News You Can Use, April 11-17, 2022

  • A Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Tip Sheet for the News Media— April 11–16, 2022


    A summer learning program that was the result of a partnership between Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and Classworks, a company that leverages technology to effectively and equitably identify and support the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of students, has been named a finalist for IMS Global’s 2022 Learning Impact Award. The award recognizes the most innovative and influential use of technology to support learning worldwide. GCPS and Classworks teamed up in 2021 to implement the district’s Summer Enrichment and Acceleration program using IMS Global’s Competency and Academic Standards Exchange framework. The effort ensured that students had access to summer lessons that both reviewed focus standards from the prior year and prepared them for the upcoming year in a research-based learning progression. The winner of the award will be announced in late May.

    A metro-Atlanta car dealership is doing its part to support outstanding educators. Hayes Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram recently presented Lee Allen, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2022 Teacher of the Year, with two checks. The first, for $2,000, is slated for his personal use while the second check, for $3,000, is earmarked for educational items that will further his work at Archer High School. As the 2022 GCPS Teacher of the Year, Allen also has received an annual award of $1,000 from the district for as long as he is employed with GCPS, a laptop, a crystal peach, a commemorative ring, and a $500 grocery store gift card and gift basket. (Pictures can be found at this link.)


    Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) awarded 24 Gwinnett County public schools EmPOWERment Grants totaling nearly $130,000. The EmPOWERment Grant program gives schools the chance to boost their instructional and service programs by funding worthwhile projects. South Gwinnett High School’s College & Career Center received the largest grant that totaled $21,583. Those funds will be used to fund technology enhancement of South Gwinnett’s College and Career Collaboration Center.


    Grant Amount



    Anderson-Livsey ES


    Lorna Baldwin

    LEGOs in a STEM World

    Annistown ES


    LaToya Burse

    Lettuce Grow Our Garden

    Britt ES


    Nancy Falocco

    STEM Explosion

    Centerville ES


    Bonita Banks

    Book Vending Machine

    Cooper ES


    George Kashella

    The Reading Connection

    Five Forks MS


    Andrew Whatley

    Google Chromebooks

    Grace Snell MS


    Kimberly Arenas

    Cooking Club

    Grayson ES


    Heather Abner

    Vending Machine Books

    Grayson HS


    Elaine Orange

    Graphing Calculators

    Gwin Oaks ES


    Jan Bradley and Michelle Webb

    Lighting Up STEM Specials

    Harbins ES


    Amanda Fletcher

    Accelerated Reading Achievement

    Magill ES


    Betsy Mitchell

    The Sensory Processing Area Project

    Mountain Park ES


    Katie Bevins

    Books for First Grade

    Partee ES


    Chad Hett

    Explore, Build and Discover

    Pharr ES


    Sarah Powell

    Pretending Machine

    Head ES


    Shann Griffith

    Bringing Them Up to Par

    Rosebud ES


    Deborah Roundtree

    Rosebudding Into Gardening

    Shiloh ES


    Heidi Glenn

    Makerspace Centers

    Shiloh HS


    Dr. Johnathan Gordon

    Empowering Forensic Science

    Shiloh MS


    Charlene Fletcher

    Lift Us Up!

    South Gwinnett HS


    Kennard Weever

    College and Career Center Technology

    Starling ES


    Ikwo Poindexter

    Engaging Texts for Engaged Readers

    Trickum MS


    Dr. Jessica Hegwood

    Middle School Mentor Texts

    Trip ES


    Debbie Patrick

    To Infinity and Beyond


    The American Welding Society (AWS) awarded Paul Duke STEM High School a Light the Spark Grant valued at nearly $15,000. This grant provides a starter package of equipment and supplies to introduce welding into a high school Ag-Ed program, career and technical education class, or practical skills course. The money will be used to add a welding component to Paul Duke STEM High’s Makerspace. The AWS was founded in 1919, as a nonprofit organization with a global mission of “advancing the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying.”



    Gwinnett County Retired Educators Association (GCREA) held its 50th Anniversary celebration recently. A dozen past presidents of the GCREA attended the event, as did Dr. Henrietta Gray, the sitting State President of the Georgia Retired Educators Association. (Pictures can be found at this link.)



