In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

March 19, 2020

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Staying Connected

Lynn Robinson, Director of School Counseling

One of my favorite non-fiction authors, Sr. Joan Chitterston, writes a lot about “community.” She defines community as one of our God-given supports, which allows our burdens to be shared, and therefore, lightened. Today, being a part of a community is more important than ever. We need our community to help us make it through this uncertain time. True, we have been asked to participate in social distancing, which seems to be fracturing the foundation of what we value at GWA – the support we find in each other - but we must remember that social distancing is not the same thing as emotional distancing. Emotional distancing means isolating our minds and hearts from each other. We shouldn’t distance ourselves in that way, because we need each other. In order to have the emotional support we need, we should make it a point to spend time with one another. This is why Google Hangouts, Zoom and other video conferencing platforms were created, to help people stay connected without having to be in the same room with each other.

During the coming weeks, stay in touch with those you love, especially with those in the GWA community. Staying connected is one way to support your students emotionally and to make your own perspective a little brighter. As Sister Joan wrote, “Community means we are always in this together,“ and we, the GWA family, are definitely in this thing together.

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Supporting Local Businesses

If you own or work for a business that is being impacted, please email Jeanie Beach your business listing and a link to purchase gift cards. We will compile a list of links to share with our families to encourage them to purchase a gift card that can be used at a later date. This is open to everyone, not just Corporate Partners.

It’s just one simple way, together, we can support our community.
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Tech Support

Click HERE for shortcuts to middle and high school technical support.
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The Show Must Go On!

Be sure to watch our Digital Dayz news broadcasts on YouTube! Broadcast Journalism students continue to create content to inform, entertain and connect with our Bulldog community. Go to and subscribe to Dawg News Network. Enjoy!
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Essay Winners

The Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest gives students the opportunity to select their own “Law of Life” and write from the heart about a topic they think is most important. The overall school winner and grade level winners receive cash awards for their stories.

Congratulations to the following winners of the Laws for Life Essay Contest!

9th Grade Level Winner – Sara Bryan

Honorable Mention - Carter Payne and Aryn Gravitt

10th Grade Level Winner – Lily Eubanks

Honorable Mention - Jocelyn Gonzalez

11th Grade Level and Overall School Winner – Katie Austin

Honorable Mention - Mallory Carson, Abbey Sheppard, Eli Scornik

12th Grade Level Winner - Jilsa Manayala

Honorable Mention – Kyleigh Jones

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Online Resources

Check out these fun and/or educational websites as well helpful articles! They offer ideas for activities, provide family entertainment, digital learning and advice.

Lunch Doodles - grab paper, pencils, pens and crayons and join artist Mo Willems for Lunch Doodles @ 1 p.m. weekdays.

Center for Puppetry Arts -- offering curriculum-based workshops and digital learning interactive puppet shows and free live streaming shows on Facebook.

Kids For Peace - ideas and activities for families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google Arts & Culture - a free app that lets you virtually tour museums around the world.

GoNoodle - offers plenty of kid friendly dances and movement activities to get energy out while indoors.

GPBKids - games, videos, and lessons galore to fill the extra time (all digital).

BrainPop - short educational videos about topics from health and wellness to wildlife and grammar.

Tips for parents working from home (article from CNBC).

Disccussion prompts - use these questions while watching TV/movies with your children for social emotional learning.

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Raffle Drawing Tomorrow

The winner of the K5 Gala Grade Project was not a K5 parent and has graciously donated the keepsake portions of the project back to the school. Now is your chance to keep a piece of history for the Class of 2032. The commemorative steamboat drink tub and photograph blanket will be given to the lucky winner of our K5 Raffle. Cost of raffle tickets is one for $10 or three for $25.

Winner will be drawn on Friday, March 20.

Buy your raffle tickets HERE.
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Dawgs 360 is Here For You!

Please email Elizabeth McDonel at if you are in need of childcare or other assistance. She will reach out to other GWA parents in your child's grade or families our in Dawgs 360 network.

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Relay for Life Event Postponed

The Walton County Relay for Life event originally scheduled for April 17 on the GWA campus has been postponed. Please see the message below from American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Timothy Carithers.

"As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the American Cancer Society remains very concerned about COVID-19 and has adjusted our event decisions to reflect current recommendations from the CDC. Based on the most recent guidance and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone all 759 American Cancer Society Relay For Life events from March through mid-May.

The safety of our volunteers, patients and staff always comes first. The COVID-19 situation remains uncertain and fluid and our goal is to respond in a way that best meets the health and safety needs of those who rely on us."

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Virtual Virtuosos

By Christian Smith, Director of Bands

The Symphonic Winds met online Tuesday and it was interesting adventure to say the least.

I set up the computer in front of me and after I took roll and everyone put their instruments together. I told them the plan for the class. I counted the class off and conducted through our warm ups in total silence as the students played their music in their homes.

It was very strange for me just conducting to an empty room and no sound, but in talking to some of the students it gave us a sense of normalcy for them to play with me conducting in front of them. Since they could also see one another it took some of the weirdness away and almost made it feel like we were all together in the band room.

I held up some music to the camera for them to study and then I counted them off. They did their best to sight read, reading music at first sight. Then I had volunteers unmute and perform the examples for the rest of the group. We tried it again after the demo was performed.

After we played our usual warm-ups, we played through part of their Sousa march. I gave them an assignment to practice certain sections of some of our other pieces over the next couple of days. I will eventually have students send me recordings of them playing some of their music for me to check on their progress.

I sent a YouTube link earlier that day and had them listen to one of our pieces of music we just handed out last week. They listened to the six minute example and then came back online. They took the final 15 minutes to rehearse their music.

We had a great time and I was inspired to find new ways to make things go smoother and help us to be more successful!

Go Band Dawgs!

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Staying Fit

Coach Whitley provided GWA athletes and students in Weight Training with these great tips and resources for keeping in shape during Digital Days. No excuses!


There are several resources listed on this page. Look and listen carefully to the videos and pick the one that best suits your situation at home.


10 Best Mobility | Flexibility Drills (PRE-WORKOUT)

1. 8 Best Bodyweight Exercises Ever (HIT EVERY MUSCLE!)

2. 10 MIN Home Workout (NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED!)

3. The PERFECT Home Workout (Sets and Reps Included)


The Perfect PUSH-UP Workout (3 LEVELS)


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Today's In Focus is proudly sponsored by Burrow & Associates. Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at or call 678-635-3812.

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