GSCS COMMUNITY COMMUNICATOR
March 29, 2021
GSCS SUPERINTENDENT KEITH SIMMONS LOOK, LISTEN AND LEARN TOUR
GSCS Superintendent Keith Simmons hit the ground running. Simmons has been visiting principals and touring each GSCS school. He’s also been visiting community leaders and local civic organizations.

To view a map of where GSCS Superintendent Keith Simmons has been and to see his detailed 100-Day Entry Plan please visit http://www.spalding.k12.ga.us/About-us/Meet-the-Superintendent/index.html.

A couple of noteworthy statements made by Superintendent Simmons during his Look, Listen and Learn Tour visits are, “Our job is to serve. Griffin-Spalding County School System will be the best service organization in the community.” Simmons also said, “The best way to move our community forward is to do it together.”

Superintendent Simmons states, “Parents, I know the last year has been anything but normal. Thank you for enduring the prior and continued adversity. I am cautiously optimistic. I and looking to finish this school year strong and start the next one even stronger. We need you to engage with us as we look toward a new five-year strategic plan. In weeks to come, this planning process will include a survey to collect your valuable feedback. Thank you in advance for your feedback which will help us to be better and serve better.”
Simmons helped put together new technology stands and mobile whiteboards for teachers at Cowan Road Middle School
Simmons at Jordan Hill Elementary
Simmons at Spalding High School
Simmons presenting at the Griffin Rotary Club
Simmons toured Moore Elementary and had the chance to dance with pre-k students
Simmons at Kennedy Road Middle School
DESTINATION GRADUATION 2021
The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) offers the following details pertaining high school graduation ceremonies.

Griffin High School (GHS) Graduation will be held at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 7 p.m. Each student will receive eight (8) tickets for family members to attend the graduation ceremony. Griffin High Baccalaureate will be held at First Assembly of God Church on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7 p.m. Senior Walk will be Friday, May 21, at 10 a.m. and GHS Senior Honors Night will be Tuesday, May 18, at 6 p.m.

Spalding High School (SHS) Graduation will be held at Memorial Stadium on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7 p.m. Each student will receive eight (8) tickets for family members to attend. SHS Baccalaureate will be held at Oak Hill Church on Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m. The SHS Senior Parade will be Friday, May 21, 2021 at 6 p.m. and SHS Senior Honors Night is Wednesday, May 19, at 6 p.m.

The graduation ceremony for A.Z. Kelsey Academy (AZK) will be held in the Griffin Auditorium on Wednesday, May 26, at 9:30 a.m. This graduation ceremony features a small number of graduates. Each graduate will receive 14 tickets for family and friends. Baccalaureate for AZK will be Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m. at First Assembly of God and Senior Awards Ceremony will be Friday, May 21, at 9 a.m.

There will be a Powder Puff Football Game at Memorial Stadium featuring the senior girls of GHS vs. SHS. Students from AZK will be invited to play as well. This event will be held on Friday, May 14, at 6 p.m. Admission is $2.00 per spectator and concessions will be sold.

Additional senior activities will be announced in days to come.

There will be no prom this year for Griffin High School or Spalding High School.
GRIFFIN HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

SENIOR HONOR NIGHT:
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2021
6 p.m.

SENIOR WALK:
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021
10 a.m. - Griffin High School

BACCALAUREATE:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2021
7 p.m. - First Assembly of God

GRADUATION CEREMONY:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2021
7 p.m. - Memorial Stadium
SPALDING HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

SENIOR HONORS NIGHT:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2021
6 p.m.

SENIOR PARADE:
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021
6 p.m. - Spalding High School

BACCALAUREATE:
MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021
6 p.m. - Oak Hill Baptist

GRADUATION CEREMONY:
THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021
7 p.m. - Memorial Stadium
A.Z. KELSEY ACADEMY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

BACCALAUREATE:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2021
7 p.m. - First Assembly of God

AWARDS CEREMONY:
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021
9 a.m.

GRADUATION CERMONY:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2021
9:30 a.m. - Griffin Auditorium
JORDAN HILL ELEMENTARY MEDIA SPECIALIST DIXIE JOHNSTON NAMED DISTRICT MEDIA SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR
Pictured (L-R): GSCS Executive Director of Secondary Education Dr. Donald Warren, GSCS Executive Director of Instructional Services Sara Jones, GSCS Instructional Technology Coach Robin Harris, GSCS Executive Director of Communications and Partnerships Adam Pugh, GSCS Director of Instructional Technology Lonny Harper, GSCS Media Specialist of the Year Dixie Johnston, GSCS Superintendent Keith Simmons, Jordan Hill Elementary Principal Dottie English, Jordan Hill Elementary Assistant Principal Jonathan McGavin, GSCS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kiawana Kennedy and GSCS Executive Director of Elementary Education Dr. Norman Sauce
Jordan Hill Elementary (JHE) Media Specialist Dixie Johnston is Griffin-Spalding County School System’s (GSCS) 2021 Library Media Specialist of the Year (LMSOTY).

