Back To School Letter

Thursday, July 17

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Greetings Arcado Teachers & Staff

I hope you have had a wonderful summer! I saw many of you around the county at different staff development sessions. I believe the consensus was that we received world-class staff development. Several of our teachers taught and/or facilitated staff development sessions. Arcado teachers are definitely leaders in our school district!!

I had an amazing trip to Alaska!!! It was an adventure of a lifetime. The wildlife put on a show for us and the scenery did not disappoint. I hope your travels created lifetime memories for you!

Our theme this year is connect…engage. This theme is meaningful for us this year as we are welcoming many new staff members to our Arcado family. As we prepare to connect…engage send 1-3 pictures from your summer activities that you would like to share via our summer slideshow to Let’s celebrate our adventures with everyone!

On our first day of preplanning, Tuesday, July 29, wear a shirt from your favorite summer activity/vacation/etc. What a better way to get the conversation started with our new family and old family.

Here are several new staff announcements since my last summer update:

1. Amy Glosson, Kindergarten

Amy comes to us from Dekalb County. She has taught Pre K & K and most recently taught at Henderson Mill Elementary.

2. Elena Andrusceak, 4th grade

Elena is a veteran teacher in both her native country, Ukraine, and Gwinnett County Public Schools.

3. April Choi, 3rd grade

April is a veteran GCPS teacher. She taught with several of us at Nesbit Elementary School.

4. Laura Rusinyak, 3rd grade

Laura recently graduated from Reinhardt University. This will be her first year teaching.

5. Ariane Preston, ½ time IRR

Ariane has experience teaching Pre-K thru 5th special education in both Henry and Dekalb Counties

6. Quinn Davis-Brown, ASD Paraprofessional

Yes, I have stolen one of our great substitutes. Quinn will be working with Gayle Caid in ASD.

7. Morgan Wiggins, ASD Paraprofessional

Morgan will be working with Dr. Sway and Ms. Bayer in ASD. She has a degree from Valdosta State University in Communication Disorders and has a goal to become a Speech Language Pathologist.


Congratulations to Angie Curtis! She and John were married on Friday, July 11, 2014.


Congratulations to Rachel Soles! She is expecting a baby girl in December. Such a blessing!


Be a CUPID for Drew!

Our dear Drew Leathers, son of Fran Cone, Media Specialist, has had a challenging summer health wise. For our new staff members, Drew has Schwannomatosis: a rare form of Neurofibromatosis that has only recently been recognized and appears to affect around 1 in 40,000 individuals. To learn more go to

A Caring Bridge has been set up to update family and friends on how Drew is doing.

Monday, August 4 has been declared “Be A Cupid for Drew (AKA Dr. EW)” Day at Arcado Elementary School. We want everyone to wear “RED” on this day. We will be taking a staff picture and a special one for Drew. He is going to love it!!!

In Drew’s words:

Round Two! Fight!
Seriously though. This has SUCKED! Like a lot. I will make it through this and much more, but I wouldn't wish this on anyone. And the sad truth is there are more kids facing similar trials. WE NEED RESEARCH. RESEARCH NEEDS MONEY!
Please pray for me if you want, but I've already been blessed with the strength to overcome. I would rather you pray for research funds, or better yet, answer that prayer with a donation! Thank you guys for all the love prayers and support. It truly does help!

As part of “Be A Cupid for Drew” Day, we are asking that you make a monetary donation (no matter small or big) via his cupid website: Every staff member who makes a donation will receive a cupid to display proudly on his/her classroom door. Let’s show Drew our love!!!


Some housekeeping items to remember:

· The building will be open the week of July 21-25 from 8:00AM-3:30PM.

o Koki will be the only person working the front office. If you have any questions for her the best way to get them answered is via email. She will be taking care of our new teachers, assistant principals (they return to work next week), and working on the list I am leaving her to do.

o If you do come up to work will go ahead and clean out your mailbox. Koki will be reconfiguring the mailboxes next week.

o If you are a returning teacher and have moved locations you can come in to see Koki to get your new key.

o Copiers & laminator will be turned on for your use.

· Tuesday, July 22 is a run-off election day and we are a voting precinct. Just know there will be voters in the building. I know you will make them feel welcome if you see them. Voting will be in the Media Center.

· During preplanning week the building will open at 6:30AM and close at 8PM.

· Friday, August 1 is Open House/Meet Your Teacher Day. When you arrive to work on this day please park on the playground. Mr. Mike and his team will be out there to assist you.

· The building will be open Saturday, August 2 8AM-5PM and Sunday, August 3 12:30-6:00PM. If you come in on these two days you will need your classroom key to access the school building. The building will remain locked for security. Please do not prop doors open and/or leave them unattended.


Green Ribbon School Ceremony

Dr. Dean, Ms. Bridges, and I will be in Washington D.C. next week for the Green Ribbon School ceremony and celebrations.

You can watch the official ceremony on Tuesday, July 22 at 2:00PM ET via live streaming

Preplanning Schedule is being sent along with this letter in the same email.

If you received an email requesting that you serve as a mentor please RSVP to Kim Lawrence by Wednesday, July 23.

ENJOY the rest of your summer! See you on Tuesday, July 29


Preplanning Schedule

Building opens everyday @ 6:30AM and closes @ 8:00PM

Tuesday, July 29

Staff Hours: 7:45AM-3:45AM

Wear your summer shirt!

7:45 Continental Breakfast Cafeteria

8:30 connect…engage Staff Celebration Cafeteria

9:30 Travel to Parkview High School

10:00 Inspiration- Mike Rutherford PHS Theater

11:00 Lunch on your own

1:00-3:00 Staff Development Sessions Locations TBA

· Math- K/1

· Literacy- 2/3

· GTES Orientation- 4/5

*4:00-5:00 Instructional Leadership Team Meeting

Wednesday, July 30

Staff Hours: 8:00AM-4:00PM

8:30-11:30 District staff development for Art, PE, Music, ELL, Gifted,

& Special Education (you do not need to report here first, go

straight to your meeting location)

11:30 Lunch on your own

1:00-3:00 Staff Development Sessions Locations TBA

· Literacy- K/1

· GTES Orientation- 2/3

· Technology- 4/5

3:00-4:00 STEM Planning Meeting Media Center

All teachers & staff interested in planning for our STEM certification

Thursday, July 31

Staff Hours: 8:00AM-4:00PM

8:00-9:30 Staff Meeting Cafeteria

Teachers bring your laptops

9:30-11:30 Staff Development Sessions Locations TBA

· Math- 4/5

· GTES Orientation- K/1

· Technology- 2/3

11:30 Lunch on your own

1:00-4:00 Grade Level Collaborative Planning

Friday, August 1

Staff Hours: 8:30AM-4:30AM

Park on the playground

8:30-9:30 Registration Procedures Meetings Cafeteria &

Media Ctr.

11:00-12:30 Lunch on the go Workroom

Sandwiches, chips, fruit, dessert will be served

Just come by anytime btwn 11-12:30 to pick up lunch

1:00-4:00 Open House/Meet Your Teacher

Monday, August 4

Staff Hours: 8:00AM-4:00PM

“Be A Cupid for Drew” Day Wear RED!

9:30 Staff Picture Location TBA

10:00-12:00 Staff Development Sessions

· Math- 2/3

· Literacy- 4/5

· GTES Orientation- Special Areas

· Technology- K/1

12:00 Staff Luncheon hosted by PTA Cafeteria

Bring $7.00 to join PTA