WE HAVE A NEW G.A.T.E Teacher!!
October 3, 2017
Dear WTJ Families,
My name is Shannon Biggs and I am so excited to be part of the G.A.T.E team at Jackson. This is my eleventh year teaching, and my seventh as a gifted teacher. I am a Michigan native, but Georgia is all I know. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and both my master and specialist degrees from Brenau University.
My husband, David, and I have an adorable two year old son, Nolan. He brings us immense joy, but keeps us on our toes at all times! You can often find us playing outside or attending sporting event. (Nolan loves going to Braves, Falcons, and United games…as do David and I.)
Please check my Weebly: www.biggsgate.weebly.com often for classroom updates and pictures. Also, take a moment to complete the parent form under the Important Information tab. I look forward to a wonderful school year! If you are in the building, stop by and introduce yourself!
Here is a snapshot of our Spring '17 Milestones' Data around Writing. While our students do well in most areas, we do have room to grow. Our data trends higher in Informational and Opinion Writing thus the focus on Narrative Writing this year. More detailed information will be shared in parent teacher conferences.
DID YOU KNOW??
For professional development in the months of August and September our teachers are teaching each other. We've called on the expertise of our in-house gurus to share their professional knowledge. The areas our teachers are working on for August and September are:
Additional teacher-led sessions will be scheduled for October and November!! We have AMAZING teachers at Jackson!!
OCTOBER PARENT\TEACHER CONFERENCES:
in October, each teacher will be reaching out to schedule a parent\teacher conference. Please look for your invitation from your child's teacher.
SCHOOL CLOSED ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 DUE TO WEATHER
For more information please visit the Superintendent's blog at: https://twitter.com/carstarphenmj/status/906930014779842562
Please stay safe Jaguars!!
IB RISK TAKERS:
This month we celebrate our students who have been recognized as RISK TAKERS by their teachers. Risk Takers are identified as students who approach unfamiliar situations with courage, and like to explore new ideas. They are brave and stand up for what is right.
Each month teachers will identify students in their class that exemplify the IB Character Trait of the Month. While we know that all of our Jaguars display the IB characteristics, we want to recognize and celebrate our students!!
Way to go RISK TAKERS!!
LIGHTS - CAMERA - ACTION:
Our IB learners are TAKING ACTION!! One of the principles of IB is action. Our 4th grade students are taking action and are telling others. The 4th graders using the skills that they learning about types of writing to create commercials that they felt would inspire others to take action. What actions do they want us to take?? Watch their PSAs to find out!!
Our teachers now have access to their grade books!! The district experienced some issues at the start of the semester that delayed our teachers inputting grades. You should now be able to access IC and monitor your child's progress. If you do not have access to IC, please contact the Jackson Main front office for assistance.
A message from the APS Department of Teaching and Learning:
Dear APS Families,
Due to the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, Atlanta Public Schools will delay dismissal for all students by 30 minutes. This extension of the instructional day will allow students to experience the solar eclipse while also ensuring student and staff safety.
According to National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America and in Atlanta from around 1:02 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.
APS teachers will engage students in the investigation of the solar eclipse through various grade-band specific activities and instructional lessons. All staff have been provided with safety information. Additionally, the district has ordered over 50,000 “eclipse glasses” for students to safely view the eclipse.
Please notify your child’s teacher if you would like for your child to not participate in any eclipse-related activities. You are welcome to pick up your child early if you choose, however, the buses will run 30 minutes past the regular times.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school.
Atlanta Public Schools
Department of Teaching and Learning
We made it through our first week, and what a great week it was!!
Here are a few thing that parents need to be aware of!!
SPARK DAY IS COMING!!
Next week, WTJ STEAM is excited to host our 1st STEAM experience with the STE(A)M Truck team—Spark Days! On Wednesday-Friday, our 3rd-5th graders will engage in a fast-paced, hands-on learning experience as they explore each aspect of STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Each class will rotate through Escape from STEAM Island. These activities are designed to initiate ideas and explore the five aspects of STEAM. Students will have the opportunity to meet scientists, artists, engineers, and makers from the Atlanta community. STE(A)M Truck is a mobile makerspace designed around a multi-faceted curriculum with the goal to pull kids out of their comfort zones and help them see their awesome potential and opportunities for the future! For more information please visit www.steamtruck.org
**Grades K-2 will have SPARK Day on an upcoming date to be announced
Check out our STEM Weebly: www.wtjsteamlab.weebly.com
MEET OUR NEW TEACHERS
CYNTHIA AGEE - ART
Hello! I’m Cynthia Agee and I am thrilled to be the new art teacher at Jackson. My first week at school was a whirlwind of new faces, new spaces, and a warm welcome of support from the Jackson Elementary family. I am excited to return to work each day to teach and learn with our outstanding staff and students.
