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GaDOE Updates Newsletter: May 1, 2014

Good afternoon! Welcome to the third edition of GaDOE Updates, a newsletter from the Georgia Department of Education. Every other week, we’ll be sending out a roundup of news, information and spotlights on K-12 public education in Georgia. In between, keep up with GaDOE on Facebook and Twitter.


We need your ideas for GaDOE Updates

Do you know a teacher pioneering innovative instructional techniques? How about a graduate of Georgia’s public schools who’s succeeding in the workforce? There’s so much good news in public education, and we want to write about it. Send your story ideas for GaDOE Updates to Communications Specialist Meghan Frick at or Communications Director Matt Cardoza at


A glance at the wide world for Cairo High School students

Between Cairo High School and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, New Jersey, there are a million little variations in culture, education, and upbringing. Cairo High is a public school in a tucked-away, rural setting, with a population that is comparatively racially diverse. Rae Kushner is an urban, private Rabbinical school. But for weeks now, students at both schools have been connecting online – and the dialogue that’s developing is helping them embrace diversity. Read the full story here.


Graduate Spotlight: Derek Lewis, Disney engineer and Georgia public school graduate

Meet Derek Lewis, senior mechanical engineer at Walt Disney World and 2001 graduate of Troup County High School. Derek spends his days designing and analyzing rides and attractions at Disney World, and installing and implementing new equipment after-hours in the parks. It’s a journey that started in Georgia’s public schools, where advanced math courses, STEM-focused extracurriculars and dedicated teachers helped ignite a love of learning. Read the full story here. It’s the first in a series featuring exceptional graduates of our public schools.


Georgia’s Performance Learning Centers recognized by U.S. Department of Education

Last February, 16-year-old Megan enrolled at the Richmond County Performance Learning Center in Augusta, Georgia, with just one high school credit to her name. She had lost ground academically while caring for her ill father and then was thrust into the unstable world of foster care after he died. This spring, only a year after coming to the alternative high school, Megan is just a little shy of hitting the halfway mark toward graduation. She enjoys writing and literature, and is feeling hopeful about her future. She also thinks her father would have been proud. Read the rest of this inspiring story, featured on the blog, here.


Around DOE lately

2012 and 2013 College and Career Ready Performance Index scores were released last week. Want to know how your school or district is performing? View the 2012 scores or 2013 scores. Learn more about the Index here.


Georgia’s public schools in the news  

Students use plastic bags to help homeless:


No place for hate at Cleveland Road Elementary:


Oconee High science students test the waters:


Sycamore Elementary eases parents’ minds as kindergarten transition begins: (and photos:


Save the date:


May 9: Georgia Induction Summit (register by TODAY)


June 16: Applications due for SAMHSA “Now is the Time” grants for LEAs (supports training of school personnel and others to detect and respond to mental illness in children and youth)


June 19 and 20: Georgia Virtual Learning’s Professional Learning Symposium (register by May 30)


July 8-10: Safety in Our Schools Conference, UGA Hotel and Conference Center, Athens


Remember: Send your tips, ideas and events to and And keep up with GaDOE at and @GaDOEnews on Twitter.​