Husky Hotline

Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

December 21, 2015

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

Crystal's Corner


Time flies and we are already celebrating the end of the first semester. You have worked very hard and it shows in your progress with your students. It was great to see your delight and excitement in improved reading levels and high interim scores. You are an amazing staff and I enjoy seeing you and learning from you every day. I am most impressed in the community we have built here at Sycamore. We are smiling more, laughing louder and hugging longer. It makes my heart smile because it is the best holiday gift I could ever receive. Enjoy your holiday break and see you on January 5th.

January 5th schedule:

8-12 Breakfast/Presentation/Faculty Meeting

12-1:15 Lunch on your own

1:15-4 Work in your rooms

***Please dress in a team theme for an activity on January 5th:

Ideas: Your individual colors, Star Wars, favorite colors, team colors, same t-shirts.

Help reduce energy costs over winter break!

  • GCPS Facilities is asking for everyone’s help to reduce utility costs over winter break. School staff members have been asked to do the following prior to leaving for the break:

  • Switch off lights
  • Shut down or switch computers off (not all computers are part of auto shut down)
  • Switch off monitors and printers
  • Ensure no equipment is left on standby and unplug all non-essential items

Custodial Process:

Please stack chairs at the end of the day before you leave (students can assist)

Please throw all food (perishable) away from all refrigerators and classrooms prior to Friday.

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.

In celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc. will host our 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Monday, January 18, 2016, at Moore Middle School. All students and their families are invited to attend the celebration. The theme will be “What Are You Doing For Others?”. The celebration includes a parade, step show and resources from community outreach organizations. The 2016 celebration will also highlight artwork by students of Gwinnett County. We encourage students of all ages to submit their artwork. All submitted work must be created entirely by the student artist and received no later than Friday, January 15, 2016. Artists, whose artwork is selected to represent their schools, will receive a certificate.

Art Specifications based on “What Are You Doing For Others?”

1. Submit only one piece of artwork per student in any two dimensional medium (no three dimensional).

2. All entries must be no smaller than 9” x 12” and no larger than 18” x 24”.

3. Artwork must be mounted.

4. All artwork must be GCPS student original work.

Each school may have a maximum of two (2) artwork submissions. All artwork must be identified with the artist’s name, grade, school, and teacher’s name clearly printed on a label attached to the bottom right corner of the piece. Entries must be received by Friday, January 15, 2016 to Marlene Taylor-Crawford at Discovery High School. In order to better prepare for the celebration, please contact me if your school plans to participate. Artwork may be dropped off at Discovery High School or picked up by request.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade kick-off will be held on Langley Drive in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 18, 2016. The parade concludes at Moore Middle School which is located at 1221 Lawrenceville Highway. A step show will take place upon arrival at Moore Middle School and community resources will be available. Artwork submitted will be displayed at Moore MS during this celebration on Monday, January 18th. The activities will take place until 2:00 p.m.

Thank you for your efforts in helping the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King through the participation of our students. Please visit the website for further information.


Marlene Taylor-Crawford, Ed.S.


United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.


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.

In This Issue

Crystal's Corner

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.

What's Cooking in Katie's Kitchen


Class Pick Up From the Cafeteria


School Affairs

Come Get It

Bookkeeper Notes


Media News

Online Communique'

Career Advancement Scholarships


Elena Stefan 12/4

Stephanie Shin 12/7

DeAnne Daniel 12/17

Angie Laugherty 12/20

Stella Anim 12/23

Emily Acevedo 12/26

Kelly Schaaf 12/30

Lee Goodwin 12/31

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

Please share links to the new online Communiqué in your local school e-Newsletter and your website. New items are added each week.

The latest posts to the online Communiqué include features on an award-winning team and their show-ready car, a very big check, a quick-thinking crossing guard, visiting "principals," and a special way to honor education "heroes," plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items on National Special Education Day, an opportunity to speak up about technology, and the latest episode of In5ive. Coming up, watch for news on a unique career exploration event, a salute to firefighters, and a trip back to the 18th century for Colonial Day.

Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at Please share photos and information about the special events your school has planned for Hour of Code (week of Dec. 7) as well as service projects planned for the holiday season.

Potential Cyber Learning Days Preparation

Although no decisions have been made as yet as to whether we would use online learning for a Snow Day, as we move into the time period for potential school closings due to inclement weather, we should prepare for the possibility that a 4th or subsequent day of school closure may be declared a Cyber Learning Day, with school and learning continuing that day through our digital resources.

Attached are guidelines to inform your preparations for a potential Cyber Learning Day. In addition, a "Cyber Learning Day Information" course page has been launched in eCLASS C&I and is now available for all teachers and administrators (anyone who currently has access to the C&I Communication Centers, such as the MOCC).

Math Instructional Resources on MOCC

The Math program office is collaboratively working with teacher teams to revise K-5 common assessments to ensure an appropriate level of rigor and alignment with Milestones expectations for student performance based on the performance level descriptors of achievement. Current common assessments will be removed from the MOCC January 1, 2016 and revised common assessments will be posted as development is completed. Please contact Bonnie Brush with any questions you may have.

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.

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 the 1st grade teachers for their element of stagecraft with their students for Science Day! Your white jackets and goggles brought a sense of delight to your students! Great job! ~Crystal

Great job to the kindergarten staff for their outstanding display of Polar Express! The kids love it! Thank you for keeping up with this tradition. ~Crystal

3rd grade rocked it out with their rock mystery experience! So fun! Thank you for including me in it! ~Crystal

Thank you to everyone for dropping by our offices for some treats on Tuesday. We enjoyed serving you! ~Crystal

Kudos to our entire staff for finishing the 1st semester strong! Especially on party day!~Crystal

Thank you to our custodial and office staff for being so helpful to us at this busy time of year! ~Crystal

Thank you to the A Team for the many laughs we had this past week. ~Crystal

Kudos to Margaux Lee for stopping by to help me finish the Who-Ville houses last week after school!! SO sweet to check-in on me! ~ Claire

Kudos to Karen Peralta for being a rockstar and having super organization so that fluency club can run smoothly in her absence!! ~ Claire

Kudos to everyone that stopped by and supported the Holiday Bazaar on Saturday!! Kim Wyble, Larry Smith, Kristie King, Margaux, DeAnne, Marjorie, Paula, Amy, Frank, Maureen, Cecilia, Naisha, Melanie, Talethea, Kristan (and our Grinch!), Sarah, Beth, and all of our A-Team!! If I'm forgetting you please forgive me!! ~ Claire

Kudos to our awesome custodial staff for dealing with our Bazaar mess!! Your extra work is so appreciated!! ~ Claire

Kudos to Emma, Beth, Emily and Terri, thank you for all you do and for being a great group of girls. You are the best!!!! ~ Dana Soto

A Team-Thanks for the Gifts of Time ~ Second Grade Team

A Team-Thanks for the month of holiday fun and cheer ~ Second Grade Team

Thanks Bev and Company for an outstanding job at Lego League! ~ Beth Chiasson

Thanks to the PTA for a Wonderful Holiday Bazaar ~ Second Grade Team

Thank you Custodial Staff for always going above and beyond! ~ Beth Chiasson

Thanks to Emily for being my partner and support in and out of the classroom! ~ Beth Chiasson

Kudos to our awesome Admin. Team for welcoming us to the beautiful open house displays of fantastic food and relaxing holiday atmosphere! We all enjoyed "making the rounds" to each of your offices to say hello and fill our plates with yummy treats!

~ Your Kindergarten Team!

Kudos to our fantastic and thoughtful custodial staff! Not only do you keep our school in tip top shape, you had an amazing open house display for us to enjoy, also! Thank you! ~ Your Kindergarten Team

Kudos to Erin Kilpatrick and Sarah Dovin for being our "train conductors" and creating the most amazing "Polar Express" ride in the innovation lab that we could have ever imagined! ~ Your Kindergarten Team!

