GWMS Sunday Message

Week of February 15

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Kudos to…

ALL STAFF for stepping up and performing as true professionals balancing life, DEP, grading, parent communication, action plans while always putting the needs of our students first.

  • ELL Department for all of their work with the WIDA testing.
  • Ms. Dickey for presenting the TELL survey.
  • Ms. McNutt for her help during Ms. Boyle's absence.
  • Elective Department for preparing for elective fair, specifically Ms. King, Ms. Currie-Boyd and Ms. Dickey.
  • Ms. Ballering for her support in the morning in the hallways.
  • Ms. Kennedy for working with the ELA department in preparation for the writing SOL.
  • Ms. Podgorski for National History Day! What a success!
  • ALL of the History Teachers for your support of our students as they worked towards National History Day! Way to go!

If you'd like to add your own Kudos the link is here.

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Each month we will highlight a staff member of the month. This person will get to use the “Staff of the Month” parking spot near Door 3. For February, the Staff Member of the Month is Anika Buster-Singleton. This year Ms. Buster-Singleton has been nominated as the GWMS staff member of the year due to her amazing content knowledge, ability to connect with her students and her dedication to our school. Congrats Ms. Buster-Singleton!

Now it is time for our PBIS vocabulary game….. WORDS WITH FRACULTY

WORDS WITH FRACULTY! This week’s intellectually snobbish, impractical, obsolete, and vacuous word will be stated on the announcements. Students will be challenged to use the word in its proper context per the appropriate content area to gain prexie love in their classes.

THIS WEEKS WORD: LANCE - spear; spike; javelin (or the awesome 8th Grade Academic Principal)

AVID Organization - Homeroom

AVID Homeroom lessons will be sent to you at the beginning of the week. Mondays will be for planners and Thursdays will be for binders. Look for these in your email.

Elective Fair for Incoming 6th Graders

Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 6-7:30pm

1005 Mount Vernon Avenue

Alexandria, VA

The elective fair will start with families and rising 6th graders in the auditorium. All elective teachers will be waiting in their classrooms. Student Ambassadors will be joining us, to help parents and students find their way to their desired location. Come join the fun and support our Elective Department.


Remember to complete the anonymous TELL ACPS Survey to voice your perceptions of the teaching and learning conditions in the school. The intent of this work is to provide schools and the district data that can be used to enhance school improvement efforts. The survey will be online until February 26th. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. The survey is confidential, anonymous and voluntary.
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Google Apps Professional Learning Series

Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 8:45am

1005 Mount Vernon Avenue

Alexandria, VA

We will be offering a four session tiered, differentiated professional learning series on Google Apps to help prepare all teachers for chromebooks in the classroom next year.

First session will be:

February 16th, periods 1, 3, and 7

Electives - February 23rd and 24th, period 5

*PE teachers are welcome to come to any of the above sessions, work on their own or schedule a separate time to meet with Kyle or Jim.

Meet in the multi-purpose room for a slow paced session for learners that would like step-by-step instruction and assistance.

Meet in B104 for a self-directed session with objectives listed on the board and video tutorials provided. A TIS will also be in the room to answer questions.

Teachers unable to attend during the periods provided will also be able to review video materials on their own and submit artifacts through Google Classroom to demonstrate their learning. Teachers must submit artifacts under the categories Must Know and Good to Know.

All sessions will be posted in PLMS for recertification points. Teachers must register for the courses to receive recertification points. Teachers not attended sessions in person must submit artifacts to receive recertification points.

PLMS Course number: 14192

PLMS Course title: Google Classroom Overview

You must register before February 16th to receive credit.

Before coming to the sessions...

All teachers need to join the Google Classroom course where objectives are listed and materials are posted. To do so:

  1. Go to

  2. Click on the “+” in the upper right hand corner

  3. Choose Join Class

  4. Enter this code: fn3jqc

  5. Click Join

All teachers also must request access to Google Classroom as a teacher. To do this.

  1. Go to

  2. Click on the “+” in the upper right hand corner

  3. Choose Create Class

  4. You will get a message that says that an administrator must approve you.

  5. Click OK

  6. Once you’ve clicked OK, a message is automagically sent to Help Desk. Within 24-48 hours you will get an email from Help Desk saying that your Google Classroom account has been approved.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences will be Thursday, February 25. Early dismissal will occur for students on both February 25th and 26th. Conferences will only be held on Thursday, February 25th until 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served from 5:30pm - 7:00pm For the February conferences, all grade levels will be holding them as teams. Each family is allotted a 10 minute slot. Forms went home last week. See your team lead and/or Academic Principal if you have any questions.

Student Surveys & Mid Year Reflection

Remember to complete the Student Survey Summary and the PLP Goal Setting Form Part 2 in TalentED. If you are a probationary teacher you must schedule a Mid-Year meeting with your evaluator. If you are on continuing contract, only the two tasks in TalentED are necessary at this time.

PBIS - February Pillar is RESPECT Reloaded!

The Prexie Pride Pillar of the Month is Respect Reloaded! This month we will focus on Black History Month and Respect by using the theme, What Are You Fighting For? Each week we will use specific events from African American culture to highlight this theme and challenge reasons why they should demonstrate respect for themselves, for their peers and adults, for example:

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott vs. Following directions on the school bus, What Are You Fighting For?
  • Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in vs. Following directions in the cafeteria, What Are You Fighting For?
  • Overall Civil Rights Movement vs. Following simple requests, What Are You Fighting For?

Our goal this month is to help our students understand that they don't need to fight (fight by not putting forth effort, fight following simple requests, fight their peers) because the fighting has already been done for them! We want to take away any excuse they have not to demonstrate respect by asking them the question, "What Are You Fighting For?"

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp has proven to be a great way to keep our GW families in the loop with all of the fantastic things that go on at GWMS. Thank you to everyone for your contributions…..KEEP THEM COMING! You are doing great work with our students and the parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Continue to send your pictures and short write-ups to Ms. Barnes - - to share all the wonderful things going on in your classrooms.

Thank you!


Please stand in the middle of the hallways and actively monitor and support students on their way to class. We need to perform as a unified team in this respect. The power of the many is what makes transitions smooth and orderly. Simply put, we cannot do this alone.

Saturday School

There IS Saturday School this Saturday.

Please make sure you fill out the Saturday School referral form and send all work to the 7th grade office for Ms. Benitez to have ready for the students when they check in.

Upcoming Dates:

Feb 20

Feb 27

March 5

March 12

April 9

April 16

April 23

April 30

May 7

May 14

May 21

Restorative Justice

Community and relationship building, lessons will be resent this week. Please take time during homeroom to complete these lessons.

Upcoming Week

Monday 2/15/16


Tuesday 2/16/16

Tech Tuesday! Professional Learning - 1st, 3rd and 7th

Department Meeting 3:30pm - 4:15pm

Wednesday 2/17/16

Elective Fair 6:00pm - 7:30pm - Auditorium

Thursday 2/18/16

Friday 2/19/16

Saturday 2/20/16

Saturday School