Husky Hotline

Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

“At its core, good teaching is about relationships – because students allow themselves to learn from people they trust.”

David Saavedra

In This Issue



Class Pick Up From the Cafeteria

School Affairs

Crystal's Corner

Curriculum and Instructional Support

Gwinnett Effectiveness Initiative

Items Needed

Hook'em and Hold'em Casino Night

Bookkeeper Notes


Read Across America Day

Online Communique

STEMCampATL - Spring 2016

Career Advancement Scholarships

February 22, 2016

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

Aesop Reminders

When you submit a request in Aesop:

  • Please remember to post In/Service-Staff Development when requesting for a staff development day off. Assure that you have gotten clearance to attend from Crystal first so that payment for subs can come from the proper line item.

  • Click “save” and the Aesop system will locate a sub for you.
  • Click “save and assign” when you have already spoken to the sub and you know for certain that he/she will be in your class.

Please remember to update the time in Aesop. A full day is 7:45-3:45, half day is either 7:45-11:45 or 11:45-3:45.


Leila Yousuf February 5

Ashley Miller February 9

Ryan DuPraw February 16

Melanie Brewer February 20

Melanie Mayer February 25

Beth Chiasson February 28

Julie Kuykendall February 28

Staff Calendar-To be updated

Class Pick Up From the Cafeteria

Grade level teachers are asked to please pick up classes from the cafeteria tables on time. The custodial staff needs the allotted time between classes to get the tables clean. Thank you for your help with this matter. Dr. Kim Glass

School Affairs

School Reminders:

1. Please lock up all devices at night and lock your classroom doors when leaving for specials, lunch and recess. Students need to bring everything with them and not come to the classrooms unattended as much as possible. 2 barriers are suggested, however 1 barrier will suffice.

2. Please have students assist with putting chairs on desks when leaving each day.With us eating breakfast and snacks in the classrooms, it causes for more attention to vacuuming. Please help us get your rooms as clean as possible.

Crystal's Corner


Have a winning week!


Curriculum and Instructional Support

    Balanced Assessment Development Team Nominations
    The Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Accountability and Assessment are developing curriculum embedded performance tasks, beginning in 4th and 7th grade to be piloted in the 2016- 2017 school year. These tasks will be designed to measure AKS that require students to demonstrate mastery by applying significant conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking. Please consider nominating two or three teachers from your school to be a part of this work.
    • More information:
    • Please send your nominations and questions to the GCPS Testing Team mailbox.
    • Teacher applications are due Monday, February 22nd.

Community and Media Relations

The latest posts to the online Communiqué include features on a 'Silver Lining' for entrepreneurial students, a group of student ambassadors for voter registration, opportunities to nominate outstanding educators for recognition, plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items on bond rating news, scholarship deadlines, registration reminders for GCPS charter schools, and the latest episode of In5ive. Coming up, watch for news on Wonder(ful) robotics, a salute to honored counselors, superheroes in the media center, educators in the workplace, expanded language options, and more.

Accountability and Assessment

Schoolnet Reminders for Interim Assessments

As you prepare for interim assessments with Schoolnet, below are a few reminders for each option of administration:

Online - Students login, using a passcode, via our Student Portal.

Schoolnet answer documents

1.An admin user creates answer documents from within Schoolnet.
2.Please remember to use the recommended Adobe print settings.
3.An admin user scans the completed documents using ScanIt. GradeCam answer documents
1.Teachers create and scan answer documents (different than Schoolnet documents).
2.Teachers need to choose the correct section before scoring.
3.It is recommended that teachers use Internet Explorer when using GradeCam.

Please contact the GCPS Testing Team with any questions

New Role for the eCLASS C&I Tool

A Partner Teacher role is being made available for use Tuesday, February 16. Teachers may now enroll other faculty or administrators in their classes without going through SASI, or schools using School Contacts more than desired. The Partner Teacher will have editing rights in the course.

Examples of uses include:

1) Enrolling department, grade chair or APs into their classes

2) Enrolling other teachers or administrators as partners to assist in the event of an unexpected absence or a potential cyber day.

3) Enrolling of Parapros .

The directions will also be housed in the C&I Tool collaboration community files and here the Self Directed Training Course in eCLASS C&I.

Partner Teacher may not grade assignments. If you wish for teachers to be able to grade they need to be added through SASI. The directions may be found here in the Portal.

March eCLASS Site Visits

Register Now for These Upcoming Site visits in PDE

March 4, 2016 - Dacula Middle

9:30 AM - 3:30 PM 100 Visitors

Participants will explore how Dacula Middle School is using a blended learning model to transform the “traditional” classroom to a more student centered environment. Teachers will demonstrate how they utilize the eClass C & I tool as a framework to deliver and assess instruction. Your full day excursion will include the opportunity to observe Dacula Middle School classrooms. You will see teachers use a variety of instructional technologies to formatively assess student understanding of concepts, allowing for immediate personalization of instruction. Participants will be invited to join in discussions with teachers, students, and administrators, and have time to collaborate and reflect with colleagues about innovating and transforming teaching and learning.

