Volume 40 , Number 7May 1, 2020


GCPS shares plan for return to work sites for staff members
With the end of the state’s Shelter in Place order on April 30 and the re-opening of many businesses, school district leaders have created a plan for the return of GCPS employees to schools and facilities.

Throughout Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) Digital Learning Days, a limited number of staff continued to report on-site at both schools and the Instructional Support Center (ISC). At various times over the past six weeks, several additional employee groups returned to service to support teachers and digital instruction, to help with the food program for our students, and to assist in making plans regarding how to successfully close the school year.

The implementation of sensible safety measures and precautions has resulted in a smooth transition from working remotely to working on-site at schools and offices. Moving forward, GCPS will continue to call for strict social distancing and sanitation procedures to keep employees healthy and safe. With that in mind, GCPS is prepared to implement its return-to-work site plan for all staff over the next three weeks.



Wednesday, May 6: Director-level staff at the Instructional Support Center (ISC) and their clerical support staff will return to work at the ISC.
Monday, May 11: All remaining ISC staff will return to work at the ISC. All school-based employees, except for teachers, will report to their local schools. Teachers will continue to lead digital learning for students from home.
Monday, May 18: Teachers will report to their schools. In the final three days of digital learning, teachers will wrap up instruction and assist any student who needs to make up work. They also will verify grades, close out classrooms, and assist in returning items to students.

If staff are unable to report for work on-site due to COVID-19 related conditions...

GCPS does not expect employees to put themselves or others at risk, and there are provisions in employee leave policies for addressing any needs and concerns employees may have. If an employee experiences symptoms, has been ordered or advised to quarantine, is caring for someone who is quarantined, or is caring for a child whose school or daycare is closed, he or she may be entitled to leave time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). If a staff member is unable to report, they are required to contact the GCPS Leave team to apply for leave under FFCRA prior to his or her return-to-work date above. The Leave team may be contacted via email at
leave@gcpsk12.org or via phone at 678-301-6071.

Based on current guidance from CDC, the following considerations are being taken to minimize transmission of COVID-19 in school and office settings:
The school district is minimizing the number of people in a building at any given time. The general guidance is one person for every 200 square feet and no more than 10 people in one area as long as they can maintain six feet distance from each other.

The following instructions for preventive steps will be given to employees returning to work:
An employee should not come into the building if he or she is sick or has any symptoms of illness or if he or she has been in close contact with someone who has been ill within the last 14 days.
When coming in contact with anyone from the outside to deliver or pick up items, consider wearing protective face covering and gloves.
Maintain physical distance of six feet or more from all other individuals.
Use a face mask. GCPS will provide employees with a mask upon their return to work but encourages employees to use their own personal face coverings as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in settings where social distancing can’t be achieved.
Do not share materials such as pens, computers, phones, keypads, touch pads, etc.
Wash hands frequently and for 20 seconds or more, using soap and water.
Hold virtual meetings using Microsoft Teams or Zoom instead of face-to-face meetings.
Custodial staff will increase cleaning for all high-touch, high-use surfaces throughout the day.

If an employee is working and becomes ill...
Report illness (or exposure to someone who is ill) to your supervisor. This information is important for leave purposes and for efforts to contain and stop the spread of illness.
GCPS’ Leave Office (leave@gcpsk12.org) will work with individuals to ensure appropriate leave is applied and benefits received.
In addition, GCPS’ Department of Health Services will conduct a contact investigation and consult with the Gwinnett County Health Department for recommendations. If testing shows that an employee is COVID-19 positive, county health officials will be in contact to provide additional instructions and support.
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DLD Update: GCPS continues teaching and learning

GCPS pivoted to an online learning model on March 16 with the launch of Digital Learning Days (DLD). Despite challenges, our staff and students have made the best of the situation and continue teaching and learning in a different way. Over the past few weeks, the district has communicated updates to address important aspects of DLD that are of interest to staff, parents, and students. You can find those updates online, including information shared April 9, April 17, April 24, and today's update (May 1). Here’s a recap of some key digital classroom information in the earlier updates:

School Calendar
Teaching and learning will continue through the scheduled last day of school on May 20.

Attendance
Teachers are not taking attendance each day. However, they are monitoring which students are participating in digital learning and are reaching out to students who are not completing assignments.

Flex Fridays
Through May 8, GCPS will offer a lighter school day on Fridays when teachers will not give any new assignments, but will be available to work with students individually, provide opportunities for students to make up assignments or redo previous assignments, and review material taught.

