News You Can Use - 01/14/2008

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
01/14/2008 - 01/20/2008

Chattahoochee Elementary will host a Teddy Bears for Jarod Night with the Gladiators on Jan. 12 beginning at 7:35 p.m. Chattahoochee Elementary community members are invited to sit together at the Gwinnett Arena. Tickets have been specially priced and proceeds will benefit the family of a student from the school who is at Scottish Rite Hospital. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Grayson High School student Sophia Sanford was chosen to represent the Grayson High Technical Education Program at the annual Career and Technical Instruction Fall Leadership Conference. Sophia was awarded 2nd place in the Current Events quiz bowl. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

Sweetwater Middle 8th graders will have a visit from author and motivational speaker Chad Foster on Jan. 14 at noon. Mr. Foster will share about his books “Teenagers Preparing for the Real World” and “Financial Literacy for Teens.” Mr. Foster developed the soft rubber playground surface using recycled tires that McDonalds uses for its Playlands. For the past eight years, Mr. Foster has hosted his own television show on ESPN— Fly Fishing America. For more information, call teacher Mark Cheshire at 770-923-4131.

The North Gwinnett High DECA Club will host the 2008 Entrepreneurship Leadership Development Seminar on Jan. 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Speakers include Chris McDonough of White Wolf Publishing; Terri Jondahl, CEO of CAB Inc.; Darren Matthews of JOA Marine; and John McKnight of Primrose Childcare and Channel 5 News. The cost for the seminar is $5 which will go towards refreshments, food, and door prizes including an iPod. Students will also receive an A-Z booklet of famous entrepreneurs and their success stories. For more information, call Dr. Jacqueline Huffman at 678-482-1025.

Dr. M. H. Mason Elementary has several activities planned for Jan. 17 to celebrate “The 100th day of school.” Kindergarten classes will participate in a scavenger hunt for 100 objects, paint a poster with 100 happy hands, write about being 100 years old, and decide how to spend $100. Students will make 100 day hats, fruit loop necklaces, put together 100 piece puzzles, write 100 word stories, and group objects by 10s. For more information, call Teacher Lisa Crowell at 770-232-3370.

Mulberry Elementary has several activities planned on Jan. 17 “The 100th day of school.” Students will collect food to donate to a local shelter. Each class has a goal of collecting 100 cans. Music classes will focus on rhythms and patterns. P.E. classes will keep score while bowling. For more information, call teacher Michelle Ruhl at 678-226-7460.

Grayson High Technical Education Program will host a winter open house on Jan. 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Grayson High Technical Building. Parents and students are invited to visit and learn about the program. For more information, call 770-554-7082, or visit

Shiloh High will host an ACCEL (college joint enrollment and early admission) Information Meeting on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the theatre. Rising juniors and seniors who are interested in taking classes at a college are invited to attend. Representatives from Georgia Perimeter College, Middle Georgia College, and the University of West Georgia will speak as well as some of Shiloh’s current ACCEL students. For more information, call teacher Karen Beach at 770-736-4356.

Creekland Middle will partner with the Anti-Prejudice Consortium to host a Mini Power Over Prejudice Summit on Jan. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school. Twelve 7th grade students were trained at Georgia Tech by Creekland counselors last fall to be Peace Ambassadors/Stand Up Kids. These student facilitators will work with parent and teacher facilitators to train 50 more student participants. For more information, call Counselor Carla Winkler at 770-315-0980.

Students from Monarch School will perform at the opening of the Special Olympics Indoor Winter Games at the Cobb Civic Center on Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

The 2008 Gwinnett County Spelling Bee will be held on Jan. 26 in the Central Gwinnett High Theater with registration from 7:15-8:15 a.m. One winner from the 76 participating GCPS elementary and middle schools will compete in the Written Bee beginning at 8:30 a.m. The top 12 spellers will compete in the Oral Bee immediately following the Written Bee, and also will represent GCPS in the District 3 Bee on Feb. 23. Spectators may attend the Oral Bee. For more information Carey McDurmon, the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, can be contacted at The Gwinnett County Spelling Bee is co-sponsored by the Gwinnett County Association of Educators and “The Gwinnett Daily Post.”

Math specialists from Corley Elementary will host a Math Strategies Night for grades 2-5 students on January 29. Pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m., and babysitting will be provided. A translator will be available. Parents and students will learn math games and receive game pieces to practice at home. For more information, call 978-924-5330.

