News You Can Use - 11/21/2005

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
11/21/2005 - 12/04/2005

Note: GCPS schools will be closed Nov. 23-26 for Thanksgiving Break. News You Can Use… will return Dec. 2.

Mill Creek High will host two dance performances of “The Toy Shop” this weekend in the school’s theater. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 and at 4 p.m. on Nov. 20. Tickets may be purchased for $5 for students and $7 for adults. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Gary Petmecky, a Parkview High teacher, has been invited by the National Council on Economic Education to participate in the Study Tour on Economic Education in Romania Dec. 1-11. The study tour program is part of the Economics International program and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, through the Cooperative Education Exchange Program. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Duluth Middle’s Academic Team placed third out of a field of 45 academic teams in the Westminster School’s Academic Quiz Bowl Tournament held Nov. 12. J.P. McConnell Middle earned fourth place in the competition. In addition, Richard Hull Middle, Shiloh Middle, Sweetwater Middle, and Trickum Middle competed in the quarterfinals.

The Reflections Program is an arts recognition and achievement program for K-12 students, sponsored by the PTA. This year, more than 100 students earned first-place awards in the county Reflections Program and will represent Gwinnett in state competition. For a list of county Reflections winners, contact Sue Peterson at 770-822-6508.

Mr. Glenn C. Jones will celebrate his 95th birthday on Nov. 22 with students and staff at the middle school named after him. Mr. Jones will have lunch at the school as they celebrate his birthday with a Thanksgiving meal, singing, and birthday cake. For more information, call 770-904-5450.

The Peachtree Ridge High band was selected from among 70 bands to participate in the 7th Annual 2006 Waikiki Holiday Parade on Nov. 24 in Hawaii. Students will perform at the USS Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial. For more information, call Eric Willoughby, band director, at 678-957-3100.

The Mill Creek High Chorus will perform on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. A spaghetti dinner fundraiser will precede the concert from 5 to 6:30 p.m. For more information, e-mail Carol Jordan at

The Berkmar High Choral Department will present the school’s eighth Annual Madrigal Dinner on Dec. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m., and on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. Advanced tickets must be purchased for $15. For more information call 770-806-3717.

J.P. McConnell Middle will hold a ‘Holly Days’ craft show on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors and exhibitors will have their craft items available for purchase. Chick-fil-A and pizza will be available to purchase for lunch. Admission is free and there will be raffles throughout the day. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Mill Creek High will hold the school’s annual “Taste of Mill Creek” on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the commons area. As many as 25 restaurants will provide a “taste” of their cuisine. Live entertainment will be provided by schools in the Mill Creek Cluster. The school’s Soccer Goal Club will sponsor “Pictures with Santa” and a craft fair. There will be a silent auction, and poinsettias will be available for sale. Advanced tickets are $10, entitling a person to 10 food-tasting coupons and an entry in the grand prize drawing. Individual coupons will be sold at the door. For more information, e-mail Deb Conroy at or Lisa Reed at

The Mill Creek High Interact Club is sponsoring a clothing drive for the Gwinnett Area Children’s Shelter and the Battered Women’s Shelter. Students will be collecting children’s coats to donate to the shelters. The Mill Creek High Key Club, Peer Leaders, and Care Team will collect toys for needy families. The toy drive will run through Dec. 11. Drop-off boxes will be placed in the commons area in the mornings and at lunch. For more information, e-mail

Camp Creek Elementary will hold its annual “Turkey Tunes” musical on Nov. 19 at 8:30.
The Centerville Elementary 4th grade classes will host a Heritage Day at 1 p.m. on Nov. 22. Students will have a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and participate in activities and crafts from early American times. Kindergarten students, their book buddies, and some 2nd grade classes will participate in a feast at 1:30 on the same day.
Students and staff from Creekland Middle have responded to a need in the community by collecting food the first two weeks of November. Items will be donated to 27 families for Thanksgiving. Students in life skills classes helped sort, organize, and box the items. For more information, call 770-338-4700.
Grayson Elementary had its Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 16 and 17.
Knight Elementary 4th graders will have a feast on Tuesday, November 22. Kindergarten students will hold classroom programs that morning, as well.
Lawrenceville Elementary kindergarten students will hold a feast, beginning at 9:45 on Nov. 22.
Level Creek Elementary kindergarten classes will have a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the activity room.
Henry Partee Elementary’s special needs preschool program will hold a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 21. Kindergarten classes also will have a feast on Nov. 18.
Peachtree Elementary ESOL classes will make pumpkin pies on Nov. 21 and eat them on Nov. 22. Kindergarten students will performed a Thanksgiving play on Nov. 17 and will perform again on Nov. 18 at 9 a.m.
Two R.D. Head Elementary kindergarten classes will perform short Thanksgiving plays on Nov. 18 beginning at noon. In addition, a special education class will share a Thanksgiving feast at 11:30 a.m.
Shiloh Elementary will host a kindergarten feast Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m. Kindergarten students take on the roles of pilgrims or Indians. The students will begin cooking together at 8:30. Then, the children will line the kindergarten hallway on either side of a paper table set with all of the traditional fixings.
Sycamore Elementary parents are invited to attend the school's annual kindergarten play on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m.
T. Carl Buice School had a Thanksgiving lunch on Nov. 17. Invited guests included parents, community members, the maintenance department, and the county administrators who regularly support the school.

“Highlighting Excellence: Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year” GCPS TV proudly presents a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony. Join the 105 local school recipients, administrators, and Board members for an evening of recognition and celebration. Program highlights include award presentations to the local winners, a “Glimpse of Excellence” video honoring the six TOTY finalists, and the announcement of the 2006 level winners and the Gwinnett TOTY. This 2-hr. program airs Nov. 25-27 at 8 p.m.

“ArtStage: Marching Band Exhibition - Part 2. Watch Part 2 of GCPS TV’s “ArtStage: Marching Band Exhibition,” previously recorded at Collins Hill High. The program features the following high school bands: Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, and Norcross. This 60-min. program airs Nov. 21-24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Nov. 25-26 at 2 p.m.

“Teaching Reading K-2” Annenberg/CPB. This video workshop addresses critical topics in teaching reading for K-2 teachers. Using the video programs, Web site, and print guide, K-2 teachers and reading specialists will gain confidence to adopt new strategies and refine their current practices to meet the needs of all their students. Programs 5-8 of this 8-part workshop (60-min. programs) air Nov. 21-24 at 11 a.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through Jan. 3 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--

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Nov. is American Indian Heritage Month.

National Family Week begins Nov. 20.

Nov. 23-25 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 8, 2005, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.

Dec. 14-16 are early release days for high school exams.

Dec. 19-30 is Winter Break (student holidays).

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during November. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.