Norton News

Issue 2 - December 2022

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Thanksgiving Luncheons - Ms. Lee

We had a wonderful time hosting Thanksgiving lunches for students, parents, and family members before Thanksgiving break. Thank you to our cafeteria staff for your preparation for this event and for the delicious Thanksgiving meal!

Happy Holidays - Ms. Lee

I would like to wish each and every student, staff member, parent, and our community a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year. Thank you for your partnership in making our first semester of the 2022-2023 school year a success. I hope you take the winter break to enjoy your family and friends. Stay safe and healthy over the holidays and I look forward to leading alongside you during the second semester.

Principal for a Day - Ms. Lee

On November 15th, we hosted our Principal for a Day, Mr. David Cuffie. He is the director of church ministries at Berean Christian Church. While our Principal for the Day, Mr. Cuffie experienced teaching and learning in the classrooms, joined staff during collaborative planning to prepare for instruction, assessment, and differentiation for each student, as well as help with dismissal of students in the bus lane. Mr. Cuffie and Berean Christian Church donated Thanksgiving meals for our comet families in need. He also came back last week to join the Norton Live crew for morning announcements. Mr. Cuffie and Berean Christian Church will have a lasting relationship to continue to support our students, parents, and community. We can’t wait for you to return to Norton again soon Mr. Cuffie.

1st Semester Honors Programs - Ms. Lee

We conclude our first semester of teaching and learning on December 16, 2022. We will host our first semester honor’s programs for students in January to recognize them for their progress. Teachers will inform parents of their child’s recognition prior to the honor’s program. The dates for each grade level’s honor’s program in the cafeteria are:

Monday, January 23, 2022:

8:45 a.m. – 4th Grade

9:45 a.m. – 2nd Grade

1:30 p.m. – Prekindergarten & Kindergarten

Wednesday, January 25, 2022:

8:45 a.m. – 3rd Grade

9:45 a.m. – 1st Grade

1:30 p.m. – 5th Grade

Norton Robotics Team - Mrs. Brown

Most of us take it for granted that we can "fill up on energy" anytime and anywhere. But how is our energy actually generated, stored, distributed and consumed? Will we always have enough energy available? What can the future of energy production and consumption look like? Well, this year Norton Elementary FLL Robotics Club answered some of those questions.

As a competitor the Team used and applied the FIRST Core Values and engineering design process to develop robot and Innovation Project solutions. We had to identify a mission strategy and design, create, and code a robot to complete missions. We then had to test, iterate, and improve our Robot Design and Innovation Project. Finally we communicated our Robot Design and Innovation Project and demonstrated how the code worked in the Robot Game.

Our Robotics team competed in FLL Superpowered Challenge and won First Place in our Division for the “Most Innovative Project”, and we now move on to the Super Regionals in January. We took this challenge very serious. It was important for us to really question how we use energy, how it is generated, stored, distributed and consumed. Designing a way to use clean energy more efficiently and portable was our primary focus. So, we decided to create a Hydropowered generator that can be used to power small appliances in the home as well as outside of the home.

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PBIS Updates - Ms. Tate

Our school has developed a set of expectations or rules for your child’s behavior at school. We will teach these expectations to all of our students, and we will recognize students who meet them. The expectations will be the same for students in all areas of our school, including the playground, the lunchroom, the classroom, and on the bus.

Norton Expectations: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready Behavior (3R’s)

PBIS Acknowledgements/Rewards

Class Gotcha Cards: Classes receive gotcha cards for displaying 3R’s behavior as a class. The class with the most gotcha cards at the end of month receives a reward.

Student Gotcha Cards: Individual students receive gotcha cards for displaying 3R’s behavior. Students can redeem the gotcha cards monthly at the PBIS store.

Golden Gotcha Cards: Individual students receive golden gotcha cards from the principal and assistant principals when caught displaying 3R’s behavior. Names are randomly selected to receive a reward.

PBIS Store

Volunteers: The PBIS would love to have parent volunteers to run the store. The PBIS store is open for three days at the end of every month.

Wish List: Sweet Treats, Chips, squish mellows, fidget toys, pop it toys, hot wheels, and other items will be accepted as well.

