Happy Fall, Y’all!

It’s hard to believe fall is here when the temps are still in the 80s!

Our GOC families had a great time last night at the Fall Family Festival.




Next week is Gwinnett Great Days of Service. This is an opportunity to show our communities that GOC cares. Please bring in any canned goods, other non-perishable items, and toiletries and place them in the GOC Cares wagon in the lobby.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards


Let’s Celebrate!

We love to hear good news from our students! This can include a new merit badge, taking part in a 5K, placing in a geography bee, or winning a medal.

If you’d like to share your student’s good news, send me a small blurb of the event and a picture or two. Click here to see some previous celebrations.

Next week is Virtual Week. This means students will participate in their Learning Labs from home. The students practiced accessing their Online Rooms this week while on campus. We’ll see you virtually next week!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

What a week!

Wow! That Irma packed a punch! (Apologies to anyone named, Irma.)

Lots of our students, and even some faculty, were without power and internet this week due to the winds and downed trees caused by Irma. Yet, everyone carried on in a very mature fashion! Students kept in touch with their teachers, attended virtual Learning Labs on Wednesday, and took care of business (i.e. school work) as they slowly regained power.

Getting behind is one of the of the most difficult and frustrating things that can happen to an online student. It’s good to remember a few things:

  • Never suffer in silence! Reach out to your teachers or me if you’re feeling overwhelmed and ask for help.
  • If you’re just a little behind, start with the missed work and move ahead. If you’re WAY behind, it may be best to do the current work first, then go back to the missed work.
  • You may have to put in extra hours, including the weekend, to get caught up this week. You’ll want to take care of everything by this Sunday at midnight. If you were without power several days, talk with your teachers about a further extension, if necessary.
  • Stay Positive! This situation is only temporary. Things will get back to normal soon.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards



Let’s Get Organized!

If you missed the Parent Support Session this week, this blog post is for you!

We discussed how to train your student to use two tools to stay organized.

The Daily Checklist

Students can use this tool each day to stay on track and avoid skipping around in their courses. This tool will direct students to complete each necessary task within each course before moving on to another one.

Students should start with their hardest subject either first or second in the morning. It’s important to work all the way through each course before moving on to another. Take notes as necessary in each course. Remember that each lesson should take about an hour to complete; that means you are reading EVERY WORD, watching video clips, following links, and taking notes to learn the material being presented. Take a short 15-20 minute break after completing two courses.

The Week at a Glance

To use this tool properly, you’ll need to sit down Sunday evening or Monday morning and look in each of your 6 courses for the entire week. Open up a course, then click on Content, then Course Schedule, then click on the Full Schedule tab.

Now you can see the schedule for each day. It may be that you only need to read the lesson. Often, there is also an assignment (Dropbox, Student Workroom, etc.) required.

Use the key below to indicate what’s due each day.

LL – Learning Lab

DB – dropbox assignment due

SW – student workroom assignment due

If a box is empty that means you still have a lesson to read, but nothing to turn in that particular day. Never skip a lesson!

Your Week at a Glance might look like this:

Week at a galnce sample

Parents and students can view this short video where I discuss these tools. http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/ie327

I gave all the 4th, 5th, and 7th grade students a laminated copy of the Daily Checklist. If you need another one and/or want a laminated copy of the Week at a Glance, please contact me and I’ll send them home with your student next week.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards


GOC Cares!

Thank you, GOC families, for donating to the Gwinnett Southeast Co-Op!

We’ll provide various service opportunities for our students, families, and staff throughout the year. We’re looking for a way to help Houston and related area students who experienced the devastation of Harvey.

We have two Parent Support sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 9 am. I hope you see you there!

Have a great long weekend!

Tips for Success

Students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades and I spent time this week discussing Tips for Success at GOC.

The major teaching points were:

  • Spend about an hour in each lesson. Complete one course before moving on to another.
  • Read lessons even when there’s no dropbox assigned. NEVER skip a lesson.
  • Start your morning with your most difficult course.
  • Save the Sunday at midnight due date for exceptions (illness, out of town, etc.) The best approach is to always work ahead.
  • Limit distractions by organizing your work area and putting away video games and anything else that might eat up your time.
  • Do reach out for help when you need it. Remember, your teachers and I are only an email or call away!

The 4th and 5th grade students enjoyed watching a video explaining these tips, featuring our very own Mr. S. You can watch it here.

Remember, 4th and 5th grade parents, there’s another Parent tech session on Monday with Ms. Cote.


In 6th grade, we talked about these tips and Being the New Kid. Here’s what we discussed for managing the new-kid status.

1. Be nice to everyone. You never know who might become your new BFF, so always be a little kinder than you have to be.giving_a_may_day_basket_md_wht

2. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Sit in a different seat in learning labs and get to know new kids. Join student leadership and come to the Rich Experiences!

3. Do things that lead to success like:

  • asking for help when you need it,
  • reading and following ALL the directions and content in your lessons, and
  • never skipping a lesson.

4. Be confident in yourself. Recognize that you’re already learned A LOT of new woman_surfing_computer_mouse_md_whtthings. Just think about the new tech skills you’ve acquired! You’ve come a long way, baby!

5. It’s okay to miss your old friends. Stay in touch with them and plan a time to get together.

6. Be optimistic and expect good things to happen. Expect to do well academically and socially at GOC! Positive thinking leads to positive action.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to shaking off the new-kid feeling and feel right at home school!

I’ll often share the major teaching points from my counseling and advisement lessons so you can reinforce the teaching points and skills at home.

Thank you for partnering with us to teach your child. It’s going to be a great year!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Welcome (and welcome back) to GOC!

Hello Parents and Students!

We’re excited that you’ve chosen to be a part of Gwinnett Online Campus this year!

If you’re not already following, you may want to follow this blog. It’s where I write about counseling and advisement-related topics throughout the year. It’s also where you’ll learn tips to help your student manage their coursework.

We’ve already gotten one week underway, and I can’t wait to see how our students are progressing.

If you’re looking for additional ways to support your student, we have a few upcoming parent tech and organizational tip sessions.

Monday, 8/21 and 8/28 – 4th & 5th Grade Parents and Students with Mrs. Cote at 11:00 (4th) and 11:35 (5th).

Wednesday, 9/6 – 4th-6th Grade Parent Training with Mrs. Sokol and Dr. Edwards, 9am.

Thursday, 9/7 – 7th & 8th Grade Parent Training with Mrs. Sokol and Dr. Edwards, 9am.

The parents of 4th and 5th graders should have received an email about the Monday training sessions. The other opportunities will be announced again in the GOC OWLS.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Finish Strong

It’s hard to believe that the school year is almost over!

I shared this calendar with our students on Monday so they could see what was left in the semester.

Follow this link, then scroll down to GRADES 4-8 SPRING FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE,  to find out exactly when your student is testing. https://www.gwinnettonlinecampus.com/final-exams.html

Remind your student to finish STRONG!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Edwards

Should My Student Take the Carnegie Credit in Middle School?

Should my student take the Carnegie credit or not? That’s the question and it’s an important one.idea_teeter_totter_sm_wht

I’ve talked with many 8th grade students and parents about this and Dr. Brown led a meeting with parents whose students are in advanced math last week. It really comes to the student’s final grade.

note_md_whtThe important points to remember are:

  1. These middle school courses will not be used in GPA calculations for the HOPE scholarship according to the current Georgia Finance Commission rules for HOPE. This means these grades won’t affect your child getting HOPE money for college.
  2. These middle school courses will be used in the GPA calculation for high school, such as class rank, valedictorian, honor graduate, etc. This means they will affect any comparisons made within the school for graduation honors, awards, and reports to colleges, etc.
  3. If the state requires a Milestone EOC (End of Course test) for the course, students must take it to earn Carnegie credit. (EOCs count 20% of the final grade.)
  4. Both semester 1 and semester 2 grades will appear on the high school transcript. The grades are not averaged. So, if a student makes an 85 first semester and a 95 second semester, both grades will appear, not an average of 90.

I tell the students that they should take the credit (and grades) with them to high student_grade_a_excited_md_whtschool if it’s a true reflection of their best work. If they know they can do better, it’s best not to take the credit and possibly negatively influence their gpa.

I’ll give the Carnegie forms to students on April 26 when they are on campus for SS Milestones testing. Parents and students can wait to make this decision once the final grades come back. The Carnegie Unit Credit Decision Form must be signed and returned to me before school gets out for summer. If I don’t receive the form, the student will not receive Carnegie credit. Once the form is received and credit is assigned, it can’t be undone.

I hope this clears up any confusion and if you’d like to discuss anything further, please contact me.

Have a great week!

Getting Ready for Milestones

It’s that time of year again…standardized testing. 

Some students dread testing, feeling anxious about their performance. Below are a few simple things students can do to improve their “testing attitude.”

  • Get enough sleep each night. Testing begins at 9am each morning and it’s really important to be rested. Make sure your student is on time (and a few minutes early) so they don’t feel rushed coming into the building.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. This is not the time to skip breakfast. Nutritious breakfast cereals and bars are a quick morning meal. My kids love peanut butter on toast.
  • Relax. Remember to take a deep breath and make positive statements to yourself. You can do this! When a question is difficult, do your best and move on.

We’re excited to see the students next week!

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

Dr. Edwards