News You Can Use - 10/17/2005

During the school year, the Department of Communication & Media Relations produces a media tip sheet called "News You Can Use, which is distributed to metro Atlanta news outlets electronically. This publication provides school and system news, including recent honors, upcoming events, calendar items, and photo opportunities at local schools and central office locations. The tip sheet is sent out at the end of each week, and covers news and GCPS items of interest for the coming 7-10 days.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
10/17/2005 - 10/23/2005

The GCPS 8th Grade Social Studies Program was named 2005 Program of Excellence by the Georgia Council for Social Studies. Dr. Debbie Daniell, director of social studies, will receive the award at the annual Georgia Council for Social Studies Fall Conference on Oct. 21. In addition, Helene Brown from Osborne Middle has been named one of three 2005 Social Studies Teachers of the Year. She will be honored at the same conference. For more information, call 770-513-6623.

Kathy Tackabury of Duluth Middle was selected from a national pool of more than 2,500 applicants for the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. Ms. Tackabury will study the Japanese culture and education system during a three-week visit to Japan in November. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

Annistown Elementary will hold a canned food drive to benefit the American Red Cross, beginning Oct. 17 and running through Oct. 21. Non-perishable food and canned goods will be accepted. Proceeds will benefit Gwinnett County families who have been screened and referred by local human service agencies. The school goal is to collect 2,000 items. Annistown families and community members may drop off items at the school between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, call 770-979-2950.

The Five Forks Middle’s fine arts department will hold a concert to raise money for the school’s hurricane relief effort on Oct.18 at 7 p.m. at Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville. The concert will feature solos, ensembles, and small groups from the band, chorus, orchestra, and guest performances from the Stone Mountain Brass Quintet. Donations will be accepted. For more information, call 770-972-1506.

The Grayson Elementary Parent Academy will hold the school’s second session, entitled “Discipline through Love and Logic,” on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Childcare will be available. These sessions are educational classes for Grayson Elementary parents. For more information, call Lora Thompson at 770-736-7634 or e-mail

Lawrenceville Elementary will sponsor a kindergarten literacy night on Oct. 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Parent Center will be open to support parents at that time. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

J.P. McConnell Middle will sponsor a parent resource seminar on “Gang and Drug Awareness” on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Captain Greg Vaughn and fellow officers of the Lawrenceville Police Department will speak to the community. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Alton C. Crews Middle 8th grade band students will perform music of Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning composer Michael Colgrass at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta on Oct. 18. The band will perform as part of the program featuring Mr. Colgrass. The concert at the Rialto is part of the Music Education Leadership Institute, sponsored by Georgia State University. For more information, call 770-982-6940.

Glenn C. Jones Middle will host a celebrity reading event on Oct.19 to celebrate Teen Read Week. Students will visit with local celebrities who will read from books, poems, and articles, and talk about their careers and lives. The school expects visitors ranging from government officials to local TV and radio personalities. This is an all-day event in which each celebrity will spend one hour with a group of students. If you are interested in being a guest reader, contact Julie Richardson at 770-904-5484.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host a visit from two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Courtney Sheals on Oct. 20. Ms. Sheals, will speak to 3rd through 5th grade students about goals, hard work, and respecting others in conjunction with the Arby’s “Values of a Champion” program. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Five Forks Middle will host a literacy night on Oct. 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-1506.

The Parkview High PTSA will host “Operation Drive Smart” Oct. 20. Ninth and tenth grade students are invited to visit with vendors to learn more about driving safety and the dangers of reckless behavior behind the wheel. This event is being hosted in conjunction with a Red Ribbon Week celebration. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Simonton Elementary will host a “Community Literacy Night” on Oct. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. The evening will begin with a complimentary hot dog dinner. Presentations will include information from SuccessMaker¯ a home computer program¯ and tips on how to help your child be a successful reader from our literacy team. Story tellers will be on hand to give life and voice to favorite tales. Students are invited to dress as their favorite story book character. Prizes will be awarded for the best book character costume. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Trickum Middle will commemorate its 30th anniversary during a special PTSA program and Literary Night on Oct. 20. Past Trickum faculty members, principals, and PTSA presidents will be honored during a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, followed by a PTSA meeting at 6:30 p.m. Speakers include CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks; Louise Radloff, Board member; Lynne Davis, principal; and Phillip Curtis, a 30-year staff member. Student literary works and books from the past 30 years will be on display in the Media Center. All current and former Trickum students are invited to attend. This 30th anniversary year will be the school’s last one in its current building on Cole Drive. The new Trickum Middle replacement facility is under construction on Killian Hill Rd. and is scheduled to open for the 2006-07 school year. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Riverside Elementary will sponsor a Family Fun Night on Oct. 21 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. There will be games and activities for kids, a silent auction, food, and music. For more information, call Kavi Sarver at 678-482-1000.

Members of the Mill Creek High Technology Student Association are competing in the BEST robotics competition. The competition is hosted by Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. This year’s theme is the “Mission to Hubble.” Each team is required to design and build a robot that can remove and replace old batteries on a simulated Hubble Telescope. Statewide competition will be held at Southern Polytech on Oct. 22. The regional championship will be held at Auburn University a few weeks later. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Grayson Elementary will host a carnival on Oct. 22 from 3 to 7 p.m. Activities include a silent auction, moon jumps, obstacle courses, giant slides, cake walk, games, food, spin art, and action sports. Advanced tickets are $12 or tickets may be purchased for $15 at the gate. The price includes all events. For more information, call Jennifer Pender at 678-377-7443 or e-mail

Duluth High drama students will compete in sub-region One Act competition against Centennial High, Norcross High, Peachtree Ridge High, and Northview High with a 50-minute version of “Some Assembly Required” at Norcross High on Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Suwanee Elementary will host a Fall Festival on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a dunk tank and a silent auction. For more information, call 770-945-5763.

