Simonton Parent Newsletter

Friday, November 19, 2021

Every Student, Every Day, Deserves to Learn, Lead, & Excel!

Message from Ms. Perkins

Yesterday evening we held a special ceremony for the first group of fourth and fifth grade students to be inducted into the SES National Elementary School Honor Society. It was a special time to recognize these students for their academic excellence as well as their leadership abilities. We now have an established chapter here at Simonton ES and look forward to more students joining this dynamic group of students.

Today marks our last day of school before we head off for the Thanksgiving break. School will be closed for all students starting Monday, November 22, 2021 through Friday, November 26, 2021. We will see you back here on Monday, November 29, 2021.

We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday week!

Holiday Message from Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts

Click on the link below to view Dr. Watts' holiday message.

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Upcoming Events:

November 22-26

  • Thanksgiving Break

Friday, December 3

  • Progress Reports emailed by teachers

Saturday, December 4

  • STEM Camp (K-2) ~ 9:00-11:00 am

Monday, December 6

  • Holiday Hat Day ~ Bring $1.00 to support 5th grade
  • PTA Holiday Shop opens

Tuesday, December 7

  • Mid-year District Assessments begin

Thursday, December 9

  • Local School Council Meeting ~ 8:00-9:00 am
  • PTA Spirit Night at Sparkles ~ 5:00-9:00 pm

Saturday, December 11

  • STEM Camp (K-2) ~ 9:00-11:00 am
  • Chorus performance in Downtown Lawrenceville ~ 2:30 pm

Tuesday, December 14

  • Chorus Concert & Reflections Award Ceremony~ 6:00 pm

Friday, December 17

  • Semester 1 ends

December 20- January 5

  • Winter Break

Blessings from Central Gwinnett

Key Club students from Central Gwinnett High School visited our classrooms this past Wednesday. These students made gift bags for each of our homeroom classes with the candy that was originally donated for their Safe Trick-Or-Treat event that was unfortunately cancelled in October. Students across their school wrote cards and created motivational posters to share with our students here at Simonton. This was a fabulous surprise!
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A reminder that masks must be worn by all students, staff members and visitors while in a GCPS facility. Many students are coming to school with no mask or they are breaking them frequently during the day. While we do keep extra, our supply is running low. Please make sure your student has a mask and possibly keep an extra in his/her bookbag each day.

Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe and healthy.

PBIS Students of the Week

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GCPS has scheduled their Mid-Year District Assessments to begin in December. Starting December 6th, our students here at Simonton will begin taking these tests. A more detailed schedule will be sent at a later date.

**For our digital students, please remember that it is mandatory for you to take these assessments. We will sending out dates that are set aside for this to occur.


Our PTA is planning a student holiday shop the week of December 6, 2022.

If you would be interested in volunteering please contact the PTA at

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To help close the meal gap during school break, Gwinnett County is hosting two Goodr Pop-up Grocery Stores on Saturday, November 20. Families will receive up to two weeks’ worth of free groceries. Pre-registration is required. The below links/attachments can be shared.

OneStop Buford – 10:00am to noon

OneStop Norcross – 2:00pm to 4:00pm


The GCPS School Nutrition program continues to have difficulty securing many items for our daily menu and supplies for the cafeteria. As you may have noticed, some menu items are rotating more frequently and some have not been available.

Unfortunately, the recyclable trays are in short supply too. All schools will be cutting back the use of the trays. Some days students will receive meals wrapped in another container but will receive no tray. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon. Thank you ahead of time for your flexibility.

Update Mask Guidance for Second Semester

As of January 4, 2022, Gwinnett County Public Schools will implement updated mask guidance based on community transmission as determined by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)—

  • Masks will be required in all GCPS facilities during periods of “Substantial” or “High” community transmission.
  • When community transmission has been maintained at the “Moderate” level for two consecutive weeks, GCPS will transition to strongly recommending masks in all of its facilities. (This means that if Gwinnett County has been in the “Moderate” range for the two weeks prior to the beginning of the 2nd semester, students and staff will return in January with masks strongly recommended.)
  • Masks will still be mandated on buses in compliance with federal mandates.

On Monday, January 3, GCPS will communicate via SchoolMessenger and post on the district website the status of community transmission and mask guidance for students and staff returning to school and work that week.

