Student Life: Resources and Supports
- Family Engagement Team
- Counseling and Student Support Services
- Suicide Awareness and Mental Health Support
- Prevent Child Abuse
- Monique Burr Child Safety Matters Program
- Bridge Bill: College and Career Advisement
- STUDENT CLUBS AND COMPETITIONS
- STUDENT FIELD TRIPS / ANNUAL SCHOOL-WIDE EVENTS
- SCHOOL CULTURE and COMMUNITY
- DIABETES MEDICAL MANAGEMENT
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT TEAM
The Family Engagement Team was implemented over a decade ago to provide support to our students and learning coaches. The team has grown from a team of five to a team of approximately one-hundred! Our families can expect the support of a Family Engagement Liaison (FEL) from the time they start their academic journey at GCA throughout their time here.
The Family Engagement Team provides encouragement and support to students and learning coaches in their navigation of our virtual school environment. The Family Engagement Team also supports our students in overcoming many challenges (academic, social, emotional, medical and otherwise) to succeed in school and beyond by liaising with all GCA departments in order to better serve our students’ and families’ individualized needs. The team’s holistic approach includes early intervention, support services, and linking families to school and community-based resources. Family Engagement Liaisons (FELs), Family School Partnerships Coordinators, Family Resource Coordinators, and content teachers work collaboratively with our families to stay connected, informed, and encouraged in our on-going effort to serve our students well, provide an environment where they can be successful, and work with families to provide the extra help needed to enable students to stay motivated and on track.
More information about the Georgia Cyber Academy Family Engagement program can be found on the Family Engagement Team page.
Family Engagement Liaison Responsibilities:
- Facilitates a close working relationship between families and other school staff by being a main point of contact.
- Guides new families through the Strong Start Process (onboarding) to ensure understanding and navigation of the main online school platforms. Provides troubleshooting and basic platform support throughout the school year. (Canvas, Clever, G-suite (Google Tools), Jigsaw, Infinite Campus, Nucleus (Attendance Program), etc.)
- Initiates regular and frequent contact with families to encourage attendance and compliance with school requirements and initiatives
- FELs and content teachers work together with families to provide the extra help needed to enable students to stay motivated and on track.
- Guides and directs the student through using the Online School Platform.
- Informs students and families of school updates/ information.
- Provides support in all areas of successful student learning and achievement.
Family Engagement Liaisons are available Monday-Friday from 8 am until 4 pm. When you reach out to your FEL, you should expect to receive a response within twenty-four hours (on school days).
COUNSELING AND STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Through a holistic approach, the Georgia Cyber Academy Counseling Department will empower all students to reach their highest potential by using a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes academic, career, and personal/ social development. Our program will foster the growth of each student as a civic-minded contributor with their local communities and beyond. Upon graduation, students will be college and/or career ready and will have the competencies necessary to make self-directed, realistic, and responsible decisions to be successful contributors to society.
The mission of Georgia Cyber Academy’s School Counseling Department is to provide a data-driven comprehensive school counseling program that is proactive, developmentally appropriate and one that will assist all students in acquiring the mindsets and behaviors needed to become productive students, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners. The counselors at Georgia Cyber Academy will collaborate with all stakeholders, including students, parents/guardians, staff and community member to work towards meeting the needs of all students.
All stakeholders within Georgia Cyber Academy share in the benefits of its comprehensive school counseling program.
- Access for all students to the comprehensive school counseling program.
- Monitors and interprets data to facilitate student improvement and school success.
- Provides strategies for closing the achievement gap.
- Creates a culture of college and career readiness for all students.
- Advocates for students and promotes equitable access to educational opportunities.
- Offers career and social/ emotional development.
Parent/ Guardian Benefits
- Supports active partnerships for student learning and career planning.
- Invites and coordinates access to school and community resources.
- Advocates for student academic, career, and personal development.
- Provides training and informational workshops.
- Provides data for information on student progress.
The Counseling department at Georgia Cyber Academy is made up of Assistant Directors, School Counselors, Social Workers, Graduation Coaches, Placement Counselors, Work Based Learning Professionals, Event Coordinators and professional personnel with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Many have worked for years in brick-and-mortar schools with all grade bands, including college level students.
