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September 2012 Newsletter ~ Vol. 2, No. 1


Welcome back
to school from

Dear GCPS Parent,

BeThere@GCPS is back for another wonderful school year in Gwinnett County Public Schools! This first issue focuses on getting off to a good start and avoiding some of the issues that can distract your child from a successful school year. Check out the age-appropriate resources below for tips on helping your student start the year right and develop healthy friendships. The next issue of BeThere@GCPS will look at keeping an eye out for risk-taking behaviors. (Also, keep an eye out for Communique, GCPS' e-magazine for families. The first issue of 2012 will visit some programs and initiatives that promote Opportunities for Success for our students.)

Thanks for reading!

Teen Focus header

Teens today have a lot on their plates. There's school, of course, but also jobs, sports, clubs, academic teams, faith and community groups, family responsibilities, and social time with friends. When students have so many balls in the air, what can you do as a parent to support your busy son or daughter? Consider these general tips for helping your teen get off to a great start this year. Getting and staying organized can make a huge difference for your high schooler. Here's a simple checklist for teens, plus tips for time management and recognizing and dealing with procrastination. As your teen gets older, expect a push for independence. Be prepared with these strategies for surviving the senior year and battling the dreaded senioritis.

In the Middle header

During middle school, you may feel that your child's friends have more influence than you do. And while peers are very important to your middle schooler, experts say that your kids still need your involvement and support (even if they won't always admit it). The middle school social scene can be difficult to navigate as kids build friendships and deal with cliques. On the academic side, consider these suggestions for getting off to a good start in middle school and helping your middle schooler manage time. One GCPS middle schooler gives advice on homework in this ParenTVision Moment from GCPS TV.

Just Beginning header

In these first weeks of the school year, are you still working to find your rhythm? Use these tips to manage morning madness and help your child to get organized and develop good study habits. Meet some All Pro Dads and learn why being involved parents is important to them in this GCPS Moment. No matter how your child gets to and from school, safety first! Check out safety tips for bus riders, bike riders, and walkers. Boost school success with these suggestions. And help your child find and be a good friend by encouraging empathy and tolerance.

Need to Know header
... Helping your child make the best of the new school year: 

Quotable Quotes header  

"The main problem with

teenagers is that they're

just like their parents were

at their age."



"A boy becomes an adult

three years before his

parents think he does,

and about two years

after he thinks he does."

Lewis B. Hershey

All parents believe their
children can do the impossible.
thought it the minute we
born, and no matter how
we've tried to prove them wrong, they all think it about us
And the really annoying
thing is, they're probably right."

Cathy Guisewite

Forward to a Friend

Mother and Son reading 
In This Issue
Teen Focus
In the Middle
Just Beginning
What You Need to Know About...
Speak Up
Making Every Day Count
Speak Up header

Parents helping parents to
Be There for their children...

Each issue, we'll pose a question so you can share advice with other parents. In the next issue of BeThere@GCPS, we'll be focusing on helping your child make good choices.


As tweens and teens seek independence from their parents, they may be tempted to try risky behaviors with their friends. How can you help your child make good choices in the face of peer pressure? Click here to submit your suggestion.


What are your tips for sharing your values and building character in your child? Click here to submit your suggestion.


There's no need to give us a name but please let us know the grade of your oldest child.

Making Every Day Count

September includes some special days that may give you another opportunity to connect with your student and make every day count:


September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Help your child apply for a library card online or in person at any branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. Watch for programs and contests for kids and teens.


Speaking of the library, plan to take part in Gwinnett's annual Fall Into the Arts festival, a celebration of literary, performing, and visual arts in the county. The library sponsors a number of events including Gwinnett Reads (Oct. 7) with soon-to-be U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway of Decatur, and Gwinnett Kids Read, Too! (Sept. 29) with beloved children's author Carmen Deedy. (Online, watch the latest episode of "Love That Book!"-- a GCPS TV-produced series with Carmen and her favorite books.) Check out these literacy resources for home.


National Arts in Education Week began September 9. Learn how the arts support learning for kids.


Grandparents' Day was Sept. 9. Find great resources for grandparents and tips for honoring "elders" in your child's life.


The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11 and other news headlines about disasters may prompt questions from even young children. Here are resources for answering questions and helping your child cope in crisis. September also is National Preparedness Month. Find disaster planning resources for kids and families from FEMA and Homeland Security.


Sept. 17 is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. You and your child can learn more about this foundational document of our representative democracy with kid-friendly information from the National Constitution Center, The Center for Civic Education, The National Archives, and The Library of Congress.


September and October include heritage celebrations for a number of ethnic and cultural groups in America. Look for fun and festivals around Metro Atlanta.


Look for more calendar notes in the next issue.

Latest Links header

The web has great resources for

understanding your child and supporting his or her social development. May we recommend these resources. . .


On Understanding Your Child


On Developing Healthy Friendships

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