Husky Hotline

Sycamore Elementary School Has the IT Factor!

December 14, 2015

Crystal Cooper Thompson, Principal

Crystal's Corner

Sycamore staff,

Thank you for a great week of teaching and learning. Seeing you all dressed up has gotten me into the holiday spirit for sure. Thank you for making our days here fun and memorable.

Our Holiday Bazaar is tomorrow and it will be fun. This is PTA's first time doing such an event and I want it to go over well. Please try to schedule some time tomorrow to help these ladies out. They have worked countless hours to make tomorrow a hit! Bring your family and friends too.

Jeans all week from your A Team!

Monday: Wear jeans with red or green

Tuesday:Wear jeans with sparkly and glitz

Wednesday: Wear jeans with a tacky sweater

Thursday: Wear jeans with holiday wear (No AM meeting)

Friday: Wear pajamas or jeans with holiday wear

On Tuesday, December 15th the A Team will host their annual open house. We will fill your tummies and save some time for socializing and fun. Enjoy!

Friday, December 18th is party day and it will be busy. Please also remember that there will be no specials on this day, so plan ahead for anything that may need to be completed.

Custodial Process:

Please stack chairs at the end of the day before you leave (students can assist)

Please throw all food (perishable) away from all refrigerators and classrooms prior to Friday.

Place trash cans outside of doors after breakfast so custodians can remove food waste from the classrooms.

Office Updates:

Please make sure you are placing perm files back in their proper places when done.

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.


Sycamore Holiday Staff Party

The Sycamore Elementary Holiday Staff Party will be held at Fronteras (5865 Cumming Hwy. Sugar Hill, GA 30518) at 4:00 PM. Please come by when you are able! We have a great time in such a relaxed atmosphere!

If you want to participate in the White Elephant Gift Exchange ($10), it is completely voluntary! Bring your gift wrapped and ready to share!

What's Cooking In Katie's Kitchen

Whats Cooking in…..

Teacher Leadership

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” - John C. Maxwell

Thank you to First grade for showing us the way to having a successful collaborative team. Your understanding of one another’s differences, through the color quiz, and ability to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses was inspiring. Continue to make work fun for each other and lift each other’s spirits as you strive to lift the spirits and the AKS of your own students.

“Great leaders inspire greatness in others”- Anonymous

Fourth grade has inspired us all to be better than we were. Thank you to the fourth grade team for inspiring us to try something new, like Google Docs. They taught us all to share our ideas and accept each other’s strengths and weakness. They also taught to build upon our strengths in the grade level. Fourth Grade helped us realize how important it is to think of our neighbors and go out of our way to help each other when times may be difficult. Friendship and Laughter are the number one thing to a great collaborative team.

Teacher Leaders take risks

"What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter." -- Peter Drucker

Amy Haser has inspired me these past three weeks with her risk taking attitude. We observed many creative hands on lessons at the Ron Clark Academy observation. Teachers observed on Friday, and bright and early Monday morning Amy was decorating her classroom like the beach. Welcome to “Hawaii” she told her students as they walked in the classroom. Students were learning in lounge chairs and beach blankets throughout the entire week. Student engaged increased while behavioral concerns have decreased. The following week, Amy changed her table groups into covered wagons as students traveled on the “Chisolm trail”. Currently, Students have different ports and even a boat in their classroom as they are greeted by the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island. I look forward to Monday mornings to see the new ideas for the week. Amy’s students have benefitted from her taking a risk and changing her classroom into a creative learning environment.

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

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


Elena Stefan 12/4

Stephanie Shin 12/7

DeAnne Daniel 12/17

Angie Laugherty 12/20

Stella Anim 12/23

Emily Acevedo 12/26

Kelly Schaaf 12/30

Lee Goodwin 12/31

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.

December 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!

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: Jill Moore

Date: Monday, Thursdays, or Fridays during your planning

Location: Your Classroom

Grade Levels: all

Check this site! ;
This site provides an extensive collection of free resources, math games, and hands-on math activities aligned with our Standards for Mathematics.

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 Carolina for always thinking of me before I think of myself. You are a gem! ~Crystal

Kudos to Carline for keeping me on schedule even when I may not want to be...#freespirit. Thanks friend! Don't put me in timeout! ~Crystal

Thanks Deanne and Lauren for dropping by this morning! Lauren, I hope Gracie enjoyed her happy birthday song! ~Crystal

Thank you Claire for helping Erin out for the Bazaar. Thanks for going over and beyond! ~Crystal

Thank you Sheree for your great sense of humor! ~Crystal

Thank you to all of you who were able to meet my brother today. You made him feel quite special as I hope he did for you and your students. Thank again! ~Crystal

Kudos to the management team for doing such a great job behind the scenes! ~Crystal

Thank you to Coach DuPraw for organizing an awesome All-Pro Dads day on Friday. Cindy

Thank you to all of those with arrival and dismissal duties. You always have a smile and friendly greetings for our students so they come and go feeling welcome! Cindy

Thank you, all, for maximizing instructional time these last few days before winter break! You have dressed as holiday songs and snowmen and still managed to lead engaging instruction! Cindy

Kudos to Jessica who makes coming to work fun. She has a heart for children and gives 100% daily. Her background in Pre K is a huge benefit to our students!! ~ Jennifer Gilmer