March 10, 2016 - Centerville Elementary

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM - 55 Visitors

Centerville is in year three of fully implementing eCLASS. Our 2015 – 2016 focus is “Moving from Instructional to Transformational Teaching and Learning.”

This visit will not be a sit and get! Prepare to engage in a hands-on workshop! In addition to observing eCLASS in the classrooms, participants will have an opportunity to create and collaborate with innovative teachers AND students! Whether you’re just getting started or leading the initiative, we have resources and ideas to share. A panel of parents, students, and teachers will also be on hand to answer questions and share their eCLASS journey! So bring your laptops and prepare to explore!

March 16, 2016 - Dacula High

7:45 AM - 11:30 AM - 75 Visitors

Leaders and teachers are invited to Dacula High School to observe teachers transforming the classroom through the use of eCLASS. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to witness a variety of classrooms and explore the use of various tools being used to formatively assess, differentiate instruction, and engage students in teaching and learning.

March 29, 2016 - White Oak Elementary

8:00 AM - 2:30 PM - 100 Visitors

It’s show time! White Oak Elementary invites you to a behind the scenes view of our school wide implementation of the inquiry model of instruction with a focus on project based learning. You will see PBL in action in various stages throughout the inquiry process. Your back stage pass allows you to meet the inquiry development team, view the classrooms and collaborative spaces, observe technology as a prop to enhance student learning as well as to be introduced to the stars of our show, the students.

Curriculum and Instruction

SAVE THE DATE: New Teacher Orientation 2016

What: New Teacher Orientation

When: July 19-20, 2016

2016 Science AKS Review - Save the Date

Following the review of the revised state science standards in March, GCPS plans to review and revise the AKS for Science this summer. Beginning in March, we will be asking schools to nominate teachers to serve on grade specific AKS review teams that will review the AKS and prepare additional teacher resources as necessary. We will be sending out Review Team applications for you to share with your teachers in March 2016. Please note: Any revised or new AKS will not be implemented until Fall 2017 pending GEMS approval.

What: Save the Date - GCPS Science AKS Review Teams

When: June 6-7 & July 20-22 - 8:00am to 3:00pm

Captain Planet Project Learning Garden Grants

The Project Learning Garden application is currently open. Captain Planet is accepting Elementary and Middle Schools from Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett to apply. The application closes February 29th. Click the following Link to apply and learn more:

To help you integrate Black History Month into your schools classrooms, please click on the link below for a selection of lesson plans and activities that cover a variety subjects and that can be adapted to fit grades K-5.

2016 Social Studies AKS Review

Following the review of the revised state social studies standards GCPS plans to review and revise the AKS for social studies. The state review is slated to be completed in March, pending State BOE approval of any revisions. We will be asking schools to nominate teachers to serve on grade specific AKS review teams that will review the AKS and prepare additional teacher resources as necessary. We plan to also use the members of the Social Studies Leadership team to assist with this task The process will begin in late July and continue throughout October. Details will be sent at a later date . The survey of the draft of the proposed standards is open until March 14. Encourage all of your social studies teachers to participate.

Please note: New AKS will not be implemented until Fall 2017 pending GEMS approval

Professional Development and Evaluation (PD&E) Training - Beginner's Session 2015-2016

This course is designed to train district and local school persons responsible for staff development on the use of the PD&E tool. Participants will learn how to develop courses in the tool, register participants, and conduct the post-processing steps. Attendees are encouraged to bring sample course information to the training and their laptops (if possible).

To see the full list of PD&E trainings login to the GCPS Portal and select the PD&E icon. To begin registration for the courses, type in PD&E in the search box.

When: March 28, 2016 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Course# 14984 Section# 22788

When: April 25, 2016 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Course# 14984 Section# 22789

Where: ISC – Central Gwinnett

*Registration for this course closes three days before course start date.

Gwinnett Effectiveness Initiative

GTES Standards Training Course Offerings

This professional learning is designed to provide a focused learning opportunity for teachers to deepen their understanding of the Gwinnett Teacher Effectiveness System (GTES) Standards.

Participants will engage in interactive activities to aide in defining expectations, building knowledge, and applying that knowledge to practical school-based situations. During these courses participants will: explore the key characteristics of the standards, examine the rubric connected with the GTES, complete a self-assessment identifying current practices, observe teachers in action, and identify next steps for their practice.

