Volume 40 , Number 5March 2, 2020

District works with health partners on plan for COVID-19 response
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
COVID-19— is a respiratory illness with symptoms that include shortness of breath, fever, and cough.
The CDC is encouraging communities to prepare for the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
On March 2, the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 in Georgia in Fulton County. That said, the risk remains low for the general public at this time.
The school district is reviewing its pandemic plan, with guidance from state and local health officials, and would follow our health partners' lead in the event of an outbreak.
The most important ways that we can prepare are the same prevention strategies that health professionals recommend during cold and flu season— stay home when sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and practice good handwashing hygiene

Coronavirus Disease 2019— referred to as COVID-19— is a respiratory illness with symptoms that include shortness of breath, fever, and cough. The recent announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraging communities to prepare for the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has raised new questions.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is working closely with our local and state health partners as they monitor COVID-19. On March 2, the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 in Georgia in Fulton County. That said, the risk remains low for the general public at this time. While this information is reassuring, we understand that there are concerns about this new virus.

The school district has a pandemic plan, which is being reviewed to support the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. In the event of an outbreak in our community, we would follow our public health partners’ lead on any quarantines, closures, or other health measures as necessary. Our focus continues to be ensuring the safety of all students and staff, and continuing education with minimal disruption.

At this point, the most important ways that we can prepare are the same prevention strategies that health professionals recommend during cold and flu season— stay home when sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and practice good handwashing hygiene. Below are everyday actions you and your family can take to stay healthy:
— Sneeze and cough into your elbow or cover with a tissue. In other words, keep germs off your hands. Put used tissues in a wastebasket and then wash your hands.
— Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available.
— Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
— Don’t share personal items, including toothbrushes, towels, cups/glasses, utensils, etc.
— Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe following the instructions on the label.
— Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
— If you or your other family members get sick, stay home from work and school. Be sure to limit contact with others to avoid the spread of illness. If you or your child is ill and recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19, or your family has been around someone who has been infected with COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Health officials will continue to give the district guidance, and any changes in procedures will be communicated to staff and to students and their families. On the GCPS website, find additional resources and information about COVID-19 and the district’s response.

Note: This story was updated on March 3 to reflect an update.
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Opening in 2022, Seckinger HS to anchor new theme cluster
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
The new Seckinger HS (opening in August 2022) will anchor a new cluster that will relieve Mill Creek HS.
Schools in the new cluster will focus on practical preparation of students who will be graduating into the technologically rich world of the 2030s.
The new high school will feature programs of study that include Advanced Sciences and Technology, International Business, and Art and Design.
Schools in the Mill Creek Cluster are incorporating instruction in artificial intelligence across a K–12 continuum

The building and planning of a new HS school and the formation of a new cluster are exciting events within the school district. Seckinger HS will open in August of 2022 and will anchor a new cluster that will relieve Mill Creek HS. Construction of the new school has begun and program design teams are developing the programs for the high school and its feeder elementary and middle schools.
What is Artificial
Intelligence (AI)?

AI is an area of study that
deals with the simulation
of intelligent behavior
in computers.

Once the redistricting schedule is finalized, it will be shared and the district will begin its process for determining school and cluster boundaries. This open process will be widely publicized and will include citizens and staff from the schools in the area.

During the Feb. 20 work session and business meeting, School Board members learned more about the new HS school and the cluster’s theme. The new HS school will be a 510,485-square-foot facility situated on 85.66 acres. The building will include 144 instructional units, including traditional learning spaces and classrooms as well as unique learning spaces (three lecture halls, each with seating for 96), 12 collaboration areas, and lab areas for engineering, technology, and art. As the school will have a defined attendance zone, it also will have a stadium and athletic fields.

Instructionally, the school will offer programs of study that focus on Advanced Sciences and Technology, International Business, and Art and Design. In addition, it will offer personalized courses of study for students seeking a more traditional HS school experience.

Schools in the new cluster will focus on practical preparation of students who will be graduating into the technologically rich world of the 2030s. To prepare future-ready students, the cluster schools will provide students with a foundation in coding tools and languages, data science, and machine learning.
Being “AI-Ready” means being “Future-Ready.”
An AI-Ready student has knowledge and skills for the future, including the key areas of Data Science, Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Formal Problem-Solving Skills (Design Thinking), Ethical Reasoning and Philosophy, Related Applications, and Coding Tools and Languages.

As part of the business meeting, Dr. Babak Mostaghimi, executive director of Innovation and Program Improvement, and Jones MS Principal Memorie Reesman shared with Board members what schools within the Mill Creek Cluster are currently doing to prepare for the new theme cluster and the work schools are doing to incorporate instruction in artificial intelligence across a K–12 continuum.

“At its core, AI readiness is future readiness because our current students will be graduating into the world of the 2030s,” says Dr. Mostaghimi. “For our students, learning about AI will be as foundationally important as knowing how to use a web browser.”

