dr. Craig Bach to serve as its first Vice President for Education.

Dr. Bach, an educational researcher with more than 15 years of experience in both K-12 and postsecondary education, will be responsible for overseeing licensing and compliance, accreditation, quality assurance, training, and curriculum on behalf of the nearly 400 Goddard School locations across the nation. He will serve as part of the company’s senior leadership team and will report to GSI Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dzana Homan.

“In this new role, Dr. Bach will focus on not only continuing to build and retain a network of quality educators, but also to develop metrics to ensure high-quality education is consistently delivered and achieved throughout the system,” said Dzana Homan.

“Part of my role will be to translate the value of the educational work we do to the business side of our organization — positive educational outcomes are not only good for our children, they are good for our business as well,” said Dr. Bach.

Longer term, Dr. Bach will lead a research team to study the impact a Goddard education has at the first, second and third grade levels.

“Assessment and evaluation will be fundamental to everything my team implements at GSI,” said Dr. Bach. “Studies continue to show the importance of early education in building a solid foundation for a child’s academic success. We want to make sure that we build on that research and demonstrate that our educationally rich programs continue to provide children with a foundation for a successful future.”

Prior to joining GSI, Dr. Bach served as the Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness and Teaching Professor in the School of Education for Drexel University. During his time with Drexel in the School of Education, he served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on over $5 million in funded projects, including a NASA funded project to use instructional technologies to teach fractal geometry to high school students, the Pennsylvania Department of Education funded Drexel Tech Prep Consortium and a NSF funded grant to develop online mathematics mentoring with the Math Forum.

Dr. Bach also has experience in the for-profit space. He served as the Vice President of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Kaplan Higher Education where he managed five teams working on assessment, research, analytics, data management, and performance measurement. Additionally, he worked as an instructional designer for Futurekids — a pre-K to Grade 6 franchise business.

“Our appointment of Dr. Bach comes at an important time in our nation’s emphasis on early childhood education,” said Dzana Homan. “We are impressed with Dr. Bach’s well-rounded experience in the field of education and eager to build on our successful program with his fresh perspective and insights.”

For more information, visit www.goddardschool.com.

Really? Is Infant Colic Due to Migraine?

Jack Maypole, MD
Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

For those of you who might be pediatric research wonks, or better yet, for those of you out there who may be parents of young fussy infants, take note: now we have a (another) new theory as to the cause of colic. Now, while you shift that crying baby to your other shoulder and rock gently, let’s dig a little deeper as to what this is all about.

Colic is the unpleasant term for the young infant who follows the Rule of Threes: he or she cries for three or more hours a day for three or more weeks, at least three days out of the week(for anyone who has survived even a flight with a howling babe, we know that is a lot). Colic is common: it happens in about 1 in 5 babies. These so-called colicky infants tend to have a sort of routine, with the onset of a frantic crying pattern— often at around the same time each day(perhaps leading to why some parents call this ‘grandma time!”).  The peak of intensity for colic hits at around 6 weeks of age and can last up to about 2 or 3 months, depending on the child.  As one might expect, colic is a common topic in the first few visits to the primary care clinic.

And, colic is a bit of a medical conundrum. There is no blood test for colic, and nor is there any physical finding that slam dunks the diagnosis.  Sorry, Dr. House. Classically, the diagnosis of colic is one of exclusion, whereby the clinician works with the family to rule out other potential causes of infant crying and fussiness. And, for the record, the comprehensive list of ‘what makes babies cry’ would—no joke—go on for dozens of lines.

For the family members and the health provider, the history is key.  An evaluation best reviews the entirety of a child’s schedule, patterns of eating and sleep and wakefulness, and makes a careful examination of how the crying and fussiness occur (are there triggers? What makes it better? When does it happen? What have you tried so far? And how has it worked?).  Fortunately, a little bit of information, time, and a reassuring exam can go a long way towards making the diagnosis.  Along the way, a discerning clinician will work to rule out the more common or concerning causes of infant distress, such as fever, acid reflux, food or milk protein allergy, a hair in the eye, or a piece of hair tourniqueting on a toe.  When necessary or if other causes are suspected, appropriate lab testing may be considered.  If all else turns up unremarkable, and there is an otherwise thriving, growing child before us  who cries with regularity…colic rises to the top of likely explanations.

So what is the most recent explanation for colic in infancy?  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that colic may be a form of infant migraine. You heard that right:  there may be an association between babies with colic and migraine headaches in older children.   Migraines themselves are incompletely understood and are thought to arise from the interplay of inflammation, nerves and blood vessels running to the brain. Alterations in blood circulation precipitate the infamous headthumpers with their raft of other symptoms.  And, we do know in preschool and school age children, a fair number of pediatric migraine sufferers describe abdominal discomfort as the most prominent symptom of their episodes, especially nausea and belly pain. Interesting, eh?

In the study, researchers followed 208 children, ages 6-18 year old, diagnosed with migraines in 3 European medical center emergency rooms. Parents were questioned  about their children’s headaches and personal health history. Analysis of the data showed children with migraine headaches were more likely to have had a history of colic than children without migraine headache histories—(about 73% versus 26% respectively).

Here’s the rub:  the researchers propose the colicky symptoms in infants could be due to disruptions in blood flow to the gut that mirror the supposed mechanism of migraines in older children and adults. In effect, the babies  have a headache in their stomach. Total bunk? Not necessarily.  But, as parents and clinicians, we have remember the old trap of ‘association doesn’t necessarily mean causation.”  In other words, this baby migraine theory could explain some or all of colic. Or, not.  The study goes on to propose (like all good researchy papers) with a call for more research, including trialing migraine therapies on infants with colic. Given babies are fragile research subjects, and the enthusiasm for trying pharmaceuticals on them is low, this is not likely to happen soon.

So,  babies will continue to fuss and kick and scream during their grandma’s time while we suss this out. Meantime,  I recommend that parents work with their child’s primary care provider on the tried and true approaches to reducing colic-related fussiness. White noise (such as fans, washing machines, or TV screen snow), gentle rocking, or spins around the block in the stroller or carseat work best. For other mainstream and complementary and alternative approaches, see here: (http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2010/oct-29a.html  )

And, stay tuned colicwatchers! We will see if this new theory on an old problem bears out.

Link to the Journal of the American Medical Association Article