The Simonton Elementary community is invited to gather for dinner on Oct. 25 at Steak ‘n’ Shake on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd from 5 to 8 p.m. Steak ‘n’ Shake will donate 10% of all sales back to Simonton Elementary. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

The Alton C. Crews Middle PTSA will host a Career Fair on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Parents and students are invited to find out more about career opportunities. For more information call 770-982-6940.

Statewide “Community Conversation” to focus on setting budget priorities for education
If you could create an education budget, what would you put in it? What would you leave out?
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force will explore these difficult questions with residents locally and statewide. Governor Sonny Perdue and State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox will lead the second statewide “Community Conversation” that aims to create Georgia’s definition of educational excellence. The conversation will take place simultaneously at 16 sites across Georgia. Locally, residents will participate at Peachtree Ridge High School, located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee.
The program will open with a presentation by the Governor and the Superintendent, which will be broadcast from Georgia Public Television. Participants will then be given different scenarios and be asked to build budgets around those circumstances. Participants will get a peek into the difficult decision-making process that goes on at the state and local levels when determining budgets for schools.
There are two ways to actively participate in this conversation.
In person: Area residents are encouraged to arrive at Peachtree Ridge High by 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.
Online: Residents can log-on to and participate by webcast.

The Trickum Middle 6th grade orchestra will host a strings concert on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. For more information, call 770-321-2705.

Caron Burnette’s class at Suwanee Elementary will host The Butterfly Ball on Oct. 28 from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Students will practice ballroom dance steps, learn about manners, and plan what they will wear to the Butterfly Ball. This event will run in conjunction with the Great Days of Service. Students are encouraged to donate personal hygiene products for the Foster Children's Foundation. For more information, call 770-945-5763.

Mill Creek High theater students will perform “Macbeth” Oct. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $5. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

W. J. Cooper Elementary has many activities planned for Career Month in October. Lessons on careers will be taught in the classroom. Each grade level will sponsor a career contest. On Oct. 28, 2nd grade students will explore and learn about different careers at hands-on Career Centers. For more information, call Christy Armstrong at 770-554-7050.

Sycamore Elementary will host a Fall Festival on Oct. 29. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Annistown Elementary will sponsor a fall carnival on Oct. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Activities include a silent auction, baskets for purchase, games, booths, and refreshments. Parents, students, and the community are invited. For more information, call Arthur Williams at 770-979-2950.

Mill Creek donated $30,000 to the American Red Cross from a fund raiser that began three weeks ago. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

“GCPS Focus” This week on GCPS Focus... a look at how Gwinnett schools emphasize reading and writing, Bethesda Elementary prepares to celebrate 100 years of teaching and learning, the role of public education in the community, and a look at how Gwinnett schools have responded to the Katrina disaster. This 30-min. program airs daily at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“ArtStage - Marching Band Exhibition” - Watch your favorite high school marching band perform on the season premiere of GCPS TV's “ArtStage.” Featured bands include Berkmar High, Brookwood High, Central Gwinnett High, Grayson High, Parkview High, Shiloh High, and South Gwinnett High. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 17-23 at 2 and 8 p.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use: Keeping Our Children Safe and Secure” This program explores what can be done to keep our children safe-- before, during, and after school-- in the face of a natural catastrophe or other crisis. Examining the recent example of our nation's experience with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the program will highlight the ways that local, state, and federal agencies, as well as teachers, principals, mental health professionals, law enforcement officials, and others can respond when our children face a crisis. This 60-minute program airs Oct. 18-23 at 9 p.m. and Oct. 28-30 at 11 a.m.

“Artifacts and Fiction” Annenberg/CPB - This video workshop for high school American literature teachers introduces techniques for reading cultural, political, and religious artifacts and connecting them to the literature they teach. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 17-20 and Oct. 24-27 at 11 a.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Instructional Materials Review through Oct. 29— Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for grades K–12 fine arts and grades 6–12 career and technical education. The review will run through Oct. 29. All materials can be reviewed at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville, during the times listed: Monday–Friday, through Oct. 28, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 15 and 29, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; and Thursday, Oct. 13 and 27, 5–8 p.m.

AKS review runs through Oct. 28— The annual review for the continuous improvement of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum is underway. Submissions are due to the Curriculum Development Office by Oct. 28. Curriculum directors will review suggestions and provide comments. On March 16, the GEMS Oversight Committee will review both the suggestions comments before making its recommendation to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the school Board of Education. AKS Review Forms are available at

October is Computer Learning Month.

Oct. 16-22 is National School Bus Safety Week.

Oct. 22-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Make a Difference day is Oct. 22.

Red Ribbon Week begins Oct. 23.

Oct. 24 is Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

A Certified Teacher Job Fair will be held on November 5 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Mill Creek High School, 4400 Braselton Hwy./Hwy. 124, in Hoschton, Ga. Applications may be downloaded at or by calling the GCPS Application Line at 678-377-8909.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during October. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Phone Number
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Berkmar High
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
Craig Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
R.D. Head Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Ivy Creek Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Glenn C. Jones Middle
J.C. Magill Elementary
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Sycamore Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary