Star News

October 1, 2022

Greetings Simpson Parents, Happy Fall!

I am so PROUD to be your principal of Simpson Elementary! The students, teachers, and support staff work very hard to ensure every minute of the school day is meaningful for students! Parents, thank you for all you do to partner with us to support your children. A message that continues to ring true today, more than ever, is Great Schools Build Great Communities and in turn, Great Communities Build Great Schools! Thank you to the entire Peachtree Corners/Norcross Parent-Community for supporting our sweet school with PBIS incentives, healthy snacks, and encouraging notes. We could not do this without you!

It was so great to see so many of you last month during Curriculum Night! I had a chance to join several grade levels and hear feedback from parents regarding curriculum questions and teachers providing supportive resources. Now, it is time for us to schedule Early Release Conferences. Please save the date for Wednesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 20th. Conferences will be held in-person by appointment ONLY via our Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC) Link. The Early Release Conference Sign-up link will be available via our school website on Wednesday, October 5th at 9 a.m. and closes Wednesday, October 12th at 4:00 p.m.

Superstars, I would also like to thank everyone who came out and joined us at our PTA Picnic-in-the-Park, on Thursday, September 22nd! I enjoyed seeing celebrity teachers hanging out with their students, parents having a chance to fellowship with others, and students playing on the park equipment! Thanks again for supporting our PTA at our local restaurants to support our sweet school. That is why we are SIMPSON STRONG!

Finally, I want to congratulate Mrs. Susan Aronstein our Simpson Elementary School 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Aronstein has been in the field of education for 25 years and 15.5 of those years have been at Simpson Elementary. She currently serves as a second-grade teacher, resides in Peachtree Corners, with her husband, and two boys who also attend Norcross Cluster Schools. Thank you, Mrs. Aronstein for all that you do to support your kids!

Proud to be your principal,

Dr. Taffeta Connery

October Calendar Dates

October 3rd: Author Visit-Alan Gratz-3rd-5th Grade

October 5th: Walk To School Day

October 6th-10th: Fall Break/Holiday for Students and Staff

October 11th-14th: Hispanic Heritage Week

October 14th: 5th Grade Immigration Day

October 14th: Reflection Entries Due

October 17th-21st: Book Fair

October 18th: All Pro Dads

October 19th: Grandparents Breakfast

October 19th and 20th: Early Release and Parent Conferences

October 25th: Spirit Night-Moe's Original BBQ-5-7 pm

October 28th: School Council-7:30 am

Annual AKS Public Review

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites GCPS families, Gwinnett County residents, students, and GCPS staff members to participate in the school district’s review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum September 12 - October 6, 2022. The public may review proposed standards online, offering feedback on AKS that have been developed to align the curriculum with the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and/or Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Click here for a list of the courses with AKS under review. To review the AKS and provide feedback, please click here to begin. Comments will be accepted through Thursday, October 6, 2022.

What: Annual AKS Public Review Opportunity

When: Now through October 6, 2022

Counselor's Corner

Hispanic Heritage Week

Our Connections team has done a great job honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Please join us in celebrating the final week of Hispanic Heritage Month with a Spirit Week. Please see below.
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Odyssey of the Mind

Are you interested in you and your child learning how to be creative? We are bringing back Odyssey of the Mind. If you have a desire to learn about how we can rebuild our Odyssey of the Mind team, please join us for a parent interest meeting in October 13, 2022 at 5:30 PM in the media center.

Calendar Options for 2023-24 School Year

GCPS is seeking your input into 23-24 Calendar Options. Please preview attachments ahead of time as a survey link will be sent in the coming days to seek your input/feedback prior to the deadline, October 30th.

