Simonton Parent Newsletter

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Every Student, Every Day, Deserves to Learn, Lead, & Excel!

Message from Ms. Perkins

Fall break has officially started. All GCPS schools will be closed, for all students, from Thursday, October 7, 2021 through Monday, October 11, 2021. We will welcome all students back to school on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. During fall break breakfast and lunch will not be available at the local school.


Our fall picture makeup day was originally scheduled for Friday, October 15, 2021. Lifetouch, which provides this service, is experiencing a staffing shortage. The picture make-up day has been rescheduled for November 4, 2021. Stay tuned for more information.


Teachers will send information home today so that you may schedule parent conferences. This is an important time to meet with your child's teacher so you have an accurate picture of their academic progress.


Thank you to everyone who has supported the Simonton ES PTA Fall Fundraiser. The fundraiser ends on Monday, October 18, 2021. When you have finished taking orders, please send your money to the Simonton ES front office so the PTA may pick it up.


Have an awesome weekend!

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Mark Your Calendar

October 20, 2021 ~ No School. This will be a digital learning day for all students. There will be no live instruction. Teachers will be available to provide help. They will post their office hours.


October 21, 2021 ~ Early Release. Students will be dismissed at 12:15 pm.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Beginning today on the Simonton ES website, you will be able to schedule a conference with your child's teacher. Navigate to www.gcpsk12.org/SimontonES and you will encounter the following pop-up message that appears on the screen:


It is time for our first round of Conferences!

Please click the following link: Simonton Conference Schedule

Parents, you will need to select your child's teacher, register by putting in your information on the next page (Student's Name, Your name, Email Address), and then press "Submit". You will receive an email that contains a link which will take you to the screen where you can select your desired conference day and time.


Please follow the steps and sign-up for a conference!!

2021-22 Student Council Class Officers

Congratulations to the following students:


President: Kayra Myrie (Sherrer)

Vice President: Skylar Cooper (Vlaic)

Secretary: Aubrey Bothwell (Vlaic)

GCPS Calendar Dates in October:

  • A reminder that Fall Break in Gwinnett County Public Schools is October 7-11. Students will return to school on Tuesday, October 12. Please note that meal service is not available October 7, 8, and 11.
  • October 20 is a scheduled Digital Learning Day for all students. It will be an asynchronous learning day with ALL students learning from home. Students will log into eCLASS to work independently on assignments.
  • October 21 is an early release day for students in grades K-8. Families of elementary and middle school students should be on the lookout for information about Parent-Teacher Conferences in the coming weeks.
  • While meals are provided at no charge for all students this school year, it still pays to complete the Free and Reduced-price Meal Application. Families whose students would be eligible for meal support in a typical year should complete the application by October 21, 2021. GCPS offers an online application and a printed application (available at schools). A new application must be completed each year. Due to the number of applications received, families can expect a faster turnaround time for the online application, which is available in English and Spanish.

Upcoming Events:

October 7 - 11

  • Fall Break ~ No School
October 12
  • Strong4Life Virtual Visit

October 12 - 15

  • PBIS Celebrations

October 18 - 22

  • Book Fair

October 20

  • Digital Learning Day #2 (No School) Online learning for all students. No live instruction

October 21

  • Early Release ~ Student will be dismissed at 12:15 pm

November 4

  • Fall Picture Retake

LIFETOUCH FALL PICTURE DAY RETAKES ~ RESCHEDULED!

Our retake Day was scheduled for Friday, October 15th. Lifetouch rescheduled this event for Thursday, November 4th. If your child(ren) are in need of having their pictures retaken, please mark this date change on your calendar.

PBIS Classes of the Month

These classes earned the most GOLD Shields on their grade level during the Month of September!


Kindergarten- Pace (23 shields)

1st Grade- Monroe (30 shields)

2nd Grade- Wilson (33 shields)

3rd Grade- Taylor (30 shields)

4th Grade- Tobin (34 shields)

5th Grade- Sherrer (22 shields)

Multilevel- Hicks (19 shields)

October's Character Word:

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Simonton Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Simonton October 18th -22nd.


Please click on the following link to access our Book Fair homepage: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/simontonelementary

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Superintendent's Message: Social Media Concerns

Hello, I am Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts. In addition to leading Gwinnett County Public Schools, I am a parent. As a parent, I am reaching out to you regarding social media trends we are seeing that are troubling. Lately, a number of students have made threats toward others on social media. In addition, you may have heard about recent TikTok challenges that have circulated on social media encouraging students to engage in inappropriate and destructive behavior.


In September, the “Devious Lick” challenge focused on vandalism, inciting students to steal something from their school. Unfortunately, several students in the district participated in this type of behavior. Those students faced disciplinary action and criminal charges when appropriate.


In October, a new social media challenge has emerged, calling for students to slap a teacher on the backside. Let me be very clear. Each and every person, especially each teacher, deserves our utmost respect and this behavior will not be tolerated. Encouraging others to strike another person is not funny. It is not appropriate to behave in this manner toward anyone, much less a teacher. In fact, it is sexual assault and will be treated as such in our school district.


