January 2023 - Family Newsletter

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed spending the Winter Break with our Eagles creating lasting memories. This past year is one that provided me a variety of opportunities to learn, grow and become a better person and principal. As we turn the page on 2022 I want to encourage you to reflect on the positive memories of the year and use those memories as momentum for the upcoming year.

We are excited to have our Eagles back in the building so our teachers can continue the incredible work to support the growth of our students.

Families, we thank you for your continued support. It is us working together that makes the difference.


Kassia Sutton

Proud Principal of Norcross Elementary

Upcoming Dates

January 4 - Teachers return to work

Janury 5 - Students return

January 13 - Art Club Fieldtrip

January 16 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 19 - 2nd Grade Fieldtrip

January 20 - Academic Challenge

January 20 - 100th Day of School

January 27 - Student of the Month

January 27 - Local School Council Meeting at 7:30am

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, there will be no school on Monday, January 16.

Coaches' Corner - Resources to Support Your Child at Home

Setting Children's New Year's Resolutions

As the New Year begins, we’re reminded of the resolutions that come with it. They can be a tall order for parents, and sometimes something we decide to skip. But have you considered children’s New Year’s resolutions? Kids often want to set these intentions, too. Creating fresh intentions with the New Year can be a healthy goal-setting exercise for youth. Trying out the resolution process can be valuable, not to mention a great bonding experience.

Here are some tips when it comes to creating successful children’s New Year’s resolutions.

The importance of setting goals

Even at a young age, teaching children the importance of setting goals or using the New Year to set a resolution can help your child establish a standard for the year ahead. Children as young as age five can join in on the New Year’s resolution fun. Goals, or resolutions, are an important life skill.

How to pick a resolution

Make sure the resolution is obtainable for your child while ensuring it’s something you think she will stick with and is interested in. If this is their first year setting a resolution, suggest one or two things they could use, but encourage them to come up with one on their own.

For children that are a younger age, a resolution could be learning how to tie their shoes with no help from mom or dad or assisting with making their lunch for school a few times a week. For kids who are a little bit older, independent goals might be more suitable. You could also let your children set one resolution for them — and one that you could do together, like making a meal once a month, building a 1,000-piece puzzle or being active as family at least once a week.

Setting a timeline

Depending on what type of resolution is set will determine what kind of timeline your child can work with. For example, if the goal is to read one new book a month, help keep your child on track by having a weekly check-in. Ask open-ended questions that don’t require a direct “yes” or “no” answer, but one that demands an explanation.

“What’s the name of the new book you started reading?” or “What chapter are you on?” are great ways to hold them accountable for the goal they set for themselves.

How parents can help

Now that you have those children’s New Year’s resolutions set and the timeline down, how can you help as a parent? Have your kids write them down. Seeing them in print makes it easy to focus on. Create a checklist of the goals and check them off as you achieve them. Seeing goals accomplished makes you feel proud of yourself!

For younger children, make a special calendar or chart and use something fun like stickers to see what was (or wasn’t) accomplished. For older children, purchase a personal planner so they can track their progress.

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Goal Tracker Resource

Below is a resource you can use to track the accomplishment of goals you have set.
Goal Tracker

A link to access the goal tracker.

Attendance Protocol

Please use the link to review the attendance policy.

What to do if your child is sick?

1. Keep your child at home if he/she is sick.

2. If your child has tested positive for COVID, please contact Contacia.Cross, assistant principal, at who will provide additional guidance.


Clinic Updates

1. If your child has a medical alert/medical health management plan, please contact Kierra Flowers as soon as possible, and complete and return applicable forms to her in a timely manner.

2. We want our students to have a full day of learning, but sometimes illness(es) may interrupt their day. For the safety and health of your child and others, if your child gets ill at school and needs to go home, please do so promptly. If you’re unable to pick them up, please be sure that we have a current list of emergency contact(s) that we may reach out to.

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Norcross Public Library - Message from Laura Dobbins

Thank you, and your students, for being a part of the Norcross Branch's Shared Paired Reading Journey. Our program of reading with students in a one-to-one session with a trained Active Reading Mentor became so successful that it was rolled out system-wide. While the Norcross Branch is keeping the same format, the name for the program for all branches with a similar program is now called "Reading Buddies."

It's still completely free. At the Norcross Branch, we've just finished our Fall session, and will resume in January on Monday and Wednesday from 5:00pm - 6:00pm for individual 30 minute sessions by reservation.

Please share the attached flyers (in English and Spanish)with your parents through your email blasts. We're committed to supporting our schools in teaching children to read. In fact - we incorporate AKS activities and tipsheets into our sessions. We realize we're just one branch. For parents who are searching for additional free sources to supplement reading practice, searching the Events Calendar for "Reading Buddies," will show all of the programs around the system, and they can choose which one is best for them.

Thanks for your help!

Ready to learn with the GCPS Virtual Backpack!

Please visit the website below to access important Back to School Information.

