News You Can Use - 11/05/2012

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
11/05/2012 - 11/11/2012

Norcross Elementary will celebrate Red Ribbon Week with a “Stomp Out Drugs” program at the school. Students will participate in a Fun Walk Fund Raiser around the campus on Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Guidance Counselor Amy Crapo at 770-447-2628.

Norcross Elementary students are showing their appreciation again this year for those who serve in the military with an annual letter and card writing event. Students have written more than 1,000 thank you cards and letters to be delivered on Nov. 2, to the Bert Radio Drop-Off location. Last year, more than 405,000 letters were delivered to soldiers deployed outside of the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day as a gesture of gratitude. For more information, call the school at 770-447-2675.

Camp Creek Elementary students will participate in a schoolwide mock election on November 2. Throughout the week leading up to the ‘election’, students have participated in activities relating to the Presidential election. The morning news show shared biographical information about the two candidates and information to help students understand the election process. Two students portrayed the candidates in a live speech on “Camp Creek Live”, the morning news show. On Nov. 2, students will vote in the school computer lab for President of the United States, and receive an “I Have Voted” sticker. For more information, call Teacher Luanne Murphy at 770-921-1626.

Brookwood High graduate Justin Lansford, who was injured in Afghanistan serving in the military, will be honored at a ‘halftime homecoming’ ceremony at Friday’s football game. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will join with a local community partner One Heart Church to sponsor a School Clean-Up Project. The event takes place on Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Community members and staff members will work together to keep Beaver Ridge Elementary clean and tidy for students. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

Collins Hill High color guard member Rachel Crozier has been named a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Representatives from the U.S. Army extend an invitation to Rachel to receive an all-expense paid trip to San Antonio to perform as a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The half-time performance will occur on Jan.5, 2013 at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

Britt Elementary is one of three schools in the state to win the first ever Georgia Department of Education Family-Friendly Partnership School Award. The winners were selected for providing the best customer service for Georgia families. The schools have welcoming staff, comfortable waiting areas, clear signage, and engaging student work throughout the building. The schools websites are easy to navigate. The schools provide unique, engaging, and innovative parent engagement programming that is successful in reaching all families in the school. Snellville Middle was a semifinalist for the award. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Dr. Ammie Butorac of Sweetwater Middle will be honored on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. for winning the Principal Champion Award at the Teach For America Metro Atlanta Corps Event. The Principal Champion Award recognizes an administrator who is supportive of teachers and staff, who holds high expectations for teachers, students, and parents, and who impacts the community in a positive way each day. For more information, call 770-921-4131.

GCPS had two winners in the 2012 State School Bus Safety Poster Contest. This year’s safety theme for the contest was “Stand Back from the Yellow and Black.” Diana Hincapie of Trip Elementary was a 1st place winner in Division I, and Aman Luthra of Trickum Middle was a 2nd place winner in Division 3. For more information, call the school.

Riverside Elementary has brought together three 10-year-old architects to plan a special room in memory of a special student. Former Riverside student Brandon Woyce, who passed away last year, will have a room dedicated to his memory in the school library. Coordinating the efforts of this project are Ethan Dawidowicz, Faxon Childress, and Parker Everson, who are working with local artist, Kristie Chamlee, and builder, Brian Preston to bring this project to completion. Ms. Chamlee’s art has been featured in several schools in the Gwinnett area. Mr. Preston’s company, Lamon Luther, hires carpenters who are currently without a job and gives them an opportunity to earn a salary and hopefully return to the work force. The final installation of the room will take place at Riverside Elementary on Nov. 5. For more information, call Emmy Ligertwood at 678-482-1004.

The Dr. Jim L. Markham Golf Classic at Chateau Elan Golf Club has been re scheduled for Nov. 6. The event, named in honor of Mill Creek High’s retiring principal, is an 18-hole Foursome Golf Scramble benefitting Relay for Life. The schedule of events includes registration, breakfast, silent auction, and practice. Golf begins at 9 a.m. and there will be awards and prizes. The deadline for registration is Oct. 30. For more information about registration, email

Dacula Elementary will host a celebration to honor veterans at the school on Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. for grades K-2 and 9:55 a.m. for grades 3-5. For more information, call the school at 770-963-7174.

