News You Can Use - 05/07/2012

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
05/07/2012 - 05/13/2012

Roberts Elementary will host an Arts and Science Night on May 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Activities include student-made art on display and available for purchase, an “Art Beyond Borders” display to showcase various artists from around the world, science fair displays, experimental demonstrations, a choral performance, and orchestra students playing strings throughout the building during the event. For more information, call 678-745-2370.

Artwork from 12 GCPS high school visual arts students has been accepted for the Jay Shapiro Arts Legacy Foundation Show and will be displayed at a reception in their honor. Winning students attend Brookwood (1), Mill Creek (3), Norcross High (4), and North Gwinnett High (4) and will receive scholarships from the Jay Shapiro Arts Legacy Foundation. The reception will be held at Mason Murer Gallery (199 Armour Dr., Atlanta, GA 30324) on May 3 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The GCPS Foundation Fund will present the 2012 Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame fundraiser for World Class Schools at the Gwinnett Braves Stadium on May 5 at 6 p.m. Gwinnett County’s best athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sponsorships are available by calling 678-301-7287, or by visiting

Gwinnett DFCS will sponsor a 2nd Annual Foster Care Awareness Celebration on May 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 33 South Clayton St., Lawrenceville. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Elaine Cannick, Resource Development Supervisor, at 770-339-2370.

Shiloh High will dedicate the “Tom Marley” Fieldhouse during an openhouse on May 6, at 3 p.m. The fieldhouse is located behind the Community Stadium at the Bethany Church Rd. entrance. Parents and community members wishing to attend should RSVP to Katherine_Watkin, or call 678-344-2440 or 678-344-2300.

South Gwinnett High senior Jha’nai Richardson will have her work included in a “Bullying” anthology, released in May and sold on The release party will be May 3 in Massachusetts. Jha'nai, was visiting family in Massachusetts and heard about the program. She submitted her own entry. For more information, visit

Dacula High mathematics teacher and baseball coach Jack Lowry was honored as Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gwinnett County Dugout Club. For more information, call 963-6664.

Four GCPS students and an educator were recently honored by the Sports Champions of Greater Atlanta. This organization honors high school seniors who have shown outstanding performance in athletics, achieved a high level of excellence in academics, and have shown good character by representing their team and school in mind, body, and spirit. In addition, coaches who have compiled an extraordinary record in producing championship teams and have also shown outstanding leadership ability in helping to develop good character among young athletes. Founded in 2002, the organization has contributed more than $215,000 to metro Atlanta high school athletic departments. The following GCPS athletes and coaches were recognized by the Sports Champions of Greater Atlanta.
Tabitha Banks, Parkview High (Diving)
Brice Croxton, North Gwinnett High (Gwinnett Heat - handball, basketball and football)
Huyen Nguyen, Meadowcreek High (Swimming)
William Searcy, Dacula High (Basketball)
Bill Holleman, Peachtree Ridge High (Athletic Director and Coach)

Maxwell High School of Technology students received scholarships from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (ICAR). William Anderson received a $9,000 scholarship and will study collision repair. Angel Cardenas received a $2,000 study tool grant sponsored by ABRA Collision Centers and ICAR. The Atlanta ICAR committee will visit the school on May 8 at 9 present the awards. In addition, an ABRA National Recruiting Manager will visit on May 9 at 9 a.m. For more information, call Teacher Butch Luther at 770-963-6838.

GCPS support staff members Jody Reeves, Director of Technical Education - Computer Science & Work-Based Learning, and Christopher Wells, Director of Information Technology Policies & Communications, have been selected to serve on the National Council on Digital Citizenship (NDCD). Comprised of approximately 50 education leaders from across the country, the NCDC is supported by Microsoft in partnership with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and Topics Education. In its third year, the NCDC is leading the effort to help K-12 school systems successfully address digital citizenship as a vital 21st century skill. For more information, call Christopher Wells at 678-301-6510.

GCPS tied for 8th place as one of the top 10 School Districts in the Nation honored for the use of Technology by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education, the National School Boards Association, and The survey showcases exemplary school boards’ and districts’ use of technology to govern the district, communicate with students, parents and the community and to improve district operations. The top ten ranking reflect those school districts with the fullest implementation of technology benchmarks in the evolution of digital education, as represented in the survey questions. For more information, Call Christopher Wells, director of Information Technology Policies & Communications, at 678-301-6510.

Maxwell High School of Technology is holding a Middle School Summer Camp for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from across the district interested in exploring careers in Architecture Drawing and Design, Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Law and Justice, and Pre-k Camp Counseling. The camp is scheduled to take place June 11-14 from 8 to 11 a.m. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration runs through May 7, and the registration fee is $50. For more information and to register your child today, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603 or Sherri Stephenson at 770-338-4625.

Roberts Elementary will host a Career and College Fair during the week of May 7-11. Students will be studying career choices and researching college options before the events begins. Fifth grade students and their teachers will visit the University of Georgia campus that week. Activities at the school include designing a banner with school colors and a mascot, and visits from speakers at Georgia State University, Gainesville College, and Georgia Tech. The two mascots from Georgia State and Gainesville College will be there as well. Speakers will visit classrooms on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. For more information, call Counselor Stacey Miller at 678-745-2370.