Grading
While GCPS is taking steps to make sure students are as successful as possible during DLD, we know these are challenging circumstances and some students may end the year with a grade below what would be expected based on previous achievement. Teachers will take a number of things into consideration before finalizing the student’s grade, including the potential impact of the learning environment, opportunities to relearn material or redo assignments, and if the student took advantage of make-up opportunities.

Promotion
GCPS wants to be sure that the move to digital learning does not have a negative impact on students. GCPS will base promotion on a K-8 student’s understanding and mastery of the AKS curriculum for his or her grade level. If a student is recommended to repeat a grade, the school or teacher will discuss it with the student’s family. High school teachers will continue to grade assignments and tests. (See grading section above.) Students must pass their courses to earn Carnegie units to meet Georgia graduation requirements.

Assessments
The current situation has had an impact on a number of assessments:
All state-required spring testing— including GKIDS, Georgia Alternate Assessments, and the Georgia Milestones End of Grade and End of Course tests— are canceled.
Final exams, developed by each school’s teachers and course teams, will be administered online for middle and high school students, beginning May 11.
GCPS will offer a one-year waiver to seniors who have met all other graduation requirements except passing the HS Gateway. These seniors will receive a diploma without having to pass the Gateway.
International Baccalaureate (IB) students will not take IB Exams. Instead, IB diplomas will be awarded based on student coursework at GCPS’ two IB high schools— Shiloh HS and Norcross HS.
Advanced Placement (AP) students will take a 45-minute exam online at home for each AP course exam for which they are registered. College Board says digital security tools will protect the integrity of the exam.
Check the websites for the SAT and ACT for the latest on scheduling for these college-admissions exams.

Access and Devices
While the vast majority (97%) of students have participated in online learning at some point during DLD, we know that some Gwinnett families don’t have reliable access to devices or high-speed internet. Schools have checked out more than 9,000 Chromebooks to students, based on need. In addition, the GCPS Foundation has worked with partners to provide information about no- and low-cost internet access to families as needed.
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GCPS adjusts spring and EOY activities, including graduation
Just as the current health crisis has changed teaching and learning for GCPS staff and students, it also has forced schools to approach traditional spring and end-of-year activities in non-traditional ways and, in some cases, cancel or postpone them for the safety of all. The ban on in-person classes and events led to cancellation of spring sports, academic competitions, and school-related trips and activities, including proms scheduled after March 13. (Local schools are communicating directly with families about possible refunds or credit for cancelled activities.)

Schools are working on updating their end-of-year processes and will communicate to families when students will be given access to the building to pick up personal belongings or return books or other items to the school.

While students and staff at every grade level are missing these special activities and the opportunity to say goodbye to their classmates and teachers, this change is most keenly felt by our seniors and their families as graduation approaches. Even though traditional graduation ceremonies cannot be held at this time, the district is moving forward with virtual ceremonies in May, followed by traditional ceremonies in mid-July if conditions allow. Online, find the schedule for virtual graduations and in-person ceremonies (conditions permitting). Note that May graduates will receive their diplomas by mail.

Of course, the virtual graduation experience is very different from the ceremonies our schools would have liked to be planning at this time, but it does give GCPS and our school communities the chance to celebrate the graduation and accomplishments of the Class of 2020. Watch for more opportunities to show your support for our seniors!
Central Gwinnett HS staff prepare for no-contact Cap and Gown pick-up.
We love our high school seniors!
Now you can show your support for the Class of 2020 with a profile frame! If you’re on a mobile device, go to your profile and click the camera by your profile picture. A window will pop up with the top option “add frame,” and from there you can search GCPS or “GCPS We Love Our Seniors."

Once you've saved your new Facebook profile photo and frame, you can share your photo to Instagram by tapping your profile image and clicking the “view profile picture” option. When your new profile image comes up, tap the three dots in the top right corner and select “save to phone” or “share external.” You will see an option to share your photo on Instagram or you can upload your saved photo from your device.

If you’re on a computer, go to your profile and click the camera on your profile picture that
says “update.” A new window will pop up with an option to “add frame,” and from there you can select and position your new profile frame following the same steps listed above. You also can access the frame directly here:
https://bit.ly/gcps_SeniorsFrame

Thanks for helping us put the spotlight on the Class of 2020!
#SeniorSpotlight #GCPSClassof2020

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SNP heroes, dedicated drivers provide more than a million meals!
During the school year, meals served through the School Nutrition Program (SNP) may be the only reliable source of food for some of our students. For that reason, GCPS has continued the federally funded meal program during DLD.

