News You Can Use - 09/12/2005

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
09/12/2005 - 09/18/2005

The Brookwood High debate team, coached by Leslie Watkins, competed at the National Forensic League National Speech and Debate Tournament in Philadelphia over the summer. Participants were Marie Agnello in Original Oratory, Christian Backhop in United States Extemporaneous Speaking, and Jessica King and Cameron Secord in Student Congress. Mr. Secord was elected by his fellow congressional delegates as presiding officer, both in the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the John Stennis House of Representatives. He placed ninth in national competition. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Jayne Berry of Creekland Middle won three gold, three silver, and three bronze medals in Flat Water Sprint Kayaking at the 2005 World Masters Games in Canada this summer. For more information, call 770-338-4700.

The Duluth High Korean Club will meet on Sept. 14 and Sept. 28. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Simonton Elementary will host a Community Night on Sept. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. During the event, parents and their children can play board and computer games, read stories, and check out books. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Trickum Middle will host back-to-school dances from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 for 7th graders and on Sept. 22 for 6th graders. Tickets may be purchased during the week of the dance for $3. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

The Simonton Elementary PTA will host Pizza and Bingo on Sept. 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Students must be accompanied by a parent. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Summerour Middle will host an International Fall Festival on Sept. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. The festival theme is “Bringing Unity to the Community.” For more information, call Michelle Ransom or Jennifer Goodwin at 770-448-3045.

Brookwood High will sponsor the Maroon & Gold Forensic Classic Tournament on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The tournament generally attracts more than 30 schools from several states. This event is open to the public on Friday evening. For more information, email Leslie Watkins at

Here are just a few examples of the events our schools have planned for Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
Frank N. Osborne Middle along with the school's Hispanic Partner’s for Education will hold a “meet and greet” night for the school’s Hispanic families on Sept. 26 in the media center. An information session on school policies, educational opportunities, No Child Left Behind, homework, testing, and attendance policies will be presented. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions. For more information, contact John Campbell, principal, at 770-904-5400.

Summerour Middle has planned a celebration for October 12 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-448-3045.

Annistown Elementary PTA will sponsor a family picnic on Sept. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Food and Mariachi musical entertainment will be provided. For more information, call 770-979-2950.

