News You Can Use - 02/04/2013

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
02/04/2013 - 02/10/2013

The 2013 Gwinnett Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, will be held at Central Gwinnett High on Feb. 2 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Registration will be held at 7:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. The oral portion of the bee will begin approximately 30 minutes after the written portion of the bee. For more information, call Louis Mair, with the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, at 770-638-2300.

South Gwinnett High student Cheyanne Osoria is a finalist in the Honors Choir for the 2013 American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. Cheyanne will represent the finest high school performers in North America and her honor is a direct result of her talent, dedication, and achievement. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Mill Creek High student artist Joshua Stephens earned the title of grand prize winner in the DREAM@50 Art Contest for his piece “Shake the Foundations.” The national awards ceremony for the grand prize winner from the 10 participating cities will be held in Washington, D.C., in August. For more information, call Mill Creek High Art Teacher Mike Lasseter at 678-714-5850.

Competing in the difficult Blue Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, Moore Middle sixth grader Amy Truong earned a perfect score of 20 in the December meet. Nationally, only eight sixth grade students achieved a perfect score. Amy was coached by Teacher Laura Moon. For more information, call 678-226-7100.

Gwinnett County Public Schools was well represented at the Performing Ensembles at the 2013 Georgia Music Educators Association (GMAE) In-Service Conference in Savannah. Participants included:
  • Duncan Creek Elementary School Cardinal Choir: John M. Cypert and Jane A. Roth, Conductors
  • North Gwinnett Middle School Symphonic Band: Mary F. Wilson and Hunter McRae, Conductors
  • North Gwinnett Middle School Guitar Ensemble: Caryn Volk, Conductor
The following were named 2013 GMEA Award Winners:
  • Amy Clement, North Gwinnett Middle, GMEA Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Dr. Peter Lemonds, Duluth High: Georgia-American String Teachers Association Educator of the Year
  • GCPS presenters include:
  • Caryn Volk, North Gwinnett Middle: Teaching Guitar for the Non-Guitarist, Methods and Curriculum for Guitar Ensemble
  • Erik Mason, Mill Creek High and Kathy Mason, Radloff Middle: Know Yourself - Know Your Students: Re-energize Yourself - Re-energize Your Students
  • Dr. Bernadette Scruggs: Re-energize Your Large Group Performance Evaluation Experience
For more information, call the local school.

The Norcross High Wind Symphony is one of only three groups in the state selected to participate in Georgia State’s Bands of Distinction Honor Clinic on Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Band Director Lee Newman at 770-326-8066.

Hopkins Elementary students in Teacher Billy McKnight’s class will participate in a live through a video conference with NASA astronauts on Feb. 6 from 9:15 to 10 a.m. The conference will take place in the media center. For more information, call the school at 770-564-2661.

The T. Carl Buice School will host a math night event on Feb. 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. The Buice School will be transformed into “T.C.’s Town Square” for an evening full of fun math activities. Students and their families will visit T.C.’s grocery store, post office, flower shop, pizza shop, and home improvement store learning how the math concepts of numbers, shapes, estimation, money, and measurement are used outside the classroom. For more information, call the school at 770-271-5060.

Puckett’s Mill Elementary will host a Science and Technology Night on Feb. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and families are invited to attend this popular event that brings professionals from around the area to demonstrate how science and technology are applied in different careers. Entertainment includes a performance by science-magician Arthur Atsma. Participants may attend breakout sessions. For more information, call the school at 678-765-5110.

More than 200 colleges and universities will be represented at the National College Fair in Atlanta. Open to middle school and high school students, the event is scheduled to take place on Feb.10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Information on financial aid and college admissions will be available at workshops during the fair. Students may register at, and watch a video with more information at for a complete overview of the fair.

Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an Open House on Feb. 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for sophomores and juniors interested in attending the school next year. Programs of study include Aircraft Flight Operations, Early Childhood Education, Architecture, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Services, Construction Welding, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Drawing and Design, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Interior Design, Law and Justice, Medical Services, Nursing, and Sciences: Diagnostics. For more information, call 770-963-6838 or visit to register online beginning Feb. 1.

The 2013 Gwinnett Regional Science & Engineering Fair will take place on Feb. 22, at the Gwinnett Center, beginning at 9 a.m. An open house will be held at 3:30 p.m. and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate science and engineering and take part of inspiring the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett County. Call 678-301-7036 or visit the Science Fair website—— for more information or to sign up to support the 2013 Science and Engineering Fair as a sponsor or judge.

The 2013 Miss Peachtree Ridge High Scholarship Pageant will be held on Feb. 23. This year’s theme is Pretty in Pink and will honor contestants’ friends and family members by making a donation to the American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High Pageant will begin at 7 p.m. in the school theater. For more information, visit the school website at

The Duluth High Chorus will perform a concert on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. This performance will take place in the school auditorium. Call the school at 770-476-5206 for more information.