The district started the meal program on March 16 to provide lunches for children ages 18 and younger, adding breakfasts on April 7. Through April 30, our SNP and Transportation team, with help from support staff and administrators, have prepared and distributed 1.7 million meals to children in our community during six weeks of DLD! (Community organizations stepped in to support families during Spring Break.) The meals are available for pick up at 67 schools, with delivery on bus routes serving the schools. Plans call for the program to continue through May 15.

While we continually assess the feasibility of continuing this program— with considerations for staff and student safety and the supply chain— we salute our frontline staff who have made this service possible for children in need.


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COVID-19: What should you do if are ill?
Should you or a loved one become ill with symptoms of COVID-19, you may be unsure about your next steps.

Health officials advise affected people— anyone who is ill with COVID-19 symptoms, is being tested, or has tested positive— to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) regarding self-quarantine and recommendations for contacts about self-monitoring at home for 14 days. Visit the CDC website for guidance for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and for advice to prevent getting ill.

GCPS employees also should contact their supervisor to discuss HR considerations as well as any public health implications:

If you are working from home... Report your illness (or exposure to someone who is ill) to your supervisor. This information is important for leave purposes and for efforts to contain and stop the spread of illness. GCPS’ Leave Office (leave@gcpsk12.org) is working with individuals to ensure appropriate leave is applied and benefits received.

If you are working in a GCPS facility or on a meal program route... Report your illness (or exposure to someone who is ill) to your supervisor. GCPS’ Leave Office will coordinate your benefits. In addition, GCPS’ Department of Health Services will conduct a contact investigation and consult with the Gwinnett County Health Department for recommendations. If testing shows that you are COVID-19 positive, county health officials will be in contact with you to provide additional instructions and support.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call the Gwinnett County Health Department COVID-19 Helpline at 770-513-5631. The helpline is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rely on health partners for information
During this rapidly evolving situation, be mindful that misinformation and rumors can spread rapidly via social media. Please refer to updates and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Gwinnett County Health Department to help keep you and your families safe and well.

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GCPS celebrates employee contributions in April and May
During April and May, the school calendar includes national recognition for a number of employee groups. While we're thankful for the work and dedication of every GCPS employee throughout the year, we do want to give a special shout out to these special folks on their special day (or week):
During School Library Month in April, we saluted our media specialists and clerks and their role in the biggest classroom in the school! “Find the library at your place!” is the theme for this year's celebration, highlighting how these professionals are using virtual services and digital content to support our schools and families during the pandemic.

The week of April 19 marked Administrative Professionals Week, a time when we honor the contributions of the folks who keep our offices and schools running, often behind the scenes.

— May 1 is School Lunch Hero Day. (National School Nutrition Employee Week is celebrated the following week.) GCPS’ 1500+ School Nutrition Program (SNP) staff members are true heroes as they prepare meals, follow healthy meal guidelines, and serve students and staff with a smile!

— May 5 is National Teacher Day, part of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Each day, our teachers demonstrate the power of public education to make a difference in the lives of our students. We appreciate all of the many ways— large and small— that our teachers ensure a positive future for our students and their families, our communities and county, and our state and nation.

On May 6, we salute our county school nurses on National School Nurse Day. With support from clinic workers, these staff members optimize student health and learning every day of the year!

The week of May 10 we celebrate National School Police Week. and the contributions of the folks in the district’s Office of Safety and Security to support safe, secure, successful schools.

Earlier in the year, we had the opportunity to honor our transportation professionals, custodians, psychologists, support staff, school leaders, and counselors for all they do to support our students, staff, and school communities.

Coming up... Watch for news about GCPS' 2020 Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year winners!
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GCPS on pause in budget development process for FY2021
Normally, by this time each year, the school district is well on its way to the adoption of its budget by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. However, the current health pandemic has had an impact on the legislative session and the approval of the state budget, which has caused the district to pause its budget process.

The 40-day legislative session was suspended indefinitely on
March 12, 2020. At that time, the legislature had passed an amended budget for the current year (FY20), but had not completed the work on the fiscal year 2021 budget. A date has not been set for the legislature to reconvene to complete its work for this session. State law requires the legislature to pass a state budget each year, prior to the beginning of each new fiscal year (July 1).