As a fellow parent and someone who cares deeply about our students, I ask that you speak with your children about their social media use, the types of behaviors and “challenges” they see on social media, and the decisions they make and actions they take. One of the most important actions we can take as adults is to help our young people develop their instincts… instincts that can serve them well in the real world and in the online world. Please continue to help your children understand that, while social media can help them to feel connected, not all information or people on social media can be trusted. Explain to them that they are responsible for their own words and actions on social media and that many of those actions may follow them for the remainder of their educational and professional careers. And, as a result, they need to realize that some behaviors encouraged on social media can get them into trouble… at home, at school, and even with the police.


If you would like more information about these types of social media challenges or ideas on how to talk to your children about their social media use, please contact your school.

I want you to know that this communication comes from a place of love and compassion for each and every student, as well as for the adults who love them, who believe in them, and who want them to thrive as successful GCPS students and beyond. Thank you for partnering with our schools as we work to support our students. Together we can help each of our students be successful in school and in life.


In partnership and service,


Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Superintendent

There has been a recent increase in social media challenges that are very concerning. GCPS takes the issue seriously. These challenges highlight the need to educate our students to think critically about the challenges and pranks they may encounter on social media. The Department of Student Services has created the attached flyer with tips for parents on discussing social media safety and responsible decision-making with their students.
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PTA News:

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Mystery Science Videos:

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The Amazing Power of Play

From a baby’s first social smiles to the imaginative games of a preschooler, playtime sets the foundation for learning and healthy relationships. But in an era of overscheduled kids and overworked parents, kids aren’t getting enough of it.


What exactly is play? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s any activity that is voluntary and “results in joyful discovery.” To put it simply: “There are really no rules or expectations. The only expectation is that you have fun,” says Kathleen Hill, a licensed therapist with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life.


The Benefits of Play for Kids


Studies have shown that play actually changes kids’ brains, improving “executive functioning”—the skills needed to set goals, plan and finish tasks. Because playtime sparks creativity and independence, notes the AAP, it also prepares kids for a future where the best jobs will be all about innovation.

Play builds important social skills. By playing with your child, you teach her how to win and lose, take turns, role play and find her passions. And of course, play is fun! Kids who play more are less anxious, and playing has been shown to lower cortisol, the stress hormone.

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Free and Reduced Lunch Application

The application for free and reduced lunch is still available. If you received this service last year, and you feel you still qualify, you must complete an application again this year.


Free and Reduced Lunch Application

https://www.nlappscloud.com/Welcome.aspx?api=78f8fee54716f21218e523747d37a13c


Frequently Asked Questions about free and reduced lunch

https://www.gcpsk12.org/Page/29666

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Annual AKS Review

The annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum is open and runs through Oct. 11. Parents, GCPS staff, students, and Gwinnett County residents may review proposed standards online, offering feedback on AKS that have been developed to align the curriculum with the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and/or Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Feedback on this year’s AKS review may be submitted via an online AKS survey. Comments will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 11. Click here for a list of the courses with AKS under review

Give feedback on proposed instructional resources in October

Staff, parents, students, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum resources for select grades and courses in Language Arts, Social Studies, Career and Technical Education, and Foreign Language. This year’s virtual review will begin Oct. 1 and will run through Oct. 31. Additional supplemental materials will be added to the review on Oct. 15.


Before adopting instructional resources for classroom use, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) holds an extensive review. The curriculum content offices and Instructional Resources and Support jointly convened multiple committees involving various stakeholder groups to select resources to consider for adoption submitted by publishers. The resources were reviewed for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review process, resources are piloted in GCPS classrooms. Data from the reviews and pilots will be considered in making adoption recommendations to the Board of Education in early 2022.


To begin the review, please visit this link.


For more about the instructional resources review process, contact the Office of Instructional Resources and Support, at 678-301-6828.

SchoolMessenger

SchoolMessenger is a rapid notification system used to contact families in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) via telephone messages, text messages, and email messages. The district uses the system to communicate information related to districtwide events, including safety alerts and school closings due to inclement weather. Schools also may use the system to communicate general/no-emergency information related to school events and attendance messages via email.


Add 1-844-248-6644 to your contact list as Gwinnett County Public Schools. Go to go.schoolmessenger.com to manage your messaging preferences.


If you do not want to receive messages from Gwinnett Count Public Schools via SchoolMessenger, please manage your messaging preferences using the SchoolMessenger app or by accessing SchoolMessenger through the Parent Portal. In addition, at any time while listening to a message broadcast, you can press "5" on your phone to initiate the opt-out process.

Simonton Elementary ~ What We Stand For

Vision

Simonton is committed to dynamic high quality instruction resulting in a passion for learning, leading and excelling.


Core Belief

Every Student Every Day, Deserves to Learn, Lead, and Excel


Commitments

  • We commit to giving our students a fresh start every day.

  • We commit to preparing quality and engaging lessons that will prepare our students to be successful in school.

  • We commit to teaching, modeling and holding our students accountable for appropriate school behavior.

  • We commit to providing our students with a structured and safe learning environment.

  • We commit to a great year of learning, leading, and excelling

Simonton Elementary School

Superintendent- Dr. Calvin J. Watts

Assistant Superintendent- Dr. Terry Watlington

Board Member- Mr. Steven B. Knudsen


Principal- Tamara G. Perkins

Assistant Principal- Tifferney Dodd

Assistant Principal- Daphne Miles

Assistant Principal- Emily Young