Masks continue to be an important mitigation strategy in the fight against COVID. In addition to strongly recommending the use of masks during sustained “Moderate” levels of community transmission, GCPS will maintain current layered mitigation strategies. Families can monitor conditions at their school and within the district by reviewing GCPS’ COVID dashboard, which is updated daily on school days. Information about the level of community transmission, along with a link to the DPH, will be added to the GCPS website to allow families to easily find this information.

GCPS will continue to follow the Georgia DPH guidance regarding isolation for confirmed and probable cases and quarantine for those identified as close contacts.

  • During periods when masks are not required, students identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated or have had COVID within the last 90 days. During quarantine, students will learn asynchronously, accessing assignments through eCLASS or through materials provided by their teachers.
  • Note that during times when masks are required, quarantine protocols will follow the practices currently in place (no quarantine if both students are wearing masks, etc.)


  • There is no change for quarantine guidance for staff members—staff who are within six feet of a positive case for at least 15 minutes (with or without a mask) must quarantine unless they are fully vaccinated or have had COVID within the last 90 days.

As more of our community members are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine—including our youngest students—and there has been ongoing improvement in COVID conditions, GCPS leaders saw an opportunity to implement a metric that takes into account community transmission rates in its masking guidance.

Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts explains, “When the decision was made to implement the mask mandate in July, primary considerations were the high transmission rates in the community and the fact that our students were ineligible for the vaccine. Since then, much progress has been made in terms of decreasing transmission rates of COVID-19 in our community and vaccinations are now available for individuals ages 5 and older.

“While I believe our GCPS mask requirement has helped us and our community to mitigate the spread of COVID, conditions have changed and we are at a point where we can and should revisit mask guidance. Know that GCPS will continue to strongly encourage masks during times of ‘Moderate’ and even ‘Low’ transmission as part of our layered mitigation strategies, and move quickly to reinstate the requirement for masks should community spread rise to the ‘Substantial’ or ‘High’ range.

“Experience over the last 20 months has taught us how quickly things can change. This plan provides the flexibility for our schools to safely manage that change. Working together, we will navigate the COVID-19 situation through the spring, ensuring we address the needs of students and staff.”

SES National Elementary Honor Society Induction

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Simonton ES Local School Council Meeting

You are invited to join us for our next Simonton ES Local School Council meeting. It will be held on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 8:00 am. This is a great opportunity to learn about Gwinnett County Public Schools and Simonton ES. The meeting is open to the school community.

Agenda Items

  • Welcome/Introductions

  • SES Play2Learn
  • Simonton ES Parent Center
  • GCPS/GPL Branch Out Program
  • House Bill 5 EX
  • Simonton ES Discipline Report
  • Updated Mask Guidance for 2nd Semester

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021

Time: 8:00 am

Location: You are welcome to attend in-person or join us virtually.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 911 236 6815

Strong4Life Virtual Visit

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Stong4Life Tip ~ Motivate Your Child to Stay Active

Physical activity builds lifelong health and strong muscles and bones, but how can you encourage your child to get active? Enthusiasm is an important part of physical literacy that helps kids to remain active for life. Simply put, when kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it.

Parents can help their kids develop a passion for physical activity by giving them plenty of positive experiences at an early age. Our experts have you covered with tips and strategies to motivate your child to get moving.

*Make physical activity fun

*Be mindful of how you react to new experiences

*Give them encouragement

*Try to keep an open mind



Simonton is committed to dynamic high quality instruction resulting in a passion for learning, leading and excelling.

Core Belief

Every Student Every Day, Deserves to Learn, Lead, and Excel


  • We commit to giving our students a fresh start every day.

  • We commit to preparing quality and engaging lessons that will prepare our students to be successful in school.

  • We commit to teaching, modeling and holding our students accountable for appropriate school behavior.

  • We commit to providing our students with a structured and safe learning environment.

  • We commit to a great year of learning, leading, and excelling

Simonton Elementary

Superintendent- Dr. Calvin J. Watts

Assistant Superintendent- Dr. Terry Watlington

Board Member- Mr. Steven B. Knudsen

Principal- Tamara G. Perkins

Assistant Principal- Tifferney Dodd

Assistant Principal- Daphne Miles

Assistant Principal- Emily Young