Grace Snell Middle will host the school’s second annual Veterans Day Program on Nov. 9 at 12:45 p.m. in the gymnasium. This year the celebration will include a performance of God Bless America, from the orchestra, the Leadership Class will present the flag and lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the chorus will sing the national anthem. Seventh grade students clad in red, white, and blue, will serenade invited Veterans and guests with patriotic songs and the official songs of the United States Armed Forces. Seventh grade students will present the history of Veterans Day, the flag, and the military branches of service. Students will honor Veterans in attendance by presenting them with a certificate and a medal for their service to the country. For more information, call 770-554-7750.

Central Gwinnett High theater students return to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrenceville for an exciting afternoon of theater games Nov. 9, and Dec. 7. The Central Theater students are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS), and volunteer by teaching theater in the community to earn ITS honor points. This group is led by Central Gwinnett High senior Skylar Jackson. For more information, call teacher Lisa Bell at 404-861-5066, or email

Shiloh Elementary cafeteria employee “Granny” Martha Strickland will be surprised with a celebration for her 88th birthday. Staff and students are working together to create a “Granny Garden” in appreciation of her (?) service to the school and dedicate it to Granny on Nov. 12 at 8:30 a.m. at the unveiling. New flowers shrubs will be planted. The Shiloh Elementary Chorus and several classes will be on hand to sing Happy Birthday and wish her well. During lunch time Granny will be giving out happy birthday cookies and hugs to everyone coming through the lunch line. As a tribute to Granny, students and staff will wear red or purple that day to honor her involvement in Relay for Life (purple) and the Red Hat Society (red and purple). For more information, call 770-985-6883.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a Thanksgiving Event for Families on Nov. 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with the help of their local community sponsor Perimeter Church. Families will enjoy a festive meal with fall décor celebrating all the things thankfulness. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

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 information sessions around the district on Nov. 13, Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28. Students in grades 6-12 also can enroll for 2nd semester which starts in January. The deadline to write a letter of intent is Dec. 5th.
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), the district’s STEM-focused charter high school, will hold informational meetings for interested 8th graders on Nov. 13, Dec. 13, and Jan. 15. The registration packet will be available for download Nov. 1, with a Feb. 1 deadline. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery on Feb. 11.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology begins online registration on Feb. 1. Maxwell High is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell High and their regular GCPS home school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson HS. An open house for juniors and seniors was held Oct. 25. Information on 2013–14 registration will be available soon.
  • New Life Academy of Excellence, a system-approved charter school with two locations, will serve grades K–8 next year. Families of kindergartners may register Jan. 7–11 at the Norcross campus. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery. A tour and information session is scheduled for Nov. 15. at the Duluth campus (Open enrollment in Jan. is for kindergarten students only. All other spots (grades 1-8) are filled.

‘We Give Books’ Digital Readers joined the Bug Squad and set a new world record. Jumpstart, The Pearson Foundation and Gwinnett County Public Schools teamed up to participate in Read for the Record. Almost 400,000 readers showed their support for early childhood education by reading “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad,” by authors David Soman and Jacky Davis, on the same day— an increase of more than 500% from last year’s record. We Give Books was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation. Together they support literacy through programs that engage entire communities through literacy and awareness programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. For more information, visit

Riverside Elementary students recently welcomed Olympic athlete Jarryd Wallace who competed in the Paralympic Games in London this summer, just two years after losing his leg. Jarryd, a student at the University of Georgia, celebrated Red Ribbon Week with Riverside Elementary students. Jarryd shared his story of courage and endurance about the decision he made to have his leg amputated, and how he continued to reach his goals as an athlete. For more information, call Emmy Ligertwood at 678-482-1004.

