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Pursuing Excellence for All

Vol. 1, 2018

S D o i e T

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Pursuing Excellence for All

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Table of Contents 6 8 9 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 28

About the Cover Board of Education Connect with Us School Principals College & Career Academy Nutrition Teaching and Learning 1D Golden Pass School Highlights National Distinguished Principal

DCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities, including athletic programs. The accuracy of the content within this publication is subject to change prior to dissemination.

Creative Services Provided by Metro Market Media, parent company of Dawson County News. Kerri Ivie - Creative Services Manager Indigo Whatley - Ad Design Chelsea Sunshine - Magazine Design

2018 Retirees Exceptional Children Student Support 2018 Graduation Online Learning Days DCHS Alumni Work Based Learning, Dual Enrollment, & Become a Partner Finance Technology 2018-19 School Calendar

To contact a member of the leadership team, call (706) 265-3246 or email as listed below:

Hershel Bennett, Director of Exceptional Children

Damon Gibbs, Superintendent

Janice Darnell, Director of Student Services

Rick Brown, Chief Operations Officer

Linda Byrd, Director of School Nutrition

Lisa Perry, Chief Human Resources Officer

Scott Morgan, Director of Facilities

Jamie Ulrich, Executive Director of Finance

Jim Rich, Director of Transportation

Nicole LeCave, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning

Tracey Compton, Director of School Improvement & Accountability

Roman Gaddis, Executive Director of Technology

Mail: 28 Main Street, Dawsonville, Ga 30534



Teachers of the Year

Dawson County Schools’ Central Office

About Dawson County Schools

Stay connected:

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Message from the Superintendent/ DCN Welcome

The 2018-19 OneDawson magazine is produced by Dawson County News with the help of Dawson County Schools. For information, contact (706) 265-3246.

Telephone: (706) 265-3246 @DawsonSchools



Website: Connect1Dawson



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Pursuing Excellence for All

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A Message From the Superintendent We are excited to partner with the Dawson County News to launch the first ever OneDawson Magazine. While viewing this magazine, our goal is for you to find helpful information about the Dawson County School System. If you have questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact us with your educational needs. There are many options for children and youth involvement in Dawson County. We have very active extra-curricular activities in Dawson County including FFA, 4-H, Career/Tech Student Organizations, many service organizations, athletics, band, music, drama and art. I encourage parents to assist their children in exploring their many options. This is a very important part of college and career readiness. This summer, we broke ground on our new College & Career Academy. This state of the art facility will be located on Perimeter Road, next to Dawson County High School, and will open its doors in August 2019. We also have several technology initiatives for the school year. We will be rolling out the final phase of our iPad initiative. At the completion of our final phase, all students K-12 will be provided with an iPad. This initiative is transforming the way our students learn, moving from a teacher directed experience

to a student driven experience. We have also moved to a single sign-on platform that allows students and staff to use a single login and password to access all available instructional tools. We have made several safety upgrades for the 2018-2019 school year that were driven, in large part, from input gathered at our school safety meeting held in spring 2018 Please let us know if we can be of any assistance. I look forward to a great 2018-19 school year!

We are “One Dawson!” Sincerely, A. Damon Gibbs, Ed.D., Superintendent Dawson County Schools

Welcome to the 2018-19 OneDawson magazine! As residents of Dawson County, we at the Dawson County News recognize the incredible asset that our world-class public school system is in the community and the impact it has on our quality of life. As a product of the school system myself, I understand firsthand how the Dawson County School System is working to shape young minds and lead our community to be the best it can be. With a stellar board of education leading the way and teaching and administrative staff who work hard to see each student succeed, as well as a 1:1 initiative placing top-of-the-line technology into every student’s hands, Dawson County Schools is looking toward the future of education and is working to keep students up to date with the latest learning models.

This magazine will tell you everything you need to know about Dawson County Schools, from who represents you on the board of education, to ways your student can get involved both in and out of the classroom to resources for every learner at every age. We hope that as you look through these pages you are proud of the system your child is a part of, as well as feel excited for the future of Dawson County Schools. We know we are. Allie Dean, Editor

With the graduation rate at its highest ever in 2017, Dawson County Schools is soaring to new heights and we can’t be more proud to partner with the school system for its first-ever magazine. 6




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About the cover: DAWSON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE IS HIGHEST EVER According to the Georgia Department of Education, the 4-year graduation rate for the Dawson County High School Class of 2017 is 96.7 percent, up from 93.8 percent in 2016. This is the highest rate ever achieved by Dawson County Schools. The cohort graduation rate includes all students who graduate in four years after entering ninth grade. The 2017 cohort graduation rate ties Dawson with two other systems, Union and Stewart Counties, for the 4th highest district graduation rate in Georgia. That comparison includes all 181 school districts across the state. In the top five, only Calhoun City Schools had a larger graduating class than DCHS, and only 15 systems in Georgia graduated more than 95 percent of their senior class. The average rate across Georgia is 80.6 percent. The school district’s graduation rate has improved each year for the past six years, increasing from 79.9 percent in 2012 to 96.7 percent in 2017. Increasing the school district graduation rate is a team effort by our administrators, teachers, counselors, graduation coach, social workers, nurses and all other support personnel who work with students and families on a daily basis. “Graduating students who are college and career ready is our end goal and can only be accomplished through cooperative efforts between our K-12 faculty and staff and our community. This type of accomplishment is a team effort and we want to extend a special word of appreciation to each of our stakeholders.” - Dr. Damon Gibbs, Superintendent

