• GCS Monday Morning
    A weekly update for Gaston County Schools employees and parents   •   April 10-16, 2017
    "Education is not solely about earning a great living. It means living a great life." - Brad Henry

Weekly Message

  • W. Jeffrey Booker
    Superintendent of Schools 
    Superintendent Booker
       They plan to major in biology, eng-ineering, bio-chemistry, nursing, and math education. They have their sights set on becoming doctors, teachers, nurses, scientists, and engineers. They are the Star Students in the Class of 2017, and there is no doubt that they will achieve all they aspire.
       Last Thursday, 12 seniors were recognized for their achievements during the Star Teacher-Student Awards ceremony at the Schiele Museum. The program is presented by Gaston County Schools and sponsored by The Gaston Gazette.
       In addition to learning about the students’ accolades and future plans, we heard about the teachers who had the most influence on their lives. The Star Teachers represent the very essence of an outstanding educator and they clearly understand the purpose of education. They have prepared their students for the challenges they will face in college and beyond and helped them to gain the knowledge, skills, courage, and self-confidence needed to reach their potential.
       We honor and thank the teachers who were selected for being a “star” in the eyes of the people who are most affected by their work – their students, and we commend our Star Students, who are shining brightly as they look ahead to graduation and beginning a new phase in life.
       The Board of Education joins me in congratulating our Star Teachers and Star Students for 2017. Thank you for striving for excellence in all that you do.

On the Calendar

  • April 10
    Board of Education Meeting
    Central Office
    5:30 p.m.
    April 14
    Holiday for Students and Employees
    April 17-20
    Spring Break
    Student Holidays/Teacher Annual Leave 
    April 21
    Spring Break 
    Optional  Teacher Workday
    April 17-18, 20
    Gaston County High School Baseball Tournament
    Sims Legion Park 
    April 26
    Administrative Professionals Day
    End of Fifth Six-Week Grading Period
    Gaston Gazette Best and Brightest Awards
    Schiele Museum
    4:30 p.m. 
    April 27
    Benefits Fair for Employees
    3:00-5:30 p.m.
    Sandy Plains Baptist Church, Gastonia

    April 29
    Quiz Bowl
    Forestview High School
    9:00 a.m.
    May 2
    Evening of Excellence Ceremony
    Gaston Country Club
    6:00 p.m. 
    May 4
    Fifth Six-Week Report Cards Distributed
    May 11
    Business and Community Partners Reception
    Sadler Elementary
    4:00 p.m.
    Click here for our calendar.
  • Meet our Star Teachers and Star Students
    Here is a look at our Star Teachers and Star Students in the Class of 2017. The teachers and students were recognized last Thursday during the annual Star Teacher-Student Awards ceremony at the Schiele Museum. Each school selected an outstanding senior and that student honored the one teacher who had the most influence on his or her life. Be sure to check the district website later this week for more about the ceremony and to read the student essays about the teachers. The ceremony will air on Channel 21 April 24-30 at 9:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. each day.

5 to Know

  • 1. A note about spring break and GCS Monday Morning
    All of us are looking forward to spring break, which begins this Friday and continues next week. Friday, April 14 is a holiday for students and employees and all schools and central office buildings are closed on Friday. April 17-20 are student holidays/teacher annual leave and April 21 is an Optional Teacher Workday. Students return to school on Monday, April 24. Because of spring break, the next edition of GCS Monday Morning will be published April 24.

    2. Board of Education meets tonight
    The Gaston County Board of Education will conduct its regular monthly meeting tonight (Monday, April 10) at 5:30 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room, 943 Osceola Street, Gastonia. The public is invited. Click here for the agenda. The meeting will air live on Channel 21 and Ustream.

    3. Student applications accepted for magnet schools
    We are accepting student applications for two of our magnet school programs: the Hawks Nest STEAM Academy and the new Gifted and Talented Academy at Pleasant Ridge Elementary. Students who will be in kindergarten next school year (2017-2018) may apply to attend Hawks Nest. Students who will be in grades K-4 may apply to attend the Gifted and Talented Academy. Parents who are interested in the magnet programs should submit an online application by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 15. Click here for more information.

