News You Can Use - 01/25/2009

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
01/25/2009 - 02/01/2009

Duluth Middle and Lanier Middle Academic Bowl Teams were winners in the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades Regional competition and will now advance to the upcoming Semi-finals round of competition to be held on Jan. 24. The following Gwinnett teams participated in the Region 5 competition: Duluth Middle, Lanier Middle, Trickum Middle, and Shiloh Middle.

Brookwood High staff member Debbie Schulte completed the Disney Half Marathon weekend event on Jan. 10, followed by the Full Marathon on Jan. 11— 39.3 miles. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Berkmar High was recently notified by the State Department of Education that it is the recipient of a Georgia Learn and Serve Grant for the 2008-09 school year. Thirty-three grants were awarded to schools throughout the state. Berkmar High was the only Gwinnett School so honored. The Georgia Learn and Serve program receives its funding from Learn and Serve America funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The school will receive $7,000 to implement three projects during second semester that focus on what students are learning in the classroom and provide opportunities for the students to use their knowledge and skills in serving the community and school needs. For more information visit

Two computer applications classes have received a grant totaling $688 from the Collins Hill Education Foundation (CHEF). Dr. Stacy Byous and Stacy Sedor’s students will write letters to businesses in the community soliciting donations for the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. As the students prepare business correspondence with professionals in the work environment, they will pursue the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are required in a professional business setting. The grant money from CHEF will pay for envelopes, stamps, paper, postcards, etc. so that the students can mail out their letters to businesses in the community. For more information, call Stacy Byous at 770-682-4100.

The Gwinnett County High School Photography Competition— Shutter Sense & Non-Sense— will take place at Hudgens Art Center. The exhibition of student photography from eight area high schools will be on display through March 21. An award ceremony and reception, open to the public, will take place on Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. Organized by Parkview High Art Teacher, Alexandra Kates, the competition drew more than 900 entries this year. For more information, call Margaret Kolk at 770-271-7501 or 770-595-2337.

Brookwood Elementary and Norcross High will host visits from State School Superintendent Kathy Cox on Jan. 26. Ms. Cox will visit Norcross High from 8:30 to 11:30 and Brookwood Elementary from noon to 3 p.m. Both visits include time spent with students and teachers in classrooms, and visits with administrators. For more information, call the local school.

The Duluth High Media Center and the Key Club are sponsoring the “Lovely Leggs Contest” to benefit the school’s Relay for Life team. Students will vote on their choice for the best “lovely legs” photo from among 12 coaches and male teacher’s photos the week of Jan. 26. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Rebecca Minor Elementary will host the school’s annual International Night on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. At this family event, parents bring international foods and families members dress in native clothing to experience different cultures. There is a parade of nations and entertainment, as well as booths in classrooms representing the continents. For more information call Teacher Patty Grindo at 770-925-9543.

Chattahoochee Elementary will host an International Festival on Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents will work together to create displays that share information about their country of origin. Students are given a passport to get stamped as they visit each of the different displays. For more information, call ESOL Teacher Allison Ogburn at 770-497-9907.

The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation has its first major fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 5 at Summit Chase Country Club. The event will feature an evening of socializing, hors d’oeuvres, music, an auction, and an informative program that will introduce local business and community leaders to the organization. For more information on the fundraiser or to reserve tickets, please visit the foundation’s web site at

Shiloh Cluster school counselors invite families to a school and community Cluster Resource Fair on Feb.10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Shiloh Middle. The event will have free pizza, soft drinks, and door prizes. Child care will be provided. The Shiloh Cluster Resource Fair business partners and community sponsors will offer services to empower families and support student success for all grade levels. Important high school information regarding graduation requirements, future careers, and college enrollment will be made available. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host the Central Gwinnett Cluster Witzzle Pro Math Tournament on Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. in the cafeteria. Fourth and fifth grade students from Cedar Hill Elementary, Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, and Simonton Elementary schools will compete. A Witzzle (witty puzzle) is comprised of a unique 3- by-3 array of digits 1 through using two operations to equal a target number. For more information, call Anne Foley, media specialist, at 770-962-5015.

The 6th Annual Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant, “Saturday Night Fever,” will be presented by the Peachtree Ridge Foundation, on Feb. 21. Miss Freshman and Miss Sophomore takes place at 3 p.m. Miss Junior and Miss Peachtree Ridge 2009 take place at 7p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase the week of Feb. 16 or call the Foundation office at 678-957-3138 for more information.

Creekland Middle will host “College 101” for parents of GCPS middle school students on Feb. 26 from 6:30 -8:30 p.m. Attendees should register by Feb. 19 and may attend three of the following workshops designed to help parents prepare to send their children to college:
  • Athletics and College Admissions
  • Military Options
  • PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II-Why, When & Which Ones
  • Right Fit College: How to Find It
  • Technology in the College Admissions Process
  • Been There, Done That: Lessons Learned from Parents of College Students
Refreshments will be provided. To register, call 770-338-4700 by Feb. 19.