Duluth Middle will host entertainment from the Latin band Serenada for students and their parents in the cafeteria on Oct. 15. The school broadcasting class is creating cultural information for daily broadcast from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Students will learn of the impact Hispanic people have had in the U.S., as well as some new words, history, and trivia. Free ice cream will be awarded to winners of the trivia questions.
Following are some of the projects and fundraisers planned by GCPS schools. For more information, on these specific projects, contact the local school. (A list of school phone numbers is available on the GCPS Web site--, or by calling Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.) The list grows daily. Contact Sloan Roach, executive director for Communication and Media Relations, at 770-822-6506 for recent additions.
Alcova Elementary will participate in schoolwide fundraising for the Hurricane victims.
Alford Elementary staff collected more than $1,000 and delivered supplies to the Salvation Army.
Arcado Elementary is sponsoring a ''Pajamas and Slippers Day'' next week. Students will donate $1 each to wear PJs and slippers. The school Care Team and PTA are also working to help families affected by the hurricane.
Arcado Elementary sponsored a book drive for Louisiana students. In addition, the Arcado staff is supplying new students displaced by Hurricane Katrina with needed school supplies. All contributions from Arcado Movie Night were donated to Hurricane Katrina families.
Beaver Ridge Elementary staff members have taken in 15-20 people in their homes. The school raised funds on Friday to help them. They also plan to do a fundraiser for the families.
Benefield Elementary’s Care Team is providing groceries, Wal-Mart gift certificates, and school supplies to seven families affected by the hurricane. We also are going to hold a clothing, toiletries, and food drive next week in conjunction with Boy Scouts fundraiser. Proceeds will be donated to the Salvation Army.
Berkeley Lake Elementary is doing several things to support the hurricane victims. Two staff members at Berkeley Lake have extended family now with them after losing everything to the New Orleans flood. The faculty and staff of Berkeley Lake are working to meet the immediate needs of clothing, food, money, and support for these families. In addition, a fundraising drive has been initiated, asking for donations. The money collected will be divided between the American Red Cross and the Berkeley Lake Care Team, with money earmarked for hurricane evacuees. In order to visually track the total amount of money collected, paper quilt squares will be posted, creating a "Caring Quilt." A new square will be added for each $25 collected. Berkeley Lake’s safety patrols have purchased a flag from the Georgia General Assembly, and asked that it be flown over the State Capitol building one day in honor of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The flag will then be presented to Berkeley Lake, with a certificate, and will be flown at the school for the remainder of the school year.
Brookwood Elementary will collect monetary donations next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Brookwood High Peer Leaders have coordinated school efforts to raise money for the hurricane victims. Peer Leaders and cheerleaders collected money at the football game on Friday night and are collecting money from each classroom during 4th period. The money will benefit Red Cross.
Camp Creek Elementary has collected money for the Red Cross. Students were encouraged to bring in $1 (but, of course, many are bringing more). We are giving anyone making a donation, a sticker and a Red Cross pencil.
Centerville Elementary is collecting food and supplies for a family in need in the Shiloh Cluster. All items requested must be canned, packaged, boxed, or non-perishable good.
W.J. Cooper Elementary is sponsoring a "Hat Day" for students and a "Dress-Down Day" for staff to raise money for the Red Cross. The school is creating gift packages containing school supplies that new students affected by the hurricane may need as they enroll.
Dacula Elementary sponsored a "Hat Day" on Sept. 2 to raise money for hurricane victims. The school raised more than $8,000 to donate to the American Red Cross.
Grayson Elementary will hold a food drive, beginning Sept. 12. Each grade level will be assigned a different food item to donate.
Student leaders for the Grayson High School Technology Education Program are organizing a fund raiser.
Ivy Creek Elementary will sponsor “Stuff the Truck” and “Make a Change,” two activities to aid hurricane relief efforts. Non-perishable items and change from students’ piggy banks will be collected at the school. All proceeds will go to families in need. Students also are encouraged to write personal notes to be delivered with the donations. The truck will be at the school Sept. 16 to transport all items collected.
Kanoheda Elementary is holding a “Dollars for Disaster Relief” fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Lawrenceville Elementary is sponsoring a drive Sept. 12-17 for students affected by the hurricane. Staff conducted a drive Sept.6-9 of specific items that victims staying here in the Atlanta area need. These items will be taken to the shelters.
Level Creek Elementary is conducting a fundraiser for the Salvation Army.
Lilburn Middle’s Care Team and Family Resource Center are spearheading a school supply and monetary drive to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary contributed $11,775 to the American Red Cross in response to the recent hurricane.
Maxwell High School of Technology’s SkillsUSA organization will sell Chick-fil-a biscuits and pizza slices to raise money for the victims of Katrina. They also are collecting canned food items through the month of September. All proceeds will go to the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministries to help victims of Katrina now living in the Lawrenceville area.
Mill Creek High will sponsor a fund raising effort led by Student Government and Gwinnett Student Leadership Team members through Sept. 28. This hurricane relief effort will be called “America's Wave of Hope.” The goal is to raise $30,000 in two weeks.
Mountain Park Elementary will sponsor an annual Red Cross Drive to address fundraising for the Hurricane Victims Fund. In October, we will be having a local Care Team walk-a-thon to raise funds to assist our families here who are experiencing financial difficulties.
Nesbit Elementary is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
North Gwinnett High peer leaders and peer mentors are collecting money from every classroom on Tuesday to donate to the American Red Cross. Staff members are collecting and assembling care packages for victims.
Parsons Elementary enrolled several students from the affected areas. The school is sponsoring a Patriot's Day on Sept. 9 to collect "Dollars for Disaster Relief." Team donations have supplied enrolling students with school supplies and meals. The school hopes to coordinate a clothing drive within the staff and PTA community.
Henry Partee Elementary is working through the Care Team and adopting a school in one of the affected states. Each class has a bucket to drop change or checks in and they are picked up by our Partee Team students daily.
Peachtree Ridge High National Honor Society club is raising money.
Pharr Elementary PTA is raising "Cash for Katrina.”
Riverside Elementary collected donations on Sept. 7 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Simpson Elementary is working with the Red Cross, collecting money through next Friday.
South Gwinnett High is donating $100 gift cards to new students displaced by Hurricane Katrina who are enrolling at the school. Additional needs will be assessed and met.
Sugar Hill Elementary’s Care Team is conducting a “Change for Children” program to donate money to the Red Cross. In addition, the school is collecting items for Salvation Army and local area food banks.
Summerour Middle’s Youth Action Team (S.C.R.E.A.M P.D.) is coordinating with the IB team to conduct a bake sale Sept. 7-9 to raise money to donate to the Red Cross.
Sweetwater Middle student council is collecting food and supplies from students and faculty.
Sycamore Elementary is holding hat days and jeans days, and selling beads for the hurricane victims. All money will go to the Red Cross.

“Meet the Author - Kalli Dakos” This reading specialist has written more than 2,000 poems about life in elementary school classrooms, included in the best-selling children's books “The Goof Who Invented Homework” and “Bug in Teacher's Coffee,” both Children's Choice Selections from the International Reading Association. This 30-min. program airs Sept. 12-17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Jazz on 52nd Street - PW/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” Students will see and hear a performance and demonstration of jazz music from the 1940s, as heard on 52nd Street in New York City. Dr. Billy Taylor describes his own experiences working and performing with the great jazz musicians of that time. This 60-min. program airs Sept. 12-15 at 9 p.m.

“Write in the Middle” Annenberg/CPB” “Write in the Middle” is an eight-part professional development workshop designed to share with effective practices and strategies to use with middle school students in writing instruction. This 60-min. program airs Sept. 12-15 at 11 a.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 3)” English...Yes, I Can, produced by GCPS TV, is a video telecourse designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 3 is scheduled to air September 19 through October 13 on GCPS TV. The 60-minute program airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 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 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

Sign up today to receive school system news
Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia's largest school system. In this newsletter, you'll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system's homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

Constitution Week begins September 17.

September 17-23 is Georgia School Bus Safety Week.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during September. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
September Date
September Date
September Date
Duncan Creek
Mountain Park
Five Forks
Beaver Ridge
Fort Daniel
North Gwinnett
Freeman's Mill
Berkeley Lake
Give Center
Berkmar Middle
Grayson Elementary
Berkmar High
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood High
Buice Center
Camp Creek
Cedar Hill
Central Gwinnett
Ivy Creek
Rock Springs
Collins Hill
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Shiloh High
Level Creek
Lilburn Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Lilburn Middle
South Gwinnett
Dacula Middle
Dacula High
Sugar Hill
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek
Walnut Grove