Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

GaDOE Updates Newsletter: September 3

Good morning! Welcome to the ninth edition of GaDOE Updates, a newsletter from the Georgia Department of Education. This is a space for news, information, and spotlights on K-12 public education in Georgia. You can also keep up with DOE on Facebook and Twitter.


Remember: Send your tips, ideas and events to and


Your Voices: Advice for new teachers, and highlights of the first days of school

We asked two questions on our Facebook and Twitter accounts (linked above). The first: If you could give one piece of advice to first-year teachers, what would it be? The other: Now that school has started all over the state, what was the highlight of your first week?


One answer to the question about first-year teachers, from Jaki Day on Facebook: “Love your students. Ask for help when you need it. Let your students teach you sometimes…show them that everyone in your class learns…even the teacher.” Read the rest of the answers here.


And an answer to the question about the start of school, from Lezley Barker Anderson on Facebook: “A student with disabilities [recognized] me from the morning news show when I entered his classroom to visit. He said, ‘I know you! You said we are powerful!’ Yes, sir! You are! You just don’t know how much!” Read the rest of the answers here.


Georgia Education Leadership Institute 2014: We’re on the final stretch!

In one week, education leaders from all over Georgia (and beyond) will gather to learn and build connections together. The second annual Georgia Education Leadership Institute will run from Wednesday, Sept. 10 to Friday, Sept. 12  at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. If you attend, you’ll have the chance to hear from gubernatorial candidates Sen. Jason Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal, and from State School Superintendent candidates Richard Woods and Valarie Wilson. We also have two keynote speakers: Michele Gay, a mother and former teacher who took action as a school-safety advocate after losing her daughter, Josephine Grace, to the Sandy Hook shooting; and Dr. Crystal Kuykendall, who will speak about the causes of – and solutions for – the underperformance and low achievement of many at-risk students. And there’ll be breakout sessions on everything from school climate to career pathways. If you haven’t registered yet for the Institute, you can do so here.



“Too many kids in Georgia can’t read this book, and that’s not fair.”

Take a look at photos and video from last month’s launch of the Get Georgia Reading campaign. From Superintendent Barge’s talk at the event: “I promise you that we will continue every effort and invest every dollar that we have in professional learning, to make sure we have teachers who are ready and able to make sure you’re ready for your next step in life.”



Around DOE lately

-Teachers, school leaders, parents, and students: We want you to know that you can access free, interactive digital textbooks through our website. They’re available for middle and high school courses and feature supplemental and interactive content – study guides, discussion questions, games, audio recordings, etc. To access the textbooks, visit this link.


-We’re currently accepting applications for the 2015 Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School Awards, which recognize K-12 Title I schools that have gone above and beyond to create an environment where families and community members feel comfortable and can get involved. More information here. Application form here.


-State Board of Education members continue to hold public hearings in their congressional districts, with the purpose of hearing comments from interested citizens and educators regarding the performance and problems of public education – including comments about the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, as part of the State Board’s formal evaluation of these standards.


Upcoming hearings: District 1, District 2, and District 11 on September 4; District 8 and District 9 on September 9. The full schedule is here.


Around the districts

The Bibb County School District’s Family Engagement team sent these photos from the introductory and team-building session they held to jumpstart the school year. From Family Engagement Specialist Dawn Scott: “During the meeting, participants engaged in activities from the GaDOE Parent Engagement Program’s professional development module, Get in the Game-A Parent Engagement Playbook.  The module is geared to provide schools with a fresh new approach to tackle the longstanding issue of improving collaboration between schools and families.”

Another great photo: In Bacon County, Superintendent Dr. Laine Reichert and Bacon County High School Principal Dr. Ryan Gravitt took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in front of the BCHS student body. (They also made donations.)

Did you take the Ice Bucket Challenge? We’d love to see your photos and videos!


Georgia’s public schools in the news

Students score perfect papers on National Latin Exam | Gwinnett Daily Post:


Voices from inside a school with no racial majority (features Valley Point Middle School in Dalton) | Education Week:


Save the date:


Sept. 10-12: Second Annual Georgia Education Leadership Conference. Register here.


Sept. 18: UGA College of Education State of Education Conference, Athens. Register here.


October 8-10: Second Annual Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference. Register here.


Oct. 20-21: The Georgia STEM Forum, Athens. Register here (early registration ends Sept. 19).


Dec. 3: Deadline for submissions to the State Botanical Garden’s student art competition. More information here.


View previous newsletters: August 22August 1June 13May 30May 14May 1April 11March 28