In Focus @ GWA
A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy
Dear Bulldog Families and Friends,
When saying things like "these are unusual times" becomes usual, you know that even the most established processes probably need reconsidering. Today, I’m thinking primarily of re-enrollment and new applications. I’m excited to say that, as we look to the fall, enrollment numbers remain strong. We are committed to providing a uniquely GWA experience regardless of the external challenges we may face. For example, we fully expect campus to be open, but there may still be lingering concerns over social distancing. Accordingly, we will put a firm cap of 15 students per class and may even cap overall enrollment for the fall.
Interest in GWA has grown exponentially in recent years. I remember attending an open house three or four years ago and welcoming about a dozen guests. All good families, and it was a pleasure to meet and visit with each of them. However, by last year, our open houses were attracting over a hundred interested families, and the first Open House of this year drew well over 150 visitors.
How do we continue to invite good students from good families, who are interested in the GWA experience, in an era of COVID-19? Virtually, of course. Today, we are launching virtual tours of our campus. Please take a look at the link below and enjoy the tour. As always, you are best positioned to tell the GWA story. If you know of a family who you think might be a good fit for GWA, please share the link.
Thank you for your continued flexibility, optimism, resolve, and grit as we lean into the rest of the school year. Go Dawgs!
By Misty Lalaian, Testing/Tutoring Coordinator
A big shout out goes to the GWA community! Over the last month, my friend and local seamstress, Denise Powell, organized a large group effort to sew face masks (the pattern was designed by an RN) for local hospitals. She asked me if I had any cotton fabric to donate to the cause. After contributing whatever fabric I had, I then reached out to the GWA faculty and staff thinking others might want an opportunity to donate as well, and did they ever!
As a result of the many donations, I was able to pass along a considerable amount of fabric to my friend. Thanks to the effort and generosity of all involved, her sewing group created and delivered a large quantity of masks to both Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Northeast Georgia Health System. This shows how the small actions of many can have a large impact. Thanks again to all who contributed in supporting healthcare workers during this difficult time.
Four Students Selected for Governor's Honors Program
George Walton Academy will be well-represented at this summer's Governor's Honors Program. We are pleased to announce that four of our students have been selected to attend. This is a prestigious competitive summer program for gifted and talented students. Finalists will spend four weeks working with other Georgia high school students on instructional and cultural enrichment activities. Congratulations to GWA’s 2020 GHP finalists:
Marnie Couch – Visual Arts
Makena Helms – Communicative Arts
Claire McNulty – Social Studies
Claire Volk – Music (Brass Instrument)
A BEEautiful New Home
Students in Mr. Cole’s Sustainable Living class were close to completion of their new beehives just prior to the start of our digital days. Mr. Cole has worked to finish the project with help from his son, Owen (K5) and senior Jacob Dally (all while adhering to social distancing guidelines). The hives were built entirely out of lumber salvaged from our library remodeling project. These are the first of three hives that the class hopes to get started along with several pollinator habitats placed strategically around campus.
Students are currently working on the business plan as well as advertising and marketing materials to be implemented in the fall after the first honey harvest. They can’t wait to welcome the first family of bees to their new home!
A Taste of France
College Admissions Panel Going Online
Jon Terrell, Director of College Counseling
The GWA College Counseling office had originally scheduled a College Admissions Panel for Monday, April 27. This was going to be a required event for sophomores and help serve as an introduction into the world of college admissions! There was also going to be an invitation for any upper school student and/or parent. Unfortunately, as you all know, this event will not be taking place on campus now.
However, some good, fun news! We are working with a number of these colleges to set up individual institution Google Hangouts video chats. During the last week of April and the first two weeks of May, we hope to schedule between four and six college chat sessions online. We are currently working with Tulane, Auburn, Columbus State, Samford, and Vanderbilt to name a few. Please check your email regularly over the next two weeks for the dates, times, and links, to these events. Any GWA upper school students and parents are encouraged and welcome to attend these events to learn more about each of these colleges and universities.
If you have any specific questions, please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to send you an answer. More information to follow in the upcoming days!
Dawg Show Update!
Polish up your act and plan to participate in our digital talent show! Showcase your talents in one of the six divisions and yes, this is open to adults too! Let’s make this fun!
- Lower School Individual
- Middle School Individual
- Upper School Individual
- All Age Family / Siblings
- Faculty / Staff / Parent
- Virtual Group
Rules for participation: Use your imagination and show us your talent (be creative – just please make sure it is appropriate and no people or animals are harmed in your act). Act cannot exceed two minutes. Please keep up the good work with social distancing – the only group acts accepted will be of families/siblings/virtual groups. Deadline to upload your video is Monday, April 20. Winners will be announced at a later date to be determined.
Click HERE to upload your video.
Questions? Contact Jeanie Beach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Yoga Class
By Coach Holly Atkinson
Upper school PE is adapting nicely to our new digital format. Girl's PE classes are being taught live just like all other upper school and middle school classes. The classes start off each day with a 10 minute jog after taking attendance. When everyone returns to the Google Hangout after their jog, we continue with our workout for the day.
Yoga, of course, is the easiest to adapt to being at home because there is no equipment needed. The students are enjoying the opportunity to do their workouts outside or in any location they choose. I have loved seeing the students on their porches, patios, decks, and garages. We have been blessed with great weather since moving to digital days. The opportunity to exercise outdoors has also lifted our spirits!
Are You Ready for Some Football?
Youth football registration is officially open! It will close on Tuesday, April 21. Please use the google doc forms found in the link below to register your player. This should only take a couple minutes. Use the link under the grade that your student will be in this fall. For example, if your child is in 2nd grade, then you'll use the upcoming 3rd - 4th grade (tackle) link.
We will not be collecting registration payment at this time. Our goal for this online registration is to get you linked with a coach so we can start communication about this fall and get your jersey ordered. If you have a used jersey that you no longer have use for or know someone that may want to donate their jersey, helmet or pads then please contact Grace Martin. Also, contact Grace Martin if you are interested in helping coach a flag team.
Please click the link below to register your player. Go Bulldogs!
Majorette Sign-Up Information
It’s time to sign up for the 2020 Mini Dawgs (K4-2nd) and Dawgettes (3rd-5th) squads! Information packets were sent home with your daughters on Friday, March 13, entailing costs and important dates (including the April 17 deadline for dues). If you are interested in signing your daughter up to twirl next fall, please click HERE for details.
Tricks of the Trade
Ms. Gerhardt’s middle school drama students enjoyed a virtual chat with professional makeup artist Catherine Fouts. She studied at the Georgia State School of Film, Media, and Theatre and specializes in gore effect and glam makeup. She shared her experiences in both theater and film work with the class.