News You Can Use - 03/11/2013

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
03/11/2013 - 03/17/2013

Gwin Oaks Elementary will host a Reading Extravaganza on March 8 with the help of the school’s community partner. Cannon United Methodist Church collected and will donate two books to each student. Volunteer readers from the Brookwood Cluster include Brookwood High Principal Debra Dees and Five Forks Middle Principal Peggy Goodman. Guest readers will visit classrooms and hand distribute a book to each student. For more information, call Gwin Oaks music teacher Claire Collins at 770-792-3110.

Shiloh High DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) student Treigh Sprouse placed 1st in Principles of Finance at the State Career Development Conference. Competition begins at the local level and advances to regional, state, and international levels. Students have the opportunity to compete in several competitions including written events, interviews, role-plays, case studies, as well as individual and team presentations. Top scoring participants will represent the state association in the international competition to be held as a part of the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, CA, on April 24-27. For more information, call 770-972-8471.

Two GCPS students advance to semifinals for the U.S. Physics team. Mike Wang of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology and Anchen Yao of Parkview High competed with 4,500 students trying to solve a Fnet=ma physics problem. Based on those scores, 406 students were named semifinalists and tapped for the second round of testing. These two students are among just five semifinalists from Georgia. The semifinalists will participate in a test this month to determine the 20 members of the U.S. Physics Team, which will be announced in April. The team members will take part in a training camp in May, which will determine the five students and one alternate who will represent the U.S. at the International Physics Olympiad in Denmark this summer. For more information, call Marilyn Gardner, American Association of Physics Teachers at 301-209-3306 or

Madeleyne Vaca of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology is among the 35 female high-school student honorees recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Bank of America as winners of the 2013 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, an award designed to increase the number of women pursuing careers in computing and technology. The 35 national winners were selected from among more than 1,800 applicants representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas military bases. Each Award-winner will receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, an engraved award both for her and her school, and mentoring opportunities with Bank of America employees. The young women will be honored at a Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Showcase & Awards Ceremony on March 9 in Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit

Eleven GCPS students presented scientific research at the Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium. The Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium is a program in which high school students present original scientific research orally in front of judges and observers. Students of Collins Hill High teacher Tara Termes include Tyler Adams, Raheela Charania, Hannah Dykes, Ryan Hawks, Melanie Lee, Prachi Patel, Mindy Ross, and Aksal Vashi. Students of teacher Susan Kramer of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology include Willie Jin and Woo In Lee. Gaelle Teyssier is a student of Jennifer Berry of Peachtree Ridge High. For more information, visit

Snellville Middle is planning a Career Day for students on March 15. More than a dozen community professionals and organizations will participate in the event including Eastside Medical Center and the Snellville Police Department. In addition to Career Day, a Job Fair for parents and community members will be held March 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Representatives from Eastside Medical Center, the Snellville Police Department, and Walton EMC will be in attendance. Both events will be held at the school. For more information, call 770-972-1530.

Shiloh Elementary will hold a Relay Walk-A-Thon on March 15 to honor a school custodian who passed away. Students will walk laps during throughout the day while listening to music. Students who bring in a $5 donation will get a visor and the number of laps completed will be marked on the visor. The entire school will gather outside on the lower field to present a plaque to the daughter of the custodian at 1:45 p.m. A tree will be planted at the school in her honor. After the presentation, students will enjoy cake at the school. For more information, call 770-985-6883.

GCPS will hold its annual Transition Fair on March 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students with disabilities, their families and educators will receive information about community services, resources, and assistance for transitioning to adulthood. Participants include representation in the areas of employment support, residential services, day programs, recreation, and leisure, among others. In addition, participants can attend breakout sessions to increase their knowledge on the topics of Medicaid Waivers, Social Security Benefits, Financial and Estate Planning, Guardianship options, and Employment Support Options. In addition, participants may attend a special session with young adults from the program, Empowering Our Youth, as they lead a panel and discussion about self-awareness and self-advocacy for people with disabilities. For more information, call 678-301-7121 or email or

The 8th annual Gwinnett County Readers Rally competition will be held on March 16 with more than 100 schools participating in the county’s largest reading event. Sixty elementary schools, 26 middle schools, and 15 high schools will converge at Berkmar High to compete against other schools at their level. Semifinalists will move on to vie for the championship titles on March 21, at GCPS’ Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee. High school students read from the 20 Georgia Peach Award books, middle school students read from the 20 Georgia Book Award books, and 4th and 5th graders read from a hand-selected list of 15 books compiled by the Readers Rally Committee for the elementary schools. More than a 1,000 people will be in attendance for the 2013 Readers Rally competition, including contestants, coaches, spectators and volunteers. The elementary opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and the middle and high school students will go straight to competition beginning at 10 a.m. For more information contact Jennifer Helfrich of GCPS Media and Information Services, at 678-301-6461.

