GMSD Staffer November 2019


The Superintendent reminds staff to keep vigilant about school safety while HR shares information about a resource that provides free counseling to staffers.

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Are you prepared for a 'rapid response' in an emergency?


Last week there was another school shooting that took place in California.  I am trying to imagine the pain and brokenness being felt in their community. Since this event has been in the news, there have been two additional school shootings in the U.S.

These events have made me question:  Are we ready?  The importance of decisive action in a crisis makes the difference between life and death.  District staff has received multiple safety trainings ranging from how to apply a tourniquet to how to identify "hard corners" in your classrooms.  Although these trainings help prepare us for a tragedy, the deciding factor will be how quickly the adults choose to apply these techniques.

Something struck me at a school safety training I attended last week: If there were a school shooting, how quickly would you realize that it was a real situation and take action?  According to the presenter, those seconds matter. It is very common for staff to wander out into the hall to see what's happening or second-guess the severity of the situation.  The shooting at Saugus High School only lasted fourteen seconds, and in those seconds school staff made choices that mattered.

Please review your school safety procedures and begin with something as simple as keeping your classroom door closed and locked while you are teaching.  Pausing to let someone in during a lesson might be a minor annoyance, but it is impactful and it could save the lives of our students. Unfortunately, we live in a day and time when we have to assume the worst. Keep our children safe by taking decisive actions.


Jason Manuel, Superintendent



Employee Assistance Program CONCERN

What is this program? When people begin to experience personal problems, reaching out to family, friends, or others can be both supportive and helpful.  However, if additional support is needed, GMSD has made available to you and those in your household, a professional counseling service that can help.  GMSD knows that employees who are effectively managing personal issues are generally much happier and productive.

What does it cost? The services of CONCERN are a GMSD-paid resource.  There is no cost to you or to those in your household when services are used.

CONCERN Counselors: The professional staff are master's degree counselors (LPC) or clinical social workers (LCSW).   

When can I use CONCERN? Common problems including family or marital difficulties, relationship problems, grief, emotional or psychological stress, financial and legal worries, alcohol or drug abuse, gambling problems, or a combination of the above.  You can bring any size problem to CONCERN and they will assist you. 

How confidential is the service? No one from GMSD will know that you are using the service unless you give your counselor permission to talk to someone.  Strict confidentiality is maintained by CONCERN. 

Need to make an appointment? Just call 901-338-6256 or 1-800-445-5011







Did you know that Principal Zac Percoski was a talented home chef?  


Top Staff Features

Jessica Woody has been named Dogwood Elementary School's new principal

Kelly Rhodes at Farmington Elementary School works with K-Kids to create sock kits for the homeless

Mr. Percoski secures big victory in the Big Crunch Top Chef Competition

GMSD rolls out the Olweus Bullying prevention program--recognizes school leads

Kell Christie at Houston High wraps another successful production. See photos of The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe

Join Flash the Fox for a Celebrity Charity Basketball Game on Thursday (11/21)

Read More


Top Stories

Riverdale student along with a senior citizen take the top honor in Memphis Intergenerational Spelling Bee.

8th grader Neeraj Pawar created his own ride to travel to and from school

Houston High Improvements Update: Field House, Band Addition, and Auditorium Renovations are underway

School Board recognizes students who excel in SEL in 2019 Kindness Awards

GMSD athletics mid-season Round-up: Golf, Cross Country, Volleyball, Football & Soccer

Author Deborah Wiles visits Dogwood Elementary School--by Hilary McIntrye

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The District Update 

Probably the biggest news from this month's board meeting was the approved budget amendment that will give employees a one-time 2% Cost of Living Stipend at the end of December. 

How do I find out my salary? If you are attempting to estimate what your 2% COLA stipend will look like, you will need to obtain your current salary.  You can view that number in yourEmployee Skyward Portal

=       When you log into your Employee Portal, click on the Employee Information Tab

=       Click on the Personal Information link

=       On the left hand side of the screen, under the Personnel drop down menu,you will see a link called Assignments

=       Once on the Assignments page, you will use the scroll bar (the horizontal one) to scroll across the screen. At the very end of the screen, you should see a Salary column that lists your contracted amount for the 2019-2020 school year.  Classified staff members will also see a 'projected' annual amount.

*Finding 2% of your salary will help you estimate your COLA Stipend before taxes.

The Germantown Board of Education approved the bids for the remaining phases of the Houston High Athletic & Art Foundation's projects.  The band addition breaks ground on December 9th while the auditorium upgrades and concession-stand Paddock will begin shortly after.  You can read more about that here 

Superintendent Manuel reported on high school course offerings and ACT scores in his Superintendent's Report which can be viewed here.




Video Clip of the Month:

HHS Mustangs vs. White Station 

The Houston Mustangs are celebrating their very first undefeated season and have begun the playoffs.  Check out their victory against White Station.  If you can't make it to Landers Stadium, Kelly Day Portraits livestreams all the games from its Youtube Channel.


NOV-DEC 2019

Looking for something to do ?  From winter music concerts to basketball games, there's something to discover on our GMSD Master Calendar.



Do you have story ideas or submissions?
[email protected]

Are you looking for some new Houston apparel?  Attend an Houston Middle basketball games to purchase.




Germantown Municipal School District



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