Student Council Updates - Ms. Teasley & Mrs. Green

For the months of November and December the Student Council held a Canned Food Drive to give back to those in the community. We held a contest throughout the school to encourage students to bring in non-perishable items. The Canned Food Drive was a huge success with over 1,500 cans being donated. We have decided to start a Comet Care Closet at Norton that will be available for students and their families to get food if they need it for home. We are very excited to offer this to the families of Norton and to give back to our community. Even though our Canned Food Drive is over we will still be collecting cans to ensure that our Comet Care Closet stays stocked for families in need.

The class winners were

  • Kindergarten- Ms. Hooks
  • First Grade- Ms. Stocks
  • Second Grade- Ms. Clark
  • Third Grade- Ms. Augustin
  • Fourth Grade- Ms. Hogan
  • Fifth Grade- Ms. Feaster
  • Overall winner- Ms. Buford

Our plans moving forward include working to address student and staff needs and concerns, building stakeholder relationships and community partnerships, and continuing to build the leadership capacity of our student officers and classroom representatives

Pictured below: Members of the student council with just a fraction of the canned goods collected during the canned food drive (Nolawi Bayuh, Brison Purnell, Jose Rubio, Jaylen Noble, Chloe Linly, and Kyleigh McCluskey)

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ELL Multicultural Night - Mrs. Baldwin

On November 7th Norton held our ELL Multicultural Night! Families joined us dressed to celebrate their heritage and the many cultures represented at our school! We also had students share artwork inspired by their culture to display!
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Car Rider Expectations - Mrs. Gaston

Car Rider Expectations Morning Drop-off Reminders

  • Morning Drop-off is 7:45 AM – 8:15 AM. The bell rings at 8:15 AM and students are expected to be in their classrooms by this time.
  • The side doors will close at 8:15 AM.
  • If you choose to park your car and walk your students across the car rider line, you must walk the students to the front door of the school.
  • Students that exit cars from the car rider line will enter the side door of the school.
  • Pull your car all the way to the end of the car rider line for drop off.
  • Please stay in your car and in the car rider line AT ALL TIMES.
  • Students are to exit and enter their cars on the right-hand side of the car.
  • If you cannot exit the right side of your car, please park and walk your students to the front door.
  • If you have a child safety lock on the car door, make sure it is disabled or unlocked.
  • School staff are present to ensure safe conditions and will not open/close doors or hold umbrellas
  • The Bus lane in the front of the school is closed to cars until after 9:00 AM.
  • Only buses may use the bus lane from 7:45 AM—9:00 AM.
  • Please limit cell phone usage in the line.

Car Rider Expectations Pick-up Reminders

  • Afternoon Pick-up times are 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM and students are dismissed from the GYM.
  • At 3:15 PM, any remaining students are taken to the front office and can be picked up there.
  • Have your car rider tag with number visible on the right-hand side of the dashboard.
  • If you have a young child, help them to memorize their car rider number. Students are called for afternoon dismissal by the number we see displayed on the dashboard.
  • Students will only be dismissed to cars with visible car rider tags. If you do not have your tag, you will need to park your car, walk to the front office, and sign your child out from the front office. Make sure you show your ID.
  • Each family is given 2 car rider tags in case 2 different cars are used for pick-up. If you lose your tag or need extra copies, please contact Sonia Forde or Katherine Garcia in the front office.

Comet Time - Mrs. Gaston

What is Comet Time?

The purpose of Comet Time is to provide students for 30 minutes each day with modeled instruction of close reading of complex grade level texts and to promote mathematical literacy through the application of mathematical concepts and critical thinking.

What's the Purpose?

● Develop concepts, strategies and skills through remediation and enrichment.

● Increase stamina, critical thinking, and problem solving.

● Build students’ ability to build, explain and refine their constructed responses.

Testing Updates - Mrs. Gaston & Mrs. Baldwin

iReady Diagnostic Winter Screener

Students in Kindergarten are taking the iReady Diagnostic Screener for the first time. The screener window for Kindergarten students is December 7 to December 16, 2022. Any Kindergarten student that still needs to complete the winter screener will have from January 6, 2023, to January 20, 2023, to finish.

Students in 1st-5th grade will be taking the online iReady Diagnostic from January 6, 2023, to January 20, 2023. The iReady Diagnostic is administered to identify areas in math and reading students need intervention or acceleration. The goal of the diagnostic is to find the student's "just right" level in math and reading. iReady is an interactive online learning program designed to provide individualized instruction based on each student's unique needs. The next time K-5 students will take the iReady Screener will be in the spring.


Students in Kindergarten will take the middle of the year mClass Dibels assessment to assist teachers with identifying which foundational reading and comprehension skills students have mastered and which one's students still need intervention.