Chattahoochee Elementary Family Science Night is scheduled for March 21. Students and their families will have the opportunity to participate in science demonstrations the on physics of roller coasters, the state of matter of OObleck, how to use a microscope, the science behind pop rockets, animal classification, and much more. The Elachee Nature Center will set up the Star Lab and Telescope Center near the gym. Science Club members will guide families through the event. In addition, the 2nd Annual Family Science Fair will be taking place. All entries will be awarded ribbons and medals. For more information, call the school at 770-497-9907.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will celebrate 30 years of Excellence in Education. The faculty and staff invite the community to a Canvas Dedication commemorating 30 years of excellence on March 22 at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. For more information and to RSVP, contact by March 15.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a 2nd annual GCPS College and Career Education Fair on April 4 from 4 to 7 p.m., open to all GCPS high schools. College and Career Education prepares students for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities. Students learn core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in daily activities; employability skills such as critical thinking and responsibility that are essential in any career area; and job-specific, technical skills related to a specific career pathway. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Cooper Elementary will sponsor a Career Fair in the gym on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Brandy Bortak, school counselor, at 770-554-7386.

Simon’s Fund, a Philadelphia-based non-profit, is funding heart screens for 300 Gwinnett middle and high school students in an event on April 7 at the offices of the Cardiovascular Group in Lawrenceville. The free screenings look for undetected heart conditions through an ECG exam and a physical. If needed, students will receive an echo cardiogram, and may be referred to a cardiologist for follow-up. Based on past screenings, one out of every 100 students will discover an undetected heart condition. Registration opens March 6 online at Participation is limited to 300 students. Students and their families must complete paperwork as part of the registration process. For more information, visit Simon Fund at

The Greater Gwinnett Championship, the county’s new Champions Tour golf tourney, is scheduled for April 15-21 at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The tournament will benefit a number of local charities, including the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund. This 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. The event will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. To purchase tickets or volunteer for Greater Gwinnett Championship, visit
Registration is going now for the 4th Annual GCPS “I See A Cure” Relay for Life 5K Run/Walk scheduled for April 27 at 8 a.m. GCPS is the largest supporter of Gwinnett Relay for Life. This event is a great opportunity for GCPS employees, faculty, and students, as well as the community, to support this important cause. Participants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag, and participate in a pre-race warm-up to live music at the 200 building of the Instructional Support Center (ISC). Raffle prizes and age group awards will be presented. The school or team with the most participants will be recognized at the awards presentation. Visit to register. If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 or Diane Cribb at 678-301-6121. Visit for more information.

Call the local school for more information.
Brookwood High
Teacher: Ken and Patty Lindahl
Name of Event: Blithe Spirit
March 6, 7, 8; Brookwood High School; 7 p.m.

Berkeley Lake Elementary
Music Teacher: Andra Burt
March 12; K-2 Concert; 6:30 in cafeteria
March 22; Berkeley Lake Celebrates 30 years;. 6 p.m.; cafeteria
A group of 35 fifth grade students will sing one song for this event

Meadowcreek High
Teacher: Richelle N. Kirkland
Name of Event: Student Choreography Concert
Date: March 15; 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Meadowcreek High Theater

Mill Creek High
Name of Event: “Annie”
Date: March 15, 16, 17 (Sunday Matinee) March 22 & 23
Time: 7 p.m., (Sunday Matinee) 3 p.m.

Five Forks Middle
Teacher: Alaina Morris
Name of Event: Teacher Appreciation Coffee House
Date: March 19
Location: Five Forks cafeteria
Time: 8:15 a.m.

Dyer Elamentary
Teacher: Sherry Coulombe & Krista Sheppard
Name of Event: Fine Arts Night
Date: March 21
Location: Dyer ES...Music is in the Gym and Art is in the Cafeteria
Time: Begins at 6 p.m.

Central Gwinnett High
Teacher: Lisa Bell
Name of Event: West Side Story
Date: March 21-23
Location: Central Gwinnett High Theater, 564 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville
Time: March 21, 3 p.m., March 22 and 23, 7 p.m.

