News You Can Use - 11/03/2008

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
11/03/2008 - 11/09/2008

Richard Hull Middle will host a visit from the Korean Children’s Choir on Oct.31 from 2:40 to 3:10 p.m. and from 3:30 to 3:50 p.m. in the cafeteria. The FEBC-Korea Children’s Choir was organized as a ministry of the Far East Broadcasting Company in Korea. Choir members are selected through a rigorous audition process. The children, ranging in ages seven to thirteen, receive training from a voice teacher, choreographer and conductor. A variety of concerts are performed throughout the year at cultural centers, themes parks, universities and many churches both in Korea and the U.S. The Sugarloaf Korean Baptist Church is near the school and will become a business partner. For more information, call Denise Showell at 770-232-3200.

Duluth High students Quanasia Jones and Patrick Netherclift won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the State German Poetry Writing contest held at Kennesaw State University. Students across the state created original poems in German and submitted them for evaluation by professors at the university. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist, at 770-232-3336.

More than half of GCPS’ schools have earned a Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Environmental Achievement Award, which recognizes schools for documenting their planning and implementation of environmental programs, practices, and education efforts in seven specific earth-friendly areas: waste reduction, education and stewardship, water conservation and watershed protection, air quality, energy conservation, beautification and green space preservation, and community outreach. A total of 56 schools were recognized for their commitment to thinking, acting, and achieving green in their learning communities during the 2007-08 school year. For more information, call Brenda McDaniel of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful at 770 822-5187.
Reaching High
Green and Healthy Schools

Taking Action Green and Healthy Schools
Arcado ES
Cedar Hill ES
Chattahoochee ES
W.J. Cooper ES
Craig ES
J.G. Dyer ES
Grayson ES
Lanier MS
Level Creek ES
McKendree ES
Parsons ES
Patrick ES
Pinckneyville MS
R.D. Head ES
Rebecca Minor ES
Annistown ES
B.B. Harris ES
Beaver Ridge ES
Bethesda ES
W.C. Britt ES
Brookwood HS
Camp Creek ES
Charles Brant Chesney ES
Collins Hill HS
Alton C. Crews MS
Dacula ES
Duluth MS
Duncan Creek ES
Five Forks MS
Fort Daniel ES
Freeman's Mill ES
Gwin Oaks ES
Ivy Creek ES
Knight ES
Lovin ES
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. ES
J.C. Magill ES
Maxwell HS
Mill Creek HS
Monarch School
Norcross HS
Peachtree ES
Peachtree Ridge HS
Pharr ES
J.E. Richards MS
Riverside ES
Rockbridge ES
Rock Springs ES
Shiloh MS
Simonton ES
Simpson ES
Sugar Hill ES
Sweetwater MS
Sycamore ES
K.E. Taylor ES
Margaret Winn Holt ES
The Duluth High Wildcats Marching Band earned superior ratings in the captions of drum major, percussion, and color guard as well as an overall excellent rating in the band caption at the MacEachern Marching Invitational competition. The band also earned the following honors: 1st place in Class AA for percussion; overall Grand Champion in Class A and AA; Color Guard: 2nd place in Class AA, and 3rd place in Class AA for Band. In addition, the Wildcat Marching Band received superior ratings in all captions; drum major, percussion, color guard, and band at the Greater Atlanta Marching Competition. The following caption awards were awarded to the band as well: percussion: 3rd place in Class AA; color guard: 1st place in Class AA; overall Grand Champion in Class A and AA; band: 2nd place in Class AA, 2nd overall in Class A and AA. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist, at 770-232-3336.

Sweetwater Middle will host a community luncheon on Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the media center. Community leaders and mentors are invited to meet others in the community, share their vision, ideas, and creative strategies to benefit the school and community. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Duluth High will hold a mock election on Nov. 3 during lunch periods. Students will have an opportunity to vote for president. Classes will tally the votes as part of their civic lessons and compare Duluth election outcomes to the national outcomes. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist, at 770-232-3336.

On Nov. 5, fifteen Nesbit Elementary students with vision problems will receive eye exams and eyeglasses for free. The Lions Club will provide funding for the vision services. Hopewell Missionary Baptist church will provide transportation, and the vision department at Wal-Mart on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road will conduct the exams. Countywide, school counselors report more than 600 children each year struggle with untreated vision problems. For more information, call Janet Fienemann, school social worker, at 770-414-2740.