Our department strives to continue the development and implementation of the comprehensive counseling and social work programs based upon the identified needs of Georgia Cyber Academy students in grades K-12. We also aim to integrate school counseling and social work programs within the total educational curriculum and programming of the school.
Programs offered by the Counseling Department include:
- Primary & Elementary Counseling
- Middle Grades Counseling
- Secondary Grades 9-11 Counseling
- Senior Counseling
- Dual Enrollment Counseling
- Graduation Coaching
- Post-Secondary Graduation Option/SB2
- Work Based Learning
- Academic Placement and Compliance
- Community Engagement/Outreach
- Personal/Crisis Counseling
- Academic Counseling
- Post-Secondary Counseling
- ES Social Work
- MS Social Work
- HS Social Work
- MKV (Homeless) Social Work
- Mental Health Support
- Community Resource Coordination
- Parent and Family Guidance/Support
Suicide Awareness and Mental Health Support (All Grade Levels)
The district is committed to partnering with parents to support the healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral development of its students. Information will be provided to students about suicide prevention and positive attitudes about mental health. This will increase students’ ability to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to seek help for the individual.
Many of the indicators of abuse are common to multiple categories of abuse. Indicators like running away, school problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, withdrawal, excessive worries, substance abuse, self- injury, and suicidal thoughts or actions could be a response to any type of abuse.
Deciding why a child needs help is less important than acting on your concern that a child is in harm’s way. If the child you are concerned about has attempted suicide in the past or your concern is about the danger that the child represents to him or herself, you may want to contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800- 273-TALK (8255) to learn more. Some of the warning signs that someone is at high risk include:
- Shows extremes in behavior, such as overly compliant or demanding behavior, extreme passivity, or aggression
- Inappropriately adult (parenting other children, for example) or inappropriately infantile (frequently rocking or head-banging, for example)
- Is delayed in physical or emotional development
- Has attempted suicide
- Reports a lack of attachment to the parent
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having a reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
If you are concerned about your child or you are having thoughts of suicide, please access or contact the school counselor or social worker for more information related to suicide prevention services available in your area. For access to services and immediate crisis help, call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800- 715-4225, available 24/7. You may also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Georgia Cyber Academy’s security platform, Securly, monitors student search history to protect our students. If a severe self-harm alert occurs during weekends or holidays, Securly will send a law enforcement officer to conduct a well-check
Prevent Child Abuse
It takes parents, caregivers and supportive resources to help children thrive. Parents and children are often in complex situations and need professional and community support. Prevent Child Abuse Georgia provides the 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline whose bilingual staff are trained to listen to parents and help connect them with programs and services in their neighborhood.
Here’s how you can help:
- Call the 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) Helpline to talk to trained professionals to connect them with supportive programs in their area.
- Go online to use the 1-800-CHILDREN Resource Map, which contains over 3,000 local and statewide programs designed to assist and support families. See what services are available in your area.
- Use the FREE helpline 1-855-GA-CHILD (1-855-422-4453).
- Additional information about 1-800-CHILDREN is located at PCAGeorgiaHelpline.org.
The 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline can connect caregivers with:
- Parenting support
- After school and other child programs
- Counseling and support groups
- Referrals for legal needs
- Grandparent raising grandchildren
- Concerns about well-being of a child or family member
- Family violence concerns
- Community resources for emergency assistance
The Helpline is toll free, bilingual, available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a good place to discuss options.
How to Report Child Abuse
Reports are taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-855-GACHILD / 1-855-422-4453
Monique Burr Child Safety Matters Program
In accordance with Senate Bill 401, which requires all public schools to implement age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education for students in grades K-9, Georgia Cyber Academy uses the Monique Burr Child Safety Matters program from the Monique Burr Foundation for Children. The goal of the Program is to help keep our students safe. The Program empowers children to spot and respond to bullying, cyberbullying, child abuse, and digital dangers. Most importantly, it teaches that adults are responsible for children’s safety. The Program is based on the latest research. It has been reviewed and endorsed by national experts.