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

The Hull Middle PTSA will host a Read Across America event for student readers at the school. A Read Across Hull Middle contest will run from Feb 1 through Feb. 22 with prizes being awarded on March 1. Students will read each week and record their minutes. Students reading at least 180 minutes in that 3 week period will earn a prize. Additional prizes will be awarded to top readers in the school. Students may dress up in red and white, or dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character on March 1. In addition, children can bring a gently used Dr. Seuss book that will be collected and donated to a local charity. For more information, call Chrissy Wise-Cooper, literary committee member, at 678-227-9158; or Media Specialist Carol Bates at 770-232-3200.

Maxwell High School of Technology’s Auto Collision program received a welder valued at $7,000. The welder was donated by I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, which is an international, not-for-profit training organization. All I-CAR activities and resources focus on helping the industry achieve a high level of technical training. The welder will be used to teach students spot welding on new vehicle construction. The welder is current technology that will mimic state of the art auto collision repair. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

This year’s review of GCPS’ curriculum offers two opportunities for parents, staff, and community members to share their feedback about the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS). The school system is seeking input on new AKS that have been developed to align with new state Common Core Standards as well as AKS for other new courses. In addition, citizens may give feedback on additions, changes, or deletions for the current AKS. Both reviews run through Feb. 15. A committee will consider both community and staff suggestions and will make its recommendations to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education. Following adoption, feedback will be provided to staff members who made suggestions. See below for details on each review, and links for both the current 2012-13 AKS and the proposed 2013-14 AKS.

Review of AKS aligned with NEW Common Core Math Courses and NEW AKS for other courses-- Last year, the Georgia Department of Education adopted a new state curriculum-- the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS)-- for K-12 Language Arts, K-12 Mathematics, and literacy standards for Science, Social Studies, and Technical Education. The first phase of this revised curriculum began in 2012-13, with K-12 Language Arts and K-9 Mathematics. Gwinnett County Public Schools curriculum directors for these areas worked with teachers to ensure the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum for 2012-13 was aligned to the new CCGPS standards.
This next phase for 2013-14 includes five new Common Core-aligned mathematics courses for grades 9-12-- Algebra II CC, Geometry CC, Accelerated Geometry CC, Precalculus CC, and Accelerated Precalculus CC. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review the proposed AKS to provide input on the recommended curriculum revisions for the five new mathematics courses for grades 9-12.
In addition, AKS are under review for two Junior Leadership Corps courses for middle school students, and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) courses for the district’s Army program at the high school level.

Click here to review and comment on the NEW AKS via an online survey. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 15.

Annual review of CURRENT Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum-- If there is an AKS participants would like to see added, deleted, or revised, they may complete the AKS Review Form, which is available on the GCPS website. A copy of the review form is also available at the local school.
AKS Review Forms may be submitted by e-mail to or by U.S. mail to Curriculum Development Office, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, Georgia 30024.
Comments will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 15.

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold the final information session on and Feb. 7. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology begins online registration on Feb. 1. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson High. An information session for the 2013–14 school year is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Registration applications will be available online Feb. 1.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites parents and members of the community to join GCPS staff members by participating in a review of proposed curriculum materials. Parents may provide input on the proposed materials by participating in the public review. GCPS holds an extensive review before adopting materials for classroom use. Materials submitted by publishers are reviewed by teachers, administrators, and parents for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review that runs from Feb. 11 to Feb. 23, GCPS staff and members of the Gwinnett community will review mathematics materials for grades 6-12 and non-fiction books for grades K-5. Reviews are scheduled as follows:
Instructional Support Center
Hallway between Buildings 100 and 200, 437 Old Peachtree Road NW, Suwanee
  • Monday–Friday, Feb., 11-22, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 5–8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Based on all input gathered from this review, a recommendation will be made to the Gwinnett County Board of Education for adoption of materials. For more information about the instructional review process, please contact Ryan Queen, Director of Instructional Materials, at 678-301-6828.

“From Page to Stage: Locomotion” Have you ever wondered how all the elements of a theater production come together to form the final product? Join award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson as she talks with moderator Maria Salvadore about the creation and adaptation of her book “Locomotion” for the stage. This new production, a Kennedy Center co-commission with Orlando Repertory Theater, is an inspiring story of the journey of an eleven-year-old African American boy as he moves from tragedy to hope, losing one family and gaining another. This 60 minute program airs this week at 2 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, 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--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
01/31/2013Gwinnett top spellers to compete for top spot (pdf)

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February is National African American History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 3 is Scout Sunday.

February 4-8 is National School Counseling Week.

February 10-16 is National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Week.

February 12 is Georgia Day.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., February 21, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

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

Alcova Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Arcado Elementary
Archer High School
Bay Creek Middle
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Berkmar Middle
Bethesda Elementary
Britt Elementary
Brookwood High
Burnette Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Corley Elementary
Crews Middle
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Dyer Elementary
GIVE Center East
Grayson Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Head Elementary
Hull Middle
Jackson Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Knight Elementary
Lanier High
Lawrenceville Elementary
Lilburn Middle
McConnell Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Monarch School
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross Elementary
North Gwinnett Middle
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
Pharr Elementary
Puckett’s Mill Elementary
Radloff Middle
Roberts Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Rockbridge Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Summerour Middle
Trip Elementary
Woodward Mill Elementary

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.

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