A group of students in Central Gwinnett HS’ Fine Arts and Communications Academy created a commercial product that will be used to promote an upcoming event for manufacturers.
Schools have changed a lot since Mary Frazier Long’s school days. Revisit the Gwinnett County of yesteryear in this GCPS TV video.
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A $35,000 donation from Iconex, a Duluth-based company, gives a boost to the engineering and robotics programs at Duluth HS. In this video from GCPS TV, see how this generous gift will support professional development, purchase needed equipment, and expand STEM opportunities for Wildcats as they prepare for college and careers.
Past and present students, staff, and community members are invited to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of South Gwinnett HS. Alums will take part in special activities on Nov. 10 and 11, with a community celebration set for Sunday, Nov. 12. A reception starts at 2 p.m., followed by a formal program in the school's Performing Arts Center. Online, find details on the Alumni Event, including an email address for RSVPs. Alumni also can lend school memorabilia and share their Comet stories for the celebration. Learn more on the school website.
GCPS is now accepting applications for school bus drivers! The hourly wage for drivers is competitive, and bus drivers have excellent benefits and paid training as well as summer vacation and holidays off. Qualifying candidates can earn credit for past commercial driving experience (CDL). Applicants are required to hold a good driving record and a high school diploma or GED. Learn more and apply today at GCPSjobs.org. Call 678-225-7670 with questions.
This week marks several celebrations for GCPS employees in our Transportation Department, including state and national School Bus Safety Week and Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.
For six Gwinnett teachers, the day started like any other… students arrived, the bell rang, and lessons commenced. But then, the visitors arrived. And by visitors, we mean folks with cameras, balloons, and congratulatory signs like you might see with the “sweepstakes prize patrol.”
On Oct. 12, the selected teachers were surprised with the news that they had been named one of half a dozen finalists for GCPS Teacher of the Year (TOTY).
Congratulations to these honored teachers:
- Ebony Flott, Camp Creek ES, 4th Grade Teacher
- Dr. Doug Doblar, Head ES, Mathematics and Science Teacher (Gr. 4 and 5)
- Cheri Nations, North Gwinnett MS, STEM Teacher (Gr. 6–8)
- John Chvatal, Brookwood HS, AP and Gifted Biology Teacher (Gr. 9-12)
- Michelle E. Jones, Gwinnett Online Campus, Mathematics Teacher (Gr. 9-12)
- Amy Crisp, Norcross HS, English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher – Language Arts (Gr. 9–12)
For the six finalists, the next step includes interviews and classroom observations by a selection committee made up of former TOTYs, administrators, and central office staff. On Nov. 9, at a gala banquet, the district will announce the county TOTY and level winners. Stay tuned!
Gwinnett Great Days of Service (GDOS) is one of the largest community volunteer events in the nation. And you can be a part of it!
Here’s how you can help to support of our community and our schools:
- Donate to the You Can Do It Drive: Between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19, drop off your donation at a school or the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center. Requested items include canned proteins (tuna, ham, ravioli, etc.); canned soups and fruits; boxed macaroni and cheese; peanut butter and jelly; personal care items, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and soap; toilet paper; and laundry detergent pods. The donations will be delivered to Gwinnett shelters, group homes, and food pantries.
- Sign Up for a Service Project: As part of GDOS, volunteers are fanning out across the county to help with community- and school-based service projects on Oct. 20 and 21. Volunteers are still needed for projects. You can volunteer with a group or as an individual, even with your family. (Look for age requirements and specifics on what type of work the project entails.) Register to volunteer today! GDOS is coordinated by the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services.
Are you interested in gaining valuable teaching experience while getting paid? Join the Substitute Teaching Program!
GCPS is seeking qualified substitutes for the 2017-18 school year. Serving as a substitute is a great way to make connections for future, full-time employment and to gain experience in a variety of educational settings. Subs can determine the days and hours they’ll be available for assignments as well as the locations where they’re interested in serving. Substitute teaching can be an especially good fit for someone who is working toward a teaching certificate.
Substitute teachers do not have to be certified to teach. However, they must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours from a college approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Candidates also must complete the GCPS Substitute Teacher Training Program (if they do not possess a valid or expired professional teaching certificate).
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the school year, and substitute teacher orientation sessions are conducted weekly at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center in Suwanee.
Pay rates for substitute teachers have increased for the 2017–18 school year to $89 per day for regular substitute teaching and $99 per day for long-term substitute teaching.
Learn more by calling 678-301-6140 or visiting www.gcpsjobs.org for information and an application.
A tasty and nutritious school lunch is a recipe for success for our students!
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation tells us that inexperienced teen drivers should follow these five rules to stay safe behind the wheel.
For recent graduates, the foundation they built at Sweetwater MS prepared them for success at Berkmar HS and beyond.
