News You Can Use - 10/05/2009

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
10/05/2009 - 10/11/2009

Beaver Ridge Elementary Principal Jose DeJesus has been selected to serve on the 2009-10 Elementary Principal Advisory Council by Sate Superintendent Kathy Cox. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

Brookwood High won the local Scholar’s Bowl tournament and will advance to the state High Q tournament on Oct. 21. The schools participating in the varsity competition were Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Duluth, Grayson, Gwinnett School of Science, Mathematics, and Technology, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, Norcross, North Gwinnett, and Shiloh high schools. In addition, eight teams competed in the junior varsity competition. The schools represented in the JV competition were Berkmar, Brookwood, Duluth, Grayson, Gwinnett School of Science, Mathematics, and Technology, Mill Creek, Parkview, and Shiloh high schools. The results for this year's Scholar's Bowl Tournament are as follows:
1st Place Brookwood High (Sponsor: Rick Barry)
2nd Place Central Gwinnett High (Sponsor: Cathy Hirsch)
3rd Place Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (Sponsor: Steve Garrison)
4th Place Duluth High School (Sponsor: Sigrid Serpico)
Junior Varsity:
1st Place Parkview High (Sponsor: Brad Holland)
2nd Place Brookwood High (Sponsor: Chris Michael)
3rd Place Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (Sponsor: Steve Garrison)
4th Place Grayson High (Sponsor: Billy Jones)

The Peachtree Ridge High RoboLions earned 1st place at the Georgia First (GRITS) event at the Warner Robins at the Air and Space Museum. For more information, contact Mary Rutland at 678-957-3100.

Meadowcreek High senior Jaheda Khanam received $10,000 scholarship on Sept. 29, 2009 at 11a.m. from Nordstrom. For more information, call Barbara Larkin, counselor, at 770-638-2392.

The Peachtree Players and Mary Our Queen Catholic Church will perform “Lilies of the Field” by F. Andrew Leslie on Oct. 1-4 at the Lionheart Theatre at the College Street Playhouse in Norcross, and on Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 20-22 at the New Dawn Theater in Duluth. Proceeds will benefit the Peachtree Elementary fund to assist students and their families. Tickets may be purchased for $15/single or $10/group. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 678-994-5666. For more information, visit

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation will host Blue Hawaii, the 5th Annual Foundation Fling-2009, on Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Magnolia Hall in Lawrenceville. Live and silent auctions will benefit the students of the Peachtree Ridge cluster schools. Tickets are $50 and include dinner and entertainment including ‘Elvis’. For more information, visit or call Jane Denton, Executive Director, at 678-957-3166.

Lilburn Elementary will host a visit from Georgia Tech Motorsports and off-road teams on Oct. 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. Students will enjoy car demonstrations that incorporate science into the learning process. For more information, call Keri Duncan, local school technology coordinator, at 678-245-5156.

Sweetwater Middle will host an Awards Day on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. to reward students who have displayed exemplary behavior during the first nine weeks of school. Approximately 30 motorcyclists will ride to school and share the importance of getting an education with students. For more information, call 770-932-4131.

Gwinnett elementary students will participate in an international Read for the Record on Oct. 8. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is an international campaign to bring preschool children together with valued grown-ups in their lives to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world.
  • Berkeley Lake Elementary kindergarten and 1st grade classes will have “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” read to them by the Mayor of Duluth, Nancy Harris. Ms. Harris is a former Gwinnett County educator and former principal of B.B. Harris Elementary. Ms. Harris will be reading at the school at 2 p.m. on Oct. 8.
  • Harbins Elementary will host a visit from Georgia’s First Lady Mary Perdue on Oct. 8. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Grayson High will host a screenwriting workshop and contest for GCPS students on Oct. 10. A commercial for the Grayson Technical Program will be taped on campus. For more information, call Assistant Principal Isabelle Beach Jones at 770-554-7394.

