In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

December 7, 2017

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If weather conditions result in school closings or delays, notifications will be sent via ParentAlert email message, and postings will appear on ParentsWeb announcements, social media and major television stations.
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Ready...Set...Code!

By: Jennifer Stapp

Technology Teacher and Integration Specialist


The Hour of Code is part of a global movement to promote computer science and programming in schools all over the world. It’s an annual event held during Computer Science Education Week to celebrate the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, an American computer scientist who served in the United States Navy. She was a pioneer in computer programming, working on the Harvard Mark I computer that was used in the last part of WWII. This week is designed to encourage all students to jump in and try an hour of coding because everyone can code! Code.org states, “Every 21st century child should have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app or how the Internet works. Just like they learn about photosynthesis, the digestive system or electricity.”


Coding helps to nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. The Hour of Code reached more than 100 million students last year in more than 180 countries.


GWA's Hour of Code activities include the following:


In Lower School, Mrs. Gudnason’s technology classes are investigating how coding is used in every day activities. They are practicing coding language on code.org to program computer games and robots. In first grade, students are utilizing coding commands to guide their classmates through a grid maze to earn a candy treat. This helps the students see a physical representation of coding and how it works. In Middle School, Mrs. McElveen’s Spanish classes are drawing with code and labeling with Spanish words. Mrs. Moss’s English classes are exploring different coding games from hourofcode.com. These games include Minecraft, Star Wars, Python and Play That Tune. Students in Mrs. Stapp’s technology class are learning how to program their new VEX robot. In High School, Mr. Peavy’s technology classes are learning about programming using various formats from Java, JavaScript, Python and HTML.


The students get so excited when coding that they do not even realize it’s learning! Students (and parents) are encouraged to participate in the Hour of Code at home. Try these resources:

Hour of Code

Disney

Scratch Jr.

Scratch

Code Spark


For more information, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Stapp at jstapp@gwa.com.

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Amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, we hope you will remember George Walton Academy when you are making your gift list. Why does your gift count more than ever this time of year? In January we will be preparing to apply for grants and the level of parent participation in the Annual Loyalty Fund plays a role in each foundation’s decision. And don’t forget to take advantage of end-of-year tax benefits by making your gift before December 31.

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With Jared Radosevich

With a new movie coming out, there’s much to explore and plenty of fun to be had in the Star Wars Universe: Movies, Robot Building, Board Games, Books and Video Games. For 1st - 5th graders. Thur. 3:15 – 5:00, 7 weeks, beginning Jan. 11, Lower School Art Room, $150. To register, email Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

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With Mandy Gudnason

Let your imagination be your guide as you create stop-motion video stories from start to finish. Students will learn how to create a concept, develop the idea with a storyboard, design a set and produce a video with this unique type of storytelling. There will be a Premier Presentation Party on the last day to share your creative movie with other movie producers! Limited to just 15 students. For 3rd – 5th graders, Tues. 3:15 – 5:00, 6 weeks, beginning Jan. 9, Lower School Computer Lab, $150. To register, email Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

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With Dale Harrison

Basic skills of sewing such as sewing-on buttons, hemming, and other small projects. Students learn and explore through hand sewing as well as machine work. Students will come home with projects they created. Some choices will be bows, tote bags, hand towels, and wall hangings. Parents are encouraged to register too! For 4th Graders and up (parents too!), Wed. 3:15 – 4:30, 7 weeks beginning Jan. 11, Lower School Library, $165 per participant – this includes all materials. To register, email Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

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Still Enrolling!

Thur. 3:15 – 4:15 Registration Fee: $35, Tuition $65/month* Encore Studio, Downtown Monroe (GWA will provide transportation) To register, email Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com.

*Costume for recital and recital fees are billed separately.

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With Alex Lussi

For 3rd Grade and Up, Mon. 3:15 – 4:15, K4 – 2nd graders on Thur. 3:15 – 4:15. Lessons run for 4 weeks, at tennis courts beside the Nicholson Center . $100 to register. Email Peggy Jordan at pjordan@gwa.com to sign up.

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Character Lesson: Charge Up!

This week, Bible teacher Miss Sara Smith gave a presentation to the Lower School about how to live a life of high character. She explained that being a successful student is like being a AAA battery: To live a life of good character, people must keep their Activities, Academics and Attitudes well charged. Miss Smith encouraged students saying that if they tend to these three areas of their life and keep joy in their hearts, they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.


