for those who teach and those who support teachers
July 24, 2023
Making the most of your pre-planning time
Can you believe it is that time of year already? Teachers return to schools for pre-planning on July 25. New to teaching? Here are some ideas of what to expect during those pre-planning days.
School is back in session August 2
Gwinnett County Public Schools welcomes all students on Wednesday, August 2. To help students and families prepare for the 2023-24 school year, please encourage your families to review GCPS’ 2023-24 Virtual Back-to-School Backpack for Families here. This toolkit includes links to important information and district resources for families as we partner to support student success. We will highlight a different day as we count down to the first day of school!
Expect bus delays on the first day of school
We encourage all schools to remind families during open houses that delayed buses are expected during the first few days of school as drivers get used to their new bus routes and familiarize themselves with their students. Let’s work together to ensure a smooth and successful start to the school year!
Introducing ParentSquare, the ultimate communication tool for families
GCPS is transitioning from SchoolMessenger to ParentSquare for the 2023-24 school year, and we encourage all families to download the app and create an account. ParentSquare offers seamless two-way communication through text, newsletters, posts, emergency alerts, and direct messaging. The integrated translation feature enables automatic translations for multilingual families, helping you stay effortlessly connected with your students and their families. To get started, and learn about all of the cool features, check out this short informative video.
Tutor.com is available for GCPS students at no charge
In partnership with GCPS, Gwinnett County Public Library is providing access to Tutor.com to assist students in learning remotely.
The Tutor.com Learning Suite combines online tutoring, homework help, and test preparation with powerful diagnostic tools and self-study resources to provide a well-balanced and flexible educational environment designed to meet the individual needs of all learners. Get one-on-one tutoring in any math, science, social studies, and English subject. Tutor.com covers 40 subjects, including AP courses.
Live tutoring support is available daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, students can upload a document 24/7 for tutor feedback that will be reviewed and returned later.
Showcasing GCPS' dedication to Building the Bridge from Empathy to Excellence
Gwinnett County Public Schools is deeply committed to ensuring every child has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers. GCPS is intentional about shifting our culture to one that is whole learner-focused, where each and every child is known by name, by face, by individual strength, and need. Our efforts to be future-driven must include preparing our children to live and work with people who may be quite different from themselves. To bring this commitment to fruition, GCPS has developed Our Blueprint for the Future, a five-year strategic plan, and launched the Portrait of a Graduate, our shared vision for student success. These initiatives define the fundamental competencies and guiding principles driving our districtwide educational approach. To demonstrate the practical implementation of these principles within our schools and clusters, GCPS is proud to introduce Our Blueprint in Action—an initiative aimed at showcasing tangible instances of Our Blueprint priorities and the Portrait of a Graduate's core competencies occurring consistently across our district.
Each month of the 2023-24 school year, we will spotlight one of our strategic priorities or Portrait competencies by sharing the stories of two clusters, highlighting their classrooms, notable events, community insights, achievements, community service projects, student organizations, volunteer efforts, and more. Our schools are already diligently weaving the district's mission and vision into every facet of a student's academic experience. By sharing these examples from across our school district, GCPS seeks to inspire and engage our community in our strategic plan while highlighting the collaborative endeavors of our schools and clusters to ensure each and every student is prepared and ready for their future. We invite you to follow our journey this school year through school and district newsletters, social media (#OurBlueprintInAction), and websites.
The start of a new school year is a great time to practice self-care and promote a positive mindset
Returning to school can be overwhelming, so it's essential to prioritize your well-being. Set aside time for self-care activities that recharge and rejuvenate you. This can include exercise, meditation, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in activities that bring you joy. Additionally, consciously cultivate a positive mindset by focusing on gratitude, optimism, and self-compassion. By caring for your social and emotional needs, you'll be better equipped to support your students and colleagues this upcoming school year.
Complete Cybersecurity Awareness Training by December 15
Each day, GCPS employees are challenged with making important cybersecurity decisions on behalf of the school system. Whether it is deciding to open an attachment or click an embedded link within an email, for example, the outcome of their decisions could have severe implications for the school system, such as lost instructional time, financial losses, and reputational damage.
Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and are adapting their tactics to compromise cybersecurity defenses. The school system must continue to take a collective “all hands-on deck” approach to combat the ever-increasing threat of cybercrime. This school year’s campaign, “Back to Basics,” will leverage several delivery channels including posters, flyers, newsletters, and formal self-paced awareness training. Our goal is to reach and engage all staff in the campaign to safeguard our information and technology resources.