Go Tigers! 8




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Board of Education: DISTRICT REPRESENTATION Dawson County is divided into five districts for representation on the Board of Education. Members must live in the district they represent but are elected by the county at large. Members serve 4-year staggered terms with three members elected during one election and two during the next. Communities served by each district are as follows: District I: Juno, Westside, Amicalola; District II: Dawsonville; District III: Liberty, Kilough; District IV: Black’s Mill, Barrettsville; At-Large: Member can reside in any district. Doris Cook, District 1, 12 years

LEADERSHIP The Dawson County Board of Education is a group of five citizens who are elected by the voters in four geographic areas of the county to govern the public school system. It is the board members’ responsibility to ensure that the school system operates efficiently, is financially and legally sound, and has the best interest of children as its primary focus. The board is responsible for setting the school system’s annual budget and for securing the funding necessary for operating the schools. Foremost in the minds of all board members is their commitment to providing the best possible education for all students so that each can reach his/her maximum potential. Countless hours are devoted by board members in planning and training to ensure that the children of Dawson County are given a quality education. Elaine Wilson, District 2, 14 years

! Karen Armstrong, Chairperson, District 3, 4 years

Roger Slaton, Vice Chairperson District 4, 31 years

Will Wade, at large, 14 years


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BOARD MEETINGS The board meets in regular session on the second Monday night of each month (with the exception of April when the meeting is held the third Monday) at 6:00 p.m. The Tuesday night preceding the second Monday is the board’s work session. All official meetings of the board are open to the public and follow Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised. Policies have been established for speakers regarding the appropriate nature and content of public presentations at board meetings. Citizens are encouraged to attend so that they can become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the school system. All regular board meetings and work sessions are held at the board of education, 28 Main Street in Dawsonville.

BOARD MEMBERS: From left, Superintendent Damon Gibbs, Doris Cook, Chair - Karen Armstrong, Will Wade, Elaine Wilson and Vice-Chair - Roger Slaton.

The board has received the Exemplary School Board recognition for a third year. The award compliments our board for following best practices in school governance and leadership.





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using current media ry” Sto r Ou ll “Te to n aig mp ca c nti the 1Dawson isisananauauthentic campaign to “Tell Our Connect 1Dawson ma to infor Connect Story” current storiesusing eo vid t or sh of m ea str y ad ste a Connect 1Dawson is an authentic campaign to “Tell Our Story” using current media ute trib and dis create s. We willWe trendtrends. . hoolsvideo media will create and distribute aonsteady stream short stories ty Sc unof on Covideo in Da s goingstream trends. Werec willepcreate ofwsshort stories to inform a e about whaat’steady diencdistribute tive auand

to inform a receptive audience about what’s going on in Dawson County Schools.

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Get Connected! Stay in touch with Dawson County Schools by downloading our new mobile app! Download on your mobile device today and select yes to receive push notifications with the latest news and updates from the District.

KEY FEATURES notifications  Push Select yes when you download the app to receive the latest push notifications from the district and your school.

Events  Calendar Add events to the calendar on your personal mobile device directly from the calendar section on the app.

 News Check out the latest district wide and school news all in one place!

Download Today!

Text/Email Alerts To receive messages via text, text @dc-schools to 81010. You can opt-out of messages at anytime by replying, 'unsubscribe @dc-schools'. Trouble using 81010? Try texting @dc-schools to (706) 256-8294 instead.

Or to receive messages via email, send an email to To unsubscribe, reply with 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.


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SCHOOL PRINCIPALS: Dawson County Schools enroll more than 3,500 students across eight sites, consisting of four elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high school, one high school, with a nontraditional academy campus and our central office.

Black’s Mill Elementary School Cindy Kinney, Principal 1860 Dawson Forest Road E (706) 216-3300

With over 500 employees, we are the county’s largest employer.