    4. It’s National Library Week
    It’s National Library Week (April 9-15), a time for us to celebrate our school librarians/media specialists and all they do to help our students and support the instructional program. The theme for National Library Week is “Libraries Transform” and they do just that. As the heart of our schools, the library is the center for learning and opening young minds to new information and ideas. Click here to visit the American Library Association website for promotional ideas and information about National Library Week. And, be sure to say “thank you” this week to your school librarian!

    5. Deadline extended for Teaching and Learning Conference
    The deadline for teachers and other educators to sign up to serve as breakout session presenters for the Teaching and Learning Conference has been extended until Friday, April 21. The conference is a great way for educators to share what they know with their colleagues and discuss good ideas and helpful strategies. We are looking for sessions about topics that range from best practices in education to innovative classroom technology and everything in between. Click here for more information about submitting a presentation proposal. The conference will be held August 7-8 at Gaston College.

5 to Remember

  • 1. Take our annual school climate survey
    Parents, Students, and School Employees: Don’t forget about our annual school climate survey. We need to hear from you and value your feedback. Click here to take the survey. The survey will be available until this Thursday, April 13 at 5:00 p.m. The survey results will help us plan for the 2017-2018 academic year and prepare for the upcoming districtwide accreditation.

    2. Deadline approaches for Ron L. Ensley grants
    Attention, Teachers: Don’t forget about the Ron L. Ensley grants program. The grants are presented each spring by the Gaston County Education Foundation and fund innovative classroom lessons and projects. The application deadline is this Wednesday, April 12 by 5:00 p.m. Click here for information and the application.

    3. Parents may apply now for a student transfer
    The Student Assignment Office has information available about the student transfer process for the 2017-2018 academic year. Click here for the student transfer application. The application must be submitted by May 15, and notification letters will be mailed by June 1. It is important for parents to understand that students are not able to transfer to schools where enrollment is at or above capacity. For more information, call (704) 810-7284.

    4. Teacher transfer information for 2017-2018 year
    Information for teachers wishing to transfer to another school for the 2017-2018 academic year is available on the Human Resources webpage. Click here for the information. The deadline for teachers to apply for a transfer is Thursday, April 13 at 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (704) 866-6129.

    5. Annual enrollment for Flexible Benefits Plan
    Attention, Employees: The annual enrollment period for the Flexible Benefits Plan runs through June 13. Employees who are currently enrolled in one of the flexible spending accounts must re-enroll online or meet with the Pierce Group representative if they wish to continue contributing to the flexible spending account. If you do not take action, your current contribution will stop effective September 30, 2017. Click here for more information.  Employees will have the opportunity to learn more during our annual Benefits Fair on April 27 from 3:00-5:30 p.m. at Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Gastonia.

Points of Pride

  • As part of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the HOSA club at the Highland School of Technology collected 2,224 oral care products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss and distributed the items to homeless shelters, elementary schools, and nonprofit organizations.

    Chapel Grove Elementary sponsored a “Jump Rope for Heart” fundraiser and collected $2,222.82 for the American Heart Association.

    Gaston Early College High School juniors Cynthia Garcia and Kyra Rhyne were inducted into the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society at Gaston College. The honor recognizes them for their outstanding academic achievement in college-level classes.

    The Bessemer City High School band participated in the Music Performance Adjudication (MPA) program and earned superior ratings.
    Fourth grade students at Costner Elementary and fifth grade students New Hope Elementary participated in their school’s wax museum program.  The students dressed up as historical and famous people and shared information about the people they portrayed.
  • Class of 2015
  • Class of 2015

Communication Tip

  • What to do when you experience criticism 
    None of us like to be criticized. After all, we are working hard and trying to do our best. Often times, criticism puts us on the defense, stresses us out, and sometimes leads to an argument. When facing a critic, it is best to ask the question, “What do you mean?” Get your critic to explain his or her complaint so you gain a better understanding of the issue. When you do, you are more likely to uncover the reason for the criticism and improve the situation.

    Source: Communication Briefings
  • Class of 2015

On Twitter

  • This week's GCS Monday Morning is produced by the Communications/Public Information Department for students at Chapel Grove Elementary who participated in the “Jump Rope for Heart” fundraiser and everyone who cares about Gaston County Schools.
    Please e-mail information for GCS Monday Morning to Todd Hagans, Chief Communications Officer:  tthagans@gaston.k12.nc.us
    Click here to read past editions of GCS Monday Morning.