In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

November 14, 2019

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Key Deadlines & Dates

  • Band Performance - Downtown Monroe: Nov. 14 @ 5:30 p.m.
  • S'mores and More Bonfire: CANCELLED
  • School-wide Digital Day: Nov. 15
  • Senior/First Grade Breakfast: Nov. 18
  • Winter Sports Photo Days: Nov. 18 & 19
  • Counselor Chat Speaker: Nov. 21 @ 8:15 a.m.
  • First Home Varsity Basketball Games: Nov. 21
  • Christmas Hall Decor Deadline: Nov. 22 @ 8 a.m.
  • K4/K5 Thanksgiving Program: Nov. 22 @ 8:30 a.m.
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The Lesson of a Little

A few months ago, I visited with a friend of mine who had dropped some weight. In need of some advice along those lines, I asked how he did it. After all, he was about my age and just as out of shape as I am. I was prepared for a litany of major lifestyle changes that would be easy to dismiss and then I would be on my way. Instead, I learned the lesson of a little. He told me that he was a little more active, drank a little more water, ate a little more vegetables and a little less sugar. That didn’t seem impossible… The more I thought about it, the more I realized the lesson of a little is probably applicable to a lot of life’s challenges.


For example, I see value in this approach for many students. We all know at least a few students who wait until they have a large block of time available before they begin writing a report, working on a project, or preparing for a test. While they are waiting, stress builds and, as the deadline approaches, the task seems more and more overwhelming.


Although this is probably good advice anytime in the school year, I think it is particularly relevant as we approach the exam season. Please encourage your children to take advantage of “pockets of time” to make a little progress on these tasks. Once they actually get started – even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at a time – confidence will increase and success will seem more attainable. I suspect they’ll be amazed how much easier it becomes to complete the task or prepare for an exam when they make the most of small opportunities instead of putting it off until they have hours to devote to it.


This new habit will serve them well throughout life as their list of things to do grows longer. Whether it’s doing homework, preparing for a presentation, losing weight, making home repairs, or carrying out project for work, a “little” effort here and there can go a long way.


Dan

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Learning From Native Americans

Fourth graders recently attended the Stone Mountain Native American Pow Wow Festival as a wrap up on their study of different Native American cultures. The festival had authentic shelters, weapons, music, food, ceremonies, and interactions with animals- giving students a great opportunity for hands-on learning and engagement. Additionally, students had the chance to purchase an authentic souvenir from Native American vendors and they loved that!

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Sixth-Grade Science Rocks!

Recently, the sixth grade had a visit from Diamond Del’s Mining Adventure. The students were able to collect a rock and mineral collection using the skills they learned in class to identify each sample.


Last week, the sixth grade traveled to Stone Mountain to attend a geology program to learn about the formation of the mountain and do a partial hike up the mountain. Students were able to see the effects of weathering on the mountain and get sense of how the mountain is changing.
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Clase En Vivo

Spanish teacher, Angie McElveen, presented at Valwood school in Hahira, GA for the GISA south conference. Her presentation was titled Clase En Vivo which means "class alive" in English. She introduced games, songs, and other engaging activities to teach world languages.
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Deadline for Croatia Trip is Nov. 29

There are only a few remaining spots available for the upcoming trip to Croatia. The deadline to sign up is Friday, Nov. 29. Questions? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.


Where: Croatia

When: June 8-16, 2020

Cost: $3,990 – includes airfare, all accommodation/transportation costs, excursions, medical insurance, all breakfasts and some dinners

Who: Upper school students (must have completed freshman year by May 2020)

Why: Croatia is perhaps one of the most unique countries in Europe, and sits on the opposite side of the Mediterranean as Italy. The country is known for its incredible natural beauty and cinematographic history, hosting one of HBO's most popular shows Game of Thrones. George Walton students and trip leaders will embark on an experience of a lifetime, zip-lining across the Cetina River, exploring the famous Plitvice Lakes, sea kayaking on the island of Hvar, and touring the famous historical structures that made Game of Thrones what it was!


For more information, or to register, go to https://travefy.com/trip/gjfc6kkx7ark7uwxgdfb6uuxtjrv2.

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Spain/Portugal Trip Has Moved to Summer 2021

GWA invites upper school students and their families to travel to Portugal and Spain in June 2021 in partnership with EF Tours. This eleven-day trip will journey from Lisbon to Barcelona, with stops in Toledo, Cordoba, Madrid, and Seville. Travelers will enjoy the Mediterranean culture of southwest Europe while visiting some of the world’s most historic and iconic landmarks. Questions? Contact Femke Côté at fcote@gwa.com.
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Countdown to Calm

By Lynn Robinson, Director of School Counseling


Wednesday, November 6, 2019 was National Stress Awareness Day. You may remember CC Veal highlighted stress as a part of our GWA News Broadcast that day. Stress is a part of our daily lives. In fact, it is what we call “good” stress that helps us get our daily tasks done. The problems we may have with stress comes from us having so much to do that we are afraid that we cannot get everything done in the amount of time we have. The stress then begins to feel overwhelming.


When CC asked me about stress, our Associate Director of College Counseling Laura Nabors, reminded me of a technique that is often taught to school age children to help them deal with feeling overwhelmed. It’s called “The Countdown.”