Dr. M. H. Mason Jr. Elementary kindergarten students celebrated 100 days of school with interactive centers on Jan. 20. Students traveled from classroom to classroom participating in different activities. For more information, call Teacher Lisa Crowell at 770-232-3370.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
01/22/2009Gwinnett adds healthier option for most popular entrée (pdf)
01/21/2009Seventy Gwinnett student teams to participate in GCPS Readers Rally (pdf)
01/20/2009Gwinnett students and parents invited to learn about technical education options at Maxwell High School of Technology (pdf)
01/16/2009Presidential inauguration a teachable moment for Gwinnett students and teachers (pdf)
01/16/2009Gwinnett County Public Schools launches “Community-Based Mentoring Program” (pdf)
01/15/2009Gwinnett BOE names principals for Peachtree Elementary and Parkview High (pdf)

“GCPS Focus” This month’s Focus will share highlights from the “Principal For a Day” program, visit one of “America’s Healthiest Schools”, and take a look at how strong community partnerships help our students set their sights on success… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Parentvision: Silent Witness” Recent surveys show that three out of four U.S. teenagers have been bullied at some point during their out of ten, on a regular basis. In addition, sixty percent of teenagers have been teased or harassed online - 13,000,000 victims of “cyber bullying.” But an even larger group, made up of 88% of teenagers, reports witnessing bullying and experts say too many of these witnesses remain silent. Why? They're afraid of being the next victim. This TV special, “Silent Witness,” profiles true stories and offers advice from experts for parents, teachers and teens on this disturbing problem. This program also features a discussion with Margaret Cheeley, Collins Hill High graduation coach and host of Parentvision; Dr. Bryan Long, director of discipline and behavior interventions; and a diverse panel of high school students. This 60-min. program airs Jan. 26-31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“English, Yes I Can! - Level I” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 15 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can seek the week’s programs from noon to 4 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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February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 1 is Scout Sunday.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 2-6.

February 11-12 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., Feb. 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The English Language Learners ACCESS Test administration Window runs through Feb. 27.

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

B.B. Harris Elementary1/29Alton C. Crews Middle2/13
Camp Creek Elementary1/30Annistown Elementary2/10
Corley Elementary1/27Arcado Elementary2/9
Craig Elementary1/26Beaver Ridge Elementary2/5
Harmony Elementary1/30Berkeley Lake Elementary2/19
J.G. Dyer Elementary1/28Berkmar High2/10
Level Creek Elementary1/27Berkmar Middle2/12
Nesbit Elementary1/29Bethesda Elementary2/16
Parkview High1/27Brookwood Elementary2/23
Patrick Elementary1/30Brookwood High2/10
Peachree Ridge High1/26/Centerville Elementary2/6
R.L. Norton Elementary1/30Central Gwinnett High2/10
Simpson Elementary1/30Creekland Middle2/12
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary2/20
Duluth High2/17
Duluth Middle2/24
Five Forks Middle2/6
Fort Daniel Elementary2/6
Freeman's Mill Elementary2/13
GIVE Center East2/10
GIVE Center West2/12
Glenn C. Jones Middle2/19
Grayson High2/15
Harmony Elementary2/27
Ivy Creek Elementary2/20
J.G. Dyer Elementary2/25
Jackson Elementary2/5
K.E. Taylor Elementary2/20
Kanoheda Elementary2/5
Knight Elementary2/6
Level Creek Elementary2/24
Louise Radloff Middle2/12
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary2/26
McKendree Elementary2/6
Meadowcreek Elementary2/9
Mountain Park Elementary2/23
Mulberry Elementary2/19
Norcross Elementary2/6
Norcross High2/12
North Gwinnett High2/10
Oakland School2/15
Parkview High2/24
Parsons Elementary2/25
Peachree Ridge High2/23
Peachtree Elementary2/17
Pharr Elementary2/5
Puckett's Mill Elementary2/5
R.D. Head Elementary2/13
R.L. Norton Elementary2/27
Rebecca Minor Elementary2/6
Rock Springs Elementary2/12
Rockbridge Elementary2/12
Shiloh High2/2
Shiloh Middle2/7
Snellville Middle2/12
Sugar Hill Elementary2/2
Summerour Middle2/5
Susan Stripling Elementary2/14
Suwanee Elementary2/16
Sweetwater Middle2/13
Trickum Middle2/10
W.C. Britt Elementary2/3
W.J. Cooper Elementary2/9
Walnut Grove Elementary2/19

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.

Feb. 11, 3-5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 11, 3 to 5 p.m., Webelo Forester Program, $8 per scout
Unravel the mysteries of life in the forest. Is it really more than just a bunch of trees? Find out how trees grow, what makes the forest tick, and how you can improve where you live with trees by creating an urban forestry plan.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Webelo Naturalist Program, $8 per scout
Are you curious about the natural world? Join us as we investigate our grounds in search of plants and signs of animals to complete the requirements of this activity pin.

Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Environmental Science Merit Badge, $10 per scout
Conduct experiments and learn about your impact on the natural environment in this four-hour session. Complete or start the experiments in requirement three of this merit badge that is required to become an Eagle Scout. Please register by Feb. 13 by calling 770-904-3500.