GOC’s Great Beginnings

Wow! It’s been a busy week already!

IMG_0217We kicked off Learning Labs with 4th-6th and 7th-8th assemblies where Dr. Ray, Dr. O’Neal, Mrs. Kana, and I discussed how to be successful at GOC and our behavior expectations. We explained that the best way to be successful at GOC is to stay current in each class.

For our new families, please know there is a steep learning curve at the beginning, but soon your students will learn to easily navigate through their courses.

If you or your student missed the orientation sessions last week or if you’d like to view them again, you can here https://gwinnettonlinecampus.com/parent.html

Remember, reach out for help when you need it. The teachers’ contact information is located in their course pages and mine is below. IMG_0253

It’s going to be a great year!

Dr. Edwards

Counselor for 4th-8th grades

Dana_Edwards@gwinnett.k12.ga.us 770-608-6631

Welcome to GOC! (And welcome back, returning students!)

We’re SO excited about beginning another year together!frog_freddy_acting_froggy_sm_wht

It was awesome to see new faces this week, and we’re looking forward to everyone being on campus next week for Learning Labs.

Change can be stressful. So if you’re changing schools or simply transitioning from relaxed summer mode to school mode, it’s possible you may feel some apprehension. Remember, we’re here to help you be successful.

Parents and students, take a look at these helpful tips. https://gwinnettonlinecampus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Owlsome-Advisement.pdf

guy_doing_cartwheel_sm_wht (1)It’s going to be an awesome, make that OWLSOME year!

Dr. Edwards



Thank you, PARENTS!

girl_offering_cookies_sm_whtThank you PAC and parents for the wonderful breakfast, lunch, and DESSERTS this week! Everyone who works at GOC has a part in making it a great place to learn, and all felt very appreciated!

We also recognize that our parents make sacrifices to have their students at GOC. Monitoring student work habits and progress, transporting students to campus, and making sure your child has a life outside of school take commitment.

We appreciate our partnership with you!4953088

Final exams are next week, with Connections finals ending the following week. Check this link for the exam schedule

stick_man_flexing_strong_sm_whtLet’s finish STRONG!


Rising 8th Grade Information

There’s been a lot happening in 8th grade lately, and if you missed my parent meeting last week you can read a recap below.

Rising 9th grade course schedules

I gave the 8th graders their schedules for next year. These were made by their current teachers. In my lesson with the students, I explained that there was some flexibility in these certain areas:

  • Level – college prep, honors, gifted, and advanced placement (AP)
  • Social Studies course – World Geography and AP Human Geography are not required courses
  • Technology elective – students can choose another course

If students and parents remaining at GOC want any changes to the schedule, you need to write those changes on the form and return it to me or Dr. Brown. We’ll still take these forms next week.

Carnegie Credit Form

I gave the Carnegie Credit forms to parents in the meeting last week and to students yesterday. Parents can wait until they see their student’s final grade before making this decision. But, I must have the form back if you want high school credit for your student. Here’s more on that subject: https://gocounseling.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/to-take-the-credit-or-not/

Please call or email me if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend!

Gifted vs. Bright Learners

We’re often asked, What’s the difference between bright and gifted learners?

Below are some general differences from Janice Szabos.

Bright Student Gifted Learner
Knows the answers. Asks the questions.
Works hard. Plays around, yet tests well.
Is interested. Is highly curious.
Is attentive. Is mentally and physically involved.
Listens with interest. Shows strong feelings and opinions.
Understands ideas. Constructs abstractions.
Enjoys straight forward sequential presentation. Thrives on complexity.
Enjoys peers. Prefers adults.
Good memorizer. Good guesser.
Is pleased with own learning. Is highly self-critical.

Visit this site to learn how students qualify for the Gifted Program in Gwinnett County. GCPS Gifted Program

Learning Distinctions Between High Achievers and Gifted Learners is an excellent resource to learn more.

Have a high achieving weekend!! sunny_cloud_sunglasses_sm_wht

Lots of happenings this week

We’ve had a busy week at GOC!

