Your connection to all things in GCPS...
Your connection to all things GCPS. | November 18, 2022
Coffee with Calvin: Teacher of the Year Interview, Part Two
Click here to see Part One of Dr. Watts' interview with the 2023 Teacher of the Year finalists.
You can watch the 2023 Teacher of Year Ceremony here.
News for Students and Families
November is Georgia Apply to College Month
Georgia high school seniors can apply to more than 250 colleges and universities in the state for free during November. The Georgia Apply to College initiative is a statewide campaign to provide all Georgia high school seniors with the opportunity to apply to college, providing additional assistance to first-generation college applicants and underrepresented students as they navigate the application process.
During the November college-going campaign, many Georgia colleges and universities waive application fees for high school seniors applying for enrollment for Fall 2023. Some schools have automatically waived the fee while others require a code. To see a full list of schools offering application fee waivers, get the discount codes, and find instructions, visit the GSFC website.
The GCPS Foundation Fund, Inc., is accepting scholarship applications from members of the GCPS Class of 2023 through December 5.
For more information about November application fee waivers, available scholarships, and the application process, please visit GAfutures.org.
Don't forget to submit the 2023–24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges use the FAFSA to determine financial aid packages for admitted students. https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
Community Schools: Become A mentor!
Make a difference in your community! Did you know: 1 out of 3 young people in America is growing up without a mentor. By becoming a mentor, you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Gwinnett County students.
With a mentor, mentees are 52% less likely to skip school, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their community, and 130% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club or sports team. To apply to become a mentor, click here.
December 6, 2022, has been designated as a Digital Learning Day
Gwinnett County Public Schools has 52 schools that will be used for voting on December 6 for the Runoff Election between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats. To provide the highest levels of safety for all schools and students, and to allow GCPS principals, election board officials, and district support staff to provide the conditions for an efficient election, December 6 has been designated as a Digital Learning Day. For information about voting in the runoff, go to the Gwinnett County Elections Page.
On this specially scheduled Digital Learning Day, students will access lessons in eCLASS but do not have virtual class time with their teachers. To ensure that students have a nutritious breakfast and lunch to fuel their learning, our bus drivers will be on the road and at every bus stop to deliver free meals prepared by the School Nutrition Program staff.
Families should expect buses to run their routes from approximately 10:45 a.m. to noon, beginning at the first stops on the route. These delivered meals are provided at no cost to families and are available to anyone 18 years old and under.
2023-24 registration open for GSMST
Registration is now open for The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) for all interested students who are currently in 8th grade during the 2022-23 academic year. The lottery registration process started Tuesday, November 1, 2022. GSMST accepts all qualified, eligible students as chosen by random lottery. [Students in 9th grade or above and students in 7th grade and below are not eligible to begin the lottery registration process.] The lottery drawing will take place on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Prior to the lottery drawing, all qualified, eligible applicants will receive notification of their assigned lottery number. All lottery numbers will be drawn and posted in the order drawn. Students with numbers in the first 375 spots will be notified via USPS at the address entered on the application form. The remaining numbers will comprise the waiting list in the order drawn.
Information Nights for 8th Grade Families
The first informational meeting was held November 15. Below are the dates for the remaining meetings for students interested in attending GSMST and their families. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at GSMST, and the information presented will be the same at all three meetings.
Thursday, December 1, 2022 – Berkmar Cluster, Central Gwinnett Cluster, Collins Hill Cluster, Discovery Cluster, Duluth Cluster, Lanier Cluster, Meadowcreek Cluster, Norcross Cluster, North Gwinnett Cluster, Peachtree Ridge Cluster, and Seckinger Cluster
- Tuesday, January 10, 2023 – make-up meeting for anyone unable to attend the first two meeting dates
Bank of America Student Leaders application is now open
Since 2004, the Bank of America Student Leaders program has provided more than 3,500 community-minded high school juniors and seniors with tangible work experience, leadership development, financial education, and service. Every year, the program welcomes more than 300 students from nearly 100 communities into a paid eight-week summer internship with nonprofits in their local community like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, and more. They get first-hand experience in serving their communities and learn how nonprofits, governments, and businesses collaborate to meet local needs by participating in the national Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. By connecting with each other, students learn about the experiences of others, diversity of thought, and how we can all work together to create a more just world.
This opportunity is available to high school juniors and seniors in the Atlanta area. To learn more and apply, visit www.bankofamerica.com/studentleaders. Applications are open through Friday, January 13, 2023.
Learn about the SAT for All option for current 11th graders
Students in the Class of 2024, or current 11th graders, will need to participate in either the Gateway Writing Assessment in U.S. History or the school day administration of SAT for All to meet this graduation requirement. This survey must be completed by Friday, December 16, 2022 for eligible students.
Thanksgiving: An opportunity to connect and give thanks
As families and friends come together to give thanks this Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment to recognize the important role everyone plays in our lives by finding new ways to connect and show our appreciation to one another.
Here are some ways you can connect with your beautiful and one-of-a-kind family:
Go for a walk or hike together.
Sit down for family dinner and use a conversation starter to get things going, like this one from the Family Dinner Project.
Plan a family picnic.
Go on a family bike ride.
Set aside time for family game night.
Bake your favorite treat together.
Grab some popcorn and watch a family movie together.
Hold a family talent night and invite grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.
Organize a family block or community party to meet all of the other families in your community.
Take some family photos.
Make short videos about what you love about your family to share with each other.
Send each of your family members a text or write a note reminding them how special they are.
Interview a family member and contribute the recording to StoryCorps.
Visit the following link for additional resources: GaDOE Family Engagement Month
Students stay home during the week of November 21-25, and return to school on Monday, November 28. Buses will not be distributing meals during this time. Click here if you or someone you know needs help with basic needs (including food, personal care items, clothing, shelter, utilities, etc.). Or visit this website and enter your ZIP code to find free food pantries near you. Then click on the red marker closest to you for more information.
Gwinnett Community Services is joining forces with Goodr to hold two FREE pop-up grocery markets for Gwinnett families facing food security challenges. Goodr will help provide fresh produce, meat, shelf-stable items, milk, and other beverages. Families must pre-register to attend. One registration is allowed per household.
Vines Park – Register here
Wednesday, November 23 – 10 a.m. to noon – 3500 Oak Grove Road in Loganville
Lucky Shoals Park – Register here
Wednesday, November . 23 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – 4651 Britt Road in Norcross
Stay tuned for the December pop-up markets in the Duluth and Lawrenceville areas.
Mark Your Calendar
National Special Education Day
National Special Education Day is celebrated every year on December 2! This day commemorates the anniversary of our nation’s first federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, signed by President Gerald Ford on December 2, 1975, which made public education available to all eligible children with disabilities across the nation.
GaDOE posts new ELA standards for public comment
The Georgia Department of Education welcomes your feedback and comments regarding the proposed K-12 English Language Arts Standards. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on December 5. Click here to learn more.
Gwinnett County Board of Education Town Hall Meetings
The Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE), our Superintendent, and our entire GCPS system value feedback and input from our stakeholders. The Board of Education believes your insight helps them make better decisions as we move forward together.
To this end, each board member has scheduled a Town Hall Meeting to allow students, families, staff, and community members to have open-ended conversations with their BOE district representative. During these five town halls, Board members will answer questions, hear concerns, and listen to understand your perspective of Gwinnett County Public Schools.
These meetings are structured as informal open forums. There are no set agendas for any meeting, and any participant may ask questions or offer suggestions. All town hall meetings are open to the public. These meetings will not be livestreamed, and interpreters are available. If you need interpretation services, assistance, or have questions, please email MySchoolBoard@gcpsk12.org.
Each meeting will be held at a different school from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following dates:
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 – Meadowcreek HS – Dr. Tarece Johnson (Bilingual meeting)
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 – Paul Duke STEM HS – Dr. Mary Kay Murphy
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 – Parkview HS – Everton Blair, Jr./Dr. Adrienne Simmons
- Wednesday, December 14, 2022 – Archer HS – Karen Watkins
JOIN TEAM GCPS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dial 9-8-8 for the FREE Suicide Prevention Hotline
Holidays can be a very difficult time of year for many individuals, regardless of age. Many students and adults are experiencing hard feelings, yet don’t know how to open up about them.
If you or a loved one is in crisis and needs help, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 9-8-8 connects individuals experiencing mental health-related distress with suicide prevention and crisis resources. In Georgia, 9-8-8 calls are answered by the Georgia Crisis and Access Line–24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year. Check out their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for any additional questions you may have.
Here are some things you probably didn’t know about the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Application…
Will the information I submit be used to enforce immigration laws? No. The information you submit may only be used to determine eligibility and compliance with the free or reduced-price meal program, educational programs, or other benefits for which your child may be eligible. Your children, or other household members, do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced-price meals.
Does accepting free or reduced-priced meals affect us under the Public Charge Rule? No. The Public Charge Rule will not apply to applications for the school meals program and eligible families should continue to apply to receive these important benefits.
Gwinnett Pediatric & Adult Eye Center offers FREE VISION SCREENINGS!
Gwinnett Pediatric & Adult Eye Center is offering students a FREE VISION SCREENING starting in the month of December for the Season of Giving.
Vision screenings will take place at the Gwinnett Pediatric & Adult Eye Center location at 1300 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Ste. 1206, in Suwanee starting December 1, 2022. If anyone is interested in on-site screenings, please call (770)783-2162 or click here for additional details.
BOE Highlights: November 17 Board Meeting
On Thursday, November 17, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) held its regularly scheduled work session and business meeting. Visit the Board Meeting Highlights page to learn more student achievements and programs earning industry certification.
Click here to see the Meadowcreek HS Chamber Orchestra, directed by Nancy Schechter, perform "Winter" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons before Thursday night's Business Meeting.
Consider a donation to the GCPS Foundation in your end-of-year giving
As you consider your end-of-year giving and the impact of your charitable donations, please consider a donation to Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to providing financial resources to enrich and enhance education in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). Whatever you give and however you designate your gift, know that your donation to the GCPS Foundation is appreciated and will make a difference for Gwinnett County schoolchildren and staff members!
Check out these Focus Moments from GCPS TV…
- Enjoy this video of the Seckinger HS Dedication as the community gathers to honor former board member Daniel Seckinger and celebrate the bright future students and staff will have at the new high school that bears his name.
- Over the summer, two Parsons Elementary staff members represented the district's Korean DLI program abroad.
- The 2023 GCPS Student Media Festival is coming... submissions open December 6!
In Case You Missed It....
- Connected (October 28)
- Coffee with Calvin… Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts sits down for the first part of a conversation with the six GCPS Teacher of the Year finalists. (November 4)
- 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 December 9!
- Grab a cup and join us for the next Coffee with Calvin on December 2!
- Watch for the next issue of GCPS Links on December 16!
- The next regular Board meeting is December 15. (Online, find links to sign up for the public comment sections of the meeting.)