Rebecca Minor Elementary will host the 4th annual International Night on Jan. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Activities include sampling traditional foods, making arts and crafts, viewing demonstrations and clothing from around the world, and a performance by the chorus. For more information, call 770-925-9543.

The Shiloh Middle counselors will host a “No Parent Left Behind” Resource Fair on Jan. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and parents from the Shiloh Cluster are invited to attend. Activities include a performance by the Shiloh High choir and free refreshments, pizza and door prizes. Information will be provided regarding graduation requirements, career and college choices. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

GCPS will host the 3rd annual Readers Rally on Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m. at Collins High. The Gwinnett Readers Rally is a quiz-bowl competition for students in grades 4-12. Registration will be followed by an opening ceremony and recognition of teams. Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris (a former principal) will stand in as Master of Ceremonies. The two winning middle and high school teams will move on to the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, a regional competition, scheduled for Feb. 9 in Augusta. State playoffs will take place March 1 during the Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens. For more information, call Media Specialist Leslie Greer at 770-232-3255.-

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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 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.

Jan. 19, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Bring One For the Chipper, free
Wondering what to do with your Christmas tree? Bring it to the overflow parking lot at the center and join the volunteer effort grind it up. Join Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and GEHC in this joint effort to recycle your decorations into mulch.

Jan. 26, 10:30 a.m. - noon, Bluebird Habitats, free
Come help set up bluebird houses. Our beautiful feathered friends will be looking for good homes in early February. We will set up boxes in our open grassy edge habitats. The use of wooden, man-made nesting boxes has made a wonderful difference in the survival of bluebirds. Please dress warm and bring binoculars.

Jan. 26, 3 - 4 p.m., Nature Kids (Grades 2nd-4th), $5 per child
Nature Spies: Visit our center and learn how to sneak up and spy on wildlife. Your observation skills will definitely sharpen and you may spot some evidence of animal activities. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring water.

“Education News Parents Can Use - No Child Left Behind: Student Achievement on the Rise” The Jan. 15 edition of Education News will showcase three No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools, featuring video stories of their classrooms in action and conversations with award-winning principals and education experts about how having high expectations for all students; analyzing student data to track progress; identifying individual student needs and improving instruction; providing a rich curriculum aligned with state standards; and using professional development to improve teachers’ skills is raising the bar as never before. This 60-minute program airs live on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m., and reairs Jan. 16-20 at 8 p.m.

“Urban Bush Women - Shadow’s Child - Prince William/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” The award-winning performance troupe Urban Bush Women and the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique join together to present a program that demonstrates the rich and complex music and dance of Southeast Africa, and shows how dance, music, narration, and puppetry can be combined to tell a richly layered story of a young girl’s heroism. Through performance excerpts from the commissioned work, “Shadow’s Child,” the company addresses issues of intolerance, embracing difference, and finding strength and a sense of self in difficult times. This 60-minute program airs Jan. 15-17 at 9 p.m. and Jan. 17-20 at 11 a.m.
“Democracy in America” This video course for high school civics teachers covers topics of civic knowledge, skills, and depositions recommended by The Civic Framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress developed by the U.S. Department of Education. The 15 half-hour video programs, hosted by national television correspondent Renee Poussaint, and related print and web site materials provide teachers with both cognitive and experiential learning in civics education. Programs 11-15 air Jan. 14-16 at 11 a.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include: AT&T on Channel 21, Charter on Channel 22, and Comcast on Channel 24 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, 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.
01/11/2008Gwinnett names principals for two new schools: Puckett’s Mill Elementary and Trip Elementary (pdf)
01/10/2008GCPS students and parents invited to Grayson High Technical Education Program Open House (pdf)
01/10/2008Gwinnett County Board of Education discusses legislative issues, opposing any legislation that would negatively affect GCPS (pdf)
01/08/2008Gwinnett teachers named Educators of Distinction (pdf)
01/07/2008South Gwinnett High student publication recognized as “Most Outstanding High School Magazine for 2007” (pdf)

Jan. 16 is the Grade 8 Writing Assessment.

The Gwinnett County Online Campus registration information session is scheduled for Jan. 16. Jan. 26 is the first day of class for spring semester.

Jan. 17 is the Grayson High School Technical Education Program Winter Open House.

Jan. 17 marks the 100th day of school.

Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (systemwide holiday).

Feb. 1 is the registration deadline for Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

Feb. 10 is South Gwinnett High's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 14, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Jan. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Grayson Elementary
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Parkview High
Pinckneyville Middle
Rockbridge Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
T. Carl Buice School
Trickum Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary