January 24, 2020

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Mark your calendar

Jan 28- Webinar @ 7:30

Feb 6- School Leads Call @ 7:00

Feb 6- Twitter Chat @7:30

Feb 18- Webinar @ 7:30

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Vanguard Device Plan Update

This school year, we awarded 30 Vanguard members with a top of the line Lenovo laptop to replace their standard issue teacher laptop. I know some of you have seen these laptops with the Vanguard logo on them. Maybe you even felt a twinge of envy, wishing you had one too. The Vanguard laptop is a high-end laptop with a fast processor, touchscreen, built in stylus, long battery life, and a 360-degree hinge. It represents a considerable upgrade to the standard teacher laptop. As Vanguard members, we want to ensure that you have the best tools to support the work you are doing. We want the perks you get to be valuable and enticing. Based on feedback; we are going to begin transitioning toward replacing Vanguard iPads with a high-end Vanguard laptop like the Lenovo X1 Yoga! You will stand out in a crowd with this specially branded Vanguard laptop!

This transition will happen in phases over several years as current iPads are due to be refreshed. Here are the details of the plan:

  1. 2019-2020 Vanguard new members will be the last new member class to receive a Vanguard iPad with data plan.

  2. Beginning in 2020-2021, new members will be awarded a Vanguard laptop to replace their standard issue teacher laptop when they complete their new member requirements.

  3. As iPads are due to be replaced (beginning Fall 2020), members will receive a Vanguard laptop instead of a new iPad. (Note: members must be in good standing in order to receive a new device.)

Members who currently have an iPad will be able to continue using them while employed by Fulton County Schools. However, the data plan will be discontinued when the device is replaced by a laptop. The iPad will be transferred to the school’s inventory, and the iPad will no longer be supported.

Vanchise Update

I want to update all of you on where we are with Vanchises this year.

The current application and monitoring processes were a great way to jump-start Vanchises in the county and get the ball rolling at many of our schools. We on the leadership team have felt that it is time to update those processes to provide more guidance, more relevance, and more support. We have been hard at work on this behind the scenes, but it does not make sense to roll these changes out this year.

So here is how we will proceed with Vanchises.

  • An email will go out next week to all schools that had a Vanchise last year. We will be verifying that the Vanchise has continued their work this year, and asking for some details.

  • All Vanchises that received a stipend last year, and have continued their work into 2019-2020, will be eligible to receive a stipend again this year.

  • We will not be adding any new Vanchises this year.

  • There will be an updated, enhanced Vanchise process beginning this Fall, for the 2020-2021 school year, to better support and guide your work.

If you have any questions, please email me at

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There is currently a moratorium on all software purchases in Fulton County Schools. As a result, you will not be able to purchase software subscriptions with your Vanguard stipend this year.
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The Teaching Museum is looking for a teacher to design and judge a technology design challenge for Night @ The Teaching Museum. The event will take place on Saturday, March 7th from 4 to 8 pm at Teaching Museum North (Roswell). The event is an competition for middle school academic bowl teams to compete in academic, creative and fun challenges. We would love to include a “TECH Challenge” to this year’s event.

The activity should last 20 minutes and be designed for a team of 10 students. The activity will be offered repeatedly during the event, with two teams competing at one time (2 teams per “round”). There will likely be 16 – 18 teams competing (we are still receiving RSVPs from schools). A standard FCS computer lab will be made accessible for the activity. The Teaching Museum will try to provide any additional materials needed for the activity. The teacher will receive $224 in additional pay to cover the time needed to create/plan and then judge on the afternoon of the event – plus, free pizza and a t-shirt!

Interested? Please send a 1-2 paragraph description of the activity/challenge and a judging rubric to Amanda Smith ( by Feb. 1st.

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Smith (

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Vanguard Birthdays

Vanguard Wishes A Very Happy Birthday to

Cassidy Earle 1/2

Allison Bauer 1/5

Sarah Severson 1/15

Datoria Stanley 1/29

We want to celebrate our Vanguardian family. If you would like for us to recognize your birthday, please click this link.

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Nefertiti Singleton

FVS Vanguard member Nefertiti Singleton got to share how she uses infographics in her classroom with Easelly. The link to the entire interview is at the bottom. Shoutout to Nefertiti for sharing the amazing things going on in your classroom and being a spotlight of success for Vanguard and FCS!

Easelly User Story: Using Infographics for Project-Based Learning

byKai Tomboc-January 21, 2020

It’s time for our first edition of Easelly user stories for the new year! What are Easelly user stories? These stories are about Easelly users whose infographic creation and advocacy caught our eye on social media. In the past, we’ve featured two educational specialists for English Language Learners, a school librarian, a TOSA educator, geologist, and an advocate of open educational resources, just to name a few. This time around, we chatted with Nefertiti Singleton, a PBL Teacher (K-5) at Oakley Elementary School in Union City, Georgia.

Let’s get to know her, her teaching style, and advocacies below!

Nominate someone or submit your own Spotlight Vanguard Member!

Vanleads, do you see any vanguard members at your school doing something awesome? Were they struggling with a tool before and are now using it? BRAG on our Vanguard members. If you see something awesome, please submit about your team member.

Please share your success stories with us! You may see your "Spotlight" in an upcoming Vanweekly!

Share Your Success!

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Join Mindy Ramon to learn about the 10 new Microsoft Teams features for 2020.

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 470-705-1712 United States, Atlanta (Toll)

Conference ID: 936 266 920#

Points Opportunity!!!!

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Bridge Innovate’s Bright Spark Program

To ignite creativity in our students, Fulton County Schools is hosting our second annual student design competition in collaboration with Bridge Innovate’s Bright Spark program, and we need volunteers to help! This year, we have sixteen teams of students in grades 4-12 from twelve schools across Fulton County registered for the 2nd Annual Bright Spark Design Competition. These teams have been tasked with developing a prototype that addresses one of three design challenges:

  • How might we re-imagine the student game-day experience?
  • How might we eliminate food insecurity for the children of Atlanta?
  • How might we develop an innovative paper food packaging that reduces food waste?

We need industry professionals, community leaders, educators and more to serve as prototype reviewers to provide valuable feedback to the participating teams. We will also need additional volunteers to serve as room captains and help ensure the day runs smoothly.

The Fulton County Bright Spark prototype review is scheduled for February 1, 2020 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Riverwood High School (5900 Raider Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328). If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this form to let us know that you plan to participate. Once you’ve completed the form, you will receive a confirmation email. Certainly feel free to forward this opportunity to others who may have an interest in helping. If you have any questions, please contact Heather Van Looy at or 470-254-6899.

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School Lead Info

Don't forget our meeting is February 6th at 7:00 pm! "See" you then!

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Vanguard Feedback

If you have ideas or feedback with anything related to Vanguard, we would love to hear from you! Responses are anonymous, but if you would like for us to contact you, please leave your name and email.
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Vanguard Leadership Team

Fulton County Vanguard Team

Mission: Building the capacity of instructional leaders to transform learning and teaching.

Vision: Through building colaborative relationships and supporting student focused learning, the Vanguard Team will positively impact student achievement.

Pillars: Transform, Innovate, Mentor, & Support (TIMS)

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