Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Course Selections for Both High Schools Coming Home Today

Eighth grade students for both North Cobb and Allatoona received their high school course selections today.  Please note the following as you review the information.

The profiles list all of the classes students are registered for next year.  It is not a final schedule, just their course requests.  Electives may change from what is listed.  Once the high schools run their scheduler programs, if one (or more) of the electives will not fit in their schedule, or if that class is full, alternative electives will be selected in order to make the schedule work.

Some of the course requests have no courses listed for that student.  This is because the student is in the system, but they did not turn in any course requests.  If students plan on attending either of the high schools, they will need to get their course requests in ASAP so they will have a schedule.  Please see Dr. Deane if replacement copies of the forms are needed.

Due to a computer glitch it is possible some students are missing a core class.  Please double check selections to confirm a Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts listing.  If not, students should see their content area teacher to have that recommendation written in under the add section on the form.

The request profiles are for the students to keep for their records, unless they wish to make any changes.  If they want to change any of the courses listed, including core classes, they must fill out the Add/Drop section on the form.  They will not receive another copy of their requests, so they may want to photo copy their form before turning it back in to Dr. Deane.  Forms with changes are due back to Dr. Deane no later than the dates below.

North Cobb forms are due by Monday, April 17th.
Allatoona forms are due by Friday, April 21st.

All students will receive their final schedule the first day of school.

Students planning to attend a magnet program should simply write the name of the magnet program they plan to attend on the course selections form and return it to Dr. Deane.  This provides documentation to the regular high schools so they know to update their records.  Magnet students will make their course selections at a special registration event at each magnet school at a later date.

Please contact Dr. Deane at Christopher.deane@cobbk12.org if you have any questions.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Tips for Managing ADHD

1.         Provide immediate feedback and consequences

2.         More frequent feedback

3.         Use incentives over punishment

4.         Reinforcers need to be short-term

5.         Act, don’t fuss – give the consequence and move on

6.         Pay positive attention too – every interaction cannot be negative

7.         Don’t threaten what you don’t intend to enforce

8.         Help see how the information is relevant outside the classroom

9.         Limit the amount of instructions given at one time

10.       Provide as much stimulus as possible


* Taken from Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell Barkley

Thursday, March 23, 2017

N Cobb Campus Tour Permission Slip

Students received permission slips for the North Cobb campus tour during homeroom.  The tour will take place on March 30th.  Students wishing to participate should return permission slips to homeroom teachers no later than the 29th.




Monday, March 20, 2017

Better Understanding ADHD

     Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as it is clinically known, is an increasingly pervasive condition impacting millions of people worldwide.  The commonality of the condition, combined with the confusion and controversy surrounding it, makes it imperative that those in the education profession be informed about ADD.  The on-going debate demands three questions be asked:  What is ADD, what are the causes, and what treatments are effective?

     Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a psychological term currently applied to anyone who meets the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention (Gallagher, 2007).  Consensus is ADD is a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature.  ADD is currently considered both chronic and incurable.  According to Dr. Peter Jaksa, who writes for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, the most common core features include: distractibility (poor sustained attention to tasks), impulsivity (impaired impulse control and delay of gratification), and hyperactivity (excessive activity and physical restlessness) (Jaksa, 2007).  Jaksa says in order to meet diagnostic criteria, these behaviors must be excessive, long-term, and pervasive to the point behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person's life, such as school, home, work, or social settings (Jaksa 2007).

     The impact of ADD varies significantly between individuals.  One person may be severe with extreme difficulty focusing for any length of time while another may be mild to the point medication is unnecessary and a behavior management system is adequate for controlling the behaviors.  John W. Santrock says those with ADD fall into one of three broad categories.  He says, “They can be diagnosed as (1) ADHD with predominantly inattention, (2) ADHD with predominantly hyperactivity/impulsivity, or (3) ADHD with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity” (Sandtrock, 2006).  While approximately four to six percent of the U.S. population has ADHD, it is estimated one-third of people with AD/HD do not have the hyperactive or overactive behavior component (Jaksa, 2007).

