As part of a State of Alabama Education directive, all students in grades 8-12 are required to create a 4-Year-Educational Plan. By looking at the classes that they will take during high school, students will set goals to prepare for certain career pathways and post high school educational plans.
The 4 Year Plan is first developed in the 8th grade and is revisited every year at the high school. It begins as a broad plan that will show students what courses they will need to graduate from Oak Mountain High School. There are many more courses available for students to select when the time comes, but to keep this exercise from being overwhelming to students and parents, the courses listed have been kept to a minimum. Students with hopefully see that there will be many ways to pursue interests and at the same time challenge themselves academically.
Please keep in mind that this exercise is NOT scheduling for 9th grade, but an attempt to assist students in planning and looking ahead at their high school academic plans. As with all “road trips,” plans can and will change as each student goes through high school. Most students find this exercise exciting as it is their first transition activity to the high school. Enjoy it and look at it as a “taste test” of what is yet to come!

The Middle School Student and Cyber Problems

As a school counselor, I frequently work with students involved in conflicts originating from their social media accounts. Often, these are “good kids” who text a comment to another child that in a face-to-face conversation they would never say. The “online disinhibition effect,” was originally penned by psychologist John Suler. His theory is that when you no longer share your identity with others, and speak with anonymity, the usual constraints on your behavior often go to the wayside. This also appears to be true with teens, especially when the conversation is not face-to-face.
Here are some facts to keep in mind:
The average teen sends 60 text messages a day.
24% of teens report being online “almost constantly.”
92% of teens report going online at least once a day.
71% of teens use more than one social media site.

These statistics show, most teens are online a lot. I encourage parents to monitor their student’s online use and remain vigilant with the sites, especially chat sites. Remind your student to use “kindness” and block those who are not. Teens should be reminded to never share their passwords with others since they are responsible for what is sent from their account. And don’t be afraid to set parameters of when and for how long a student may use a device. Technology and the internet can be of great benefit when used correctly.

Shelby Cares

Shelby County has a new mental health initiative, SHELBY CARES. Please click on the link below to learn more about this special program.

Shelby Cares Presentation-parent final