Already, students at the ES and MS school levels are actively exploring robotics clubs, virtual reality “field trips,” computer science “connections” courses, and an engineering focus. In the coming school year, those K–8 AI activities will expand to include new courses, flexible scheduling, an expansion of robotics clubs, drone technology, AI integrated into core content, and virtual reality and augmented reality applications.

In coming months, watch for more details about the School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett HS and the new Film and Digital Arts program at Berkmar HS, both officially launching in 212122!
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District’s assessment program gets helping hand from teachers
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
Leaders and teachers work together in a continuous improvement cycle to ensure assessments measure curriculum mastery and results support professional development for teachers.
Members of the Assessment Leadership Team (ALT)— a cohort of GCPS teachers at every grade, in every subject, and from every school— are the authors of the items that make up districtwide assessments.
Since 2015, more than 800 teachers have been trained for ALT.

When it comes to the District Assessment Program, district leaders and classroom teachers work together in a continuous improvement cycle to ensure our assessments truly measure mastery of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum and that results help support professional development for our teaching corps.

Miranda McLaren, the district’s executive director for Accountability and Assessment explains, “An important link between curriculum and instruction is assessment, which provides valuable feedback to both teachers and students about the quality of instruction occurring in the classroom.”

But where does that cycle start, who’s involved, and what does the cycle entail? DAs start and end in the classroom. A cohort of some of the district’s best teachers are the authors of the items that make up these districtwide assessments. Teachers at every grade, in every subject, and from every school are part of GCPS’ Assessment Leadership Team (ALT), tasked with writing the questions that are packaged together, making up the DA test forms.

Once DAs are administered, results from each assessment typically produce some flagged items. Items could be flagged when few students correctly answer a question or the vast majority of students are successful with a question that might not reflect the rigor of the material.

Teams of ALT members with content expertise— at least three and up to six teachers— review each flagged item. During a review of flagged items, these specially trained teachers might revise confusing wording or recommend removal of an item that doesn’t align with the AKS. Sometimes, reviewers find that the item appropriately assesses mastery of an AKS and recommend additional instructional support in teaching the concept. When an item is removed, ALT members write several items to take its place in the item bank, ensuring that the assessment team has a number of options when building the assessment for the next cycle.

Ms. McLaren notes that her team selects test questions from among the teacher-created items in the item bank based on certain specifications— such as a question that measures a specific AKS or a question that reflects a particular Depth of Knowledge— that are outlined in the assessment blueprint created by the curriculum directors.

The DA review is a continuous cycle throughout the year. For instance, in February, teachers on the ALT begin reviewing flagged items from 1st semester interim and final assessments. Results from 2nd semester assessments are reviewed during the summer. Then the cycle begins again. When AKS are revised, added, or deleted through the GEMS process in the fall, the ALT is involved on the assessment side to ensure items reflect the new or changed AKS. ALT members who meet after the school day are paid a stipend while some teams meet during the school day, with substitutes provided.

In addition to reviewing flagged items and developing new items, ALT members:
— review standard and instructional calendar alignment,
— collaborate with vertical teams to ensure appropriate rigor across assessments,
— create rubrics for constructed-response items,
— align items from third-party vendors to the AKS, and
— redeliver assessment training at the local schools.

Glenn Rhoades, a 10th grade language arts teacher at Lanier HS, says his two years serving with ALT have transformed the way he teaches. “ALT has elevated my teaching practices through an understanding of a need to teach at the proficient and distinguished level through modeling, scaffolding student groups so all students can be successful,” he says. “If I’m not helping students practice skills at advanced levels, with content that is challenging, then I cannot expect them to perform at these levels on district assessments or national exams.”

Curriculum directors also have an important role in the District Assessment Program. They actually take each test as if they were the student and review every item administered. And, the directors use the data from DA administrations to shape professional development for the schools.

“After each DA administration, our C&I Directors examine performance data to identify misconceptions, recommend instructional practices, and inform their planning for just-in-time professional learning,” says Bonnie Brush, executive director for Curriculum and Instruction.

Since the assessment development process was updated in 2015, some 828 teachers have participated in the district’s comprehensive ALT training program, which includes four online modules and four, two-hour, face-to-face sessions. Currently, 469 trained ALT members are available to take part in the process, including 127 teachers trained this school year. And the ALT team continues to grow! School leaders nominate top educators for ALT. Teachers interested in being part of ALT should talk to their principal about a nomination for the next cycle.
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2020-21 contracts out in March for teachers, administrative staff
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
The district will issue employment contracts for the 2020–21 school year for teachers and administrative staff during the month of March.
Contracts will be electronically distributed via the Employee Portal.
Employees accepting their contracts must electronically sign and submit their contract within 10 days of receipt.