Norcross High will host the second part of a four-part series for immigrant families on achieving academic success in school on Oct. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the school. Session II is titled Progress Reports and So Much More. What are Progress Reports, and now that you have received one what should you do? What does a Parent-Teacher Conference involve and how can it benefit your student? For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The Duluth High Theater has scheduled the following performances for the 2009-10 school year. For more information, call Gwyn Jones, theater director, at 770-476-5206, or email
Oct. 22 and 23 “Heart’s Desire” A One-Act Comedy by Caryl Churchill
Nov. 12 and 13 “30/60” 30 plays in 60 minutes! (Yes! 30 plays in 60 minutes)
Nov. 20 and 21 “The Wizard of Children’s Theatre for the whole family in one-act Wonderland”
Feb. 18 and 19 “30/60” 30 plays in 60 minutes!
March 25– 28 “Grease” The fabulous 50’s Rock’n’Roll Musical
April 29 and 30 “Fools” Neil Simon’s Hilarious full-length Comedy

Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and to provide input on proposed curriculum materials, including textbooks for nine new/updated high school courses in the areas of science, mathematics, health, and technical education. The review will run through Oct. 30. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center in the Building 200 Lobby. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) holds an extensive review before adopting instructional materials for classroom use. The directors of Science, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, and Technical Education convened committees to select materials to consider for adoption from those submitted by publishers. The materials were reviewed for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review process, materials are piloted in GCPS classrooms. Data from the reviews and pilots will be considered in making textbook adoption recommendations to the Board of Education in early 2010. For more about the instructional materials review process, contact Lisa Burleson in the Instructional Materials Office at 678-301-6831.
Review Dates and Hours
Monday–Friday, Oct. 1–30, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3 and 17, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8 and 22, 5–8 p.m.

Shiloh High’s World History classes will be celebrating an “Ancient Worlds History Fair” on Oct.1 and 2. More than 350 students will present their research projects on topics including ancient Egypt, China, and India; Cleopatra; the Nile River; ancient farming techniques; weapons; art; religion; and famous leaders. Each student is responsible for researching a topic, assembling facts, maps, and images, and creating a display. Students will be present their projects in the media center and many of them will dress in costumes reflecting their topics. Weeks and weeks of hard work, research, and creativity will culminate in an exciting and impressive display by our sophomore students. For more information, call Kate Hoppenrath, media specialist, at 770-736-4356.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
10/01/2009Gwinnett PTA leaders recognized by its state organization (pdf)
09/30/2009Gwinnett students to "Read for the Record" (pdf)
09/30/2009Search for Gwinnett's top teacher narrowed down to 20 (pdf)
09/29/2009State Superintendent highlights 14 Gwinnett schools (pdf)
09/28/2009GCPS invites community for input on instructional materials (pdf)
09/25/2009GCPS to support annual Great Days of Service (pdf)
09/24/2009Gwinnett BOE honors students for social studies excellence (pdf)

“Education News Parents Can Use - America Goes Back to School” The October special edition shows U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan engaging teachers across the country in a town hall forum regarding what’s working and what’s not working in our nation’s schools. The conversation covers ways to improve the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called No Child Left Behind; better methods for recruiting, preparing, and rewarding teachers; and ideas for elevating the teaching profession. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 5-10 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Read for the Record: The Very Hungry Caterpillar” GCPS is participating in Jumpstarts’ Read for the Record Campaign, an effort to educate families about the benefits of reading and the importance of preparing students for school success. Join us Oct. 8, and be part of the largest shared reading experience ever. Clayborn Knight, Nesbit Elementary principal, delivers a delightful reading of the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”,this year’s official campaign book. This 10-min. program airs Oct. 8 at 7 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through October 18 (a new class airs each week, beginning on Monday).

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 Web
Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( to check out the e-News archives.

GCPS will hold several dedication celebrations at new schools throughout the fall. Dates are listed below.
Oct.4– Archer High (1:30 p.m.) and Bay Creek Middle (3 p.m.)
Oct. 18– White Oak Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and North Gwinnett Middle (3 p.m.)
Oct. 25– Woodward Mill Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Dyer Elementary (3 p.m.)
Nov.1– Starling Elementary (1:30 p.m.) and Couch Middle (3 p.m.)

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 8, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

Oct. 9 is a student holiday and staff furlough day.

Oct. 12 is a student teacher holiday.

Oct. 12-16 is National School Lunch Week.

10th grade students will take the PSAT on Oct. 14.

Oct. 18-24 is Teen Read Week.

Oct. 19 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Oct. 19-23 if Georgia School Bus Safety Week and National School Bus Safety Week.

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

Archer High School
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood High
Centerville Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula High
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
GIVE Center West
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Ivy Creek Elementary
J.C. Magill Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lilburn Middle
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
North Gwinnett Middle
Parsons Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
R.D. Head Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
South Gwinnett High
Suwanee Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
White Oak 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.- 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.
October 6 Junior Master Gardener Level 2
Homeschool: Newton's Laws of Motion
Little Hands: Spooky or Not so Spooky?
October 7 Homeschool: Newton's Laws of Motion
October 9 Science Process Skills
Orienteering and Map Skills
October 10 Food & Shopping
2nd Annual Ella’s Run