Kudos to my team and Ms. Eklund for welcoming me with a generous fruit basket on my return from India. You are all so thoughtful and caring. ~ Deepa

Mrs. Horne, thank you for being such a wonderful teacher and opening my eyes to new methods of teaching. It has been a pleasure to be in the classroom with you. You are a wonderful teacher, life coach, and inspiration to the everyone in the class. ~Saeeda St. Aude

To The Entire Sycamore Staff, thank you to EVERYONE for making my first half of the year at Sycamore an enjoyable one. I truly love the support, caring, and laughter that I encounter on a daily basis. Have a wonderful break. ~ Saeeda St. Aude

Kudos to Cyndi Bennett for helping to coach our iSTEAM FLL team and for being an instrumental part of our iSTEAM club. I couldn't do it without you! ~ Beverly

Shout out to Larry Smith and Frank Torres for coming out to support our iSTEAM team at the FLL competition on Saturday. ~ Beverly

Thank you to Beth for the staplers, hot glue and friendship. ~ Beverly

Thank you fifth grade teachers for working with me to get AC Science in whenever the schedule has to be altered for testing or school events. ~ Beverly

Thank you to Rochelle and Kim W. for allowing me to take over the Media Center to conduct a week long focus on Coding with our STEM students. ~ Beverly

Thank you to Larry for helping me survive Hour of Code with the Kindergartners by adding a link to our homepage. ~ Beverly

Thank you to Kim and Crystal for allowing me some computer time during testing to ensure our school was one of the world wide participants in The Hour of Code. ~ Beverly

KUDOS to Coach K, Dr. Glass, and Mrs. Thompson for helping us with our "Mystery Investigation" for our STEM Day. We appreciate your support! ~ Third Grade Team

KUDOS to the third grade team for a successful STEM Day. Thanks for the laughs-it was a blast and the kids enjoyed it! ~ Lauren Dean

KUDOS to Dr. Glass for her support with parents this week. You rock! ~ Lauren Dean

Kudos to Mrs. Thompson and Dr. Glass for being such wonderful "criminal investigators" in for our STEM day! ~ DeAnne

Kudos to The Third Grade team for working so hard after school, before school, during school, etc. for our STEM day! ~ DeAnne

Kudos to Lauren, Leslie, Paula, and Jeremy for making a "BIG DAY" even more wonderful! You all are the best people to work with! ~ DeAnne

Kudos to Kelli, Lee, and Terri for my wonderful "Last day before..." party! I am so blessed! ~ DeAnne

Kudos to Lauren Dean for being the absolutely, positively best co-teacher, best friend, and best buddy ever! ~ DeAnne

Kudos to Mrs. Alverson for coming aboard the "Polar Express" to read the story so beautifully to all of our Kindergarten classes!

Kudos to Mrs. Thompson for making THE very special delivery of ice cold bells for all! What a wonderful December day that our students will always remember!

~ Your Kindergarten Team

Kudos to Mrs. Wyble for teaching students how to "infer" while introducing them to the beautiful wordless snowman story! We appreciated the treats, too! What a great literacy lesson this was for our students! ~ The Kindergarten Team

Thank you to my fellow ATeam friends for a great 1st semester full of laughs. It's been my best one, yet! ~ From Kim

Thank you to "my people" 2nd, 3rd and Special Area, I love working with you and being "your person." Please enjoy your well-deserved break! ~ From Kim

Thank you to my Jan Jan (I am the only one who calls her that.)for always listening and taking such good care of me. You are THE BEST! ~ From Kim


PBIL Research Requests:

Grade level chairs and other staff who would like to work on collaborative research projects (utilizing media center resources for PBIL or other activities) should see Mrs. Wyble to schedule planning time, and subsequent student instructional time.

Leveled Informational Skills Instruction:

Be looking out for a "Media News Tidbit" email, outlining basic informational skills lessons that will be offered during the month of November.

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

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