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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 1, 2016

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


Thank you for an outstanding week last week! You have worked extremely hard and I can't thank you enough! You are a wonderful faculty to work with.

I look forward to honoring you this week for Teacher Appreciation Week. It is my most favorite time of the year. You go over and beyond in all you do and it is your time! Please join in for all the fun activities and make sure that you check out our plan for the week that Jill Moore sent out for us.

WOW Days are beginning as well on Monday. We will create class placements, discuss our student's growth and plan for the end of the year.

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 conferring 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

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, lunch and recess. Students need to bring everything with them and not come to the classrooms unattended as much as possible. 2 barriers are suggested, however 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.


Thank you to all of our environmental warriors for helping us out at the Earth Day Extravaganza. These include Deborah Walston,
Frank (and Jake) Torres, Beth Chiasson, Karen Peralta (and hubby too), Larry Smith & Family, Katie and Kim for tag teaming on opening the school and locking it back up, the custodial staff for providing the folding tables and Sheree Bailey for taking care of the HVAC request. Beverly

Humungeous Kudos to Coach P and Coach Pops (I think that's what they call Coach K's Dad) for installing our umbrellas. Hurray for the shade! Beverly

The specials teachers for engaging our extremely active students after long hours of testing. Beverly

Homeroom teachers for their increased use of science materials for inquiry and STEM activities in the classroom. Beverly

Crystal for bringing in Ms. Washington to look at how we can grow vegetables in our outdoor classroom. Beverly

Ms. Chiasson, Ms. Smith and Ms. Acevedo for bringing back the chicks! I can't wait to see our next generation hatch. Beverly

Kudos to Chelsea for all of your innovative ideas and for always being so positive and flexible! Also for your words of encouragement during the 21 day fix!
- first grade team

Cindy Alverson: For constant support for our grade level. -From First Grade :)

Kristan Gamel: For being an amazing, POSITIVE team leader. -From First Grade :)

Jill Moore: For coming to "play" and being a great mentor! -From First Grade :)

Fourth Grade: For collaborating with us for PBL! -From First Grade :)

Claire Baraban & Erin Smith: For bringing our imagination to life! -From First Grade :)

Specials Teachers: For communicating and supporting student expectations. -From First Grade :)

Talethea Love: Bringing joy and fresh ideas! -From First Grade :)

Margaux Lee: For helping drive our math instruction. -From First Grade :)

Julie Kuyendall: For our wonderful homework review. -From First Grade :)

Kudos to Mrs. Thompson for thinking of all of us in our meeting and taking care of us. Your kindness and generosity was just what we needed! :) -Paige Turner

Kudos to Ms. Alverson for always taking the time to help and provide reassurance when needed. :) -Paige Turner

Thank you Deb, Amy, Stephanie, and Naisha for organizing a great shower! I appreciate everyone who was able to come Tuesday afternoon! :) ~ Ashley

Thank you Amy for being a great teammate! ~ Ashley

Thank you Karen Peralta for being a fantastic proctor! ~ Ashley

Kudos to Pre-K through 2nd grade teachers for providing treats for 3rd-5th during testing. It was very appreciated when our lunches and snack times were pushed back. Thank you!!! -Angie Laugherty

Thank you so Mrs. Stewart for the additional motivation during the test. My kids and I truly appreciate you! -Angie Laugherty

Thank you Katie and admin for all of your patience during testing! -Fourth Grade

Kudos to the primary grades for the SNACKS for the Georgia Milestones! We love ya! - The Fourth Grade Team

Thank you so much to my "mouse pad fairies", Claire Baraban, Lee Goodwin, Cecila Gaytan, Bev Carlan, Bonita Wilkerson, and Sara Dovin. - Michelle Hardy

Thank you so much to the teacher who literally brings peace to my life, Talethea Love. I really appreciate you sharing your goodies with me this week when I left mine at home. - Michelle Hardy

I have a kudos for Jeremy Campbell. He informed me of my flat tire and offered his help. He got on the ground and took care of was so hot outside today ( Wednesday). He was my lifesaver and I thank him so much. -Marsha Suggs

Kudos to Ms.Dovin for giving me sheet protectors. I needed them more than anything else. Deepa

Kudos to Ms. Mayer for sharing the paint and the sealant for the rocks which will be housed in the pollinator garden. Deepa

Kudos to Ms. Croom for shopping for Kindergarten Communities. The Kindergarten Team
Deepa Goyal

Kudos to Julie Kuykendall and Cathy Eklund for staying after school and helping with the awnings. You are so talented! Deepa
Deepa Goyal

Emily for skyping for our PBIL! You Rock!! Beth

Jill, Beverly, Deb, Stephanie, Jill...for all you do!! Beth

Thank you for all of the sweet birthday wishes. Beverly