News You Can Use - 03/17/2008

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
03/17/2008 - 03/23/2008

The Gwinnett County Senior All Star Basketball game is scheduled for March 15 at Mill Creek High. The girls game begins at 6 p.m. and the boys will play at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $5 and proceeds benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. For more information, call Teacher Phil Bollier at 678-714-5850.

Duluth Middle will host the school’s first annual Flea Market on March 15 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the bus parking lot. Proceeds will benefit school programs including academic and student clubs and organizations. For more information, email,, or

K.E. Taylor Elementary will host the school’s 2nd Annual Taylor RocketFest competition on March 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the playground. The competition is for K.E. Taylor Elementary students. The safety briefing begins promptly at 10:45 a.m. Student will be introduced to some basic principles of rocketry, aerodynamics, physics (Newton’s Third Law of Motion) by designing, constructing, and launching a rocket using a plastic 2-liter bottle. For more information, call 770-338-4680.

Students with special needs, their parents, and educators are invited to the GCPS’ Transition Fair to learn more about services and programs to prepare special education students for the transition from high school to adulthood. Participants may review information from local providers in the areas of employment options, residential services, day-habilitation, and recreation and leisure. Speakers will address topics such as Medicaid waivers, using Benefits Navigator to help maximize benefits, Transition 101 for students and parents, and accessing employment supports, including vocational rehabilitation. The Fair is set for March 15 at Monarch School. For more information, contact Cathy Schmidt at 678-301-7107.

The Duluth High Yearbook staff has been recognized by Taylor Publishing with an Award of Excellence for yearbook design and coverage. For more information, call Teacher Amy Thomas at 770-476-5206.

Gifted Program Teacher Laura Magner of Rebecca Minor Elementary had a book titled “Creativity Tackle Box: Using Creative Thinking to Solve Real Problemspublished by Pieces of Learning.

Both Frank N. Osborne Middle and Mill Creek High earned 1st place at the Georgia Eastern Regional Competition, advancing them to state playoffs in February. Frank N. Osborne Middle earned 2nd place and Mill Creek High earned 3rd place in the state Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl in March during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. For more information, call the school.

The Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band has been selected to perform in the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City on March 17 at 11 a.m. The parade will end at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

J.E. Richards Middle will celebrate the school’s 20th anniversary at 7 p.m. on March 18. The event will include performances by students in the band, orchestra, and chorus; and performances by cheerleaders, the Dance Team, RMS Steppers, and the basketball team. For more information call 770-995-7133.

GCPS will host the last of three free parenting workshops on student engagement and safety on March 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Meadowcreek High Community School. The Gwinnett Unity Group and Gwinnett County Public Schools provided these workshops for parents to increase the awareness of student issues, to encourage better school participation of parents and students, and to empower parents. For more information, call Meadowcreek High Community School at 770-806-2230.

Students from Jonathan Clifton’s Economic class at Mill Creek High will sponsor a Car Show on March 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. A $15 donation to the American Cancer Society allows participants to show their car, truck, import, or bike. Trophies will be awarded to the Top 10 Favorites and prizes will be awarded-- including a car stereo. The event is free to spectators. Other activities include a silent auction and BBQ for sale. For more information, visit,or email

South Gwinnett High will host a Spanish Speaking Parent Night on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the commons area. The Latin American Association and other community organizations will present opportunities available for parents to help students excel in school and enter college. For more information, call Teacher Donna Aker at 770-972-4840.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host “International Night” on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate and highlight diversity in the student body. The evening will showcase a parade featuring students from the different countries represented at Lawrenceville Elementary. Entertainment will feature student performances, art and craft displays, and food samples from different countries. For more information, call Glenda Ramos, Parent Outreach Liaison, at 678-376-8634.

Corley Elementary will host a Math, Science, Technology Night on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and parents will take a Jurassic Journey participating in math, science and reading activities, perform science experiments, listen to stories and view presentations. Kindergarten students will perform dinosaur songs. For more information, call Dr. Angela Broughton at 678-924-5350.

Brookwood Elementary will hold a charity rock concert on March 28, to benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. Two bands featuring staff members Vicki Miller (The Vicki Miller Band), and David Young (The Amazing Mongooses) will perform. Pictures available upon request. For more information, call 770-736-4360.

Lanier Middle will relocate for the 2008-09 school year. A schoolwide celebration of the school’s history will take place on March 28 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-945-8419.

The Duluth High Center-Stage Alliance will present the student-written comedy “Saturday Night Live, The Best of Duluth High School: Every Child Left Behind” on March 28 and 29 at 7 p.m., and March 30 at 2:30 p.m., with an encore presentation on April 3rd at 6 p.m. Visit for more information on The Duluth Center-Stage Alliance. Tickets may be purchased for $6 and can be bought from Vanette Vedder at the school, or purchased at the door. Groups of ten or more will receive a group discount. For more information, call Vanette Vedder at 678-473-6249 or email

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation will host the 5th Annual Lions Golf Classic at the Tournament Players Club Sugarloaf on March 31. Activities include golf at 11 a.m., lunch on your cart, and an awards and dinner reception after the tournament. Foursomes are available, as well as sponsorships, by calling Foundation Executive Director Lynn Brunatti at 678-957-3166.

