Monday, January 11, 2016

Welcome to 2016!

Vanguard Family ~

Let me start by saying welcome back to the new year! I hope that you've all gotten off to a fresh start and feel invigorated by your time away. Secondly, I would like to say a tremendous thank you to everyone who reached out during my illness. Eight days in the hospital can really take it out of you, but I am thrilled to be back in action as much as possible! You are an amazing team and I am looking forward to all of the incredible work yet to be done this year!

With Gratitude,


Vanguard PD Day: Final Products

Click the button to view the "evidence of mastery" from our Vanguard PD Day.

On January 5, a large portion of our team attended our Vanguard PD Day at locations throughout Atlanta. From the pictures, tweets, and final products, it appears to have been a productive and inspiring day for many! Please be sure to visit our site and view the results from our team members! While most have been added to the final products pages, there are still some not yet there. Be sure to check back as all products are showcased.
#fcsvanguard Chats Are Back!

Use the button to access the sign-up for #fcsvanguard.

Beginning next Thursday, January 21, our #fcsvanguard chats are back! Sign up using the button link above or by visiting our website to access the link and find out more about moderating a chat. Remember, you don't have to be an expert on a topic. You just have to guide the conversation!
Enter to Become a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator

Click the button to access the application.

"PBS is excited to announce the fourth annual Digital Innovators program for tech-savvy K-12 educators. The program recognizes educators nationwide who are incorporating digital media in classrooms and serving as leaders in educational technology.

Over the course of the 2016/2017 school year, PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will be part of a robust professional learning community that will foster new ways of thinking, while leading the way in using technology to drive student achievement. 54 applicants, one from each US state and territory, will be designated as Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators and will also receive a three day, all-expense paid trip to Denver, CO to participate in the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Summit and the prestigious ISTE Conference from June 25-27, 2016. Plus, each Lead PBS Digital Innovator will receive a Samsung Galaxy® tablet."

Night at the Teaching Museum

Just a reminder about this incredible opportunity through the Teaching Museum!

"The Teaching Museum is looking for outstanding, creative, fun activities and challenges for middle school students! Night @ the Teaching Museum is an annual competition for middle school academic bowl teams. Each middle school can send a team of 10 students to the 4-hour event. Teams circulates through different activities/challenges, each lasting about 12 minutes to earn points. The activities are all based in different academic areas and are fun, imaginative and cleaver challenges.

Basically, we are looking for activity/challenge proposals from a range of curriculum areas. We already have music and dance (physical ed) activities and need activities in other curriculum areas: ELA, Social Studies, Science, Art, Economics, Math, Engineering, etc. Activities/challenges can incorporate technology in some way but it should not be the main goal of the activity. The theme is RHYTHM, and we encourage you to think creativity and “out of the box” with this theme and how it applies to your content area. The museum will cover the supplies for the activity and can even provide a “celebrity or historical figure” (i.e. hired professional actor) if it would support your content activity idea. But, it is not necessary.

Jan. 15th Activity/challenge proposals due

A brief couple of sentences describing your idea will suffice. Please make sure your activity can be accomplished in 12 minutes and involve up to 10 students. The max points they can earn in your activity is 150. Also, remember you will be running this activity over and over again for approximately 3 hours with approx. 3 minutes between each session – the reset for each session should be simple! Your challenge can involve one team earning points or you can have two teams competing against each other for points. Email your brief proposals to

Jan. 17th Selected proposals will be announced and winners notified

Jan. 25th Full lesson descriptions and supply requests are due from participating teachers

Feb. 6th Participating teachers will facilitate their activity at the N@TM event. Set up is from 3 pm and the event starts at 5 pm and runs till 9 pm.

Teachers will need to prep the supplies for their activity.

Teachers with selected proposals will receive $300 total additional pay for their activity plan/supply request, prep, set up and facilitating their activity at the event. (This rate is based on the $28 rate per instructional hour for FCS certified additional pay.) Additionally, their creative activity will be featured on the Teaching Museum.

For more information, please contact Jena Sibille at"

Showcasing the Work

Congrats to Vonda Shands and the team at Paul D. West for hosting a training. They had a FULL HOUSE at their inaugural Real STEM Saturday with 31 participants who represented Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Clayton, and Bartow Counties. They learned how the processes in computer coding (abstraction, algorithm, decomposing, and pattern matching) have become part of the fundamental skill set that learners in the 21 Century must be able to apply across academic disciplines. What a wonderful opportunity for all who attended! Way to go!!


About Us

Our mission as a Vanguard team is to build the capacity of FCS educators and leaders to provide innovative instruction which meets the needs, skills and interests of all students.