Benefield Elementary Beacon

August 5, 2014

Congratulations on a perfect engagement!

Each of you engaged with your students, parents, and each other this week! Thank you for making our first day together an engaging and exciting day of learning. Our students were excited to be back in school and in your classroom! Continue to send me your engagement photos. We will print photos to include in our media center conference room. You can email or text photos to Dr. Walker.

Vision 2016: Cohort 6

Language Arts and Science Vision Staff Development: Cohort 6

Vision participants will engage in learning to support the integration of science in reading and writing workshop. Mini-lessons will be developed, and student work will be shared. During the course, teacher participants will learn strategies for supporting students with complex texts and constructed responses. Teaching grammar through reading and writing will also be emphasized. Teachers who complete Vision Cohort 6 will receive two (2) PLUs, books, and materials.

What: Staff development series on the GCPS Balanced Literacy Framework that integrates Science

When: 9/13, 10/18, 11/15 and 12/13 from 8:30am - 1:30pm

Where: Benefield Elementary

Please contact Josie Perez at 678-301-7010 or Teresa Shuler at 678-301-7036 with questions. Teachers need to register for Vision by August 20 using the PD&E tool in the employee portal.

Social Studies: Integrated Units

The Social Studies Leadership team has created integrated units for the AKS in grades K-5. These can be found on the SOAR web site through the portal under the lesson plan tab. These lessons are designed to enhance the teaching of other content AKS such as math, reading, science, the arts, and physical education through the use of social studies content. The Georgia Council on Economic Education will conduct several workshops for the north Georgia area here at the ISC. Please check their web site for additional information and registration. The first elementary curriculum meeting will be August 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Grayson room. Please contact the social studies office should you need assistance.


Classworks' new reading content is now available for grades 1-8. It can be found under the "Instruction" tab and is called "Integrated Reading". This new content includes fiction and non fiction paired passages, note taking capabilities, highlighting, underlining and even dictionary access.

Curriculum Night: Tuesday, August 26th

Please make sure to send home the flyers in Friday Folders. We will offer three (3) sessions during the evening. All sessions will be identical. Thus, allowing parents to visit all teachers for their children. Parents may select which session(s) they would like to attend. We have scheduled a PTA meeting for this event. More information to follow.

Daily School Opening & Closing

For your safety, please plan your arrival and departure within the custodial work hours. Mr. Kirk usually arrives by 6:00 AM daily to open the building. The slide locks will be open indicating you can enter the building. All slide locks will be closed beginning at 7:00 PM daily. Please make sure you have exited the building prior to 7:30 PM.

Fire Drill

We will have two (2) fire drills this month, as required by the state. Please practice your safety procedures with your class prior to our first drill this week.

Learning Cottages' Gate

Please remember that the gate is to remain closed and locked from the inside at all times. This is an emergency evacuation gate, and is not to be used on a regular basis for accessing the learning cottages.

Student Address Verifications & Homeroom Lists

Students who did not complete an online verification form were provided a "cherry" colored sheet stapled to a printed student information form. The parent needs to make changes directly on this form. The online process has been closed for all returning students.

On Friday, all student verification forms (green and/or salmon) with any notations or updates will be picked up by our grade level helper no later than 10:00 AM. Please use your green folder from Meet Your Teacher to turn in verification forms.

In your boxes Friday morning, you will have an updated homeroom roster. Please use this roster Friday to verify the students in your classroom. This does not take the place of taking attendance in gradebook.

Please cross out any child who is not in your class and write in the name of any child who is in your class, but not on the roster. You will turn this homeroom list in with your student verification forms. Please paper clip your roster to the top of your green folder.

Count Days

Please complete your count sheet by 9:00 AM on designated days (Wednesday this week and every Tuesday). Tape your sheet to the outside of your classroom door for pick up. I would recommend taking your count as close to 9:00 AM, as possible to account for any late arrivals.

eClass Survey

Please take a moment to complete this survey in regards to the implementation of eClass at Benefield. This is a GCPS developed survey that will help us plan our support services. Thank you in advance!

Below is a the link to the survey.

Cafe Procedures

Please train your students on the procedures for the cafe including the "no talking" time. This time is set aside for students to eat their meal. The music is recorded in 5 and 10 minute intervals. Students have 5 minutes of quiet and 10 minutes of conversation.

The microphone is located in the black box under the sound system. Please feel free to use the microphone to reinforce our procedures. The door to the sound system must remain open during operation.