Calendar Option 1 (most like this year)

  • 7 days of pre-planning, beginning on July 24, 2023
  • K-1-special ed students start one day early on August 2
  • 4 DLD's, all on Fridays
  • School holidays on October 5-9
  • 13 school days of Winter Break, December 18-January 3
  • Two teacher planning/PD days on January 2 and 3
  • School holiday January 15 (MLK)
  • School holidays on February 15-19
  • Last day of school May 22 with one teacher post-planning day on May 23

Calendar Option 2

  • 6 days of pre-planning, beginning on July 24, 2023
  • All students first day of school August 1
  • School Holidays for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Good Friday, and Eid al-Fitr
  • 2 DLD's, both on Fridays
  • School holidays on October 6-9
  • 11 school days of Winter Break, December 20-January 3
  • Two teacher planning/PD days on January 2 and 3
  • School holiday January 15 (MLK)
  • School holidays on February 16-19
  • Last day of school May 22 with two teacher post-planning days on May 23 and 24

Calendar Option 3

  • 5 days of pre-planning, beginning on July 26, 2023
  • All students first day of school August 2
  • Teacher planning/PD on September 15 (Rosh Hashanah)
  • 2 DLD's, both on Fridays
  • School holidays on October 6-9
  • 13 school days of Winter Break, December 18-January 3
  • Two teacher planning/PD days on January 2 and 3
  • School holiday January 15 (MLK)
  • School holidays on February 16-19
  • Teacher planning/PD on March 15
  • Last day of school May 22 with one teacher post-planning day on May 23

Calendar Option 4

  • 5 days of pre-planning, beginning on July 25, 2023
  • All students first day of school on August 1
  • Teacher planning/PD September 15 (Rosh Hashanah)
  • School Holidays for Yom Kippur, Diwali, Good Friday, and Eid al-Fitr
  • No DLD's
  • School holidays on October 6-9
  • 10 school days of Winter Break, December 21-January 3
  • School holiday January 15 (MLK)
  • Two teacher planning/PD days on January 2 and 3
  • School holidays on February 16-19
  • Last day of school May 22 with one teacher post-planning day on May 23

Mock Elections!

Our third, fourth and fifth graders will participate in the 2nd annual mock elections. They will vote using the student portal on November 4th, 2022. All voting participates will receive their very own "I Voted" sticker.
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Please save the date for this year's Science, Engineering, and Innovation Fair. The Simpson Science Fair will be held on January 19, 2023, from 5pm-7pm. There are 7 categories for this year's fair. The categories are as follows:

  1. Simple Machine Solution

  2. It’s Electric!

  3. A Clean Neighborhood Park

  4. Boom, Boom, Flash!

  5. Plant and Animal SuperPowers!

  6. Student Choice: Robotic Solutions

  7. Student Choice: Open

For a full list of the Driving Questions and further information, please visit our Simpson Science Fair Google Classroom (Class Code: hdmmcek). Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners of each category. The winners then will move onto regionals. Students may choose to work alone or in groups (up to 3 students). For more information, please reach out to Ms. Boalch, Ms. Arnold, or Ms. Johnson.

Car Rider Reminders

Administrative & Counseling Team

Principal- Dr. Taffeta Connery

Assistant Principal- Ms. Brandy Bosak, Grades 1, 3, & 5

Assistant Principal- Ms. Jeanette Johnson, Grades K, 2, 4

Assistant Principal- Ms. Stephanie Wells, Special Needs & Connections

Counselors- Ms. Sheri Terry & Ms. Roshan Finch


Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 4:15 PM

All visitors must check in at the welcome desk and please be prepared to provide some form of identification upon request.

Students should arrive between 8:20 AM- 8:50 AM

Morning announcements and tardy bell rings at 8:50 AM

Dismissal bell rings at 3:20 PM

  • If you are checking out your child early from school, please do so on or before 3:00 PM. This leaves our bus lanes open for bus arrivals. Also, please remember that picture ID is required for all student check-outs. Thank you!

simpson pbis

Greetings Parents,

Beginning this school year in 2022, we will engage in Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) at Simpson Elementary to have a positive behavioral expectation schoolwide. PBIS is an approach schools use to promote school safety and good behavior. With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior expectations, strategies, and with a primary focus on having a positive prevention, not consequences.

