In Focus @ GWA

A news bulletin for the families of George Walton Academy

September 27, 2018

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Key Deadlines & Dates


  • Senior Yearbook Pages Due: Sept. 30
  • Secio Speaker: Oct. 1
  • Coffee with Admin: Oct. 4

TESTING SCHEDULE:

  • PSAT 8/9 Testing - eighth and ninth grades: Oct. 10
  • PSAT Testing - 10th and 11th grades: Oct. 10
  • Iowa Testing - seventh grade: Oct. 15 - Oct. 19
  • Iowa Testing - first, third, and fifth grades: Oct. 22 - Oct. 26
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Dear Bulldog Friends and Families,

Independent schools go through an accreditation visit every five years. This is an opportunity for a school to look candidly at itself to see if the efforts being made to continuously improve are in line with the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) standards / indicators. For George Walton, this process began in earnest with the board-directed self-study that engaged nearly 1500 of you and resulted in the school’s first strategic plan. Since then, the faculty and staff have been very focused on executing that vision to ensure the student experience is second to none. As part of the accreditation or re-accreditation process, SAIS sends a team of faculty and administrators from other independent schools throughout the southeast to evaluate a school’s progress.


In short, it is a big deal – and I am excited to share that the visit went very well! We will continue to work on a few soft spots, but in my 25 years, I don’t think I have heard a visiting team share such glowing reviews of any school as they did in wrapping up their visit to GWA. You should all be very proud of what GWA has become and what it promises to be in the future. Thank you to all who participated either directly or indirectly in this process.


Where do we go from here? The visiting team makes their recommendation regarding accreditation through a written report, which is due to SAIS in Atlanta within ten days. SAIS will then go over the entire package and we will be formally notified of our status in about 60 to 90 days. When that report is available to the school, we will share the findings with our community. Perhaps the best way to do that is to incorporate the report into the State of the School address. We will keep you posted. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.


Dan

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Two Brilliant Bulldogs

Congratulations to Grace Hanson! Grace was named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist by scoring in the top 1% of juniors on the PSAT across the country. She will go on to compete for one of the coveted National Merit Scholarships. Grace is the daughter of Mark and Lisa Hanson.


Congratulations are also in order for Griffin Whitmire! Griffin was commended by the National Merit Scholarship by scoring in the top 3% of juniors on the PSAT. Griffin is the son of Stan and Donna Whitmire.


The mission of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States. One of the program's goals is to shine a spotlight on brilliant students and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence at all levels of education.

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Congratulations Rotary Student of the Month!

Grace Anne Hanson has been selected as GWA’s Rotary Student of the Month for September. She chose Ms. Cortney Pickens as her Rotary Teacher of the Month. Grace Anne is a National Merit Semi-finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She is a member of the Gavel Club, Latin Club and is on the fencing team. She also serves on GWA’s Student Council.


When not at GWA, Grace Anne is busy working in a research center which conducts clinical trials for cardiovascular drugs. She volunteers in the emergency department of Piedmont Newton Hospital as well.


Grace Anne plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry and eventually go to medical school. Congratulations to Grace Anne and Ms. Pickens!

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Pathways to the PARC!

The PARCs at GWA are open and running at full speed. Both PARCs have something to offer all of our students, and we are excited to see that many of them are already utilizing these components.


*Lower School PARC (K4-5th) – while the PARC stands for the Place for Academic Reinforcement and Coaching, part of the coaching component may also include enrichment. We have started and hope to widen our support for all learners through a variety of small group experiences, Read More.

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Connect With Your GWA Community

Come pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and chat with Dr. Dolan! Our next Coffee with the Admin meeting is coming up on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. in the upper school media center. Join us to for an opportunity to spend time with administration and to hear the latest GWA news, ask questions, and discuss any rumors swirling around. (And Dr. Dolan assures that the rumors only get better as the year goes on!)
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Flaunt Your GWA Pride!

We encourage our GWA families to show your Bulldog spirit while out and about! Wear any of your GWA gear out in the community, snap a pic, then post it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #gwaproud and you will automatically be entered into a contest to win a $25 gift certificate to the Dawg Shop! We will announce the winner in the first issue of In Focus each month.
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Fun on the Run!

Make a mad dash to the finish line in your best superhero, scariest or funniest costume to take home a prize from the Dawgs Unleashed 5K and Scary Scurry Kids Run! The biggest group to run (or walk) dressed in costumes of a same theme also wins a prize! All ages are invited to dress up! The fun continues at the Fall Festival- complete with vendor booths (spaces still available), plenty of games, great food, a haunted house, a jump zone and campus tours for prospective new families. The public is invited to attend and we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s Dawgs Unleashed event- join us if you dare! Click here for further details and to register.


Dawgs Unleashed upcoming events:

Oct 15: Golf Tournament

Oct. 16: Tennis Tournament

Oct. 20: Fall Festival, Scary Scurry Kids Run and 5K Run!

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A Reason to Cheer!

The GWA competition cheer squad crushed it at the Lambert Longhorn Cheer Classic last weekend! This competition represents the first GHSA event that a GWA cheerleading team has ever entered, and they brought home a first place trophy! These ladies have worked hard to master their routine and it certainly paid off. Congratulations cheerleaders!

