News You Can Use - 05/14/2007

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
05/14/2007 - 05/20/2007

GCPS will host the “Third Regional Conference of the Partnership for Hispanic Family Learning and 9th Latino Summit.” The three-day conference is organized and sponsored by the Latin American Association and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. The event will take place May 11 at the school system’s Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, and May 12 at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center. For more information, call 404-638-1815 or visit the Latin American Association at

Peachtree Ridge High will host a visit from Colonel Ben Purcell, a relative of math teacher Karen Purcell, on May 11. Col. Purcell will speak to students and faculty of his experiences as a Vietnam War POW for more than five years. For more information, call teacher Seth Hersch at 678-957-3100.

Walnut Grove Elementary recently received a grant from the Collins Hill Education Foundation and Home Depot to improve the school’s Sensorimotor room. Special education students use the room to learn to self modulate their sensory systems, develop improved motor skills, and increase positive social and behavioral skills. This impacts their ability to function within school, home, and community settings. Several pieces of equipment including a loft with a slide, a quiet visually stimulating area, a large ball pit, a new swing, and a scooter board ramp have been added to the room. This equipment will help improve motor skills so students can function within their classrooms. The reopening of the room will take place on May 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the school. For more information, call Keri Carpenter, occupational therapist at 678-301-7187.

The Duluth High NJROTC was recognized as a unit of distinction for attaining “Unit Achievement” status. The unit earned the honor by scoring number one in the Region and 12th nationally on the National Academic Exam; performing in excess of 3,000 hours of community service; having an outstanding Annual Military Inspection; supporting its school and other Gwinnett County schools with Color Guard’s and other services; and fielding competitive athletic, drill, air rifle, and academic teams. For more information, call media specialist Dr. Marsha Hunter, at 770-232-3336.

Of the 281 GCPS system entries in the State Student Media Festival, 121 will move to competition at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) International Student Media Festival competition over the summer. These student entries scored a 96 or higher at the state level. For more information, call Deborah Gray in broadcast and distance learning at 678-301-6428. For more information on the competition, visit

GCPS had 12 first place winners at the State Science and Engineering Fair. The students who placed first were Jonathan Walker from Berkmar High, Suman Nag from Brookwood High, Brian Hysell from Duluth High, Andrea Kuklenvik, Aekta Patel and Jung Mi Park from Collins Hill High,
Zain Gillani, My-Ngoc To, and Sumi Selvaraj from Parkview High, Caitlin Martin and Hong Vu from Peachtree Ridge High, Sheola Farguharson and Alexis Wooden from South Gwinnett High, and Daniel Gehle from Richards Middle. In addition, four student projects will go directly from regional competition to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Those projects were from Jimmy Le, Aniket Shah, and Jonathan Walker of Berkmar High, Suman Nag of Brookwood High, and Joy Choi of Peachtree Ridge High. The Intel ISEF 2007 will be held May 13-19 in Albuquerque, NM. For more information, call Elizabeth Neace from the science department at 678-301-7036, or visit

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation recognized Peachtree Ridge High staff member Diane Clausen with the Lionheart Award and Peachtree Ridge High teacher Dean Feldman with the Lions Faculty Award at their annual meeting in May. For more information, call Lynn Brunatti at 677-957-3166 or visit the Website at

Mill Creek High student Amanda Van Duynhoven represented the school as a “one person” delegation at the Georgia Junior Classical League State Convention at Rock Eagle. Amanda served as the State Secretary for the organization this year, running the state spirit contest and she was awarded one of two ovations which are framed resolutions, honoring an individual, usually reserved for retiring teachers. For more information, call 770-714-5850.

The Hooper Renwick Center will host a visit from a Holocaust survivor on May 14 at 10 a.m. The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is sponsoring the speaker. Mr. Kessler will speak to high-school age students about tolerance. The students recently read the book “Freedom Writers.” For more information, visit more information, call staff member Barbara Moff at 682-4290.