We talked about Impulse Control in our 4th grade Class Meeting. The kids constantly amaze me with their honesty and kindness.4th Class meeting

In 6th-8th grades, we discussed Overcoming Adversity in our Advisement lesson. Dr. Brown and Coach Blair generously talked about overcoming a setback. You can watch the video here. (The Thursday classes will have the lesson after testing.)

And in 8th grade, we talked about planning for 9th grade. I gave the students their 9th grade schedules. You can view the power point presentation: Planning for 9th Grade

Dr. Brown and I will have a rising 9th grade parent meeting on Tuesday, April 19 at 11:00 to talk about various topics related to high school.

Remember, we have testing the next several days. Here’s a link to the schedule.


It’s important that our students:

  • get a good night’s rest
  • eat a healthful breakfast
  • arrive on time
  • relax – they’ve learned a lot this year!

Have a great weekend!



Keeping Kids Safe

As parents, our number one job is keeping our children safe. We never want to alarm our families, but here are some facts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.
  • More than 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
  • More than 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members.
  • An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance.

I recently taught the Child Lures program to our 4th and 5th grade students. Three essential skills we want children to have are:

Listening to their instincts to recognize and avoid situations that might threaten their personal safety.

Recognizing various child lures that someone might use to trick a child into trusting them.

Understanding what to do if they are faced with a child lure.

Types of child lures discussed in 4th grade:

  • The Fun & Games Lure
  • The Affection Lure
  • The Assistance Lure
  • The Friendship Lure
  • The Bribery Lure
  • The Emergency Lure
  • The Authority Lure
  • The Job Lure
  • The Ego/Fame Lure
  • The Online Lure

In 5th grade, we reviewed the lures and watched a video that features 4 children telling their own story of abuse and neglect and how they received help. Our 5th grade kids were so mature when we watched and discussed this video.

Please continue to have safety discussions at home.

I hope you have a wonderful, sunny weekend!! partly_sunny_md_wht

Our Connections courses for next year are below.


connections table

You’ll notice that next year’s 7th and 8th graders have some choices. I discussed these with the students last week and sent home a form with course descriptions.

Please talk about the choices with your student and let me know his or her choice by Thursday, March 17. The forms are below.

7th Connections Options 2016

8th Connections Options 2016

Have a great week!




4th Grade is Rocking Class Meetings!

We’ve only had a few class meetings and the 4th grade students have done an awesome job of embracing the format and learning new skills.

For example, we start each class meeting with a time for compliments and appreciations. This is optional and kids can pass, but our GOC 4th graders have given thanks and compliments like pros.

We’ve talked about empathy the past few meetings. We became detectives in reading facial expressions and body language to determine how a person might feel in various situations.


This week, we talked about how someone knows when you’re truly listening to them. The students put all of these skills into action when another student shared a situation with a friend outside of school.

You may find your student practicing some of these listening skills at home.

  • squaring with the speaker
  • giving eye contact
  • leaning slightly toward the speaker

Click here to learn more about class meetingsPowToon Class meetings

Have a great weekend!


MOVE ON WHEN READY – Info for 8th grade students and parents

Please help me welcome Dr. Lindsey Brown, our high school counselor!


Greetings 8th Grade Parents and Students!

I’m excited to meet all of you! I want to let you all know about a wonderful opportunity for your soon-to-be 9th grader to take college courses for high school and college credit. The program is a Georgia initiative and called Move On When Ready (MOWR), and it’s recently been expanded. And the best part is it’s


I will be happy to meet with parents and students to individually discuss your student’s academic plan and create a strategy that is best your student.

You can click on this link to make an appointment with me.https://www.ptcfast.com/schools/gwinnettonlinecampus_gwinnett_k12_ga_us

Below is more information about a specific partnership GOC has with Gwinnett Tech.

MOWR Gwinnett Tech flier

(If you have trouble opening the flier, see the email Dr. Edwards sent to all 8th grade parents on Friday.)

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Thanks, Dr. Brown! She will also have a rising 9th grade parent meeting on April, 19 at 11:00 on campus.