News You Can Use - 02/01/2010

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
02/01/2010 - 02/07/2010

GCPS will host a Student Leadership Workshop and Mentor Training/Networking Session on Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Berkmar Middle. Topics include Effective Communication and Financial Literacy. This life skills workshop is for students and their community-based mentors. For more information, call James Rayford of GCPS at 678-301-7321.

Gwinnett schools earned several state championships recently. The Brookwood High boys cross country team earned the 2009 AAAAA State Championship; the Peachtree Ridge High cheerleading team earned the 2009 AAAAA State Co-Ed Competition Cheerleading Championship; and the Mill Creek High competition cheerleading team earned the 2009 AAAAA State Cheerleading Championship.

Berkmar Middle Counselor Kate Brambrut is the co-author of a book titled, “That’s My Story Too: Lessons and Activities for 52 Counselor-Recommended Children’s Books” Along with each of the 52 books recommended for use in small groups and classroom guidance, recommendations are included for grade levels, a brief book description, engaging dialogue to introduce the book to children, in-depth follow up discussion questions, creative, hands-on extension activities and a reproducible activity sheet. The book is organized by counseling topic (anger management, anxiety, bullying/relational aggression, cooperation/sharing, diversity, feelings, friendship, goal-setting, honesty, respect, rumors, self-esteem, and social skills). Each children’s book included has been “kid-tested and counselor-approved.” For more information, visit , or call 770-638-2313.

Two GCPS teams represented Region 5 in the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades semifinals at Gwinnett College & State University at Milledgeville:
Duluth Middle academic bowl team, coaches Linda Koch and Sylvia Barteaux
North Gwinnett Middle, coach Scott Johnson
For more information, call Jody Reeves, director of technical education, computer science, and workbased learning, at 678-301-7050.

Richards Middle parent Anthony Scott has been named one of 28 parents statewide to serve on the State Superintendent of Schools Parent Advisory Council. As members of the council, they will meet two times this year with Superintendent Cox to discuss education issues in Georgia. Their focus will be increasing parent and family engagement to ensure student success. For more information, visit

Gwinnett County Public Schools will honor the individuals who provide additional support during the academic career of its students during a special recognition for school counselors. The school system will name its top counseling professionals for 2010 on Feb.1, at the school system’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee. News media representatives are invited to the event which begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information, call Jorge Quintana, director of media relations, at 678-301-6022.

The 32nd annual Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair takes place Feb. 5 at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. Using the theme “Motivating the Next Generation of Science and Engineering Leaders,” the event allows students to apply their science knowledge, and highlights career opportunities that await Gwinnett students in the field of science. In addition to featuring science projects from students at several Gwinnett high schools, this year’s fair also includes a “Distinguished Research Forum” where a selected group of students will present their research findings to scientists and guests. For more information, call Jorge Quintana, director of media relations, at 678-301-6022.

Dacula Middle will host the 2nd annual Math and Science Family Carnival on Feb. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in both gyms. The event is sponsored by the math and science departments. Families will explore hands-on math and science activities. In addition, there will be food, prizes, and music. For more information, call Dr. Horance Buckley, assistant principal, or Patti Orsi, assistant principal, at 770-963-1110.

Berkmar High will host the 2nd Annual Greater Lilburn Business Expo on March 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lilburn businesses will have an opportunity to promote their businesses to each other and the community at this event. More than 100 businesses are expected to participate in this event produced in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Lilburn Business Association, and the Lilburn Community Partnership. Gail Macrenaris, Director of Leadership and Education for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, will conduct a pre-event seminar on February 11 at Berkmar High, advising participants on how to maximize business exposure at the Expo. For more information, visit, or call Diana Preston, assistant principal, at 678-230-9058, or email

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation presents the Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant 2010 on Feb. 20. The theme of this year’s pageant is The Time of My Life - A Tribute to the music of the 80’s. For more information or tickets, contact Jane Denton at 678-957-3166 or

Brookwood High recently held a benefit auction, raffle, and concert featuring Catherine Kimbro, daughter of Mark Kimbro, Brookwood athletic director. Proceeds of the event benefited Brookwood’s Helping Hands and Hearts, a care team assisting the less fortunate members of the community. More than $1,000 was raised. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Cedar Hill Elementary art teachers Joyce Dorian and Anna Murphy are leading their students in the initiative “Homes for Haiti” program. Art Club members plan to create ‘tiny’ houses and sell them to the Cedar Hill community to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization. More than $300 has been raised at this time. For more information, visit or call 770-962-5015.

Merle Soodyall and Katharine Rodgers, Stripling Elementary teachers, headed the Houses for Haiti project for the school. Students and staff members have donated more than $967 to date. For more information, call 770-582-7577, or visit

Debbie Cornelison’s 5th grade class at Ivy Creek Elementary has been raising money for Haiti. Two students in her class have family members in Haiti, and one of the students has a relative who is still missing. The students are making a commercial for the morning announcements to inform students how to help earthquake survivors in Haiti by donating money. For more information, please contact Debbie Cornelison at 678-714-3655 or Tammy Glausier at 678-765-5245.

