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08/11/2017

Excitement mixed with a little bit of shyness told the story of the first day of school at Beaver Ridge Elementary on Monday morning.

Principal Karen Lillard welcomed parents and students as they navigated through the congested parking lot and drop-off area before they arrived inside the school. For kindergarten students, their nervousness and hesitation might only have been surpassed by their parents’ own apprehension. But Lillard said she reassured them that they’re welcome to check in on their child if need be.

In the classrooms, students were looking forward to reading, math and social studies.

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08/11/2017

There’s no shortage of ways to communicate these days, but Gwinnett County Public Schools has added a district-wide system primarily to be used in emergency situations.

This school year GCPS will use SchoolMessenger to communicate emergency and non-emergency messages to families by phone, text and email. Districtwide events, including key school dates, weather-related closings and automated attendance are expected to be the most common messages.

The new SchoolMessenger system uses contact information that parents provide to their child’s school. If parents need to change or update their contact information, they can contact their child’s school or make the changes in the parent portal.

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08/02/2017

Students at Berkmar and Meadowcreek high schools got a chance to begin a path toward a degree in science and medicine thanks to a two-week program at the Suwanee campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Second-year doctor of osteopathathic medicine student Claire Dorcent led the program as student coordinator, and said in a press release that the main goal of the Opportunities Academy was to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the health care fields.

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08/02/2017

Marlon Allen led about 2,000 school bus drivers as they jumped, shouted and danced in the Hebron Baptist Church worship hall Monday morning.

Allen, a local pastor and past president of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett, was leading a sort of pep rally celebrating the hard work of the Gwinnett School System’s “unsung heroes” — the bus drivers.

“This school system is a winning school system,” Allen said. “This school system is a successful school system. And I believe it all starts with the people in this room. I have given you the title of ‘game changers.’”

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07/24/2017

Even in retirement, Frances Davis is looking to gain leadership development.

The former head of human resources for Gwinnett County Public Schools, who remains in an associate superintendent role for district performance and community engagement, announced plans to retire in September. This week, she was named to the first group of the executive leadership development program for the Southern Education Foundation, the Racial Equity Leadership Network.

Despite her retirement, Davis remains active in GCPS, and worked on the recently released teacher performance compensation system. She has said she would continue to work on special projects. When her retirement was announced, Davis was in her 38th year in public education, 24th year in Gwinnett and 15th year in her HR position.
 
The Racial Equity Leadership Network is an initiative that it said is crafted for individuals who exhibit a readiness to champion equity-centered solutions to addressing historic racial disparities in schooling.

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07/21/2017

As parents arrived Thursday morning to pick up their children from a literacy camp at Ivy Creek Elementary, there were several thumbs-ups to teachers while students gave hugs and posed for cellphone pictures.

Addison Thayer, a rising fourth-grader, attended the 14th annual Mill Creek Cluster Student Literacy Institute where about 130 students ages six through 15 learned from seven teachers about the craft of writing without the burden of a test prompt.

“I didn’t know I was going to write this much, and make a book,” Addison said, moments after a hug with teacher Lynn Worley. Addison’s book is titled “The New Kid” and is about how two kids respond to a bully.

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