Kilough Elementary School Teresa Conowal, Principal 1063 Kilough Church Road (706) 216-8595

Riverview Elementary School Julia Mashburn, Principal 370 Dawson Forest Road E (706) 216-5812

Robinson Elementary School Page Arnette, Principal 1150 Perimeter Road (706) 265-6544

Dawson County Middle School Randi Sagona, Principal 5126 Hwy. 9 S (706) 216-4849

Dawson County Junior High School Connie Stovall, Principal 109 Allen Street (706) 216-5801

Dawson County High School Brody Hughes, Principal 1665 Perimeter Road (706) 265-6555



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College and Career Academy: PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE Career tech and dual enrollment students in the Dawson County School System will soon have a brand new facility at their disposal when the state-of-the-art College and Career Academy opens in August 2019. The 35,000 square foot, two-story facility will be located adjacent to Dawson County High School and will house new labs for the school’s dual enrollment students. The first floor will feature labs for early childhood education, culinary arts, construction, engineering and technology as well as outdoor work areas, classrooms and a seminar room, while the second floor will house two multi-use business and computer science labs, a science lab, a healthcare science lab, classrooms and a broadcast and video production lab and studio. The space will help the school system better serve career tech students by eliminating transportation issues and providing a dedicated space for different programs, as well as potentially facilitating partnerships with Lanier Technical College and the University of North Georgia. The building is estimated to cost $7 million and will be funded completely through ESPLOST funds.

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Dawson County School

NUTRITION PROGRAM MISSION: The mission of the Dawson County School Nutrition Program is to be a part of the education process by providing students with nutritious meals and nutrition education experiences that promote healthy children who are ready to learn.

BENEFITS: The Dawson County School Nutrition Program provides a nutritious breakfast and lunch for school children every day. Free or reduced-price meals are available to students whose families meet qualifying economic guidelines. The program provides meals that meet at least two-thirds of the recommended daily dietary allowances. Meal choices offered each day include: protein rich entrees, plenty of fruit and vegetable selections, whole-grain breads and cereals, and calcium rich milk.


or worry about lost or forgotten lunch money, and ensures that your child will receive a nutritional meal. To create a new account, just go to and follow the onscreen directions. Register your student using their Student ID number. The student ID number can be obtained by contacting your child’s school or Rita Gilleland at (706) 2653246, ext. 1019. Students approved for free meals for the 2017-2018 school year may eat one breakfast and one lunch meal free each day. Additional foods/beverages selected above the standard meal must be purchased with additional funds at the a la carte price. A La Carte Purchases: additional items from the daily menu, as well as selected other foods and beverages that comply with the USDA Healthy Snacks guidelines, may be purchased a la carte to complement school meals or meals brought from home. All extra purchases require funds to be available (on meal account or in hand) at the time of purchase.

The Dawson County School Nutrition Program is operated in accordance with the regulations of the Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2012, the regulations of the State Board of Education, and the Dawson County Board of Education. Sources of funding for the School Nutrition Program include student and adult income, state funds, federal reimbursement for student meals based on income eligibility, and USDA donated commodity foods. Research clearly shows that breakfast helps everyone be ready to succeed – and you probably make certain that your family enjoys these benefits every morning. We all must go beyond our own families and support breakfast in every school – Our schools have received the Alliance for a Healthier Generation awards.


Meal Prices for 2018-19 School Year Meal Prices for Elementary Schools Breakfast: Cost $1.50, Reduced $.30 Lunch: Cost $2.35, Reduced $.40

Dawson County School Nutrition offers MySchoolBucks, a state-of-the-art online service that provides you the convenience and information you need to manage your student’s meal account. This system speeds up serving lines in the cafeteria, eliminates the need to send checks to school

Meal Prices for Middle, Jr. High, & High Schools Breakfast: Cost $1.50, Reduced $.30 Lunch: Cost $2.65, Reduced $.40





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10 Fun Facts About School Nutrition


The National School Lunch Program is for all students— Though the NSLP allows schools to provide free and reduced priced meals to income-eligible students, the meals provided are not just for students of low-income families. All students can enjoy and benefit from the nutritious meals offered in their school’s lunchroom.


School meals follow Dietary Guidelines—The NSLP requires all meals to align with the current dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which means students who eat school meals are developing healthy eating habits that will serve them well throughout their lives!


School meals are age-specific—The DCS Nutrition Program provides appropriate portion sizes and calories to students based on their age. Portion sizes are individualized for K-5th grade students, and 8th-12th grade students.


School meals offer a rainbow of color—Locally and Georgia grown vegetables and fruits are found in a variety of colors, each of which provides different nutrients. To help students gain all of the nutritional benefits of vegetables and fruits, school meals provide a specific variety of produce each week.


Dairy is still present—Growing children require adequate calcium to support their bones. Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium.

6 7

School meals include more whole grains—whole grains provide a variety of nutrients as well as fiber. At least half of the grains served during breakfast and lunch are whole grain.

School meals are cost effective—Students that are eligible for free or reduced priced meals receive meals that are packed with nutrition but cost $0.40 or less per day. Students that are not eligible for free or reduced meals are still receiving a bargain by purchasing school meals.


School meals support academic success—Students spend around 6 hours per day in the classroom. Without the proper fuel, though, students can quickly run out of steam and lose interest in schoolwork. Nutritional meals provide students with adequate fuel that can keep them energized and focused all day. Plus, a healthy diet will also support a health immune system, which means fewer sick days for your children!


Our kitchens are clean—Each of our kitchens received a score of 100 on their recent inspection by the Georgia Department of Health. How many restaurants do you know that can say that?