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Slugging for the Top Spot in the Region

The varsity softball team defeated region rival Prince Avenue on Monday 4-0. Freshman Taylor Tinsley had 16 strikeouts on the mound and shut down the Wolverines. Taryn Shelnutt, Marnie Couch and Taylor Tinsley led the offense and each had an RBI.


The Lady Dawgs also beat Prince at Prince on Tuesday 11-1. Kelsey Barrineau led the team with four hits and Caroline Conner was right behind her with two hits. The team will take on Athens Christian tonight and with a win, they will clinch number one in the region! Also, recognition of our four seniors will take place prior to the game around 4:15 p.m. for Senior Night. Come out and cheer on the Lady Dawgs as they take on ACS!

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Calling All Young Athletes!

GWA Youth Sports is excited to announce the addition of a wrestling program! The league is open to all interested students in the community, ages K4 through fifth grade--so sign up, and bring a friend! Registration is currently underway and the cost is $35 per participant. Practice begins on Monday, Oct. 29.


Learn more at our parent information meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the GWA Courtyard! Click here to access the registration form.

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Click here for more details about the Lacrosse clinic!

Clinics are free and require no pre-registration. Just show up this Saturday and participate!

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A Lesson on the Wild Side

Lower school students, we are bringing the zoo to you! The Animal Ambassadors program is making the journey to GWA on Oct. 11 to teach K4 through fifth-grade students about animal characteristics, adaptations, food chains, ecosystems and more. Five different animal ambassadors from around the world will be in attendance, including a baby kangaroo! Permission forms are required for each student to participate and are due by Friday, Oct. 5.
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Discover Your Inner Performer

ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE WELCOME! Join us for Musical Theater Camp, where participants will learn about the main components for creating a quality theatrical performance. Students will explore acting, dance, improvisation, singing and more. Parents are invited to attend a short performance during our final session. The three week camp is open to students in third through sixth grades and begins on Oct. 8. Cost is $125 per student. Contact Stacy May for more information at smay@gwa.com.

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"Good Decisions Prevent Collisions"

An invaluable experience for teen drivers is rolling into GWA this fall. GWA’s student life program has invited the Arrive Alive tour to campus to deliver a critical lesson to students on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. The program uses a high-tech simulator, impact video, and other resources to educate students on the potential consequences of driving under hazardous conditions such as drinking and driving and texting and driving. This event will take place on campus Nov. 12 and is offered to all upper school students.

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Photography Info!

You should have received a link in your email yesterday (Sept. 26) that contained a gallery with your child’s yearbook picture. If you didn’t receive the link, please email ljones@gwa.com.


Picture retakes will be on Oct. 30. They were originally scheduled for Oct. 12, but we realized that it was a spirit wear day and students need to be in uniform for their yearbook photos. If you are requesting a retake, please let your child’s homeroom teacher know by Oct. 14 so we can schedule picture times and know how many to expect.


We have also had some questions about where to buy a yearbook. The direct link for online ordering is www.yearbookordercenter.com/index.cfm/job/14485. The deadline is in December for yearbook orders.


You can also use this same link for ordering senior yearbook ad pages. The deadline for online ordering for senior pages is this Sunday at midnight! You can still send in checks and information for a staff designed ad by Monday, Oct. 1. CHECK YOUR EMAILS FOR MORE INFORMATION!


Senior parents, please remind your seniors to fill out the senior survey that was sent to them this week and to send in a senior quote (all of this information was sent to them at their school email address).

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Get Your Pix!

High school parents, homecoming photo booth pictures are available for download. Please share this graphic with your student so they can access their pictures!

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Sculpting For a Special Purpose

The high school sculpture class is in the beginning stages of creating proposals for the sculpture garden located outside of the kindergarten building. The class was divided into three groups and each is responsible for developing a proposal including budget, timeline, and materials that they will present to the kindergarten teachers and administration. The selected design(s) will then be built and installed by the entire class.


Photo: Jason Rockmore is putting the finishing touches on his group’s maquette. These scale models are one of the requirements for the student presentations.

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Marching On with a Lasting Bond

It’s no secret that George Walton has a successful band program; but, did you know just how many alumni go on to participate in a collegiate marching band program? There are currently four alumni in the University of Georgia Redcoat Band and two alumnae in the Clemson University Tiger Band. Recently, the GWA Band attended the annual Northeast Georgia Marching Exhibition...Read More.

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Testing Season is Upon Us!

By Lynn Robinson, Middle and High School Counselor


It’s almost October, and that means many of our students will take a standardized test. Standardized tests are much broader in their scope than a teacher-made test. They are nationally normed and help measure a student’s overall skill and ability. Teachers and school administrators use these tests to check individual student progress and to determine if a school’s curriculum is on target. We are ramping up for testing in October...Read more.

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Mark your calendars for these important upcoming events!

Dawgs Unleashed Golf Tournament: Oct. 15

Dawgs Unleashed Tennis Tournament: Oct. 16

First and Second Grade Fall Musical: Oct. 18

Dawgs Unleashed Road Race and Festival: Oct. 20

Yearbook Picture Retakes: Oct. 30

Dawgs 360 Bonfire: Nov. 1

Senior Night at Varsity Football Game: Nov. 2

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Today's In Focus is Proudly Sponsored by Bojangles of Monroe

Interested in advertising through our Corporate Partnership program? Contact Jeanie Beach at jbeach@gwa.com or call 678-635-3812.

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