The district will issue employment contracts for the 2020–21 school year for teachers and administrative staff during the month of March. Contracts will be electronically distributed via the Employee Portal for all returning staff who have been recommended to receive a contract. Employees accepting their contracts must electronically sign and submit their contract within 10 days of receipt. Employees are able to access and sign their contract on-the-go, through a handheld or mobile device.

If a certificated employee who signs a contract for next school year wishes to be released from that contract after signing, he or she must submit that request to the school principal no later than June 1, 2020. A certificated employee who has accepted a contract of employment for 2020–21 may not resign after June 1 without breaching his or her contract, unless there is mutual agreement between the employee and the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Requests for release received after June 1 will be considered only in circumstances beyond the employee’s control or in an emergency situation. A written request, including any supporting documentation, must be submitted by postal mail service to Dr. Frances Davis, interim associate superintendent for Human Resources and Talent Management. The address is 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, GA 30024-2978.
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GCPS announces graduation schedule for Class of 2020
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
— GCPS has released its 2020 graduation schedule.
Ceremonies are scheduled May 18-25.

May will be here before you know it, bringing graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020!
Mon., May 18— Phoenix
Wed., May 20— Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, Duluth, Mill Creek, Parkview, Paul Duke STEM
Thu., May 21— Archer, Dacula, GSMST, Gwinnett Online Campus, Shiloh
Fri., May 22— Berkmar, McClure Health Science, Mountain View, Norcross
Sat., May 23— Grayson, Meadowcreek, South Gwinnett
Sun., May 24— North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge
Mon., May 25— Collins Hill, Lanier

Graduation times and locations for all GCPS HS schools are available online. Watch for a special celebration of the Class of 2020 in May.
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Board approves leadership changes
The following leadership appointments and a transfer were announced in January:
New Position
Current/Previous Position
Jennifer E. Johnson
Principal, Radloff MS
Assistant Principal,
Grace Snell MS
Miranda McLaren
Executive Director of
Accountability and Assessment,
Curriculum and
Instructional Support
Interim Executive Director of Accountability and Assessment,
Curriculum and
Instructional Support
Chekquita Johnson’s transfer to Sweetwater MS opens the leadership position at Radloff for Jennifer Johnson. Ms. McLaren, now formally appointed to her position, has served in an interim capacity since Leslie Aiken retired earlier this fall.
Jennifer E. Johnson
Miranda McLaren

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GCPS looks ahead to summer learning opportunities, registration
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
Students interested in HS summer classes have until May 31 to register for online classes and until June 1 to sign up for face-to-face classes.
HS summer classes run June 8 to June 30, with summer graduation on July 2.
ES and MS Summer School is set for June 8-26 for eligible students.
Families who are new to the district or whose child is changing schools due to a move will be able to register for the 2020-21 school year on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays in July— July 7, July 9, July 14, July 16, July 21, and July 23— from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all school locations.

HS Summer School
HS school students looking to make up a class or get ahead can take summer classes through Gwinnett Online Campus or the district’s face-to-face summer program. Summer classes for both online and face-to-face will run June 8 to June 30, Monday through Friday. Online registration for both programs is handled at www.mypaymentsplus.com. Health and PE classes are open to rising 9th graders. The cost for each one-semester class is $250 for current GCPS students. Registration for Online Summer School continues through May 31. Face-to-Face Summer School classes will be offered at Grayson HS, Lanier HS, and Meadowcreek HS. Online registration for face-to-face classes is available through June 1, with in-person registration available at Meadowcreek on June 1. Summer graduation is set for July 2.

ES and MS Summer School
Dates for ES and MS Summer School are June 8–26 on a Monday-Friday schedule. Students in grades 3–8 who do not meet promotion requirements may have the opportunity to attend summer school for targeted instruction. ES School summer school will be provided in two separate sessions each day— one for language arts and one for mathematics. Depending on their needs, students will be recommended for one or both of the sessions. MS schools also hold a.m. and p.m. sessions, addressing the four core academic areas.

Summer Registration Campaign
In an effort to ensure new students are present and engaged in learning from the first day of school, GCPS is once again conducting a coordinated summer registration campaign to encourage families who are new to the district (or whose child is changing schools due to a move) to register during the summer rather than waiting for the start of the school year. All schools will be open to register students from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays during July— July 7, July 9, July 14, July 16, July 21, and July 23.
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Encourage teacher friends to join us for March 21 career fair!
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
GCPS' Certified Teacher Career Fair is set for Saturday, March 21, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Infinite Energy Center.
The fair is by invitation only for those who are certified (or will be by July of 2020) in a range of fields.
Registering to attend the fair does not guarantee an interview. Those selected for an interview will receive an email confirmation.
Registration to attend the fair will close on March 18, or when all interview times have been filled.

