Bronco Bulletin


October 14, 2016


Our New TST

Mr. Flowers will begin at Gwin Oaks on October 20th. Tom and I will work on a schedule for training and support so you may see both of them around at first. Please be sure to welcome Mr. Flowers to our family! We will think about a good send off for Tom....

Outdoor Work Day- Saturday Work Day

The following blurb went out to parents this week. (This plus a sign-up genius.) Please notice the class incentive! Push this in your class all month!!!!

Gwin Oaks Parents, we need your help! Our school is very lucky to have beautiful outdoor spaces where our children can learn and play. Many of you may have seen our courtyards, where we invite parents to join their kids for lunch. We also use the courtyards for one-on-one reading time and other learning opportunities. Beyond our courtyards, we have an outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom has a long history of being a great place for lessons on science and the outdoors. Sadly, our teachers haven't used the outdoor classroom in a few years because it hasn't been maintained.

The county does not maintain these special green spaces at Gwin Oaks, so it falls to us, the Gwin Oaks community of parents, to pitch in and keep these spaces usable and attractive.

Please join us for a work day on Saturday, November 12th, from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm. Please bring your work gloves, spades, weed eaters and hedge trimmers. We know Saturdays are busy days, so we welcome you to drop in anytime between 8:00 and 12:00.

Class with the largest parent turn-out will earn a free pizza party!


Updates have been made for Iowa examiners and proctors.

Updates have been made for 2nd Qtr District Assessments beginning December 1

SIT Update (updated on Google Doc as well)

- The clocks in courtyards are actually not working at all. It wasn't a battery problem like we thought. Angela has taken them down.

BINGO Night Volunteers - BINGO Night is October 28. To volunteer please go to BINGO Night Sign-Up in Google Docs under Shared Leadership, or click below.


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Calendar - Upcoming events

October 17...........Tech Vertical Team - BHS - 8:00 - 11:00

October 18...........Math IF

October 18...........ITBS Testing Meeting - 2 & 5 - 3:15

October 19...........4th PBL Release Planning

October 19...........Skype Visit - Nerd Camp - 4th & 5th - 11:30

October 19...........New Teacher Meeting - 3:15

October 20...........Lit IF

October 21...........Bronco Bulletin Committee Meeting 8:30 - PLC Room

October 21...........Special Ed In-House Field Trip - Petting Zoo - 9:00 - 11:00

October 21...........Math Cluster Colab Planning - 1:00 - 2:30

October 24...........Fire Drill - 1:15

October 25-28.....Pumpkin Voting

October 25...........Data Chats

October 26-28......ITBS 2 & 5 - No lunch visitors

October 27...........Data Chats

October 27...........Read for the Record - K

October 28...........BINGO Night

October 31...........Halloween

October 31...........ITBS Make-Ups

November 1.........Math IF

November 1.........ITBS Make-Ups

November 1.........ILT Meeting - PLC - 3:15

November 2-3......ITBS 2 & 5 - No lunch visitors

November 2.........1st Grade Field Trip to Gwinnett Heritage Center

November 2.........New Teacher Meeting - PLC - 3:15

November 3.........Lit IF

November 4.........ITBS Make-Ups


Congratulations to Natalie Pugh. Natalie's guidance and support in puzzling situations help keep my day moving swiftly. Her daily check-ins and follow-ups reassure how much I am supported at GOES. Thanks for GOEing the extra mile!


Log onto the Employee Portal

Click on the Open Enrollment Button

From here you can elect both your GCPS benefits (dental, vision, etc.) as well as your state health benefits. Once your elections have been made, be sure to print the confirmation page.

There have been no changes to the plan designs for health, dental, or vision. However, there is a slight increase in rates for health insurance. Any unused wellness credits will roll over into the plan for 2017.

Health Options Effective January 1, 2017

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

........ Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

........ Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

· UnitedHealthcare

........ High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

........ Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

· Kaiser Permanente

........ Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

See Design and Rate Charts below.

Flexible Spending Accounts - You must re-enroll each year. Funds do NOT roll over.

Sick Leave Bank – It is highly recommended that all employees enroll in the sick leave bank. If you are eligible but NOT enrolled, the section will be highlighted. You will give up 1 month’s earnings of sick leave (10 hours), but will be paid up to 60 working days in the event of a catastrophic illness.

Additional Information

Cards have been placed in your mailboxes.