Our staff is well-trained—All DCSNP employees are required to participate in ServSafe, a nationally certified food safety education program. Employees also receive 12 hours of food safety and HACCP training per year. Our goal is to keep food safe from the time we receive it, until the time it is served to our students.

We are here to help you!For questions or concerns, please contact: LINDA BYRD Director of School Nutrition (706) 265-3246 ext 1008

Easily pay for school items and fees online with My School Bucks

RITA GILLELAND Administrative Assistant (706) 265-3246, ext 1019

Get Started: 1 Go to 2 Visit School Store & add items to your cart 3 Check out with your credit/debit card


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Teaching & Learning IN DAWSON COUNTY SCHOOLS The Dawson County School System believes students deserve a well-rounded education that includes academic and non-academic skills. The school system strives to graduate college and career ready students who excel in both. The school system takes great care to provide a secure, supportive learning environment, high-quality, engaging learning experiences that are rigorous and relevant, and current and emerging technologies to support 21st-century learning. All curriculum and instruction in Dawson County are based on the foundation of the Georgia Standards of Excellence. For more information, visit Georgia-Standards/Pages/default.aspx. Dawson County Schools offers a wide range of learning opportunities including special assistance in remediation and enrichment of basic skills, classes for gifted and talented, advanced placement courses for college credit, dual enrollment opportunities, and professional technical courses for career pathways. Assessments and data help teachers determine how to fulfill the individual needs of every child. Tutorials, interventions, and other system-wide programs allow staff to provide better quality, personalized instruction that meets the unique needs of every child. In addition to classroom instruction, extracurricular programs at all levels offer enrichment in academics, the arts, athletics, and areas of special interest to students. Media services and technology are provided at each school to support student learning. The school system is dedicated to helping all children learn and believes that every child can be successful in school and beyond. The Dawson County School System is committed to meeting the needs of all students through multiple programmatic offerings and academic supports. The Early Intervention Program (EIP), Remedial Education Program (REP), Gifted Education Progam, Title I Program and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program are important components of Dawson County School System’s total instructional framework. To learn more about these programs, visit the Student Services section on the system’s website. WANT TO SEE THE GREAT THINGS HAPPENING IN OUR CLASSROOMS? FOLLOW THE TEACHING & LEARNING DEPARTMENT ON TWITTER @DCS_TEACH Mrs. Nicole LeCave Executive Director of Teaching and Learning

Dr. Janice Darnell Director of Student Support Services

Mrs. Tracey Compton Director of School Improvement & Accountability

Mr. Hershel Bennett Director of Exceptional Children





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Information: If you are a Dawson resident who will be 65+ during the 201819 school year, or if you are a Dawson County Schools (DCS) retiree, you are eligible to receive a permanent 1D Golden Pass.



THE 1D GOLDEN PASS ENTITLES YOU TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL PRIVILEGE: • FREE admission to DCS home athletic events. (Free admission does not extend to away games, play-off games, graduation or PTO/A sponsored events.) Golden Passes are issued at the Dawson County Board of Education Office at 28 Main Street, Dawsonville, GA 30534, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please present a valid Driver’s License or I.D. Contact Tiffany Davis at or (706) 265-3246 ext. 1039 for additional information.

View Job Opportunities on our website:, click “Job Opportunities” and view open positions.


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FUTURISTIC FUN: BMES KICKS OFF ROBOTICS CLUB The BMES Robotics Clubs were created to encourage and motivate critical thinking through the use of motorized LEGO models and coding/programming in Grades 3-5. Students learn the mechanics and coding skills needed to create a robot that works the way they need it to in order to solve a real-life problem. After learning the basics in the first 12 lessons, students use their new knowledge to create a project of their choice. The advanced Robotics Club is focused on 4th-5th grade students who have already completed the Original Robotics Club lessons. The advanced club uses the more advanced LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits, which will prepare them to participate in the middle school robotics program. The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits can be used to participate in the First Lego League Challenge, where students complete weekly challenges and compete against teams in 80 countries. The First LEGO League Challenge will be the next step for the Advanced Robotics Club.

BRODY HUGHES ENTERING FIRST YEAR AS PRINCIPAL A lifelong resident of Dawson County and a 2004 Dawson County High School graduate, Brody Hughes is excited to take the reins as principal at DCHS after serving three years as an assistant principal and graduation coach. There are many things Hughes is excited for in his first year as principal. The first group from Dawson County Junior High School since the realignment will enter as freshmen this year, and he’s eager to see what they’ve learned. In addition, the high school is now offering U.S. History and English 1101 on campus, two college level courses from Lanier Technical College. And when the new career academy opens in August 2019, Hughes hopes to see an expansion of college courses being offered at the high school. “I just want to see young people succeed. That’s really my love and passion in education is just to see young people succeed in whatever,” Hughes said. “It’s important that we don’t get too focused on the college kind of track. Not everybody’s going to do that.” When he’s not at the school, Hughes can be found spending time outdoors. He loves to go mountain biking and kayaking and spending time with his young family: his wife Brittany, and children Landon, 2, and Sutton, 5 months. He is also a pastor at Juno Baptist Church and helps his church whenever and however he can. 22