Level Creek Elementary will host dignitaries for a School of Excellence celebration on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Special guests will include State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, Area V Superintendent Nancy Martin, Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, and representatives from Georgia Natural Gas and United Health Care. Superintendent Barge will recognize Principal Dr. Nancy Kiel, teachers, and students for being selected as a 2011 Georgia School of Excellence. The Superintendent and Georgia Natural Gas will present the school with a plaque, a certificate, and a $1,000 award. For more information, call Dr. Nancy Kiel at 678-765-5871.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will welcome Gwinnett County Police Officers to the school on May 7 at 8:30 a.m. by participating in the “Books and Badges Reading Program.” This program offers the opportunity for schools to build a relationship with the local police department, and encourage students to read. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

The Norcross Cluster’s two middle schools will host guest speakers from The John Maxwell Team, a group of John Maxwell Certified coaches, teachers and speakers, who offer workshops, seminars, keynote speaking, and coaching to aid personal and professional growth through study and practical application of John Maxwell’s proven leadership methods. YouthMAX gives certified team members an opportunity to serve their communities by helping youth grow and develop to meet the challenges of life in today’s changing world. Summerour Middle will host a John Maxwell team on May 7, from 9:45-10:55 a.m. in the Media Center. Pinckneyville Middle will host a team on May 8, from 12:40-2 p.m. in the Media Center. For more information, call Junior Leadership Corps Coordinator Andrea C. Steele at 678-301-7372. or visit

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a Science Family Night and Science and Book Fair on May 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

North Gwinnett Middle’s 6th grade social studies department will host an in-house field trip on May 9. This activity will take place in the media center from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and from 2 to 4 p.m. The presentation will consist of an exhibit of animals unique to Australia and its ecosystems. Teachers are preparing a variety of auxiliary activities to support the exhibition. For more information, call Assistant Principal David Strickland at 678-745-2300.

Crews Middle 8th graders, about 400 of them, will visit Depression-era McDaniel Farm on May 11 from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Students will participate in a field study that will interpret life on a depression-era farm. Students will have lunch on the grounds after the program. Students will be able to make a connection between the history of the McDaniel family and how everyday life was affected by the Great Depression and the hard work that was the key to survival. For more information about the farm, visit

Level Creek Elementary will host Operation Safety Day on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is sponsored by the United States Secret Service and provides the opportunity for student pictures and finger prints to be compiled in a safety document for parent or guardian use. Level Creek Elementary is expecting more than 100 agents and officers to make presentations to the students from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the United States Postal Service, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the Gwinnett County Public Schools Department of Safety and Security, and the Suwanee Police and Fire Departments. Speakers will teach students about their role in protecting the safety of our country, state and community. There will be trucks, cars, humvees, two dogs and a helicopter from the different agencies located around the school for students to see from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 770-904-7950.

Rock Springs Elementary will host Zane Collins Science Day on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zane Collins Science Day is an event honoring Zane Collins, a student who lost his life in an accident. His parents and Publix donated money to create a science lab in his honor. Each year, Zane’s parents and Publix fund this event at the school. This year the theme is the Ocean. Students will visit exhibits including the shark room and the sea turtle encounter. Teachers will conduct ocean lessons and visit student created displays about more than 50 different ocean animals. This event is for all students at the school. Special invited guests include the family of Zane Collins, the Vice President of Publix, GCPS Central Office staff, and District II Board member Daniel Seckinger. Activities and exhibits include a shark room hosted by Collins Hill High teachers and students; a turtle encounter hosted by Berkmar High and Snellville Middle teachers; a Fishing for Facts math activity hosted by the math coach; and a Beach Reading literacy activity hosted by a literacy coach. Artwork includes a life-sized octopus sculpture along with classroom lessons and activities. For more information, call Assistant Principal Julie Mosley at 770-932-7474.

The 3rd Annual Gwinnett FLARE (Focus on Leadership and Advancement in Renewable Energy) Competition brings together students from elementary, middle, and high school to celebrate innovation in alternative energy. The vision of FLARE is to provide a venue for students to integrate science and engineering concepts in order to consider the impact of alternative energy on our community. The competition categories include: Elementary School: Solar Cookers; Middle School: Junior Solar Sprint; and High School: Senior Solar Sprint. The event takes place on May 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Instructional Support Center parking lot, 437 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee, GA 30024. For more information, call Director of Science Dr. Jonathon Wetherington at 678-301-7045.

Chattahoochee Elementary 5th grade students will perform “A Thousand Cranes” on May 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. This play is the story of a Japanese girl in 1945, who was diagnosed with leukemia. For more information, call Louvene Williams at 770-497-9907.

