In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

September 30, 2021

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • V Football vs. Holy Innocents'/Youth Night: Tomorrow night
  • Homecoming Week: Oct. 4 - 8
  • Homecoming Dress Up Days: Oct. 4 - 8 (see below)
  • ACT Testing: Oct. 5
  • Early Dismissal: Oct. 8 - all grades (see below)
  • Homecoming Dance: Oct. 9, 8 - 11 p.m., Nich. Center
  • Dawgs Unleashed Golf: Oct. 11
  • Dawgs Unleashed Tennis: Oct. 12
  • 1st & 2nd Grade Musical Performances: Oct. 14
  • Dawgs Unleashed 5K & Fun Run: Oct. 16
  • Yearbook Picture Make Up Day: Oct. 26
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Equipped for Learning

Students in Mrs. Watts' AP Physics class are exploring applications of Newton's Second Law, the acceleration is directly proportional to an object's net force and inversely proportional to its mass. First, students make a prediction about the direction of acceleration or magnitude net force. Then, they verify their predictions immediately with physics lab equipment. This process brings Newton's Second Law to life as students are able to visualize and measure each component of the law. The equipment used to validate their predictions includes force plates, acceleration and force sensors, fan carts and smart carts. All of the lab equipment used for this lesson was provided through the School Empowerment Grant awarded by Walton EMC.
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Excerpt Party

Mrs. Byrd’s eighth-grade English class kicked off the year with a narrative writing unit. For their first assignment, students were asked to write a personal narrative – a story about one meaningful event in their life and reflect on its significance or importance in their life.


Students had an opportunity to read excerpts from their narratives during last week’s “Excerpt Party.” As each student read their writing, their classmates determined whether they would sign them for a book deal and shared feedback. The party was a fun way to engage students and make them feel more connected with each other while improving their writing abilities.

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October is National Dyslexia Awareness month. There is no better time to learn how to support students struggling with dyslexia, while bringing awareness to others in the community about its effects on the student population.


Please join the PARC in a “Dyslexia Simulation” on Wednesday, October 27. Participants will rotate among four learning stations that simulate various language-related tasks similar to those encountered in the classroom and workplace. The goal of the workshop is to give hands-on experience to increase the awareness of the difficulties and frustrations individuals with dyslexia encounter each day.


Session I --- GWA Faculty-Staff 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.


Session II --- Parents, Students, Community 4:15 - 5:15 p.m.


Remember, dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties. Studies suggest one out of five students are affected by dyslexia. Learn more about dyslexia by clicking on the links below.


https://www.dys-add.com/index.html


https://dyslexiaida.org/october-is-dyslexia-awareness-month-2/

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Are You Ready for Dawgs Unleashed?

Don’t miss out! It's time to sign up for all Dawgs Unleashed events as a participant and/or a volunteer. Go to our website (under Events tab) or click link below for details and registration. Contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com with any questions.

https://www.gwa.com/events/dawgsunleashed.cfm

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Taking Time to De-Stress

Our school year is in full swing as we head into October and prepare for our upcoming exam dates. There are three exam dates in October and many of these tests are important to our college bound student population as they work toward their future goals and dream colleges. With exams comes many nights studying, worrying about the outcomes, and stress about what the day itself will bring. Studies show that lower stress levels heading into exams produce the best outcomes. With that in mind, the counseling office is working to provide skills to help improve stress management and promote success.


As we know, preparation is important before a big exam, however, it is also important to address the “aftermath” of test day. Our kids expend so much energy in the testing room and are often ready for a break once the test is over. Just like with sports, we need a period to “cool down” our muscles. In order to promote healthy regulation after a day of work, we are excited to be offering a “De-stress After the Test” event on October 13 following PSAT. During the afternoon, we will have activities for our students to participate in that promote stress management and regulation. Our students can choose to color, paint, do light yoga, work on breathing, and possibly meet some trained therapy dogs. While check-out is common after a test, it is not always possible for all families and circumstances. Our hope is that these activities will offer those who are unable to head home a well-deserved break and a chance to reset for the rest of the week.


While we prepare to help our students “De-Stress After the Test”, we hope that you will help them remember some of these important tips for before the test:


  • Get a good night’s rest: many students are already sleep deprived. Help your student reduce exam stress by emphasizing the importance of regular sleep.