    On Thursday, April 14, at 6 p.m., South Gwinnett High School (SGHS) will host its Inaugural Career Academies Awards. This event is designed to celebrate learning, teaching, community, wellbeing, leadership, and other initiatives at SGHS. Thirteen stakeholders will be recognized for their outstanding achievement and contributions to the school over the last school year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On April 14, April 21, April 28, and May 5, Dawn Albanese, GCPS parent mentor, will host “Parents Engaging in Early Childhood Education” (PEECE), a four-session workshop that aims to nurture and develop engaged parents, by helping them to positively support their child’s academic success. Two sessions will be held each date: from Noon–1:30 p.m. or 6–7:30 p.m. PEECE is for parents of students receiving special education services in grades Pre-K through sixth grade in Gwinnett County Public Schools. This workshop will cover: the IEP process,

    components of the IEP, the parent’s role as a member of the IEP Team, and the effective communication skills needed to help build collaborative relationships. To receive full benefit from this series, participants are encouraged to attend ALL four learning sessions. Please register using the appropriate link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Registration link for the Noon session on April 14:

    Registration link for the 6 p.m. session on April 14:

    Links to future sessions will be forwarded to those who participate in the April 14 session prior to each scheduled meeting date. For more information contact Ms. Albanese by phone at (678) 301-7212 or by email at


    On Tuesday, April 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. (live) and again from 6 to 7:30 p.m, parents of students receiving special education services in GCPS are invited to attend an informational Zoom session, “Social Skills: Supporting Your Child in Building Relationships,” Hosted by GCPS Special Education Coordinator Cason Hubbard, the session will cover ways to promote social skills at home and in the community. In addition, the presenter will discuss a variety of supports such as using visuals, prepping prior to an event, and managing emotions. Families will learn some practical ways to build in social opportunities throughout the day to aid in developing their child’s social skills.

    This monthly learning series is designed for families of children with disabilities, and presented by the Gwinnett County Parent Mentors in collaboration with GCPS’ Special Education Department staff and community leaders and organizations. Spanish interpretation services are available. Please register using the appropriate link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Click the link to register for the noon session

    Click the link to register for the 6 p.m. session

    A Parent Mentor is a parent who works within GCPS’ special education department, providing information and support to other families who have children receiving special education services. Parent Mentor Dawn Albanese has firsthand knowledge of raising a child with special needs who receives special education services in GCPS. For more information contact Ms. Albanese by phone at (678) 301-7212 or by email at


    On Friday, April 22, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Jones Middle School’s Drone Club will host a student exhibition featuring the club’s drones.


    The Georgia State Media Festival is scheduled to kick off Monday, April 25, and run through Friday, April 26. Sixty projects submitted by GCPS students qualified for the festival after scoring 96 or above at the GCPS Student Media Festival. Open to all GCPS students, the annual GCPS Student Media Festival celebrates the talents and visions of student digital media producers. The festival is coordinated by the GCPS Broadcast and AV Media Dept./GCPS TV and supported by media specialists, teachers, administrators, industry professionals, local businesses and community members. Production categories included Live Action, Animation, Sequential Stills, Interactive Stills, Website, and Podcast.


    On Friday, April 29, singer/songwriter/actress Tamar Davis is scheduled to visit The School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett. The Grammy nominated music artist and Broadway actress will offer students inside information about the world of entertainment, as well as share the experiences, education and relationships that demystify the process, and generate the rigor and self-discipline necessary to build and sustain a career.


    On Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, Moore Middle School will celebrate its 10th year anniversary. The event will feature food trucks and various vendors followed by a celebratory program and reception.


    Vaccine clinics set for March and April, including CORE clinics for ages 5 and older— GCPS encourages our community to learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations and take advantage of opportunities to get vaccinated. In an ongoing partnership with the Gwinnett Health Department and other health partners, GCPS continues to host vaccination clinics at high schools around the county during March and April. No appointment is necessary.

    Adults may receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine while Pfizer is approved for children. Both vaccines require two shots. Individuals who are eligible for a booster shot may attend a vaccine clinic to get a booster of either Moderna or Pfizer. The CDC recommends getting the first booster shot five months after receiving your second dose of the Pfizer OR Moderna vaccine, and two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot. The CDC has expanded booster dose eligibility to adolescents ages 12-17 years old.  Learn more about boosters, eligibility, and related FAQs on the CDC website. Our health partner—CORE—is approved to provide vaccinations to children ages 5 and older. Note that children ages 5 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Interpreters will be on site.

    Upcoming clinics in April


    McClure Health Science HS:

    Thursday, April 14, 2022 (3 p.m.-8 p.m.)


    Mountain View HS:

    Friday, April 15, 2022 (4 p.m.-8 p.m.)


    Meadowcreek HS­­­­­­­­:
    Wednesday, April 15, 2022 (3 p.m.-8 p.m.)

    Wednesday, April 20, 2022 (3 p.m.-8 p.m.)


    Parkview HS:

    Thursday, April 21, 2022 (3 p.m.-8 p.m.)


