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Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

“If you are lucky enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are. It’s only when you’re faced with obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats that resilience, or lack of it, emerges: Do you succumb or do you surmount?”

Maria Konnikova

In This Issue



Crystal's Corner

School Affairs


May 8, 2016- Happy Mother's Day!

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

Aesop Reminders

When you submit a request in Aesop:

  • Please remember to post In/Service-Staff Development when requesting for a staff development day off. Assure that you have gotten clearance to attend from Crystal first so that payment for subs can come from the proper line item.

  • Click “save” and the Aesop system will locate a sub for you.
  • Click “save and assign” when you have already spoken to the sub and you know for certain that he/she will be in your class.

Please remember to update the time in Aesop. A full day is 7:45-3:45, half day is either 7:45-11:45 or 11:45-3:45.


Deborah Walston, May 1

Bonita Wilkerson May 3

Jenifer Reese, May 3

Claire Baraban, May 18

Frank Torres, May 22

Carline Thomas, May 27

Jessica Vielmas, May 27

Jill Wallace, May 31

Staff Calendar-To be updated

Crystal's Corner


I hope that you enjoyed your first week of Teacher Appreciation Week! You are amazing and we want to celebrate you again this week! I hope you enjoyed your week of fun and celebration! Thank you for participating in our dress up days and making the week enjoyable and memorable. Thank you to our PTA who will be sharing the week with us for a great celebration of you!

I also appreciate the sound and helpful feedback that you all offered at our Faculty meeting on Thursday. I enjoyed reading the charts and appreciate Jill Moore for helping me with my idea and vision. I look forward to following up with you on your feedback soon.

We will discuss the master schedule on Tuesday morning at our Team Leaders meeting, so please get your feedback to your team leader so that we can have a great discussion.

Kudos to the entire 1st grade for signing up for Vision for next year! That is admirable and exciting! Who will be next?

Check out these opportunities:

    Vision will focus on the three essential components of literacy workshop that will include specific instructional strategies that will target the architecture of the mini-lesson and in grades K-12 in order to enhance the writing instruction across the district. Elementary teachers will dig deeply into the Units of Study in Writing and learn how to utilize the district resource on a daily basis in their classrooms in order to accelerate writing achievement. Middle and high school teachers will build units of study for literacy workshop in order to enhance the reading and writing instruction that is taking place each day in the classroom. Participants with at least 80% attendance will earn two PLUs; participants with 100% attendance will receive copies of all professional and mentor texts used in their grade level class during the Vision sessions.
    What: Vision
    When: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm on Aug. 13, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Dec. 3, and Jan, 21
    Where: Discovery High School

    Teachers should register in the PD&E tool by May 30, 2016. New hires may register once they have obtained an employee identification number.
    1st gr—#23285
    2nd gr—#23286
    3rd gr—#23287
    4th gr—#23288
    5th gr—#23389

SAFARI Montage Focus Groups- Michelle Hardy for signing up!

Do you have staff who are using SAFARI Montage and would like to help us improve it for the district? In order to support and improve instructional use, focus groups will be held by level in April and May as listed below. The purpose is to gather feedback from teachers, lead innovators, LSTC's, media specialists and administrators. Each school is invited to send up to 3 participants. A stipend will be available. Participants will need to register in PDE to track attendance. Search for SAFARI Montage Focus Groups and select a location. Any questions can be directed to Dona Smith in the eCLASS office via Lotus Notes or at 678-301-7293.

Elementary Sessions

Riverside Elementary May 4th 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Chesney Elementary May 5th 3:45 - 4:45 PM

Centerville Elementary May 9th 3:15 - 4:15 PM

Jenkins Elementary May 10th 3:45 - 4:45 PM

K-5 Math Boot Camp

The K-5 Math Boot Camp is designed to develop and deepen understanding of the Mathematics AKS. K-5 Mathematics teachers will focus their learning on analyzing, understanding, and modeling Mathematics AKS from a concrete level to an abstract level. Participants will receive resources and one PLU.

What: K-5 Math Boot Camp

When: 8/27; 9/24; 10/22; 12/10

Where: Discovery HS

This professional learning has been released in PD&E for registration.

Please share with teachers you would recommend for participation.

School Affairs

    Please share links to the new online Communiqué in your local school e-Newsletter and your website. New items are added each week.
    The latest posts to the online Communiqué include features on Transition Fair for Students with Disabilities, the Gwinnett Heat, meetings about the county's transportation plan, plus calendar reminders about the Area Board meetings and the latest episode of In5ive.

School Reminders:

1. Please lock up all devices at night and lock your classroom doors when leaving for specials, and recess. Students need to bring everything with them and not come to the classrooms unattended as much as possible. 2 barriers are suggested, 1 barrier will suffice.

2. Please have students assist with putting chairs on desks when leaving each day.With us eating breakfast and snacks in the classrooms, it causes for more attention to vacuuming. Please help us get your rooms as clean as possible.

          Please register!
            All Leadership Team Members Must Attend
    When: Tuesday, June 14 from 8:30 - 3:45. Registration begins at 7:30 am in the Board Room lobby, ISC Building 100.
    Where: J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center
    Keynote Speaker: Leland Melvin, NASA Astronaut and Co-Chair of the White House STEM Education Task Force
    • Choice Session Information:
    • Register April 12-29 via the employee portal by going to Tools--> Media--> GDLC Registration. Then select your four choice sessions. (The link will be live on April 12th.)
    • Need registration assistance? Contact Cindy Weaver via email or by phone at (678) 301-6431.

    2016-17 Gifted Endorsement Cohort-
    If you have not completed your gifted endorsement yet, there is an opportunity for you to join others next year at Lanier Middle School. Please let me know your interest.
    What: Gifted Endorsement 2016-17
    When: Class begins September 1, 2016, and lasts until May 3, 2017
    Where: Lanier Middle School
    A detailed course calendar can be found on page 2 of the application.

Kudos- Included in email this week