Common Formative Assessments

CFAs will assess shorter instructional units. The data from the CFA allows teachers to be responsive to when students master content or need additional instructional support. All CFAs are administered online.


English Learners will be taking the ACCESS 2.0 assessment. Kindergarten ACCESS for EL is a paper-based test individually administered to kindergarten students in a game-like, interactive format. ACCESS for EL students in 1-3 grade is administered online and paper based. ACCESS for EL in 4-5 grade is administered online as a computer-based adaptive test that responds to student performance. This assessment is given annually each spring. Teachers use ACCESS results to make decisions about students' proficiency with English in academic contexts and to facilitate their language development. Students' scores reflect proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 (Entering) to Level 6 (Reaching)

Promotion Criteria for 2022-2023 School Year - Mrs. Gaston

Kindergarten: Preparing for 1st Grade

To earn promotion to the 1st grade, students must demonstrate proficiency of the current grade-level Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) standards. Readiness for the 1st grade will be determined by the child’s classroom grades, assessments, and/or input from the school’s Student Support Team (SST).

1st Grade: Preparing for 2nd Grade

To earn promotion to the 2nd grade, students must demonstrate proficiency of the current grade-level Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) standards. Readiness for the 2nd grade will be determined by the child’s classroom grades, assessments, and/or input from the school’s Student Support Team (SST).

2nd Grade: Preparing for 3rd Grade

To earn promotion to the 3rd grade, students must demonstrate proficiency of the current grade-level Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) standards. Readiness for the 3rd grade will be determined by the child’s classroom grades, assessments, and/or input from the school’s Student Support Team (SST).

3rd Grade: Preparing for 4th Grade

To earn promotion to the 4th grade, students should have a reading status of Grade Level or Above on the English Language Arts Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) Assessment. Students who do not meet this criteria may have the opportunity to attend summer school for targeted instruction. These students may be required to retest after summer school. Students should also possess the academic knowledge and skills necessary to be successful at the next grade level.

Students who do not have a reading status of Grade Level or Above on the English Language Arts Georgia Milestones EOG but who have a yearlong average that is passing (70 or higher) in Reading may be promoted.

4th Grade: Preparing for 5th Grade

To earn promotion to the 5th grade, students should have a yearlong average of 70 or better in Reading and Mathematics and possess the academic knowledge and skills necessary to be successful at the next grade level in Science and Social Studies.

5th Grade: Preparing for 6th Grade

In Georgia, 5th grade students also are required to achieve a reading status of Grade Level or Above on the English Language Arts Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) Assessment and achieve the performance level of Developing or higher on the Mathematics Georgia Milestones EOG Assessment. Students who do not meet either of these state promotion requirements may be required to retest after summer school.

Students who do not meet grade level proficiency for the reading status and/or achieve the performance level of Developing or higher on the Mathematics EOG assessment but who have a yearlong average that is passing (70 or higher) in the corresponding course (Reading or Math) may be promoted.

Instructional Resources to Support Students at Home - Mrs. McKellar

We encourage you to visit the Parent Center. Mrs. McKellar is available to share resources that parents may need to help with their children’s learning at home. She has many learning games, children’s books and resource books for parents, learning DVD’s, and practice books for check out. She is here to help you navigate online resources to also help with learning at home.

AKS at Home is an important resource for our families. The program highlights Language Arts and Math learning. The county has shared Session I and Session 2 this semester. I would like to encourage parents to access the recorded sessions and Tip Sheets on the GCPS website under the Students and Families tab. Mrs. McKellar is here to help and would be glad to help parents access the sessions at any time. Look for more information for the AKS at Home virtual Sessions 3 and 4 coming this Spring.

We encourage parents to also access eTIPS that are shared weekly. For example “Encourage Your Child to try to Solve Problems” is one of the tips shared at - Look for the Weekly eTIPS on Norton’s website and also shared by your teachers. Please encourage you children to access their eClass page nightly for many resources for extra help at home. Visit the Parent Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to meet with Mrs. McKellar for continued support.

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70's & 80's Decades Days - Mrs. Spruiell

We want to support the morale of our students and staff with fun activities to engage everyone and lift emotional well-being and spirits. This year we featured Dress like the 70’s Day on Day 70 of the school year, November 14, 2022. We dressed like the 80s on day 80 of the school year, December 5, 2022.