    Peachtree Ridge HS:

    Thursday, April 28, 2022 (3 p.m.-8 p.m.)

    For more information on COVID  vaccinations, go to the health department website or contact your healthcare provider. In addition, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) is working with Viral Solutions to provide vaccinations to children ages 5–11. Online, learn more about “no appointment COVID-19 vaccinations” for children and adults, including boosters. We all can do our part to slow COVID-19 transmission. The best protection from COVID-19—for yourself and others—will be a combination of strategies, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine if eligible, recommended mask use when levels of COVID-19 in the community are HIGH,  maintaining distance when you can, staying home when ill, and washing your hands often. GCPS will continue to employ these and other established mitigation efforts, including continued use of enhanced ventilation practices, our Health Response Team process, and recommended cleaning and disinfecting practices in schools and on buses.


    Do you have what it takes to SHINE as a paraprofessional in a special education classroom in Gwinnett?

    GCPS has partnered with ESS to manage the recruitment and hiring of paraprofessionals. Prospective applicants for paraprofessional positions should complete an online application on the ESS website. An ESS recruiter works with GCPS principals to interview and place qualified applicants in open positions. ESS offers employee perks, health benefits, training, support, weekly pay, and a 401(k), plus bonus opportunities and award programs. Paraprofessionals provide support within an assigned classroom with specific responsibility for assisting in the supervision, care, and instruction of students with special needs… in the regular education classroom, the special education classroom, or the community. Our paraprofessionals assist in implementing plans for instruction, monitor student behavior during non-classroom time, and attend individual Education Program (IEP) meetings.


    If you’re looking for part-time employment with a flexible schedule, become a GCPS substitute teacher!

    As a substitute, you can work in our schools on daily or longer assignments. You choose the assignments you want to accept and determine your own schedule! Compensation ranges from $130 a day up to $150 per day for extended assignments (10 or more days in the same classroom). New substitutes may qualify for a $500 hiring incentive as well as a $500 incentive with proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Applicants must complete an online application, provide references and a college diploma or transcripts (60+ semester hours), and complete training. If you think substitute teaching may be for you, complete an online application (Posting #62684) today! Learn more at Email for assistance.

    Use your skills in the kitchen to help support your family as a GCPS cafeteria worker! If you need a job but want to be home when your kids are home from school, join the Spur Team in GCPS’ School Nutrition Program (SNP)! School Nutrition Program (SNP) workers have summers and student holidays off and don’t work nights or weekends. Most positions offer 4 to 5 hours per day in a fast-paced kitchen, though SNP workers can pick up additional shifts up to 40 hours a week. As contract workers with Spur, cafeteria workers in Gwinnett schools are paid weekly by direct deposit or paycard, and are eligible for benefits. Training is fully paid and Spur staff members have a path to GCPS employment once they’ve worked their first year with Spur. Pay starts at $12.50 per

    hour, plus benefits. Spur employees are eligible for GCPS’ $500 incentive for proof of COVID-19 vaccination. So, join us to help “energize the future” as a school nutrition worker, serving healthy, nutritious, and tasty meals to fuel learning! If you think you may be the missing ingredient on our School Nutrition team, apply online today!


    Join the GCPS team as a school custodian! This full-time position includes excellent health benefits, retirement benefits, and fully paid training. Hourly rates range from $9.45 to $19.48, based on experience. Daytime, evening, and mid-day shifts are available, so you can work around your busy schedule. Qualified applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and a Georgia driver’s license. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by custodial hiring staff. Questions? Call 678-226-7199. Apply online today!


    Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is looking for candidates to join its Transportation team and there is no better time than now to start driving a school bus. Members of the GCPS Transportation team are hitting the road—and the internet highway—to meet and hire prospective drivers. GCPS drivers enjoy competitive wages—from $17.98 to $25.48 per hour and between six and eight daily work hours for morning and afternoon routes—as well as excellent benefits, fully paid training, and a great work schedule. They follow the student calendar and enjoy the benefit of time off on student holidays as well as summers off with full pay! Prospective drivers don’t need to hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Our Transportation Department trains and supports new drivers through the process! New drivers receive full pay throughout our award-winning and professional CDL training program.

    Applicants must be 21 or older, have a good driving record, and have a high school diploma or GED.


    Season 3 of the school district’s Teaching Gwinnett podcast, which features in-depth and informative interviews, is underway. The latest episodes are as follows:


    Find the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Play Music, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Overcast, Pocket Casts, iTunes, the Apple Podcast app, and the district website. Subscribe today!

    It is even easier for families 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.