Husky Hotline

Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

In This Issue

Crystal's Corner

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.

What's Cooking in Katie's Kitchen


Class Pick Up From the Cafeteria


School Affairs

Come Get It

Bookkeeper Notes


Media News

Online Communique'

Career Advancement Scholarships

January 11, 2016

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

Crystal's Corner


Thank you for a great week back! You are all working well together as a team and are inspiring me to do better and be better! Have a great weekend and as we forge ahead for a busy week, let us know how we can help.

We will begin brief #3 next week while coming in on Thursdays as a team to offer support to a teacher with a new protocol we learned. Kudos to Emma Moses for being our first teacher to get her 3 positive performance feedback comments. Let us know if you want us to come in for 7-10 minutes and go through this protocol with you too! She truly enjoyed the experience.

It has been great to see leadership thriving through the hallways this week. Seeing teachers wear their new mics and holding positive conversations about how its helping children has been great to witness. Afterall, it is ALL about our kids. You rock!

Thank you tremendously for always being positive and open to change. I work alongside a great group of people who I am proud to know and collaborate with.

FREE text service for parents of 4 & 5 yr olds

provides literacy & math tips and resources

now available in English and Spanish.

What: Collaborative effort between Georgia Department of Education and Stanford University to create a free text service for parents of 4 & 5 yr olds that includes tips, facts and suggestions to promote early literacy and mathematics.

When: Text messages are sent every 2 to 3 days.

Please add to your webpage and newsletters as you deem appropriate:

Text "GAREADY4K" to 313131 to join! It's Free!

Envíe el mensaje de texto “GAREADY4KESP” al 313131 para comenzar a recibir mensajes en español totalmente gratis!

A note from our counselor, Nicole Moody

PAWs for Attendance News

The month of December was a Fantastic attendance month for the student's of Sycamore. We had over 570 students or 75.1% of our school have perfect attendance. The second grade won the perfect attendance crown for the second time this year, with 82.9%, very impressive second grade! And finally, in a very tight competition, Mrs. Moses' class won the class title with over 92% of her students achieving perfect attendance for the month of December. Keep up the great work!

Child Lures Parent Information Session

January 22nd from 1-1:40pm you will have the opportunity to preview the Child Lures personal safety lessons.

The Great Kindness Challenge

The Great Kindness Chanllenge is coming to Sycamore. During the week of January 25th-29th all students will receive a GKC checklist with 50 kind deeds. Please encourage your child to complete the checklist and show the world that, KINDNESS MATTERS! In addition, students will be encouraged to participate in school-wide theme dress days (Monday- Wear Pink or Read Tuesday- Dress Like a Friend Day; Wednesday- Sock Day; Thursday- Favorite Character T-Shirt Day; Friday-School Spirit Day) and other activities during the school day to promote a culture of kindness.

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.

In celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc. will host our 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Monday, January 18, 2016, at Moore Middle School. All students and their families are invited to attend the celebration. The theme will be “What Are You Doing For Others?”. The celebration includes a parade, step show and resources from community outreach organizations. The 2016 celebration will also highlight artwork by students of Gwinnett County. We encourage students of all ages to submit their artwork. All submitted work must be created entirely by the student artist and received no later than Friday, January 15, 2016. Artists, whose artwork is selected to represent their schools, will receive a certificate.

Art Specifications based on “What Are You Doing For Others?”

1. Submit only one piece of artwork per student in any two dimensional medium (no three dimensional).

2. All entries must be no smaller than 9” x 12” and no larger than 18” x 24”.

3. Artwork must be mounted.

4. All artwork must be GCPS student original work.

Each school may have a maximum of two (2) artwork submissions. All artwork must be identified with the artist’s name, grade, school, and teacher’s name clearly printed on a label attached to the bottom right corner of the piece. Entries must be received by Friday, January 15, 2016 to Marlene Taylor-Crawford at Discovery High School. In order to better prepare for the celebration, please contact me if your school plans to participate. Artwork may be dropped off at Discovery High School or picked up by request.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade kick-off will be held on Langley Drive in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 18, 2016. The parade concludes at Moore Middle School which is located at 1221 Lawrenceville Highway. A step show will take place upon arrival at Moore Middle School and community resources will be available. Artwork submitted will be displayed at Moore MS during this celebration on Monday, January 18th. The activities will take place until 2:00 p.m.

Thank you for your efforts in helping the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King through the participation of our students. Please visit the website for further information.


Marlene Taylor-Crawford, Ed.S.


United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc.


What's Cooking In Katie's Kitchen

Gradual Release

Effective instruction often follows a progression in which teachers gradually do less of the work and students gradually assume increased responsibility for their learning. It is through this process of gradually assuming more and more responsibility for their learning that students become competent, independent learners.

Take a look at the attached pictures. Many teachers purposefully plan for gradual release when they are creating their lesson plans.

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.


Cecilia Gaytan January 8

Morton Shenker January 14

Mandy Gunter January 15

Kim Frederick January 17

Katie Sample January 29

Lauren Dean January 30

Staff Calendar-To be updated

Class Pick Up From the Cafeteria

Grade level teachers are asked to please pick up classes from the cafeteria tables on time. The custodial staff needs the allotted time between classes to get the tables clean. Thank you for your help with this matter. Dr. Kim Glass

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 an award-winning team and their show-ready car, a very big check, a quick-thinking crossing guard, visiting "principals," and a special way to honor education "heroes," plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items on National Special Education Day, an opportunity to speak up about technology, and the latest episode of In5ive. Coming up, watch for news on a unique career exploration event, a salute to firefighters, and a trip back to the 18th century for Colonial Day.

Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at Please share photos and information about the special events your school has planned for Hour of Code (week of Dec. 7) as well as service projects planned for the holiday season.

Potential Cyber Learning Days Preparation

Although no decisions have been made as yet as to whether we would use online learning for a Snow Day, as we move into the time period for potential school closings due to inclement weather, we should prepare for the possibility that a 4th or subsequent day of school closure may be declared a Cyber Learning Day, with school and learning continuing that day through our digital resources.

Attached are guidelines to inform your preparations for a potential Cyber Learning Day. In addition, a "Cyber Learning Day Information" course page has been launched in eCLASS C&I and is now available for all teachers and administrators (anyone who currently has access to the C&I Communication Centers, such as the MOCC).

Math Instructional Resources on MOCC

The Math program office is collaboratively working with teacher teams to revise K-5 common assessments to ensure an appropriate level of rigor and alignment with Milestones expectations for student performance based on the performance level descriptors of achievement. Current common assessments will be removed from the MOCC January 1, 2016 and revised common assessments will be posted as development is completed. Please contact Bonnie Brush with any questions you may have.

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.

Come Get It!

The GCPS Math Department is excited to share the second edition of Math Minutes! For this edition, Math Minutes is highlighting various free resources available online, as well as continue to highlight specific lessons and strategies for each grade level. This link will remain on the MOCC for use during the semester:

Upcoming Come and Get IT Sessions (awaiting confirmation of dates from presenters):

· Differentiating with NewsELA

· Getting Digital!

· Prodigy Math

· Gradual Release in Math

Marketing Our Great Work

Remember to share the great projects you are doing in STEM and PBIL on social media! Our vertical PBL team has designated #GCPS #Lanier PBL as great ways to promote our cluster! I think we should also add #SycamorehasIT as well. Sign up on Twitter as a grade level (so as to keep your personal Twitter account yours!) and share what you are doing! I want Sycamore to shine, toot your horns! You deserve to show how well our students are doing! ~ J. Moore

Helping Your Students Add Video Notes to Their Discussions

This session will focus on creating video notes within a discussion post. Participants will learn the steps to create a video note so that they can help their students incorporate this feature into their discussions on eClass.

Sign up at:

Presenter: Michelle Hardy

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 3:45-4:25
Location: Ms. Hardy's Classroom (1.214)
Grade Levels: K-5

Monies Collected Tips from Jenifer our Bookkeeper

As you begin planning Field Trips, Club activities, etc., and start collecting money for these activities, I thought it would be helpful to send out some reminders and tips regarding money collections. I’ve included the most common errors that come across my desk, therefore I hope this will be helpful in saving everyone the precious commodity of time.

Forms of Payment

We accept cash, checks made payable to Sycamore Elementary, and credit/debit card payments through MyPaymentsPlus.

If you choose to use MyPaymentsPlus as a method, please let me know ahead of time to set up an “Activity” in MyPaymentsPlus in order for you to collect payments through this resource. I recommend this, because it is less paperwork for the both of us. I can set it up so that you receive an email when someone has paid, and also send you a list of who has paid on a weekly basis when I receive my deposit information. This will keep you informed as to who has paid.

Report of Monies Collected Forms

If you receive cash and/or checks for payments please use the Report of Monies Collected Standard Form found on the shared drive. The path is Sycamore > Teacher Information > Monies Collected Forms > RMC Form Standard. I strongly recommend saving the form to your computer once you fill it out, in case any corrections need to be made later, they can be fixed quickly. However, please use handwritten ink to sign and date the bottom of the form.

Please leave the “Account to Credit Line” BLANK. This is for Bookkeeper and Auditor’s purposes only. You will enter Grade Level and Purpose on the “Reason for Collecting Money Line”.

There must not be more than 1 week between the Date Collections Begin (at the top), and the Date of Your Signature (at the bottom, the date you turn your form into me).

Click here to view an Example Report of Moneys Collected Standard Form.


If you collected cash from a student, and it is $10.01 or more, you must issue them a receipt. You may check out a receipt book from me.

No receipts have to be issued for checks received for any amount, because the check itself acts as their receipt. If however, a person requests a receipt for a check, you may do so upon their request.

Thank you for your help with all of the paperwork. As always, please come see me for any questions. I will be more than glad to help!

Jenifer Reese



Kudos to the PTA and Mandy Gunter for a fine show today! The kids loved it! ~Crystal

Thank you Jerry and Larry for your humor and commitment to excellence! ~Crystal

Kudos to Talethea for being a positive magnet! You are making me smile from ear to ear! ~Crystal

Thank you Beth and Beth for leading the STEAM initiative and evening next week! I know it will be great! ~Crystal

Thank you Janet and Cecilia for working to get all of the testing materials in folders. The office staff worked wonderfully to help as well to cover you and I appreciate that! ~Crystal

Kudos to Bev, Ashley, and Wilnea for their extra time and effort into our school wide STEM night! ~ Beth

Kudos to Jill for answering our never ending questions! ~ First Grade

Thank you Principal Thompson for supporting our engaging/wacky ideas! ~ First Grade

Kudos to Ms. Baraban for being so helpful to us at all times! ~ First Grade

Many kudos to the A-Team for such a welcoming, entertaining, inspirational, and FUN faculty meeting. It was a nice "welcome back" after such a long break! ~ Squires

THANK YOU, Jerry Watts, for helping with the Gifted Testing (pushing the icons on the computers)...I appreciate you helping me out! ~ J. Moore

THANK YOU, Larry Smith, for your technology expertise and helping me with my endless questions. I appreciate you! ~JMoore

THANK YOU, Jill Wallace, for sharing your learning from Vision! I loved hearing about the things you learned! You are a rock star! ~ J. Moore

THANK YOU to the YEARBOOK TEAM (Michelle Hardy, Cyndi Bennett, Mandy Squires, Melanie Brewer, and Paige Turner) for helping with this endeavor! Your ideas and willingness to help are GREATLY appreciated! We will rock this project! ~ J. Moore


PBIL Research Requests:

Grade level chairs and other staff who would like to work on collaborative research projects (utilizing media center resources for PBIL or other activities) should see Mrs. Wyble to schedule planning time, and subsequent student instructional time.

Leveled Informational Skills Instruction:

Be looking out for a "Media News Tidbit" email, outlining basic informational skills lessons that will be offered during the month of November.

Online Communique

The latest posts to the online Communiqué

include features on GCPS' Teacher of the Year, Career Connections, a salute to veterans, and Milestones results, plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items. Coming up, watch for news on Principal for a Day, a unique career exploration event, and winter weather reminders.

New items are added each week.

Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at

Career Advancement Scholarships

It’s scholarship time at Peach State Federal Credit Union! For our 2016 Scholarship Program, we are awarding a total of $138,200 in scholarships and educational grants.

Our Career Advancement Scholarships, which honor the founders of Peach State, are a part of this program. Recognizing the importance of education as a lifelong experience, we will award 16 $2,000 Career Advancement Scholarships to eligible members of our credit union. All scholarship winners will be chosen by the end of April 2016 and notified shortly thereafter.

To be considered for the scholarships, all applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

· Must be a credit union member in good standing

· Must currently be enrolled in an accredited program of study at a college, university or technical institute with the goal of career advancement (proof of paid registration documents for current term or class schedule from accredited institution must be included)

Please share this information along with the attached scholarship application with your faculty and staff. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by Peach State no later than March 18, 2016. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Deborah Fancher

Business Development

Peach State Federal Credit Union

Phone: 770.513.6394

Fax: 770.963.4066



Application Link:

2016 Career Advancement Scholarship Application