The LMSOTY is awarded for individual excellence in the library media field through service to students, teachers and community at the K-12 level. Johnston, nominated by her principal Dottie English, received the highest score on her application by the judging committee and was identified as the school system’s LMSOTY.

Johnston’s application stated, “Ms. Dixie is a technology sounding board. She goes out of her way to find relevant resources for the teachers and students of JHE. She is always willing to help and loves to collaborate with teachers. Her positive attitude helps create a sense of community. Ms. Dixie is a problem solver, not just for staff, but for families as well. She has gone above and beyond during virtual learning. Dixie Johnston is an asset to our school, district and community.”

Johnston has been the media specialist at Jordan Hill Elementary for nine years and has been with GSCS for a total of 16 years.

Johnston will represent GSCS in the Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) state-level competition.
THANK YOU GSCS NURSES
In January and February, Griffin-Spalding County School System nurses volunteered numerous days to help administer COVID-19 vaccines at the Spalding County Health Department to Spalding County residents 65 years old and over.

On March 12, GSCS nurses helped administer COVID-19 vaccines at the Spalding County Health Department to over 750 GSCS employees! GSCS employees will receive their second vaccine on April 9 or 16.
GSCS SPRING BREAK - APRIL 5-9
FUTRAL ROAD ELEMENTARY COUNSELOR SANDRA LONG NAMED GSCS COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR
Pictured (L-R): GSCS Executive Director of Communications and Partnerships Adam Pugh, GSCS Executive Director of Secondary Education Dr. Donald Warren, GSCS Superintendent Keith Simmons, GSCS School Counselor of the Year Sandra Long, Futral Road Elementary Principal Ben Steele, GSCS Executive Director of Elementary Education Dr. Norman Sauce, GSCS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kiawana Kennedy, Futral Road Elementary Assistant Principal Nicki Gore & Futral Road Elementary Academic Coach Nicole Hudson
Futral Road Elementary Counselor Sandra Long is the Griffin-Spalding County School System’s (GSCS) 2021 School Counselor of the Year.

Last year, GSCS introduced School Counselor of the Year as a way to show appreciation and give special recognition to our outstanding school counselors. Nominees must demonstrate many high-quality attributes and skills including, but not limited to the following: the support of students in the areas of career education, social-emotional intelligence and academic development; demonstrating positive leadership; advocacy for students’ and staff’s best interests; collaboration with other professionals and outside programs and service towards school and community. The nominee must exhibit the highest levels of professionalism and personal ethical standards.

GSCS School Counselor of the Year candidates may be nominated by school administrators, staff, students, parents or fellow counselors. A committee comprised of three principals (one from each grade-band) select the GSCS School Counselor of the Year based on the nominations that are submitted, supporting documents that include an essay and evidentiary question responses and a formal interview with selected finalists.

In her essay, GSCS Counselor of the Year Sandra Long stated, “As a counselor, I am there to help facilitate sustainable change with measurable outcomes. As an effective leader, I have clear goals and concise action steps. When something is not working, I must be bold and humble enough to admit that something is not working and pivot. Reacting is not leading. Creating a culture of empathy and unwavering hope that every child has the ability to succeed with a champion behind them is how I view my role as a counselor.”

ASYNCHRONOUS FRIDAY SCHEDULE
GSCS DISTRICT SPELLING BEE AND
SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS
Congratulations to the GSCS Spelling Bee Winner Cowan Road Elementary Fourth Grade Student Anjana Elshafei!
Pictured (L-R): GSCS Curriculum Director Ashley Crawford and GSCS Spelling Bee Winner Anjana Elshafei
Congratulations to GSCS Science and Engineering Fair First Place Winners Christian Orona-Castro and Ana Sofia Orona-Castro from Spalding High School!
Pictured (L-R): Christian Orona-Castro, Anna Sofia Orona-Castro & GSCS Science Curriculum Coordinator Heather Toliver
GSCS COVID-19 DATA UPDATE
GSCS COVID-19 data update for March 25, 2021. We will post updated data every Thursday. For data by school, please visit: http://www.spalding.k12.ga.us/Students--Parents/Coronavirus-Information-and-Resources/index.html
TWENTY-SIX GSCS TEACHERS AWARDED PARTNERS IN EDUCATION TUITION REIMBURSEMENT SCHOLARSHIPS
The Griffin-Spalding Partners In Education (PIE) awarded scholarships for $1,000 each to twenty-six Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) teachers who are currently seeking additional certification or advanced degrees related to their teaching/educational field. The 2021 recipients are:

