News You Can Use - 04/16/2007

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
04/16/2007 - 04/22/2007

The Duluth High Interact Club, in cooperation with the City of Duluth, will sponsor the third annual Battle of the Bands competition on April 14 at the Town Green in downtown Duluth. Eight Duluth High student bands will compete for a grand prize. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Duluth High Care Team, the Gwinnett Center for Sexual Assault (GSAC), the Foster Children’s Organization, and Rainbow Village. Last year’s event raised more than $6,000 for the charities. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

Duluth High will recognize eight Latino students on April 15, for their leadership skills and character. The Latino Citizenship Awards are part of the Juntos/CLASE Latino Community Family Fun Day. The event will take place at Shorty Howell Park Pavilion from 2 to 5 p.m. Participants will be able to enjoy a taste of Latin American cuisine served at 2 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 3 p.m., highlighting the achievements of the Duluth High Hispanic students and their parents. Two students will be selected per grade level. Additional activities will be part of the event. In case of rain, the event will take place in the Duluth High cafeteria. Juntos/Clase is a committee made up of students, their parents, teachers and administrators. Juntos, meaning together, in Spanish, is the name chosen by the committee as it works together (Juntos) for the Hispanic community. CLASE is a program at UGA which stands for Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

GCPS sent 131 students to the 2007 Foreign Language Association of Georgia competition in March. More than 100 foreign language students earned top marks in this spoken language competition for French, German, Latin, and Spanish. For more information, call David Jahner, director of foreign language, at 678-301-7020. For a complete list of winners, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

The Duluth High competition cheerleading squad, CLAW (Cats Live As Winners), was named 2007 National Team of the Year. The team submitted a portfolio to the National Team of the Year committee highlighting the team’s cheerleading ability, sportsmanship, community service, and academic achievements. Team members include Chynna Allen, Patrice Barnhill, Meaghan Bay, Grace Chang, Ashley Dawson, Shelby Glass, Alex Guzman, Melissa Harrell, Bobby Herb, Melissa Lankford, Jordyn Lavoie, Jessica Martin, Megan Mays, Lindsey Mettelman, Ivie Miller, Immanuel Phillips, Megan Riley, Ray Santiago, Lauren Shields, and Lindsey Thomas. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Peachtree Ridge High Winterguard placed 1st in the Southern Association for performance Arts competition in March. The 11 member team competed against nine Scholastic Region Class A Teams. Eleven hundred winterguard and percussion performers from Georgia and Alabama were in attendance. For more information, call Giesela Zavodny of the band booster association, at 770-476-1299.

The Mill Creek High PTSA will sponsor a safe driving program for students, parents, and community members at 6:45 p.m. on April 16. The program will provide information on parent’s involvement in teen driving education, promote seat belt use, and address other safety issues. Speakers will include an accident survivor. In addition, the PTSA will sponsor a drawing for a prom night VIP Package which includes a limousine and dinner for two; and four Driver Education Courses valued at $150 each. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Bethesda Elementary will hold “CRCT Test Rallies” in the gym on April 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each grade level will participate in a 45-minute “Show What You Know” rally with magic tricks and juggling performances by Giggles the clown and Diamond the Clown. Tips on how students can do their best on the CRCT will be shared. Songs and cheers will also be part of the event. For more information, call the school at 770-921-2000.

Dacula High Marketing students will sponsor “Before the Dice Fall... Fashion Royale Prom Fashion Show 007” on April 17 at 7 p.m. in the school theater. Students will model 2007 prom fashions. Student models were selected from the student body. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in advance or $7 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. Refreshments will be served, and fashion vendors will be available following the show. The Fashion Marketing students are responsible for planning and organizing the show. The Promotion Marketing students will promote it. For more information, call Tammi Maness, marketing and apprenticeship coordinator, at 770-338-4748.

GCPS students will learn how to prepare for entering the workforce, and the necessary skills to gain employment at the GCPS Work-Based Learning kick-off meeting. Debra Lassiter, from Perfectly Polished, will be the guest speaker. Ms. Lassiter will share information about how to prepare for an interview, business attire, body language during an interview, how to follow up, and employment expectations. The event will take place on April 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Instructional Support Center (ISC). For more information, contact Carla Steele, apprenticeship coordinator for technical education, computer science, and apprenticeships, at 678-301-7044.

