Sweet Peaches

The Latest News for GCA Teachers and Staff - Dec. 17th, 2014

Please enjoy the Weekly GCA Staff Newsletter. It is our intent to inspire and encourage you through shout-outs, tech-tips and general reminders by taking a light-hearted and positive perspective to what makes being part of a virtual school special. While it is not intended to replace the important information which is shared through your school, we hope you will find even more reasons that it is truly a GREAT DAY AT GCA!

Georgia Cyber Academy - OUR MISSION

The mission of the Georgia Cyber Academy is to provide an exemplary educational experience to students in a unique and individualized setting. We embrace a collaborative partnership between teachers, learning coaches, and students that recognizes the needs of the individual child. The provision of research based curriculum and rigorous, standards-based instruction guarantees student success as measured by academic gains, parent and student satisfaction, and continued institutional growth in the respected academic community. Academic success and the ability of our students to reach their highest potential is our ultimate goal.

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Upcoming Staff Meeting Dates and Topics:

12/19 - Staff Meeting 2:00 p.m.

Training: DDI - Action Plan Peer Review - Please see email from 12/8 for required details for completing this training (No live training session today)



1/5 - Staff Meeting 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Announcements Only

1/9 - Training 2:00 p.m. WIDA and Analyzing ACCESS Score reports (DDI for EL’s) Amy Lacher GaDOE Title III

Please remember these meetings are required for all staff. Should you need to access the recording to a meeting, you can find all staff meeting recordings on the Home Page in Sharepoint. Professional Development follows our Staff Meeting each week.


Winter Break - December 22nd - January 5th

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Georgia Milestones

Please review the link below to learn more information about Georgia’s new testing system, Georgia Milestones EOC/EOG!

Preparations for our 2015 testing season is underway!

More Georgia Cyber Academy specific details will be coming soon!


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Fight Stress with a Positive Attitude!

Power. Positive Attitude.

There’s a universal truth about teaching that almost every teacher understands all too well: stress is part of the job.

Regardless of how experienced, how prepared, or how rested we feel, when we start a new day, the stress level goes up.

One of the best ways to keep stress at bay is to maintain a positive attitude. While this might seem to be easier said than done, you can use these three sure-fire techniques to help keep your attitude bright and positive.

1. Perform acts of kindness

According to research reported by Allen Mendler (2012), author of When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game, happiness can increase simply by one’s own acts of kindness for one week. By consciously focusing on kindness, we tend to be kinder to ourselves (Otake, Shimai, Tanaka-Matsumi, Otsui, & Fredrickson, 2006).

2. Focus on what’s working

Another tip from Mendler is to track the positive things happening in your life by keeping a “three-good-things” journal. Every day, document three things that went well in school and in your personal life and what caused them. The research suggests that doing this for just seven days in a row can reduce depression and increase happiness for months (Seligman, Steen, & Park, 2005).

3. Express appreciation

Choose three colleagues at school and share one or two things that you appreciate about each of them. Start with people you know and with whom you feel comfortable. Then, for a challenge, consider choosing colleagues that you don’t often speak with, or even colleagues with whom you may have conflicts. Make sure that the appreciations you share are genuine and from the heart. Even with your most challenging colleagues, you can always find genuine appreciations. Reminder: This isn’t a “gratitude exchange.” It’s quite possible that you won't receive appreciations in return. No worries—it’s your own expressions of gratitude that yield the biggest benefits.

Staying Positive Isn’t Just For Teachers

Keeping your students positive is also essential for success in your classroom. One way to emphasize positive behaviors and attitudes is by using a class reward system.

The most effective reward systems:

  • Give rewards based on specific performance criteria
  • Compare students’ performance to their own past performance
  • Generate enthusiasm
  • Are administered consistently and fairly to all students

Effective reward systems encourage both student participation and teamwork, and provide support for school values.


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TLAC Session Recordings from December 12th







Whiteboard files from all 3 of these amazing sessions can be found in Share Point - Training Tab.

Remember - all staff meeting recordings can be found in SharePoint (Homepage). The training above was completed in separate BbC rooms - see above for recordings. Thanks!

It's That time of year - recipe sharing!

The Tale of Carmelitas

"See, a Carmelita is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill treat. Rather, it is like a buttery oatmeal cookie that swallowed a caramel-filled chocolate bar and then got bibitty-bobitty-booed by the dessert fairy godmother and received an extra dose of deliciousness. Everyone I have ever talked to who has tasted one has proclaimed it to be the most wonderful thing ever."

All of the crazy obsessiveness boils down to this: Carmelitas are to-die-for. Make them. Now.

32 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*A stint in the fridge will help them cool off if you’re pinched for time. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature.
**If you want to use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in place of the caramel/cream mixture, use 1 1/4 cups of caramel sauce, and omit the caramel squares and heavy cream.
***To make a 9×13″ version, simply double the amounts

Check it out: http://luluthebaker.com/

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Make sure you are logged in to K12 Training before trying the link below!
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