News You Can Use - 04/25/2011

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
04/25/2011 - 05/02/2011

Meadowcreek High students Ahmad F. Chaudhary, Christina C. Sok, and Jack T. Pham participated in the 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge and scored in the top 20%. These accounting students received certificates of achievement from U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. For more information, call Pintu Thaker, Meadowcreek High teacher, at 770-381-9680.

Gwinnett’s STAR Teacher Mr. Dana Kling and STAR Student Akshaya Suresh of Brookwood High were recently named runners up in the state competition. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

GCPS visual art students from Brookwood High, Mill Creek High, and Norcross High won 9 of 15 awards at the annual Georgia Ceramics Symposium. The following is a list of GCPS student winners:
· Yana Nikolaeva, Mill Creek High, 1st Place Mixed Media Award
· Katie Fetzer, Brookwood High, Serious Surface Award
· Jessica Meadors, Brookwood High, Conceptual Vessel Award
· Tabbi Austin, Brookwood High, Well Placed Dirt Award for Design
· Emily Gibson, Brookwood High, Pristine Presentation Award
· Ly Heang Noun, Norcross High, Mastermind Award for Concept
· Braulio Hernandez, Norcross High, 2nd Place Mixed Media Award
· Alberto Donjuan, Norcross High 2nd Place Sculpture Award
· Julio Garcia, Norcross High, 1st Place Sculpture Award
Martha Cook, visual arts teacher at Norcross High, and Bruce Bowman, visual arts teacher at North Gwinnett High, presented at the workshop. Christopher Vigardt, visual arts teacher at Brookwood High, assisted with the Raku ceramic firing at the symposium. Teachers of student winners are Holly Kovacs of Mill Creek High, Christopher Vigardt of Brookwood High, and Martha Cook of Norcross High.

Yasmin Yonis, a 2007 Berkmar High graduate, has recently been named a 2011 Merage American Dream Fellow. She is one of 10 national winners of the fellowship, which provides up to $20,000 over a two-year period to academically outstanding undergraduates who are immigrants to the United States. She also earned a 2010 Truman Scholarship. For more information, visit

The Peachtree Ridge Cluster Schools along with the Peachtree Ridge Foundation will team up with the Gwinnett Braves for Ridge Night at Cool Ray Field on April 28. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at all schools for $12. Proceeds will benefit Relay For Life. For more information contact Jane Denton at or

Lanier Cluster Schools are celebrating Earth Day in a big way. White Oak Elementary will host Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-- a community garage sale-- to benefit the school’s outdoor classroom and garden on April 22 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the outdoor classroom visit The yard sale will emphasize the importance of reusing items rather than throwing them away. In addition to the sale, local businesses will display environmentally friendly products, programs, practices and ideas. Student groups and booster clubs will make this Earth Day celebration a family-friendly and fun event by setting up a tent for face painting and “crazy hair.” Environmentally themed student art will be available for purchase. The Robotics clubs are making robots out of recycled parts and environmental clubs will help people plant seeds in yogurt cups that can then be replanted in home gardens or planters. For more information, visit For more information, call Betsy Bridwell, White Oak Elementary administrative assistant, at 678-546-5536.

Duluth High chorus students present the 15th Annual Peach Jam musical variety show, “Kids in America” on April 30 and May 1.Performances will be held in the school auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. For more information, call Jean Ann Moale, publicity chairperson for the Duluth High chorus, at 770-476-5206.

The GCPS Instructional Support Center Relay For Life team is sponsoring a 5K run/walk to benefit the American Cancer Society on April 30. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the race begins at 8 a.m. Registration is $20 before race day and $25 the day of the race. For more information and registration forms, please email or contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 ( or CoTinna Harris at 678-301-7257 (

Head Elementary welcomes Tennessee Titan and former Head Elementary student Jared Cook to Field Day on May 6. In support of Relay For Life, the entire student body walk around the running track two times at the end of the day. For more information, call Len Garner, Head ES teacher at 770-972-8050.

Duluth High SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and the Duluth Police Department will work together to promote safe driving for prom by asking students to buckle up, don’t drink, and don’t text and drive. This year the campaign runs from May 9-13, in conjunction with the Act Out Loud organization. Students will have the opportunity to sign a pledge stating they will not text and drive. Duluth High will also have the opportunity to win a $10,000 school award by receiving the most student votes for the school at the “act out loud” website. For more information, call Teacher Nilda I. Vicéns at 770-476-5602.

Berkmar Middle Principal Kenney Wells and Gifted Teacher Jim Eacona are working on an archaeological research project with the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society. On May 14, Dr. James J. D’Angelo will help students discover what is believed to be the remains of a 19th century plantation mill site located on school property. For more information, call Melissa Martin, Parent Instructional Support Coordinator, at 770-638-2310.