Gwinnett County Public Schools will host a Certified Teacher Career Fair on Saturday, March 21, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. The fair is by invitation only for those who are certified (or will be by July of 2020) in a range of HS-need fields. Once an applicant requests to attend using the link at gcpsjobs.org, files are reviewed and interviews will be extended based upon file completion. Those selected for an interview will receive an email confirmation. GCPS principals will be offering contracts to selected candidates for the upcoming 2020–21 school year. Prospective teachers can check out FAQs and find interview tips for Career Fair attendees online.

Registration to attend the fair will close on March 18, or when all interview times have been filled. Only those candidates who have received interview confirmations will be admitted to the interview area. (A request to attend does not guarantee an interview.) Send potential GCPS teachers with questions to gcpsteach@gcpsk12.org.
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Multi-factor authentication helps safeguard information
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
This spring, Gwinnett County Public Schools will implement multi-factor authentication to further safeguard information.
An authentication factor is a credential that is intended to verify, sometimes in combination with other factors, that a user requesting access is authorized.
Credentialing factors include knowledge factors, possession factors, and inherence factors.
GCPS will require multi-factor authentication when employees log into the Employee Portal and access district accounts.

This spring, 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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2018-19 Perfect Attendance: Delivering on The Promise every day
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
A consistent presence in the classroom is a foundational premise to student success
A group of 345 teachers had perfect attendance during the 2018-19 school year.
Gwin Oaks ESCouch MS, and Peachtree Ridge HS had the highest attendance rates by level, with Gwin Oaks ES earning the Superintendent’s Cup for the overall highest attendance rate for the third consecutive year.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) celebrates our educators and the work they do to deliver on The Promise of Gwinnett! We know that what happens each and every day in the classroom helps our students to fulfill their promise. That is one reason why GCPS created a Teacher Attendance Recognition Program to recognize teachers who have perfect attendance each school year. In 2018–19, a group of 345 Gwinnett teachers met the perfect attendance criteria. These teachers were recognized at the February and March meetings of the Gwinnett County Board of Education.

GCPS salutes its teachers who had perfect attendance for the 2018–19 school year.
As part of the Teacher Attendance Recognition Program, the school system also honors the ES, MS, and HS schools with the highest teacher attendance rate, with the school with the highest overall teacher attendance rate awarded the Superintendent’s Cup. Those honors for this past year go to Gwin Oaks ES, Couch MS, and Peachtree Ridge HS, with Gwin Oaks winning the Superintendent’s Cup for the third consecutive year! GCPS salutes these teachers and realizes that their consistent presence in the classroom is a foundational premise to student success. No question about it... They deliver on The Promise of Gwinnett every day, making a difference in the lives of students!

Alcova ES
Brooke Jordan

Alford ES
Ramona Graham
Latonia L. Nelson

Anderson-Livsey ES
Gina Lawrence
Launa Ricketts

Archer HS
Rebecca Kasmier
Tiffany Myers

Baggett ES
Shelly Johnson

Baldwin ES
Paul G. Murphy
Yong K. Olmeda
Rebecca Patterson
Sonam Ranani
Stephanie S. Reid
Tonya Rouben

Bay Creek MS
Lorraine Bryan
Robenson Saint Fleur

Benefield ES
Anita C. Denicola
Alicia Pope

Berkmar HS
Dr. Karen Blair
Ricardo Farfan
Brian Huard
Mariela Medina
Thomas Menya
Trevan Moore
Hailey Nutt
Benoit Nzombeng
James Pinyan

Bethesda ES
Jenna Elliott
Tamara Miranda

Britt ES
Dr. Luann Hammami
Pilar Hernandez
Brittany N. Williams

Brookwood ES
Julie A. Parker

Brookwood HS
Dr. Varieta A. Benjamin
Bret Carithers
Joe Cox
Vikas Darji
Brett R. Huckle
Chris Keyser
Melissa P. Kim
Joel McLendon
Dan Miller
Greg Puckett
Dr. Laura Stanley
David Thompson

Burnette ES
Cindy J. Ho

Camp Creek ES
Becky Will

Cedar Hill ES
Katharine Wood

Centerville ES
Susan Gadoua

Central Gwinnett HS
Chris Kimbro
Sheila Lamb
Gerald E. Williams

Chesney ES
Jesse Hill
Shannon Johnson
Jane J. Kim
Amity Lutes
Kaylah McGruder
Kerry Smith
Shemika Turner

Collins Hill HS
Rori Smith
Lance Sparrow

Cooper ES
Kelly Fisher
Nicole Osovski

Corley ES
Melinda Cylar
Sarah DeLashmit
Anna W. Elliot
Jason Huttinga
Esther D. Lee
Rachel Santangelo
Erica Shane
Jerry WHSam

Couch MS
Alexis Beckman
Alex C. Ellis
Pete Fischer
Robert Grunduski

Craig ES
Kate Ervin
Vickie Rowe

Creekland MS
Victoria Lott
Laura G. Seybold

Crews MS
Serina Gay
Steven James

Curriculum and Instructional Support Division
Aimee Haisten
Dr. Debra Shaul
Terri Weatherly

