News You Can Use - 10/08/2007

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
10/08/2007 - 10/14/2007

Five Forks Middle will host Archaeologist Theresa Hamby on Oct. 5. Ms. Hamby will speak to 8th grade students about Native Americans that lived in Georgia. Her presentation is coordinated through New South Associates for archaeology public education. For more information, call 770-972-1506 or visit

Grayson High’s Renee Wilson-Wicker has been elected to serve as Chair of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMAE) Choral Music Division. Ms. Wilson-Wicker’s duties will include coordinating All-State Chorus and staff development sessions for the GMEA conference, and large group performance evaluations. For more information, call 770-554-7826.

Corley Elementary’s Eeoni Hollingsworth was awarded the District IV Outstanding Member Award by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). For more information, call 678-924-5330.

Sweetwater Middle Teacher Sabrina McDow was featured with her family in an article, entitled “Raising Fit and Healthy Children,” published in the September 2007 issue of Black Health Magazine. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Grayson Elementary will host “Getting Parents Involved,” a parent resource night, on Oct. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dinner will be served in the cafeteria followed by a general PTA meeting, entertainment by kindergarten students, and two parent resource seminars. The first one is a question and answer session with School Board Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, and the second is “How to Raise a Responsible Child” presented by school counselors. For more information, contact Vicki Strine at

Snellville Middle will host an all day visit from CNN Anchor Carl Azuz on Oct. 8. Mr. Azuz is the CNN Student News anchor and will visit with Linda Mason’s Journalism classes. For more information, call 770-972-1530.

Rockbridge Elementary will host the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 9 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the school. As part of the Atlanta Falcon’s Fan Blitz beautification project, players will plant flowers with 4th and 5th grade students in front of the campus. Rockbridge Elementary was nominated by United Way to participate in this program. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Norcross High will sponsor the fifth annual “A Taste of Norcross” on Oct. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants are invited to taste food samples from more than 25 local restaurants, participate in a silent auction in the gym, and purchase one-of-a-kind decorative plates designed by National Arts Honor Society students. Tickets may be purchased for $10 from booster club members and will not be sold at the door. Proceeds benefit participating booster clubs and the PTSA. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The Duluth High Center Stage Alliance will perform “Brighton Beach Memoirs” on Oct. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $6 the last week in September and at the theater door. For more information, visit

The Grayson Cluster Schools Foundation (GCSF) will host the third annual Hot Tamale Chili Cook-Off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 13, at Grayson City Park. The event includes children’s activities, vendors, and live entertainment. Tickets may be purchased at the Grayson Cluster schools for $5, children under five are free. For more information, call Sandi Porter at 770-962-6766 or email;or Diane Schatell at

Peachtree Ridge High will host International Night on Oct. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the commons area at the school. Parents, students, and community members from Peachtree Ridge cluster schools are invited to attend. Information from more than 40 countries will be displayed at the event. Entertainment will include native dancing, and a food tasting event. For more information, call 678-957-3100.

The Pinckneyville Middle GALS (Girls As Leaders) organization is promoting servant leadership at the personal, school, local, state, and national levels. Teacher Bridget Guenthner recently delivered school supplies to Hancock Central Middle School— Pinckneyville’s sister-school. A student pen-pal program for 8th grade students was started along with a ‘teacher share’ program. Photos are available upon request. For more information, visit

Five Forks Middle students participated in International Walk to School Day in the USA ( on Oct. 3. Students and parents walked to school, highlighting the need for safe walkways for children. The walk was organized by PTA members at Five Forks Middle. The purpose of this event was to teach children to be safe while walking along busy roads, encourage drivers to slow down and obey traffic laws, highlight the need for more and better sidewalks, and encourage walking as part of a healthy lifestyle. For more information email Photos available upon request.

