In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

August 24, 2017

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Dear Bulldog Families and Friends:


As we settle into this new school year, I’m looking forward to reviving a few initiatives and conversations we began last year as a school community. For example, we talked about the possibility of revising our daily six-period schedule to better accommodate additional electives and allow for greater flexibility in student scheduling. We’re also hoping that a revised schedule will allow us to embed time in the day for students to get extra help in specific subjects if they need it.


Additionally, last year we discussed how to operationalize aspects of the strategic plan in our ongoing efforts to build a stronger GWA for many years to come.


I hope to pick up these conversations (and others) where we left off, and to that end, we’ll hold our first Coffee with the Admin meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 8:15 a.m. in the theater. These open, informal discussions are a great way to hear about campus happenings as well as get your questions answered. We’ll hold regular meetings again this year, and I invite you to attend as often as your schedule allows.


I believe our Coffee with the Admin meetings have been a step in the right direction in terms of establishing more open and dynamic communications between the school and families. However, we can – and should – do more. In an effort to better bridge that gap, over the summer I began reaching out to groups of GWA parents in order to assemble several Parent Advisory Councils, or PACs. Our three PACs – one each for lower, middle and high school – will ensure that parent discussion and feedback is timely, relevant and intentional on the school’s part. I’ll meet with PACs throughout the school year, and they’ll also serve as a sounding board on the day-to-day experiences of our students and families.


Of course, you need not belong to a PAC to share your thoughts or concerns. Please call me directly any time you’d like to discuss a particular issue or idea; I always appreciate hearing from you.


Thanks, and I hope to see you at tonight’s Ice Cream Social—


Dan
678-234-4246

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Go for the GOAL!

By contributing to GOAL for an education tax credit, you're making a positive impact on our school, in our community and across our state.


We encourage you to become a part of an incredibly popular, winning program. By contributing to the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program for a 100% tax credit, you can put a portion of your tax dollars – money you're going to have to pay to the state anyway – to work for our school and community by designating those dollars for George Walton Academy. Your participation is more valuable than ever!


Learn more by contacting Jenni Cole in the business office at jcole@gwa.com, or call 678-635-3830.

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Retakes, Senior Yearbook Ads and Yearbook Sales

RETAKES WILL BE ON SEPTEMBER 14
You should be getting pictures back soon, but if you anticipate needing a picture retake for your child, mark your calendar for Sept. 14. Your child will need to bring the complete, fulfilled order to get a replacement retake.


SENIOR YEARBOOK ADS
The deadline for senior yearbook ads is Oct. 1! To design and order your senior ad, click here. Click on the link to buy a yearbook ad, then select a full-color ad. The website will walk you through the ad design process. Just pick a template, upload your photos and submit your order.


If you need help scanning photos, contact yearbook adviser Liz Jones at 770-653-1078 or ljones@gwa.com. Mrs. Jones will also be available after school in the journalism room (down the hall from the theater) from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 6 and Sept. 21 for those who need individual help with senior ads.


If you’d like to attend one of these sessions, please RSVP on Signup Genius through one of the following links: Sept. 6 session, or Sept. 21 session.


BUY YOUR 2017-2018 YEARBOOK
If your student is not a senior this year, don’t forget to buy your yearbook! Order your yearbook online through this link.

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Bulldogs on Broadway: Travel to NYC for Class Trips

Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Crowell will sponsor a four-day trip to New York during Class Trips Week in March. A favorite of GWA students for several years, the trip focuses on art, music and literature while taking in some of the favorite sights of the city.


A tentative agenda includes two Broadway musicals, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) and/or the Modern Museum of Art (MOMA), Statue of Liberty and/or National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Empire State Building, and Central Park, in addition to hands-on theater and art workshops.


Those interested should contact Mrs. Taylor or pick up a brochure from the front office.

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Join Us for a Pink Out Tailgate Next Friday

The Bulldogs will take on the Towns County Indians next Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in GWA's first home varsity football game of the season! Come out to campus for for a little pre-game fun in recognition of the night's theme: Pink Out.


Beginning at 6 p.m., the school will host a tailgate in the Alumni Commons to honor those who have been affected by breast cancer. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of life! Hotdogs, chips and drinks will be provided, and the classic rock band Desperate Measures will also perform.


Don't forget to stop by the Dawg Shop for your Pink Out T-shirt! The shirts, pictured above, are available in both youth and adult sizes. The cost is $15, and for every shirt sold, GWA will donate $3 back to the GWA Cure Dawgs breast cancer charity.

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Bulldogs Gather to Watch Solar Eclipse on GWA Campus

Even though classes were dismissed at noon on Monday, many students, faculty and community members gathered to watch the solar eclipse at a viewing hosted on campus by the GWA science department.


