Concussion article in New York Times

If your kid is doing a sport this fall, there’s a nice article in the New York Times on concussions: “Concussions can occur in all youth sports.” There’s apparently going to be another article next week. Please also see “Concussion guidelines“, a post from last year.


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Strath Haven High School 2015-2016 Home and School Association Meeting Themes

Typically, we hold our meetings on the second Thursday of each month (except January). Please note! This year in an attempt to accommodate parents being able to attend concerts and sports activities meetings will begin at 6 pm in the SHHS library (one flight down from the Providence Road entrance or one flight up from the Brookhaven side.) The thematic discussion will open our meetings, followed by a Principal’s report and then the Home and School business meeting. Join us for all or part of the meeting. Below are the themes which will be updated in the coming days! Look to the Home and School website for recaps of meetings or other information. You can access it from the High School Website by clicking on “About SHHS”, and selecting “SHHS Home and School”.

9/17 – State of the High School: Every year Dr. Yannacone and her staff set goals for the school year. We’ll kick off the year hearing her share these goals with us, in addition to providing information on staff changes, recent test score results and other goings-on at our school. Please join us at 5:30 for light refreshments with the meeting beginning at 6:00 pm. [Sept-2014 PPT]

10/8 – October Academic Resources: We have tremendous resources for both students and those raising them. You’ll be amazed by the depth of our library offerings. Learn ways for your student to be a better researcher, be proactive in college planning, or get a boost with the dreaded testing. Guest speaker Sandie Liacouras from our Library will join us. [OCT HSA Attachments; SHHS HSA 2014 OCT Minutes]

11/12- Guidance: Members of the Guidance Staff will be with us to provide non-class specific services and an overview of curriculum. [Nov 2014 HSA Agenda & Treasurer’s report; Nov 2014 HSA Wish List; SHHS HSA 2014 NOV Minutes; Nov 14 HSA Guid dept PPT]

12/10 – State of the District: Dr. Noonan will be with us presenting again for us! He will bring us thoughts and ideas on the State of the District. Be sure to take a break from holiday planning and come out and welcome him! Please note the change in start time. This has been changed to accommodate parents with participants in the Middle School Winter Concert.

No January Meeting: (rest up)

2/ 11 – The Ins and Outs of Course Selection and Scheduling: Assistant Principal Andrea LaPira will talk about course selection, mapping out the four years and how to be helpful to your student. [minutes: SHHS HSA FEB 2015 15 Minutes]

3/10 – Drugs and Alcohol: A concern for all parents especially as we begin the Spring Prom Season. Dr. Yannacone will talk about how the concerns of all of us and how we can work together to keep our students safe, especially during the spring prom season. [minutes: HSA Minutes MARCH 2015, presentation: navigating-hs-drugs-3-12-15; handouts: Casual marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities, How cannabis causes paranoia, Deadly High: How synthetic drugs are killing kids, Family strategies for prevention of adolescent drug use, WSSD Policy 227]

4/14 – Finding the Right Balance in Raising a Teen and strategies for looking ahead to Summer: High schoolers can be surprisingly mature and then immature all in the same day. One minute you’re proud of them and the next minute you wish you could still put them in a “time out” chair. What is the responsible way for parents and guardians to guide and mentor their teens and give them the independence they so often crave? A member of the school Guidance Office will share insights on the teenage years through an informal discussion and provide some ideas as you look ahead to summer and wonder about opportunities for your teen. Presentation slides: summer-opportunities-2015-APR-9

5/12 – End of the Year and Preview for 2016-2017 – Dr Yannacone will share her end of the year report, provide reflections on the school year and share the 2015-2016 calendar.

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Dress code changes at Strath Haven High School are bold

Don’t take your kid shopping for new school wardrobe until you review the changes below, in bold:


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Final Home and School meeting TONIGHT (May 14th)!

Tonight we’ll have final comments from Dr Yannacone, who’ll also review next year’s schedule.

