8th Graders and Planning for High School

Dr. Brown had a great group of parents attend her parent meeting on Thursday. If you missed it, her presentation slides are here. 2019 8th High School Parent Meeting

I met with the 8th grade students to talk about high school, make their four-year plans, and give out their 9th Grade Course Recommendations Forms. The Four-Year Plan activity is part of a Georgia Bridge Law, and students who missed will need to make this up with me when they are on campus next. The presentation slides I used to discuss high school choices are here.Planning for 9th Grade

We also talked about Maxwell School of Technology (Open House 2/21) and Grayson Tech. Take a look at these programs that students can be a part of during their 11th or 12th grade years.

Have a great Virtual Week!

Dr. Edwards

Soft Skills in 8th Grade

Mr. and Lollis and I talked about the difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills with the 8th grade students this week. We emphasized that hard skills may get you the job, but soft skills will help you keep the job and get promoted. These same skills will help students be successful at GOC.

Soft skills include:

  • self-discipline
  • problem-solving skills
  • team player
  • good communication skills
  • commitment
  • flexibility
  • being able to admit when wrong and apologize

This video helped us demonstrate each skill.

We challenged the students to work on the skills that needed improvement, and we suggested students put themselves in situations where these soft skills could be stretched.

Take a minute to talk about these skills with your child.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Happenings in Middle Grades Counseling at GOC!

Careers in 6th Grade

The 6th grade students took an interest inventory on Wednesday. The inventory matched things they liked to do with particular career clusters. Within each career cluster are tons of different careers. There is great information on the Georgia State University website that we used. Students can find out the salary and educational requirements associated with various careers.

Have your student take you on a tour! They can access it through My eClass and then click on My Career Plan.

7th Grade Lifelines

In 7th grade, Mrs. Butler and I taught our Lifelines Suicide Prevention lesson. Because kids tend to tell other kids if they’re thinking about doing harm to themselves, kids need to be equipped with the right language to help.

We discussed the Warning Signs of suicide.

  • F – feelings
  • A – actions
  • C – changes
  • T – threats
  • S – situations

We also talked about how it’s important to:

  • show you care,
  • ask if the person is considering suicide,
  • never promise to keep suicide a secret,
  • and get adult help

if someone tells you they are thinking about suicide.

I hope you’ll ask your students about these lessons.

Have a WARM weekend!

Dr. Edwards

The Dangers of Vaping and How to Talk to Your Kids

Sadly, vaping or “Juuling” has become popular among many teens. It’s often touted as being safer than smoking cigarettes, but new research is showing that vaping isn’t safe, especially for youth. Because a dependency can be developed, it’s best that kids never start vaping.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has created a helpful online guide for parents. The guide describes what vaping is, its appeal to young people, and the health risks associated with vaping.

To learn more, please click on the link below.


We’re so thankful that you’ve chosen to partner with us to educate your whole child!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

8th Grade Information Overload!

There is so much information to share with 8th grade students and their parents during the spring semester. With this information, comes decisions that will impact a student’s 9th grade schedule.

Don’t Worry! I’ve got you!

I’ll give you more information (via the blog, in students’ learning labs, GOCOwls, and a face-to-face parent meeting) to help you along the way.

Here are some things (and dates) to consider this semester.

February 7th and 14th – I’ll teach two lessons to the 8th grade students. Both of these lessons will be about how to transition to 9th grade and beyond. Your student’s current teachers will make recommendations for their 9th grade schedule on the 9th Grade Schedule Recommendations form. I’ll give these out to students to take home on Feb. 14. You’ll be able to look it over and make adjustments. Please make sure your student is on campus these days.

February 14 at 9:00 am – 8th grade parents will have a meeting with Dr. Brown and Ms. Cunningham (GOC high school counselors) about all things related to high school, including dual enrollment. You’ll want to come to this meeting regardless of where your student will attend high school.

Early March – The 9th grade Schedule Recommendations form will be due back to me.

Late March/early April – I’ll give you information about your student taking the Carnegie high school credit for any high school course he/she is currently taking (e.g. Physical Science, IDT, IBT, Alg I, etc.) The default decision is to take the credit and a “P” (for pass) will be placed on your child’s transcript. You only need to sign a form if you DO NOT want your student to take the credit. These forms will be due to me in early May.

For now, sit back and relax! And have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards



S1 Coming to an End!

It’s hard to believe that first semester is almost over!

The final exam schedule can be found here

Students have one last re-test opportunity on Monday, Dec. 3, so be sure they have taken the necessary steps to be eligible for that.

Please encourage your student to contiune to stay current in his/her courses and end strong by reviewing the course content in preparation for final exams.

I hope everyone can join us at the Arctic Blast Winter Social on Monday, Dec. 10 at 1:00-2:30. There’s more information here!

Have a great weekend! I heard it’s warming up!

Dr. Edwards

Keeping our Kids Safe

As parents, our number one job is keeping our children safe. We never want to alarm our families, but here are some facts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.
  • More than 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
  • More than 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members.
  • An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance.

I recently taught the Child Lures program to our 4th and 5th grade students. Three essential skills we want children to have are:

Listening to their instincts to recognize and avoid situations that might threaten their personal safety.

Recognizing various child lures that someone might use to trick a child into trusting them.

Understanding what to do if they are faced with a child lure.

I also taught the Teen Lures curriculum to our 7th-8th graders. I’ll teach the 6th graders on Wednesday.

While each grade has their own set of lessons, the above essential skills were taught to our middle school kids, too.

In 8th grade, I taught the students about human trafficking (also known as modern day slavery.) This is a horrible crime that is active in our metro Atlanta area. I shared some statistics from the Teen Lures program with the 8th grade students.

  • The International Labor Organization estimates that there at least 12.3 million adults and children being trafficked throughout the world at any given time.
  • As estimated 100,000 American citizens are trafficked each year and 18,000 – 20,000 people from other countries are trafficked into the U.S. every year.
  • Human trafficking is the second largest crime in the world – right behind drug trafficking.
  • Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. This is money being made off of human suffering of other human beings.

I asked all of our students to tell their parents what they learned. If you haven’t already discussed this, please ask your child about our lessons.

While these topics are sensitive and difficult, we must partner together to keep our kids safe.

Dr. Edwards

Being Kind in 7th Grade

The 7th grade students talked about being kind this week in Advisement. Dr. Johnson shared this video and the kids had a great discussion.

GOC students, staff, and families have an opportunity to show kindness all next week. We’re participating in Gwinnett Great Days of Service and we’re asking everyone to donate food items and toiletries. These items will go directly to help families in our area. We hope you’ll join us in being kind!

Have a great weekend and enjoy this gorgeous weather!

Dr. Edwards

6th Grade Gets Organized

GOC is such a unique learning environment and organization is KING!

The 6th graders and I talked about the 4 main ways students get into organizational trouble here.

  1. They get behind. Staying current is crucial to a student’s success at GOC. Work ahead if you know you’ll be out. The Sunday Night-At-Midnight deadline is really the exception, not the rule. Use it when you’ve been ill. I gave the students a Week at a Glance to help them stay current and plan for the week.
  2. They skip around in their classes. It’s temping to work for a little while in one class, then hop into another, then another…Don’t do this! Work in one class, finishing all the necessary items, then go to the next class. The Daily Checklist can help with this.
  3. They don’t spend enough time in each course. Typically, each course takes about an hour each day. Never skip a lesson even if there’s no dropbox. Also, don’t attempt the dropbox without going through the lesson first. This is like trying to assemble a bicycle without reading the instructions.
  4. They don’t reach out to their teachers when they need help. Our teachers have work cell phones exactly for this purpose! Always call, text, or email them when you’re stuck.

I hope this discussion helped any student who isn’t satisfied with his/her grades.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Happenings in 6th and 7th Grades

Dr. Johnson talked with the 6th graders about how to get involved at GOC. She and the students discussed all the different activities students can participate in. Here’s a snapshot. You can also check the website, GOCOWLS, and the calendar for upcoming events.

The 7th graders and I talked about social media dangers. We followed up on the FBI special agent’s presentation and also talked about tornadoes.

A tornado starts out as a watch, but it can quickly turn into a warning. This is a great metaphor for social media influence. If one person says, posts, or texts, something negative, it doesn’t cause much damage. But if others join in, it can quickly develop into a problem for all involved. We discussed:

  • What you post online stays forever.
  • Before you post, ask “Will others get hurt”, “Could someone misunderstand what I’m trying to say?”, and “Would I want this said about me?”
  • Remember, you can just keep scrolling. You don’t have to post your opinion or join in the conversation.
  • At times, you may need to unfollow or even terminate a relationship with a negative influencer.

Feel free to join in the conversation by posting a comment! We’d love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Dr. Edwards