News You Can Use - 03/26/2012

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
03/26/2012 - 04/01/2012

Alcova Elementary will host a speaker on March 23 at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. who will share artifacts and stories about the Titanic with 5th grade students. For more information, call the school at 678-376-8500.

Norcross Elementary’s Signing Choir, under the direction of 4th grade Teacher Erica Porten, will perform at the pre-game of the Atlanta Hawks vs. the New Jersey Nets on March 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The students use sign language as part of their performance. Many staff members, parents, and students will be in attendance to support the Signing Choir and the Hawks. More than 100 tickets have been purchased by community members. For more information, call 770-448-2188.

Kelsey Dabrowski of Berkmar Middle was one of the top 20 participants competing in the State Spelling Bee at Georgia State University. After two consecutive hours of intense competition, Kelsey was the eighth student to be eliminated. She represented Gwinnett County and the Berkmar Cluster.

Stephanie Moon and Madeleyne Vaca of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology earned spots on the Walton EMC 48th Washington Youth Tour in June. The tour gives young people a glimpse of how government and the political process work, as well as developing the leadership skills of the delegates. Students will participate in several activities including attending a luncheon with representatives at the Capitol; tours of the Holocaust Museum, National mall, Smithsonian, and Arlington National Cemetery; and a dinner theater cruise on the Potomac River. Walton EMC is a customer-owned electric utility that serves 118,000 accounts over its 10-county service area between Atlanta and Athens.

Twenty Brookwood High Hispanic/Latino students are being trained to become leaders in the school’s newly formed Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HOPE) Leadership Chapter. HOPE seeks to promote leadership and education in the Hispanic/Latino community. The executives of this non-profit are North Gwinnett High graduates. In addition to mentoring peers, the twenty students will develop leadership skills, learn about financial literacy, and develop service projects in the community. Students will participate in the HOPE Youth Leadership Summit over the summer prior to taking the leadership positions in the fall. There are currently five HOPE chapters in the Atlanta area. Brookwood High will join Collins Hill, Lanier and North Gwinnett high schools in establishing school chapters in Gwinnett County. More information about the HOPE Leadership program is available at For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-736-2088 or email

The Dacula Cluster Choral Concert is scheduled for March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hebron Worship Center. School performances will be from Alcova, Dacula, and Mulberry elementary schools, Dacula Middle, and Dacula High. Admission is free. Participants are invited to donate a non-perishable food item for the local food bank. For more information, call Music Teacher Beth Warzon at 678-376-8500.

Trickum Middle students are creating a human rights museum for an exhibit on March 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Students exhibits will educate their peers, parents and teachers about a variety of human rights issues. This year, the museum has an added theme of “hope,” where students educate others about efforts to alleviate human suffering. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

On March 29, Sweetwater Middle will host a visit from Program Escuela presented by Conexion-Atlanta, an Employee Resource Group of Cisco Systems. This diverse team of professionals from different walks of life will provide students with information to help them achieve their goals.
The event will begin with a 30-minute presentation and contest for students to peak an interest in the area of technology as a career. The contest will take place at 9:30 a.m., 10:25 a.m., and 11:20 a.m. in the gym, and April 17 at 9:30 a.m. in the Media Center. Winning students will take a field trip to the Cisco Systems facility to explore technology including WebEx, Telepresence and more. For more information, call the school at 770-923-4131.Winning students will win a field trip to the

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hosting a 5K race to benefit Relay for Life. The race is scheduled for April 14 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the ISC (Instructional Support Center), Building 200 in Suwanee. Participants registering by April 2 will receive a race t-shirt. Warm-up begins at 7:45 a.m. in front of Building 200 and the 5K Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to age group winners. For more information, call Patrice Pendergast or CoTinna Harris at 678-301-6076. To register, visit

Norcross High will host a visit from Gov. Nathan Deal at an April 16 basketball game. Gov. Deal will throw out the basketball as recognition of the school’s scholar athlete baseball player— Chris Raasch. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Meadowcreek High will present “Westside Story” on April 26 at 7 p.m. and April 27 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Sweetwater Middle’s award winning “Sweetwater Players” have placed in the top three schools in State Theatre competition for two years in a row, and several members of the players won individual awards. The Sweetwater Players will perform the musical “Fame, Jr.” on April 27 and 28 at 6 p.m. More than 200 student performers will be on stage with the help of 30 student technicians. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in advance beginning April 9 or at the door for $6. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Sweetwater Middle Parent Center at 770-923-4131.

Duluth High’s Chorus will perform Peach Jam on April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. This program is the last performance for the school year. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 3. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. If you are not sure of which school your child will attend, call the Planning Department at 678-301-7085. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2012, are invited to register their children for the 2012-13 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times and should bring the following documents for registering their child: an official document showing proof of birth date, proof of residency in an attendance zone; a Georgia certificate of immunization; evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year; a photo ID of the person registering the child; proof of custody/guardianship; a child’s social security number; and a copy of the pre-K progress report. Additional information may be viewed on the system web site

The GCPS Foundation Fund will present the 2012 Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame fundraiser for World Class Schools at the Gwinnett Braves Stadium on May 5, at 6 p.m. Gwinnett County’s best athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sponsorships are available by calling 678-301-7287, or visiting

Maxwell High School of Technology is holding a Middle School Summer Camp for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from across the district interested in exploring careers in Architecture Drawing and Design, Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Law and Justice, and Pre-k Camp Counseling. The camp is scheduled to take place June 11-14 from 8 to 11 a.m. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration is March 15 through May 7, and the registration fee is $50. For more information and to register your child today, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603 or Sherri Stephenson at 770-338-4625.