The South Gwinnett High Language Arts Department will host a visit from author Jeannette Walls on May 18. Ms. Walls’ book, “The Glass Castle,” has been on the best-seller list and is a memoir of resilience and redemption. The book is listed on the GCPS high school summer reading list. Approximately 1,000 South Gwinnett students will have the opportunity to hear Ms. Walls speak. For more information, call 770-736-4239.

Alton C. Crews Middle is holding a Birthday Bash on May 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the cafeteria to celebrate the school’s 10th anniversary. Former and current school parents, students, staff, and business partners are invited to join the celebration. Former principals will be in attendance along with Ms. Alton C. Crews, the wife of the school’s namesake. Music, birthday cakes, balloons and party hats will be made available for the enjoyment of all. For more information, call local school technology coordinator Dr. Janet Blanchette at 770-982-6940.

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student Field Studies and activities weekday mornings and is open to the public weekday afternoons Monday - Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

May is Teacher Appreciation Month
Free admission for teachers (with school ID) -- Win a free Field Study Program or Annual Family Membership.

May 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 2nd Saturday, Archaeology Festival, $5 per person, $12 per family of four
Celebrate Archaeology Month. Fun activities for all ages include: Ask an Archaeologist, Primitive Tool Making, Deciphering the Documents, It’s in the Dirt, Making Pottery and much more. Come learn about the fascinating world of archaeology and how you can protect Georgia's past. Additional charge for admission to the EHC.

May 19, 8 a.m., EcoRun (5K and 1K Fun Run), $20 if registered by May 5, $25 to register on Race Day
Love to run? Then this is for you. Experience beautiful scenery and a challenging race course through the multi-surface trails. Race Times: 5K- 8 a.m., 1K Fun Run - 9:30 a.m. Download registration form at Registration includes a T-shirt for all runners. Additional charge for admission to the EHC.

May 19, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Club Method (Middle and High School)
Get Wacko with Macros. Join Club Method for fun in the sun catching bugs and wetland antics.

“Our Home - Earth from Space” In this video introduction to Earth System Science, two student guides demonstrate connections between various Earth system components and challenge the viewer to look for their own connections in the Earth system. This 22-minute program airs May 14-20 at 10:30 a.m.

“Teen Driving” School Resource Officer Carlos J. Oliva delivers an important presentation to high school students on “Teen Driving.” Tune in to learn the biggest mistakes teens are making behind the wheel, and gain important tips on how students can improve their driving. This 30-minute program airs May 14-20 at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

“Irasshai Explorer" Irasshai Explorer is a comprehensive middle school exploratory resource that introduces students to Japanese language and culture using graphics, animation and authentic materials to make the culture come alive for all students. This 60-minute program airs May 18-20 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 1” This video telecourse is an advanced Spanish Language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, parent-teacher conferences, and more. This series airs in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday through July 1. (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through May 24 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon to 4 p.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 678-301-6460, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
05/10/2007GCPS summer school to start early June (pdf)
05/09/2007Gwinnett community celebrates school system’s gifted education (pdf)
05/08/2007Two GCPS schools commended for best practices to improve student achievement (pdf)
05/07/2007More than 70 GCPS students selected for Governor’s Honors Program (pdf)
05/04/2007Mill Creek High’s business program earns certification (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2008 include:
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 11, 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education


For graduation dates, visit

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month.

Registration for high school summer school is underway.

May 1-7 is National Physical Education and Sports Week.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., June 21, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 13-19 is Reading is Fun Week.

May 21-22 is early release for high school exams.

May 23 is early release for high school exams and the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

Memorial Day on May 28 is a systemwide holiday and all locations are closed.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during May. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Brookwood Elementary5/14
Cedar Hill Elementary5/14
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary5/18
Corley Elementary5/15
Dacula Elementary5/18
Glenn C. Jones Middle5/17
Harbins Elementary5/15
Lilburn Elementary5/17
Lilburn Middle5/17
Mountain Park Elementary5/14
North Gwinnett High5/15
Peachtree Elementary5/17
Pharr Elementary5/17
Rock Springs Elementary5/17
South Gwinnett High5/15
Sweetwater Middle5/17