I have been an art educator for over 20 years, most recently at Kingsley Elementary in Dunwoody, GA. A New Jersey native, I received a B.A. in art education from Douglass College, the women’s college of Rutgers University and a M.A. in fine art from Montclair State University. My husband’s corporate relocation brought us to the South Hills of Pittsburgh, where we lived for 12 years. There, I worked as an Education Program Director for South Arts, a non-profit arts organization. While in Pittsburgh, I also studied and exhibited stained glass, receiving numerous awards for my work. After another relocation to Georgia, I returned to my first love, teaching art to children. I enjoy seeing the wonder, joy, and pride of accomplishment in their faces as they create, learn about, and discover art.
RONDA GEDWARD - PK MS. LOCKHART - Para
My experiences in education has taken me to Iowa, Louisiana, and Georgia. I have worked in the Special Education department for most of my career. I discovered my love for Special Education in 1984 while teaching high school general education Civics. I have taught Adapted Physical Education, Behavior Disorders, Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities, Mild and Moderate Intellectual Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Preschool Special Needs. Each experience has taught me valuable life lessons. I am beginning year 26 and I am still as passionate today as I was when I first began my career in education.
My first week at Jackson has been absolutely fantastic. I am enjoying getting to know the students, parents, teachers, and bus drivers! Jackson has been a welcoming experience and I want to thank everyone for being so helpful and willing to assist in anything that may arise.
I am most excited about learning the programs that are available to the students. Jackson has programs that are new to me and I cannot wait to learn about all of the excitement that the students display on a daily basis. I am also excited about my class, I cannot wait to give my students some amazing experiences that will follow them throughout their education career.
I am Dr. Ronda Gedward, I have been living in Georgia since 1999, I am originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana. I am a wife of 34 years, a mother of 3, a sister to 9 siblings, and an aunt to many. I enjoy reading and traveling to the places that I read about.
DAVID POWELL - 3RD
My name is David Powell and I am entering my 10th year of teaching this year. I'm thrilled too be a part of the Jackson family.
The first week of school has been a whirlwind of activity for the teachers just like it has been for all of you. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know my third-graders and seeing them begin to bond with each other. I am also excited to get to know my new colleagues and learn as much as I can from them.
On a personal note, I am married with one daughter who is also an APS student. We live in Candler Park and love sitting on our porch, going to the pool, and trying new restaurants. Please feel free to stop in and say hello.
DANIEL STOCKDALE - IRR
I am excited to be at Jackson Elementary School. This year I will be working with both Kindergarten and 3rd Grade. This is my 6th year teaching Special Education. Prior to teaching at Jackson Elementary School, I served as a Learning Specialist at Pinecrest Academy, and a Special Education Teacher at Pine Hill Middle School. My first week at Jackson flew by. I have the privilege of teaching at both the Main campus and the Primary campus. Therefore, I got an opportunity, during my first week, to meet a lot of the wonderful students we have here. I learned the families, teachers, and staff of Jackson are truly committed to our students and their academic success.
As an Atlanta native, it is a privilege being back in Atlanta, and working with this supportive community. I am most excited about the opportunity we have at Jackson to continue to be the standard for all APS elementary schools. I look forward to a high achieving academic year here at Jackson Elementary.
SHANE MAULLIN - IRR
My name is Shane Maullin, this is my first year at Jackson Elementary, and I am honored to be working at such a prestigious school with so many amazing professionals.
I moved to the United States of America, from South Africa, to pursue a degree in Education and attended the University of Texas and graduated Sumna Cum Laude with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Early Childhood through 8th Grade. I have a reading specialist endorsement, along with middle grades Social Studies. A Physical Education Certification and I am certified in Special Education. This is my 7th year as a teacher.
I have taught Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade and 3rd grade. I also taught at a Title i school in Dekalb County, The Galloway School, and The Lovett School and now I am so blessed to be at Jackson Elementary. My first week at Jackson Elementary has been spectacular and this is why: The PTA is very organized, ever present and most welcoming, kind and even more importantly, extremely supportive.
The teachers and administration and all the staff that so efficiently run this school, are so great at what they do. On my first day, I noticed how important safety and security is and taking good care of the students. Routines are in place and explained and reviewed. On my second day, I noticed rigorous education already under way. My excitement continues to grow as I see how happy the students are and how well they are taught and I can not wait to excel in my role as a part of the Special Education team.
A little more about me: I had the immense joy of becoming an American Citizen 2 months ago. Children and their happiness and developing their self-confidence are my passions. Thank you for entrusting me with their complete and well-rounded education.
STACEY CRADDOLPH - 4TH
Who am I?
I am a passionate and creative educator who previously worked in Child Welfare. I have always taken my professional roles seriously. My careers and service have had a profound impact on others and thus, I’ve always held myself at a high level of accountability.
As a teacher, I love to integrate subjects across the curriculum (especially the arts) and I believe it is imperative to use real-life scenarios to provide effective student engagement. Armed with more than a decade of experience in teaching elementary school, I desired a new experience (departmentalization) and thus braved the hallways of middle school for the past two years. After teaching 8th grade math and ELA in 7th, I found myself wanting to help students achieve and advance at an earlier age; elementary is the place to be.
So, here I am! My first week at Jackson Elementary has been beyond amazing! The students have a wealth of knowledge and creativity. They are eager to learn. At the same time, they are polite, energetic and super fun to teach. From the students and parents to the faculty, staff and administration, I have been given a most hearty welcome.
I am ecstatic about being a part of the Jackson family. I am a 4th grade educator who teaches math and science. I love art, culinary, poetry, writing, oratory, interior decorating (Who could’ve guessed that?), designing fashions & jewelry and so much more.
Who am I?
I am Stacey Craddolph, And I’m looking forward to getting to know you, too…
KACEY EDWARDS - RTI/SST SUPPORT SPECIALIST
As a native Clevelander ( GO CAVS!!), I have been in educator for more than 12 years as a teacher, assessment specialist, and now intervention specialist.
As a parent of two children (ages 12 & 15), I am most looking forward to helping the teachers of WTJ take their students to the highest levels possible.
Jackson is very excited about the direction that we are taking in the upcoming school year. As many of you know, APS experienced some challenges with the budget due to tax issues with the City of Atlanta. Facing these budget short comings, the Jackson Community as really stepped up. We are very grateful for the support the community, through the GO TEAM, PTA and Foundation, has provided us for the upcoming school year. This year, the changes we will experience at Jackson will be impactful to our academic programs and less visible through physical changes. Through the support of the community we are investing in our Media, Literacy, PBIS and STEM programs.
The Media Program support will be seen through the staffing of a Media Specialists on both the primary and main campuses.
Support will be seen in our Literacy Program though a balanced literacy approach. We have made substantial investments into our leveled book room, writing programs and progress monitoring. We are taking an individual approach to literacy instruction that looks at all students on an individual basis. Your child's teacher will share additional information about our literacy program during Curriculum Night on August 23rd.
Our STEM program is an expansion of our inquiry based instructional program that supports our IB Signature Program. STEM will support the development of our students in an ever changing world where STEM skills are becoming essential. Our students will experience hands on STEM concepts through our trout hatchery to explore the life cycle and our local ecosystems, coding and robotics to name a few. Our STEM Specialist will be engaging our STEM Committee which is comprised of parents and teachers to develop our emerging STEM Program.
Lastly, PBIS will be our approach to school wide positive behavior. A teacher committee spent the past year designing a program that will celebrate our students successes and set consistent expectations of behavior. Our PBIS program will continue the work we have already begun with the implementation of the SEL (Socio-Emotional Learning) Program.
While the impact of the annual fund may not be as visible this year, I can assure you that the impact to our academic programs will be immense. Our goal this year is to invest in our programs and teachers so that we continue to offer a strong program that will prepare out students for their world beyond Jackson.