Those present were able to watch the show through solar eclipse glasses, pinhole viewers, backwards telescopes and special reflectors as the moon moved between the earth and sun. As the eclipse moved toward maximum coverage, it did get dark enough for the dawn-to-dusk lights to come on all over campus, and the temperature outside dropped several degrees.


Everyone enjoyed the event and felt like they were a part of something special!

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Spanish Students Balance Learning With Fun

Earlier this week Señora McElveen’s K5 Spanish students had a blast learning to count with bean bags! Students tossed and caught the bean bags before balancing them on their heads, elbows and knees – all while counting to 10 in español.


Students were all smiles as they clapped and cheered after each successful balancing act. ¡Qué divertido!

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High School English Students Tackle Summer Reading Texts

The English department is starting the school year off right with activities and analyses of summer reading texts.


This week GWA seniors in Ms. Crowell’s British Literature classes channeled the Anglo-Saxons by boasting about their abilities in the manner of Beowulf. Freshmen in Ms. Vitello’s Honors English 9 class turned in projects relating to the journey of the main character in their summer reading book, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. These students created trees to symbolize the growth of the book’s protagonist. What great work!

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Fourth Graders Celebrate Life with Special Anniversary

This past Tuesday fourth graders took time out of their writing classes for a special celebration. The occasion? Teacher Beth Mappes’ one-year anniversary of being cancer free.


“I wanted to share this day in a special way with these students,” said Mrs. Mappes. “Most of them were with me through the last year, and this is such a positive day in my life. I wanted to make it the same for them. So many times we focus on negatives, but this was a chance to celebrate life.”


Students decorated sugar cookies with pink frosting, drank pink lemonade and made a new batch of Seeds of Happiness.


“We made these last year during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Mrs. Mappes. "The students were so excited to make them again. It seems like such a small thing, but to someone dealing with cancer, it can mean the world.”


The seeds will be given to cancer survivors at GWA’s Pink Out tailgate on Friday, Sept. 1. Students will make another batch in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and those seeds will be taken to the hospital so they can be given to women who have just had breast cancer surgery.

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GWA Volleyball vs. MAHS 8.22

Bulldog Volleyball Has Strong Showing at Home vs. MAHS

The GWA varsity volleyball team hosted a tri-match on their home court last Tuesday, facing off against Pinecrest High School and Monroe Area High School. The Lady Dawgs lost in two games to Pinecrest but came back for a strong finish against Monroe Area, winning in three sets.


Ingrid Dolvin led the team with assists for the night, while Macy Murray had the most digs and ace serves. Sarah Catoe, Sydney Jerman, Alexis McDowell, Molly Downey, Tayia Mast and Molly Whitlow had the most kills, in that order.


“They all have great talent and are very powerful hitters,” said Coach Samantha Austin. The girls are currently preparing for a tournament this coming weekend at Brookwood.


“We have yet to have a region game, but the team looks very promising,” said Coach Austin. “We’re all very excited to see how far we go this season. Please come out and show your school spirit at all of our home games!”

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Varsity Football Heads to Social Circle Tomorrow

The Bulldogs will travel to Social Circle tomorrow night to take on the Redskins in GWA's first official game of the season. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. It's a White Out, so if you're coming out to the game, don't forget to wear white!
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TONIGHT: Ice Cream Social

GWA's Ice Cream Social is TONIGHT! Join us in the Nicholson Center at 6:30 p.m. for a little sugar and school pride – it's a great way to kick off the school year. Stick around afterwards for a fall sports pep rally at 7:30 p.m. down on Keith Henderson Field.
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September 1: Student Activities Expo

Students in first grade and up are invited to GWA's student activities expo on Friday, Sept. 1. The expo will be held during the school day in the Nicholson Center. High school students will attend from 10:10 to 10:30 a.m., lower school students will attend from 10:35 to 11:30 a.m. and middle school students will attend from 12:20 to 12:40 p.m.
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September 7: First Coffee With Admin Meeting

Our first Coffee With the Admin meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, directly following morning carpool at 8:15 a.m. Join us in the theater for an open discussion about GWA happenings. Light refreshments will be provided.
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September 8: Red Cross Blood Drive

The Red Cross will be on campus Friday, Sept. 8, as GWA hosts a blood drive in the Nicholson Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents, faculty, staff and students ages 17 and older are invited to donate. Students must bring a signed parental consent form in order to donate blood; forms are available from Wrynn Carson.


GWA will be participating in the Red Cross' High School Scholarship Program this year, so the more pints of blood GWA collects, the more scholarship money we're eligible to receive. Your blood donations help others while also helping our graduating seniors!

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