Also, acknowledgement of required documents must be signed off through My Payments Plus. Parents must sign off on the required documents. Below is the website address to create an account and access the forms:

If you need help with signing off on important documents, please contact, our part liasion.

My Payments Plus Instructions for Set-Up

Free/Reduced Lunch Applications

You must complete this form to find out if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals. Use the following link to complete the form to determine eligibility:

Blueprint for the Future

Building the Bridge from Empathy to Excellence defines our strategic priorities in four areas: empathy, equity, effectiveness, and excellence. GCPS developed this plan that defines the transformational work of the next five years.

Potrait of a Gradute

The Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Portrait of a Graduate design team has completed the work toward the goal of making 21st century learning a reality for all students. The team has developed the six core competencies that articulate our community’s aspirations for each and every one of our students. The six GCPS Portrait of a Graduate competencies are detailed below.
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Local School Plan for Improvement (LSPI Goals)

By clinking on the button (see above), Blue Print for the Future, you will access the district's blueprint. This document will guide the work at Norcross Elementary and all schools in Gwinnett County. Specific, to Norcross Elementary we will focus on the following in our LSPI:


  • Goal 1.B—Staff and student wellbeing. Promote student and staff wellbeing through prioritizing self-care, physical and mental health, and social emotional learning.


  • Goal 2.A—Multi-tiered system of supports. Implement a comprehensive framework to fully operationalize a multi-tiered system of supports to address academic and non-academic student needs and remove barriers to success.
  • Goal 2.B—Opportunity and access. Expand student opportunities to engage in and access high-quality, rigorous, and culturally relevant curriculum, advanced coursework (e.g., Advanced Placement and dual enrollment), and enrichment activities (e.g., the arts, gifted, STEM, career technical education).


  • Goal 3.A—Results-Based Evaluation System. Redefine the inputs, behaviors, and outcomes that determine the standards for student success as measured by the Results-Based Evaluation System (RBES) to support school improvement and student growth.


  • Goal 4.C—World-class communication and engagement. Demonstrate world-class communication and engagement through modeling the value GCPS leadership places on transparent, two-way communication to build stakeholder trust and confidence.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Supporting the Whole Child

We will continue our focus on the Whole Child through MTSS by using Supportive Community and Academic Press (see picture below). An example of Supportive Community is our Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Program and an example of Academic Press is the implementation of the EL Education literacy pilot for Language Arts.

MTSS is a A system or framework that integrates assessment and intervention within a school-wide, multi prevention system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavioral problems. It promotes systems alignment to increase efficacy and effectiveness of resources. (Adopted for National Center on Intensive Intervention).

Implementation of MTSS is one of our LSPI goals.

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Early Check-out Procedures

A student who leaves school before the official ending time must be signed out in the office by his/her parent or guardian. Parents must report to the receptionist, not the classroom. The receptionist will call the room for the child after a photo ID (government issued) has been shown. Please remember that each time a child checks out early, we must call the classroom and disrupt instruction for everyone. Children will be called to the Front Office where they will be released to the parent/guardian. The office will not check out students after 2:30 P.M. (11:30 A.M. on early release days). Please do not ask school personnel to make exceptions.

A child will not be permitted to leave the school in the custody of any person other than the child's parent unless that person is listed as a parent/guardian or emergency contact in the school’s database. As telephone numbers and situations change, please make sure you report this information to the school so we have the most accurate information.

School Hours


  • Doors open at 8:20am
  • Classes begin at 8:50am


  • The Day ends at 3:20pm

Parent Center Updates

Check out our Parent Page in our School Website to find more information regarding Title 1 and what happens at Norcross Elementary. It’s important to stay informed about your child’s education. The Powerpoint Presentation of the Title 1 Annual Meeting is posted there for your review.

We are looking for volunteers to participate in our Local School Council and Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Reach out to our Parent Center team, Robert Fortenbery or Eduardina Checo for more information.

Ways for you to Get Involved


The purpose of the LSC is:

  • To help the local board of education develop and nurture participation
  • To bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s concerns
  • To share ideas for school improvement

If you are interested in being a member of our Local School council, please contact Robert Fortenbery (

The tentative meeting dates are as follows:

September 23, November 11, January 27, and March 10 at 7:30amj.


We are in need of a PTA board to support our school, our students, and our faculty. The board consists of a president/co-president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. Please contact me at if you are interested.


Please partner with us and commit to volunteering at our school. Volunteer activites may include: working in the media center, laminating materials, counting out documents, cutting, and filing. Please contact Robert Fortenbery ( or Eduardina Checon ( for volunteer opportunities.

Previous Newsletters

How to Stay Connected

Principal – Kassia Sutton (

Assistant Principal - Gr. K, 1, 2 – Jamie Elsey (

Assistant Principal – Gr. 3, 4, 5 – Contacia Cross (

Assistan Principal - Special Education - Alicia Lapinsky (

Counselor - Gr. K, 1 - Kortnie Smith (

Counselor Gr. 2, 3 - Amy Crapo (

Counselor Gr. 4, 5 - Matt Ho (