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Visual Arts

The visual arts program at Riverview Elementary isn’t confined to one room within the school; rather teachers, children, and guests are greeted with drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations as soon as they enter the front doors. While each piece represents a student’s creativity, it’s the process and purpose behind it that Riverview Elementary art teacher, Chris Lundy, takes the most pride in. “I really try not to do a project for the sake of completing a project,” he said. “What we create and present to anyone who visits here always reflects what’s going on either in the school or a particular season and, more importantly, highlights and represents the Riverview culture.” Through art, students are also taught life lessons like the importance of patience, working together and learning how to problem solve. While diligent work, a little healthy frustration, and a lot of discovery go into each creation, Riverview students are proud when the fruits of their labor are displayed for all to see.


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SHOW YOUR TIGER PRIDE During the 2017-18 school year, Robinson Elementary School students learned about showing their Tiger PRIDE in the hallway, on the playground, and in the Tiger Cafe. Students showing their Tiger PRIDE were acknowledged with PRIDE Paws and eligible for weekly drawings for special prizes. Some of the prizes for showing Tiger PRIDE were throwing a pie in our principal’s face, taking a trip in the virtual reality lab, football and kickball games with RES staff members, ice cream and pizza parties, coding with robotics and a special meet and greet with NASCAR driver Chase Elliott. Students were also acknowledged with monthly drawings for a special lunch. With such huge success, RES is expanding Tiger PRIDE in the classroom. Students showing their Tiger PRIDE will be acknowledged with PRIDE Paw points which can be redeemed at a school store this year. The PRIDE Paws will be given digitally using the app, PBIS Rewards, on their iPad. Students are able to keep track of their points and spend them at the store. To keep track of their child’s progress, parents can sign up for the PBIS Rewards app as well. Within this app, teachers can communicate any behavior concerns with parents.


ON THE PROWL Our DCMS Tigers have loved being on the PROWL this year! PROWL stands for Persevere, Reach out with kindness, Own your actions, be Willing to put others first, and Lead with integrity, and these are our core expectations for all our students. Students that demonstrate PROWL behaviors earn points that can be traded in for all kinds of fun things, including an end-of-year carnival! We’re looking forward to more fun with our students (along with lots of learning!) in the ‘18-’19 school year!





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Did you know Kilough Elementary School is a PBIS certified School? PBIS, or Positive Behavior Interventions and Support, is a school-wide system that teaches and reinforces positive behaviors and promotes recognition of our students who are making good choices. The goal of PBIS is to promote consistent behavior expectations and highlight positive behaviors for all students within our school. One way Kilough staff and administrators are striving to accomplish PBIS goals is through the schoolwide PAWS initiative. This initiative includes a PAWS Store and a system where students are continually earning and spending tokens. Additionally, skills such as mathematics and economics are incorporated as students continually balance their token registers. “PAWS” to Recognize Great Behavior Choices: P - Pledge to do your best A - Accept responsibility W - Work together S - Show respect Kilough’s focus on positive behavioral expectations greatly impacts academic achievement, even after students leave elementary school. Kilough holds students to a high standard of accountability because they know it will result in strong, confident learners who become self-advocates for their own learning.

1Dawson Learning Academy for Parents & Community Members

Coming Fall 2018

You are invited to participate in a twoday 1Dawson Learning Academy. Learn about all things Dawson County Schools and become an ambassador for the school system. The Learning Academy will be open to all parents and community members.


Comprehensive Eye Care Center MODERN TECHNOLOGY CLASSIC CARE · Pediatric vision care · Adult vision care · Senior vision care · Diabetic eye care · Contact lens fitting & evaluation · Ophthalmology referrals · Macular Degeneration Care · Cataract care · Treatment of eye infections & eye injuries · Dry eye treatment & care · Glaucoma care

Mashburn a National Distinguished Principal RIVERVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL JULIA MASHBURN was recently named a Georgia 2018 National Distinguished Principal and was awarded a check for $2,500 through the sponsorship of national K-12 publisher Mentoring Minds. She will be honored along with her fellow state winners at the 2018 National Distinguished Principal event in October in Washington, D.C.

Still conveniently located on GA 400, behind Applebee’s & Jr Varsity 76 Bethel Drive Dawsonville, GA • 706-531-9900

Under Mashburn’s leadership, the school has seen successes with the SPARK program, which promotes positive school culture, data teams that empower teachers to improve teaching and the PALS Mentoring Program, which pairs students with school staff to support encouragement and success for RvES students.




Any Purchase of $25 or more One Coupon per check. Must present coupon. Expires 9/31/18.

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Civitan’s are dedicated to serving community needs with an emphasis on helping people with disabilities.

CIVITAN Meetings

are held First Tuesday of month @ noon and Last Tuesday of month @ 4:00pm (until October, then noon)

at Dawson County Schools PDC building Lunch served at noon meetings.

