April 28, 2020

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Mark your Calendars for Vanguard Only Events with Leslie Fisher!

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Join us for the remaining Remote Learning Series Events! All sessions from 1:00-2:00 pm.

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Continues through this Friday!

Wednesday, April 29 - Teacher Leader Examples (Re-teaching and Enrichment)

These events are open to all FCS Employees, so please consider sharing with others! Previous topic videos and slide decks can be found here at

PD Schedule for this week

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Vanguard Birthdays

Vanguard Wishes A Very Happy Birthday to

Stacie Thompson 4/16

Christine Anderson 4/18

Kristin Yann 4/23

Giovanna Allison 4/27

We want to celebrate our Vanguardian family. If you would like for us to recognize your birthday, please click this link.

Celebrate Your Vanguard Team!

We have so many amazing people in the Vanguard Team and it's so gratifying to hear about all of this amazing work you're all doing. We are truly making a difference and doing our part to make a difference during our new remote teaching reality. Keep up the game-changing work everyone! #FCSRising!

Please help to celebrate the amazing work being done by you and your colleagues at this form:!

A selection of them will be shared in this space every week!

From Kelley McAlhany, Teacher at E.C. West Elementary:

I wanted to shout out our wildcat, South Learning Vanguard Coach, Patricia Thomas!!! She's been super helpful to the staff at ECWest. She's made videos to show staff and students how to access online resources, she's created a Flipgrid to keep the Special's team connected to students, and she's continuously working on helping teachers create meaningful tech experiences for students. You're the best P.Thomas!!

From Lauren Fogarty, Teacher at Riverwood International Charter School:

Dana Munson, Angus Guberman, and Balachandran and I led a PD session for our school on Zoom, Teams Meetings, PPT voice-overs, and basic video-making. We have set up a streamlined system for teachers to pose their tech questions to us, assigned a Vanguardian to each department, set a Teleschool goal for our school, and used the aforementioned resources in our own classes! Whew!

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School Lead Info

We are so sorry that there was an error in recording our last School Leads meeting! I think we were just too excited about our guest appearance of Leslie Fisher! You will have to rely on the slide deck for all of your information this month. Please reach out if you have any questions! We are here for you!

Next & Last Meeting for 2020 - May 7th at 7:00 PM


  • What's coming up!
  • Spotlight On Lead - Angus Guberman
  • Showcase of Celebrations
  • Padlet Share - One Success & One Hurdle

  • Remote PD Survey Link (What are your needs)
  • Special PD Series with Leslie Fisher (see banner in events section for details)
  • Teams chat - All your needs (or ways to offer help or support) in one spot!

Slide deck:

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Let's See Your Remote Teaching Expertise!

Vanguard Team,

We are still in need of write-ups about your excellent remote teaching practices, but now with a twist!

Our team has shared so much good information, and now we’re focusing on your pedagogy and teaching strategies that leverage our district’s technology tools.

These will be going out daily from Cliff Jones to our district administrators.

Please complete the form at:

The instructions can be found on that form, as well as an exemplar.

The big warning I have to give is that the technology you discuss has to be approved and officially supported by Fulton County. To see the list of supported technology, please go to the Employee Portal and click on the FCS Marketplace, and then App Marketplace. You can then find or search for your technology and click through to the description. Look for the "Status" line. It needs to say "Approved and District Supported." There are many programs and platforms that are in the Marketplace that are in pending status, so just because you see the technology in the Marketplace, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is approved.

If you submit a write-up of unsupported apps, we unfortunately won't be able to use it.

These blurbs should be relatively short, and are more oriented to the big picture rather than highly detailed - if you're spending more than about 20 minutes on this, then you've spent too long!

Some light editing may be done on your write-up, including removal of references to non-supported technologies.

Thanks for your support on this initiative!

Remote Teaching Write-Ups

Since our awesome write-ups are primarily being distributed to building and district administrators, I wanted to make sure that I shared them within the team as well. Since we're just getting back into the swing of the VW, I don't want to overwhelm you with three weeks of write-ups, so you'll get a selection today, but I hope to share the prior week's write-ups in future VanWeekly editions.