The next big number day will be the 100th day of school. We will celebrate everything 100!! Look for the informational flier coming home in Friday Folders, January 12, 2023. The 100th Day of School is JANUARY 20 ,2023!!

Donuts for Grownups - Mrs. Spruiell

National Family Engagement Day - "Donuts for Grown Ups" Featuring Pen to Paper Your Magic by Kaswaina Powell

Thursday, November 17, 2022 – 8:30 – 10:30 AM

At this event, parents dropped into the parent center for donuts and coffee while exploring the various parent center resources, technology, and district materials for parents on the parent portal. Ms. Kaswaina Powell, entrepreneur, and author, who is one of our very special Norton Elementary parents, shared her books and family engagement kits and activities with our parents and families. We will do some other events with Kaswaina during second semester. Please stay tuned for information about future events. Please visit Kaswaina at her business in Snellville for more family engagement activities.

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Title I Updates - Mrs. Spruiell & Mrs. McKellar

We are very excited that our year is going so well with Title I activities. Title I offers many programs to assist parents with their children’s learning at home. Teachers shared Norton’s The Plan/The Promise at October conferences and many parents reviewed it on MyPaymentsPlus. This is a very important document that shows the responsibilities of the teacher, parents, and student in the development of the student’s overall education. If you do not have a MyPaymentsPlus account, reach or to our Parent Coordinator and she will be glad to help you create an account. The Title I Documents are shared there. On November 7th Norton hosted an English Language Learner (ELL) Multicultural Night. There were many exciting activities to celebrate the many cultures represented at our school through literacy, math, and SEL integrated activities offered from Pre-K through 5th grade in the Norton Gym. November 17, 2022, we hosted Donuts for Grown Ups (See article below). Upcoming Title I events for second semester include Math Night, Science Night (This winter – Jan./Feb.) and our PreK Transition Workshop, scheduled for April 2023. Please look for further information, and we hope to see you there.

Please watch for reminders of upcoming workshops and events offered through Title I. We want to encourage parents to join Zoom sessions on AKS @Home at GCPS. This is a wonderful program offered through Gwinnett County Schools. Log onto AKS at Home to find sessions offered for all grade levels. You may attend live sessions or visit the site for recorded sessions. Go to our Title I page on the Norton School Website for more information on AKS at Home. Beverly McKellar, our Parent Instructional Coordinator, is available to support you. She has many resources in the Parent Center that are available for check out to support learning at home. Please contact her at 770-736-2015 with questions.

Title IX Updates - Mrs. Spruiell

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX specifically states that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Title IX, you may contact your Local School Title IX Coordinator for assistance by writing or calling: Kathy Spruiell Local School Title IX Coordinator, Norton ES, 3050 Xavier Ray Court, Snellville, GA 30039,, 678-639-3795.

Comet Caring Calendar - Mrs. Spruiell

Please check out our Comet Caring Calendar. We send these home in the Friday Folders at the beginning of each month. We highlight a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competency each month. The 5 competencies are Relationship Building, Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness, Self-Monitoring, and Decision Making. Each day of the month, there is a task students can complete at home or in the classroom that supports the SEL competency for the month. We hope all of our families will actively participate the daily activities on the calendar to help the school staff support SEL at home AND at school. In addition, we also provide important school information about school-wide spirit days or other specials occasions. Check your calendars every day! Remember we care! This year our theme is, “Norton School of Caring, 2022-2023 – A Monster Good School Year.”

SEL at Norton - Mrs. Spruiell

According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning) social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel, and show empathy for others, establish, and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. At Norton Elementary we support SEL through daily SEL lessons during a common school-wide lesson time every morning. Our SEL committee supports stakeholders through the School’s Comet Caring Calendar, support for Parent nights and workshops through the Title I program, and creating grade level lesson plans for school-wide SEL. In addition, our school counselors and the counseling program also support SEL with classroom guidance lessons and individual student counseling.

Extended Learning Time at Norton - Mrs. Spruiell

We are so thrilled to offer a fantastic new learning opportunity our students this year. We have designed two after school programs. The first program is our intervention program (NASTI) which is designed for students who met our intervention criteria based on their iReady screener scores from the beginning of the year and 21–22-year end grades. Our after school teachers provide just in time support and practice for both reading and math for students in this program.