What is PBIS at our school?

A unified set of school wide expectations for behavior in our school. We are Simpson Superstars, so to ensure that students can easily comprehend our expectations, we have established a 5-star approach for appropriate behaviors posted throughout the school. Your child has been learning these expectations since the first few days of school.

What are the 5-Star Expectations at Simpson Elementary?

  1. Be Respectful
  2. Be Responsible
  3. Be Ready to Learn
  4. Be Safe
  5. Be Kind

As part of our PBIS process, teachers and other staff members use evidence-based practices to increase student learning and decrease classroom disruptions. To keep students on the rules in a positive manner, we do the following when teaching academics and behavior:

  • Constantly teach and refer to our school-wide expectations.
  • Provide students with more praise than correction.
  • Talk to students with respect using positive voice tone.
  • Actively engage everyone in the class during instruction.
  • Use pre-correcting, prompting, and redirecting as we teach.
  • Look for the positive first and provide positive, immediate, frequent, and explicit feedback.

Please look forward to additional details as we unveil our STARBUCK incentives for recognition of positive student behavior beginning the week of August 29th.

The PBIS School store buying days are here! Please see below for grade level buying days which will occur during morning arrival: 8:20-8:55 AM.

PBIS Grade Level Incentive Days:

Monday - 4th Grade PBIS Incentive Day

Tuesday - 3rd & 5th Grade PBIS Incentive Day

Wednesday - 2nd Grade PBIS Incentive Day

Thursday - 1st Grade PBIS Incentive Day

Friday- PreK & Kindergarten PBIS Incentive Day

School Lunch & Parental Visitation

GCPS Students will have access to a meal (breakfast and lunch) throughout the year for each child. However, due to the expiration of USDA Covid-19 waivers, students will now be charged for meals based on their individual eligibility for 2022-2023 School Year.

Therefore, student meals will return to full price at this time or if desire, please complete a free/reduced lunch application on-line via our school website.

Meal prices for elementary students below:

Student breakfast -$1.50

Student lunch -$2.25

Adult Breakfast -$2.50

Adult Lunch -$3.75

*The adult bar is available to both adult guests and staff throughout the school year.

Parental lunch visitation will begin after Labor Day. We will utilize this time to make sure our PBIS cafeteria expectations are in place with student rituals and routines.

A gentle reminder that outside vendor food (per district policy) is not allowed for students. Please reinforce providing lunch from home or utilizing the school meal plan.

Notes from Nurse Norris

Our clinic is in need of pants and shorts! If you have any gently used clothes, please consider donating them to the clinic.

Thank you so much for all your support!

Health & Wellness Updates

GCPS schools have established reasonable and precautionary practices within the school to minimize the risk of infection and/or spread of COVID-19 and Monkeypox.

Guidance is subject to change based on updated recommendations from CDC/Department of Public Health and will be communicated to local school HRT members.

  • Provide opportunities for regular handwashing.
  • Implement the custodial schedule/processes to clean high-touch areas during the school day. ​​​​​​​
  • Clearly communicate and follow COVID-19/Monkeypox criteria for return to work/school in consultation with county nurses.
  • As of August 18th, masks are strongly recommended, but optional for staff in all GCPS facilities. In addition, at this time mask coverings are OPTIONAL for students, and visitors. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Action Items for School Plan

  • Ensure each common area and classroom will have hand sanitizer available for use.
  • Continue to provide ample time for restroom and handwashing opportunities.
  • A custodial schedule will be utilized to ensure cleaning of high-touch areas is occurring throughout the school day.

*Protocols for reporting COVID-19/Monkeypox contact exposure will be followed and reported immediately to administrators/district health officials. Please see additional information regarding Monkeypox procedures and CDC Guidelines from GCPS.

* In addition, if you or anyone in your home is sick and has tested positive for COVID-19/Monkeypox, please contact our school nurse, Amy Norris immediately.

