Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pebblebrook Spring Dance Concert

The Cobb County Center for
Excellence in the Performing Arts


Friday, May 12 @ 7:30PM
Saturday, May 13 @ 7:30PM

Reece Performing Arts Theatre
Pebblebrook High School

Tickets ($10) are available online now:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

13 Reasons Why TV Program

The following information was pasted from Tim Elmore's Growing Leaders blog.  The 13 Reasons Why program on Netflix is stirring a lot of conversation.  While the content isn't middle school age appropriate due to its nature (it contains scenes of self-mutilating and a graphic rape), a surprising number of Awtrey students are talking about it.  Elmore provides an excellent resource for anyone connected with students to use as talking points to help students process the program contents in a safe environment.


Suicide. It’s never a happy topic to talk about. And now, Netflix has sponsored a television series called, “13 Reasons Why” to showcase the issue. I am hearing more and more high school and college students talking about it, too.

In the show, Hannah has committed suicide, but has left tapes describing why she felt it was necessary and all the events (including bullying, rape, partying, and more) that led up to her decision to end her life. Hannah narrates her story as we see the remaining students in awkward moments grieving her loss—not knowing what to say or whether they should feel regret, anger, or something entirely different. In particular, the story focuses around the thoughts and actions of Zach and Clay who were both close to the situation and, consequently, haunted by Hannah’s death. The show highlights the tangible loneliness high school students feel too often, and the depression and angst that follow both the trivial and serious incidents that teens often face today.

I have said for years the stakes have become too high in our teen’s lives today. Events that might have caused a “bad day” when I was in school are now sources for a bad life today. According to the Jason Foundation:
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • More teens or young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease combined.
  • There have been more military deaths from suicide than from battle in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 suicide attempts by young people in grades 7-12.
  • What’s more, four out of five teens who attempt it—give clear warning signs.
The show has many parents, school leaders, and counselors concerned. One superintendent cited the show as the catalyst for a string of self-harming incidents in his school system. In response, Netflix has updated the show to include trigger warnings before particularly graphic episodes depicting both the act of suicide and rape. They also released a documentary (again, on Netflix) where actors and actresses in the show discuss their decisions to take part in this troubling story. Naturally, many parents and leaders, including myself, believe the ultimate solution is for teens, especially those under 18 and those struggling with mental health, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts, to simply not watch the show at all. The trouble is, as with much content on the internet, many of our teens have already seen it.

So how do we talk about this topic and this show, 13 Reasons Why with our students? I’ve had some of our blog readers request some discussion points for this topic. Let me suggest a few starter questions for you.

Questions to Discuss with Your Students:

1.  How can people feel lonely when they are never alone and always connected?
2.  Why do kids often feel depressed as they post happy pics on social media?
3.  We know that life is always better than death. But why is that so?
4.  What enables a student to hide their loneliness or angst, and later surprise people with a suicide?
5.  When is it time to “give a friend space” and when must we intrude if we suspect someone is contemplating suicide?
6.  What drives a person over the line when they believe ending their life is better than pushing ahead with life?
7.  If you or someone you know is considering suicide, where should or could you go to get help?
(Hint: make sure to mention: school counselors, parents, teachers, administration, and suicide hotlines [below])

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

* Taken from

Monday, April 17, 2017

Test Taking Strategies

The following test taking strategies and tips are provided by the GA Department of Education.

Before the Test: 

Prepare yourself emotionally for taking the test. If you are overly anxious, much of your energy and potential will be sapped by the anxiety and you will likely not be able to demonstrate your true ability on the test. It frequently helps to reduce anxiety if you know more about the test in advance, such as what type of test you are taking, what subjects are tested, and the purpose of the test.

Follow normal routines. Interruption of normal routines may affect your performance. The night before the test you should not stay up later than usual since fatigue may lead to poor test performance. The day of the test you should eat a normal breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals or overeating before taking a test may adversely affect your performance.

At Test Time: 

Concentrate. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by noises or movements around you.

Read instructions or directions carefully before marking any answer. If you do not understand the directions, raise your hand, and ask for help.

Follow instructions. Pay close attention to the samples. They are on the test to help you understand what the items on the test will be like and how to mark your answer document properly.

Read the entire question and all answer choices. You need to read each item and all answer choices before marking your answers.

Make an educated guess. Making an educated guess means that you are able to eliminate one or more choices. For example, if there are four choices and you do not know which choice is correct, but do know that two choices are incorrect; you have a 50-50 chance of choosing the correct answer. You should also remember that there is no pattern of correct answers. For example, if the last three correct answer choices were "D," the next correct answer may be A, B, C, or D.

Keep track of the time. Since most statewide tests have a time limit, be aware of the amount of time allocated to each section. Pace yourself so that you will be able to complete the section within the time limit. Use all of the time allocated. Persistence pays off.

If you are testing online, be sure to use the scroll bars to view all of a reading passage or test question. The whole reading passage or test question might not fit on the display of your workstation.

When testing online and where necessary, make sure you transfer your answer from the draft area to the final response section of your online test.

If you are testing with paper testing materials, place your answer correctly on the answer document. While taking tests, you should match the number on the answer document to the item number in the test booklet. This is especially important if you skip questions and go back to them later. You should mark only one answer for each item. If two answers are marked for the same item, the item will be counted as incorrect. If you erase an item, you should be certain that it is erased completely and carefully so that holes are not made in the answer document.

If you are testing with paper testing materials, keep your test booklet and answer document together. This saves time and lessens the chance of marking answers in the wrong place.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

ROTC Orientation

North Cobb-Harrison
Freshman Orientation
11-14 July, 2017

Register at

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

High School Course Selections

High school course selections are still being collected by Dr. Deane.  Only forms with changes need to be returned.  Please email Dr. Deane at if you need assistance.

The deadline for future North Cobb students is Monday, April 17th. 

The deadline for future Allatoona students is Friday, April 21st.  

Friday, March 31, 2017

North Cobb Parent Night With Sports and Club Expo

North Cobb High School is presenting a 9th grade parent night along with a sports and club expo on April 13th.  

Awtrey students will attend the sports and club expo from 6:45-7:15, then attend the parent presentation from 7:30-8:00.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Taking Charge of ADHD

When my son was diagnosed with ADD this was an excellent resource that helped me better understand him and the obstacles he would face.

For adults with ADHD, problems with attention, planning, problem solving, and controlling emotions can make daily life an uphill battle. Fortunately, effective help is out there. No one is a better guide to how to get the best care—and what sufferers can do for themselves—than renowned ADHD researcher/clinician Russell A. Barkley. Dr. Barkley provides step-by-step strategies for managing symptoms and reducing their harmful impact. Readers get hands-on self-assessment tools and skills-building exercises, plus clear answers to frequently asked questions about medications and other treatments. Specific techniques are presented for overcoming challenges in critical areas where people with the disorder often struggle—work, finances, relationships, and more. Finally, an authoritative one-stop resource for adults with ADHD who are ready to take back their lives.

* Taken from book review