AND … we are still looking for volunteers to be next year’s Home and School Chair and Vice Chair. Primary responsibilities are as follows:

  • Chair each meeting
  • Attend bi-monthly Superintendents PTO/Home & School Presidents meeting
  • Confirm speaker schedule
  • Confer with Dr Yannacone on any education support needs
  • Recruit officers as needed

7:00 PM in the library. Parents who don’t attend this meeting will have their names entered dropped into a hat for selection of Chair and Vice Chair positions. OK, not really.

Strath Haven High School photograph

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Thursday (Apr 9) mtg on summer opportunities, 2015-16 calendar

Your kids are probably thinking about summer, so you should, too: Kristin Dunning from the Guidance Department will help. Also on the agenda is an overview of the calendar for the coming year, presented by Principal Yannacone. Tonight at 7pm, in the Library.

Below is a screenshot of the incredibly helpful “Summer opportunities” spreadsheet that the Guidance Department maintains. It’s probably too small to read on your phone … so that’s why you should come to the meeting to hear the details.

Summer opportunities 2015

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Principal’s presentation on drugs at high school

If you missed the presentation on March 12th 2015, here are the slides Dr Yannacone showed. You can also download the Powerpoint file. Referenced URLs are below the images.

Websites referenced:

Dr Yannacone provided handouts of the following

  1. Casual marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities
  2. How cannabis causes paranoia
  3. Deadly High: How synthetic drugs are killing kids
  4. Family strategies for prevention of adolescent drug use
  5. WSSD Policy 227

Principal Yannacone expressed concern over students’ perception that THC use has low risk (while nationally, teens DO perceive pot as risky). E.g., Teens understand that “drinking and driving” is dangerous, but somehow they think THC does not affect their decision-making ability. [FYI from Colin: according to DrugFacts, “12% of high school seniors admit to driving while stoned”; THC impairs driving ability but, strangely, drivers don’t perceive this impairment like they do for alcohol.] They also don’t view it as addictive, or detrimental to brain function. The legalization of pot in some states is making it increasingly hard to convince students otherwise. Aside from the actual risks of marijuana, regular usage of pot can lead to “trying” heroin in a casual setting among friends … so it’s gateway drug. Heroin is especially cheap and available in Philadelphia, and some schools in the area are having a huge problem with addiction. Detective Irey said that 4 former students have overdosed on heroin (1 died).

[FYI from Colin: States that have legalized marijuana for recreational use prohibit the use by anyone under 21 years of age. Many kids seem to not know this. Also, kids probably view part of pot’s low risk as “low risk of getting caught” … because if they ingest rather than smoke it, the smell won’t give them away. Also, parties at the high school might user breathalyzer (for measuring alcohol) but there’s no cheap gizmo that can be used to deter pot use. Finally, it might be good for parents and the school to completely stop using the phrases “drunk driving” and “driving while drunk” (e.g.) … and instead say “drugged driving” and “driving while drugged” … which are more inclusive.]

Detective Irey discussed the challenges of identifying candies and baked goods that contain THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). If you’re curious, here’s a Google image search for “THC candy”. Students used to smoking pot sometimes overdose on such candy because it’s slow-release relative to inhaling the drug … so they end up overeating the drug because the effect doesn’t hit them instantly. He recommended a National Geographic program for those interested in knowing more about heroin [from Colin: I think this is it].

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Yannacone ( Assistant Principal Kristopher Brown ( and ’11-’12 Dean Thomas McLaughlin ( were also in attendance and welcome questions from parents. Finally, Detective Irey can be reached at

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Pssst, parents, want to hear about drugs?

This Thursday’s Home and School meeting will feature Officer Makunus the from Nether Providence Police Department and Dr. Yannacone, who will both provide information about drugs and alcohol (which is a drug, of course). The business meeting portion will be at 6:45 pm (all welcome!), with the drug presentation starting at 7:15 pm. In the library.

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