Husky Hotline

Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

October 12, 2015

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

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.

In This Issue



School Affairs

Come Get It

Crystal's Corner

Bookeeper Notes


Teacher Spotlight of the Week!

Report Card Timeline

Tech Tidbits

Online Testing


Belkis Puga 10/1

Larry Smith 10/5

Kelli Reifler 10/8

Sharon Pardue 10/12

Jill Moore 10/12

Naisha Lyons 10/16

Rochelle Spurlock 10/22

Terri Stokes 10/23

Janet Rivera 10/24

Shannon Davis 10/27

Mandy Squires 10/31

Selena Ruth 10/31

Staff Calendar-To be updated

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 a celebration of TOTY semifinalists, an opportunity for feedback on proposed computer science courses, a chance for employers to "connect" with their future employees, plus bulletin board items on literacy tips and healthy habits.

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

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.

October 2015 “Come and GET It” Guiding Educators Today

Hello Sycamore Staff!

Below you will find professional development opportunities offered to you by some great colleagues! We plan to offer some “GET It” sessions every month! If you are interested in leading a session, please contact Jill Moore to discuss your ideas! We hope that you will take the opportunity to learn from each other to help our students achieve!

RTI Come and GET It!

If you need to collect RTI data on a student and are not sure where or how to start I can help! I will review the different types of data collection, how to administer the tests, how to score them, and what to do with your scores. :) If you do not have a student you are needing to collect data on but would still like to learn more about RTI for future reference you are more than welcome to come too! :)

Sign up at

Presenter: Paige Turner

Date: October 13th from 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM

Location: Paige Turner’s Room

Grade Levels: K-5

Study Island

This session will cover how to set up classes and create assignments. We will also look at how to track student progress and how to create assignments per child. Please bring your laptop.

Sign up at

Presenter: Ashley Miller

Date: October 14th from 3:45 PM-4:45 PM

Location: Miller’s Room

Grade Levels: 3-5

Music and Literacy

Calling all Kindergarten through Second Grade teachers! Come and see how music can correlate with literacy. I hope to see you here. :)

Sign up at

Presenter: Mandy Gunter

Date: October 26th from 7:45 AM-8:20 AM

Location: Music Room

Grade Levels: PreK-2

eCLASS: Navigation, Themes, Home Pages, Appearance, Creating Widgets

Learn how to navigate your home pages, change appearance and themes, create widgets in eCLASS. Bring your laptop and be ready to take your knowledge of eCLASS to another level! J

Sign up at

Presenter: Cyndi Bennett

Date: October 26th from 3:45 PM-4:30 PM

Location: Leadership Lab

Grade Levels: all

eCLASS: Embedding Content from Sample Core Classes

Learn how to embed content from your grade level “Sample Core” pages with ease! Differentiation at its best! Lessons have already been planned for YOU….take advantage of this great resource! Bring your laptop and be ready to take your knowledge of eCLASS to another level! J

Sign up at

Presenter: Jill Wallace

Date: October 28th from 7:45 AM -8:20 AM

Location: Wallace’s Room

Grade Levels: all

Instructionally Speaking….

Do you need assistance in your classroom? Go to so that you can book me! I look forward to helping!

Have you seen the following on the MOCC (Math Online Community Center)? It features a widget that shares math technology with teachers to use!

Have you seen this resource from the SOAR (Social Studies Online Community Center)? GREAT resource for research. Teachers can create their own set of Research Lists for their students!

ABC-CLIO is a 15 subject-specific database that provides curriculum resources of essential topics in U.S. history and government, world history, geography, and a range of multicultural and popular culture subjects. This database is designed to help students better understand the issues, events, people, and places that shape our world. The database integrates three essential resources including:

1. a textbook

2. perspectives

3. a library

Getting Started

Access ABC-CLIO through the employee portal. Click “Online Research Library” under the Teacher Resources heading. Access can also be found at If logging in using the GCPS wireless network, no log in prompts will appear. If logging in from another location, then the logins are:

Teachers – Login: gcpsadm

Password: gcpsadm

Students – Login: gwinnett

Password: stu45dent

Research Lists

Teachers have the ability to create their own set of Research Lists for students andother GCPS teachers.

Research Tutors & Wizards

The Research Tutors & Wizards provide interactive tools to walk students through key steps in composing a proficient piece of inquiry-based writing. These can be found at the bottom of all pages under the heading, “Website Information.”

Crystal's Corner


It was a great feeling so see so many smiles this week! I hope that you continue to feel excited about coming to work not only to work at Sycamore, but also to teach our students.

Out of Dr.Anderson's schools, we were #2 with the most gallup surveys completed. Way to go! I can't wait to see the data that will come from this! Thanks again!