Get to know the TOTY Semifinalists.
Looking for an opportunity to support Gwinnett students and help prepare them for their future? At Gwinnett’s Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center, 6th and 8th grade students participate in an immersive simulation that helps them develop skills to better navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how decisions made today can have an impact on tomorrow.
No matter your profession, your life experiences qualify you to be a successful volunteer to serve as a mentor and coach for students in these simulations:
- JA BizTown: Students interact within a simulated economy and take on the role of citizen, consumer, and employee. (6th Grade)
- JA Finance Park: Students make the connection between their education and career, career and income, and ultimately their income and future lifestyle. (8th Grade)
This month, we have the need for volunteers on Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 18, and Oct. 26. Online, find more information and register as a volunteer! Share this volunteer opportunity with friends and family or consider volunteering yourself. Questions about volunteering at the JA center? Contact Kyle Redner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The JA Center on the campus of Discovery HS, located at 1333 Old Norcross Road in Lawrenceville.
If you’re a member of the Class of 2018, you may be working on your college applications this fall. While you’re at it, don’t forget to apply for scholarships to pay for your postsecondary studies.
Annually, the GCPS Foundation Fund awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to GCPS seniors, funded through the support of local businesses and organizations and contributions from generous staff and community members. Last year, more than 80 graduating seniors earned $115,000 in district and school-specific scholarships administered through the Foundation.
The Foundation is now accepting applications from members of the GCPS Class of 2018. Find the 2018 GCPS Foundation Scholarship Catalog online. Scholarships range in value from $300 to $6,000 and most are one-time awards. The deadline for scholarships managed by the Foundation is Dec. 11. (All scholarship deadlines are included in the scholarship information and clearly noted on each application.) The Foundation will announce scholarship recipients in May.
Last month, Harmony ES honored the grandparents of its students by welcoming them in for games, pictures, and fun with their grandchildren.
In this “Focus Moment” from GCPS TV, learn how accelerated instruction and targeted support are helping Lilburn MS studentsget back on track toward their goal of on-time graduation.
On Oct. 11, GCPS 10th graders will take the PSAT/NMSQT.
So what does STEM/STEAM look like in Gwinnett schools?
“STEM and STEAM engages all types of students in integrated math and science, which prepares them for college and career opportunities,” says Bonnie Brush, GCPS’ mathematics director and part of the district’s STEM Team. She notes that this instructional approach takes students from knowledge to application to innovation, adding “By expanding STEM and STEAM learning opportunities, our schools are encouraging students at all levels to apply their learning as they creatively solve real-world problems, think in innovative ways, and engage with their community.”
With seven designations, GCPS has the largest number of state STEM/STEAM-certified schools and programs in Georgia, including:
- Gwinnett School of Science, Mathematics, and Technology (GSMST)— STEM school certification
- Center for Design and Technology (CDAT) at Lanier HS (STEM program certification)
- White Oak ES (STEM school certification)
- STEM Program for Innovation Rigor Excellence (SPIRE) at Peachtree Ridge HS (STEM program certification)
- Teamwork With Innovative Skills and Technology (TWIST) at Lanier MS (STEM program certification)
- Mason ES (STEM school certification)
- Coleman MS (STEAM school certification)
The path to STEM certification involves a partnership between the school, the district’s STEM team, and the Georgia Department of Education over the course of three years. During that time, regular site visits allow district content experts to observe and support the development of rigorous and integrated STEM instruction, ensuring that teachers have opportunities for professional development and collaborative planning with colleagues.
In addition, the school must meet specific criteria, including evidence of teacher collaboration, business and industry partnerships, high levels of math and science instruction, and an integrated, project-based STEM curriculum. The process culminates with a final visit by a team from the Georgia Department of Education to observe these instructional elements in action.
STEAM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics infused with meaningful arts integration. STEAM utilizes the arts as a vehicle for demonstrating what has been learned, while increasing creativity and teaching “habits of mind” that can be applied to any subject. The STEAM Georgia certification program aligns with the STEM Georgia certification program and the two programs share a common vocabulary, timeline, and design.
The school district is a model for STEM/STEAM instruction and has a number of statewide distinctions. Here are just a few GCPS “firsts” in the area of STEM/STEAM:
- Coleman MS is the first certified STEAM middle school in the state, and just the second in Georgia to earn STEAM School Certification.
- With the certification of White Oak ES and programs at Lanier MS and Lanier HS, the Lanier Cluster has the distinction of being the first public schools with vertical STEM articulation, meaning that a student in the Lanier Cluster could participate in a STEM-certified program at every school level, K-12.
Dr. Jeff Mathews, Peachtree Ridge HS principal, is the first administrator in the state to lead two schools through the STEM Certification process. He also led GSMST’s certification bid in 2012-13.