Norcross Elementary will host an Empty Bowls Ice Cream Social and Montage Arts Show on March 31, at 6 p.m. in the gym. Proceeds will benefit the Norcross Cooperative. For more information, call Art Teacher Lauren Phillips 770-448-2188.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation awarded the following grants in March to support arts, academics and athletics for the schools in the Peachtree Ridge Cluster. Grants are awarded two times a year.
Jackson Elementary $2,500 Training materials for Benchmark Assessment Program Grades 1-5
Parsons Elementary $2,500 Reading renewal kits for Grade 2
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. $2,500 Tutorial Program for reading and math intervention Grades 3-5
Richard Hull Middle $2,715 InterWrite School Pads technology, schoolwide advisement program materials, supplies for Robotics program
Peachtree Ridge High
Special Education $ 975 Equipment for the home living center
Language Arts $2,800 Replacement novels for all grade levels, National English Honor Society - new chapter
School Nutrition $1,400 The Nutrition Fair - awareness event aimed at the Peachtree Ridge community, particularly elementary and middle schools, reaches 500-1000 people
Social Studies $ 235 Black History Month Oratory Contest
Fine Arts $ 547 Orchestra classroom equipment
Math $8,000 Four smartboards with LCD projectors
Reading Across the Ridge $1,500 Schoolwide reading initiative to foster summer reading
Student Volunteer Center $ 800 Graduation cords to honor those with qualifying volunteer hours - More than 100 seniors will be wearing the cords this year
Athletics $7,050 Equipment for the wrestling program

Walmart and ACT NOW presented a $10,000 grant to B.B. Harris Elementary. The school was nominated for its environmentally friendly initiatives and teaching and learning, by a parent. ACT NOW produces short videos about Walmart associates engaging with their communities about environmental sustainability. The grant will be used to improve the school’s outdoor classroom. For more information, contact B.B. Harris Principal Dr. Laurie Burton or Instructional Coach Amanda Hall, who is coordinating the program, at 770-476-2241.

The K.E. Taylor Elementary Student Council voted to sponsor a guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. as a service project. Students and staff members have set a goal to raise $2,500-- the cost of a guide dog. The school will sponsor a naming contest for the puppy and present the check to the organization. K.E. Taylor Elementary will receive notification of the puppy’s birth and updates as it is being trained. For more information, call Media Specialist Rhonda Davis at 770-338-4680.

Duluth High students recently collected more than 250 lbs. of supplies for the school’s “Support the Troops” project. For their efforts, the classes that collected the most supplies will receive a pizza party from the Principal Pat Blenke. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

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.

Scout Programs
March 22, 1 to 4 p.m., Brownies - Eco-Explorer (Ages 6-8), Center admission not included
This event introduces girls to ecology and how plants and animals live together in the environment. Come and learn how to explore nature around you. The badge is included. For registration information please contact Sabrina Jones at 678-420-6870.

March 29, 1 to 4 p.m., Jr. Girl Scouts - Ready for Tomorrow Badge, Center admission not included
Participants will complete 6 requirements for this badge. 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. Prepayment is required for this event. Call 770-904-3500 for more information. Registration deadline is March 15.

“ArtStage: 2008 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus” Celebrate “Music in Our Schools Month” by watching a special presentation of the 2008 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus and the J.P. McConnell Middle 7th and 8th Grade Advanced Girls Ensemble. This 60-minute program airs March 17-22 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use” The March broadcast features the work of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel and includes a discussion about the Panel’s final report and how its finding will lead to more effective math instruction in classrooms nationwide. The show will also spotlight what the Department and other key partners are doing to promote math and science. This 60-minute program airs live at 8 p.m. on March 18.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 3)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 3) is a video telecourse designed to teach advanced English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 3 is scheduled to air through April 3 on GCPS TV. This 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers will learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Each Monday, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot. The series runs through April 6.

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 & 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--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... 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.

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

03/13/2008Simonton Elementary shares its success story on closing the achievement gap
03/12/2008GCPS Transition Fair for special education families set for March 15
03/11/2008GCPS showcases student artwork on annual systemwide exhibit

March is National Nutrition Month.

March 17-28 is the Grade 3 Writing Assessment Evaluation.

March 21 is a student and teacher holiday.

The Georgia High School Graduation Test for 11th grade students is scheduled for March 31 through April 3.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during and March. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
B.B. Harris Elementary3/27
Berkmar High3/25
Brookwood High3/25
Camp Creek Elementary3/28
Collins Hill High3/18
Glenn C. Jones Middle3/20
Harbins Elementary3/20
Harmony Elementary3/28
J.E. Richards Middle3/25
J.G. Dyer Elementary3/26
K.E. Taylor Elementary3/20
Lovin Elementary3/27
North Gwinnett High3/18
Peachree Ridge High3/24
Pinckneyville Middle3/27
Sugar Hill Elementary3/17
Sweetwater Middle3/20
T. Carl Buice School3/20
Trickum Middle3/25
Walnut Grove Elementary3/20