News You Can Use - 12/06/2010

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
12/06/2010 - 12/12/2010

Ivy Creek Elementary students will step back in time during the school’s annual Colonial Day on Dec. 4. As an extension of the Social Studies unit on the original 13 colonies, students will travel back in time through a day of colonial activities. Students will dress as colonial children, and rotate among classrooms as they enjoy an authentic taste of life in Colonial America. Activities will be hands-on and will include making butter, a toy, and stenciling paper. For more information, call Assistant Principal Tammy Glausier at 678-714-3655.

Enjoy music performed by the Duluth High Chorus and Mason Elementary students on Dec 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the annual lighting of the Duluth Tree on the town green. Santa will arrive in his sleigh with live reindeer to greet the children. Come roast some marshmallows and enjoy time with family and friends. There will also be music from the Duluth High Chorus in City Hall with Wassail and cookies after the tree is lit.

A Berkmar High video journalism class project will be part of a Lilburn Centennial event on Dec. 4. The historic preservation video for the Lilburn Centennial time capsule burial on Dec. 4. Last spring Teacher Jadd Jarusinski and City of Lilburn Mayor Diana Preston discussed videotaping Lilburn residents and others in preparation for a Lilburn Centennial video that would be part of the Time Capsule Burial. 22 participants of various ages and backgrounds that have a connection to Lilburn were included in the video. The end product captured the essence of what a cross section of Lilburn residents think about the past, present, and future of Lilburn. Participants were asked about their connection to Lilburn, their fondest memories and biggest change of the city, greatest accomplishments of Lilburn, and wish for Lilburn for the next 100 years. The video will be buried in the Time Capsule after the Christmas Parade. A celebration of the completion of the project will take place on Dec. 14 at Berkmar High at 10:30. For more information, call Ms. Preston at 678-230-9058.

GCPS and the Area II Gwinnett County Council of PTAs will present a College Fair for Students with Disabilities at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee on Dec. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session topics include Navigating and exploring financial options for college, Accommodations at the postsecondary level, Choosing a career path, and Preparing for college and organizing your college search. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit with College Admissions and Disability Services representatives from colleges across the state. For more information, contact the GCPS Department of Special Education and Psychological Services at 678-301-7138, or email Allison Vernon at allison_vernon or Keysha DuPont at keysha_dupont

Magill Elementary Principal Crystal Collins will play Mother Ginger in Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” on Dec. 5. “The Nutcracker” and all the tradition of dancing, music, magic and beautiful costumes will be performed at the Performing Arts Center on December 5 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit

North Gwinnett High’s French program, led by Teacher Rhonda Archer, has been recognized as an exemplary French Program and will host a teen from France through the new Academie Nancy-Metz - Georgia Department of Education French Partnership Program. In June, 2010, the Georgia Department of Education and the Academy Nancy-Metz signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a special program between the two regions with the intent to support the teaching and learning of the two languages and respective cultures; facilitate teacher exchanges associated with the project; promote administrator exchanges in order to facilitate a better knowledge of each educational system; and provide the teachers of Georgia and the Academy of Nancy-Metz the opportunity for professional learning opportunities. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Collins Hill High and Parkview High boys soccer teams earned the 2009-10 Team Academic Award sponsored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Collins Hill High team had a cumulative GPA of 3.31. Parkview High students had a cumulative GPA of 3.29. In addition Dominic Bonilla of Collins Hill High was named to the NSCAA All-South team. Ado Junuzovic from Dacula High and Walker Zimmerman of Brookwood High were named ESPN RISE All-Americans (3rd Team) for spring 2010. For more information, visit

On Dec. 7, former Atlanta Falcon’s football star Tim Green, author of “The Big Time” and “Football Genius,” will visit Sweetwater Middle students. Mr. Green will speak at a student assembly from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon with the school’s Readers’ Rally team. Mr. Green will share his message about the importance of reading and attending school. Mr. Green urges students to put school before sports and to think about success in terms of personal relationships and kindness rather than fortune and fame. During his visit, Mr. Green will also sign copies of his most recent title, “The Big Time.” For more information, visit Elizabeth Blackmon, Sweetwater Middle literacy coach, at 770-923-4131.