“GCPS FOCUS” Comprised of shorter “Focus Moment” stories, the new GCPS FOCUS provides timely coverage on a wide variety of topics relating to Gwinnett County Public Schools. The 20-minute program airs this week at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Watch this week’s Focus Moment, “Maxwell Early Childhood Education” at

“Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out” Nationally recognized authors for young people, Katherine Paterson, Steven Kellogg and Mary Brigid Barrett, share insights into their book “Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.” This compilation of history offers historical fiction, personal essays, poetry, drama, original art by 108 renowned authors and illustrators, and a view of American history as seen through the eyes of the White House. The book was created by the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, NCBLA, in an effort to combat illiteracy and to get students excited about reading. The 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.
10/31/2012Information meetings set: 2013 student registration for GCPS charter schools around the corner
10/30/2012Arts center salutes Trickum Middle’s Dr. Burgamy (pdf)

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November 4-10 is National health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Month.

November 6 is a student and teacher holiday, and Elections Day.

American Education Week is November 11-17.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 15, 2012, at the ISC, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

Thanksgiving break for schools is Nov. 19-23.

Nov. 21 is a planned furlough day and all offices will be closed.

Thanksgiving is Nov. 22.

All offices will be closed November 22 and 23 for Thanksgiving break for 12 month staff.

The following schools will hold Local School Council Dates in November. Call the local school for the time and location.
Anderson-Livsey 13-Nov
Archer High School12-Nov
Bay Creek Middle13-Nov
Beaver Ridge Elementary15-Nov
Benefield Elementary30-Nov
Berkmar High30-Nov
Berkmar Middle30-Nov
Bethesda Elementary12-Nov
Britt Elementary13-Nov
Brookwood Elementary16-Nov
Buice School9-Nov
Burnette Elementary13-Nov
Camp Creek Elementary30-Nov
Cedar Hill Elementary28-Nov
Central Gwinnett High15-Nov
Chattahoochee Elementary13-Nov
Chesney Elementary9-Nov
Collins Hill High13-Nov
Corley Elementary30-Nov
Couch Middle16-Nov
Creekland Middle8-Nov
Crews Middle15-Nov
Dacula Elementary16-Nov
Duluth High27-Nov
Duluth Middle13-Nov
Duncan Creek Elementary28-Nov
Dyer Elementary28-Nov
Freeman's Mill Elementary30-Nov
GIVE Center East13-Nov
Grace Snell MS13-Nov
Harbins Elementary8-Nov
Harris Elementary15-Nov
Head Elementary14-Nov
Jackson Elementary8-Nov
Jenkins Elementary15-Nov
Kanoheda Elementary30-Nov
Knight Elementary16-Nov
Lanier High13-Nov
Lanier Middle13-Nov
Lawrenceville Elementary13-Nov
Level Creek Elementary15-Nov
Lilburn Middle13-Nov
Lovin Elementary15-Nov
Mason Jr. Elementary16-Nov
McConnell Middle27-Nov
Meadowcreek Elementary13-Nov
Moore Middle School9-Nov
Mountain Park Elementary12-Nov
Mountain View High School16-Nov
Mulberry Elementary14-Nov
Nesbit Elementary27-Nov
Norcross High15-Nov
North Gwinnett High15-Nov
Norton Elementary16-Nov
Parkview High27-Nov
Peachree Ridge High15-Nov
Pharr Elementary29-Nov
Puckett’s Mill Elementary8-Nov
Radloff Middle15-Nov
Richards Middle12-Nov
Riverside Elementary27-Nov
Roberts Elementary30-Nov
Rockbridge Elementary15-Nov
Rosebud Elementary30-Nov
Shiloh High13-Nov
Simonton Elementary15-Nov
Snellville Middle15-Nov
Starling Elementary9-Nov
Stripling Elementary14-Nov
Summerour Middle13-Nov
Suwanee Elementary15-Nov
Sweetwater Middle30-Nov
Twin Rivers Middle5-Nov
Walnut Grove Elementary15-Nov

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.
Adopt-A-Stream Biological Monitoring WorkshopNov. 10
Young Architect - Come BUILD your creativity!Nov. 10, 17, 24
Green Living SeriesNov. 18, Dec. 21
Green Living Kids: Where did all the water go?Nov. 19
Harvest Moon Night Hike in SeptemberNov. 26
Certified Interpretive Guide WorkshopDec. 4
Green Living Kids: Become A Waste Warrior-Fighting Waste Through The Power Of RecyclingDec. 21
Young Architect: Designing the FutureJan. 13