We are also very excited to continue our enrichment program (NASEA) that we started last year for gifted students and/or students achieving on or above grade level based on their iReady screener scores. NASEA will offer content integrated projects, activities, and learning tasks to help our students gain new knowledge, achieve to their best of their abilities and beyond, and have fun while actively learning. We are so proud that over 200 students participated in these learning opportunities during the fall sessions. Students liked the sessions so much; they often did not want the sessions to end. 😊 We have more sessions planned for the winter/spring semester.

-Wednesday and Thursday afternoons

-Times: 3:30 – 5:30 PM (Dismissal starts at 5:15 PM)

Office Hours and Early Check-Outs - Mrs. Forde

Norton Office hours are from 7:00 am – 4:00 pm. Students may not enter the building until 7:45 am. Students arriving after 8:15am are considered tardy and parents will need to come to the front office to check them in.

If you wish to check out a student, please come to the office with your State ID no later than 2:15 pm. No check outs will be allowed after this time.

For one-day transportation changes, please send in a handwritten note to let the teacher know of the change. Please note that phone calls or faxes will not be accepted for any transportation changes. If you are making a permanent transportation change, you will need to come to the office and fill out a new Transportation Form and your ID will be required. No Permanent changes will be made until the transportation form has been filled out.

Please always remember to have your State ID with you for the safety and security of our Norton students and staff. Thank you for all your support as we continue to make Norton ES a safe and positive learning place.

Transportation Updates- Mrs. Forde

Please make sure before you child leaves the house every morning, they have a transportation (car rider, bus, or daycare) tag attached to their book bag.

If your child gets a new book bag, PLEASE put tag on their new book bag.

Clinic Updates - Mrs. Clarke

Thank you for supporting our clinic with your generous donation. Because of you we are able to meet the needs of our children. Our clinic closet is stock with the exception of undergarments. However, we are still in needs of boys'/girls' undergarments , Band-aid, Snack bags, Kleenex, Disposable none alcohol wipes and girl's feminine product. Just a reminder, we do not dispense medication to student. Only prescribed medication or over-the-counter medication that is brought in with the proper documentation and in the original container are dispensed. Gwinnett County does not allow students to carry medication on their person. All medication are kept in the clinic. Also, if your phone number has changed, please update the new information in the portal so we can reach you in a timely manner, in the event of an emergency. We don't want your child/ children waiting for hours because of lack of information.

Parent/guardian if your child is sick, running a fever, coughing or vomiting prior to coming to school please keep them home. A child with a fever should be fever free twenty-four hours before returning to school. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know and I would be happy to assist you. Thanks for all you do to make our school a safe and comfortable learning environment for our children. We appreciate and thank you for supporting our school clinic needs.

Registration - Mrs. Garcia

Welcome to R.L. Norton Elementary School, home of the Comets! We are looking forward to seeing your student thrive at our school. The registrar is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. No appointments are required to register or withdraw students. Call the main office ahead of time to make sure the registrar is available.

  • Registration: The enrolling parent/legal guardian is responsible to provide all required documents at time of registration. Student must be registered before 11:30 a.m. to get same day attendance credit. If a student is registered after 11:30 a.m., the child will start school the following day. For detailed information on registration information, please click on this link: Registration / Registration (
  • Withdrawals: Only the enrolling parent/legal guardian can request to withdraw a student. If you need a withdrawal packet to present to your new school, you may pick it up on the next business day. You will need to present your identification to pick it up. You may also submit your request via e-mail by clicking here: Withdrawal Form Please include a copy of your identification. Note: Save form first before clicking “Submit”.
  • Permissive Transfers: If your student is enrolled at Norton Elementary School with a Permissive Transfer, a letter will be sent home (Kindergarten through 4th grade only) with enrollment procedures for the 2023/2024 school year.

Please contact our Registrar, Alma Garcia, at or (678) 639-3798 if you have any questions or concerns regarding registrations, withdrawals, or student records.

MyPaymentsPlus - Mr. Moore

We understand that every parent has enough to worry about… staying in the loop with their student’s school accounts should be simple. MyPaymentsPlus is trusted by more than 2 million parents to help streamline payments for school meals, fees, and activities. GCPS also hosts important documents for parent review on MyPaymentsPlus!

Digital Learning Days - Mr. Moore

Our third Digital Learning day of the year was on Tuesday, December 6th. We have three more DLD's remaining:

  • Friday, February 3rd
  • Friday, March 17th

1st Semester Report Cards - Mr. Moore

First Semester report cards will be printed by the district and mailed out the week of January 17th.