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.

Monday, March 13, 2017

North Cobb Campus Tour Scheduled

8th grade students zoned for North Cobb will participate in a campus tour and orientation on March 30th.  

Permission slips will be sent home with students on the 23rd.

Friday, March 10, 2017

North Cobb Class Selections Are Available

The following is an important announcement regarding high school course selections for future North Cobb students only.  Allatoona students will be receiving their course selection information the week after spring break.

Through the Student Vue program students are able to see the initial computerized draft of their course selections for next year.  Please note the following reminders as you look at the information:

1.           This is an early draft generated by scanning the bar codes next to the courses the students selected.  Everything students are able to see is subject to change as the high school works through the steps to prepare the final drafts.  The only draft that matters is the one that will be sent home at the end of April for parents to sign.  Parents will be able to make changes at that point, including the core class recommendations.  The exact date that paperwork will be made available has yet to be determined. 


2.           The core class recommendations are made using guidelines established by the high school.  Teachers cannot change their recommendations.  However, the paper draft coming home in April will have a waiver section where parents can request changes to the core classes for next year.  While parents can waive a student into a higher level of a core subject, the high school representatives say in the majority of cases students end up regretting the change and become overwhelmed with the workload.  The guidelines have been tested over time and have proven to be the best predictor of student success.

Summer Camp Opportunity


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Move On When Ready (MOWR) Summit

You are invited to attend a MOWR Dual Enrollment Summit to learn about opportunities available for your student to earn college credit while enrolled in high school as well as receive 100% paid tuition, mandatory fees, and books! Cobb Counselors will present details on enrollment while you also have an opportunity to meet with College Representatives! Download the Flyer.

Thursday, March 9
6:00-8:00pm

@ Campbell High School
5265 Ward Street
Smyrna, GA 30080



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Staff Training On Sex Trafficking Related to Middle School Students


This morning Awtrey staff received training on recognizing victims of sex trafficking.  This was particularly relevant to our staff because the "average" age of victims is 11-14.  Susan Norris, author of the book Rescuing Hope, conducted the training.  While the story is fictional, all of the events actually took place.  The events were taken from different stories of rescued victims and combined to create the narrative.  Every middle school parent should read this book, if for no other reason than being able to warn students about the traps traffickers use as lures. 




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Recommended Reading




Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers tells the stories of a number of children at a suburban middle school in ColumbiaMaryland.  Washington Post education reporter Linda Perlstein spent a year observing the lives both at home and at school of these eleven- to thirteen-year-olds, and manages to convey their rapidly changing thoughts and feelings.  Some of them come from two-parent families where they receive a great deal of encouragement along with pressure to succeed.  Other children come from homes with divorced parents and less consistent nurturing.  They live in a materialistic culture and they experience a wide variety of temptations and images, often making them want to behave like high school students.  It is common these days to hear of middle school students engaging in sexual activity, drinking, taking drugs, and even getting pregnant, and most adults find such reports disturbing.  So Perlstein's attempt to shed light on what leads these children to act so differently from middle school students of previous generations deserves attention. 

Reprinted from www.Mentalhelp.net

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Magnet Showcases (Open Houses) for Accepted Students

 March 2, 2017 at 6:30 PM – Campbell High School

 March 7, 2017 at 6:00 PM – South Cobb High School

 March 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm – Wheeler High School

 March 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm – Kennesaw Mountain High School

 March 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM – North Cobb High School

 May 17, 2017 at 7:30 PM – Pebblebrook High School