News You Can Use - 09/18/2006

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
09/18/2006 - 09/24/2006

Pat Blenke, Duluth High principal, has been appointed chairperson of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility appeals committee. The committee is made up of several college and local school system personnel from around the nation and hears appeals for the NCAA clearing house committee. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Jennifer Lawrence, Brookwood High teacher and an advisor for the school’s Future Educators Association (FEA) club, is credited with pioneering the first FEA Honor Society. Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International has taken up the initiative, creating an International FEA Honor Society. The Honor Society offers students a means to take their participation to a higher level by meeting rigorous criteria. For more information, visit

Through competitive audition, 144 GCPS students have been selected for the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Kendall Orchestra for 2006-07. For more information, contact Robert Andrews, Fine Arts director, at 678-301-7015. For a complete list of students, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

Recently, Duluth High Navy JROTC instructor Gunny Sergeant Scott Bargar ran with student cadets Michelle Lanford and Callie Palmer in the Duluth 3.1 mile marathon earning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in their respective divisions.

The Duluth High competitive cheerleading squad, Cats Live as Winners (CLAW), won first place at the Apalachee Cheerleading Competition. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Beginning in September, Duluth High will extend the operating hours of the school’s media center to 6 p.m. on Thursdays for Wildcat Study Time. Students may use computers, study, and work in groups, and complete classroom projects with the help of media staff. The media center opens at 6:45 a.m. each school day. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Mill Creek High will host a visit from award-winning author Jackie Hardrick on Sept. 29. Ms. Hardrick will visit with small groups of students in the media center, and be available for book signings after school. For more information on this author, visit For more information, call Patricia Lowrie at 678-714-5850.

The public is invited to “Soak Up the Science” at the Sept. 30 Open House for the new Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Performers include the Dacula High Chamber Choir, Skillet Lickers Bluegrass Band, the Gwinnett Choral Guild, and the Clog Squad. There will also be Critters, Cooters, and Creatures Storytime and a Reptile Demonstration. For more information, visit

The Duluth High Media Department is planning an Internet Safety Night for parents and students in the Duluth Cluster on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the theater. A panel of local officials and school personnel will discuss safety issues associated with student Internet use. Panel members include Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, Duluth Police Officer Scott Parrish, Duluth school resource officer Tony Williams, Duluth High media specialists Dr. Marsha Hunter and Paula Flageolle, and Principal Pat Blenke. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Berkmar High invites alumni, staff, and friends to help celebrate the school's 40th Anniversary Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 13. All are invited to attend a pre-game reception in the Main Lobby of the school at 5:30 p.m. and then gather on the field for a Parade of Classes at 7 p.m. RSVP to the school by calling 770-921-3636 or respond on the school's website.

A Berkmar High community celebration is on the schedule for Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. Interested alumni are gathering regularly to plan the event. Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Berkmar High Media Center on these Tuesdays: Sept. 19 and 26; Oct. 3, 10, and 24; and Nov. 7. The planning committee is looking for memorabilia to be part of the “Berkmar over Time” display. For more information, call Diana Preston at 770-921-3636, or visit

Recently the Peachtree Ridge Foundation donated $20,000 to the Peachtree Ridge High School Capital Improvement Fund. The award was presented to Dr. Steve Flynt, principal. The foundation supports arts, academics, and athletics in schools in the Peachtree Ridge Cluster. For more information, visit

Ivy Creek Elementary commemorated the 5th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Grade-level assemblies were held and students wore red, white, and blue clothing for the Freedom March around the track.

“ArtStage – Tapestry” Join GCPS TV for a virtual tour of the 2006 Tapestry Art Exhibit, featuring exemplary student artwork from schools across Gwinnett County. Tune in and be inspired by our talented students. This 60-min. program airs Sept. 18-23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This program, a valuable language resource and learning opportunity, is now airing on GCPS TV. The 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially to the needs of educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday–Sunday, through Nov. 19 (A new class will air each week, beginning on Monday.)

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through Oct. 31 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon to 4 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-6460, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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

09/08/2006Central Gwinnett High student navigates to top spot (pdf)
09/12/2006Osborne Middle encourages Hispanic parental involvement (pdf)
09/13/2006Peachtree Ridge High to host Korean community night (pdf)
09/13/2006Gwinnett students up for prestigious scholarship (pdf)
09/14/2006Gwinnett to share its tools for success with “Corporate America” (pdf)

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Sept. 14, 2006, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

Constitution Week begins Sept. 17.

Citizenship Day is Sept. 17.

Georgia School Bus Safety Week begins Sept. 18.

Juniors will take the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test on Sept. 27.

Instructional Materials Review runs Oct. 2-31. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials. This review covers instructional materials for social studies for grades 6–12. The review begins on Oct. 2 and runs through Oct. 31. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center, Building 200 Lobby, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee, or at the Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building, located at 40 Hope Hollow Road in Loganville. For information on the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson at 678-301-7011.
Instructional Support Center:
Monday–Friday, Oct. 2–31, 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.

Grayson HS Technical Education Program Building:
Monday–Friday, Oct. 2–31, 7 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12 and 26, 5–8 p.m.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during September. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Camp Creek Elementary
Duncan Creek Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Parkview High
Riverside Elementary
W.C. Britt Elementary