January 13-20, 2017
In This Issue

I hope you have had a good week, a short week, but a good one.  The week has been one of remarkable significance. At the start, we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the message of respect and unity he embodied. At the end we see the peaceful transfer of power with the inauguration of a new President. Both are integral parts of the American experience.  Both are so much better than the alternatives. Sometimes the phrase 'our youth are our future leaders' seems rather staid and cold. But, in truth, there are members of the city and county commissions and the school board who were once students in Griffin-Spalding schools who now hold leadership positions in the community. Some of our teachers and principals were once students in Griffin-Spalding schools but now lead classrooms and schools. In truth, successive generations take the place of their predecessors as leaders. Each day we have opportunities to encourage the values of respect, unity and other character values that equip our students to set goals and lead their families and communities in the future. Thank you for the work you do with our students whether you teach or support teachers. It does make a difference.

Have a great weekend!

Jim Smith
Carver Road Middle School Principal Dr. Tiffany Taylor is a finalist for Georgia Principal of the Year.
Dr. Taylor is one of five finalists selected from a large pool of applicants. The application is an extensive review of the performance of their school based on data provided by the applicants. The finalists will go through an interview to determine the Georgia Principal of the Year.
Dr. Tiffany Taylor has been the principal of Carver Road Middle School since 2014. She has been an educator for 18 years. Under her leadership, Carver has been recognized as a 2016 and 2017 Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education for its innovative practices. The Georgia Department of Education also recognized Carver Road Middle as one of three middle schools in the state for having the largest percentage decline in the number of students missing 15 or more days of school and also having a School Climate Star Rating of 4.
W-2's will go out to GSCS employees on Friday, January 20.  Please make sure the information on the W-2 is correct. If changes need to be made please contact Roz Rathbun in Finance at Ext. 10311.
GSCS is piloting a new screening and hiring process for assistant principals that will yield faster, reliable results while providing an applicant friendly experience. Part of the change is the generation of an assistant principal pool from which candidates will be hired each year.
Click HERE to view details on the new pilot process.
Issue 1: The shifting federal landscape and state policy -- what's ahead?
Issue 2: Teacher recruitment and retention -- keeping teachers teaching.
Issue 3: Leadership -- new challenges and new opportunities.
Issue 4: Preparing the workforce -- role for K-12.
Issue 5: Higher education -- barriers to completion.
Issue 6: Funding -- equity for all.
Issue 7: Early learning -- increasing quality and access for all children.
Issue 8: Student mental health -- time to take center stage.
Issue 9: The economics of education -- breaking the poverty cycle.
Issue 10: No Opportunity School District -- what now?

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education's Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2017 report is now available.

Click HERE to read the flip-page version.
Teachers and paraprofessionals requesting a transfer to a different GSCS work location may apply online for any advertised vacancy for the upcoming school year. In addition, you may attend any GSCS job fair.

Apply on AppliTrack
Actual vacancies will be posted for next school year as soon as they become known. Individuals wishing to transfer will be responsible for reviewing the website for job opportunities; most positions will be posted "until filled" but some, such as administrative, will have application deadlines. Once you create an application online, you can access it to apply for additional positions. You must apply for a job to be considered for a job.

Principals will be required to consider all internal applicants; however, they will not be required to interview all applicants. Principals will also check references with the current supervisor to ensure employee performance is proficient or exemplary.

May 1 Deadline
GSCS must balance the desire of employees to move to new positions with the need to ensure principals have timely information regarding staffing needs. Therefore, the deadline to be recommended for transfer is May 1. Please note that this deadline applies regardless of when a position becomes available.

Note: This process applies to employees requesting a transfer based on individual preference and is separate from the Professional Personnel Assignment Policy GBE which originates from a system needed change.
"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Dale Carnegie
GSCS believes the most important factor in the success
of students and our school system is the quality of our teaching force. We seek to build on the talent that we already have in the school system by hiring teammates who have the strong work ethic and high expectations necessary for all of our students to graduate college and career ready. To encourage and recognize employee participation in bringing additional talent to GSCS, we will offer an employee referral bonus to any staff member who refers a certified classroom teacher or speech language pathologist that is hired by GSCS for at least 90 days.

Click HERE for details and frequently asked questions.
Did you know that teachers can claim certain deductions on their income taxes that aren't available to people in other professions? Click HERE to watch this video with tips from TurboTax.
Participate in National Wear Red Day by wearing red on the first Friday of every February. Wearing red will help raise awareness about heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. 

Use these tips to take action in lowering your risk for heart disease and heart attack.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse how to maintain a healthy weight and how to prevent and control high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • If you smoke, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to help you quit.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Make healthy food choices for meals and snacks. Grab a healthy snack on the go.
  • Be active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away and walk.
  • Know the symptoms of a heart attack.
Anthony Armstrong
Mr. Armstrong teaches business courses for both our Academy and Achievement students. He is truly a team player who is willing to collaborate on various initiatives.  He does a great job making real-world connections for his students. He is an asset to A.Z. Kelsey.
Beth Gaff and Shirquinta Silas
Beth Gaff, data and assessment specialist, does a great job working diligently on data each week. She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to help.
Shirquinta Silas, mathematics department chair, is dependable, shows respect for all and she is an important member of the GHS community. She is a great mentor and truly wants the best for every student!
Jessica Turner and Jemarko Parker
Thank you both for your flexibility and professional manner in accepting a sudden classroom re-assignment. You are doing an excellent job with your new students!
Glenn Duff and Brent Stein
"Great things are brought about and burdens lightened through the efforts of many hands anxiously engaging in a good cause" (Russell Ballard). Spalding High School proudly recognizes the efforts and teamwork of Glenn Duff and Brent Stein. Both work tirelessly to meet the needs of our students with disabilities. Whether delivering instruction, testing or conferencing with parents, the work that is being done is no small feat. Teaching is not for the faint of heart and is often a thankless ministry. However, these two gentlemen are always ready to do what is required. They often move about without pomp and circumstance just simply engaged in the work. Spalding High raises thunderous applause for the quiet efforts that they continue to make.
 Click HERE for our non-discrimination statement.

* The Communicator is edited using the AP Stylebook 2010 edition.

Laura Beaber, Editor 
GSCS Communications and Partnerships Department