Your connection to all things in GCPS...
Your connection to all things GCPS. | March 17, 2023
We invite you to take the Family Effectiveness Survey that is already in your email inbox or in the Parent Portal. The surveys will be available until March 19 and will only take a few minutes to complete. Make yourself heard, fill out the survey today.
We need to hear your voice!We want every parent and caregiver of a student in GCPS to have input! Taking the EES survey will only take about 10-12 minutes of your time, but your responses help shape the education your children will receive for years to come! Share your voice, and help improve education and effectiveness in GCPS by taking this survey.
Senator Ossoff Visits Farm-to-School program at Mason Elementary School
On Thursday, February 23, GCPS welcomed Senator Jon Ossoff’s staff to Mason Elementary School in Duluth to see its farm-to-school program at work. Laila Goharioon and Samantha Lucas were in attendance, as well as Dr. Linette Dodson and Kelley Toon, both from the Georgia Department of Education. The purpose of their visit was to see the district’s robust farm-to-school program firsthand and to observe some of the school’s nutrition education activities in the classroom and school gardens. With more than 67,000 participating schools across the United States, this is a special honor for GCPS. The Farm-to-School program enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips. Farm-to-School empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
AKS At Home session 4
AKS at Home is shifting gears! The program’s Session 4 is specially designed to build the capacity of elementary families about the end of the year Georgia Milestones assessment (GMAS). This one-night event is scheduled on Tuesday, March 28, from 5:30–6:30 p.m. via Zoom. The Family Engagement Office, in partnership with the Office of Accountability and Assessment, will provide information about the GMAS assessment for families of students in grades 3-5, sample questions, and tips to support their children at home.
Dual Language Enrollment registration is starting soon!
GCPS is excited to offer Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs at 10 elementary schools; Annistown (Spanish), Baldwin (Spanish), Bethesda (Spanish), Camp Creek (Spanish), Ivy Creek (Spanish), Level Creek (Spanish), Meadowcreek (Spanish), Mulberry (Spanish), Parsons (Korean), and Trip (French). The DLI program targets students entering Kindergarten with continuing curriculum support through 5th grade. The goal of this immersion program is to educate children to achieve bilingual skills in English and the partner language. The best part is that with GCPS’ 50/50 Model, at least 50% of the school day is spent learning the AKS in the partner language and the other 50% in English. A team of two teachers—one fluent in the partner language and an English speaker—work together, with class time for math, science, and target language literacy in the partner language, and language arts and social studies in English.
Enrollment is voluntary, starting with incoming kindergartners and building by one grade level every year. (Information sessions are offered to parents before registration.) The GCPS DLI program is intended both for English-speaking students who wish to develop a second language as well as native and heritage-speaking families of Spanish, French, or Korean students who wish to develop literacy and deep cultural understanding of their home language culture and cultures of countries in which the language is spoken. Click here for more information about the program.
Take part in the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council Summit for GCPS Students in grades 5-12 on Saturday, April 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This free summit will be a great opportunity for students to connect, learn, and share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas about mental health and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with fellow students and Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts. We believe that student voice is essential to transforming our district’s culture and supporting each and every student.
At the summit, students will have the opportunity to:
- Learn more about mental health and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in GCPS;
- Share experiences and ideas;
- Connect with other students who are passionate about these topics; and
- Help shape the conversation around mental health and equity in GCPS.
Students can RSVP for a link to participate virtually as well.
GCPS Celebrates Black History Month
Throughout the month of February, GCPS students, staff, and families celebrated Black History Month. Schools held fireside chats, historical character door decorating contests, step shows, Melanin Mondays, poetry contests, seminars, a Black leaders showcase, soul food potlucks, and so much more to connect students with the rich history and contributions of African Americans. While Black History Month 2023 has come to an end, the work and acknowledgments can continue in a variety of ways. Every day is a new opportunity to speak up and take action in each of the spaces we occupy to recognize systemic racism, build a community where each and every child feels safe and nurtured, and consciously create a more inclusive community that honors the lived experiences of African Americans.
