News You Can Use - 10/19/2009

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
10/19/2009 - 10/25/2009

Rock Springs Elementary will dedicate the Zane Zone science lab Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Funds for this lab were donated by the Zane Collins Foundation. Zane was a former student at Rock Springs Elementary who passed away in an accident. He loved science and he loved Rock Springs Elementary. His parents, through the foundation, donated $5,000, matched by Publix, for the start up of a Science Lab at Rock Springs. Zane Zone will officially open for students on Oct. 19. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Both Centerville Elementary PTA and Sweetwater Middle PTA received a Healthy Lifestyle Grant from the National PTA, the only two schools in the state of Georgia to be given the $1,000 grant to support a healthy lifestyle initiative. More than 250 schools from 43 different states applied for the grant. At Centerville, the money will be used for a special event with the PTA dads W.A.T.C.H.D.O.G. group during the month of November and will also be used to purchase basketball equipment for the physical education department.

Central Gwinnett High earned regional honors in the Governor’s Cup Challenge with SAT improvement. A regional champion trophy and a $1,000 grant were also awarded to high schools with the largest numerical improvement in SAT scores among schools in their GHSA region. For more information, call 770-963-8041.

Berkeley Lake Elementary was recently featured in the Fall 2009 edition of the Berkeley Lake Home Owners Association newsletter. The article highlighted the academic achievements of students and also recognized the cooperative effort of the Berkeley Lake community. Together the Berkeley Lake government, parents, citizens, and school are working to improve the education, safety, and environment of the Berkeley Lake area.

Grayson High has been awarded a Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) grant to enhance the existing SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Chapter. The Grayson GOHS/SADD Chapter will organize and sponsor several activities during the grant period which includes Red Ribbon Week. The week begins on Oct. 19 with a ‘click it or ticket’ event after school. Gwinnett County Police Department members will be onsite after school. A Chick-fil-A cow will hand out sandwich coupons to students who are buckled. The Drive Smart Expo on Oct. 21 will include the DUI taskforce golf cart with students trying to maneuver cones, a life flight helicopter, members of the fire department, and a roll over car demonstration. Health classes will use information from Georgia Teen Safe Driving Week at the beginning of classes. For more information, call Carol Call, SADD co-sponsor at 770-554-1071.

Shiloh High School will celebrate Teen Read Week Oct. 19-23 with many activities at the school. A Scholastic Book Fair will take place throughout the week, showcasing teen titles. Students will have an opportunity to have lunch with the authors of “The Faire Folk Trilogy—Tree Shepherd’s Daughter, Into the Wildewood, and The Secret of the Dread Forest.” For more information, call 770-972-8471.

Puckett's Mill Elementary celebrates Red Ribbon Week Oct. 26-30 with the theme “Drug Free, the Healthy Way to Be.”
  • County Police Officer Eric Rooks will help kick off the week of activities by visiting the school on Oct. 26 welcoming students as they arrive and explaining the importance of this week on the school’s morning news show. All students will sign a pledge banner that will be displayed in the hallway.
  • Classes will decorate posters and hang them outside the classrooms for judging on Oct. 27.
  • Officer Eric Rooks, Fire Station 18, and Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks will join students at 1:45 p.m. for a Red Ribbon parade on the school grounds on Oct. 28. Students will wear red.
  • Students will be given red ribbons to wear and student essays will be read on the morning news show on Oct 29. Red ribbons will be handed out to all parents driving through the car rider line.
  • Classes from each grade level that won the poster contest will be recognized with a pizza snack on Oct. 30.
For more information, call Counselors Heather Heigl or Ginna Smith at 678-765-5110.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host the 2nd annual Math night on Oct. 27, to coincide with the Scholastic Book Fair. For more information about Math Night, please contact Peg Gonzalez, math coordinator at 770-446-0947.

