Your connection to all things in GCPS...
Your connection to all things GCPS. | September 16, 2022
DLD Food delivery today starting at 10:45 a.m. at your local bus stop!
Today (Sept. 16) is a scheduled Digital Learning Day (DLD) for all students. On scheduled Digital Learning Days, all GCPS students access lessons in eCLASS but do not have virtual class time with their teachers. To ensure that students have a nutritious breakfast and lunch to fuel their learning, our bus drivers will be on the road and at every bus stop to deliver meals prepared by the School Nutrition Program staff. Families should expect buses to run their routes from approximately 10:45 a.m. to noon, beginning at the first stops on the route today, Sept. 16. These delivered meals are provided at no cost to families and are provided to anyone 18 years old and under.
For more information about student meals, to apply for free or reduced-price school meals, our school calendar, and more, please continue to check your email regularly and visit our website, www.gcpsk12.org often.
Action Item for Families: Updated Handbook Information
At its Aug. 2022 meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved a new policy, Theory of Action for Change to Improve Student Behavior and Outcomes (JCDI), that addresses student behavior and discipline. Details connected to the new policy were added to the Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Handbook Information for Students and Families. All GCPS students are required to review those changes. To access Policy JCDI and the updated handbook, use the links below:
Parents/guardians are asked to acknowledge the revisions to the Handbook by clicking here. New to the GCPS Parent Portal? Check out these resources.
141 Local Teachers of the Year Announced
“The Teacher of the Year celebration is one way our community lifts up and honors our incredible teachers,” says Ms. DeNelle West, GCPS Chief Learning Officer. “The commitment of our teachers is unwavering, and we continue to be humbled by their efforts each day.”
The 141 local school honorees will move into the next phase of the TOTY process as they are considered for the system-wide honor. Later this month, this group will be narrowed down to 25 semifinalists. From that group, six finalists will be chosen in early October. On Nov. 10, 2022, GCPS will host a celebration honoring this year’s local school teachers of the year, finalists, and naming of the top teacher in Gwinnett County.
Click here to see a slideshow of the TOTYs honored by their local schools.
Starting in September, GCPS will administer a wellness screener to students in their classrooms. This short survey, (less than 10 minutes), will provide valuable insight into how students feel about their own wellbeing, their perception of how they fit in their school community, and how that impacts their academic success. Administered throughout the school year, this survey will help educators identify students who need support in specific behavioral, academic, or emotional areas. That will enable GCPS to provide each and every student with the help they need, and create schools and classroom environments where each and every student knows they belong and can learn.
Practicing Gratitude: Tips for Increasing Positivity
How often do you stop and think about the positive things that happened during the day? Or the good things that have happened in your life?
Making a habit of taking time to feel gratitude can help you cope with stress and maintain positive relationships. In fact, when practiced with intention, studies show that gratitude vitalizes our well-being by: (1) positively “rebooting” our mindset, (2) nurturing trusting relationships, (3) contributing to our sense of happiness, and (4) actually increasing our lifespan.
Here are a few ways you can create positive emotions that may, in turn, improve your overall social and emotional well-being:
- Make a visit. Tell someone you're grateful for them in person. Be specific. Instead of saying, “I’m grateful for family,” recall a specific moment. This helps your brain access real memories and experience gratitude.
- Journal. Write down things you’re grateful for each day. Try to list five new items daily. While this exercise requires finding small things to be grateful for, this is the point: to transform your perspective to see value in the everyday elements of life.
- Relive the good times. Make it a family habit during dinner table conversation or at bedtime to develop a regular practice of sharing positive moments and naming specific gratitudes with each other—and especially about each other!
By making gratitude a regular habit, it can help you recognize good things happening in your life and increase awareness of your positive feelings. For more ideas, check out these 10 Tips To Grow Gratitude & Improve Your Gratitude Attitude.
Support your K-5 child’s learning with virtual AKS at Home sessions!
Families are important partners in their child’s education. GCPS’ quarterly AKS at Home initiative empowers families of students in grades K-5 to help their children practice the key skills they are learning in language arts and math, sharing tools through live, grade-specific Zoom sessions, recorded sessions, and helpful tip sheets.
The next round of live virtual K-5 sessions is planned for September 20-22 to support learning in the 1st semester of the year. Interpretation will be provided in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese. The sessions are open to all GCPS families. Register for the grade-specific Zoom sessions on the AKS at Home webpage.
As students continue to use their devices for learning, there is an increasing need to be more efficient when navigating through their daily lessons. Students are encouraged to use the Chromebook Simulator to learn more about the top row of keys and common keyboard shortcuts. These are a couple of quick Chromebook tech tips to help students become more time efficient when using their device.
