Georgia's Future. Now! Header
October 2013
Georgia Students
Georgia's Future. Now! 
is a package of initiatives that has withstood the scrutiny of teachers, principals and research.  It features high standards, evaluation and accountability measures focused on improvement, and career pathways to inspire students based on their personal interests and aligned with business needs.
Georgia's Future. Now! means: 

Georgia Schools Train on Family Engagement 
Georgia schools are learning how to roll out the red carpet for parents and community members.


Leaders from this year's Family-Friendly Partnership Schools recently spent a day learning best practices in customer service at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, a community partner for the award program. School administrators experienced the Ritz-Carlton's "wall of applause," a line of hotel employees that clapped and cheered as the educators walked down the hallway to lunch - a way for the hotel to show that simple appreciation goes a long way toward making parents and the community feel welcome at their schools.


This is the second year the Georgia Department of Education has handed out the family engagement awards to Title I schools across the state. The awards highlight the best in customer service for Georgia families, whether it's on the phone, at the front office or on the Internet. When it comes to parent engagement, the research is clear: when schools, families, and communities support each other, students of all backgrounds and ability levels achieve at the highest levels. The award program aims to honor schools that are innovative in how they get parents and the community involved each day in hopes of improving student achievement.


The 2013 award winners are:


The schools have welcoming staff members, comfortable waiting areas, clear signage and engaging student work throughout the building. They have easy-to-navigate websites and are forging partnerships with parents to help improve student achievement. The schools also provide unique, engaging and innovative parent engagement programming that is successful in reaching all families in the school.


Each school received phone calls and visits from "parents" looking for information or assistance. They also received a walk-through by department staff, which conducted interviews with school workers, parents, students and community members as part of the selection process. The winners got a welcome mat proclaiming their Family-Friendly Partnership designation, as well as the daylong training at the Ritz-Carlton.


Schools can apply for next year's awards by Nov. 14. To apply for the award or find out more about parent engagement, click HERE.


For more information on the recent training at the Ritz Carlton, see The Associated Press story on the program HERE.  

Innovation in Teaching Competition Winners Announced
Last month, Gov. Nathan Deal announced three winners in round one of the Innovation in Teaching Competition, a recognition and reward opportunity for teachers who demonstrate innovative teaching strategies in English Language Arts and Mathematics.


"The round one winners are among the most creative and effective teachers in our state, and I commend them for their willingness to share their practices with other educators through the Innovation in Teaching Competition," said Deal. "We know classroom teachers have the single biggest impact on student learning, and these winning first round teachers and those to be identified in the second round of the competition will help us ensure that every student has access to a highly effective and engaging teacher."


The winning teachers will receive a $2,000 stipend for serving as a leader to other educators, and the teachers' schools will receive a $5,000 grant. Georgia Public Broadcasting will film the winning educators teaching in their classrooms in fall 2013 and spring 2014, and the videos and supplemental materials will be provided to other educators, parents, institutions of higher education and other stakeholders.


The three winners in round one are listed below.


Sarah Welch

9th Grade Literature and Composition

Fannin County High School

Fannin County Schools


Charles Trader

8th Grade, Mathematics

St. Mary's Middle School

Camden County Schools


Amanda Cavin

First Grade, Gifted, Math and ELA

Union Grove Elementary

Henry County Schools


Applications for round two were due by Sept. 24, and awards will be announced by Oct. 31.


Administered by GOSA, the Innovation Fund is a $19.4 million competitive grant opportunity created through Georgia's Race to the Top plan. The state will use the Innovation Fund to determine best practices in innovative programming related to STEM education, applied learning and teacher and leader recruitment and development to influence future education policy efforts. GOSA has awarded $16.4 million to 23 different projects in three grant cycles. As interest in the Innovation Fund grows, the state will seek contributions from philanthropic organizations, nonprofits and businesses as a continuing source of start-up capital for promising innovations. 

More information about the Innovation Fund, including the Innovation in Teaching Competition RFP, can be found on the Governor's Office of Student Achievement website.
Georgia's Race to the Top Summit Webpage
Race to the Top logo
During the Summer of 2013, 
the Georgia Department of  Education-
Race to the Top Implementation Division held a Conference in Jekyll Island, GA.  The Race to the Top Summit was in collaboration with the Summer GAEL Conference.  There were more than 180 participants representing 44 different school districts (RT3 and Non-RT3 districts), education leaders from Georgia Department of Education (GADOE), Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), Governor's Office, and other Education partners.  

General Sessions

The six General Sessions covered issues such as: connectivity and alignment; updates on Common Core Georgia Performance Standards; Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES)/Leader Keys Effectiveness System (LKES); Assessments; Budgets and Sustainability; Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) and the Teacher Effectiveness Electronic Platform.  The General Session speakers included: Governor Nathan Deal, Dr. John Barge, Dr. Susan Andrews, and other GADOE Leaders.


Break Out Sessions

There were eleven different "Breakout Sessions".  These sessions provided a state-level update, as well as best practices from district, school, and classroom perspectives.   

Race to the Top (RT3) 2013 Summit Webpage
If you were unable to attend or you did attend and would like to watch some of the General Session presentations, then please visit the RT3 2013 Summit webpage.  You can view the videos, as well as download the PowerPoint presentations from the Break out Sessions.  
You are receiving this information based upon your subscription and/or involvement with Georgia's Race to the Top activities.  If you would like to unsubscribe, then please click below.  
The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the U. S. Department of Education.  However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U. S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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Georgia Department of Education
Race to the Top Communications

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