Simonton Parent Newsletter

Friday, September 17, 2021

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

Message From Ms. Perkins

I just LOVE picture day! All of the handsome and beautiful smiling faces just make my day. We can't wait to see all of the great pictures for our 2021-2022 Simonton ES Yearbook. Make sure you purchase your copy today.

On Monday, September 20, 2021 we will hold our Simonton ES PTA fundraiser kick-off. Your child will bring home information about the fundraiser on Monday. Thank you ahead of time for supporting our school.

1st, 2nd and 5th grade students will particiapte in the CogAT assessments starting Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Please make sure students get plenty of rest each night, eat a good breakfast and arrive to school on time. We are confident our students will do their best work each day.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe.

Simonton ES PTA ~ New Board Members

Thank you to all of the parents and staff members who attended our first Simonton ES PTA General Meeting for the school year. We are excited to announce the names of our 2021-2022 board members.

We encourage parents to continue to join the Simonton ES PTA. You may complete the attached application or go to MyPaymentsPlus to join.

Simonton ES 2021-2022 Board Members

President ~ Kimberly Briscoe

1st Vice President ~ Pia Poitier

2nd Vice President ~ Dunnovan Waddel

Secretary ~ Clancy Sweets

Treasurer ~ Marina Staples

Upcoming Dates:

Monday, September 20

  • PTA Fall Fundraiser Kick-Off

Tuesday, September 21- Thursday, September 23

  • CogAT Testing (1st, 2nd, & 5th Grades)

Thursday, September 23

  • County Parent SpED Mentors Zoom Meeting ~ 5:30-6:30 pm

Friday, September 24

  • Week 6 Interim Reports sent home

Monday, September 27

  • 1st Semester Interim Testing begins

Thursday, October 7, 8, 11

  • Fall Break

Friday, October 15

  • Fall Picture Retake

About the CogAT Assessment:

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple-choice assessment that measures the way students think. The CogAT helps our teachers determine the best ways to instruct students. The district also uses achievement scores on the CogAT as a part of the process for identification for the Gifted Education program.

In GCPS, students in grades 1, 2, 5, and 8 take this assessment, which consists of three sections— verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Each section takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Please click on this link for an important letter about CogAT:

CogAT Testing Dates:

1st and 2nd Graders

September 21st - 23rd, 2021

5th Graders

September 21st

Devices checked out for Digital Learning

Please ensure that your child has brought back his/her laptop, charger, and/or hotspot. These devices MUST be returned to school. If you borrowed one for Digital Learning Day #1, the devices will be checked out and sent home again for Digital Learning Day #2.


GCPS endeavors to notify parents in a timely manner relative to any schoolwide or districtwide emergencies or campus safety concerns. While letters may be sent home to parents affected by the occurrence, when circumstances require a more immediate notification, this information, as it becomes available, will be posted on the GCPS website (, Facebook page, and Twitter account (@GwinnettSchools). In addition, the district and local schools will communicate to families using phone numbers and email addresses provided by the parent/guardian. This contact information is used by GCPS to send emergency notifications such as school closings and safety alerts by phone, text, and/or email via SchoolMessenger. General/non-emergency notifications will be sent by email using SchoolMessenger (Español - 中文 - 한국어 - Tiếng Việt).

  • Parents should verify the accuracy of their contact information at the beginning of each school year or they can update this information in the Parent Portal. In addition, if changes to contact information occur during the school year, parents should contact the school office to let staff know of those changes, or update via the Portal. This will improve communication throughout the year and ensure that your family will receive messages sent through SchoolMessenger.

  • In addition to verifying that your cell phone number is accurate in the system, you also will need to subscribe to the text message service if you wish to receive emergency texts from the school system. You can do so by texting the word “SUBSCRIBE” to the number 67587. You will receive an immediate response by text. If you do not, please contact your wireless provider, as some providers do not accept texts that use short code (SMS) messages. (Note: If you subscribed to receive text messages last year, there is no need to resub­scribe unless your number changed.)
  • SchoolMessenger messages from Gwinnett County Public Schools will come from the number 1-844-248-6644. Please add this phone number to your contacts so you can easily identify the call as coming from Gwinnett County Public Schools. If you miss a phone message, you can call this number back to retrieve and replay phone notifications.
  • Please note that an individual can opt out of receiving SchoolMessenger messages at any time. Press “5” on your phone while listening to a phone message broadcast through SchoolMessenger to initiate the opt-out process. Parents also can go to, logging in with the email address they provided to the school, and select “Prefer­ences” to make changes regarding the various types of messages that may be sent.