Join the Café Gwinnett Team or Become a Paraeducator!
We are looking for caring individuals who want to make a difference in our students' lives by preparing and serving nutritious meals. No experience required and training is fully paid. GCPS provides outstanding health benefits with employer contribution for you and your family. Join the Café Gwinnett Team for a family-friendly work schedule and competitive pay. Hourly rates start at $14.00 and go up to $19.52. Contact (678) 301-6244.
Plan to attend the Paraprofessional Job Fair! Join us on Sept. 16 from 9-10 a.m. or 2-3 p.m. Have you always had a passion to start a career as an educator? Here's your chance! Learn more about becoming a GCPS Paraprofessional today! Additional opportunities for employment are on our website.
GCPS Foundation Sponsors "Finding Scholarship Dollars for College"
Are you worried about paying for college? As the cost of college tuition continues to rise, many families are struggling to cover costs. There are a variety of scholarship resources available for students with abilities ranging from average to super achiever and everyone in between. Whatever the student’s circumstance or academic pace, there’s something for everyone. Come learn from the experts how to identify the scholarship opportunities just right for your student.
This event is Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom and is Free to Attend, but registration required.
BOE Highlights: Sept. 15 Board Meeting
On Thursday, Sept. 15, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) held its regularly scheduled work session and business meeting. Here are a few highlights from the meeting.
The Board honored Dr. Rebecca Streetman, a South Gwinnett High School teacher, who was named the American Lawyers Alliance 2022 Lillian B. Jarvis Teacher of the Year. The award honors a high school teacher who is doing an outstanding job while providing law-related education to students in Title I schools.
In other Board news…
- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued a proclamation naming Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts an Outstanding Georgia Citizen. Dr. Watts was presented with a copy of the proclamation by Georgia House of Representative (District 105) Donna McLeod. The award serves as the highest honor given on the state level to any citizen and affords the recipient every courtesy as a Goodwill Ambassador from the state of Georgia in travels to other states and nations beyond the United States. This recognition was awarded based on advocacy and goodwill contributions to the state of Georgia.
- Nathan Ballantine, Principal, North Gwinnett HS, Yamarie Garba a student from North Gwinnett HS, and Michael Ho, teacher from Suwanee ES, and leaders from the schools of the North Gwinnett Cluster appeared in front of the board to share some of the cluster’s accomplishments, challenges, and aspirations this school year.
The Board also approved the appointment of several new leaders at the district and school levels, including Dr. David Goldie as the district’s Legislative & Educational Policy Administrator, Dr. Shanna Ricketts as the district’s Executive Director of Research & Evaluation, Mr. Derico White as the new principal at McConnell Middle School and Ms. Ellyce Cone as the new principal at Patrick Elementary School. Mr. Derico takes on his new role as Mr. Clent Chatham prepares to retire on October 1. Ms. Cone replaces Ms. Stephanie Stewart who is the principal at Mountain View High. Learn more in a news release about these appointments.
On the day after Board Meetings, board highlights are posted under GCPS Links.
Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date
Georgia’s General Election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 8, but the deadline to register to vote in Gwinnett County (or make changes to an existing registration) is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Citizens can register to vote by mail, online, or in many public buildings, including Gwinnett schools and the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee. On the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website, log on to MVP—My Voter Page—for voter registration status, mail-in application and ballot status, polling locations, and more. (Note that visitors now must complete a Captcha security screen to access the SOS website.) Voters who can’t participate in advance voting (Oct. 17-Nov. 4) or make it to the polls on Election Day also may apply for an absentee ballot by Oct. 28 by 5 p.m.
Learn more about elections on the Gwinnett County Government website, or call the Gwinnett County Office of Elections at (678) 226-7210 with questions.
Check out these Focus Moments from GCPS TV…
Thanks to a grant from Food Well Alliance and assistance from Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, students at Lovin ES are cutting down on food waste and learning about healthy soil through the Compost Connectors program.
In Case You Missed It....
- Coffee with Calvin…Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts chats with the staff at the International Newcomer Center and learns why they think it's the best kept secret in GCPS. (Sept. 2)
- Connected (Sept. 9)
- Board Meeting and Board Work Session (Aug. 18)
- News Releases
- Student Calendars
- And much more at www.gcpsk12.org!
Coming soon in GCPS....
- Keep Connected with news from GCPS TV… the next episode airs Sept. 23!
- Learn more about career and technical education (CTE) in the next Coffee with Calvin on Oct. 7.
- The next regular Board meeting is Oct. 20. (Online, find links to sign up for the public comment sections of the meeting.)
- Stay tuned for our next issue of GCPS Links, coming to you on Oct. 21!