Local school boards typically adopt a budget for the upcoming school year prior to July 1. However, there are processes for districts to follow when a school board is not able to do so.

In order to continue operating when a new budget does not exist, the Board of Education must adopt a “Spending Resolution” which authorizes the CEO/Superintendent to spend funds in the new fiscal year. If this is necessary, the district would bring forward an agenda item to its June Business Meeting authorizing the district to spend funds in the new fiscal year until a budget is adopted.
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GCPS to resume Performance-Based Awards with 2020-21 school year
Due to the disruption of the school year and the impact this has had on data collection, GCPS will not calculate scores or issue Performance-Based Awards (PBA) for this school year (2019-20). Therefore, no award distribution will occur in December of 2020. When schools return to normal operation, data collection will begin for the 2020-21 school year. District leaders will continue to consider feedback received regarding the PBAs. Dr. Jeff Mathews, assistant superintendent for Leadership Development, says the initial rollout of the awards went well in December and garnered helpful feedback and insight from teachers, but district leaders saw issues with the changed circumstances for spring data collection. “As we look to this year’s PBAs, we simply do not have the data to support the metrics,” Dr. Mathews explains. “However, we look forward to resuming the program in the fall.”
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Data Governance: ‘Free’ applications aren’t necessarily free
During this transition to digital learning, many companies are offering free online applications directly to teachers for a “limited time.” These free applications can be helpful in the classroom, allowing teachers to personalize learning and meet the needs of students. While these offers are appealing, they often are not a wise decision. (In fact, you may not realize you can accomplish the same things with tools already available through eCLASS.)

These free online applications pose challenges related to privacy and data security for you and your students. Guarding against the potential pitfalls— data breaches, identity theft, unauthorized student profiling— is a huge endeavor.

Rarely is a “free” application
truly free. For-profit companies find some way to monetize your patronage. So-called free applications are almost always paid for through advertising or information gathering. If you are using an application that does not charge an up-front fee or show any advertising, that application is getting something from you another way. You’re paying for it with data.

To ensure the security of our data and the safety of our network from malicious activity, all applications should be vetted and approved by the Data Governance division prior to downloading and using any application. Please check the list of approved applications available on the
Employee Portal. Just remember, when the product is free, you and your data are the product. Don’t put our information and systems at risk.
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Use settings to keep Zoom session private, secure
Zoom is the popular videoconferencing app that many in GCPS are using for virtual meetings, class discussions, and other online gatherings during Digital Learning Days (DLD). The free service allows anyone with the meeting ID to gather in a virtual room that offers both video and audio interaction.

Unfortunately, “Zoom bombing” is a new term that we can add to our DLD vocabulary. Bad actors— whether they are kids intent on a virtual “prank,” cybercriminals, hackers, or trolls— are hijacking unsecured Zoom sessions to disrupt the meetings with threatening or offensive images and speech.

To combat these unwanted participants in your Zoom session, security experts recommend the following steps for Zoom meeting hosts:
Use a meeting-specific ID with a password (not your personal meeting ID).
Make sure participants join the meeting via the Waiting Room (so you can make sure they are expected guests), come into the meeting on Mute, and can’t enter before the meeting host.
Lock the meeting after all invited guests have joined.
Make sure you, as host, are the only one who can share your screen.
If a participant is disruptive, use settings to mute all controls (video and audio) for that person and remove the individual from the session.

On the Employee Portal, find detailed directions on how to use settings in Zoom to keep your session private and secure.
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GCPS Retirement Dept. offers information, resources related to your finances

About your financial wellness...
During May, the GCPS Retirement Department will offer a series of Financial Wellness webinars on a variety of subjects, including Retirement Planning, Budgeting, and Investing. Registration opens April 27. On the Employee Portal, go to the About Me Tab, select the GRS section, and click on Financial Wellness Sessions to secure your online seat.
About your retirement savings plans options... The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes retirement plan provisions designed to ease distribution and loan rules to free up funds for individuals affected by COVID-19. They can:
— Withdraw from their retirement plan or IRA (up to $100,000) without the usual 10% early withdrawal penalty tax.
— Take a loan against their retirement plan up to $100,000 or 100% of their vested account balance (double the previous allowable amount). This expanded loan limit applies to loans initiated on or after March 27, 2020. Those with current plan loans may defer payments up to a year.
— Required Minimum Distribution (RMDs) are temporarily waived, allowing those who are age 72, retired, or the beneficiary of a deceased participant to choose to keep funds in their plan and resume or begin RMDs in 2021.

