News You Can Use - 01/21/2013

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
01/21/2013 - 01/27/2013

Partee Elementary parent Tilwana Anderson is the recipient of the 2013 Georgia Parent Leadership Award. Georgia Parent Leadership Awards recognizes six parents in the state for their outstanding leadership in creating a foundation of support for student achievement and success. The Georgia Department of Education and Georgia PTA cosponsor the award to recognize parents across Georgia who strengthen schools and positively impact the lives of children. Mrs. Anderson was nominated for her leadership and her concern for all students. Mrs. Anderson is an active member of Partee’s local school council, the Title I planning team, and the LEA (Local Education Agency) Parent Advisory Committee. She also served as co-vice president of the PTA, where she led the yearbook and fundraising committees. Mrs. Anderson will be honored during the State School Superintendent’s Recognition Reception honoring excellence in student achievement on Feb. 15 at the Georgia Department of Education. Mrs. Anderson will be afforded opportunities throughout 2013 to share her many talents by promoting and assisting with parent engagement activities at the state level. For more information, call the school at 770-307-8679.

Starling Elementary PTA earned a 2012-13 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. The grant will be used to enhance the school’s Outdoor Classroom. The project name is “Making Outdoor Learning a Reality” and the amount of the award is $5,000. For more information, call the school at 678-344-6100.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology student David Park earned 4th place at the Samsung Mobile Boot Camp for top performing high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Samsung Mobile collaborated with the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas at Dallas, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop activities for the boot camp as well as create teacher resources for educators interested in teaching mobile application development. For more information, visit

The 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Celebration, sponsored by the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc., will take place on Jan. 20 and 21. The essay performance, in which Gwinnett students read their essays, will be held at Meadowcreek High beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 20. On Jan. 21, a parade will begin at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville, and conclude at Moore Middle on Hwy. 29. For more information and to register for the parade, visit or call 678-856-7602.

Nesbit Elementary students will participate in a School Rally for Peace to coincide with Peace Week at the school from January 21-25. This week was chosen to coincide with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., national holiday because Dr. King was a champion for peace and nonviolence. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the importance of creating a culture of peace within the school and community. Each day of the week the school will focus on a different theme related to peace such as cooperation, acceptance, caring, forgiveness, and healing. The student body will participate in a peace march led by the Nesbit’s Ambassadors (the school’s, peer leaders) as well as class representatives on January 22 at 9:15 a.m.. Following the march there will be an assembly featuring inspirational performances by Nesbit’s Cheerleading Team, Sapphire Dance Team, and other student groups. This event will conclude with a keynote address by Monique Rivarde, mother of 18 year old Bobby Tillman, who passed away in 2011. Nesbit Elementary school invites parents and members of the community to attend the event. For more information please contact Nesbit Elementary at 770-414-2750.

Dyer Elementary will hold a school-wide Science Fair on Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. More than 200 projects will be displayed for judging at the event. For more information, call Matt Bonk, Dyer Elementary teacher, at 770-963-6214.

Maxwell High School of Technology’s Auto Collision program will receive a welder valued at $7,000 on Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m. The welder is donated by I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, which is an international, not-for-profit training organization. All I-CAR activities and resources focus on helping the industry achieve a high level of technical training. I-CAR develops and delivers technical training programs to professionals in all areas of the collision industry. I-CAR’s mission is to be the leader in research, development, and delivery of quality, convenient, cost-effective educational programs for the collision industry. The welder will be used to teach students spot welding on new vehicle construction in relation to how new cars are constructed. The welder is current technology that will mimic state of the art auto collision repair. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Peachtree Ridge High will host a performance for students on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. “Duo Virtuosi” showcases the talents of world renowned Bulgarian Viennese violinist Bojidara Kouzmanova and Spanish classical and flamenco guitarist Virginia Luque. The duo’s remarkable performances have inspired audiences wherever they perform. For more information, call the school at 678-957-3100.

The 2013 Gwinnett Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, will be held at Central Gwinnett High on Feb. 2 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Registration will be held at 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. The oral portion of the bee will begin approximately 30 minutes after the written portion of the bee. For more information, call Louis Mair, with the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, at 770-638-2300.

More than 200 colleges and universities will be represented at the National College Fair in Atlanta. Open to middle school and high school students, the event is scheduled to take place on Feb.10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Information on financial aid and college admissions will be available at workshops during the fair. Students may register at, and watch a video with more information at for a complete overview of the fair.

Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an Open House on Feb. 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for sophomores and juniors interested in attending the school next year. Programs of study include Aircraft Flight Operations, Early Childhood Education, Architecture, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Services, Construction Welding, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Drawing and Design, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Interior Design, Law and Justice, Medical Services, Nursing, and Sciences: Diagnostics. For more information, call 770-963-6838 or visit to register online beginning Feb. 1.

The 2013 Gwinnett Regional Science & Engineering Fair will take place on Feb. 22, at the Gwinnett Center, beginning at 9 a.m. An open house will be held at 3:30 p.m. and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate science and engineering and take part of inspiring the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett County. Call 678-301-7036 or visit the Science Fair website—— for more information or to sign up to support the 2013 Science and Engineering Fair as a sponsor or judge.

The 2013 Miss Peachtree Ridge High Scholarship Pageant will be held on Feb.23, 2013. This year’s theme is Pretty in Pink and will honor contestants’ friends and family members by making a donation to the American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High Pageant will begin at 7 p.m. in the school theater. For more information, visit the school website at

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently celebrated 100 days of school on January 16. Walnut Grove Elementary Teacher Erica Leach held a scavenger hunt at the school. Circles with numbers from one to 100 were placed around the school and students worked together to find them to commemorate the first 100 days of school. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

This year’s review of GCPS’ curriculum offers two opportunities for parents, staff, and community members to share their feedback about the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS). The school system is seeking input on new AKS that have been developed to align with new state Common Core Standards as well as AKS for other new courses. In addition, citizens may give feedback on additions, changes, or deletions for the current AKS. Both reviews run Jan. 14 through Feb. 15.

A committee will consider both community and staff suggestions and will make its recommendations to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education. Following adoption, feedback will be provided to staff members who made suggestions.

See below for details on each review, and links for both the current 2012-13 AKS and the proposed 2013-14 AKS.
  • Review of AKS aligned with NEW Common Core Math Courses and NEW AKS for other courses-- Last year, the Georgia Department of Education adopted a new state curriculum-- the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS)-- for K-12 Language Arts, K-12 Mathematics, and literacy standards for Science, Social Studies, and Technical Education. The first phase of this revised curriculum began in 2012-13, with K-12 Language Arts and K-9 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 was aligned to the new CCGPS standards.

This next phase for 2013-14 includes five new Common Core-aligned mathematics courses for grades 9-12-- Algebra II CC, Geometry CC, Accelerated Geometry CC, Precalculus CC, and Accelerated Precalculus CC. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review the proposed AKS to provide input on the recommended curriculum revisions for the five new mathematics courses for grades 9-12.

In addition, AKS are under review for two Junior Leadership Corps courses for middle school students, and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) courses for the district’s Army program at the high school level.

Click here to review and comment on the NEW AKS via an online survey. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 15.
  • Annual review of CURRENT Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum-- If there is an AKS participants would like to see added, deleted, or revised, they may complete the AKS Review Form, which is available on the GCPS website. A copy of the review form is also available at the local school.
  • AKS Review Forms may be submitted 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, Feb. 15.

Public review for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) runs through January 29. Georgia is among 26 states leading development of the standards in natural science and engineering for grades K-12. The NGSS process is being managed by Achieve, a non-partisan education non-profit. The movement is designed to increase readiness for college and careers in science as studies expect growth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs will continue to outpace those of non-STEM jobs. Georgia has not adopted the Next Generation Science Standards and will form working groups to study their adoption after the final version of the standards is released by the end of March 2013. The public’s feedback is welcomed. To provide comments, participants can visit and click on any of the links that say “Go to the NGSS Survey.”

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold information sessions around the district on Jan. 24, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), the district’s STEM-focused charter high school, will hold informational meetings for interested 8th graders on Jan. 15. The registration packet is available for download with a Feb. 1 deadline. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery on Feb. 11.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology begins online registration on Feb. 1. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson High. An information session for the 2013–14 school year is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Registration applications will be available online Feb. 1.

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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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 web site--

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
01/16/2013Georgia group honors Gwinnett social studies educator (pdf)
01/15/2013Gwinnett makes College Board’s Honor Roll (pdf)

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter, GCPS eNews... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., January 17, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

January 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a systemwide holiday for all employees.

February is National African American History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 3 is Scout Sunday.

February 4-8 is National School Counseling Week.

February 10-16 is National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Week.

February 12 is Georgia Day.

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

Alford Elementary
Benefield Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula High
GIVE Center West
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harbins Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Partee Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Stripling Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary
White Oak Elementary
Winn Holt 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.

January 21, 2013 Build It Green
January 25, 2013 Wolf Moon Night Hike
January 26, 2013 Basket Weaving Class at LFS
January 26, 2013 Wonders of Winter Life