Writing a letter: an opportunity to connect and offer hope, support, and reflection
In this time of instant communication—texts and emails—sending or receiving a hand-written letter is a gift children and adults aren’t exposed to very often.
For a special 2nd-grade class at Corley Elementary School, however, letter writing was a beautiful way to offer hope in a time of sadness. Second-grade teacher Heather Brenan saw an opportunity to put our Blueprint into action by encouraging students to show empathy and support to former President Jimmy Carter via letters of hope. The students poured words of encouragement, faith, support, and love into their letters and mailed them with the purest of intentions, never imagining that their letters would make it to the former president. Their act of kindness was met with enthusiasm by his parish because they were the only letters from students the former president had received. The letters impacted his church, his family, and his life in such an unexpected way. That simple act of taking the time to pour words onto paper, mail them, and wait patiently paid off greatly. The students felt proud, and so did the community around them.
Sometimes, the smallest acts of kindness have the greatest impact. So... When was the last time you wrote and mailed a letter? If you would like to write letters to support individuals dealing with hardships, click here.
Have you downloaded the free Gwinnett County Public Schools App?
The GCPS Mobile app helps you stay on top of the latest news, calendar events, and emergency information. You can enable notifications and choose your preferred language. Downloading our free mobile app is easy! Just search for Gwinnett County Public Schools in the App Store or Google Play to download our app for free.
Be on the lookout…there may be apps on your child’s device that are disguised to look like something else to hide information. For example, some apps may be disguised to look like a calculator, along with an identifying icon. Also, many game apps are being used as lures advertised on social platforms that attract children, but have malicious intentions like identity theft, and stealing personal information like payment details, phone numbers, and other data sought after by identity thieves. Anyone who downloads these apps may be completely unaware of the risks they carry. To learn more, please click here.
Issues with Parent Portal Password resets?
You can find links to ParentVue videos in English and Spanish at the bottom of this page.
Discovery High School hosts FIRST® Robotics Competition March 18-19
GCPS is hosting the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) on March 18-19 at Discovery High School, a first for GCPS and Gwinnett County. This thrilling opportunity will allow the community to see some of the best robotics teams in the state and from around the world compete in our backyard. The fast-paced and exciting competition will showcase some of the most promising STEM talent from GCPS high schools as students put their skills to the test with their original robot designs. This year’s FRC energy-focused challenge is “Charged Up,” which requires students to design, build, program, and strategize their larger-than-life robotic solutions from the ground up. Featuring both autonomous and driver challenges, you’ll be amazed by the creations of the 20+ teams in action. Hope to see you there!
The Gwinnett Youth Commission is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 cohort
The Gwinnett Youth Commission (GYC) is a year-long leadership development program for high school-age students in Gwinnett County. GYC focuses on personal and professional development, civic engagement, and public service. Gwinnett’s Youth Commissioners are representative voices of the County’s youth and serve as representatives to the county’s elected officials.
Interested candidates must complete an application, to which eligibility will be verified. The application deadline for the 2023–2024 cohort is Friday, April 7, at 10 p.m. Accepted youth will be notified by early May.
Please contact Community Outreach Programs Coordinator Michael Rabalais at Michael.Rabalais@gwinnettcounty.com with any questions.
Read five books to see Disney on Ice!
The Gwinnett County Public Library invites all little readers to read five books and earn a ticket to Disney On Ice’s “Find Your Hero!” This exciting show features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy as they take an adventure filled with tales of heroism from your favorite Disney stories. For challenge details on how to participate, click here. Visit your nearest GCPL branch to get started!
Have you visited a G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds Book Exchange lately? Celebrate National Library Lovers Month and grab a free book with your little one, or donate a book to encourage creativity and reading in our community. Find a location near you.
Duluth Middle School offers Duluth cluster parents English Classes
Duluth Middle School has partnered with Catalyst Coalition, a non-profit focused on serving ethnic communities in cooperation with local schools, to provide Adult English language classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for parents of students in the Duluth cluster. Classes are offered either in the morning from 10-11 a.m. or in the evenings from 7-8 p.m. with a “donation” accountability fee of $25 per month per attendee. The course, led by Catalyst Coalition director Jin Lee, is designed to help parents develop the skills needed to be career-ready, and to function successfully in their community.
