News You Can Use - 10/26/2009

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
10/26/2009 - 11/01/2009

Parkview High art students Haley Bustle, Christin Pettibone, and Maddy Reilly were honored with the title “Best School” at the “My Atlanta” student art exhibit, the Atlanta Celebrates Photography student show. For more information, call Chuck Young, My Atlanta Exhibition CO-Chair, at 404-521-2824.

The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation, which was founded in 2007 to support academics and extra-curricular activities at the six schools within the South Gwinnett cluster, announced a grant to Britt Elementary for $2,360 to provide funding for “Tools for Success: Building a Literate Community”. This grant will help the Britt’s faculty achieve its goal of helping every student achieve an “exceeds” score on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) and local benchmark assessments. The Britt program is being spearheaded by Principal Doris Jones and Literacy Coordinator Betsy Gresh. It is a broad scope program that provides in-service training for teachers, study materials and incentive awards for Britt students. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Nikhil Lakhanpal of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology will represent Congressional District 7 at the statewide United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) interviews in Atlanta on Friday, November 13. During Washington Week, the student delegates meet with elected and appointed officials in Washington. In addition, the 104 student delegates receive a $5,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice. The Hearst Foundations have fully funded the USSYP since its inception, including transportation, accommodations, meals and individual college scholarships.

Puckett's Mill Elementary celebrates Red Ribbon Week Oct. 26-30 with the theme “Drug Free, the Healthy Way to Be.”
  • County Police Officer Eric Rooks will help kick off the week of activities by visiting the school on Oct. 26 welcoming students as they arrive and explaining the importance of this week on the school’s morning news show. All students will sign a pledge banner that will be displayed in the hallway.
  • Classes will decorate posters and hang them outside the classrooms for judging on Oct. 27.
  • Officer Eric Rooks, Fire Station 18, and Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks will join students at 1:45 p.m. for a Red Ribbon parade on the school grounds on Oct. 28. Students will wear red.
  • Students will be given red ribbons to wear and student essays will be read on the morning news show on Oct 29. Red ribbons will be handed out to all parents driving through the car rider line.
  • Classes from each grade level that won the poster contest will be recognized with a pizza snack on Oct. 30.
For more information, call Counselors Heather Heigl or Ginna Smith at 678-765-5110.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) seeks volunteer community members who could partner with the school system by offering additional support to its students through the school system’s recently launched Community-Based Mentoring Program, a locally developed initiative designed to serve middle school boys who are at-risk academically and behaviorally. Launched earlier this year, the program recruits and trains community members to become role models and serve the school district by becoming a mentor to a student. An orientation on how to become a mentor will be held on Oct. 27 at the Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee. The program begins at 6 p.m. Community members interested in becoming a mentor should contact the Division of Teaching and Learning by calling 678-301-7321 or 770-314-3614.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host the 2nd Annual Math Night on Oct. 27, to coincide with the Scholastic Book Fair. For more information about Math Night, please contact Peg Gonzalez, math coordinator at 770-446-0947.

Patrick Elementary will observe National Fire Prevention Month by hosting a breakfast to honor Gwinnett Fire Fighters. Patrick Elementary was named after Bobby Patrick, a former fighter who gave his life in the line of duty. This year’s breakfast will be held on Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. in the school cafe. Students and staff members will share information about the school with the fire fighters. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

The Mill Creek High Key Club has organized a United Way fundraiser Halloween event on Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Club members have invited other school clubs to participate in the event by setting up booths for face painting, pony rides, games, candy, and more. Contributions will benefit the Mill Creek Cluster United Way fund. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

During Teen Read Week, five Duluth High students were chosen to appear on the 2009 Teen Read Week poster, and were featured on Duluth TV to speak about their favorite books— Katryna Bowman, the “Maximum Ride” Series; Christina Farmer, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”; Michelle Haynie, “Just Listen”; Abby Martinez, “The Hunger Games”; and Lucy Roche, “City of Bones”. Representatives from the Gwinnett Public Library visited the media center to sign up teachers and students needing library cards. Free bookmarks and treats are being given to students who checked out a book.