  • Eat regularly: Our brains and bodies need food to function properly. It is the fuel that keeps us moving day to day. Encourage healthy, regular meals and snacks to take on test day.

  • Cramming is not shown to help: reviewing practice questions the morning of exams has not been shown to help with retention. In fact, it could even increase stress levels right before the test. Encourage calming activities the morning of.

  • Breathing: Exercises that focus on breath regulation are shown to reduce stress levels. Encourage use of breathing exercises the morning of to promote relaxation as they enter the test room.


As always, feel free to call or email with any questions. More information will be provided to students as we approach the PSAT.


Amber Thomason

Middle/Upper School Counselor

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Bus Schedule Changes

Based on ridership needs, we will combine our Conyers and Covington bus routes beginning this Friday, October 1. The new stop and times are listed below. Remember these are leave times and the bus cannot wait. Please be patient with us as we navigate this new territory and adjust times as needed based on traffic patterns.


Conyers/Covington Mornings

Burger King (2230 Salem Road) 7:05 a.m.

Mayfield Ace Hardware 7:20 a.m.

GWA Arrival 7:50 a.m.


Conyers/Covington Afternoons

GWA Departure 3:35 p.m., Wed. 2:50 p.m.

Burger King (2230 Salem Road) 4:05 p.m., Wed. 3:20 p.m.

Mayfield Ace Hardware 4:20 p.m., Wed. 3:35 p.m.

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New Afterschool Bells Class

WHO: Mrs. Dyer is the instructor

AGES: K3, K4, K5 & 1st grade students at GWA

WHAT: Resonator Bells and Prodigies curriculum, 8 weeks course

WHEN: Tuesdays in October and November (except Thanksgiving Break)

WHERE: Mrs. Dyer’s music room (Mrs. Dyer will pick children up in after care and will escort them to and from her room).

TIME: 3:30-4:30pm

COST: $70 per month (includes class use of bells and materials)

ADDITIONAL INFO: Class size is limited to a maximum of 10 students and only three spots remain open.

FOR QUESTIONS: Contact Mrs. Debbie Dyer ddyer@gwa.com and to sign up, email smay@gwa.com and send a check made out to GWA to the attention of Stacy May. Put “Bells Class” in the memo.

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On Fire!

Our extremely talented majorettes will perform this Friday night on Keith Henderson Field! The Mini-Dawgs (K-2) will take the field at 7:05 p.m. followed by the Dawgettes (middle school) at 7:10 p.m. Taylor Grossman, Blakeney Sewell and Callie Carper will perform (with fire!) at halftime.
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Please note - admission to area playoff games is $5 at the gate for ALL adults and students (Dawgs 360 does not apply).
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On the Run

Our middle school and varsity cross country teams compete on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Milledgeville. Races begin at 8:30 a.m. Go Bulldogs!
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Foil to Fashion

Mr. Cole's sculpture students will be designing dresses and suits out of paper products and found objects for their next project. They are currently experimenting with different ways to create dress forms to support their creations. Using a student from each group as a model for their mannequin will ensure that their dresses and suits will fit. There are bonus points if they can wear their designs and take part in a fashion show at the conclusion of this project.
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Writing with Rhythm

Middle school piano students are learning the first steps of composing this semester. Rhythm is the soul of music, so students began the composition process by creating rhythm blocks. This writing process is a collaborative one, and over the next few days they will trade rhythms and create melodies on top of their partners’ melodies. Be on the lookout soon for original pieces by our very own GWA piano students.
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If you are unable to access the Google form linked above - feel free to email your photo to Mike Elmankabady at melmankabady@gwa.com. Please include veteran's name, military branch and their relationship to your GWA student.
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Meet Collin Dibble

Upper school chemistry teacher Dr. Dibble is a GWA (’04) alumnus and has been teaching at his alma mater for seven years. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry as well as his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Georgia (go Dawgs!). He and his wife, Lisa, have four children – all under the age of 12. Collin spends his free time camping, hiking, playing music, playing video games, reading, and listening to podcasts. He is also involved in BSA scouting and religious education at St. Anna's Catholic Church.

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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by A Polished Finish, Inc. (www.apolishedfinish.com). Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.