To see the full list of GTES Standard Trainings login to the GCPS Portal and select the PD&E icon. To begin searching and registration for the courses type GTES in the Search Box.

SD - GTES - Communication Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)

When: February 29, 2016 - March 14, 2016 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14787 Section# 22852

Where: ISC – 1.106/1.107/1.108

Register by 02/22/16

SD - GTES - Academically Challenging Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)

When: March 28, 2016 - April 12, 2016 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14786 Section# 22855

Where: ISC – 1.106/1.107/1.108

Register by 03/22/16

SD - GTES - Academically Challenging Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)

When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 15250

Where: Online, Self-Paced

Registration open all year

SD - GTES – Instructional Strategies Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)

When: April 18, 2016 - May 2, 2016 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14785 Section# 22853

Where: ISC – 1.106/1.107/1.108

Register by 04/11/16

SD - GTES – Positive Learning Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)

When: April 28, 2016 - May 12, 2016 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14788 Section# 22854

Where: ISC – 1.106/1.107/1.108

Register by 04/21/16

SD - GTES – Positive Learning Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)

When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 14926

Where: Online, Self-Paced

Registration open all year

SD - GTES – Differentiated Instruction Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)

When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 14985

Where: Online, Self-Paced

Registration open all year

Items Needed

Katie Sample and Jill Moore will guide our 5th graders on a "hike up the Sycamore Summit" towards the Milestones in a few weeks.

We would like to transform my classroom into an outdoors environment. We are looking for the following:

Any free-standing pine trees (as in Christmas trees), a small pop-up tent, hiking gear, or a life-sized bear would be great. All items will be returned to you at the end of April. Please advise if you have anything we may borrow!

Hook'em and Hold'em Casino Night

Morten Andersen to Attend Casino Night

Former Falcons kicker and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist Morten Andersen will be a special guest Hook'em and Hold'em Casino Night. Tickets are still available at

Monies Collected Tips from Jenifer our Bookkeeper

As you begin planning Field Trips, Club activities, etc., and start collecting money for these activities, I thought it would be helpful to send out some reminders and tips regarding money collections. I’ve included the most common errors that come across my desk, therefore I hope this will be helpful in saving everyone the precious commodity of time.

Forms of Payment

We accept cash, checks made payable to Sycamore Elementary, and credit/debit card payments through MyPaymentsPlus.

If you choose to use MyPaymentsPlus as a method, please let me know ahead of time to set up an “Activity” in MyPaymentsPlus in order for you to collect payments through this resource. I recommend this, because it is less paperwork for the both of us. I can set it up so that you receive an email when someone has paid, and also send you a list of who has paid on a weekly basis when I receive my deposit information. This will keep you informed as to who has paid.

Report of Monies Collected Forms

If you receive cash and/or checks for payments please use the Report of Monies Collected Standard Form found on the shared drive. The path is Sycamore > Teacher Information > Monies Collected Forms > RMC Form Standard. I strongly recommend saving the form to your computer once you fill it out, in case any corrections need to be made later, they can be fixed quickly. However, please use handwritten ink to sign and date the bottom of the form.

Please leave the “Account to Credit Line” BLANK. This is for Bookkeeper and Auditor’s purposes only. You will enter Grade Level and Purpose on the “Reason for Collecting Money Line”.

There must not be more than 1 week between the Date Collections Begin (at the top), and the Date of Your Signature (at the bottom, the date you turn your form into me).

Click here to view an Example Report of Moneys Collected Standard Form.


If you collected cash from a student, and it is $10.01 or more, you must issue them a receipt. You may check out a receipt book from me.

No receipts have to be issued for checks received for any amount, because the check itself acts as their receipt. If however, a person requests a receipt for a check, you may do so upon their request.

Thank you for your help with all of the paperwork. As always, please come see me for any questions. I will be more than glad to help!

Jenifer Reese



Thank you to Wilnia, Bonita, and Kim for assisting with our second grade students! ~ The Second Grade Team

To the A Team for the "Cook In" and various chefs! It was all delicious! ~ The Second Grade Team

Jill for her continued guidance during our CLT meetings and common planning! ~ The Second Grade Team

Thank you to our volleyball team for demonstrative collaboration and teamwork on the court! You represent us well! ~ Cindy Alverson

Thank you to our front office staff all of their support. We appreciate all you do and make happen every day! ! Cindy Alverson

Thank you to kindergarten for working collaboratively to examine common assessment and cross reference with AKS standards. Way to Work on the Work! ~ Cindy Alverson

Thank you to First Grade for looking for ways to improve common assessments for your students. Your transparency and thoughtful preparation is building success for students across the entire grade level. ~ Cindy Alverson

Thank you to our prek staff. From the time you greet students in the morning until they go home, you are all focused on creating a safe, nurturing environment that promotes growing and learning. ~ Cindy Alverson

To Paige Turner, thanks for sharing all your assessments and ideas with third grade!