Student Council Elections

What: Simonton's Student Council Elections

When: October 5th & 6th

Who: 4th, & 5th Grade (3rd Grade Vote)

The time is here! Student Council Applications will be available tomorrow! During the morning announcements Dr. Lopez and I will announce that all interested 4th and 5th grade students should pick up an application from their homeroom teacher. We will distribute 10 applications to each 4th and 5th grade teacher before the announcements. If you need more applications, please let us know.

All completed applications should be returned to Dr. Lopez or myself no later than Thursday, September 23rd. Students will be notified by Friday, September 24th if they are eligible to seek membership in student council. 4th graders will be allowed to seek membership as a class rep and 5th graders can seek membership as a class rep or an officer.

The elections for officers (President, Vice President, Secretary) will be held on Tuesday, October 5th. This will be done via Google Forms. All 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade students will be allowed to vote. (More details to come as to voting procedures.)

Voting for class reps will be held on Wednesday, October 6th and will be done by paper ballot in individual 4th and 5th grade classrooms.

During the week of September 27th-October 1st, students will be allowed to campaign. Specifics are included in the application.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about free and reduced lunch

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It’s more than meals… Complete meal application by Oct. 21 for added benefits.

While breakfast and lunch will be provided at no charge for all GCPS in-person and digital students this school year, it still pays to complete the Free and Reduced-price Meal Application.

Confirmed eligibility establishes a number of benefits for individual students such as free or discounted college-admissions tests, AP exams, and college applications; scholarship opportunities; and no- and low-cost access to technology and internet plans. In addition, the percentages of qualifying students at a school are used as a measure to secure additional federal funding (Title I) to support students and their education, promote family engagement, and provide additional technology and internet access. Title I funds pay for additional teachers, Parent Centers, additional learning opportunities for students, extra resources, added technology, and more.

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Next Week's Lunch Menu:

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Upcoming Events:

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“Starting the New School Year on a Positive Note” Presented by Parent Mentors

Who: For All Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services In Gwinnett County Public Schools. Presented by Jackie McNair and Dawn Albanese - Parent Mentors.

What: Special Ed Parent Mentors Parent Series - Topic: “Starting the New School Year on a Positive Note”. Talking Points: Parent Engagement; Effective Communication; Daily Routines; Self-Determination; Record Keeping; and Self-Care.

When: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm OR 6:00pm – 7:00pm. Meeting Platform: Zoom

Parents should register by 12:00pm on September 20, 2021, using the appropriate link below. The Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants on September 20, 2021. Registration link for 12:00pm session: Registration link for 6:00pm session:

If you have any questions, please contact Dawn Albanese: (678) 301-7212. Please see the link for flyers to send to parents of Special Education students: English Starting the New School Year on a Positive Note by Parent Mentors - English Spanish: Starting the New School Year on a Positive Note by Parent Mentors - Spanish

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Make Physical Activity Fun!

According to The Aspen Institute, 9 out of 10 kids say “fun” is the main reason they participate in sports. During their infancy and childhood, your role is to make physical activity a positive experience.

Kids should connect physical activity with health and happiness. Try to avoid presenting it as a chore or obligation, a way to “earn” other privileges (toys, screen time or food) or a privilege to be taken away.

And remember to choose age-appropriate activities so they don’t get discouraged or bored. Check out a few of our favorites:

  • Encourage your child to use their imagination by letting them play DJ for a family dance party.
  • Help them grow their sense of balance by pretending the floor is hot lava.
  • Throw a ball or balloon in the air and count how many times you can hit it back and forth before it touches the ground.
  • Freshen up your family walk by exploring the neighborhood with a scavenger hunt.

2022-2023 GCPS Calendar Options

Attached are draft calendar proposals for the GCPS 2022-2023 school year. The link below will allow you to provide feedback using the guiding questions.

Hard copies are also available to be viewed at the local school.

Option 1:

  • Identical to the current calendar
  • 7 days of preplanning
  • 3 day staggered start
  • Fall break and a similar break in February
  • Early Release each semester
  • 3 Digital Learning Days each semester

Option 2:

  • 7 days of preplanning
  • 2 day staggered start
  • Fall break and a similar break in February
  • Early Release each semester
  • 1 Digital Learning Day Fall semester only

Option 3:

  • 7 days of preplanning
  • Later start
  • No staggered start
  • Fall break and a similar break in February
  • Early Release each semester
  • 1 Digital Learning Day Fall semester only
  • Shorter Winter Break (due to later start)

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Simonton Elementary ~ What We Stand for


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


  • 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