From Crystal Billingslea, Math Coach at Cliftondale ES:

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is an online survey creator and a part of Microsoft Office 365. It is a lightweight tool located right within students’ Launchpad. Quizzes, polls and surveys can be easily created to collect feedback from students, teachers and even parents. Microsoft Forms provides charts to visualize the data collected and can also be exported directly to Microsoft Excel for an in-depth analysis. Surveys can be used to collect feedback, measure employee and/or parent satisfaction, and organize team events. Quizzes can be created to measure student knowledge, evaluate class progress, and focus on topics that need improvement. Forms allows you to assign points for automatic grading as well as give explanations for further instruction, making assessing students easier than ever. The Polling aspect can be used to find out what the class thinks of your trip idea, where the team wants to meet, or how presentation attendees feel. Responses are collected in real time so you have access to instant data.

From Cathy Oravetz, Teacher at Webb Bridge MS:

Using Sway to Convey Assignments in Teams

During these digital learning days I am finding Sway to be my all-inclusive assignment delivery system for my students. Although used in the past in my classroom, I had forgotten how valuable this tool can be when collecting the different pieces of an assignment and creatively arranging and presenting the information to my students online. Sway, easily built using a card system, contains a bank of pictures and videos as well as quick access to your files. Lessons may include your warm-up, instruction, supporting images and videos, rubric, and a means for turning in an assignment, all in one easy-to-use location. (No more do I hear from students "Where is that video?" or "Where is the rubric?") Self-created videos and audio supporting your lesson details can be added and students listen and watch the components of the assignment directly from within the Sway environment. For the teacher, reorganizing and revising a Sway is as easy as a click-and-move of the cards. And a benefit of this tool for students is their ability to quickly review parts of the assignment or lesson using the navigation button as they complete their work. Sway is my go-to tool during our digital learning sessions as it provides versatility in creation, ease of use for students, and opportunities for teacher-created video and audio to reach out to students and capture their attention. And the great thing is that the Sway can easily be placed in the resources area of Teams for students to access. A win-win with Sway and Teams!

From Katy Kross, Teacher at Creekside HS:

Classlink Teacher Console: The Backpack Hack--Checking on Your Students’ Online Engagement

One of the biggest problems with remote learning is trying to keep an eye on students’ engagement. How do we know for sure that our kids are spending the required time in Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or Flipgrid? This is where your teacher Classlink (formerly Launchpad) is a lifesaver. You can see who is logging in, on what day, on which apps, and for how long. Teacher Console is always a great accountability piece when we are talking to parents. As the saying goes, numbers don’t lie!

Best Practices:

1. Add your apps! Add the apps in each class that you are using in your remote learning practices. If you want to know how long a child spent doing your Nearpod assignment this week, then you need to have that app added to that class.

2. Compare your classes! Check your Login Summary at the top of your Teacher Backpack page each week to see an overview of which classes have the highest and lowest percentage of logins. If you see one of your classes has a low percentage login, then it might be time to nudge some students (or their parents) who are falling behind. You can see the login percentage each day, and you can also go look at previous weeks as well.

3. MIA students! If you have students who are not turning in their assignments, click on Login Summary and then select one of your classes below. Not only can you see who is not logging in each day of the week, but you can also look back at the other weeks as well. Keep a list of students who have not logged into Classlink (or rarely), and those should be your top priority for calls and emails to parents.

4. Dig Deeper! Go look at the child’s individual login record and app summary. If you have a concern about an individual student, you can select that student’s class and select “students” on the left. All the students will populate on the right, and you can click on the flowchart icon that will pull up an individual student’s login records and app summary. This can be helpful when you suspect a student is not on the correct platform/app OR submitting their work in the wrong location.

From Jana Bernhardt, teacher at Webb Bridge MS:

Class Discussions in Teams

In my classroom, we typically have class discussions where we sit in a big circle, look at a text together, and discuss the big ideas in that text and how they apply to us. I wanted to bring that to our remote learning. Students read the text, annotate, and complete 5-10 minutes of prework and then can join our class discussion using a Teams meeting. Students should try to comment at least three times in the discussion. Most of my students were able to attend (I'm going to keep working on communicating ahead of time about the discussion), but I record the discussion and post it, so those that can't join can listen and add in their reflection what they would have added. All my students reflect over the discussion and I was impressed by not only what they discussed, but the value they found in having it. My initial worries about their behavior in the discussion were unwarranted. I've learned that when high expectations are in place, they are maintained! I'm excited to try this again!

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Vanguard Leadership Team

Fulton County Vanguard Team

Mission: Building the capacity of instructional leaders to transform learning and teaching.

Vision: Through building colaborative relationships and supporting student focused learning, the Vanguard Team will positively impact student achievement.

Pillars: Transform, Innovate, Mentor, & Support (TIMS)

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