Stephanie Shin, thank you for an awesome staff development! I tried it with my students and it really gave some wonderful incite to their knowledge! ~ DeAnne Daniel

Jill Moore, thank you for your patience with third grade as we grow! ~ DeAnne Daniel

Kim Glass, thank you for always being there when we need you and for anything we need! ~ Third Grade

Mrs. Thompson, thank you for your immense time and preparation for our Leadership Academy! It is always such a pleasurable experience to end a day! Go Cohort #1! ~ DeAnne Daniel

A big shout out to Coach K and the other specials teachers for your efforts in planning our upcoming Shamrock Shake. ~ Beverly

Thank you to the Admin Team, Front Office Staff and our Chefs, Larry, Frank and Jeremy for the awesome cook out on Monday. ~ Beverly

Thank you to Deb, Frank, Crystal, Katie, Carline and Carolina for all your help on the Beta Club inductions. ~ Beverly

Kudos to the Science Committee and all of our grade level teachers for your commitment to STEM certification. ~ Beverly

Thank you to the Jills, Crystal and the rest of the Leadership Cohort for an engaging and heart warming meeting on Wednesday. ~ Beverly

Kudos to Deepa and the Kindergarten team for your focus on making our STEMfest an enjoying learning opportunity for our students. ~ Beverly

Thank you Karsha Black for giving me stars for the presidential day activity when I ran out. ~ Deepa

Thank you Ms. Carlan for all her expertise and time for guiding us through the STEM lesson. ~ Kindergarten team

Thank you Leslie Adames for helping me with eClass on Monday. ~ Deepa

Kudos to Bonita Wilkerson, Karen Peralta, Marjorie Mantilla for all their help with Online Access testing. ~ Katie

Kudos to Jerry Watts and Larry Smith for being "on call" this week for our new online testing experience. ~ Katie

Kudos to Ashley Miller for leading a strong collaborative learning team. ~ Katie

Kudos to Stephanie Shin for loving her students unconditionally. ~ Katie

Kudos to the fourth grade team for all of their strong problem solving and collaboration. ~ Katie

Kudos to Marjorie Mantilla for a great Parent University session. ~ Katie

Kudos to Larry for putting the remind App on my phone (I have already used it once!) ~ Katie

Read Across America Day

The Buford Branch of the Gwinnett County Library is participating in Read Across America Day on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016. We will be open 12:00-8:00 that day, and wanted to invite any local school faculty and staff members that are interested in reading aloud to students at our branch. We would be happy to host them at whatever time they are available.

Warm Regards,

Amy Willard | Early Education Library Associate, Buford-Sugar Hill Branch

Gwinnett County Public Library

770-978-5154 |

Online Communique

The latest posts to the online Communiqué

include features on GCPS' Teacher of the Year, Career Connections, a salute to veterans, and Milestones results, plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items. Coming up, watch for news on Principal for a Day, a unique career exploration event, and winter weather reminders.

New items are added each week.

Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at

STEMCampATL - Spring 2016

STEMCampATL - Spring 2016

GCPS is proud to host the 2nd STEMCampATL for metro-Atlanta STEM educators. STEMCampATL is designed to provide access to high quality, personalized professional learning for K-12 educators. Embracing the belief that fellow STEM educators can provide some of the most valuable professional development resources for their colleagues. This learning will be driven by teachers for teachers. Come prepared to share and learn about innovative practices in STEM education. If you are not familiar with an edcamp-style learning opportunity, check this out:


When: Saturday March 12, 2016; 8:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Peachtree Ridge HS

To Register:

Career Advancement Scholarships

It’s scholarship time at Peach State Federal Credit Union! For our 2016 Scholarship Program, we are awarding a total of $138,200 in scholarships and educational grants.

Our Career Advancement Scholarships, which honor the founders of Peach State, are a part of this program. Recognizing the importance of education as a lifelong experience, we will award 16 $2,000 Career Advancement Scholarships to eligible members of our credit union. All scholarship winners will be chosen by the end of April 2016 and notified shortly thereafter.

To be considered for the scholarships, all applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

· Must be a credit union member in good standing

· Must currently be enrolled in an accredited program of study at a college, university or technical institute with the goal of career advancement (proof of paid registration documents for current term or class schedule from accredited institution must be included)

Please share this information along with the attached scholarship application with your faculty and staff. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by Peach State no later than March 18, 2016. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Deborah Fancher

Business Development

Peach State Federal Credit Union

Phone: 770.513.6394

Fax: 770.963.4066



Application Link:

2016 Career Advancement Scholarship Application