The technique goes like this:

When a student recognizes that he is stressed, he:

· Looks around for five (5) things (pictures, plants, animals, people, etc.) he finds pleasing

· Listens for four (4) sounds he enjoys hearing

· Touches three (3) surfaces that are smooth or cool.

· Notices or imagines two (2) smells that are pleasant or that remind him of a happy place or time

· Imagines one (1) taste that is a favorite


“The Countdown” is a simple technique, but it is quite effective. It gives the student, or adult, a quick break from whatever he is doing and helps him to clear his mind and to relax his body.

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The annual Thanksgiving lunch served by Mr. Will and his team is always a much-anticipated treat! This will be the Main Ingredient option for lunch that day- to check out the complete menu, go to Sage Dining on the GWApp.
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Please click HERE for details on exam week (12/16-12/20) - including dismissal times for all grades.
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Say YES to Opportunity!

Our Annual Loyalty Fund “50 Days to GWA-Stronger than Ever” campaign ends tomorrow. We want to thank those who have made their gift or pledge to allow GWA to say YES to the many opportunities made available to our students. Tuition alone does not provide the programs and experiences that enrich the student experience. Your support helps strengthen our academic, arts, and athletic programs. Please help us make GWA Stronger Than Ever by supporting this vital fund.

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The George Walton Academy

School Counseling Department

has the pleasure of inviting you to hear

special guest speaker,

Lisa Boylan

as she discusses

Stress vs. Anxiety: Looking Beyond the Behavior

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019

at 8:15 a.m. in the Dawg 360 House


We live in a fast-paced, 24/7 world, and sometimes students, no matter what their age, find themselves overwhelmed, leaving them to feel stress or possibly anxious. The problem for parents and educators is that stress and anxiety have behavioral implications; so how do we look beyond the behaviors to help our student deal with the stress or anxiety?


Lisa Boylan, the Community Liaison for the Ridgeview Institute, will be at our next Counselor’s Chat to talk to us about recognizing behaviors your student might demonstrate while stressed or anxious and to provide suggestions on how to help your student cope with stress or anxiety in a healthy and positive way.

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Gingerbread Christmas Returns to GWA!

GWA is excited to invite the community to our second annual Gingerbread Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 1, 4 – 6 p.m. Please join us on our campus for an afternoon of fun holiday activities including:


*Photos with Santa

*Cookie Decorating

*Gingerbread House Contest

*Festive Food

*Carols by the Campfire

*Reindeer Games

*6 p.m. Devotional & Tree Lighting


The deadline to enter the gingerbread house contest is Nov. 18 - please click HERE for full details and entry forms.

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Show Off Your Gingerbread Skills!

The deadline to enter our second annual Gingerbread House Challenge is Monday, Nov. 18, so

grab your sugar and spice and everything nice and show off your gingerbread skills! This year's theme is Hometown Christmas. The gingerbread house should be a replica of an actual hometown business or home from your community (Monroe, Covington, Conyers, Loganville, etc.). Please print a photograph (any paper is fine) to accompany your piece so judges have a reference for resemblance to your chosen structure. Contest entries should be delivered to GWA on Dec. 1, between 1 - 2 p.m. For complete details and entry form, please click the link below.

http://www.gwa.com/editoruploads/files/Gingerbread_03.pdf

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Support the Empty Stocking Fund

Help GWA Student Council continue the holiday tradition of filling the barrels for the Walton County Empty Stocking Fund! Each year, George Walton Academy helps to provide food for over 350 local families- so send in your canned goods and let's help our neighbors in need.

*Students will get free admission to the first home varsity basketball games on Nov. 21 with donation of three canned goods*

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T-shirt Sales Benefit Folds of Honor

Congratulations to Peyton Wilson, Journey Allen and Alex McMunn for their winning contributions to the patriotic t-shirt! The recent design contest concluded with the presentation of the winning design at Monday’s Veterans Day Celebration. The t-shirt includes components from submitted artwork by each of the three students. All proceeds from the sales will go to one of our school-sponsored charitable organizations – Folds of Honor (foldsofhonor.org).

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Competition Cheer is State Bound!

The GWA competition squad represented the school well at GHSA single A sectionals on Saturday, Nov. 9 at First Presbyterian Day School. The squad achieved their highest score and qualified for State Finals to be held at the Columbus Civic Center on Friday, Nov. 15. We wish the competition squad the best of luck at State!

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Ready for Round One!

Our varsity football team travels to Kennesaw tomorrow night for a Round One/State Playoff match up with the North Cobb Christian Eagles. For those with tickets to ride the GWA spirit bus- it will load at 3:45 p.m. on Friday in the Nicholson Center parking lot and will leave at 4 p.m. sharp. Go Bulldogs!
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Be in the Know!

GWA fall sports are wrapping up and winter sports are getting started! Click the calendar link above to check out upcoming sporting events.

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It's (Almost) Time to Trim the Trees!

Dawgs 360 has 18 live trees in the courtyard looking for families to adopt and decorate with holiday decorations the week of Thanksgiving Break! Please email Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com for more details!

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A Dawgs 360 Favorite Event Returns!

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Jan. 30 and get ready to compete in the 2020 Chili Cookoff! To volunteer for the event or enter the chili contest, please contact Elizabeth McDonel at emcdonel@gwa.com.
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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by S & W Automotive Parts, Inc. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.
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