December 16-23, 2016
In This Issue

2016 has come to an end. I've talked with so many of you who feel time seems to move faster than ever. I won't disagree. So, we have to slow down and make sure we don't miss the good things going on around us. In 2016, our system graduation rate continued moving up all the way to 73% with both traditional high schools exceeding 75%. The Griffin Region College and Career Academy began classes in the fall with an enrollment of over 150 students from Spalding, Butts and Pike counties. Renovation work began at the old Flynt Middle School site to transform that grand building into the permanent home of the College and Career Academy. System averages on the SAT and ACT increased. Our total enrollment moved up slightly in 2016 after a couple of years of small declines. Our nutrition staff shined this year, too. Every kitchen earned a perfect score on health inspections on both the spring and fall reviews. Both high school football teams made it to the third round of their respective division playoffs. Other athletic and academic teams earned honors for outstanding performance at all levels. And, to top it all off, fifteen A. Z. Kelsey Academy students received their high school diplomas this morning. To say the least, the ceremony was impressive. Every student has definite plans for their future whether it be post-secondary education, military service or other careers. This was a great way to end 2016.
So, we come to the end of the year and reach the holiday break. Please enjoy time with your families and time for yourself. We have another semester waiting for us on the other side of the New Year's divide. I want to express my appreciation for the support of the Board of Education, administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and volunteers for helping GSCS shine this year. You are agents of change making it happen.

Have a wonderful holiday season! 

Jim Smith
The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) Communications Department received one Gold Award of Merit and four Silver Awards of Merit. The awards were presented at the Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA) annual conference in Augusta.
The Gold Award of Merit was for the school district's new 2016 identity package, which consist of the new tagline, logo and banner. Judges commented that the new tagline, Grow Sustain Collaborate Succeed, effectively conveys the goals of our school system.
The 2015-16 Annual Report earned a Silver Award and was recognized by the judges as being student-focused and very diverse.
The school system's weekly staff e-newsletter, The GSCS Communicator, and the quarterly community e-newsletter, The Community Communicator, also received Silver Awards. Judges stated that the newsletters had good use of graphics and were easy to navigate.
If you made changes during the recent State Health open enrollment, be sure to check your health insurance deduction on your December pay stub for any errors. If you feel there is an error, you must notify SHBP by December 31. Call SHBP at 1-800-610-1863 to confirm your open enrollment changes.

~ Edna Ferber
Message from the GSCS Project AWARE Team 

We appreciate your hard work now and all year long! We know the holiday season can be every bit as delightful as it is stressful so we encourage you to not forget about caring for yourself. We have worked to get discounts in place exclusively for GSCS employees to make self care just a little bit easier this winter. Please take time to pamper yourself, treat yourself or engage a listening ear to help you through this most wonderful (and sometime difficult) time of the year.

A New Start Counseling Center - 770-461-9944
Bighter Tomorrow's - 770-468-7424
Dawn Tyus, LCP - 470-204-3556
Molli Pruitt, LCP at A Better Life Counseling & Coaching LLC - 678-939-2442

Spas & Such:  
Spa Angelique, LLC - 678-972-6297
The HoneyComb Cottage - 678-561-5585

Southern Lotus Yoga - 770-359-8620

*Must show GSCS employee ID to receive discount 
Click HERE to view the 2017-18 Employee Work Schedule.

Move on When Ready/Dual Enrollment Informational Meeting
January 19, 2017
Griffin Auditorium

GSCS students and families will receive information on the program, hear from local college representatives and receive an overview of the Griffin Region College and Career Academy.

FoodFinderGA is a free smartphone app developed by a Georgia Public Schools graduate - it's available on the Apple App Store or Google Play right now (search: foodfinder), or online at
The app creates a 100% anonymous, direct connection between students & families who need food and their closest free food providers.

Please share this information with your students and families that may be in need.
On December 9, representatives from the Spalding High School Chorus performed at the Governor's Mansion. The SHS Chorus was chosen from many schools who applied to perform at this special Holiday event.
Thanks to a Partners In Education field trip grant, A.Z. Kelsey students visited and toured Delta Air Lines.

Atkinson Cafeteria Staff
Our cafeteria staff do an outstanding job serving our students each day. These ladies and gentleman also scored 100% on the yearly inspection. They also prepared an outstanding Thanksgiving dinner which served over 200 parents and 400 students. We would like to thank Sandy, Lynn, Elaine, Tanesa, Joni and Chad for the dedication they show to the students of Atkinson.
Niya Pace
She encourages and challenges students to do their best and has been a helpful team member for our 5th grade at Beaverbrook. She assists others when needed and is supportive of our entire school. She enjoys watching her students learn. Her efforts and dedication are noticed and appreciated.
Nurse Marybeth Brown
Nurse Brown really takes care of Cowan. She goes out of her way to keep our students and staff! We appreciate all that Nurse Brown does for Team Cowan.
Rhonda Grubb, Rachael Long and Donna Didier
These ladies designed a Polar Express expedition with our 4th grade students. The entire school gets a little taste of magic as they enter the train for an exciting adventure. Awesome use of Crescent Values: Student Voice/Choice, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.
Fallon Davis and Amy Coe
Our "Tacky Christmas" party at the bowling alley was wonderful! A great big thanks for organizing such a fun and laid back evening!
Demetrice Parks and Robyn Jackson
Both of these teachers got whole new grade levels this year and have stepped up to make sure they have everything they need. Demetrice has done this while also working on her gifted endorsement and Robyn has done this while also being our MasteryConnect trainer. Thank you both for always having a positive and professional attitude and always being willing to help.
Ms. Helena Taylor
Ms. Taylor came to us last year to work in our SID/PID classroom and has been a perfect fit. Each morning as she monitors the bus riders entering the school, she greets them all with a smile and a good morning. She is very flexible and is willing to do whatever she can to assist the students. She is loved in her classroom as well as throughout the school by students and staff. Congratulations Ms. Taylor!
Shawanda Millsap, Chelsea Wright and Misty Willis
Mrs. Millsap, Ms. Wright and Ms. Willis dedicated countless hours after school preparing students for the Spelling Bee and Literacy Days. Their concerted efforts demonstrate the true meaning of "team work." Moore is fortunate to have such teachers who willingly go the extra mile to assist in any way.
Dr. Nina Williams
Dr. Williams is the director of the Melodious Mustangs and practices with them countless hours before and after school. They recently performed for our annual Christmas program and did an outstanding job. Dr. Williams organizes fundraisers and field trips for our music students to provide them with opportunities they might not otherwise have. In addition to all that she does for MRE, she is also in charge of the Honor Chorus for all of the GSCS middle schools. Dr. Williams devotes a lot of extra time organizing events and performances for this group as well as coordinating all of their field trips and fundraising. She is an advocate for the Fine Arts in Griffin and is an asset to Moreland Road as our music teacher. Thank you Dr. Williams for all you do for the students of Moreland Road and our district.
Candice Moore and Janie Rivera
Ms. Moore works with our students and has started a cheering squad as well as assist any staff member with any and every need. In addition to all of this, she is the school's parent liaison.
Mrs. Rivera is very helpful, patient and kind to parents, students and staff.

 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