Grayson Elementary hosts the school’s 5th Grade Gifted Historical Interactive Museum on May 17 at 6 p.m. The title of this year’s museum is “Courage...Experiencing the Historical Events of the Great Depression, WWII, and the Holocaust...Through A Child’s Eyes.” The performance includes a Power Point portrayal of actual children who lived through these dark times. To make a reservation or for more information, email Kristie Horn at

Sweetwater Middle families and community leaders will join Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful for Good Neighbor Community Days on May 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Projects will include graffiti paint-out on fences, litter pick up, and right-of-way beautification. The Cruse Road Project includes 13 work sites from James Road to Bethesda School Road designated as Good Neighbor Project Locations. Event sign in and parking is at 2933 Club Drive, Lawrenceville; and additional parking is available at Sweetwater Middle after signing in at Club Drive. Registration is required and may be completed by filling out the form from your student and returning it to the teacher, or visit Families and community members interested in participating should select the Cruse Road Project in the “drop down” list and name Sweetwater Middle as their group.

Hopkins Elementary students earned 500 free books and a visit from the “We Give Books” ReadMobile Tour (Pearson Foundation) on May 22 to celebrate the school’s success and participation in the “Read for My School Campaign.” The ReadMobile is visiting campuses throughout the country to recognize readers who are dedicated to improving their own schools and communities. For more information, call Sharon Britt, media specialist, at 770-381-4281.

High school students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders may take designated classes during the summer. Registration is ongoing at the following locations and online.
Face-to-Face ClassesOnline Classes
When: June 12 to July 11 (July 4 holiday)
  • 1st Period: 7:30-11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 2nd Period: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High.
How: Learn more about face-to-face summer school. Students may register online for face-to-face classes through June 4 or register in person on May 31 at Peachtree Ridge High.
When: June 11 to July 10 (July 4 holiday)
Where: Offered through Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC).
How: Register online. Online registration closes June 4.
Face-to-face meeting required for final exams and for selected classes (health, PE, and science labs).
Important information for face-to-face and Online Campus summer school students:
  • Transportation is not provided for face-to-face summer school classes or for the face-to-face sessions required for Online Campus courses.
  • A student should take no more than two summer classes: two face-to-face classes, two online classes, or a combination.
  • All tuition fees are due at the time of registration.
  • Any student planning to participate in the summer school graduation ceremony must take all summer classes with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
  • Both the Face-to-Face classes and the online programs will follow a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Face-to-face and online summer classes will not meet on Fridays.

The 2012 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 will begin on June 18 and run through July 9, with no classes on Fridays, or July 4. The 15-day session will take place at some schools and some combined “cluster” summer school sites due to construction and maintenance projects. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school. 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.

“2012 Technical Education Awards Banquet” GCPS TV is proud to present its coverage of the 2012 Technical Education Awards Banquet. Tune in to see the presentation of scholarships and hear from talented student honorees. This 60 minute program airs May 7-13 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Love That Book - Carmen Finds Her Beat” Carmen is on a quest to find a musical instrument she can play, and hopes her friends at Earthshaking Music can help. While on location, she introduces students to her favorite music book “Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin.” Gwin Oaks Elementary Media Specialist Sharon Amolo recommends “Out Of My Mind” by Sharon Draper as a Cool, New Book; and Gwin Oaks Elementary Principal Peggy Goodman shares memories of her favorite Oldie but goodie, “The Little Engine that Could.” This locally-produced Emmy award winning 15 minute program airs this week at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Hopkins Elementary Assistant Principal Elisa Brown, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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 website--

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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
05/02/2012Five seniors receive scholarships from corporations (pdf)
05/01/2012Student artwork selected for display during art gathering (pdf)
05/01/2012Registration underway for summer Tech. Ed. learning (pdf)

May is National Physical Education and Sports Month and Better Hearing and Speech Month.

May 7-11 is School Nutrition Employee Week and Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teacher Appreciation Day is May 8.

National School Nurse Day is May 9.

May 14-18 is Custodian Appreciation Week and National School Police Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 17, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

May 21-23 is Early Release for high school exams.

May 23 is the last day of school.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in May. Call the local school for the time and location.
Bay Creek Middle18-May
Beaver Ridge Elementary17-May
Brookwood Elementary7-May
Camp Creek Elementary11-May
Chesney Elementary18-May
Cooper Elementary29-May
Couch Middle18-May
Duluth High15-May
Harbins Elementary17-May
Head Elementary9-May
Jackson Elementary10-May
Jones Middle10-May
Lanier Middle8-May
Lilburn Elementary15-May
Lovin Elementary17-May
Mill Creek High15-May
Mountain Park Elementary14-May
Partee Elementary16-May
Richard Hull Middle11-May
Rock Springs Elementary10-May
Shiloh High8-May
Snellville Middle15-May
Stripling Elementary10-May
Suwanee Elementary15-May
Taylor Elementary18-May
Twin Rivers Middle7-May
White Oak Elementary9-May

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.

Night Hike: Flower MoonMay 7
Intro to Rug Hooking Class for Youth Ages 10 to 17May 12
Our Shared Birds –The International Feathered Tourist May 12, 19
Exploring The EnvironmentMay 16
World Turtle DayMay 26