Design Guides can be found online at the GCPS website – search Benefits Guide

Type benefits in LotusNotes to send questions to a benefits rep at GCPS.

well-being incentive credits

By completing the requirements, members can earn up to $480 per member and covered spouse and the credits will be placed in your incentive account.

Health actions for BlueCrossBlueShield and UnitedHealthCare must be completed by December 15, 2016 in order to earn the well-being incentive credits. For more information, please visit

Health actions for Kaiser Permanente must be completed by November 30, 2016 in order to earn the well-being incentive rewards. For more information, please visit

Any unused credits will roll over to the 2017 plan year and be available beginning April 2017.

Rachel Ernst - Resident principal in Training

I am a 2003 graduate of Georgia State University with an undergraduate degree in Middle Grades Ed. I received my Master's from Brenau University and my Educational Specialist in Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University. My husband, Jimmy, and I have been married for 13 years and have two children; Lily is 9 and Clay is 5. I have been with GCPS since 2003 and moved into leadership in 2009. Most of my career has been spent at McConnell Middle School but I did work for 2 years as a Title I AP at Rosebud ES. In my spare time I like to read, play tennis and spend time at my parents place in North Carolina with my family. I love what I do each and every day and am looking forward to supporting the staff at Gwin Oaks ES.

Veterans Day Assembly

All Teachers - Please Read

Date: Friday, November 11, 2016

Time: 12:00-12:55 PM

For: Fifth Grade Students and their Families

Lunch: All teachers are following the Early Release Lunch Pickup schedule on this day.

Specials: No change in the Specials schedule

Information needed: If you have a close family member who has served or is currently serving in the United States Military, I would love for you to send me a picture of this person and the following information:

Name of US Military Service member:

Branch of Service:

Did this person serve during a war/conflict? If so, which one?

Relationship to you:

I am preparing a Powerpoint presentation which will show on the screens all day long on Friday, November 11. Please get any info about your relatives who serve or have served our country by Friday, October 28.

Thank you,

Claire Collins

professional learning

The Office of Student Discipline and Behavioral Interventions is offering professional development classes this semester called Discipline Trends & Techniques. Teachers are the target audience for this class that will focus on the importance of classroom strategies to handle discipline, obtaining parent involvement and supporting best practices for instruction.

To accommodate teachers county wide, the classes will be held from 5:00–7:00. Teachers must sign up on the PD&E tab in their portal account for the session they would like to attend. They must attend both classes and be punctual to receive PLU credit for the class.

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Any NTI entered after October 7 will show as a 0 in the gradebook and become part of the overall average.

The timeout on the gradebook has been extended from 15 minutes to 45 minutes to allow teachers more time before the lockout screen appears. Please remember to click SAVE frequently as they enter grades.


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super hero readers needed

We need students who want to be on Monday morning announcements telling of the books they are reading. Send names to Sherry!

Book carts available

We have some book carts available. Let Sherry know if you would like one.



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Self-Guided Field Trips are available to book year-round. Use our standards-based curriculum guides in the classroom before and after your visit.

Only $9.95 / student if booked online (24-hour notice needed)

One chaperone per 10 students is free!

Learn more and register here!

NightCrawler Overnights make the ultimate class adventure!

Your students will never forget this overnight field trip packed with themed activities, behind-the-scenes experiences and up-close encounters with animals. To find out if this program is right for your class, please review the Program Packet and State standards covered for students prior to registering.

Programs starting at 1st grade to college

Monday – Saturday, year round

6 p.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Learn more and register here!

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Saturday – October 15 – 7:05 p.m. (Opening Weekend)

Thursday – December 29 – 7:05 p.m. (Holiday Fun)

Saturday – January 21 – 7:05 p.m. (14th annual “Teddy Bear Toss”)

Saturday – February 4 – 7:05 p.m. ($5.00 Frenzy – Jersey Night)

Note for Jersey Night: You will need a paid $15.00 ticket and enter the Arena prior to purchasing $5.00 Mesh Replica Jerseys.

Saturday – April 8 – 7:05 p.m. (Fan Appreciation Night)

ALL GAMES: Arena Doors open at 6:05 p.m. – Arena Parking is Free

Purchase your online tickets today!

GCPS PROMO Code: gcps1617

Click here for flyer.

Kick off the holiday season with Northeast Atlanta Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker at the Infinite Energy Performing Arts Center. Show dates are: November 25th, 26th, 27th with seven show times. Please see the following dance moms for tickets:

Leigh Blakely

Tiffany Taylor

Amy Simmon

Kim Shoaf