The Duluth High Theater has scheduled the following performances for the 2009-10 school year. For more information, call Gwyn Jones, theater director, at 770-476-5206, or email
Oct. 22 and 23 “Heart’s Desire” A One-Act Comedy by Caryl Churchill
Nov. 12 and 13 “30/60” 30 plays in 60 minutes! (Yes! 30 plays in 60 minutes)
Nov. 20 and 21 “The Wizard of Children’s Theatre for the whole family in one-act Wonderland”
Feb. 18 and 19 “30/60” 30 plays in 60 minutes!
March 25– 28 “Grease” The fabulous 50’s Rock’n’Roll Musical
April 29 and 30 “Fools” Neil Simon’s Hilarious full-length Comedy

Patrick Elementary will observe National Fire Prevention Month by hosting a breakfast to honor Gwinnett Fire Fighters. Patrick Elementary was named after Bobby Patrick, a former fighter who gave his life in the line of duty. This year’s breakfast will be held on Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. in the school cafe. Students and staff members will share information about the school with the fire fighters. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials, including textbooks for nine new/updated high school courses in the areas of science, mathematics, health, and technical education. The review will run through Oct. 30. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center in the Building 200 Lobby. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) holds an extensive review before adopting instructional materials for classroom use. The directors of Science, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, and Technical Education convened committees to select materials to consider for adoption from those submitted by publishers. The materials were reviewed for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review process, materials are piloted in GCPS classrooms. Data from the reviews and pilots will be considered in making textbook adoption recommendations to the Board of Education in early 2010. For more about the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson in the Instructional Materials Office at 678-301-6831.
Review Dates and Hours
Monday–Friday, through Oct. 30, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 22, 5–8 p.m.

Meadowcreek High culinary arts students were selected to demonstrate their skills in an exhibition at the Taste of Atlanta food festival. For more information, call Semurial Gilmore at 770-381-9680.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
10/08/2009Gwinnett makes a slam-dunk with nutrition education (pdf)
10/06/2009GCPS nutrition professionals participate in culinary training (pdf)

“Colonial Williamsburg - Emissaries of Peace” During the turbulent era of the French and Indian War, the Cherokee people struggled to preserve their independence. Follow Cherokee leader Ostenaco and Virginian Henry Timberlake on their 1762 journey from Chota (the capital of the Cherokee nation) to Williamsburg and London in search of a lasting peace. This 60-minute program airs Oct. 19-25 at 10 a.m.

“Meet the Author: Rosemary Wells” Author and illustrator Rosemary Wells, best known for her classic children’s characters Max, Ruby, Timothy, and Noisy Nora, has written a wonderfully complex novel for young adult readers. “Red Moon at Sharpsburg” focuses on a young girl from Virginia named India Moody who dreams of attaining a higher education at a time when only one college in the country would accept women students. India’s strength of character is tested as she deals with the harsh realities of the Civil War and its impact on her small rural town. During the program, students visit the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. There they talk to re-enactors and find out what life was like for a soldier during the Civil War. In addition, Rosemary Wells answers questions from students about her childhood, writing historical fiction, the Civil War, and being an illustrator and writer. This 30-min. program airs Oct. 19-25 at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part GCPS TV original series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, and parent-teacher conferences. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through Dec. 13 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

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 Web
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 ( to check out the e-News archives.

GCPS will hold several dedication celebrations at new schools throughout the fall. Dates are listed below.
  • Oct. 25– Woodward Mill Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Dyer Elementary (3 p.m.)
  • Nov.1– Starling Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Couch Middle (3 p.m.)

Oct. 12-16 is National School Lunch Week.

Oct. 18-24 is Teen Read Week.

Oct. 19 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Oct. 19-23 if Georgia School Bus Safety Week and National School Bus Safety Week.

Oct. 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Oct.31 is Halloween.

Nov. 1-30 is American Indian Heritage Month.

Standard Time begins Nov. 1.

Nov. 1-7 is National Occupations Student Organization (HOSA) Week.

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

Archer High School
Brookwood High
Craig Elementary
Duluth High
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Peachree Ridge High

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.- 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.