Playground at Veteran’s Park, Civitan Fundraiser

CIVITAN supports the Miss Sparkle Pageant

DANCE DAWSONVILLE Ballet • Tap • Jazz • Pointe • Hip Hop • Acro • Tumble Tots • Adults • Irish • Lyrical • Contemporary • Acting Musical Theater • Combo Classes • Saturday Classes • Sibling Discounts Performing & Competition Teams

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2017-18 Teachers of the Year We are thankful for all of our amazing teachers in Dawson County! Each school has a Teacher of the Year, selected by their peers. The finalists are then interviewed and selected by a panel. Black’s Mill Elementary School- Lisa Allen Kilough Elementary School- Dana Fowler Riverview Elementary School- Nichole Gilleland Green Robinson Elementary School- Lauren Zadernak Dawson County Middle School- Jessie Gravitt Dawson County Junior High School- Kevin Woody Dawson County High School- Jennifer Smith And the system finalist, 2017-18 Teacher of the Year is Kevin Woody. Congrats to all finalists! We appreciate all that you do!

Congrats! Back row: Nichole Green, Kevin Woody, Lisa Allen. Front Row: Jessie Gravitt, Jennifer Smith, Lauren Zadernak, Dana Fowler

2018-19 Teachers of the Year Black’s Mill Elementary School- Jessie Venem Kilough Elementary School- Carolyn Wright Riverview Elementary School- Chris Lundy Robinson Elementary School- Jennie Stowers Dawson County Middle School- Cindy Bennett Dawson County Junior High School- Hilda Jackson Dawson County High School- Paola Epstein 30




Dawson County Schools 2018 Retirement

Discover the most unique Kart track in the world

and reach up to 55 MPH! Public Karting Hours

Tues. - Sun. 1pm until Sundown open to private groups until 1pm

43 feet of elevation. Must be 12 or over to ride.

THANK YOU AND BEST WISHES TO OUR 2018 RETIREES Riverview Elementary School Fran Copeland, Teacher Barbara Freeman, Paraprofessional Robinson Elementary School Melissa Moore, Teacher Noel Davis, Teacher Dawson County Middle School Mike Dixon, Teacher Lynn Shelton, Receptionist Rhonda Sillesky, Teacher Deborah Wehunt, SCNP Assistant Dawson County Junior High School Anita Cox, Assistant Principal Shirley Grogan, SCNP Assistant Ruby Bolton, SCNP Assistant Dawson County High School Robin Chapman, Teacher Grady Turner, Teacher Richard Crumley, Principal Ronny Bennett, Teacher

Located 45 Minutes from buckhead in Dawsonville, GA.

20 Duck Thurmond Road Dawsonville, GA • (678) 381-8527

Serving the Dawson Community for Over 36 Y`ears!


Central Office Rick Goode, Student Information System Manager Transportation Kathy Poss, Bus Driver

Roger Slaton 40 Hightower Parkway, Dawsonville, GA 706-216-8700 •


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Exceptional Children DAWSON COUNTY SCHOOLS SERVE OVER 500 STUDENTS THROUGH THE EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN’S DEPARTMENT. Each local school has at least one Lead Exceptional Children’s Teacher and the district has a Director, an Instructional Support and Compliance Specialist, a Program Specialist and an Administrative Assistant.

The department has experienced tremendous growth and success over the past few years. The department has partnered with GNETS to develop an in-house program and to develop a center based program with Forsyth County Schools. The department’s Community Based Instruction Program has become a model CBI program and is housed at DCHS, DCMS and RVES. A CBI program at DCJHS is coming in the fall of 2018. The department has also developed partnerships within the Dawsonville business community and within civic organizations such as Civitan and Knights of Columbus, and also holds a preschool program for 3-year-old Exceptional students at RVES. Each year the department host events such as Exceptional Children’s Week, the Spring Games in partnership with Lumpkin County Schools and the Ms. Sparkle Pageant. Vocational Rehabilitation also works closely with the department, preparing students for life after high school. They also sponsor students in the summer work program.

STAFF: Hershel Bennett, Director Angie Delaney, PhD, Instructional Support & Compliance John Kenny, Program Specialist Crystal Morgan, Admin. Assistant For information, call (706) 265-3246, ext. 1007 or visit 32




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How can I make a difference? If this is a question you have pondered, now may be the time for you to join those who...