GCPS is accepting applications to serve on the GEMS Oversight Committee. The GEMS Oversight Committee is a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. After the review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board. Members serve three year terms. Please review the downloadable application on the website. Completed applications should be returned by June 1 to the attention of Dale Robbins, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Support, at the Instructional Support Center. For more information, call 678-301-7030.

Students in the Cedar Hill Elementary art club have been making “Kids Kare Kimonos” to help raise money for the relief efforts in Japan. Donations will benefit the American Red Cross. Behind the scenes helping the children in their efforts are art teachers Joyce Dorian and Anna Murphy. For more information, call 770-962-5015.

The Greater Gwinnett Group of the Sierra Club held its second-annual Earth Day Tree Planting event in April at Camp Creek Elementary. For more information, call the school at 770-921-1626.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus goes behind the scenes to see Gwinnett’s preparations for Relay For Life. We’ll also learn more about food safety and celebrate a 10th anniversary milestone with GCPS TV. Join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute 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: Just Once” To police and DEA officers, methamphetamine is the drug they hate most. It is cheap, easy to make, and highly addictive - even after one use. “Meth” is ruining entire rural areas and towns across America, and continues to spread. Learn the devastating health risks and behavioral dangers, and what some people are doing to fight back. This 60-minute program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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, 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 GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--

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.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
04/19/2011Gwinnett’s new kindergartners set to register May 5 (pdf)
04/19/2011Seven GCPS schools earn counseling distinction (pdf)
04/18/2011GSMST students conquer the WorldQuest title (pdf)
04/18/2011Brookwood High’s Wetherington earns top science fellowship (pdf)
04/15/2011Meadowcreek HS students use skills to win national contest (pdf)
04/14/2011Six Gwinnett student artists take the national stage (pdf)
04/13/2011Three GCPS students honored for reading achievement (pdf)

General information on high school summer school registration...
Summer session is available for students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders who may take designated classes. All classes have a fee. Learn more about summer school on the GCPS website,
Face-to-Face Classes
Dates: June 14–July 13 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Locations: Central Gwinnett High, Mill Creek High, and Shiloh High
Register: Online registration (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) will be held May 9–June 7 at attending face-to-face classes also may register in person (cash or money order only) at Central Gwinnett High on June 4. All out-of-county students must register on June 4 at Central Gwinnett.
Online Classes
Dates: June 13–July 11 or 12 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Location: A reliable computer with an Internet connection (daily access required). Note: Final exams require face-to-face meeting. Some courses require materials pick-up June 8 or 9. Health, PE, and science classes require face-to-face meetings for labs and/or tests.
Register: Register online (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) at between May 9 and June 3.

Elementary and Middle School Summer School…
Elementary and middle school students who need more time and opportunity to learn will have that option during Gwinnett’s free Academic Summer School. Qualifying students in grades 3–8 would be recommended for the 15-day session if they have not met requirements for promotion to the next grade— passing required sections of the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8; or passing core classes for 6th graders. Participating students will take a retest at the end of summer school to determine placement for 2011–12. Students will attend summer classes Monday through Thursday for three weeks, starting June 20 and ending July 14, with July 4 as a holiday. Summer school students will not attend classes on Fridays. Parents of qualifying students will receive additional information from their student’s school later this spring.

April is National Poetry Month, School Library Media Month, and Occupational Therapy Month.

April 29 is National Arbor Day.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

May 1-7 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 11 is National School Nurse Day and Child Nutrition Employee Day.

May 16-20 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 19, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

May 25-27 is early release for high school final exams.

May 26 is a Snow make-up Day for January 12.

May 27 is a Snow make-up Day for January 14, and the last day of school.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools have been scheduled from May 23-May 30. Visit the GCPS website to view dates, times, and locations.

May 30 is memorial Day, a systemwide holiday.

The following schools will hold School Council meetings in April and May. Call the local school for the time and location.
Brookwood High
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Lanier High
Shiloh High
Woodward Mill Elementary
Anderson-Livsey Elementary
Arcado Elementary
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Couch Middle
Duluth High
Ferguson Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
GIVE Center East
Grayson High
Harbins Elementary
Head Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Jones Middle
Knight Elementary
Lanier Middle
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Mountain View High School
Norcross High
North Gwinnett Middle
Peachtree Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Shiloh High
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Taylor Elementary
Twin Rivers Middle
White Oak 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 2011 Homeschool Days-Gwinnett Through The YearsApril 26
2011 Adopt-A-Stream WorkshopApril 30
Civil War Book SigningMay 1
Homeschool Days-Westward We Go!May 3
Geology in Today’s WorldMay 3
Heritage Living SeriesMay 4
Let's Take A Closer Look...May 5
Biology 102May 6
Art In the Garden IIMay 6
It’s Your HouseMay 6
Our Shared Birds- The International Feathered TouristMay 7
Geology: History of the EarthMay 10
Heritage Living SeriesMay 11
Let's Take A Closer Look...May 12
Biology 102May 13