A message from AIG Retirement Services... While the CARES Act does loosen some restrictions for cashing out or taking a loan against your retirement savings, there are other options for covering expenses during this time, says CEO Robert J. Scheinerman of AIG Retirement Services, the district’s partner for retirement services Learn more in this article.

For those thinking ahead to retirement... If you are within five years of retiring, you can call the Retirement Department to request a planning session. These sessions— currently offered virtually— provide valuable information regarding your projected benefits at retirement. To request an appointment, contact the Retirement Department at 678-301-6267 or 678-301-6269.

For those who have already announced their retirement... The district’s New Retiree Luncheon, originally planned for May, has been postponed to the fall. New retirees will receive more information as details are confirmed.

If you have questions or need assistance related to these topics or anything else related to your retirement or accounts, contact the GCPS Retirement Department at 678-301-6286 or via email.
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Multi-factor authentication helps safeguard information
This summer, Gwinnett County Public Schools will implement multi-factor authentication to further safeguard the information entrusted to us by students, families, and staff members.

Why Is It Important?
The process of authentication— or proving one’s identity— is something we do on a daily basis to access our computers, mobile devices, and online accounts. Passwords are the most common means of authentication, and are considered your first “factor” for authentication. (An authentication factor is a credential that is intended to verify, sometimes in combination with other factors, that a user requesting access is authorized.)

A compromised password can provide cybercriminals with access to your online accounts and information without you even knowing. With multi-factor authentication, a stolen password is now less of a liability because the cybercriminal does not have all factors needed to access your account or information.

How Does Multi-factor Authentication Work?
With multi-factor authentication, as the person requesting access, you must provide multiple types of credentialing factors before being allowed access your account.

Credentialing factors include:
Knowledge factors, or something you know. This could be a personal identification number (PIN), a password, or a swipe pattern like when you use a passcode on your cell phone.
Possession factors, or something you have. This might be an ATM or debit card, a key fob, or your cell phone. For instance, on your cell phone, you might receive a text with a verification code or a push notification that can be used to confirm your identity.
Inherence factors, or something you are, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition.

Security experts recommend that anyone with a digital presence— whether for work or for personal use— should consider enabling multi-factor authentication on key accounts such as email, banking, and social media to add an additional layer of security protection.

GCPS will require multi-factor authentication when employees log into the Employee Portal and access district accounts.

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Find help with behavioral health resources
During these challenging times, GCPS employees can find help with behavioral health resources provided by MetLife and LifeWorks, a national company that employs more than 30,000 licensed counselors. In addition to access to complimentary webinars on topics related to COVID-19, benefit-eligible employees (including retirees) can use Lifeworks’ 24/7 confidential services to manage stress, anxiety, grief, financial concerns, and more. It’s easy to connect to support by phone or videochat— anytime, anywhere—for up to five free sessions. Additional sessions may be available under an employee’s insurance coverage on a fee basis, with in-network and out-of-network rates. To speak with a counselor, call 1-888-319-7819, press 1. Questions? Email the Benefits Administration Team at benefits@gcpsk12.org.
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Partnership with county library gives students access to tutoring services
Thanks to the district’s partnership with the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL), GCPS students have access to Tutor.com, an online tutoring service. Live tutoring support is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition, students can receive “drop-off support,” 24-7, by uploading a document for tutor feedback that will be reviewed and returned at a later time. Students need a library account to use these services. Students have three easy ways to gain access— using their GCPL library card, using their Student ID if they are signed up through Branch Out, or by requesting a library account. Students can receive one-on-one tutoring in 40 courses, including the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies as well as Advanced Placement courses. In addition, support is available in Spanish and by phone once a user has logged in.
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GCPS expands virtual summer learning options for HS students
Traditionally, GCPS offers both face-to-face and online summer learning opportunities for high school students to get ahead in their coursework or make up a course previously failed. However, in light of current restrictions on gatherings, the district has cancelled face-to-face high school classes and expanded virtual summer learning options:

GOC Summer School
GCPS will offer two summer school sessions with a number of course offerings through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). Session 1 will take place June 1–23 and Session 2 will be held June 15–July 7. Students can register for GOC summer classes on MyPaymentsPlus, with a May 24 deadline for Session 1 and a June 7 deadline for the second session. Rising 9th graders have the option to take Health and PE during the summer as well. NO on-campus activities are planned for GOC summer courses. Students will attend a Virtual Orientation on the first day of class and will complete Final Exams at home on the last day of class. (Note that students who previously registered for GOC classes will attend the first session, but will be given the option to move to the second session.)