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (GEHC) is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are GCPS, Gwinnett County Government, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student field studies and activities Mon.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

Oct. 13, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., How to Make and Use Bio-diesel fuel, $75 per person or $125 per couple
This workshop will help you save on fuel expenses. Cost includes lunch and a guided tour of Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. Limited to 12 participants. Call 770-904-3500 pre-register and pay by Oct. 10.

Oct. 13, 2 - 3 p.m., Composting Workshop, free with paid admission and to GEHC members
It’s that time of year again, turn those leaves into something good for your garden. Joel Hitt explains the tools needed and shows you how easy it is to compost. Call 770-904-3500 to register.

Oct. 20, 1 - 3 p.m., Hawks, Falcons and Owls? Oh My!, free
Bring the family to the Central Pavilion for a presentation by the Georgia Falconry on the importance of protecting these birds and their habitats.

Oct. 27, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Bat Basics, $3 per person, $10 for a family of four
You’ve heard the stories¯ they’re creepy, they get in your hair, they're blind, and they all have rabies. Get the scoop on what bats are really like and search the grounds for real bats with a bat detector. Call 770-904-3500 to register by Oct. 25.

Oct. 27, 3 - 4 p.m., Nature Kids Environmental Club, $5 per child, free to GEHC members
Birds in Black¯ Come join us in discovering the cool tricks of crows, vultures, blackbirds, and others in our world of feathered friends. We’ll take a bird walk and look for birds, nests, and feathers. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring water. Limited to 16 participants in grades 2-4. Center admission additional fee. Pre-register by calling 770-904-3500.

“GCPS Focus” Coming up on GCPS Focus… Internet safety, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks discusses the system’s growth and redistricting, and the greening of GCPS gets the spotlight. Don’t miss these stories and more on this week’s GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. 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.

“Meet the Author: Laura Malone Elliott” Visit Fairfax Network as the author highlights the world of Hunter and Strip, two friendly raccoons who like to do everything together. What happens when Stripe comes to school in a mischief-making mood and Hunter doesn’t want to follow along? Or the time soccer competition between the two furry pals appears to drive them apart? During this live program, students are invited to call in and talk to the author about her latest books, the writing process, and becoming a writer. This 30-min. program airs live on Oct. 10 at 1 p.m.

“Jamestown Unearthed” Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip— Take a look at how history is written and reevaluated as new methods of study are introduced. Using the example of Jamestown in 1607 to explore the myths and misconceptions of that era and 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-min. program airs live on Oct. 11 at 1 p.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 3)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 3 is scheduled to air through Oct. 25 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs 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.

“Spanish for Educators, Level 1” This 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, through Oct. 21. A new class will airs each week beginning on Monday.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, 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.
10/02/2007Gwinnett community invited to participate in annual review of GCPS curriculum set for Oct. 8 – Nov. 9 (pdf)
10/01/200720 GCPS teachers selected as semifinalists for Teacher of the Year (pdf)
09/28/2007Gwinnett students selected to participate in program on higher education (pdf)

October is Computer Learning Month and Physical Therapy Month.

During the week of Oct. 8-12, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 11 at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

October 15 is a Student Holiday, Teacher Planning/Professional Learning day.

National School Lunch week runs from October 15-19.

During the week of Oct. 17-26, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 will take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).

Students may participate in the PSAT on Oct. 17.

October 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Instructional materials review runs through Oct. 31. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for mathematics (grades K–5, 6, 7, and 9), social studies (grades K–5) and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (grade 9 Chinese and engineering). All materials may be reviewed at the following locations and times:
· Instructional Support Center (ISC) in the Building 200 Lobby, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road, NW, in Suwanee,(678-301-6000); Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.; Thurs., Oct. 11 and 25, 5–8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
· Lovin Elementary, located at 1705 New Hope Road in Lawrenceville, (678-518-6940); Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thurs., Oct. 11 and 25, 5–8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
For more about the review process, contact Lisa Burleson in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 678-301-6831.

GCPS invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members have until Friday, November 9, to submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS. The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions at their annual meeting. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2007-08 school year. The Review Form is available on the school system’s web site at