Thank you front office staff, you all are always willing to listen and help, no matter how busy your day has been. Thank you for your daily support! ~ Jennifer Gilmer

Kudos to Mrs. Thompson, my students enjoyed having her record her voice on their communication device where they could read "The Gingerbread Man." As a Pre K team, we appreciate your constant support of our students. ~ Jennifer Gilmer

Kudos to Jill Moore who is so supportive of staff and students at Sycamore. She makes our school a better place and my students enjoy using their communication device to tell Jill hello each morning. As soon as she sees me pushing their wheelchairs down the hall, she starts talking to them and gets on their eye level to greet them. We love you Jill. ~ Jennifer Gilmer

Kudos to my Second Grade Team for working after hours to get things done! ~ Beth

Kudos to Mandy Gunter for always thinking about ways to make our music program better for our Pre K students .She thinks outside the box and reaches our students. ~ Jennifer Gilmer

A big thank you to Jessica Purvis for always being flexible and willing to go the extra mile with a smile on your face! I soooo appreciate you! ~ Carolann

Jennifer and Jessica thanks for all the loving care you give Teddy and A'Merical, they are lucky to have you! ~ Carolann

Kelly R. and Terri thanks for keeping me laughing ~ Carolann

Marjorie just thanks for everything. ~ Carolann

Frank Torres and Corbett Estes....Thank you for helping me out when I had a flat tire on the way to work. Stephanie Shin....Thank you for checking on me to see if I needed a ride home. I appreciate everyone for taking time out of your busy day to make sure I was all set. ~ Deborah Walston

Beverly Carlan....Thank you for heading Beta Club again! You are such an asset to our school. You take on so many roles that directly benefit the students. Our school is better because you are in it. ~ Deborah Walston

Ashley Miller...I appreciate your leadership on our grade level. You truly lead by example in your way of collaboration. I can't thank you enough for the weekly homework you make our grade level. ~ Deborah Walston

A special thank you to the kindergarten and first grade staff along with Cathy Eklund and Carolann for the beautiful fruit basket! & Thank you to Wilnia for delivering it along with my cookie dough!! ~ Karen

Thank you to Marjorie, Claire and Jessica for keeping fluency club alive and well! ~ Karen

Thank you to Marjorie for taking on Spanish Club and going solo! :) ~ Karen

Thank you so much to all the office staff for your support when I was out sick, you guys are more than co-workers, you're my second family. Love you all. ~ Cecilia

Thank you Sheree, Janet, Carolann, Carline for helping my children when I was not here. ~ Cecilia

Thank you Ms. Mantilla for helping Bianca and Nicolas at the car rider line. Love the picture. Thank you! ~ Cecilia

Thank you Ms. Goyal for your note and all your hard work. ~ Cecilia

Thank you Ms. Chiasson for your warm welcome and concern. ~ Cecilia

Thanks to all, I love being a part of Sycamore. I'm glad to be back. Love Cecilia

Thank you to First Grade Teachers for letting my students come in your classes to help work with your students. They have enjoyed it very much. ~ Cynthia Bennett

A Big Thank You to Ms. Carlan for working with so many ISTEAM students this week and last so that they would be prepared for the competition on Saturday. You helped them to achieve a huge goal, and they are very proud of themselves. ~ Cynthia Bennett

Thank you to Jill Wallace and Jonathan Goodson for your patience with students. Your work is appreciated. ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Crystal and Cindy for holding down the fort on Wednesday while Katie and I were at the AP meeting. I appreciate our team! ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Larry and Jerry for setting up the DA testing labs. We appreciate having so many places to use! ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Kimberly Wyble for always presenting a solution when you foresee a problem. I appreciate your foresight! ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Beverly Carlan for all your work with the children for First Lego League. May The Force Be With You this weekend! ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to the bus lane leaders, Mandy Gunter, Bev Carlan and Claire Baraban--The Sycamore queens of "Move That Bus!" ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Jill Moore for covering a class for us to complete Mid Year Conferences. I appreciate your flexibility. ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Nicole Moody for presenting data at the faculty meeting last week. You are a PRO! ~ Kim Glass

Thank you to Carolina Pogreban for always going the extra mile to take care of us. You are a gem! ~ Kim Glass

Kudos to our awesome lunchroom staff! Leila presented a beautiful lesson about "foods around the world" for our class! As she could tell, my students loved every minute of it! The fruits were delicious, and we learned lots of new, "non fiction" information about Brazil! Thank you to Stella for organizing the time slot for us and to the entire lunchroom staff for implementing a fantastic educational lesson plan! ~ Jennifer Covington

Kudos to our Kindergarten grade level for being so much fun to work with each day! I love how each one of us brings something unique to the "table," whether it's lesson plan ideas, assessment suggestions, or creativity! (Erin, Deepa, Karsha, Kristi, Joanie, Lauren, Deepa) ~ Jennifer C.

Kudos to Cathy Eklund for helping get that snowy paper on the wall when she saw me practically rolling on the floor in the hall after school last week (haha)!...& for helping Elf on the Shelf (Ralphie) find new locations each morning before certain little people arrive with their "staff" parents before school! ~ Jennifer C.


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