In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

August 12, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Meet & Greet with Mr. Hobbs: Aug. 15, 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Open House: Aug. 16 (see details below)
  • Senior Class BBQ: Aug. 17
  • First Day of School for All Grades: Aug. 18
  • MS Mega Relay: Aug. 18
  • Ice Cream Social: Aug. 26
  • Curriculum Night: Sept. 21
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We are getting ready to welcome everyone for the 2021- 2022 school year! Please note the following regarding our upcoming Open House event and other back to school information:


  • Open House is not a drop-in event, please choose one of the two sessions (sign up is not required) and arrive no later than the start time.
  • Lower School sessions will start in students' homerooms, class lists will be posted outside the teachers' doors.
  • Middle and Upper School students will start in their first period class, schedules will be released prior to Open House.
  • Our cafeteria manager will be available at Open House to answer questions regarding the school meal program. See more below.
  • Please plan to pick up your back to school packet during Open House. There will be one packet per household. If there is a student in lower school, the packet will be in the youngest child’s classroom for pick up. Middle and upper School students who do not have a lower school sibling, please go to the Commons to pick up the packet.

  • Each packet contains is a new 2021-2022 car decal for quick admission through the school gate. Please affix this to your car, following the instructions contained in the packet, before the first day of school. Other items in your packet are an Important Dates Calendar / Corporate Partner Directory and information about clubs and sports along with several items from Dawgs 360.
  • Carpool hang tags are provided (in the packet) to families with a lower school student. Please destroy old carpool hang tags because you may have a new number this year. If you are missing or need additional carpool hang tags, please see Brannon Fissette in the cafeteria during open house.

  • Click HERE for the carpool route maps shown below.

  • Click HERE for school dismissal app and HERE for app quick reference guide.

  • MS/US parents should arrive no earlier than 3:15 (2:40 on Wed.) for carpool so that LS carpool is able to finish.

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Important Schedule Details

Please take time to familiarize yourself with the daily schedules for the upcoming school year linked below. The start and release times vary from last year and in middle and upper school - students will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesdays. Please click HERE for special schedules for the first week of school.


Please click the links below to view and print daily full week schedules for middle and upper school for the 2021- 2022 school year. These schedules may also be found in ParentsWeb under Resource Documents.


Middle School Daily Schedule

Upper School Daily Schedule

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Current COVID Guidelines

GWA will follow a comprehensive three-tiered COVID-19 plan with guidelines and specific protocols for the 2021-22 school year. The school’s plan provides guidelines for each tier including social distancing, transportation, campus visitors, dining, symptom monitoring and more. It also provides families with detailed information regarding necessary protocols in case of suspected COVID exposure or a positive COVID test result.


At this time, George Walton Academy plans to open school in Tier 1 with a mask-optional policy. We will continue to consult with health experts and monitor community transmission and make any adjustments to our policies as needed. Please click HERE to access the COVID-Plan as well as the COVID Decision Making Guide or find the information at gwa.com (under About).

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Please click HERE for the (highlighted) updates to the dress code for the 2021 -2022 school year. Please contact Dean of Students Matt Reynolds with any questions.
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Check Out Our Afterschool Programs

From aftercare to a variety of afterschool classes - our programs offer parents convenience and students fun options for afterschool enrichment activities. Aftercare is available for lower school students for an hourly fee that is billed through FACTS. Please click HERE for aftercare details, registration and Beyond the Bell class information. Contact Stacy May with any questions.
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Give Us Your Feedback!

Hi! My name is Amber Thomason and I am the new Middle and Upper School Counselor. I am so excited to be here this year and my first job is to get to know all of the families and staff here. Part of this is asking for your feedback on what you would like to see come out of the counseling office this year. I hope that you can find a few minutes to fill out this survey and give us some feedback. I would also love the chance to meet everyone in person, not just through survey, so please stop by my office and say hello!


Please take a minute to help our counseling team better support your student this year. Remember to complete the additional page to be entered for a $15 Amazon Gift Card raffle! Click HERE to take the survey. Thank you!

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Welcoming New Team Members

We are pleased to introduce our newest faculty and staff and ask you to join us in welcoming them to our GWA family!

Andrea Wilson - 7th Grade Social Studies

Andrea earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mercer University. She is a certified history and English teacher for grades 6-12 and is also a certified reading specialist for grades K-12 in the state of Georgia. Additionally she is a Google Level II Certified Educator.


“With living near to GWA, when I learned that there was an opening to teach social studies, I jumped at the opportunity to apply!” said Andrea. “I am excited about teaching to a smaller class size and being able to really connect with my students. I am also really looking forward to digging deep into a global perspective of world history instruction by introducing my students to a lot of new things about the history of our world! History is my favorite subject to teach, and I am very passionate about students developing not only a knowledge of the history of our country, but also about the rest of our world. I believe that cultural diversity and experiences are an extremely important part of the development of a well-rounded student and scholar, and I plan on providing those experiences to our students through my instructional practices at GWA.“

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Jenny Hatcher - Middle & Upper School Spanish Teacher

Jenny Hatcher earned an associate degree from Miami Dade Community college in liberal arts with an emphasis in pre-law, a bachelor's degree in social work from Florida State University, two years of educational credits at Kennesaw State University in Spanish literature, poetry, and culture, and a master's degree in Spanish language education from Nova Southeastern University. She is ACTFL certified (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) as advanced high proficient.


"I love GWA’s commitment to providing a global perspective in education, both inside and outside the classroom, allowing our future leaders and educators to be globally minded and competitive in this new evolving economy," said Jenny. "I firmly believe any child, regardless of their background, can become an instrument to being the meaningful and needed contributor our society needs and can make lasting contributions to change our global community one step at a time."


Jenny believes Spanish is a subject that encompasses the beauty of not only language, but culture, food, sports, music, and dance. "Spanish engages all five senses and if you love learning, I love teaching! I will do my best to make it fun and help students feel they are learning without even knowing it. I look forward to working with this great group of educators and students alike!"

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The Season Begins!

Our varsity volleyball team opens their season on the road tonight at 5 p.m. (new time) as they face Jefferson and Lakeview at Jefferson High School. Good luck, Lady Dawgs!
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Who's Ready?

The varsity Bulldogs head to Mt. Paran for a pre-season scrimmage tomorrow evening. The first game will be Friday, August 20 at Social Circle with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Good luck and go Bulldogs!
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It's Dawg Season

Join Dawgs 360 this year and reap all of the benefits! Dawgs 360 is simply the best way to get involved at GWA! It is the clearinghouse for all volunteer opportunities on campus. It’s a 360 degree turn, a full circle of influence that promotes and celebrates Bulldog school pride.


We encourage parents to become involved in our GWA community. Attending events and volunteering are great ways to meet other parents, interact with students and collaborate with GWA faculty. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together.


Enjoy the perks and convenience of being a Dawgs 360 member including:

*Admission to all concerts, plays, and performances

*Admission to all home athletic competitions, except playoffs

*Field trips, for both the student and the member chaperone (overnight field trips require additional fee)

*Class parties

*10% discount on all regular-priced apparel at the Dawg Shop


An annual family membership is $250 and the deadline to join is Sept. 30. Click HERE for the membership form. Email Elizabeth McDonel, Director of Dawgs 360, at if you have any questions.

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Ice Cream Anyone?

Dawgs 360 is thrilled to announce the return of a Bulldog favorite tradition - the Ice Cream Social! We look forward to welcoming our new GWA families and reconnecting with old friends. If you are interested in providing and serving ice cream - please contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com or complete the sign up form and return it to school.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Athens Orthopedic Clinic (www.athensorthopedicclinic.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.