Pinckneyville Middle will sponsor “Healing Hearts for Haiti” in response to the need of the earthquake victims in Haiti. Staff and students will collect donations to benefit the American Red Cross. Each donation entitles participants to have their name printed on a paper heart and posted throughout the school. Pinckneyville has collected more than $1,000 for “Healing Hearts for Haiti.” As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Pinckneyville looks for programs to develop an understanding and sense of community for students. For more information, call Frau Shashoua, IB teacher, at 770- 263-0860.

Hull Middle students are sponsoring “Hull Hat for Haiti Day” to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Participants may wear a hat to school for a donation of $1. All proceeds will be donated to a fund for Haiti. For more information, call 770-232-3200.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
01/25/2010Gwinnett names seven principals for 2010-2011 (pdf)

“Telling Stories: Lois Lowry” Two-time Newbery Medalist for “Number the Stars and The Giver,” Lois Lowry shares her inspiration for writing, the universal themes in her stories that deal with human connections and relationships between people and their impact on the world, and how she translates her ideas to the page. The award-winning author also discusses her versatility as a writer from her futuristic settings to her colorful characters and the stories they tell. This 60-minute program airs live Feb. 4 at 11 a.m.

“Meet the Author: Kevin Garrahan” Like so many educators, Kevin Garrahan, Fairfax County Public Schools educator, has published stories for kids of all ages. This special edition of Meet the Author celebrates educators who walk the talk, writing for critical acclaim as well as for fun. During the program Garrahan shares his insights about the writing process and discusses his novel, “Third House Down Hidden Cove.” Garrahan talks with students about the experiences that influenced his writing, bullying, and answers questions from students. Video roll-ins include Oak View Elementary’s afterschool Writer’s Club with aspiring author and reading specialist Cyndy Unwin; and published author and library media specialist Jackie Jules shares her love for reading and writing with her students. This 30-minute program airs this week at 10 a.m. and 7:30 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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February is National African American History Month.

February 1-7 is National School Counseling Week.

February 3-4 is early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

February 7 is Scout Sunday.

February 7-13 is National SkillsUSA Week.

February 8 is the Boy Scouts of America 100th Anniversary.

The First flood day Make-up Day is February 12.

A Snow Make-up Day is scheduled for February 15.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., February 18, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

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

Alcova Elementary9-Feb
Alford Elementary8-Feb
Annistown Elementary9-Feb
Arcado Elementary8-Feb
Archer High School8-Feb
Bay Creek Middle11-Feb
Beaver Ridge Elementary25-Feb
Berkeley Lake Elementary23-Feb
Bethesda Elementary22-Feb
Britt Elementary9-Feb
Brookwood Elementary22-Feb
Brookwood High9-Feb
Camp Creek Elementary26-Feb
Carl Buice School19-Feb
Centerville Elementary5-Feb
Cooper Elementary8-Feb
Creekland Middle4-Feb
Crews Middle19-Feb
Duluth High16-Feb
Duncan Creek Elementary18-Feb
Dyer Elementary24-Feb
Five Forks Middle5-Feb
Fort Daniel Elementary5-Feb
Freeman's Mill Elementary5-Feb
GIVE Center East9-Feb
GIVE Center West11-Feb
Grayson Elementary19-Feb
Grayson High11-Feb
Ivy Creek Elementary19-Feb
Jackson Elementary11-Feb
Jones Middle11-Feb
Kanoheda Elementary11-Feb
Knight Elementary5-Feb
Level Creek Elementary23-Feb
Louise Radloff Middle18-Feb
McKendree Elementary5-Feb
Meadowcreek Elementary8-Feb
Mill Creek High16-Feb
Monarch School12-Feb
Mountain Park Elementary22-Feb
Nesbit Elementary8-Feb
Norcross Elementary11-Feb
Norcross High5-Feb
North Gwinnett High9-Feb
Norton Elementary26-Feb
Oakland School16-Feb
Parkview High23-Feb
Parsons Elementary25-Feb
Peachree Ridge High25-Feb
Rebecca Minor Elementary5-Feb
Rock Springs Elementary11-Feb
Rockbridge Elementary11-Feb
Rosebud Elementary5-Feb
Shiloh High4-Feb
Shiloh Middle5-Feb
South Gwinnett High23-Feb
Starling Elementary5-Feb
Summerour Middle25-Feb
Susan Stripling Elementary11-Feb
Trickum Middle9-Feb
Trip Elementary19-Feb
Twin Rivers Middle1-Feb
Walnut Grove Elementary18-Feb
Winn Holt Elementary25-Feb
Woodward Mill Elementary22-Feb

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.

February 9, 10
Homeschool: Rocks
February 12
Homeschool: Advance Science Process Skills
Homeschool: Chemistry II for High schoolers
Homeschool: Intro to Physical Science
February 13
Water Conservation