Elizabeth Lyle- Orrs Elementary
Dedrey Elam- Griffin High School
Laurie Eurich- Spalding High School
Felicia Ponder- Moreland Road Elementary
Lauren Huddleston- Moore Elementary
Ebone Sharmaine Willis- Jackson Road Elementary
Dawn Burke- Spalding High School
Shandi Clay- Jordan Hill Elementary
Kierra Rojas- Moore Elementary
Daniel Stansberry- Spalding High School
Rachel Holloway- Jordan Hill Elementary
Thomas Hoffman- Spalding High School
Jake Tyler Harris- Spalding High School
Winifred Clements- Mainstay Academy
Tyshian Innocent- Carver Road Middle
Robyn Walker- Cowan Road Middle
Kerry Kelso- Atkinson Elementary
Shannon Barkley- Beaverbrook Elementary
Anthony Armstrong- A.Z. Kelsey Academy
Katie McKinney- Orrs Elementary
Kamicia Seay- Cowan Road Elementary
Cody Helms- Spalding High School
Linda Pritchett- Orrs Elementary
Tralane Bowen- Spalding High School
Ben Johnson- Jackson Road Elementary
Cardia Foster- Moore Elementary

Applicants had to have at least one year of service as a GSCS certified employee, provide 2020 grades (with a 3.0 GPA or higher) and tuition receipt. Recipients must agree to serve as a teacher or administrator in the Griffin­-Spalding County School System for the upcoming school year if offered a position.

“The Griffin-Spalding Partners in Education is proud to support the advancement of Griffin-Spalding County School System teachers. Scholarship funds are raised through the Teachers Giving to Teachers campaign, the annual PIE golf tournament and other donations,” said PIE Board Chair Stephanie Windham.
SPRING PARENT SURVEY
GSCS needs your help evaluating parent engagement programs and school quality for the 2020-2021 school year. Please take a few minutes to complete our Spring Parent Survey, which will help us know how to meet the interests and needs of your family more effectively. Your answers will be anonymous. Only one survey should be completed per household.


CONGRATS TO GSCS REGIONAL
COMPETITION WINNERS
NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
TUESDAY, APRIL 13
The Griffin-Spalding Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. in the GSCS Learning Center.

*Social distance seating will be very limited and participants will be required to wear mask. Everyone is encouraged to watch the meeting live at https://youtu.be/8RLy86vP8fc

2021-22 SCHOOL CHOICE ENROLLMENT
MARCH 8-APRIL 16
GSCS SEEKS INPUT
To ensure the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) meets the educational needs of the community, GSCS is seeking family and community input on the District Comprehensive Needs Assessment, District Improvement Plan and District Parent and Family Engagement Policy.

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Griffin-Spalding County School System uses the Consolidated Local Educational Agency Improvement Plan (CLIP) to provide a clear direction for our public school system. These documents are created by stakeholders representing schools, families and the community. They include annual measurable objectives, specific strategies and frequent evaluations. They reflect a strategic use of resources in order to provide the best educational opportunities for all students – including yours!

We invite all families, community members and all other stakeholders to attend and participate.  The purpose of the meeting is to review and revise the Consolidated Local Education Agency (LEA) Improvement Plan as well as to provide input on the reservation of funds and to discuss building staff capacity.

Melinda Owens, Family and Community Engagement Specialist stated, please be sure to join us to give input on one of the following dates and times:
  • April 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm 
  • April 30, 2021 at 10:00 am
  • May 10, 2021 at 5:30 pm  
All meetings will be held virtually.


Please contact Melinda Owens at 770-229-3710 ext.10363 or at melinda.owens@gscs.org for more information.
WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER
STAKEHOLDER MEETING
K-5 LIGHTS OUT VIRTUAL FAMILY GAME NIGHT SPONSORS
Special thanks to these GSCS K - 5 Lights Out Virtual Family Game Night Sponsors:
  • Big O's Ribs and More 
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Dairy Queen 
  • Economy Rent-A-Car
  • Kroger 
  • Maxi-Lube Tire and Auto 
  • Walmart 
DOWNLOAD THE GSCS PURPOSITY APP TODAY!
GSCS needs your help with Purposity! With Purposity, members of the public can now help us serve our students by fulfilling needs like jackets or shoes. Even if you don't plan to donate, please download the Purposity app in the App store or on Google Play and, under the "organization" drop down follow Griffin-Spalding County School System.

GSCS needs 500 followers to download the app before we can start filling student needs so please share this information with friends, family and community members.
Please Download the App today!
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CAMP ISTEM
Camp iSTEM is a week-long robotics and coding summer camp taking place June 7-11, 2021. The camp will be located at The Enrichment Center, 205 Spalding Drive, Griffin, GA. Virtual and Face to Face options are available as well as half and full day options. Register online at http://bit.ly/gscs_campistem.
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