Follow a Recipe for Success: Join the Café Gwinnett Team!

Need Afterschool Care?

Georgia Platinum Award 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2019!

2010 Georgia School of Excellence!

2012 and 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence!

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Author Visit with Alan Gratz: October 3 (Grades 3 - 5)

Please be sure to order your hardcopy of Two Degrees by Alan Gratz with autographed bookplate now!

Cost is $18 each.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz (Refugee; Ground Zero) is back, tackling the urgent topic of climate change in this breathtaking, action-packed novel that will keep readers turning pages while making their own plans to better the world.

Walk To School Day: October 5th

Please join us on October 5th by Walking to School!! Join Sparky, local PTC firefighters, Mayor Mike Mason, and Dr. Connery as we reduce emissions and make the planet cleaner by walking to school.

Students will receive stickers, candy, and other goodies! Come join the fun!

National PTA Reflections - "Show Your Voice": Deadline October 14


Entries are now due October 14! Questions? Contact

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ALL PRO DAD: next meeting October 18

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Grandparents and Special Friends Day: Wednesday, October 19!

Buy Your $10 Family Ticket Here!

Spirit Night: October 25 at Moe's BBQ

Please join us for our next Spirit Night on Tuesday, October 25 from 5- 9 pm at Moe's BBQ. Be sure to mention Simpson Elementary. See you there!

Moe's BBQ, 5005 Peachtree Pkwy #810, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 (near the Ingles Plaza)

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Square 1 Art Coming Soon!

IT'S ALMOST TIME FOR SQUARE 1 ART PACKETS! You will be able to order your child’s artwork on memorable keepsakes to be cherished for years to come. Look for Square 1 Art packets to come home in early November.

  • Orders are due Monday, November 28, so this will give your relatives time to look at your children's artwork and place orders over Thanksgiving break.
  • You will be able to order online.
  • This year orders will be shipped directly to your home 2-3 weeks after the order is placed.


Yearbooks are on sale now! Be sure to order your yearbook now to guarantee your copy.

5th Grade Baby Ads: Deadline December 1

5th Grade Baby Ads let parents recognize the milestone of finishing grade school. Each Yearbook Ad includes a message, a picture of the graduate as an infant/small child, and a current image.
  • DEADLINE TO RESERVE AD SPACE: December 1st. Once the space is reserved, you will receive a link via email where you will upload your message and images (Messages are limited to 150 characters)
  • COST: $15 ($1 processing fee) and can be paid at
  • QUESTIONS: email
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A HUGE thank you to:

Sara Wiggins for managing our Charleston Fundraiser at the beginning of this year! We raised over $11,500!

Debbie Ciciero for organizing every little detail of the Bike Safety class for our 4th and 5th graders! We had over 30 students participate!

Chad Saleeby for bringing All Pro Dads back in person! More than 90 Dads and their kids were in attendance!

Mallory Thornton for planning a fantastic Picnic in the Park with Knuckies Hoagies, Fire & Stone and Taqueria Tsunami!

Join the Simpson PTA!

When you donate your time, talents and resources to our PTA, we are able to offer academic and social opportunities that may not otherwise be able to take place. Through our combined efforts, we help model the importance of education, community involvement, and working together for our Simpson Superstars!

The Simpson Elementary PTA is a volunteer organization comprised of Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators. We can best achieve our mission and the goals surrounding it with the collective efforts of each and every Simpson parent.

Our focus for this year are grants for teachers for enrichment in the classroom. We need monetary donations to fund the grants and our usual programs. Here are just some of the events and items provided to Simpson Elementary made possible by your time, talent, and resources:

Arts in Education

Bike Safety Course (4th & 5th)

Class Coordinators

Fall Festival

Father/Daughter Dance

Mother/Son Game Night

Science Fair

Spring Festival

Starburst Field Day


If you have questions about joining the Simpson PTA, please contact Leigh Anna Lang at

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