Your connection to all things in GCPS...
Your connection to all things GCPS. | October 21, 2022
At GCPS we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with ORGULLO
Between September 15 and October 15, the GCPS community celebrated our Hispanic Families and students with great pride. Schools hosted all kinds of activities to engage and celebrate their students and families through dance, food, music, art, education and community engagement.
When we celebrate our differences, we create a welcoming community for all families and a culture of belonging for each and every student... part of the transformational work of our Blueprint for the Future. Thank you to all of the schools' staff, families, students, and community partners who celebrated our Hispanic families and their great contributions to our #TeamGCPS family! To view images and videos of our schools' celebration, click here.
Here are some things about the Free and Reduced-Price Meals Form you might not know...
Filling out the Free and Reduced-Price Meals form is very important! It ensures that your school gets all of the funding and benefits available to support teachers and students, and you only need to fill one application per household if you have multiple children in school.
Other benefits include:
Fee waiver for afterschool programs
Discounts for your family on utilities and internet service
Reduced fees for SAT and ACT tests and college applications
Free or reduced-price AP Exams
CAN I APPLY ONLINE? Yes! You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application. The online application has the same requirements and confidentiality as the paper application. Visit SY23 Online Free & Reduced Application to begin or to learn more about the online application process.
GCPS invites community to review instructional resources
This month, GCPS invites families and community residents to join staff members and students in reviewing proposed instructional resources for select grades and courses in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Career and Technical Education, Health, and Foreign Language. The public review runs until Monday, October 31.
2023-24 School Calendar Feedback: The Survey Closes October 31!
GCPS aims to create a school calendar that fosters student achievement, while at the same time meeting the needs of our students, families, and communities. We design our school calendar around requirements established in state law (180 school days for students and 190 days for teachers). In addition, staff and community preferences drive the various breaks throughout the school year. The four draft options were built based on feedback received from students, staff, families, and our community from previous school calendars. In these options, you will find an option that is very similar to the current 2022-23 calendar as well as options with different features such as the removal of staggered start days, the removal of some or all digital learning days, and the addition of holidays that are inclusive of the rich diversity we have here in Gwinnett County.
We value your feedback on the calendar options provided for the 2023-24 school year and hope that you will take the time to review these options and share your thoughts with us. Please click here to review the various calendar options.
Teacher of the Year 2022-23: Gwinnett search committee narrows field to six finalists
Six Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) teachers have been selected as this year’s finalists for the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY) title.
The finalists for the 2022-23 honor are:
- Jessica Gaskin of Head Elementary School
- Myesha Jenkins of Baggett Elementary School
- Serina Gay of Crews Middle School
- Becca Rackley of Northbrook Middle School
- Jason Hurd of Seckinger High School
- Ashley Wright of Paul Duke STEM High School.
A selection committee, comprised of GCPS educators, narrowed the field from 25 semifinalists who had been selected from an impressive list of 141 local school TOTYs. The committee—which includes former teachers of the year, local school administrators, and central office staff—now has the difficult task of selecting the 2022-23 Teacher of the Year.
On November 10, 2022, GCPS will host a celebration honoring this year’s local school teachers of the year, recognizing the finalists, and naming the top teacher in Gwinnett County.
How to keep our families safe this Flu Season
According to the CDC and the GA Department of Public Health, The most effective way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its complications is to get vaccinated each year,
Since the flu is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, the following infection prevention measures are also important:
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your sleeve to contain the droplets (don't sneeze or cough into your hands)
Clean hands with soap and water or decontaminate hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Stay home if you are ill
Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth throughout the day
Disinfect common areas and frequently touched surfaces
For more information on preventing the flu and other diseases, see
Flu Information: A guide to keep our families safe this Flu Season
Helping your child cope with school anxiety
Does your child experience unpleasant feelings when it's time to leave for school? Do they seem to want to avoid school, perhaps requesting to stay home with vague symptoms?
While it’s natural to want to avoid situations or places that make us feel anxious or uncomfortable, it’s important to help your child work through their anxious feelings. Learning how to use coping skills will help them to feel better and to manage their feelings in healthy ways.
Your child will benefit from learning a number of different strategies to manage their anxiety because what works for one person may not work for the next. What works today may not work tomorrow. And the coping skills that work in one situation or space may not work in another. Remember, it can be difficult to learn something new when we’re upset so be sure to teach any new skills when everyone is calm. Encouraging your child to practice these skills regularly will help them to be ready when anxiety is making it hard to cope.
Here are some simple coping skills you can teach and practice with your child:
Coping skills to use in the classroom and other more structured environments:
Take deep breaths.
Use the Five Finger Breathing technique.
Close your eyes and count to 10 or backward from 100.
Imagine a happy place.
Tense and relax muscles.
Additional coping skills to use at home and in other less structured environments:
Go for a walk.
Listen to music.
Write, journal, color, or draw.
This “Caring for Students and Families” tip was adapted from Strong4Life.com
Need help with the cost of after-school care?
The state’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program supports early education by assisting with the cost of childcare for families with limited income while they work, attend school or training, or participate in other work-related activities. Gwinnett Community Services accepts CAPS for several eligible programs when school is out of session. For additional information, email B2Anywhere@GwinnettCounty.com. CAPS is funded by the Child Care and Development Fund and administered in Georgia by the Department of Early Care and Learning.
Georgia’s largest school district is seeing success in recruiting and keeping bus drivers.
Channel 2′s Jorge Estevez visited GCPS to learn how the district is finding a way to keep the majority of its drivers.
The GCPS Transportation Department was highlighted in a news story by WSB-TV on Thursday, October 13th. The story highlighted what it takes to become a bus driver, why GCPS has been successful in recruiting bus drivers when so many other districts are struggling, and how the social and emotional support that a driver provides to their students is oftentimes undervalued, but plays such an important role in the growth, development, and well-being of the students transported.
It's Digital Citizenship Week!
GCPS students have opportunities at school to learn and practice digital citizenship skills. At home, families can support their child's growth as a digital citizen and help them navigate the digital world with these resources compiled by GCPS on topics like cyberbullying, digital footprint, safety and security, and sensitive topics. Learn more here: https://www.gcpsk12.org/Page/32834
BOE Highlights: October 20 Board Meeting
On Thursday, October 20, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) held its regularly scheduled work session and business meeting.
The Parkview Cluster was the featured cluster during the October 20 BOE meeting. Parkview High’s Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Scott Hague, performed prior to meeting. You can click here to see a video of their performance. During the meeting, David Smith, Parkview High’s principal, was joined by Nicole Marte, a teacher at Trickum Middle School, and Garrison Andrews, a student at Parkview High, in leading a presentation highlighting some of the cluster’s student and teacher accomplishments and aspirations.
During the business portion of the meeting, the Board approved the purchase of 100 new school buses, all with air conditioning (AC). Of those 100 new buses, 70 will be replacing buses that do not currently have AC.
The BOE also approved the appointment of new principals at two schools. Christopher “Chris” Bess has been named the new principal at Shiloh Middle School and Lisa Glausier has been named the new principal at Winn Holt Elementary School. Mr. Bess replaces Dr. Shanti Grund, who is an assistant principal at Seckinger High School, while Ms. Glausier takes over from Ellyce Cone who is the principal at Patrick Elementary School.
On the day after Board Meetings, board highlights are posted under GCPS Links.
What are we doing well, and what can we improve to help build relationships between students, families, staff, the district, the Board of Education, and the greater community as we work together to support student success in Gwinnett County Public Schools?
We need your input on building relationships within our schools and district to support student success so we can learn what’s most important to everyone as we move ahead together this school year.
We will be using your thoughts to create a prioritized list of ideas for the leadership team to determine the next steps as we head into the second quarter of this school year. We are using ThoughtExchange, so everyone has a chance to share their perspectives and understand what’s most important to our GCPS community.