Glenn C. Jones Middle will host the 3rd Annual Gwinnett County Scholastic Chess Tournament on April 21. More than 250 metro Atlanta students will participate in this five-round unrated tournament, giving K-8 students a chance to compete in a formal setting, learn tournament etiquette and performance skills, meet new chess players from other schools, and learn good sportsmanship. Team trophies will be awarded after the tournament. For more information, call Bill Parsons, Glenn C. Jones Middle teacher, at 770-904-5409.

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 “Steele 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.

Bethesda Elementary will host a visit with seven teachers from Thailand through the Atlanta Friendship Force, who is hosting the teachers for 10 days in April. 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.

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 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sundays). Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

April 14, 2 p.m., 2nd Saturday at EHC, free with paid admission
Shannon Pable of Shannon's Garden Gallery speaking on Made in the Shade, Designing a Woodland Garden. Parents and children will learn about native plants and complete an activity.

April 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Green Scene: An Earth Day Event, free, (Center Admission not included)
Kids will complete a circuit of fun, educational hands-on activities to earn their Environmental Passport and get a free water bottle. Eco Expo for adults features a hybrid car, EarthCraft Homes, Biomass Energy, Hydrogen Fuel, Georgia GEMS Project Groundbreaking, and much more. Also available are exterior building tours and native plant walks. Concessions available.

April 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Club Method-Middle and High School Students
Club members volunteer in shifts at The Green Scene: An Earth Day Event. Contact Catherine Long at 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 (3rd-5th), Club is $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 Architect Institute of America members, and $5 for students. To register, call 770-904-3500, email, or purchase tickets at the door.

“Going, Going, Faster: The Science of Speed!” Ball State University. This live electronic field trip takes place on the brickyard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. At this stop you will explore Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion that states an object usually stays in motion with the same speed unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Students will have the opportunity to meet Indy and NASCAR drivers and follow them as they drive the race track and demonstrate Newton’s First Law. This 60-minute program airs live on Tuesday, April 17 at 10 a.m.

“Tech Savvy Girls” Fairfax Network. This program highlights how to reach out to girls and engage their interest in the field of technology. Produced in conjunction with the American Association of University Women, this program provides key recommendations encouraging girls to learn and explore the many opportunities available for the “Tech Savvy Girl.” This 30-minute program airs April 16-22 at 2 p.m.

“Musical Theater: 12 Angry Men” Prince William Network/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series. Join members of the cast of Twelve Angry Men as they explore the connections between civic responsibility and personal goals, and the power of a persuasive argument. Emmy winner Richard Thomas and six-time Emmy nominee George Wendt star in this gripping revival of an American classic the New York Times trumpeted as “the undeniable hit of the Broadway dramatic season!” This 60-minute program airs April 16-19 at 9 p.m. and April 20-22 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 678-301-6460, 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.

04/10/2007Higher education institution honors academically talented students (pdf)
04/09/2007GCPS students honored by Veterans of Foreign Wars (pdf)
04/05/2007Volunteers to build G.H. Hopkins Elementary playground in one day (pdf)
04/04/2007Eight GCPS students earn national prestigious scholarship (pdf)
04/03/2007Countdown to Kindergarten … Kindergarten registration is May 3 (pdf)
04/02/2007Gwinnett BOE to meet with parents and community members (pdf)
03/30/2007GCPS STAR students and teachers a step closer to state title (pdf)
03/30/2007GCPS reminds students and parents of spring break dates and testing days (pdf)

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY2008 include:
April 17, 2007-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
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 17—District V meeting, Meadowcreek High-host, Louise Radloff, (Berkmar, Meadowcreek, and Parkview Clusters)
· April 19—District IV meeting, Shiloh High-host, Dr. Robert McClure, (Brookwood, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett Clusters)
· 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.

April 15-21 is National Library Week, National Student Leadership Week, and Public School Volunteer Week.

April 16-22 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

Students will take the High School Gateway April 16-18. (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies subtests)

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

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.
Alford Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Berkmar High
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Grayson High
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Monarch School
Norcross Elementary
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Pharr Elementary
R.D. Head Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
4/12 & 26
Sweetwater Middle
T. Carl Buice School