Mark your calendars:
- All staff must complete a Knowledge Assessment and online Cybersecurity Awareness Training courses that provide practical information on recognizing and responding appropriately to cybersecurity threats.
- Staff will receive an email about enrollment in Cybersecurity Awareness Training on July 24 and will have until December 15 to complete the training.
Click the Security Awareness icon in the Staff Portal to access the annual training and find cybersecurity resources designed to help you stay cyber-savvy at work and at home.
Keep your digital workspace secure by locking your computer screen when stepping away
To quickly lock your screen on most systems, simply press Control+L simultaneously. This will help prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive information and ensure the privacy and security of your data. It only takes a moment to lock your screen and it can save you from potential security risks. Stay vigilant and make locking your screen a regular practice!
New GCPS computer wallpaper background
A new wallpaper background will be pushed to all staff and student computers (Windows and Chromebooks) beginning Monday, July 31. The new wallpaper has the Blueprint for the Future theme and will replace the World Class Schools-themed background. Please make note of this change.
Qualified GCPS employees to receive a pay increase for FY2024
On Wednesday, July 12, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) adopted a millage rate to support the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) budget. GCPS employees will receive: a $3,500 salary increase for teachers, a minimum 4.5% cost-of-living increase for classified staff, minimum wage increases to $15.00/hour across the board, and a longevity step for eligible employees. In addition, all eligible employees (including teachers, bus drivers, school nutrition employees, custodians, etc.) will receive a one-time $1,000 supplement to be paid out in the fall.
Instructional classroom supply cards provide extra funds to support student learning
As approved by the Superintendent and Board of Education in the FY2024 Budget, GCPS leadership is excited to announce that active classroom teachers will receive a $300 instructional classroom supply card. These instructional classroom supply cards were sourced from Office Depot and may be used exclusively online at officedepot.com or any retail location. The instructional classroom supply cards must be used for classroom-related expenses and expire on June 30, 2024. Teachers will receive the cards and instructions from their local school before classes begin.
GCPS offers EDUCATION WEEK as a district-wide resource
As the premier source of news, information, and analysis in K-12 education, Education Week believes that an equitable—and excellent—education for all students is possible. It empowers its readers to make that goal a reality through in-depth reporting, research, and actionable insights you can put to work in classrooms immediately. Gwinnett County Public Schools offers domain-based access to all faculty, staff, and leadership within the district. Learn more about Education Week, and learn about using your profile in this video.
How to access EDWEEK
Easy instructions for instant access to Education Week online—the premiere K-12 news and professional learning resource.
- Go to www.edweek.org – if you’re a new user visiting the site, you will be prompted immediately to create an account. If you have an existing account, please proceed to step 2.
- If not prompted to create an account or automatically logged in, go to the top right – “Sign In.”
- The “Sign In” box will pop up – sign in if you’ve already created an account; if not, go to “Create Account” using the link underneath (using your authorized district email).
Don’t forget to subscribe to Education Week newsletters here.
Update emergency contact information
Your safety matters to us. Kindly remember to visit the Staff Portal and verify your emergency contact information. Keeping this information current is essential to providing support during unexpected situations.
Download the Staff Calendar
While Wednesday, August 2 is the first day of the 2023-24 school year for GCPS students, most staff members get an earlier start on the new school year. Here are the start and ending dates for the employee groups that make up the majority of school staff.
The one-page staff calendar is available for download (click on the button above), or from the SharePoint Communications Database. Note that the old Lotus Notes Communications Database has moved to SharePoint. Updated items, including translations, will be posted to this database as they become available.
GWINNETT HEART CHALLENGE
Gwinnett County Public Schools is proud to support the American Heart Association. Our school district is #3 in Georgia for student participation in Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart
This year, we are excited to host a District Level Heart Challenge for all GCPS faculty and staff to join in as we kickoff the 2023-2024 school year activities!
Show your support by texting GCPSHasHeart to 41444.
T-Shirts are $25 each. They will be delivered to everyone on September 6th.
Holly Marbut, email@example.com
T-SHIRT DONATIONS DUE:
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Thank you for raising awareness and saving lives.
We want to share your good news with our community!
Want to share a success story about your school or department with the entire GCPS community?
Are you looking for a way to recognize a teacher, student, or team member for their work? Do you want to share an upcoming event or opportunity?
Do you have GCPS Good News to share? Let us know through this online form.
Looking Ahead in GCPS...
- Keep Connected with news from GCPS TV… the next episode airs August 11!
- The next regular Board meeting is August 17. (Online, find links to sign up for the public comment sections of the meeting.)
- Watch for the next issue of GCPS Links on July 28!