News You Can Use - 12/05/2011

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
12/05/2011 - 12/11/2011

Stripling Elementary business partner Corus 360 will provide every student at the school with a hat, scarf, and a pair of gloves and socks as part of the company's participation in the “Warm Hands Warm Hearts” clothing drive. Employees from the company will arrive on Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. to deliver the clothing. For more information, call Administrative Assistant Stella Jackson at 770-582-7575.

The Duluth High Chorus will perform on Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m. for the City of Duluth Tree Lighting ceremony. In addition, students will perform a Winter Concert on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. For more information, call the school at 770-476-5206.

Peachtree Ridge High “Teaching as a Profession” program students will volunteer at the Third Annual Lion Cub Children’s Festival on Dec. 3 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school. Peachtree Ridge Cluster elementary students will enjoy a number of activities supervised by the Teaching as a Profession students. High school students will work with children ages 3-12 on crafts, games, artwork, and more as they discover learning through fun activities. For more information, contact Linda Brimmer at

Dacula High will host “A Celebration of Learning” on Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. All departments will have activities and displays for the community, parents, and students to walk through from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. The Dacula High PTSA will hold its winter meeting at 6:45 p.m. The Fine Arts Department will end the evening with musical presentations from the bands and orchestras. For more information, call the school at 770-476-5206.

Mill Creek High hosted a Miss Portray Pageant, similar to the Miss Mill Creek Pageant, except it is for students with disabilities. All proceeds from the event benefitted Relay for Life. On Dec. 9 at 6:30 a.m., a special guest will present a check to the American Cancer Society and meet with the Miss Portray contestants. For more information, call Mill Creek High Teacher Camille Larkin, founder of the program, at 678-480-4262.

The Clorox Company supports healthy and happy kids with the “Power A Bright Future Program” that gives schools the opportunity to win a $50,000 grant. Three GCPS schools are trying to win the $50K grant from Clorox by asking for support in online voting through Dec. 9. Anyone 13 years old and up can vote for the “Judge’s Choice Grant.” Participants may text a vote, or vote on a smartphone with the mobile sites listed below. (Taylor Elementary) (Harmony Elementary) (Anderson-Livsey Elementary)
For more information, visit the website

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hosting a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fair on Jan. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. on the campus of Maxwell High School of Technology. The Career Fair is open to all high school students attending GCPS high schools. More than 50 vendors will be in attendance at the fair. CTE prepares students and adults for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities. These careers may require varying levels of education—including industry-recognized credentials, postsecondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees. CTE prepares students to be “college- and career-ready.” Students learn: core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; employability skills (such as critical thinking and responsibility) that are essential in any career area; and job-specific, technical skills related to a specific career pathway. For more information, call Maxwell High School of Technology at 770-963-6838.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites parents, community members, and staff to participate in a review of the school district’s curriculum. This year’s review offers two opportunities for participants to share their feedback about the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. The school system is seeking input on new AKS that have been developed to align with new state Common Core Standards. In addition, citizens can give feedback on additions, changes, or deletions for the current AKS. Both reviews run through Friday, Dec. 9. The GEMS Oversight Committee will consider both staff and community suggestions at its meeting on March 1, 2012, and will make its recommendations to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education. On Mar. 1, 2012, the GEMS Oversight Committee will review the suggestions and curriculum director comments before making recommendations to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the School Board. Following adoption, feedback will be provided to staff members who made suggestions.
See below for details on each review:
  • Review of AKS alignment with new Georgia Performance Standards-- The Georgia Department of Education has adopted a new state curriculum-- the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS)-- for K-12 Language Arts, K-12 Mathematics, and 6-12 Literacy Standards for Science, Social Studies, and Technical Education. The revised curriculum will be phased in during the 2012-13 school year for K-12 Language Arts and K-10 Mathematics. Gwinnett County Public Schools curriculum directors for these areas worked with teachers to ensure the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum for 2012-13 is aligned to the new CCGPS standards. Parents, community members, and staff are invited to review the proposed 2012-13 AKS and provide input.
  • Annual review of CURRENT Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum-- If there is an AKS a parent, community member, or staff member would like to see added, deleted, or revised, they can complete the AKS Review Form online. A copy of the review form may also be requested from a local school administrator. Submit AKS Review Forms by e-mail to or by U.S. mail to Curriculum Development Office, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, Georgia 30024. Comments will be accepted through Friday, December 9, 2011.

Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option, will offer informational sessions providing the information needed to make an informed decision about enrolling at Online Campus full-time.
Middle School Meetings: 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.; High School Meetings: 7:30 - 8:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: Central Gwinnett High, Theater
  • Jan. 5: Grayson High, Theater
  • Jan. 12: Mill Creek High, Theater
  • Jan. 19: Collins Hill High, Theater
  • Jan. 26: North Gwinnett High, Commons Area
  • Feb. 2: Duluth High, Theater
Registration for the 2012-13 school year will run Feb. 1-29, 2012. Students can get more information through the counselor’s office at the local middle or high school and on the GOC website.
Click here to learn more about the GOC charter high school or Gwinnett’s virtual middle school, opening in August of 2012.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) registration information sessions run through Feb. 3, 2012. Information for the 2012-13 freshman class will be available through all GCPS middle schools, on the GCPS web site ( and on the school web site ( Registration Forms must be submitted by February 3, 2012, for consideration. GSMST is a charter school and therefore enrollment for the 9th grade class is open to all students who are residents of the Gwinnett County School System district attendance zone and have completed the 8th grade. The rigorous course work at GSMST may not meet the needs or interests of all students. As this is a school of choice, it is highly recommended that parents and students review the GSMST curriculum and learn more about the school’s offerings before making a decision to register.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
11/30/2011Mathematics educators honor Spruiell of Stripling ES (pdf)
11/23/2011GCPS student projects take top spots during International Student Media Festival (pdf)
11/22/2011Student artists and teachers honored with work on display (pdf)
11/17/2011Gwinnett Federal Credit Union Donates $50,000 to Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation for districtwide Academic Initiatives (pdf)

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

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., December 15, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

December 19-30 is Winter Break for schools.

New Year’s Day is observed December 30, a systemwide holiday.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in December. Call the local school for the time and location.

Alford Elementary
Anderson-Livsey Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Arcado Elementary
Brookwood High
Camp Creek Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Crews Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Dyer Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Level Creek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Parsons Elementary
Richards Middle
Rock Springs Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Taylor Elementary

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.

Winter All Ages-Human Body Adventure
    12/7, 12/13, 1/18, 2/15
Holiday Program-Gingerbread Display
Green Your Holiday-Special Event
Green Living Kids: Where Is The Waste?
Living In Space-Final Countdown