     The causes for ADD are relatively unknown, but research is on-going.  The most common theories are heredity, food related, and minor head injuries.  Teresa Gallagher, author of the website Born to Explore: The Other Side of ADD, reveals heredity as the primary cause of ADD (Gallagher, 2007).  Jaksa’s research confirms that saying, “There is a great deal of evidence that AD/HD runs in families, which is suggestive of genetic factors.  If one person in a family is diagnosed with AD/HD, there is a twenty-five percent to thirty-five percent probability that any other family member also has AD/HD, compared to a four percent to six percent probability for someone in the general population” (Jaksa, 2007).  Jaksa adds there is no truth to the speculations ADD is caused by poor parenting, family problems, poor teachers, too much TV, food allergies, excess sugar, or even minor head injuries as was once thought to be the case (Jaksa, 2007).  He goes on to say most research indicates ADD is apparently caused by biological factors which influence neurotransmitter activity in certain parts of the brain, and which have a strong genetic basis (Jaksa, 2007).  Beyond that, little else is known.

     Jaksa also addresses the common misconception that refined sugar and food additives make children hyperactive and inattentive.  He states, “Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that this may apply to only about five percent of children with ADHD, mostly either very young children or children with food allergies” (Jaksa, 2007).

     Treatment methods for ADD are varied depending on the severity of the condition.  Treatment usually involves combination of medication, behavior modification, life style changes, or counseling.  A physician must prescribe medications.  Eileen Bailey, author of the website About ADD/ADHD points out, “Stimulant medications (Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall) are commonly used because they have been shown to be most effective for most people with ADHD (Bailey, 2007).  ADHD medications work to increase dopamine and norepinephrine amounts in the brain.  As with any medication, these prescriptions are only effective for the specified time they are in the person’s system.  Jaksa says, “Clinical experience has shown that the most effective treatment for ADHD is a combination of medication (when necessary), therapy or counseling to learn coping skills and adaptive behaviors” (Jaksa, 2007).

     Attention Deficit Disorder is a real and relevant part of society.  While some wish to debate the reality of the condition, educators wrestle daily with children doing their best to succeed in a world requiring them to function in a way opposite of the signals their brains are sending.  Contrary to common thought, children with ADD are not by default poorly behaving children.  They are not dysfunctional, nor are they learning disabled.  In fact, some of the best thinkers in American history are believed to have had ADD, including Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison.

     ADD is a neurological condition.  It is more than simple boredom or attempts to gain attention.  Although researchers are still discovering more about the causes of ADD, it can safely be said one the condition arises in a family, it will continue to be passed to successive generations.  Finally, while it is undoubtedly true some physicians are too quick to medicate children without proper testing to ensure ADD is in fact the root cause of the behavior, that in no way negates the fact there are legitimate cases where medication and a proper behavior management system enables those with ADD to function successfully where they might have been otherwise unable.  

By Chris H. Deane

References

Bailey, Eileen.  About Health.  (2007) ADD / ADHD Available from http://add.about.com /od/medications/a/adhdmeds.htm.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder.  (2007) Understanding ADHD available from http://www.chadd.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section= 

Understanding&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=1&ContentID=1286.
Gallagher, Teresa.  Born to Explore.  (2007). What is ADD?  Available from (Attention Deficit, 2007) http://www.borntoexplore/whatisadd.htm

Jaksa, Peter.  Attention Deficit Disorder Association.  (2007). Fact Sheet on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Available from http://www.add.org/articles/factsheet.htm

Santrock, John W..  (2006). Life-Span Development (10th Ed.).  New York: McGraw-Hill.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pebblebrook Magnet Program Applications Due 3/20

Pebblebrook Magnet Program applications are due to Dr. Deane on Monday, March 20th.  

Please see Dr. Deane if you need assistance completing the application.