Dawson County Schools How do I BEGIN? • Contact the school district to express your interest. • Complete required backgroud check. • Attend required training session. • Attend MENTOR support meetings. VISIT DCS WEBSITE FOR INFO

STUDENT SUPPORT REACH SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM In 2018, Dawson County will announce its fourth cohort of REACH Georgia Scholars. REACH stands for Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen. REACH is a needsbased scholarship designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education. The program requires students to sign contracts to maintain a certain grade point average, good behavior and attendance, and remain crime and drug free. The scholars also commit to meet with a volunteer mentor and academic coach until they graduate from high school. Additionally, the student’s parents or guardians sign contracts to support their student through their education. When these scholars graduate from high school, they will receive up to a $10,000 scholarship

($2,500 each year for up to four years) to be used at a HOPE eligible Georgia two or four-year college. Many colleges will match this scholarship and some will double match the scholarship, providing scholars additional resources for their college education. Dawson County is one of 103 school systems out of 180 that participate in the REACH Georgia scholarship program. REACH Georgia is a key component of the governor’s Complete College Georgia initiative, which calls for and identifies strategies for the state’s public and private colleges to add an additional 250,000 college graduates by 2020 and ensure these students graduate with relevant postsecondary degrees in a timely manner.


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COUNSELORS & SUPPORT Each school has a full-time counselor who works to provide students with academic guidance and socialemotional support. The counselors work with teachers and administrators in monitoring and assessing student academic progress. They help to provide scheduling of appropriate interventions that may be needed to help struggling students, as well as, high performing students. Counselors provide career cluster and guidance lessons to students as they work toward becoming college and career ready.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING School counselors work with the teachers as advisors to implement character education and social-emotional learning programs. The Voyage: At the elementary level, schools utilize The Voyage curriculum. Through the use of weekly lessons, students study eight character attributes through developmentally appropriate lessons. The lessons include supplemental videos and activities to reinforce a strong connection between the character attributes and behaviors.

Habitudes: At the middle, junior, and senior high levels, schools utilize the Habitudes curriculum. The Habitudes curriculum helps to teach students about integrity, learning to be a leader, the importance of strong leaders, and how to be a positive influence. These are all skills that are not only applicable as a young adult, but throughout life as well.

CRISIS PREVENTION National Suicide Hotline and Crisis Support: 1-800-273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741 Each school counselor works to support the district-wide initiative to partner with families and the community in addressing issues and concerns related to suicide, substance abuse, and mental health. In 2018 – 2019 the schools will implement the following programs:

Riding the Waves: 5th graders will learn about healthy emotional development, depression, and anxiety. Through a series of 12 lessons throughout the year, the students will learn ways to make healthy decisions, strategies for coping with difficult situations, and how/who/when to ask for help. Signs of Suicide: 6th and 7th graders will be provided with age-appropriate lessons that raise awareness about suicide and depression. Students are taught the action steps to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult. 34

More Than Sad: 8th – 12th graders will learn how to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others. They will also learn how to challenge the stigma that surrounds depressions and better understand the treatment process. Sources of Strength: In 2018-19 and in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Georgia (SPAN-GA), Dawson County students in grades 6 – 12 will participate in Sources of Strength training and implementation. This is a prevention program for suicide, violence, bullying, and substance abuse. Peer leaders and caring adults will be trained and supported in the importance and implementation of connection, hope, help, and strength with fellow students. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA): YMHFA training has been provided to all administrators, school counselors, support staff, and school nurses across the district. This training provides instruction on how to help adolescents (age 12-18) who are experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or are in crisis. Training of district leaders will continue in 2018 – 2019.

POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS (PBIS) All Dawson County Schools utilize the PBIS as a framework to prevention and intervention to support academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning for all students. Through this framework, each school develops positive, predictable, and safe environments that foster the creation of strong interpersonal relationships through teaching, modeling, and providing encouragement. Students are taught social skills and appropriate social behavior expectations. Through this teaching, combined with acknowledgement and feedback, there is an increase in positive behaviors, which promotes a greater climate of productivity, safety, and learning.

SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER & MCKINNEY-VENTO LIAISON The district social worker and McKinney-Vento liaison continually works with the local law enforcement, judicial system, and health care professionals to address the needs of students and their families. They work to address problems students and families face when enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Beginning in 2018-19, the district will partner with AVITA to provide professional mental health counseling services at the junior and senior high schools.




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Graduation: As if graduation isn’t already momentous enough, the DCHS Class of 2018 became the first to graduate from University of North Georgia’s new 3,600-seat convocation center in May. Located on the southwest side of the Dahlonega campus, the 103,000-square-foot center was voted by the senior class as the location for graduation, breaking from a longstanding tradition of football field commencement ceremonies at DCHS. The climate controlled facility eliminated weather concerns and provided accessibility for those with disabilities, and is sure to be the venue where many future generations receive their diplomas.


Pursuing Excellence for All

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Online Learning Plan for School Closures Dawson County Schools will recover instructional time lost due to school closures by utilizing online learning using Schoology, the district’s online learning management system. Last year was the first year of using the Online Learning Plan for School Closures. After missing two days of school for inclement weather, which were placed in the 2017-18 school calendar, students were asked to complete assignments at home.

We understand and realize that during a weather emergency that there could be sporadic power outages, internet unavailability, etc. That is why our lesson plans have some activities available online and some that your child can complete at home without the use of technology. Upon return to school, students will be given five days to complete any work assigned that may have not been completed.