Brookwood High
Name of Event: The Crucible
Date: March 21, 22, and 23
Location: School
Time: 7 p.m.

Berkmar High Theater
Teacher: Director: Simone Forbes & Vocal Director: Alison Crossman
Name of Event: Once on This Island Jr

Date: March 22 & 23
Time: 7 p.m.

Lilburn Middle Mustang Theatre Spring Production
Name of Event: Elementary Honor Chorus
Date: March 23, 2013
Location: Hebron Baptist Church, Dacula
Time: 3 p.m.

Alcova, Dacula and Mulberry elementary schools; Dacula Middle and Dacula High
Teachers: Beth Warzon, Karen Leamon, Carrie Thompson, Ashley Wells, James Williams

Name of Event: Dacula Cluster Choral Concert – “We Are One”
Date: March 26, 2013
Location: Hebron Church, Dacula, GA
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Lilburn Middle
Teacher: Diane Rust
Name of Event: Dear Edwina
Date: March 26-27, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Duluth High Chorus will finish out the year with performances on April 19 and 20 in the auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Students will perform the variety show “Peach Jam” for the community. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Tapestry 2013 will be held for three weeks at the Gwinnett County Public Schools Instructional Support Center (ISC) with opening nights on March 4, March 13 and March 25 at 6 p.m. During the display dates, the ISC will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday - Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday; and 1–6 p.m. on Sunday. Call the Fine Arts Office at (678) 301-7015 for more information.
Tapestry Week 1 (March 2-7)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 1: Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, and South Gwinnett clusters and Phoenix HS
  • Opening Night: March 4, 6–7:30 p.m.
Tapestry Week 2 (March 13-18)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 2: Grayson, Lanier, Mountain View, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh clusters, and GIVE Centers
  • Opening Night: March 13, 6–7:30 p.m.
Tapestry Week 3 (March 21-26)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3: Archer, Brookwood, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, and Norcross clusters, GSMST, and Oakland Meadow School
  • Opening Night: March 25, 6–7:30 p.m.

The Georgia Department of Education is collecting public comments on proposed foundational courses for the new Career Clusters/Pathways through March 25. Parents, business leaders, community members, students, and school system staff are encouraged to review the proposed courses and complete an online questionnaire. Those wishing to review more than one foundational course are asked to complete an online questionnaire for each reviewed course. This curriculum is designed to provide essential, industry-based knowledge and skills for Georgia’s students as they navigate toward greater college and career success. The online survey will be open through March 25. ( ) For more information, and/or concerns regarding this questionnaire, please contact Dwayne Hobbs, Program Manager,

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) offers high school students two ways to learn for credit this summer.
  • Face-to-face summer classes (June 11–July 10) will be offered at three locations— Archer, Lanier, and Meadowcreek high schools. Online registration is now open for face-to-face classes. Students may register online ( for face-to-face summer classes through June 3, or register in person on May 30 at Meadowcreek High. Find course offerings and frequently asked questions on the face-to-face summer school website. (
  • Online summer classes (June 10–July 8) will be offered through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). Registration for online classes will open March 1. (Find course offerings and frequently asked questions online, along with registration information on the GOC website

Dates for GCPS 2013 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 have been set. Students may attend a 15-day session with no classes on Fridays. The first day of class is June 10, and last day is July 3. Summer school will not be provided at every school, due to maintenance and construction at some schools and plans for combined “cluster” summer school sites. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school sessions at a later date.
  • Parents of eligible students will be notified that their student may participate in the free session and given specifics about location and hours.
  • Most summer school sites will not offer transportation. Those schools with additional federal funding to offer transportation will notify parents regarding availability.
  • The free academic summer school is for students who were not successful on tests required for promotion or who did not meet promotion criteria at their grade level.
  • Students are given an opportunity to retake the CRCT subtest(s) at the end of summer school in order to meet promotion criteria and earn promotion to the next grade.

In partnership with Invent Now, Gwinnett County is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention program for students entering grades one through six this summer. This weeklong adventure in creativity immerses children in imaginative play that reinforces and supplements school-year learning in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Students work together to seek innovative solutions to real-world challenges and sharpen learning skills such as teamwork and creative problem solving as they rotate through four modules each day. The camp runs from June 10-14. Dr. Gloria Elliott will direct the Camp Invention Geo-Quest program at Shiloh Elementary. Local educators will facilitate program modules, and high school and college students will serve as Leadership Interns. Register on or before March 28 for a $25 discount off the $225 tuition. Register online using Camp Code: C-GA22-11352-13 for a $195 tuition. Every registration includes a free Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800-968-4332 to register.

GCPS has made several enhancements to the student portal. Responding to the most requested feature enhancement, GCPS added student access to grades and drill down specifics on assignments in a new “My Grades” tab on the MYeCLASS student portal. Parents also are encouraged to sign up for the go2 Parent Portal, which serves as a valuable online resource for information about their child and his or her academic career, safely and securely, anytime from anyplace. Learn more about both portals on the GCPS website.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a four day technical education summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders (current middle school students) on June 3- 6 from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will explore careers in programs such as: Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Early Childhood Ed.–Babysitting Certification, Flash 2-D Game Animation, GA Pre-K Early Childhood Ed – Counselor, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare Science, Law and Justice, and Welding. All camp programs are led by GCPS instructors assisted by enthusiastic high school student aides. The camp fee is $80 and is non-refundable. Registration runs March 4 to May 3 at
All forms must be completed before registration is complete. Each program must have a minimum of 10 students to be offered. For more information, call Sherri Stephenson at 678-518-6630 or Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603.

The Manilow Music Project will partner with Gwinnett County Public Schools to collect instruments to benefit music programs in the district’s schools. Singer and songwriter Barry Manilow initiated the instrument drive by donating a Yamaha piano to GCPS. Mr. Manilow will perform at a concert at the Gwinnett Center on April 27. Music lovers who donate new or gently used instruments will receive two tickets to the show, while supplies last. Instruments may be dropped off at the Center box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and after noon on weekend days with an event at the Center. More than 97,000 K-12 Gwinnett students are enrolled in music programs. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Gwinnett Center box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Berkmar Middle recently gave 8th grade students a tour of Maxwell High School of Technology. Students toured the campus and learned about more than a dozen technical programs at Maxwell High. During the hour-long tour, students had the opportunity to see classes in session and ask questions of the students and instructors. In addition, students spoke with representatives from Berkmar High about academics, athletics, and extra-curricular options. For more information, call 770-638-2300.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/07/2013Transition Fair to help families of students with special needs (pdf)
03/07/2013Brittney Reese of Berkmar High named 2013 Technical Education Student of the Year (pdf)
03/01/2013BOE names new COO (pdf)
02/28/2013Gwinnett students exhibit talent and skills during 2013 Tapestry Display (pdf)

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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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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Call the local school for time and location.
Archer High School18-Mar
Benefield Elementary28-Mar
Berkeley Lake Elementary26-Mar
Buice School22-Mar
Burnette ES26-Mar
Camp Creek Elementary22-Mar
Central Gwinnett High21-Mar
Chesney Elementary15-Mar
Collins Hill High12-Mar
Cooper Elementary4-Apr
Couch Middle15-Mar
Crews Middle21-Mar
Dacula High15-Mar
Duncan Creek Elementary28-Mar
Five Forks Middle27-Mar
Harbins Elementary14-Mar
Harmony Elementary28-Mar
Harris Elementary21-Mar
Hull Middle26-Mar
Ivy Creek Elementary28-Mar
Jackson Elementary14-Mar
Jones Middle14-Mar
Kanoheda Elementary28-Mar
Lanier Middle19-Mar
Level Creek Elementary26-Mar
Mason Elementary3-15 and 3-26
Minor Elementary28-Mar
Moore Middle School29-Mar
Norcross High14-Mar
North Gwinnett High28-Mar
Osborne Middle15-Mar
Parsons Elementary3/7 and 3/26
Peachree Ridge High26-Mar
Peachtree Elementary15-Mar
Puckett's Mill Elementary28-Mar
Riverside Elementary26-Mar
Rock Springs Elementary28-Mar
Simonton Elementary14-Mar
Simpson Elementary22-Mar
Snellville Middle21-Mar
South Gwinnett High21-Mar
Starling Elementary15-Mar
Sugar Hill Elementary28-Mar
Suwanee Elementary28-Mar
Sweetwater Middle28-Mar
Sycamore Elementary3-21, 3-26
Taylor Elementary22-Mar
Walnut Grove Elementary21-Mar
White Oak Elementary20-Mar
Winn Holt Elementary27-Mar

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., February 28, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

March is Music in our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month®, Women in History Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 10-16 is Girl Scout Week.

March 11 is a student holiday and planned furlough day.

March 12 is Girl Scout Sabbath.

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day and Camp Fire USA Birthday.

The first day of spring is March 20.

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

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.