Dacula HS
John Bailey
Cherie McAdams
Steve Sims
Shann White
James E. Williams

Dacula MS
Tracie Banner
Beth Wall

Discovery HS
Thomas Bedzyk
Kristen Meister
Casey A. Nutt
Gary Williamson

Duluth HS
Christina Holt
Steven Hsia
Abbie Killebrew
Luis F. Marti
Lisa McKay
Robert T. Myles
Brooke Wright

Duluth MS
Mark Sadowski
Bryce Todd

Duncan Creek ES
Marie Abreu

Dyer ES
Megan E. Jordan
Deborah Moock

Fort Daniel ES
Mark Mitchell

Freeman’s Mill ES
Dr. Sandy Bressette
Shuntina A. Gooch

GIVE Center East
Stephanie Reed
Grace Snell MS
Sean S. Azzolino

Graves ES
Brandon R. McKinney
Pat Rainer

Grayson HS
Kaitlyn Balsamides
Bill Batchelor
Alan Blake
Linda Cannon
Kyle Lineberry
Emmanuel Walter

Gwinnett Online

Dr. Gregory Pritchard
Sarah Sargent
Melissa Amir Smith
Whitney Snuggs

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science,
and Technology

Anisio M. dos Santos
Carter G. McVeigh
Dr. Chad Morgan
Ben Schepens
Jennifer Sweat

Harbins ES
Kayla C. Sapp
Taylor S. Thomas

Harris ES
Inna Arroyo

Head ES
Carrie Rodriguez
Dr. John Stortz

Hopkins ES
Kellie Hannah
LeAnne Hatfield
Shan Hicks

Hull MS
Noah Green
Joe Herbert
Lachelle Kegler
Tommy Malcom
Kimberly Renshaw
Delia Sandor
David Schoenrock

Transition Center

Erica Poole

Ivy Creek ES
Chandler K. Teasley

Jackson ES
Beth Ann Gazzo
Deinna Jones
Audrey Massey
Jordan Raper
Keri Witherspoon

Jenkins ES
Juliana Agbi
Kimberly Cox
Chris Fendley
Amanda C. Kelley

Jones MS
Emily Hogan
William Wagner

Kanoheda ES
Marjorie Bazile
Christina Goodwin
Donald Parks

Lanier HS
Jordan B. Brannen
Patrick Collins
Mike Dunning
Drew Ferguson
Gloriana Schofer
Rhonda Silva
Bill M. Smith
Jay Warren

Lanier MS
Connie Oliveira
William Ragsdale
Kelli Rodriguez
James Wright

Lawrenceville ES
Aishah Cochran

Lilburn ES
Pamela P. Frazier
Tamara Jackson
Collin M. Partain
Alicia D. White

Lilburn MS
Dustin Alexander
Michael Doyne
Christ Ponraj

Mason ES
Elaine Bolek

Maxwell HS
of Technology

Latoya Browder
Max Chavez
Richard Getrum
Barbara Hoag
Brandon Myers
Ken Womack

McConnell MS
Cornel Boderas
Amanda Edwards
Rick Geche
Amanda Phillips
Daniel Phillips

Meadowcreek HS
Amesha Banks
Zonya Barfield
Timothy D. Baumann
Marcus P. Budner
Jason Carrera
Elizabeth Chirico
Maria Mesa
Kraig Peebles
Dr. Dustin Williams

Mill Creek HS
Craig Brisson
Jody Gross
Neal G. Harris
Tom Kutter
Mary Morris
Pam B. Perry
Ashley H. Phillips
Rhonda Zambo
Jeff Zmistowski

Mountain Park ES
Casey Weltch

Mountain View HS
Billy Jones
Donald M. Macoy
Robert J. Rodgers
Vincent Tran
Jesse Waite
Donald Zona

Mulberry ES
Jill Lambes
Nicole Provence
Dr. Meaghan Wagar

Nesbit ES
Jasmine A. Lundy

Norcross ES
Erdis Cannon
Doreen Connell
Mary Hennessey

Norcross HS
Barbara Bartow
Nathaniel P. Brooks
Dr. Phyllis Gerard
Carisa Lindsay
Monan Lu
Joyce Pierce
Jatavis Sanders
Anubha Yadav
North Gwinnett HS
Corban Cofer
Andrea DeVarona
Whitley Greene
Vanessa Henry
Brittany Ivester
Kevin S. Jones
Lara C. Knapp-Storm
Paula Sanchez
Bill Stewart
Kristina P. Stinson
Lonnie White

North Gwinnett MS
Alexandra Dolinski
Travis Downs
Carol Edge
Becah Jubon
Fermin Leonard
Tom Manning
Holly Paszkowski

Norton ES
Teellia Rice

Oakland Meadow

LaNita Redner
Sandra Sanders

Osborne MS
Ben Rivers

Parkview HS
Jami Baars
John M. Foulk
Sanja Knezovic
Richard Magner
Dr. Carol May
Allen Murphy

Parsons ES
Whitney Cooper
Cassandra Cummings
Sheri Phillips

Partee ES
Beth Harmon
Nicole Turner

Peachtree ES
Trudy Ives

Peachtree Ridge HS
Israel Autman
Irene Donahue
Laura Kohnke
Jessica Leddin
Ashley Morris
Andy Pasarilla
Myat Pho
Reginald Stancil
Chris Wascak

Phoenix HS
Temperance Roby-Garner
Matt Rooks
Dr. Mark Stern
Oscar Valdes

Pinckneyville MS
Migdalia Delpin-Vazquez

Richards MS
Jackie Hunt
Dre Reaves
Martha Thompson

Rockbridge ES
Lauren Macaulay

Rosebud ES
Connie Squires

Shiloh ES
Jennifer Cailor
Amy Toro

Shiloh HS
Fidelis Asielue
Marsha Burton
Dr. Johnthan Gordon
Stephen Lindsay
Patrick Norton
Casey Ramel-Hoeksema
Daniel I. Spiegel
Keith H. Thompson
Eldar Trumic
Julie M. Wood
Becky Zahirovic

Shiloh MS
Johnathan Ancell
Nicole Emrick
Shernita Spence

Simonton ES
Moira Mattingly

Simpson ES
Gayle Dingler
Autumn Dodson
Karen Presley

Snellville MS
Robin Butler
Aneisha J. Christie
Jonathan Kerr
Brett C. Peavy
Jackie Thompson

South Gwinnett HS
Shawn G. Carter
Michael Dawson
Kenyatta Dean
Taylor B. Emmons
Todd Mccowan
Terri Peace

Starling ES
Gary Fryns

Stripling ES
Sophia Kim

Sugar Hill ES
Christine Denucci
Dr. Carrie Doker
Allison G. Haas
Daria Madden
Nicole Strader
Kimberly Van Buren
Tooran Zolghadr

Summerour MS
Nautami P. Sheth

Suwanee ES
Lucie Nguyen
Laura Thomas

Sweetwater MS
Dr. Dawn J. Alexander
Carol Henry

Trickum MS
Marion Jones
Seile Soares
Saara Uddin

Trip ES
Jennifer Geyer

Twin Rivers MS
Jayne M. Day
Caroline N. Renner
Cornell Rogers
Savana Thompson

Walnut Grove

Holly E. Hammock
Randi Lindquist

White Oak ES
Carol Lynn Brundle

Woodward Mill ES
Jennifer Alden
Sheryl Johnston
Beth Sporrer

Student achievement is directly related to teacher attendance. The consistent presence of an effective teacher is a foundational premise to student success.

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GCPS staff can manage voicemail via web

Did you know that you can check your GCPS voicemail via a web browser?
This method of access often is easier than clicking through phone menus and provides easy access to many other phone-based options. Here’s how:
— Access https://gcpsvoicemail. (You must be connected to the GCPS network to access this feature.)
— Log in with your seven-digit extension number and the same numeric security code you use to access your voicemail via telephone.
— Be sure to click the “User Resources” link in the left hand toolbar and view the short training videos to get the most from this system.

Extensive help is available by clicking the “Help” link in the upper right hand corner. If you have any questions, please contact the IMT Help Desk at 678-301-6547 or submit a technical support ticket via the Employee Portal home page.
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Put best professional look forward on Outlook
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
With Microsoft Outlook, employees have the option to use profile pictures for their email.
Tips for selecting a profile photo include using a recent photo in professional attire and setting, being the only person in the photo, and using an acceptable photo format.

With the rollout of Microsoft Outlook, employees have the option to use profile pictures for their email. GCPS asks staff to use a high-quality photograph of themselves as their profile picture or to use their initials, which is the default setting in Outlook. As this photo is connected to your work email, it should be professional in nature rather than a casual snapshot.

Below are some tips in selecting a photo to use for your profile.

Select a photo that looks like you. It might sound obvious, but your photo should give people a clear idea of what you’d look like if they met you tomorrow. Make sure your Outlook profile picture is up to date (within the past few years) and reflects how you look on a daily basis— your hair, glasses, makeup, and so on. If you change your appearance drastically, replace your profile photo with an up-to-date image.
Use an acceptable photo file format. Outlook can use .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp, or .tif formats.

Make sure your face takes up most of the frame. If needed, crop the picture from just below your shoulders to just above your head so that your face fills the frame.

Be the only person in the picture. People may be unsure which person is you in a photo with several subjects. And, a cropped photo of you from a group photo can look messy and unprofessional.

Get someone else to take the picture for you. While it’s fine to use a photo taken with a cellphone, the photo should not be a “selfie.” Ask a friend or coworker to take it for you.

Choose the right expression. Your profile picture is an opportunity to convey yourself to colleagues and members of your community. Generally speaking, a smile works the best.

Select the right photo background. Choose an environment that is not distracting but represents your work for the district (classroom, office, professional backdrop, etc).

Wear professional attire. Follow guidelines for appropriate dress and wear what best represents you in your profession.

For instructions on adding a picture to your profile, click on “Tell me what you want to do” at the very top of the screen in the Outlook client, then type in “change profile picture” in the search bar and navigate to the “?” in the drop down menu. In the Web application, click on the “?” at the right hand top of the screen and type in “change profile picture” in the search bar.
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2020 retirees need March appointment
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
— The Gwinnett Retirement Services Department is scheduling retirement counseling appointments for sessions through March for employees planning to retire at the end of this school year.
Appointments with retirement counselors are available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

If you plan to retire at the end of the school year, you’ll want to schedule an appointment in March with a retirement counselor from the Gwinnett Retirement Services Department to complete retirement paperwork with the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) or Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS). Appointments with retirement counselors— located in Suwanee and Lawrenceville— are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Contact Retirement Services at (678) 301-6267 or (678) 301-6269.

Be aware that PSERS members who wish to visit the offices of the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia in Atlanta must have an appointment. Call 404-350-6300 at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment.
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Come ‘Book it for the Bus’ at May 2 GCPS Book Mobile 5K
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
— The 3rd annual GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run will be held May 2. (Register by April 27 for a shirt.)
Proceeds will be used to purchase new books to help children build their personal library through the school-based Book the Bus program.
This summer, the book mobiles will make 100 stops each week— Monday through Saturday— serving students in six clusters.

Do you love helping others? Do you believe that every child should have books readily available? Are you a runner or walker? Runners and walkers of all ages and athletic abilities have an opportunity to “book it” for a good cause, support for literacy initiatives and the school district’s book mobiles!

You’re invited to register for the 3rd annual GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run to be held Saturday, May 2, at Pinckneyville MS. The event will raise funds to purchase new books for the school-based Book the Bus program, helping children to build their own personal library. A family-friendly atmosphere before and after the race features vendor exhibits, games, music, and more! Fees range from $15 for the Fun Run to $22 for the 5K. (The 5K entry fee increases to $25 on March 16 and $30 on April 16 through race day.) Register by April 27 to be guaranteed a shirt. The two book mobiles, called Pow and Explore, will be on hand for the race, allowing all participants under age 18 to select a free book.

Since the school program launched in 2017–18, the two buses have made 300 visits to our schools during the school year, distributing more than 60,000 free books. During the summer, the book mobiles are stocked with school library books and run routes in neighborhoods without easy access to a public library branch, checking out books to keep children reading during June and July. The book mobiles will make 100 stops each week— Monday through Saturday— once again serving the Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, Meadowcreek, Norcross, and Shiloh clusters!

Let’s run (or walk) together to put books in kids’ hands!
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VOTE 2020!
Need-to-know Highlights of this story:
— For the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary (PPP), registered voters can vote early at designated locations through 7 p.m. on March 20.
Regular PPP voting is set for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 24.
Prospective voters can still register to participate in the General Primary Election in May, with a deadline of April 20.

If you’re registered to vote, your next opportunity to cast your ballot in Gwinnett County is the upcoming Special Election on March 24 when voters make their selection in the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP). On the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, log on to My Voter Page to ensure that your registration status is active, check on mail-in application and ballot status, find polling locations, and more. Advance voting— available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.— begins March 2 (with seven satellite locations opening March 9) and runs through March 20.

