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 GaDOE Library Media Update - November 2016

Table of Contents

  • Op-Ed by Superintendent Woods: VISION 2020
  • GaDOE creates ‘Literacy Think Tank’
  • Annual GALILEO User Survey
  • Discovering Georgia’s Primary Resources Workshop
  • Largest Learning Event in History
  • TEACH BOLDLY with new PBS Teachers' Lounge and Enter Sweepstakes
  • What Could You Do with $1,000 for Classroom Technology?
  • November in Georgia History
  • Worth Sharing
  • Going Social
  • GaDOE Media Mailing List

Op-Ed by Superintendent Woods: VISION 2020

Here’s one thing I know for sure: no group, business, or organization can thrive without a clear vision and strategic plan to guide its work.  
Success in our public schools is no different.
At the Georgia Department of Education, our primary purpose is providing high-quality service and support for schools and districts, so they’re able to offer a holistic education to each and every child in our state. To get this done – to ensure that students are graduating ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead – we must cast an ambitious and attainable vision, paired with clear and measurable goals.
That’s why I’ve created GaDOE’s VISION 2020. This is not a new direction, but an expression of the GaDOE’s strategic plan as we move forward in placing the child back into the center of Georgia’s education system. 

Our VISION 2020 ensures that we remain fully focused on supporting the needs of our children.
By 2020…

  • Every child will have access to Georgia-owned and Georgia-grown standards, and teachers will have access to high-quality instructional resources and support.
  • Every child in Georgia will be on a path to being proficient in reading by third grade and being proficient in math by fifth grade. 
  • Georgia will exceed the national average graduation rate.
  • Every child in Georgia will earn college and/or career credit before they graduate high school.
  • The number of high-stakes tests will be reduced to the federal minimum while support for diagnostic tools in all core content areas will be provided.
  • Every child in Georgia will have access to a STEM or STEAM certified school.
  • Every child in Georgia will have access to computer science and fine arts learning opportunities.
  • Every teacher and leader in Georgia will have access to high-quality, relevant, personalized professional learning.
  • State and federal processes, procedures, and policies will be streamlined and integrated in order to provide maximum flexibility to districts while ensuring transparency to taxpayers.
  • We will increase the number of Georgia districts that meet or exceed the goals of their performance contracts through innovative practices, academic growth, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Seventy percent of public schools will achieve a 4- or 5-star climate rating.
  • At least 20% of the meal requirements for the student lunch will be comprised of Georgia Grown products.
  • Every elementary and middle school student will have access to at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • We will ensure an open and clear line of communication to the Georgia Department of Education and continual opportunities to provide meaningful, ongoing feedback.
We face real challenges in education – but often, I think we overcomplicate the solutions. We chase fads and silver bullets as we seek to improve. The reality is, in order to truly improve education, we have to focus on the fundamentals – that’s what helped generations of public-school graduates lead the United States to become the greatest nation in the world.

To educate Georgia’s future – our children – we must have a forward-thinking vision. VISION 2020 focuses on attainable goals that will benefit all students. When we meet the goals and vision set forth in this plan, I believe we’ll be well on our way to providing a world-class education for Georgia’s students.

GaDOE creates ‘Literacy Think Tank’

Agency partners with higher education to design strategies for literacy

The Georgia Department of Education, in partnership with the Get Georgia Reading Campaign and the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia, is convening a “Literacy Think Tank” composed of literacy faculty from Georgia’s colleges and universities. This group of 58 teacher educators will review data about the ways communities and schools are creating conditions for learning and help design strategies to engage teachers across the state as partners, so that every child has a teacher who uses high-quality instructional methods for literacy. 
The Literacy Think Tank is part of Georgia’s statewide literacy initiative and efforts to engage all stakeholders to ensure that every child is on a path to reading proficiently by third grade. The GaDOE is also working with classroom teachers through its English Language Arts Advisory Committee, as well as community groups, students, and teachers from around the state. 
“As we work to ensure that all Georgia students are prepared with the crucial skill of literacy, we need everyone who has an impact on classroom learning at the table,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The new Literacy Think Tank is an exciting opportunity to partner more closely with higher education and work to enhance literacy alongside the individuals and institutions who prepare our classroom teachers.” 
The Literacy Think Tank held its first meeting September 27, discussing the need for a focus on literacy in Georgia, the state and federal context for an increased focus on literacy, and next steps for the statewide literacy plan. 
“Georgia has been steadily improving literacy learning over the last ten years,” said Caitlin Dooley, GaDOE’s Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “We need to scale that improvement and ensure that every child has access to a great literacy teacher. This group of literacy faculty are critical to this goal – they’re the ones who do the work and know the context. We can’t do this without their help.”

Annual GALILEO User Survey

The Annual GALILEO User Survey will be conducted November 7-13. The survey is an opportunity for students, media specialists, and other educators to share their views of GALILEO. The incentive this year is a Kindle Fire, a handy device for reading those new e-books available to K-12 schools this year. All “end users” are eligible to be included in the random drawing. Sorry, but media specialists and staff are not eligible. We will be announcing that the survey is live through social media and through the GALILEO Listserv.

Discovering Georgia’s Primary Resources Workshop

The New Georgia Encyclopedia and GALILEO/Digital Library of Georgia are pleased to announce a free workshop for Georgia's social studies teachers, to be held in Atlanta on June 25-27, 2017. The workshop will offer an in-depth look at the three branches of state government, with tours and special events pertaining to each one. Participants will also collaborate with each other and the staffs of NGE/GALILEO to create digital primary source packages related to the history and functions of Georgia's state government.

Largest Learning Event in History

Over the last three years the Hour of Code has reached more than 100 million students in over 180 countries. Last year, educators helped make this the largest learning event in history, with record participation from girls and underrepresented minorities.

This year, you can help reach every student with the opportunity to learn.

Sign up your classroom today and get ready to do an Hour of Code with your class! 

Teachers who join the movement early will also get a free kit with inspirational posters featuring young tech entrepreneurs for their classrooms!

TEACH BOLDLY with new PBS Teachers' Lounge and Enter Sweepstakes

This fall, PBS Education is kicking off a new school year with the launch of TEACH BOLDLY, a year-long celebration to honor educators across the country. This multi-platform, teacher-centric campaign started on September 12 as part of Spotlight Education week.

TEACH BOLDLY allows educators to explore the new PBS Teachers’ Lounge - a creative digital space where teachers can share ideas, learn from peers, find daily inspiration, and tap into the resources they need to enhance their work in the classroom.

Each day, visitors to the PBS Teachers’ Lounge can also sign up to participate in the TEACH BOLDLY Sweepstakes for a chance to win a 1-month supply of coffee (plus a coffee maker, cups, and sleeves) for the teachers’ lounge at their school.

What Could You Do with $1,000 for Classroom Technology? understands the importance of technology not only for entertainment, but also as a tool for learning. Therefore, they are giving teachers the opportunity to enter to win $1,000 to spend on classroom technology that will facilitate a more constructive learning environment.

November in Georgia History

The New Georgia Encyclopedia (NGE) features some interesting events that occurred in Georgia during the month of November. Here are some significant historical events for this month on NGE:


The Anne set sail from England, carrying James Oglethorpe and Georgia's first colonists.


The first steamboat appeared on the Savannah River.


Union general William T. Sherman set fire to Atlanta on November 15, before embarking on his destructive March to the Sea.


Frank Sinkwich, a halfback for the UGA football team, won the Heisman Trophy.

Worth Sharing

GaDOE Media Mailing List

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Thank you,

Tony Vlachakis
Educational Technologist 
Library/Media Liaison