Bear Essentials

April 14, 2023

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Volunteers Needed for Pastries with Parents!

Dyer PTO is hosting this year's Pastries with Parents, a three day event to be held the mornings of April 19, 20, and 21. Parents, WE NEED YOU TO MAKE THIS EVENT A SUCCESS! Attend with your kiddos one morning and volunteer on another!

Please click on the following link to access the SignUpGenius, review the days and volunteer slots we have open, and choose the most convenient ones for you. THANK YOU!

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GCPS 3rd-5th graders show what they know this spring…

Georgia Milestones Online

The Georgia Milestones Assessment is part of the Georgia Milestones assessment system, spanning 3rd grade to high school. This state assessment measures how well students have learned knowledge and skills in the core areas of language arts and mathematics and science (5th grade only). This assessment provides information about student achievement and readiness to move on to the next level of learning.

All Georgia students will take the assessment online. Students answer technology-enhanced questions as part of the assessment. (See below flyer for more about the types of questions on the Milestones assessment.) Here in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), the testing calendar and an increase in the number of computers available for testing ensure a smooth testing experience for students and allow for a normal instructional day for students who are not in testing.

So, what do I need to know about Milestones?

Instruction Continues During Testing.

Schools follow a district testing schedule that is designed to maximize the instructional time for our students. In addition, GCPS has invested in additional devices so that schools have enough available technology to assess students while still being able to use technology in the classroom to enhance instruction. The additional devices allow more students to test at a given time, reducing the total number of days required to complete testing. This schedule also helps to ensure that children are rested and ready for testing. With this schedule, Milestones seems less like a testing event and more like a regular school day.

Access to Computers for Testing.

The technology-enhanced questions require higher technology specifications on computers used for testing. Your child’s school has enough computers with adequate capacity so that every student in a grade level will be able to take a Milestones exam on the designated day, using morning and afternoon sessions if needed. As much as possible, computers in the media center and productivity labs will not be used for testing so that students in other grades and subjects have continued access to these technology resources on testing days.

Milestones is not an “all day” event. Times for each assessment range from 30 minutes up to 90 minutes on any given day. Students will continue instruction and normal school activities the rest of the day.

Your student will be ready! Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum includes all of the state standards, so the teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom every day prepares students for the rigorous assessments of Georgia Milestones. In addition, classwork, homework, quizzes, and tests throughout the school year prepare students for the assessment. Of course, regular school attendance and participation in the classroom is critical to a student’s academic success as well.

You can support your student. Remind your child that the tests will cover material learned in class. Please reference the Georgia Department of Education Milestones Resources page for additional support materials.

Your student can practice. Help your student practice using the online testing environment and the tools that will be used for testing. Visit, select “Test Practice,” and follow the prompts to see the types of questions and tools available.

Types of Questions for Milestones

Georgia Milestones includes four types of questions:

Selected Response: These multiple-choice questions in the language arts and mathematics assessments require students to select an answer from a set of options.

Constructed Response: Used for both the language arts and mathematics exams, theseopen-ended questions require students to generate a response that both answers the question and provides an explanation.

Extended Response: In the writing component of the language arts assessment, students answer questions with more in-depth answers and extensive explanation.

Technology-Enhanced Response: These items are more interactive, requiring students to use technology to answer the question. Examples include a “drag and drop” response, editing text, shading an object, or classifying items. These items are part of both assessments.

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A Message from Dyer's Counseling Department

At Dyer Elementary School and throughout Gwinnett County Public Schools, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is taught daily. SEL is woven throughout all aspects of the school day. With summer break on the horizon, we wanted to make sure that the students of Dyer continue to learn and grow in conjunction with those lessons through application of a few fun projects that would help to promote each of the five competencies of Social Emotional Learning (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making). These projects do not have to be turned in and will not be graded. However, students could gain huge insight into how to manage/ deal with themselves and the world around them through intentional social and emotional awareness.

Please Click Here for Link to SEL Lessons

What is Social Emotional Learning?

As defined by The Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning (CASEL), social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and communities.

I hope that you enjoy these projects. Please be as creative as you would like. The sky is the limit. If you feel compelled to share your project with me, please send an email photo of what you were able to create.

Thanks in advance,

Melody Ellis, Grades PreK-2,, 678-407-8829

BEARS Trading Post

Our Trading Post Information is now on eCLASS! If you'd like information on the current raffles and events, be sure to have your student log on to their eCLASS landing page!

Trading Post Hours: 7:40-8:10AM (students must be in line by 8:05AM)

Shopping Days:

  • Tuesdays- Kindergarten and 3rd grade
  • Wednesdays- 1st and 4th grade
  • Thursdays- 2nd and 5th grade

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Get Connected to Dyer ES!

Parents & guardians, you play a crucial role on our team, and one of our top priorities is to communicate with you effectively. We use a variety of tools to communicate such as the Parent Portal/ParentVUE, our school website, email, weekly school newsletters (The Bear Essentials), Facebook, Instagram and the PBIS Rewards Parent app! Please be sure we have your current email address on file; this can be updated by our office staff (photo ID required).

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2022-2023 Free/Reduced Lunch Applications!

Due to the expiration of USDA waivers, the School Nutrition Program in our district will now transition to pre-pandemic operations. It is very important that you complete the Free & Reduced Priced Meal Application to register to receive your students' discounted meals as they are no longer available at no charge to all students.

Birthday Wishes in Big Lights!

*Special discount for Birthday Marquee Message Pre-Orders! During the month of August, you can purchase a birthday message for your child for a discounted price of $5. This will allow our team ample time for processing messages.

This year we will continue to implement and expand our PBIS program school-wide. The goal of this program is to not only notice positive behavior, but also to reward that behavior. You can help support the funding of this program, and wish your child a happy birthday on our school marquee at the same time. It's a win-win! For a $10 contribution, a Happy Birthday message along with your child's first name and last initial will be displayed on our marquee for three days during the week of your child's birthday. Summer birthday? Not a problem, We will display summer birthday messages during the last week of school and during their birthday week. NOTE: Your child's name will be displayed on their birth date as well as the day immediately before and after. Orders can be placed via under the School Events tab. Please note, requests will be processed the next business day.
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The Dyer PTO Nominating Committe presents the 2023-2024 Board of Directors Slate of Candidates:

Director -Erin Bruce & Adasha White

Assistant Director - Elaine Orr

Communications Secretary - JiaVanna Mickens

Recording Secretary - Angela Simmons

Treasurer - Catherine Anderson

Assistant Treasurer - Mandy Gumm

Elections will be held on Friday, April 28th at 3:15PM.

This will be our first balloted election where members will vote on the position of Director. Please take a moment to review each candidate's bio by clicking here.

Per the PTO bylaws, there will be one vote/ballot permitted per household. Members will need to bring a photo ID and check-in at the PTO Nominating Committee table to receive their ballot. Voting by proxy is not permitted. Ballots will be collected promptly at 3:30, no late ballots can be accepted. Ballots will be counted at the meeting and results announced at the conclusion.

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