• Teachers will post all assignments by 9 a.m. in Schoology on the first O-Learning day. • Assignments will be limited to no more than 20 min/ subject. This includes any assigned reading, multimedia and/or videos. • Students should begin working on their lessons on the day missed when possible. Student work is due five school days after returning to school. • Student attendance is not connected to the completion of work.


Grades 6th-12th will follow their normal schedule for that day, and students will complete lessons for classes they would have attended that day (For example, on Monday, Tuesday and Friday a school may have a seven-period day, while Wednesday and Thursday they may be a block day).

TEACHER COMMUNICATION Prior to school closings, teachers will communicate with parents and students how students can find assignments in Schoology and the mode of communication to use to contact teachers. Additionally, teachers will have digital office hours on the days that school is closed.

When school is closed, elementary (Grades K-5) will follow an A or B schedule to balance the student workload. ELEMENTARY “A” DAY


English/Language Arts


Social Studies or Science*

Science or Social Studies*

Art (K-2)

Music and PE (K-2)

Music and PE (3-5)

Art (3-5)

• Elementary: 9-10 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. • Middle and High: 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.

*Refer to individual school for details. Please note that elementary schools may have additional specials. Please refer to the individual school for details. 36




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Pursuing Excellence for All

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Pursuing Excellence for All

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Work-Based Learning placements represent the pinnacle of the Career-Related Education experience.


r e n t r a P




To qualify for a WBL placement, a student must be in grades 11 or 12 and at least 16 years old. Students must also have a defined Career Pathway in order to participate in a Work-Based Learning placement. This is especially important for successful completion of a student’s pathway in that their job placement is directly related to the curriculum of the pathway classes they have completed or in which they are concurrently enrolled. There are several opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning. These opportunities include employability skill development, Cooperative Education, Internship, Youth Apprenticeship, and Clinical Experiences.

In 2015, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law that streamlined the existing dual-credit programs. As a result, Accel, Dual HOPE Grant, and the original Move On When Ready have been combined into one program entitled Move On When Ready (MOWR), in which high school students may earn high school course credits while taking college courses. Georgia’s Move On When Ready dual-credit program is available to any Georgia student in grades 9-12 enrolled in a public school, private school, or home-study program operated pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2690 in Georgia. Students must apply and be accepted to a participating postsecondary institution. In 2017, the name was changed to Dual Enrollment to ensure students are utilizing the program appropriately and simplify people’s understanding of and navigation through the state’s program. For more information about how your student can apply for Dual Enrollment, contact their assigned school counselor. More details about the new Dual Enrollment dual-credit program may be found at 42




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MAKING IT COUNT: DAWSON SCHOOLS AWARDED FOR FINANCIAL REPORTING This is the fifth year in a row that the district has earned the Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts. DCS is one of 11 districts who have earned this award since its inception. An award of distinction is presented to organizations that submit quality financial statements and supporting documentation in a timely manner, whose annual financial report is given an unmodified audit opinion and is free of any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses and comply with all Transparency in Government requirements.

Learn more about getting involved with the premier organization for business in Dawson County. Come see us today! 706-265-6278 44 Commerce Drive


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Technology Department The purpose of the Dawson County School System is to be an exemplary district, with outstanding staff, that prepares students to compete globally. We believe we can prepare students to compete globally by offering opportunities for personalized learning. DawsonLEAD represents Learning & Engagement Achieved Digitally, and encompasses all instructional technology initiatives. DawsonLEAD includes the one to one mobile device initiative, the district wide learning management system (Schoology LMS), Google Apps for Education, and preparing all of our students to become college and career ready.


WILL USE TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT INSTRUCTION IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: • Use resource tools to access information that supports their instructional efforts. • Teach lessons using technology resources that provide for diverse student populations. • Use software that supports their administrative tasks. • Use adaptive/assistive devices for special needs students. • Model responsible, ethical, and legal uses of technology.


WILL USE TECHNOLOGY TO FACILITATE LEARNING AND IMPROVE ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: • Use resource tools to access information that supports their learning efforts. • Use software that supports their learning tasks. • Use technology resources to help support student achievement. • Demonstrate computer literacy skills. • Demonstrate responsible, ethical and legal uses of technology.





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POWERSCHOOL SCHOOLOGY Schoology is Dawson County’s Learning Management System. This is the teacher’s online classroom for content delivery to our students. This is also the platform for online learning.

PowerSchool is Dawson County’s Student Information System. This is where attendance and grades are recorded.

CLASSLINK Classlink is Dawson County’s Single Sign On platform. Here, students can login one time and have access to all DCS’s online educational resources.

Everything you need to know About Dawson County Technology



Beginning in 2018-19 every student in grades K-12 will be issued an iPad. The DCS technology committee selected these devices because it was the most flexible device for assessment and instruction.

Dawson County Schools is working to ensure a positive school culture and climate that supports safe and reasonable technology use. All students go through an age appropriate digital citizenship curriculum.

NETWORK SECURITY Dawson County Schools takes content filtering seriously. DCS deploys the latest in firewall & network security to help keep your children safe online.


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