Community Schools
High school students can take Health and PE virtually through Community School programs associated with GCPS high schools.

Credit Recovery
GCPS offers Credit Recovery courses to students who previously failed a course with a grade of 60 to 69. A range of high school courses in core academic areas is available. The Credit Recovery Summer Session is set for May 26 to June 15, with registration open through May 22. The courses are provided by Georgia Virtual School with online support from GCPS Summer School staff. Students may sign up for a maximum of two credit recovery courses through the Summer School program.

Note that none of the summer school options require face-to-face contact.
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Registration activities continue for 2020-21 school year
During the spring, a number of GCPS schools and programs conduct registration for the upcoming school year. The following registration activities continue:
Rising kindergartners
Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020, are encouraged to begin the online registration process by visiting the website of the school their child will attend. (Families can find their child’s new school with GCPS’ school locator web page to identify their attendance zone.) New this year, much of the registration process, including the uploading of documents needed for registration, will be completed online. Most document attachments (PDF, JPG, DOC, PNG, etc.) are compatible. The file-size limit is 2 MB. Families that are unable to obtain the required immunization and/or screening documents due to the COVID-19 situation will be given additional time to obtain those documents but should go ahead and begin the online registration process. Additional information about requirements is available on the GCPS website. Note that local schools will not conduct in-person events in May.
Dual Language Immersion (DLI) for new kindergartners
Dual Language Immersion (DLI) registration for new kindergartners starting school in 2020–21 is open through May 14 at 3 p.m. DLI ES programs are offered through nine GCPS schools— Spanish at Annistown, Baldwin, Bethesda, Camp Creek, Ivy Creek, Level Creek, and Meadowcreek elementary schools; French at Trip ES; and Korean at Parsons ES. The schools will accept transfers if available slots are not filled by students in the school zone and families provide transportation. (In addition to completing DLI registration paperwork, families should register for kindergarten with their assigned school.) In DLI, students spend half of the school day learning in English and the other half learning content areas in the target language (Spanish, French, or Korean). The program launches with kindergarten students, then builds by one grade level every year. For 2020-21, the district’s first cohort of DLI students will move to middle school!
New students at Gwinnett Online Campus
May 1 is the last day for families to register to fill remaining full-time slots at Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC) for the 2020-21 school year. Families with students new to GOC can learn more about the registration process, find FAQs, learn about the benefits of online learning, and view a demo course.
Students new to specialized CTE programs
Registration continues for the Grayson HS Technical Education Program and Maxwell HS of Technology, two specialized career and technical education programs for GCPS high school students interested in exploring careers through hands-on learning. Online, find registration and program information for Grayson and registration and information about Maxwell programs for the 2020-21 school year. Eligible students may register for either program from their Student Portal account from anywhere they have internet access.

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Give a listen to 'Teaching Gwinnett' podcast
GCPS has launched “Teaching Gwinnett,” a district-produced podcast that tackles important, relevant, and timely topics that have an impact on our students, families, and staff members.
Each episode— hosted by Bernard Watson, GCPS’ director of media and community relations— features in-depth and informative interviews and a special segment called… “Did you know?” Upcoming episodes will focus on the need-to-know information for families as we approach the end of the school year. You can find the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, iTunes, the Apple Podcast app, and the district website. Subscribe today!

Check out the latest episodes of Teaching Gwinnett...

In a conversation with Dr. Steve Flynt, GCPS’ associate superintendent of School improvement and Operations talks about the district's response to COVID-19. Dr. Flynt touches on a wide range of topics, including how GCPS’ digital learning platform has allowed teaching and learning to continue; why the district is feeding students and how it’s being done; the reason behind bringing more employees back to schools; and plans for graduation and summer school.

