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November 2020, Vol. 19, No. 3
GCPS Scenes from...
GSMST's adventures with Spot, the Robo Dog
Nathan, a Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology student, takes Spot the Robotic Dog on a STEM-friendly walk around the San Francisco Bay Area.
E-SPLOST passes by wide margin in Nov. 3 election, BOE races decided
The E-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education) passed by a wide margin of 76.62% to 23.38% in the countywide election on Nov. 3, 2020. The E-SPLOST passed in every precinct of Gwinnett County. The Nov. 3 election also decided seats on the Gwinnett County Board of Education:
  • District I - Karen Watkins
  • District III - Dr. Mary Kay Murphy
  • District V - Dr. Tarece Johnson
GCPS honors Local Teachers of the Year,
25 semifinalists, and the top six finalists
The first steps in Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) search for its 2020-21 Teacher of the Year (TOTY) are complete. A group of 139 local school Teachers of the Year was designated as top in their schools and that field was narrowed to 25 semifinalists. Recently, the district surprised its six finalists in their classrooms. On Dec. 10, GCPS will host a virtual celebration to honor this year’s finalists and name level winners and the top teacher in Gwinnett County. Watch the live stream on the GCPS TV website or through the GCPS TV app, available for download from Apple, Google Play, Amazon, and Roku.
GCPS adjusts spring calendar, approves 2021-22 dates
District leaders and the School Board recently reviewed calendar updates. The approved 2021-22 calendar features an Aug. 4 start date, the staggered return of students, six digital learning days, a fall break in October, a two-week winter break, the addition of a break in February, a week scheduled for spring break, and an end date of May 25. The district also adjusted the spring 2021 calendar to allow more time for teacher planning. Students will return to learning (in the classroom or online) on Thursday, Jan. 7, a day later than originally planned. Four days in the spring—Jan. 26, March 2, March 16, and April 20—have been designated as Digital Learning Days (DLD), when all students will learn at home, completing assigned work at their own pace. Students who are unable to complete assignments on DLDs will be given the opportunity to complete assignments when they return to school.
Educational Equity in GCPS...
we want to hear from you
Gwinnett County Public Schools encourages you to learn more about our work in the area of Educational Equity with the GCPS Talks series. You are invited to take part in an online survey that will gather feedback on proposed changes to district procedures. The survey will close Dec. 11.
Plan for safe holiday gatherings
The safest way to celebrate the holidays is with the folks who live in your household. However, if you plan to celebrate with extended family and friends, follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for safe holiday gatherings.
Gwinnett Board of Education appoints new leaders
At meetings in October and November, the Gwinnett County Board of Education appointed the following new leaders:
  • Dr. Clay Hunter, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Support
  • Dr. Babak Mostaghimi, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation
  • Dr. Pam Williams, Chief of Staff
  • Dr. Michele Smith, Executive Director of Internal Resolution and Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
  • Tameika Turner-Haynes, Principal, Jenkins Elementary
  • Brittany Riddick, Principal, Rosebud Elementary
  • Dr. Molly McAuliffe, Principal, Stripling Elementary
GCPS to host annual Child Find event on Dec. 3
Each year, GCPS conducts a meeting for the families of children with disabilities (birth to age 21) currently not served by GCPS who may benefit from support services available through the school system's Department of Special Education and Psychological Services. This year, the Child Find meeting is scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Collins Hill Room (2.143) in Building 200 of the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee. Families unable to attend are encouraged to contact GCPS with their questions about services for students with disabilities. Call or email Becca McCleskey with GCPS' Office of Compliance at 678-301-7104 or contact Parent Mentors Jackie McNair (678-301-7149) or Dawn Albanese (678-301-7212).
GCPS' School Nutrition Program
to provide meals through the end of the school year
Thanks to USDA waiver extensions that were issued in October, the Gwinnett County School Nutrition Program is providing breakfast and lunch on school days to all Gwinnett children, ages 18 and younger, at no charge through the end of the school year, including children who are not school-aged and children who are not GCPS students. (Note that GCPS does not provide meals on weekends or on scheduled student holidays.) GCPS encourages families who are eligible for the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program to complete the annual application to ensure meal benefits continue when this waiver expires. Note that those eligible for free- and reduced-priced meals may be able to access other types of public assistance or services that may be available during this pandemic.
Apply for Foundation scholarships by Dec. 7
The Class of 2021 is invited to apply for scholarships administered by the GCPS Foundation Fund. Annually, the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to GCPS seniors. On the Foundation website, find the 2021 GCPS Foundation Scholarship Catalog and other scholarship opportunities. Scholarships range in value from $500 to $2,000 and most are one-time awards. The deadline for scholarships managed by the Foundation is Dec. 7. The Foundation will announce scholarship recipients in the spring.
Voter registration deadline for Georgia's U.S. Senate runoffs is Dec. 7
The voter registration deadline is Dec. 7, and early voting in the Senate races begins on Dec. 14. To register to vote, you must:
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a legal resident of the county
  • Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
  • Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
  • Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
Anyone who is registered to vote in Georgia can vote in federal, state, and local runoff elections. Check your voter status online. For more information about runoff elections, contact the Elections Office.
GCPS' SAT and ACT scores top state, nation
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools released SAT scores for the Class of 2020 showing that Gwinnett test-takers continue the trend of outperforming their peers in Georgia and the nation. Gwinnett’s average on the SAT topped state and national averages on both sections (Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing and Math) of the test. Gwinnett’s average score of 1097 was 67 points higher than the national average and 54 points higher than the state’s score of 1043.

  • ACT Scores for Gwinnett students continue to be higher than both state and national scores. Students in the Class of 2020, who took the ACT during the time they were in 10th to 12th grade, showed an increase over the Class of 2019’s ACT scores, with a mean composite score of 23.0, up from 22.4. Georgia’s public-school students had a score of 21.7, up from 21.4 the prior year. Nationally, average student scores on the ACT dropped slightly to 20.6 from 20.7. In addition to an overall higher composite score, Gwinnett students showed increased scores in each of the subject areas.  
New tool gives parents easy access to student info
GCPS families have a new tool that makes it even easier to access their student's information on the Parent Portal. GCPS parents can use their smartphones to access ParentVUE to find their student's schedule, grades, assignments, and more! The ParentVUE mobile app is available in Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for Apple (iOS) devices. If you don't have a Parent Portal account yet, now's the time to get one. Learn more and register for an account online.
Take note of these exciting opportunities
to join GCPS!
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools is hiring individuals with two or more years of college to work as part of our substitute team! This involves going out to local schools and providing instruction through an in-person, digital, or hybrid format. You get to choose the assignments that you accept and determine your own schedule! Daily rates range from $98/day to $120/day. Learn more and apply online.
  • Competitive salary, excellent benefits, paid training, summers off, a flashy company car, and the opportunity to drive student success! GCPS needs bus drivers. Apply online (posting #66966).
  • GCPS is hiring custodial staff for its schools and facilities. Please review positions and apply online.
Tune in to the Teaching Gwinnett podcast
"Teaching Gwinnett" is a Gwinnett County Public Schools podcast that tackles important, relevant, and timely topics that impact the school district's students and staff. Check out Season 2:
Listen, subscribe, and find the Teaching Gwinnett podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
Roll your #SleeveUp to fight flu this fall
This season, getting a flu vaccination is more important than ever to reduce the risk of flu for yourself, your family, and the community. Click here to learn more about protecting yourself from the flu.
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