Duncan Creek Elementary 3rd grade students will take part in an afterschool skating program that runs through Dec 17. Skatetime will begin at 2:30 p.m. and take place in PE class in the gym. Students will learn the benefits of skating and increase their ability to skate. For more information, call Dayna Alkire, Duncan Creek Elementary teacher, at 678-714-5800.

The Nesbit Elementary Media Center will hosted the “Campout with a Good Book” reading event for grades K through 2nd, on Dec.2. Students and parent read books in tents or shared books on the computer using the online ebook program Bookflixs. In addition, students watched the program Reader’s Theater and had an opportunity to participate in activities using puppets. The featured stories were “Chicken Little” and “Aaaarrgghh! Spider!” For more information, call 770-414-2740.

Maxwell High School of Technology SkillsUSA officers delivered Christmas gifts to families in need for the holiday season. Students collected and wrapped donations of money and gifts for children sponsored by the Quinn House in Lawrenceville. For more information call Brett Pendley, Career Technical Instruction Coordinator, at 770-338-4829.

Duluth High will perform a Chorus Winter Concert on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The concert will take place in the school theater. For more information, call 770-963-1110.

Alcova Elementary will host a holiday concert on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. In addition to the concert, a 48 foot community mural will be unveiled. With the hard work of fifth grade students and art teacher, Sarah Erickson, the 12 wooden panels depicting the school district, a picture of Alcova Elementary, and the school motto surrounded by silhouettes of students have been created. For more information, call Assistant Principal Maureen Pond at 678-376-8500.

Mill Creek High will host a Reindeer Run and breakfast on Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. The race will begin at the Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church. The entry fee is $20 before Dec. 1 and $25 after Dec. 1. This fee includes a T-shirt. Registration may be done online or by mail, or on the day of the race. There will be awards for different age groups of racers. Following the race a pancake breakfast with Santa will take place at the church. Tickets are $5. The events will benefit the Kiwanis Club and the American Cancer Society.
For more information visit

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
12/01/2010Army JROTC and JLC at Norcross Cluster (pdf)
11/30/2010College Board: perfect scores for Brookoowd HS and Norcross HS students (pdf)
11/23/2010GCPS special needs students to explore college options (pdf)
11/22/2010Top national finishes for Duluth High Geography students (pdf)
11/19/2010Knox appointed to lead Head Elementary (pdf)

“The Bill of Rights - Colonial Williamsburg” The Bill of Rights protects individual freedoms, but what if the government had too much power and there was no such thing as the Bill of Rights? Explore an alternate reality in which individual rights are limited and life is very different. This 60 minute program airs Dec. 6-11 at 1 p.m.

“Meet the Author - Firoozeh Dumas” “Funny in Farsi” is a humorous look at Firoozeh Dumas’ family members as they adapt to life in America. Growing out of her collection of essays for her children, Dumas’ first book records the Iranian family’s immigrant experience. Her engineer father, her elegant mother, and the author, herself, offer a unique look at American customs that can be confusing to an outsider. The winner of the National Council for the Social Studies 2008 Spirit of America Award, “Funny in Farsi” is used by communities throughout the U.S. to help promote cultural understanding. This 30 min. program airs Dec. 6-12 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Tambuco Percussion Ensemble” One of the finest percussion quartets of today, Tambuco Percussion performs a wide assortment of music styles, ranging from structured percussion music to ethnic drum music and avant-garde sound interpretation. Using percussion instruments from bongos to vibraphones, this talented ensemble demonstrates the unique sounds of their instruments, discusses the culture and traditions of Mexico as expressed through music, and performs original compositions inspired by the popular and folk music idioms of Mexico. This 60 minute program airs Dec. 6-11 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--

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December 15-17 is early release for high school exams.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., December 16, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

December 20-31 is Winter Break for schools.

January 3 is a Teacher Planning/Staff Development, student holiday.

Students return to school on January 4.

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

Alford Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood High
Camp Creek Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Ferguson Elementary
Five Forks Middle
Harbins Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Jones Middle
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Norcross Elementary
Parsons Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Shiloh Middle
South Gwinnett High
Starling Elementary
Stripling Elementary
Taylor 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.

Ongoing through Dec. 18 Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA): Beyond Bricks & Sticks

Green Your Holiday
Green Living Kids: Where's The Waste
GLS: Waste Management & Reduction
Gingerbread House Winners Announced

Green Holiday Crafts

Green Holiday Crafts
Long Nights' Moon Hike

Green Holiday Crafts

Wonders of Winter Wildlife