Why does your child need a safety program?
- 10% of children are abused before their 18th birthday
- 14% of children have been solicited online
- 28% of students have been bullied
- 90% of children between 8 and 16 years have viewed explicit material online
School Counselors and Social Workers facilitate the lessons with students during the Spring semester. Families are provided information before the program starts and parents have an opportunity to opt their students out of the program. You can learn more about the curriculum on their website. You can also download the “Child Safety Matters” app at no cost from the App Store or Google Play.
Bridge Bill: College and Career Advisement
The BRIDGE (Building Resourceful Individuals to Develop Georgia’s Economy) Act, House Bill 400, was signed into law in May 2010 to create an atmosphere motivating middle- and high-school students to learn because they see the relevance of education to their dreams and future plans. The implementation of the BRIDGE Act provides middle- and high-school students with career counseling and regularly scheduled advisement to choose a focused plan of study.
The following BRIDGE Law advisement tasks are required to be completed at each grade level:
- Complete Career Cluster Inventory
- Complete Naviance Career Cluster Finder
- Add 3 careers to your list in Naviance
- Complete Naviance Learning Style Inventory 2.0
- Update Individual Graduation Plan on Graduation Plan/Program of Study
- Complete 8th Grade Dual Enrollment Survey in Naviance
- Exploration of 3 Careers in Naviance
- Complete the career interest and aptitude inventory assigned in Naviance
- Save three possible choices of postsecondary options in your Naviance account
- Research at least one additional state or local workforce development initiative, such as “High
- Demand Careers Initiative,” “HOPE Career Grant,” “Trade 5 Skills Initiative” or any other local or state workforce needs for your county / region of Georgia
- Complete the graduation survey in Naviance
STUDENT CLUBS AND COMPETITIONS
Georgia Cyber Academy encourages contribution to student life through school clubs, which represent the wide range of our students’ interests and talents. Students gather in a secure and inviting online environment where they can explore topics that interest them, under the guidance of a GCA faculty/ staff member. Such interactions create a strong community among our diverse student body and can result in the development of lifelong friendships. These clubs meet at pre- determined days/ times. If a group of students has a common interest, which is not represented in our current club offerings, they may submit a proposal to the Head of School to form a new club.
STUDENT FIELD TRIPS / ANNUAL SCHOOL-WIDE EVENTS
Georgia Cyber Academy recognizes the importance of face-to-face interaction and strives to provide numerous opportunities for students to connect with each other throughout the school year.
Students that are performing below grade level are limited to 2 (two) field trip excused absences per semester. All assignments are still required to be completed. Also, class recordings MUST be reviewed for all required classes.
Students are not permitted to participate in field trips that fall on Pre-Test, NWEA MAP, IA, Final Exams, Access, or Milestones EOG/EOC assessment days unless those exams have been previously completed.
- Annual Welcome Back Event (Fall Community Day) at various sites around the state.
- Annual End of Year Event (Summer Community Day) at various sites around the state
Students are marked as excused from Live Class Sessions for both the GCA school-wide annual events
SCHOOL CULTURE AND COMMUNITY
Georgia Cyber Academy has a robust school culture and an active community of students, families, and staff. Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to participate in various school culture initiatives which are designed to enhance student learning and keep our school community connected and engaged.
School nickname: Champions
School mascot: Champ the Owl
Colors: Navy and Orange
School Motto: Rise Up, Aim High, and Soar
School Culture & Events Calendar:
Please refer to the Community Events Calendar on our website for upcoming virtual and face-to-face activities and events.
If you have questions about school culture initiatives or are interested in becoming more involved in our school community please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DIABETES MEDICAL MANAGEMENT
GCA ensures that at minimum two staff members are trained in diabetes management. These employees are not required to be health care professionals but have participated in required Diabetes Management training.
Parents/Guardians of students with Diabetes must submit a Diabetes Management Plan completed by the student’s physician or healthcare provider in the event any type of diabetes management will be needed at in-person or events, assessments, or school functions. The district will additionally provide information to all staff in the recognition of diabetes-related emergencies.