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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Fall 2023 Essentials

A Message from Dr. Calvin J. Watts

Our Blueprint for the Future, the district’s strategic plan, defines our strategic priorities for the next five years in four priority areas: empathyequityeffectiveness, and excellence. We believe that a collaborative effort between our schools, parents, and students is the key to achieving excellence, and this work is called out in our strategic plan. As we embark on a new academic year, I have prioritized school and classroom visits and intentionally connecting with students, teachers, staff, and leaders as we continue to implement our strategic plan. As we head into fall, I have been reflecting on the crucial elements that form the foundation of a successful educational experience for your child. To support the academic, behavioral, and operational excellence we want for every student in every school, I believe there are four key areas we can all collectively focus on:

School Attendance: Regular school attendance is fundamental to each and every student’s academic success. Students who attend
school consistently (missing two or fewer days per month) are more likely to succeed academically, develop good habits, and build strong relationships with their teachers and peers. Parent/Family Engagement: We believe that education is a partnership between schools and
families. As families, your active involvement in your child’s education makes a significant difference. Attending parent-teacher conferences,
joining parent associations, and participating in school events are ways to engage in your child’s learning. Your support and engagement reinforce the importance of education and inspire your child to strive for success.

Student Behavior: Creating a safe and secure learning environment is essential for every student’s growth. We have high expectations for student behavior and encourage positive values such as respect, responsibility, and empathy. By fostering good behavior and holding those accountable who do not follow school rules, we help students develop the social and emotional skills they need to thrive in and outside the classroom.

Two-Way Meaningful Communication: Communication is the key to understanding and collaboration. We are committed to maintaining open and meaningful communication with our families. We continue to invest in tools like ParentSquare to increase communication opportunities, and we are constantly working to improve communication within and throughout our district.

I believe we can achieve our mission to provide an excellent educational experience for every student in our district by prioritizing school attendance, fostering parent engagement, promoting positive student behavior, and maintaining meaningful communication. This publication includes examples of our transformational work and intentional actions aligning with our strategic plan and supporting these commitments across our county.

Thank you for entrusting us with your child’s education. We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to working closely with you to support your child’s growth and development.

Our Blueprint in Action

A community-wide effort to create our shared vision for student success—the Portrait of a Graduate—includes the skills, competencies, and attitudes our community believes are vital for students to possess when they graduate.

E-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education)

Since the start of SPLOST VI collections in 2022, Gwinnett County Public Schools has continued to use the one-cent sales tax to meet the needs of the school system through the construction of new schools and additions, as well as the renovation of classroom spaces and facilities.

GCPS Continues to Focus on Safety

School safety and communication with parents continue to be a priority in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Review some of the critical safety updates GCPS is implementing in the 2023-24 school year.

Essentials Archive

Published in a printed format twice a year, Essentials focuses on key programs around the district, calendar notes, achievement highlights, and the "essential" news you don't want to miss.