Brookwood Elementary Eco-Force environmental club recently hosted a visit from Atlanta Falcons player and Eco-Athlete Ovie Mughelli to kick off the Greening Youth Foundation’s Green Speakers series. The Greening Youth Foundation encourages students to be more protective of the environment. For more information, call Nick Chiles, Greening Youth Foundation, Director of Communications, at 678-333-1424, or email

More than 90 members of the Duluth High Interact Club volunteered at the Duluth Fall Festival in September in downtown Duluth. The students helped vendors set-up, break down, and clean up. The City of Duluth and the Duluth Rotary Club were most appreciative of the help. The Duluth High Key Club members volunteered for the Duluth Kiwanis Club at the Duluth Fall Festival manning their booth at the festival and selling food throughout the two-day festival.

North Gwinnett High marketing students assisted the North Gwinnett Rotary by hosting a book signing for Coach Vince Dooley in October. Dr. Jacqueline Huffman’s students handled the advertising and public relations activities. Students facilitated the event by staging the area and creating an area to take pictures with Coach Dooley.

Britt Elementary held Super Science Saturday where parents and students participated in science experiments and demonstrations that included making Alka-Seltzer Rockets, learning about color mixing and chromatography while creating a one-of-a-kind tie-dye t-shirt, making compost, dissecting owl pellets, creating amazing bubbles, and conducting a fossil dig in search of shark's teeth. Books relating to science topics such as conservation, habitats, pollution, force and motion, propulsion, color mixing, solubility, chromatography, food chain and webs, animal needs and survival, water cycle, evaporation, fossils, and invertebrates were shared by attendees. Students from the South Gwinnett High Beta/Honor Club Program volunteered at the event. The event was coordinated by the Britt Elementary Title I Parent Coordinator Kathy Jackson, Science Specialist Tom McNeill, and Assistant Principal Melissa Madsen.

Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials, including textbooks for nine new/updated high school courses in the areas of science, mathematics, health, and technical education. The review will run through Oct. 30. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center in the Building 200 Lobby. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) holds an extensive review before adopting instructional materials for classroom use. The directors of Science, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, and Technical Education convened committees to select materials to consider for adoption from those submitted by publishers. The materials were reviewed for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review process, materials are piloted in GCPS classrooms. Data from the reviews and pilots will be considered in making textbook adoption recommendations to the Board of Education in early 2010. For more about the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson in the Instructional Materials Office at 678-301-6831.
Review Dates and Hours
Monday–Friday, through Oct. 30, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
10/21/2009Gwinnett seeks community members to become student role models (pdf)
10/20/2009Donations fund Rock Springs Elementary science lab (pdf)
10/16/2009Six teachers make the final list for Gwinnett's top honor (pdf)

“ParenTVision: When Nobody’s Looking” This month’s Parentvision features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program “When Nobody’s Looking. Recent studies show that seven out of 10 students admit to cheating in school and sports, and more than half of them believe it is acceptable. Nine of out 10 students say they lie to their parents, and nearly 50 percent of shoplifters are adolescents. How can you help children become more ethical, truthful and responsible? Watch this month’s show and listen to the true stories in the program. This episode of ParenTVision also features a discussion with Margaret Cheeley, Collins Hill High graduation coach and host of ParenTVision; Dr. Gwen Tatum, principal at Shiloh High; Jane Stegall, leader mentor for GCPS; and a panel of students. This 60-minute program airs Oct. 26-31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Telling Stories: Bryan Collier” Illustrator Bryan Collier started painting at the age of 15 in his hometown of Pocomoke, Maryland. The eastern shore served as the backdrop for many of his early works which included the bay, marshlands, and wildlife. At an early age, Collier developed his own style of painting that incorporated water colors and collage. During this interview with moderator Maria Salvadore, Collier shares his interest in books as a young reader, how he integrates his original style of painting into children’s books and his collaborations with authors such as Nikki Giovanni’s “Rosa” and Nikki Grimes’ “Barack Obama: Child of Promise”. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 26-Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m.

Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part GCPS TV original series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, and parent-teacher conferences. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through Dec. 13 (a new class will air 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: Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 and 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS Web

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GCPS will hold several dedication celebrations at new schools throughout the fall. Dates are listed below.
  • Oct. 25– Woodward Mill Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Dyer Elementary (3 p.m.)
  • Nov.1– Starling Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Couch Middle (3 p.m.)

Oct. 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Oct.31 is Halloween.

Nov. 1-30 is American Indian Heritage Month.

Standard Time begins Nov. 1.

Nov. 1-7 is National Occupations Student Organization (HOSA) Week.

Nov. 9-13 is School Psychology Week.

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day.

Nov. 11and 12 are early release days for elementary and middle school parent-teacher conferences.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Nov. 15-21 is American Education Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October and November. Call the local school for the time and location.
Brookwood High 27-Oct
Craig Elementary 26-Oct
Glenn C. Jones Middle 29-Oct
Henry Partee Elementary 29-Oct
J.G. Dyer Elementary 29-Oct
Mountain Park Elementary 20-Nov
Peachree Ridge High 30-Oct

Alcova Elementary 17-Nov
Alford Elementary 9-Nov
Alton C. Crews Middle 13-Nov
Arcado Elementary 16-Nov
Archer High School 16-Nov
B.B. Harris Elementary 19-Nov
Beaver Ridge Elementary 19-Nov
Benefield Elementary 19-Nov
Berkmar High 10-Nov
Bethesda Elementary 9-Nov
Brookwood Elementary 16-Nov
Camp Creek Elementary 20-Nov
Cedar Hill Elementary 5-Nov
Central Gwinnett High 6-Nov
Chattahoochee Elementary 10-Nov
Collins Hill High 10-Nov
Corley Elementary 17-Nov
Couch Middle 13-Nov
Creekland Middle 12-Nov
Duluth Middle 10-Nov
Duncan Creek Elementary 19-Nov
Five Forks Middle 13-Nov
Fort Daniel Elementary 6-Nov
Frank N. Osborne Middle 13-Nov
Freeman's Mill Elementary 13-Nov
G.H. Hopkins Elementary 13-Nov
GIVE Center East 10-Nov
GIVE Center West 5-Nov
Grayson Elementary 20-Nov
Harbins Elementary 19-Nov
Ivy Creek Elementary 20-Nov
J.E. Richards Middle 9-Nov
J.G. Dyer Elementary 18-Nov
J.P. McConnell Middle 9-Nov
Jackson Elementary 5-Nov
K.E. Taylor Elementary 20-Nov
Knight Elementary 6-Nov
Lanier Middle 17-Nov
Lilburn Middle 19-Nov
Louise Radloff Middle 12-Nov
Lovin Elementary 19-Nov
McKendree Elementary 6-Nov
Meadowcreek Elementary 16-Nov
Meadowcreek High 12-Nov
Monarch School 13-Nov
Mountain Park Elementary 16-Nov
Mountain View High School 20-Nov
Mulberry Elementary 18-Nov
Norcross Elementary 5-Nov
North Gwinnett High 3-Nov
Oakland School 17-Nov
Patrick Elementary 17-Nov
Peachree Ridge High 19-Nov
Peachtree Elementary 17-Nov
Pharr Elementary 19-Nov
Pinckneyville Middle 12-Nov
Puckett's Mill Elementary 19-Nov
Rebecca Minor Elementary 20-Nov
Richard Hull Middle 13-Nov
Rosebud Elementary 13-Nov
Shiloh High 5-Nov
Shiloh Middle 13-Nov
Sugar Hill Elementary 16-Nov
Susan Stripling Elementary 19-Nov
Suwanee Elementary 1-Nov
Sweetwater Middle 11-Nov
Sycamore Elementary 6-Nov
Trickum Middle 10-Nov
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.- Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 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.