Recently, the Suwanee Elementary Dads’ Club built an outdoor classroom for the students. The Outdoor Classroom will be revealed at a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the Suwanee Elementary Fall Festival on Nov. 8. The fall festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes rides, inflatable jumping activities, cotton candy, clowns and more. For more information, email PTA Co-President Amy Staehling at or call 404-295-7903.

Creekland Middle students will participate in a “Take a Veteran to School” event on Nov. 10, sponsored by the History Channel. Students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of WWI and WWII and what it means to be involved in a war. Students will gain a better appreciation for local veterans and for the sacrifices they made as the veteranl speak to classes. For more information about the program, visit or call Mike Krolak, teacher, at 770-338-4700.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host a Parent Fair on Nov. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria. The school will share information and resources for community members and families. More than 20 vendors will participate. Businesses donating door prizes include the Lawrenceville Police Dept., Angel Food Ministries, the Lawrenceville Fire Dept., Fidelity Bank, Costco, Publix, Chick-Fil-A, the Aurora Theatre, Gwinnett Medical, the United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville, Personalized Keepsakes, Books-A-Million, Lawrenceville Travel and Tourism, Kumon, Bank of America, Gwinnett Helpline, Lawrenceville on the Square, the Dept. of Transportation, The Sunshine House, Gwinnett Braves, and Stars and Strikes. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Creekland Middle will host a parent seminar onAffluenza-- the unfulfilled, relentless feeling resulting from trying to buy all the latest stuff and keep up with the Jones’, on Nov. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria. Collins Hill High Counselor Margaret Cheeley is the guest speaker. To reserve a spot, call Carla Winkler, Creekland Middle staff member, at 770-338-4700.

The Sweetwater Middle chorus will perform at the Gwinnett Gladiators game scheduled for Nov. 19. For more information, call the school at 770-923-4131.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host an Open House for perspective students and their parents on Nov. 20 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m. Teachers, coulselors, administrators, and current students will be on hand to answer questions and guide people around the campus. For more information, call Brett Pendley at 770-338-4828.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host a Homework Academy for parents on Nov. 19 from 2 to 3 p.m. Staff will share ideas and strategies on helping students with organization and completion of homework. Refreshments will be served. Chopper from the Gwinnett Braves will be a guest reader at “Reading Takes You Around the World.” For more information, call Nury Crawford, Parent Center coordinator, at 770-513-6879, or email

Peachtree Ridge High will host an International Night on Nov. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call Heather Toner, ESOL teacher, at 678-957-3100.

Eighteen Duluth High students attended an annual Youth Leadership Conference at Georgia State University. Sponsors, Nikki Bush, Myra McCallum, and Mary Lester accompanied students to Georgia State University for a day of speeches and workshops planned by the Latin American Association. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist at 770-232-3336.

Mill Creek High DECA students went “Trick or Treating” for canned goods during DECA week and collected 377 items. The collected items will be donated to the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. DECA is an association of marketing students designed to develop marketing, management, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills. Pictures are available upon request. For more information, call Teacher Andrea Barrett, at 678-714-5850.

The Mill Creek High softball team won the state AAAAA championship. In celebration of this feat, team members and coaches participated in a victory walk around the school. Students lined the halls near their classroom to cheer the newly named state champions. Principal Jim Markham and Head Coach Kelly Murdock led the procession. For more information, call Terry May, assistant principal, at 678-714-5850.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.

GCPS invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members may submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS through Nov. 9. The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions at their annual meeting. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2008-09 school year. Click here for the AKS Review Form.

Gwinnett County 8th grade students interested in joining the 2009-10 freshman class of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) will have the opportunity to learn more about the registration process starting in early November. On Nov. 1, 2008, registration information will be available in all GCPS middle schools and on the school district’s web site,, as well as the school’s web site Registration documents must be completed by the registration deadline of Jan. 23, 2009.
“Shaping the Presidency” In 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected the first President of the United States by the newly formed Electoral College. He was elected for a second term in 1792. As the 2008 Election Day approaches, this panel of guests look back at how Washington had a profound impact on defining the office of the president. The panelists will also discuss how campaigning, the election process and the role of the media affected early presidential candidacies, and how those influences have evolved. This 60-min. program airs November 3-9 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Meet the Author - Lemony Snicket” Lemony Snicket apologizes to the reader “I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant.” But his “darkly hilarious book series” has shocked and engrossed more than 22 million readers worldwide since the release of the first book in 1999. Daniel Handler, Mr. Snicket’s “representative,” appears on this edition of Meet the Author. Never confessing to being the real-life creator and mastermind behind “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” Handler says the he merely “stands in” for Mr. Snicket. This 30-min. program airs Nov. 3-9 at 10:30 a.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m., through Jan. 4.

“Destinos” This telenovela, or Spanish language soap opera, teaches speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in Spanish by immersing students in everyday situations with native speakers and introduces the cultures, accents, and dialects of Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. The understanding of Spanish and appreciation of many Hispanic cultures increases as students become absorbed in this mysterious and entertaining story. This 60-min. program airs Nov. 7-9 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, 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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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Election Day is Nov. 4, schools are closed.

Nov. 10-14 is School Psychology Week.

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day.

Nov. 12-13 is early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 13, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Nov. 16-22 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.

Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
Arcado Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
Benefield Elementary
Berkmar High
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula Elementary
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Freeman's Mill Elementary
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
GIVE Center East
GIVE Center West
Grayson Elementary
Grayson High
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.E. Richards Middle
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
Jackson Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lanier Middle
Louise Radloff Middle
Lovin Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Monarch School
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Peachtree Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
Puckett's Mill Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Susan Stripling Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
11/3 11/20
Sycamore Elementary
Trickum Middle
W.C. Britt Elementary
W.J. Cooper Elementary
Walnut Grove 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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 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.

Nov.6, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Attracting Hummingbirds to your Yard, $5 per student
Did you know that Georgia is home to hummingbirds in the summertime and wintertime? Come learn about these fascinating birds, including how to attract them to your backyard. Participants will make a hummingbird feeder to take home. Registration required by October 23; limited to 20 participants. *Teachers can earn PLU credit by attending this and other programs in our Green Living Series. See website for details.

Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Heritage Day, GEHC Family of Four: $10, Family of Four $20, Adult $10, Kid $5 (includes center admission)
Join us for a great day of history and live demonstration by the Peachtree Weavers. They will demonstrate the technique of weaving and the use of drop spindles to create fiber arts. Bring your family to see first hand how it is done. Discover how the Cherokee lived their daily lives in northern Georgia by educator Diamond Go Sti. This program celebrates Native American Heritage Month and is perfect for families. Registration is required by Oct. 25.

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Club Method (Middle and High School), free
Spend your Saturday with Club Method as they take an exciting approach to environmental involvement. Registration is required by Oct. 18, limited to 25 students.

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Nature Kids (Grades 2nd-4th ), $5 per student
Make a Park Come join us as we make a model of an ideal natural park land. We’ll talk about what is important for wildlife and then build a take home example of valuable habitat. Registration is required by Oct. 18, limited to 15 kids.

Nov. 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Exploring the Night Sky, Adults $10, Kids $5, Family of Four-$25
Explore the beautiful night sky with a guided walk and tour of the fall constellations and listen to the stories surrounding them. Learn about the planets visible in our fall skies--Venus and Jupiter. This program will occur rain or shine. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Program minimum 15, maximum 35. Spots fill quickly, call 770.904.3500 to pre-register and pay by Nov. 7.

Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Ocean Awareness Day, free for teachers
The theme of this workshop is "Bring in the Ocean: Connecting Ocean Science to your Classroom Standards." Participants can choose to participate in Physical Science, Earth Science, or Life Science activities to use with your students. Note: Registration is required; forms are available on our website or by emailing Register by Oct.31; limited to 42 participants.

Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Ready for Tomorrow Badge Program, $8 per girl
Join us for this badge as we complete 6 requirements. Learn how to cook with the sun using a solar oven, how you can help endangered species, develop your own personal credo for the environment, design a seal of approval for products, and participate in a trash pickup along the Center's trails. This program is limited to 20 participants each session, please register by Nov.1.