High school students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders may take designated classes during the summer. Registration is ongoing at the following locations and online.
Face-to-Face ClassesOnline Classes
When: June 12 to July 11 (July 4 holiday)
  • 1st Period: 7:30-11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 2nd Period: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High.
How: Learn more about face-to-face summer school. Students may register online for face-to-face classes through June 4 or register in person on May 31 at Peachtree Ridge High.
When: June 11 to July 10 (July 4 holiday)
Where: Offered through Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC).
How: Register online. Online registration closes June 4.
Face-to-face meeting required for final exams and for selected classes (health, PE, and science labs).
Important information for face-to-face and Online Campus summer school students:
  • Transportation is not provided for face-to-face summer school classes or for the face-to-face sessions required for Online Campus courses.
  • A student should take no more than two summer classes: two face-to-face classes, two online classes, or a combination.
  • All tuition fees are due at the time of registration.
  • Any student planning to participate in the summer school graduation ceremony must take all summer classes with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
  • Both the Face-to-Face classes and the online programs will follow a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Face-to-face and online summer classes will not meet on Fridays.

“Love That Book - Carmen Finds Her Beat” Carmen is on a quest to find a musical instrument she can play, and hopes her friends at Earthshaking Music can help. While on location, she introduces students to her favorite music book “Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin.” Gwin Oaks Elementary Media Specialist Sharon Amolo recommends “Out Of My Mind” by Sharon Draper as a Cool, New Book; and Gwin Oaks Elementary Principal Peggy Goodman shares memories of her favorite oldie but goodie, “The Little Engine that Could.” This 15 minute program airs this week at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month GCPS Focus learns more about how to become a substitute teacher in Gwinnett, celebrates the achievement of Berkmar High’s Questbridge Scholars, and takes a closer look at the process involving the school district’s accreditation. join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30 minute program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“ParenTVision – Shattered” Hosted by Collins Hill High Counselor and Graduation Coach Margaret Cheeley, the program explores topics relating to raising teens in the 21st century. This week’s show features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program “Shattered” which is the extraordinary story of one night that changed lives forever. A young girl driving under the influence was speeding and out of control when her car smashed into another car, killing the driver. There are interviews with eyewitnesses and their 911 call before, during and after the crash. There are also interviews with the driver, her boyfriend and family, footage of her in prison, and interviews with the family of the man who was killed. This episode features a discussion with Ms. Cheeley; Pam South, State Court Judge, Gwinnett; and Andre Castro, Youth Development Coordinator for the East Metro Health District. This 60 minute program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Hopkins Elementary Assistant Principal Elisa Brown, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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 TV website--

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Each spring, 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. New this year, the meetings will be organized by Board electoral districts, reflecting the new district lines, rather than by school clusters. However, citizens may attend any of the five meetings. All Area Board Meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater, with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. The change in Board district lines prompted a venue change for two of the meetings. Meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations.
March 27 District IV, represented by Dr. Robert McClure, South Gwinnett HS
March 29 District I, represented by 2012 Board Vice Chair Carole Boyce, Dacula HS
April 10 District II, represented by Daniel Seckinger Collins Hill HS
April 12 District V, represented by 2012 Board Chair Louise Radloff, Meadowcreek HS
April 17 District III, represented by Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Duluth HS

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/20/20122012 Area BOE meetings organized by new electoral districts (pdf)
03/19/2012South Gwinnett High’s Myriad collects national accolades (pdf)
03/16/2012Dr. Long named Dacula High’s new principal (pdf)
03/16/2012Shiv Patel of North Gwinnett High earns top honors as GCPS honors excellence in Technical Education (pdf)

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 30 is a Student/Teacher Holiday or Snow Make-Up Day.

April is National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

Spring holidays for schools are April 2-6.

National Library Week is April 8-14.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 19, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary29-Mar
Anderson-Livsey 27-Mar
Annistown Elementary27-Mar
Berkmar High27-Mar
Britt Elementary27-Mar
Brookwood Elementary27-Mar
Brookwood High27-Mar
Burnette ES27-Mar
Cedar Hill Elementary29-Mar
Centerville Elementary27-Mar
Central Gwinnett High29-Mar
Corley Elementary29-Mar
Dacula High29-Mar
Dacula Middle29-Mar
Grace Snell MS27-Mar
Grayson Elementary27-Mar
Grayson High29-Mar
Harris Elementary29-Mar
Head Elementary27-Mar
Henry Partee Elementary27-Mar
Jenkins Elementary29-Mar
Lawrenceville Elementary29-Mar
Lovin Elementary29-Mar
McConnell Middle29-Mar
Moore Middle School29-Mar
Mulberry Elementary29-Mar
Pharr Elementary29-Mar
Shiloh Elementary27-Mar
Shiloh High27-Mar
Shiloh Middle27-Mar
Simonton Elementary29-Mar
Starling Elementary29-Mar
Trip Elementary29-Mar
Winn Holt Elementary29-Mar

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. through 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.

e-Planetarium March 31
Earth Day Every Day-April Visitor ServiceApril 2-6, 14, 21
Off the Hook: Exploring Our Rug Hooking HeritageApril 9, 14
Full Moon Hike-Egg MoonApril 9
Green Living Kids: Gardening For The Kids, By The KidsApril 14,