If the music is not playing while you are in the cafe, please reset the music.

Students need to know their student ID or teachers can bring the student bar codes for scanning.

Lunch Applications

If you receive a red/white lunch application from a parent, please turn in form directly to Nancy Condon, cafe manager. Please do not hold applications in your room. A good practice would be to take the applications with you to lunch.

Cafe Recycling

Nancy Condon, our cafe hospitality manager, has set up a recycling program for our school. Nancy will personally transport the items from school to a recycling center to help offset the cost of students who are unable to clear their lunch charges.

Please help support Nancy by having your students recylce plastics and cans. Please remind your students not to put food or liquid in the recycling containers. The containers are located next to the tray return door.

Thank you Nancy for helping us go green!

Daycare Info

Kids R Kids Herrington & Kids R Kids Atkinson require an orange daycare tag. The daycare providers load in two different locations. Herrington loads in the bus lane and Atkinson loads in the car rider lane.

YMCA: meets every day after school in our cafe/gym until 6:30 PM. On early release days, the YMCA offers extended hours to our students who are enrolled.

We will continue to have students enrolling, so we will need to make sure they have orange daycare tags. Registration forms must be delivered to the YMCA on Sugarloaf Parkway by the parent. We do not enroll students. Ms. Linda Lowry, kinder parapro, is a site director and Mrs. Ivonne McNally, Title III POL, are both able to support parents in this process.

HR Compliance Training 2014

Please work on completing your required training. Please log into the go.gwinnett portal and select the PD&E tool. Select the HR compliance training. The training includes a variety of videos: mandatory reporter, sexual harassment, code of ethics, and seclusion & restraint training. Upon the conclusion of each video, you will need to complete a "quiz". The quiz is a yes/no answer to the question: did you watch the video and complete the training. Upon completion of all videos, please complete the last "quiz" certifying you have completed the course. An electronic report will be generated and sent to me daily. There is no need to print your certificate or email me your document.

If you want to confirm it is on your transcript, you can navigate to your staff development log in the PD&E tool. If you have any question, Joanne Schlenker or I can assist you.

GTES (Gwinnett Teacher Effectiveness System)

Teachers must log into the Gwinnett Portal/PD&E Tool to begin their evaluation. Please view the orientation and take the self assessment. Please remember to finalize your assessment.

Counselors, PISC, SLPs, Media Specialist, LSTC, etc will need to complete the Educator Effectiveness after July 25th.

If you would like an individual pre-conference, please notify your grade level leadership team member. We will gladly schedule a time for us to meet.

Please mark off electronically as you complete each required step: orientation, self-assessment, and pre-conference. You need a green check on each step and a green check on planning phase to be complete.

Local School Council

Congratulations to Julie Gornall and Judy Swisher as our 2014-2016 council representatives.


Take a moment to join our Sunshine! Ms. Merriman and Ms. Stepp are collecting dues and forms. You can pay in one or two payments. Certified staff $20 and classified staff $15 for the year. Help spread the sunshine!

Is your calendar linked to Benefield's school calendar?

Can you see the daily events when you log into your email? If you are using Lotus Notes, open your calendar to see if you are able to view our school events. If you are using go.gwinnett portal, the calendar will be on the right hand side. If events are listed below, you are linked.

Please let your ILT member know if you are still experiencing difficulty. It is the expectation that everyone is able to see the calendar and use the calendar to stay informed of upcoming events at Benefield.

All events, field trips, rehearsals, etc. need to be recorded on our school calendar. Please submit a calendar request to Mrs. Torres. Mrs. Torres can provide you the calendar request form.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Tuesday, 8/12: Student Count Day

Friday, 8/15: Summer Reading & Math Logs submitted in communities; GTES planning phase completed

Monday, 8/18: SPG Week for Grades 1-3 (Reading & Math: Grades 2 & 4 in Special Areas; ILT meeting 3:00 - 4:00 PM

Tuesday, 8/19: Student Count Day

Thursday, 8/21: BOY Writing Prompt

Friday, 8/22: BOY Exemplar

Tuesday, 8/26: Student Count Day & Curriculum Night K-5 (5:30 - 8:00 PM)

Thursday, 8/28: Chik Fil A Spirit Night (5-8 PM)

Tuesday, 9/2: Emergency Sub Plans Due

Friday, 9/5: Reading Levels & CAP due

Happy Birthday August!

We are still compiling staff information. Birthday list will be forthcoming.