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 March 2012, Issue 1                                                  Follow us on Twitter Twitter | View our videos on YouTube YouTube | Like us on Facebook Facebook | View our profile on LinkedIn LinkedIn
In This Issue
Pay Dates for 2012-13
Painting with Paper
Employee of the Month
Guilford Parent Academy

Employee Express 
Save $50 on tax preparation services at Jackson Hewitt. Valid through April 17. Call 336-884-5709 for more information.

More GCS discounts
Respectful and Responsive Service 
Are you interested in learning what it takes to offer excellent service? There are two Respectful and Responsive Service training sessions coming up in March and April. Sign up through the Professional Development website

Grant Opportunities Featured Online
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers grants of up to $10,000 for teacher development and academic enrichment. The deadline to apply is April 15. Read more about this opportunity on the GCS Grants and Fund Development Office website. There are 21 more grant opportunities posted. Check them out!  

Connect-ED Training for Principals
GCS is offering principals the chance to brush up on their skills or learn more about using the Connect-ED phone messaging system. Several sessions will be offered on March 7. Learn how to create and send messages faster, make your message relevant and pull reports for your calls. Visit the Professional Development website to sign up.

Apply for the Prism Award
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is supporting teachers in promoting excitement for science and math in the classroom. Apply by March 5 for a $3,000 award to cover equipment and supplies for hands-on science and math curriculum and an additional $1,500 for professional development and training.


Ferndale Teachers Take Flight with NASA
Most middle school teachers are not able to test the science experiments they do with their students under the same conditions used by NASA. But recently, three teachers from Ferndale Middle were invited to spend the week at Johnson Space Center in Houston and fly on a reduced gravity plane. Watch the video below to find out what they learned and what their students thought of the experience. 

Your Feedback Requested on Pay Dates for 2012-13
House Bill 720, School and Teacher Paperwork Reduction Act, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, could impact when 10-month certified employees are paid during the 2012-13 school year. Currently, the Guilford County Board of Education is reviewing possible ways to schedule pay dates to coincide with the requirements in the new law and would like to get feedback from 10-month employees on a possible plan they are considering.

The board is considering four options for the pay schedule for 10-month employees. At its last meeting, the board expressed support in Option 2A, which keeps the pay date at the end of each month for 10-month employees and spreads deductions over 10 months. The board will make a final decision on whether to use it or another option at its meeting on March 6.

If you are a 10-month employee, please review the options currently under consideration and provide your feedback by March 6 by emailing gcscomments@gcsnc.com.

Painting with Paper
Paper Painting
The artwork above was created using paper strips to create a collage that looks like a painting.
Visual art teachers from across the district will gather at Fairview Elementary on March 3 and 4 for a hands-on workshop on painting with paper. Renowned collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson will present her techniques for "collage painting," a method of creating images with paint and glued paper. Nelson, who is from Orlando, Fla., has her work featured in many high-end galleries across the country.

The workshop is mostly full, but any teacher who is interested in attending can contact Lisa Skeen at skeenl@gcsnc.com about the possibility of attending. The cost for the two-day program is $150.

You can see more of Nelson's work at http://www.paperpaintings.com.  


Alamance Employee Fights Fires and More
Nidia Solano was surprised by students at Alamance Elementary.

Putting out a car fire is not on her list of job responsibilities, but that's exactly what the February Employee of the Month did recently, responding to smoke from a parent's car. Nidia Solano's quick thinking prevented an emergency from possibly becoming a tragedy.

The lead custodian is a hero to Alamance Elementary on a daily basis. Solano does her job exceptionally well, but she also takes on additional duties, such as serving as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking families or helping with afterschool care needs. And she is beloved by students, who seek her hugs and encouragement.

"She makes a significant contribution to the community daily," said Principal Patti Woodruff. "She serves as a role model to all employees as she centers around the students and staff of our elementary school. She is there for kids and exemplifies the mission of GCS schools each and every day!"

As Employee of the Month, Solano was surprised with a $50 gift card from Sam's Club, which generously supports the recognition program.

Nominations are accepted year-round, so nominate your coworkers today! You can also nominate great volunteers for the Volunteer of the Month award.

Submit an Employee of the Month nomination

Submit a Volunteer of the Month nomination 


Guilford Parent Academy Offers Lunchtime Learning
Parent AcademyGuilford Parent Academy held its first Lunch and Learn program for central office employees in February. More than 30 employees attended "Coupon Conspiracy" at the Eugene Street administrative office to learn more about how to save money at the grocery store through couponing.  


Since the first Lunch and Learn for central office staff was so successful, Guilford Parent Academy is interested in hosting more of these opportunities. Parent Academy wants to know what you would be interested in learning over lunch. All topics should be aligned with one of four major themes:  

  • Tools for Parents. Information and experiences for parents to help children feel good about themselves as they grow and learn successfully.  
  • School Success. Empowering parents to support children to reach for 21st Century opportunities and to meet 21st Century challenges.  
  • Health and Wellbeing. Information and activities to support healthy family lifestyles.  
  • Personal Growth and Development. Opportunities for personal growth for parents to enrich their lives and their children's lives.  

A list of presentations can be found on the Parent Academy website. If you are interested in a topic that you don't see listed, please suggest it any way and Parent Academy will check on the availability of a presenter. To suggest a topic for future Lunch and Learns, email parentacademy@gcsnc.com or call 336-279-4924.