You can’t vote if you’re not registered…
If you want to participate in the upcoming May 19 General Primary Election but haven’t yet registered to vote, you have a deadline to keep an eye on. April 20 is the deadline to register to vote in the Primary. Submit a voter registration application online or by mail. County residents can call the Gwinnett County Office of Elections at 678-226-7210 or visit www.gwinnettelections.com with questions.
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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… adopted resources, state education issues, DLI and CTE program registration, FSA reminder, mentoring opportunities, JA volunteers, scholarship deadline, the next Spotlight, recent online Communiqué stories, the latest from GCPS TV, Perks, and commute alternatives
BOE adopts resources… At the Feb. 20 Board of Education meeting, the School Board adopted recommended instructional resources for language arts, social studies, K–5 math for dual language immersion schools, health, and selected career and technical education courses. A comprehensive instructional resources review was conducted that allowed for teacher and community input. The core materials adoption will cost an estimated $20 million.
Check out 2020 issues to watch… Top Ten Issues to Watch, produced by Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, has been Georgia’s go-to publication for identifying the key public education issues facing the state for nearly 16 years. The 2020 list includes opportunities and challenges facing the state— from shifting demographics and pathways to employment to barriers beyond the schoolhouse and rural poverty. Download one-page summaries of the 10 issues and listen to the 2020 interview with Georgia News Network.
DLI registration opens March 2… Families of rising kindergartners interested in GCPS’ Dual Language Immersion program at nine schools— Spanish at Annistown, Baldwin, Bethesda, Camp Creek, Ivy Creek, Level Creek, and Meadowcreek ES schools; French at Trip ES; and Korean at Parsons ES— can learn more on the district website. Registration for the 2019–20 school year runs through May 10 at 3 p.m. (Families also must register at the school to which their child is zoned.) The schools will accept transfers if available slots are not filled by students in the school zone. Out-of-zone families must provide transportation.
2020-21 registration continues for CTE programs… Registration continues for the Grayson HS Technical Education Program and Maxwell HS of Technologytwo specialized career and technical education programs for GCPS HS 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.
Remember to submit eligible expenses for FSA reimbursement by March 31… If you incurred expenses during the 2019 calendar year that are reimbursable through your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA), or had expenses covered by GCPS’ dental or vision plans during the plan year, the deadline to file a claim is drawing near. You have until March 31 to file claims for your 2019 eligible expenses. Claim forms for FSA, Dental, and Vision plans can be found in the online Employee Benefits Center. You also may contact the Benefits team via email at benefits@gcpsk12.org.
District seeks mentors for both boys and girls… Studies show that successful mentoring programs help students develop social skills, improve their school achievement and graduation rates, build character, and many other benefits. GCPS serves more than 1,110 students from 67 schools through its Community-Based Mentoring Program, with a number of GCPS staff members serving as mentors. The district is seeking both men and women to serve as mentors. Prospective mentors can learn more about how to become a mentor and find an application online.
Volunteer for JA Discovery Center… Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at Gwinnett hosts day-long simulations that allow our students to explore the work world and personal finance. Annually, more than 50,000 GCPS MS schoolers take part in day-long simulations as part of the JA BizTown and JA Finance Park programs to learn how to navigate the workplace and manage money. The center is located on the campus of Discovery HS in Lawrenceville. JA is looking for volunteers to help create a more authentic simulation for our students. No matter your profession or background, your life experiences qualifies you to be a successful volunteer! Volunteers receive training during their shift, which typically runs 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Share this opportunity with friends and family or consider volunteering yourself. Email VolunteerGwinnett@georgia.ja.org to see how your “adulting” experience could support this important program for our students.
March 3 deadline approaches for GCREA Scholarship applications… The association serving the district’s retired teachers will award $1,500 GCREA scholarships to GCPS educators currently accepted into an accredited graduate program. Find an application and criteria online. Applications must be postmarked by March 3.
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, upcoming events, plus calendar updates, dates and deadlines on the Bulletin Board, and the latest episode of In5ive. Check the magazine frequently for the latest news! Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at communique@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
Watch recent Focus Moments on GCPS TV…
These are just a few of the recent videos from GCPS TV:
— GCPS TV visited
South Gwinnett HS to learn about the school’s Design Lab and went on a virtual field trip with Jones MS students.
— A national award winner— Laura Ross, the country’s Counselor of the Year— was celebrated by Five Forks MS.
— Technology was the focus in GCPS TV videos featuring
Digital Learning Days at Dacula HS and the Mountain View HS Dancing Bears robotics team.
— The legacy of two retired theater teachers lives on in Fine Arts programs beyond Brookwood HS.
Stretch your Spring Break 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.
Nominate outstanding music educators for GRAMMY recognition… In Gwinnett, our students have an opportunity to receive exemplary arts instruction by industry-leading fine arts professionals, including a host of dedicated music educators. You can help recognize an outstanding music educator by nominating him or her for a 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award by the March 15 deadline. (Teachers can self-nominate.) The Music Educator Award brings attention to the work of thousands of music teachers across the United States. Every year, the Recording Academy GRAMMY Museum Highlights the work of educators based on nomination from their communities. (Nominated teachers will receive an application to complete and return by March 31.)
Check out Georgia Commute Options… Sign up for Georgia Commute Options programs, find carpool partners, and log your commute trips to earn cash and win prizes online. On the Commute Options website, you can:
Find out how much you’re spending on your commute by using Georgia Commute Options Commute Calculator.
— Manage everything, from ride-matching to incentives;
— Use easy “drag and drop” features to log your commute;
— Set text or e-mail log reminders for any day of the week and any time;
— Set alerts via text or e-mail when new carpool or vanpool matches become available;
— Check current enrollment status in any of the Georgia Commute Options incentive programs;
— Find Park and Ride locations and transit routes in the Atlanta region; and
— View or share public pages through Facebook or Twitter log-in.

A mobile-friendly version of the system is available so users can log commute trips on the go. Go to the website to learn how to improve the way you get to and from work. If you have any questions, call 1-877-9-GA-OPTIONS.

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    Last modified on 03/27/2020