Meet Cecily Lewis of Meadowcreek HS, the nation’s School Librarian of the Year for 2020! In this special episode, Mrs. Lewis talks about her award-winning and world-renowned Read Woke program, its origins, how it works, and its impact on students. She also touches on her childhood in Mississippi, how her mother sparked her passion for books and reading and the benefits and challenges of digital learning.
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EB Bulletin Board

What's new on the Bulletin Board?
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
Check out Bulletin Board items with the latest on… a national award winner, fundraisers, a new communications tool, resources for teachers and families, a postponed event, Spotlight submissions, recent online Communiqué stories, and Perks.
ICYMI… Meadowcreek HS’ Cicely Lewis honored as nation’s top school librarian!... Young people around the world are reading “woke,” thanks to an initiative launched by Cicely Lewis, Meadowcreek HS’ media specialist. Mrs. Lewis’ diversity-in-literacy focus and the meaningful schoolwide conversations that Read Woke has sparked worldwide are among the reasons that she’s been named the nation’s 2020 School Librarian of the Year! As the national winner, Mrs. Lewis is featured on the cover of the April 2020 issue of School Library Journal, and will receive a number of awards from Scholastic, including $2,500 cash and $2,500 worth of digital or print products for her library. Meadowcreek HS students also will receive free books as part of a special literacy event at a later date. Read more about this national winner in Communiqueand listen to an interview with Mrs. Lewis on GCPS' "Teaching Gwinnett" podcast.
Contribute to Foundation’s ‘We Care’ initiative to raise $1 million... The GCPS Foundation Fund, Inc., is asking for your help to raise $1 million by June 15 through its “We Care” fundraiser! Your gifts to the Foundation help fund scholarships, provide classroom grants, support teaching and learning, foster innovation, and assist students and families in need through Care Teams at local schools. Please give today, as you are able, and let’s watch our gifts grow together! To learn more, visit www.gcps-foundation.org, and follow the Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
GCPS Book Mobile 5K; The need is real, the run is virtual!... Lace up your shoes and book it for the bus! GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run is going virtual and you can still run or walk to help put books in kids’ hands. So, how will this virtual 5K work? Register for the half-mile Fun Run ($15) or the full 5K ($25) by midnight on May 2. You choose when and where you run or walk. (Treadmills are fine, too!) Registrants will receive a short form to complete, and a self-reported time is optional. Book Mobile race day shirts will be available for no-contact pick up at the ISC or will be sent in the courier to work locations or to homes by mail. Everyone who completes a form will be entered into a drawing for great prizes, including sports and theater tickets. Runners and walkers are encouraged to post pictures of their 5K/Fun Run on social media, using the hashtag #bookitforthebus and tagging @gcpslibraries. Let’s connect and encourage each other!
GOC offers digital resources for GCPS teachers... For more than a decade, Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC) has been in the digital learning space, and, over that time, staff and students have learned a thing or two about making teaching and learning work online. The district’s virtual school invites GCPS teachers to learn from their work with GOC’s Best Practices and Resources web page. You also can find short, teacher-created videos offering tips for teachers in the GOC Video Library, with new videos added regularly.
GCPS shares at-home tips, resources with DLD Daily Dozen... Since the first week of Digital Learning Days (DLD), the district has provided a daily compilation of tips and resources for families called the DLD Daily Dozen. Each week, the daily collections hit the four core academic DLD areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies as well as another topic such as nutrition, fine arts, or health. Each day, the DLD Daily Dozen is posted to the Communications Database, the online Communique site, the district website in Home Learning Resources, and to GCPS’ social media channels. The daily posts also are available in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian.
Foundation postpones annual Sports Hall of Fame event... Every spring, friends, family, and fans gather to honor the newest class to be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, an event coordinated by the GCPS Foundation Fund. This year’s event for the Class of 2020 has been postponed and the Foundation is planning for a fall event instead. Stay tuned for the new date, opportunities to sponsor and purchase event tickets, and an announcement of the 2020 inductees!
Something to celebrate?… Share your good news with your colleagues in Spotlight. If you have earned a state or national award, earned a degree, made a presentation, or had work published, send an email to the Spotlight mailbox, or send the information to the Communication and Media Relations Department through the courier.
Find the latest from Communiqué… The latest posts to the online Communiqué  include award-winning staff and students, DLD support, dates and deadlines on the Bulletin Board, and more. Check the magazine frequently for the latest news! Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at communique@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
Stretch your budget with employee discounts… Put ‘GCPS Perks’ at your fingertips with the Foundation’s mobile app. GCPS employees have easy access to employee perks and discounts via their smartphone! Perks include special offers and discounts from local and national businesses. With the app, users also can make a donation, purchase event tickets, catch up on Foundation news, and contact the Foundation team. Download the app today for your iOS or Android device.

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    Last modified on 05/22/2020