Please share your thoughts and then rate at least 20-30 of the thoughts that others have shared. Your participation is confidential, so no one will know who shared or rated which thoughts. Personal attacks on students or staff will not be published. Please come back often through Monday, October 31, to share and rate new ideas.
Make sure you are ready to cast your vote
While the General Election is set for Tuesday, November 8, early in-person voting already is underway! Georgia voters will choose a new state legislature and all of the state’s top executives as well as Georgia’s 14 U.S. congressional seats, and one of two U.S. Senate seats. In Gwinnett, county officials are on the ballot along with the county’s SPLOST, which funds quality of life improvements such as public safety, transportation, parks, and libraries. Municipalities also may have races on their ballots for voters living within the city limits.
Early in-person voting—also called advance voting—is available daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., including weekends, through November 4. Click to check wait times at Gwinnett’s 11 advance voting locations.
On the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website, log on to MVP—My Voter Page—for voter registration status, mail-in application and ballot status, polling locations, and more. (Note that visitors now must complete a Captcha security screen to access the SOS website.) Voters who can’t participate in early in-person voting (October 17-November 4) or make it to the polls on Election Day also may apply for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on October 28. Polling places (voting locations) are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about voting in Georgia, click here.
Learn more about elections on the Gwinnett County Government website, or call the Gwinnett County Office of Elections at (678) 226-7210 with questions. To find your voting location, click here.
Gwinnett seeking poll workers
Want to earn extra money while giving back to your community? Citizens who want to be involved in the electoral process are urged to apply to be poll officials in the November 8 election. The Voter Registrations and Elections Division is looking for citizens of all backgrounds, especially bilingual Spanish speakers. It’s a great opportunity to see how elections work, gain valuable work experience, and earn up to $390 per day. Apply at GwinnettCountyJobs.com. The county is hosting poll worker hiring events at Gwinnett library branches October 28 and 29, with additional events planned before the election if needed.
JOIN TEAM GCPS
Paraprofessional Job Fair! Join us on November 8, from 9-10 a.m. or 2-3 p.m.!
Have you always had a passion to start a career as an educator? Here's your chance! Please click above for more information about becoming a GCPS Paraprofessional!
GCPS Hosts STEM Teacher Fair at Seckinger HS on December 6, from 3-6 p.m.!
Not certified? No problem! We are hiring passionate professionals in all fields! Join us and learn more about mentoring and continuing education connections, flexibility of our AKS curriculum, our diverse and globally focused community, and the opportunity for embedded certification while you teach.
Additional hiring incentive guidelines are located here. Please click here to learn more about staff referral incentives. Please direct any questions concerning incentives to email@example.com
Check out these Focus Moments from GCPS TV…
- Enjoy this video of the 2022 Marching Band Expo!
- Click here to join the principals as they surprise the six finalists for GCPS 2023 Teacher of the Year with wonderful news.
- Over the summer, two Parsons Elementary staff members represented the district's Korean DLI program abroad.
- The 2023 GCPS Student Media Festival is coming...take a look and get ready!
- Freddie Falcon gets Meadowcreek Elementary School students and staff ready to Rise Up! Check out the surprise recognition for a deserving student and teacher in this new Focus Moment from GCPS TV!
In Case You Missed It....
- Board Meeting and Board Work Session (October 20)
- Connected (October 14)
- Coffee with Calvin… Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts visits Meadowcreek High School to learn more about Culinary Arts and Early Childhood Education, two of the many CTE pathways available to students in GCPS. (October 7)
- News Releases
- Student Calendars And much more at www.gcpsk12.org!
Coming soon in GCPS....
- Keep Connected with news from GCPS TV… the next episode airs on October 28!
- Grab a cup and join us for the next Coffee with Calvin on November 4!
- Watch for the next issue of GCPS Links on November 8!
- The next regular Board meeting is November 17. (Online, find links to sign up for the public comment sections of the meeting.)