"Kids have such open and willing hearts, that when pointed in the right direction, it can enrich their learning environment and create change in their community," said Miss Smith. "Being a great student means a whole lot more when you are able to have a positive impact on others inside and outside of a classroom."

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Welcome to New York!

The Lower School Library is currently featuring a colorful replica of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade thanks to Ms. Megan Sims’ talented art students. Each year, these artists put in a lot of work to create this beautiful display. Before they begin to actually make the artwork, students learn the history of the parade, how the balloons are made and about the landscape of New York City. After researching the project, each student chooses a balloon to sculpt and an iconic part of New York City’s architecture to draw. Students then have to figure out how to make their balloons “float”. The students work together to form a cohesive piece, and then they are able to display the parade in the Lower School Library for all to enjoy.

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Equestrian Team Hitting Its Stride

The George Walton Equestrian Team entered its first competition of the season this past Sunday at the Georgia International Horse Park. The middle school team brought home the championship trophy, and all of the George Walton riders earned ribbons at the competition. Congratulations to the riders and Coach Leslie Williams for a fantastic first show!

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GWA Varsity Wrestling Places in Top 5 at Tournament

GWA Varsity Wrestling traveled to Powder Springs to wrestle in the McEachern Invitational on Saturday. GWA placed fifth out of nine teams.


Results:

Patrick Morris – 152 LB Champion

Beau Mitchell – 126 LB 2nd Place

Chris Sperin – 132 LB 2nd Place

Thomas Ashley – 120 LB 4th Place

Darius Barnum – 182 LB 4th Place

Terrence Thorpe – 285 LB 4th Place


The middle school wrestling team went to two competitions this week, excelling in each one. First, they competed in Madison County at the Invitational tournament, where three wrestlers placed.


Results:

Perry Jake Stone – 103 LB – Champion

Davis Roesler – 138 LB – Champion

Will Hames – 119 LB – 2nd Place


GWA also excelled over three other teams at a competition in Milledgeville at Georgia Military College.


Congratulations to both the Varsity and Middle School for a job well done!

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Swim Dogs Make a Big Splash at This Week's Meet

The GWA Swim Dogs competed Wed., Dec. 6, at Riverside Military Academy. Six teams were at the meet. The Varsity Girls placed second, and the Varsity Boys placed fourth. In Middle School, the Girls placed third, and the Boys came in second.
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2018 Trip Week Schedule Announced

For GWA high school students, the first week of March is commonly known as “TRIP WEEK.” Last year, college visits were added to this special week, and for 2018, the number of campus visits is being expanded:


March 5: Emory University (both Atlanta and Oxford campuses)

March 6: Kennesaw State University & College Fair in Dacula

March 7-9: Georgia College, Auburn University, University of West Georgia


Michael Clancy, Director of College Counseling, has sent an email to parents of freshmen, sophomores and juniors, providing additional details, payment options and a link to an online registration form. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Freshmen and sophomores will be given priority over juniors. Juniors will be placed on a waiting list and notified on Dec. 19 if spots are available.


The cost varies based on which tour date(s) is chosen. A discount will be given to those who pay in full before Dec. 19. Payment should be made in the form of a check made payable to GWA and given to Ms. Pam Lampe in the Counseling Office. There is a limited number of spaces available for chaperones. If you have further questions, please contact Mr. Clancy at mclancy@gwa.com.

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O' Christmas Tree

Last week, George Walton hosted a time-honored tradition: the Annual Christmas Tree Presentation, during which the senior class presented their special first graders with beautiful Christmas trees decorated to fit the personality of each recipient.


Students also enjoyed listening to and singing along with many Christmas carols, which is always a much anticipated and spirited part of the day. The day proved to be enjoyable for all, and as always, brightened the spirits of all in attendance.

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Bundle Up Bulldogs!

It’s not too late to shop for your favorite Bulldog! Stop by the GWA Dawg Shop, and check out the latest styles in spirit wear and dress code approved apparel.


Store hours are Mon. - Fri. 7:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Cash, checks and cards are accepted.

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Mark Your Calendar for January Coffee With the Admin

There will be no Coffee with the Admin for the month of December, but please know that Dr. Dolan is always happy to field any questions, comments or concerns you may have.


In January, we will host our first Coffee in the Neighborhood. Mark your calendar for the evening of Thurs., Jan. 11 and join us in the clubhouse at Providence Club. The time and further details are coming soon.


If you are interested in signing up to host an in-home Coffee with the Admin in 2018, please contact Cari Bailey at cbailey@gwa.com.