News You Can Use - 04/23/2007

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
04/23/2007 - 04/29/2007

Glenn C. Jones Middle will host the 3rd Annual Gwinnett County Scholastic Chess Tournament on April 21. More than 250 students from Gwinnett and the region will participate in the event. For more information, call Dr. Eddie Maresh, assistant principal, at 770-904-5409.

The Meadowcreek High PTSA will sponsor the Miss Meadowcreek Pageant on April 21 at 6 p.m. in the school theater. Tickets may be purchased for $10 at the door. For more information, call Patricia Degbor at 678-248-4122.

The Norcross High Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band earned national recognition at The Festivals of Music in Chicago. The Wind Symphony earned 1st place in their class and received a superior rating along with the William D. Revelli Concert Band Award. In addition, the Norcross Symphonic Band was awarded 1st place in their class and 2nd place overall. For more information, call band director Rudy Gilbert at 770-326-8066.

GCPS will send 280 of the 512 entries in the Gwinnett Student Media Festival on to the Georgia Media Festival held at Georgia Public TV in Atlanta on April 27. For more information call Deborah Gray of Broadcast and Distance learning at 678-301-6428.

Duluth High Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) competed in the National Academic Exam in March. The team received national recognition for scoring in the top 100 teams in the country, competing against 1,300 teams from 700 units around the world. Team one members Lucas Beyer, Hannah Funderburk, Michelle Lanford, Jonathan Leo, and Esther Scott scored 12th in the nation. Team two members Margaret Adams, Garett Chappelle, Francis Kim, Brock Lyle, and Callie Palmer scored 61st in the nation. Team three members Veeraj Bhura, Kenna Humphrey, Robert Kirby, Joyce Park, and Josiah Smith scored 75th in the nation. The Duluth NJROTC academic team participates in a number of competitions throughout the year, testing cadet knowledge in a science, history, and current events. For more information on this and other Duluth NJROTC events, visit

Duluth High senior Kiernan Kane received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Duluth High broadcast student Adam Holder had his short film “Suburban Savior” selected for screening at the 2007 Atlanta Film Festival’s Teen Screen April 24 at 4 p.m. All the Teen Screen films will be shown at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema from April 23-27. This is the fourth time one of Adam’s short films has been selected. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Creekland Middle will host a “Think College Early Fair” on April 24 from 6-8 p.m. Eighth grade students interested in attending a four-year college, a two-year institution, a technical school, or another postsecondary school after they graduate from high school are invited to attend the free event and bring their families. The fair will focus on why college is important, how to plan for college, how to choose a college, and how to pay for college. Colleges and universities from Georgia will be represented in informative workshops. Refreshments will be served. College resources will be available to take home. Call the community counselor for more information at 770-338-4700.

Duluth Middle will host Heritage Night on April 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees are invited to dress in native attire and bring a dish representative of their heritage. Students will provide entertainment. Students’ cultural exhibits will be on display. For more information, call 770-476-3372.

The Duluth High Center Stage Alliance presents “Steel Magnolias” on April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m., and April 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the school theater. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $6. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Norcross High Players present the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Performances at the school are on April 26, 27, and 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will be a 2 p.m. performance on April 29. General admission tickets may be purchased for $7. Preferred seating tickets are $10. Tickets may be purchased in the cafeteria or at the door. For more information, call the Norcross Drama Hotline at 770-447-2667.

Bethesda Elementary will host a visit with seven teachers from Thailand for 10 days in April as part of the Atlanta Friendship Force initiative. On April 27, the teachers will perform Siamese dances, meet with staff members, and observe in 4th grade classrooms. The Friendship Force International organization is dedicated to global goodwill. Home hospitality provides the opportunity for people of different countries and cultures to connect at a personal level. For more information, call 770-921-2000.

Rock Springs Elementary will host a visit from Author Michael White on May 1. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

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.

April 26, 7 – 9 p.m. SpineCrackers Book Club, $7 per meeting, free to GEHC members
High school age and up, meet new friends as we socialize the first 30 minutes. Gather together as we explore the life of Will Cooper in Charles Frazier's “Thirteen Moons.” Email or purchase tickets at the door.

April 28, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Greenway Gurus Club (3rd-5th graders) $10 per student
Learn cool things about birds at this fun environmental club. To register, email, call 770-904-3500, or visit to register online.

April 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sustainability Mini-Conference Going Green: What Does It Mean?
Attendees will learn about sustainability in the construction, academic, and design fields. Professionals explore the way they encounter and use these innovations in projects. Green building design concepts including highlights of the new Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. GEHC is the county’s first “green building" designated for a Silver LEED Rating with the U.S. Green Building Council. Conference is $10 for adults, $8 for American Institute of Architects members, and $5 for students. To register, call 770-904-3500, email, or purchase tickets at the door.

“Jamestown Unearthed!” Colonial Williamsburg Live EFT. Take a look at how history is written and reevaluated as new methods of study are introduced. Using the example of Jamestown in 1607, explore the myths and misconceptions of that era: revisit the documents, artifacts, and other evidence through archaeology. Learn how every generation sees the evidence in new ways, and how this affects our understanding of the past. This 60-minute program airs live on Thursday, April 26 at 10 a.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use: Charters and School Choice” The April edition of “Education News” highlights successful charter and school choice programs, and explores questions such as: What are the latest tools and options for parents under No Child Left Behind? What does a high-performing choice program or charter school look like? and, What resources does the Department provide to inform parents about the full range of options available to them under the law. This 60-minute program airs April 23-28 at 2 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.
04/19/2007GCPS school counselor brings national title home (pdf)
04/17/2007First GCPS middle school FBLA chapter students to be recognized at national conference (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 3, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
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

Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member's district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system's budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the meetings.
· April 24—District I meeting, Grayson High-host, Carole Boyce, (Central Gwinnett, Dacula, and Grayson Clusters)
· April 26— District II meeting, Collins Hill High-host, Daniel Seckinger, (Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge Clusters)

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

Students in grades 3-5 will take the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) April 17-23, grades 6-8 on April 18-24.

April 22 is Earth Day.

Students in grades 1-2 will take the CRCT April 24-26.

For graduation dates, visit

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 10, 2007, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Berkmar High
Cedar Hill Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Craig Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Five Forks Middle
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Grayson High
Harmony Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
T. Carl Buice School