The front door is closed in the afternoon at 4PM daily. Please make sure that your students and parents are aware of this update. We also want to make sure that everyone adheres to our school policy of not allowing students in after hours unless for a dire emergency.

On Monday, October 12th we will hold our eCLASS Conference! Thank you to all of our staff members who are presenting and a special Kudo to Larry and Jill for setting up the conference with the vision to improve teaching and learning for students AND teachers!

Please join us in a fund day by dressing in your favorite team jerseys, jeans, shorts, flip flops, etc. Mentors and Mentees will meet for a special lunch in the cafeteria at 12PM.

Our Fall Festival was a tremendous success! Thank you to all of you that assisted and supported this annual event. It was even bigger than last year! Please have your students thank the PTA for all they did to make it awesome. Erin Smith did an exceptional job, so please let her know!

Thank you to each and every one of you for being positive, supportive and willing to work as a team. Also, for continuing to see the BIG picture, getting in the classroom and making IT happen!

Essential Updates:

  • All students should have their agenda books in the hallways and also sign out. We have vandalism happening in bathrooms and we must be vigilant about improving this in our beautiful school.
  • Gradebooks need to be checked and updated for grading purposes. We will have our very first Award Ceremony of the year in November. Please make sure that all award information is given to Sheree in a timely manner.
  • RBES is due for all certified staff at the end of the day on October 19th.
  • Retrofit is underway! Thank you for your patience. It looks like everyone is excited about their new lighter laptops! Continue to let Jerry and Larry know what you need as time moves forward. Password changes will be pushed out on Monday.
  • AR for grades K & 1 is for 50 students per grade level. Katie and Cindy will discuss with those grade levels about who would benefit best from using the program. Kimberly will also work with Larry to get the icon pushed out to your classroom desktops.
  • Don't forget to give your input on eCLASS in Crystal's Corner for School Affairs.

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



Counselor's Corner

Check Out Our New Attendance Program!

Are You Winning Paws For Attendance?

  • Students with PERFECT ATTENDANCE for each month will be recognized by:
  • Posting a group picture on our wall of fame
  • Given a token of appreciation with a certificate

  • Students with PERFECT ATTENDANCE for each quarter will be recognized by:
  • Recognition at the 9 Week Awards Ceremony
  • Their name put in a drawing each 9 week for a grand prize Pre K-2 & 3-5 (Recognized on the announcements)
  • Students with PERFECT ATTENDANCE for each semester will be recognized by:
  • 1st and 2nd Semester Pizza Party for Perfect Attendance Students
  • Student with All Year PERFECT ATTENDANCE:
  • Get a Perfect Attendance Fun Picnic with Ms. Moody and the A-Team on the playground
  • Recognition Award/Certificate
  • 5th Grader with Perfect Attendance K-5
  • Special recognition at the EOY Awards Ceremony
  • Grade level with Highest Percentage of Perfect Each Month will be recognized by:
  • Post pictures of each grade level perfect attendees
  • Recognition of winning grade on announcements
  • Post grade levels’ perfect attendance percentage each month
  • Winning grade level Pre K-2 & 3-5 gets a Trophy and a certificate

News from GCPS

    Thank you for your participation in the recent language arts instructional materials review and pilot process. The selection of materials to support our AKS is a very important part of our instructional work, and your teachers and you have played a critical role.

    As a status update, I wanted to share with you that the pilot has ended without a recommendation to take to the Board for instructional materials adoption. That being the case, we certainly recognize that there is still a need for instructional materials for Language Arts, and therefore want to assure you that we will continue to aggressively investigate other resources that would be a good fit to meet the needs of our students.

    Please thank your pilot teachers for their important role in this process, and for maintaining the excellent instruction that is a hallmark of Gwinnett classrooms as we continue our search.

    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 Constitution Week, Cooper's Crew, JA Discovery Center volunteer opportunities, E-SPLOST, plus calendar updates and Bulletin Board items on the name for a new school, election deadlines, and perception surveys.
    Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at

      Vision Cohort 7
      The Offices of LA , MA, and SC are partnering to offer professional development that promotes a workshop model classroom and encourages cross curricular reading and writing. Our learning topics this year include the Gradual Release of Responsibility, the craft of reading and writing, and learning through inquiry. K-5 classes will have a STEM focus; Participants with at least 80% attendance will earn two PLUs; participants with 100% attendance will receive copies of all professional and mentor texts used in their grade level class during the Vision sessions.
      When: 8:00 - 12:00 on the following Saturdays: Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Dec. 5, Jan. 9, and Jan. 30.
      Where: Peachtree Ridge High School
      Participants must register in the PD&E tool no later than October 9. Participants should register for the section number appropriate to their grade levels.
      K– #21383
      1st gr– #21384
      2nd gr- #21385
      3rd gr- #21386
      4th gr- #21387
      5th gr- #21388

      Jumpstart's Read for the Record®
      Join the 10th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, a global campaign that generates public support for high-quality early learning and highlights the importance of building children’s vocabulary and love for reading. On October 22, 2015 children and adults worldwide will take action by participating in the world’s largest shared reading experience.

      Each year, Jumpstart selects one children’s book as the catalyst for Read for the Record. This year’s campaign book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place. With vivid illustrations and expressive language, the story is sure to engage children and adults of all ages. Help break the world reading record (again!) for the most people reading the same book on the same day. Five copies of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story have been sent to your school. Digital books in both Spanish and English, activities, and resources can be located using the link below.>
      Please encourage volunteers to come and read Not Norman: A Goldfish Story to your kindergarten and first grade students on October 22. If you need volunteer readers, please contact Josie Perez in the Office of Language Arts by October 9, 2015.

  • GTES Standards Training Course Offerings
    This professional learning is designed to provide a focused learning opportunity for teachers to deepen their understanding of the Gwinnett Teacher Effectiveness System (GTES) Standards. Participants will engage in interactive activities to aide in defining expectations, building knowledge, and applying that knowledge to practical school-based situations. During these courses participants will: explore the key characteristics of the standards, examine the rubric connected with the GTES, complete a self-assessment identifying current practices, observe teachers in action, and identify next steps for their practice.
    To see the full list of GTES Standard Trainings login to the GCPS Portal and select the PD&E icon. To begin searching and registration for the courses type GTES in the Search Box.

    SD - GTES - Communication Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)
    When: October 19, 2015 - November 5, 2015 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14787 Section# 20925
    Where: ISC – 1.106/1.107/1.108
    Register by 10/09/15

    SD - GTES - Academically Challenging Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)
    When: October 20, 2015 - November 2, 2015 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14786 Section# 21861
    Where: ISC - Berkmar/Parkview
    Register by 10/14/15

    SD - GTES - Academically Challenging Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)
    When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 15250
    Where: Online, Self-Paced
    Registration open all year

    SD - GTES – Positive Learning Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)
    When: November 17, 2015 - December 1, 2015 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14788 Section# 21862
    Where: ISC – Collins Hill/Dacula
    Register by 11/11/15

    SD - GTES – Positive Learning Environment Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)
    When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 14926
    Where: Online, Self-Paced
    Registration open all year

    SD - GTES – Instructional Strategies Standard 2015-2016 (Face to Face)
    When: November 18, 2015 - December 2, 2015 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Course# 14785 Section# 20929
    Where: ISC – Meadowcreek/Brookwood
    Register by 11/09/15
    Get a jeans pass from Carline on Monday by 8:30 AM Sharp
    SD - GTES – Differentiated Instruction Standard 2015-2016 (Online, Self-Paced)
    When: All Year, Until you complete. Course # 14985
    Where: Online, Self-Paced
    Registration open all year

  • The following Media Reboot workshops are designed for 2nd year and more experienced media specialists who want to be inspired by new ideas to improve their media programs.
  • Media Services will provide a sub (code R25) for each of these workshops.
  • Participants are invited to attend as many sessions as needed, but space is limited.
  • Media Services Instructional coach Julie Richardson will lead these workshops; media specialists should contact Julie Richardson for registration information.

    Session 2 (11/17/2015) 8:30-3:30 (MS Standards 1 & 2 - Instructional Leadership & Instructional Partnership)
    The Nuts and Bolts of Instruction and Instructional Leadership
    The focus of this session will be on reading and teaching strategies to help revamp any media program related lesson. Discussions will reflect the media specialist’s role in supporting the school’s LSPI, and encouraging student inquiry and instructional strategies to become a more effective teacher. Participants will engage in step by step lesson design that can be used at their schools. Lastly, the implementation of technology initiatives like BYOD and digital literacy will be discussed.

Report Card Timeline and Gradebook Information

Friday, October 9 is the last day of the first quarter! What's next? Grades are due by 6:00 PM, Monday, October 12.

Click the timeline link below for more detail.

Link >>> Report Card Timeline

Teachers, please review your PinPoint gradebooks for accuracy. Verify you have the correct students in the correct tabs and that you have all of the correct tabs. If you serve a student and assign them grades they should be in your gradebook. If there are any discrepancies please notify Janet Rivera by Monday, October 12, 10:00 AM.

Tech Tidbits

Retrofit Updates:

Please submit a ticket for any issues you may be having with your new laptops or printers as soon as you notice them. There will be a support person on site from EMTEC next week to resolve these.

Online Testing

Interim 1 online testing has started! Please review the schedule below and let us know if you have any questions.

Link >>> 2015 Interim Online Schedule