Transition Fair is this Saturday!
Save the date for the in-person 2023 Transition Fair, an opportunity for families and educators of students with disabilities of all ages (elementary, middle, and high) to connect with resources to support the journey to adulthood. The Fair will feature local agencies that specialize in the areas of: Vocational Training & Employment Services, Day Programs & Community Living, Recreation & Leisure, and Funding & Community Resources. It is never too early to start planning for the future! No registration is required.
Questions? Email Transition.Fair@gcpsk12.org.
Who: For Educators & Parents of Students with Disabilities
When: Saturday, March 18, 2023, 9 a.m.—noon
Let’s get Tee’d-Up to Fight Cancer with the 24th Annual Facilities & Operations Classic Golf Tournament to benefit Relay For Life!
Mark your calendars and save the date! The Gwinnett County Public Schools Business Operations Division will host its 24th Annual F&O Classic Golf Tournament on May 8 at the Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club, in Flowery Branch. Golfers of all levels are encouraged to join us for a great time on the golf course, while raising money for a worthy cause! The tournament format will be a four-person scramble, so everyone will be able to contribute to an exciting round of golf. Registration is $125 per individual and $500 per foursome and includes tournament entry fees, breakfast, entry in both the longest drive and closest to the pin contests, beverages, and an awards luncheon. GCPS employees receive a $25 discount for individuals and $100 discount per foursome registered. Register today by clicking on this link, or email John.Hodgson@gcpsk12.org to sign-up. Don’t delay, as registration closes on April 24, 2023!
Save the date: School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett High School's Spring Arts Festival on March 25
Central Gwinnett High School's Art & Design Department will hold its first annual Spring Arts Festival on March 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Gwinnett High School. The festival will feature student art booths, professional art, food trucks, workshops, program showcases, jump houses, and many more activities for all ages.
Interested in becoming a sponsor, vendor, or volunteer? The Spring Arts Festival is seeking sponsors, local and professional artists, food vendors, and any other interested exhibitor. SOTA students will have booths intermingled with professional artists, allowing students and artists to meet, engage, and learn from each other. Anyone interested in participating in the event can learn more here or email: email@example.com.
BOE Highlights: March 16 Board Meeting
On Thursday, March 16, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) held its monthly work session and board meeting.
In other news… the Gwinnett County Board of Education honored several Gwinnett County Public Schools educators at the Board’s regularly scheduled March meeting. The Board recognized:
- Heath Jones of McConnell Middle School, for being named the 2023 Mike Kovins Teacher of the Year. The honor recognizes teachers who are consistently achieving the highest levels of student motivation and engagement in music education by infusing music technology into their work.
- Elizabeth Debban of Brookwood High School, for being named the 2023 Georgia Secondary Level Art Educator of the Year. The annual award is given to educators that teach visual arts to students in the secondary level.
- Loria Crews of Brookwood High School, for being named the 2023 National Art Honor Society Award. The honor recognizes educators that teach visual arts and serve as a sponsor to their National Art Honor Society at their school.
- Stephanie Birmingham of Five Forks Middle School, for being named the 2023 Middle level Art Educators of the Year. Every year, the Georgia Art Educators Association selects an educator that teaches visual arts to students in the middle school grade levels.
Enjoy the performance of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology's Chamber Choir below.
Don't miss the Science, Engineering + Innovation Fair 2023—This annual event allows students from all levels to demonstrate their projects to judges from across our community.
Check out the 2023 Student Media Festival—The community and members of Team GCPS come together to watch and judge entries to the Gwinnett Student Media Festival.
In Case You Missed It....
- Board meeting and work session (February 23)
- Coffee with Calvin (March 3)
- News Releases
- Student Calendars
- News You Can Use
And much more at www.gcpsk12.org!
Coming soon in GCPS....
- Keep Connected with news from GCPS TV… the next episode airs on March 24!
- The next regular Board meeting is April 27. (Online, find links to sign up for the public comment sections of the meeting.)