News You Can Use - 05/16/2011

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
05/16/2011 - 05/22/2011

Norcross Elementary will host the school’s annual International Night “Embracing Cultural Diversity” this evening, May 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the school’s gym. Participants will be entertained with music and dance, student displays, arts and crafts and more, including a Stilt Dance and Columbian Ballet. Participants are invited to wear attire from their country of origin. For more information, call 770-448-2188.

Rock Springs Elementary students will dunk their principal and other staff members in a dunking booth as a reward for reaching a goal of raising $3,000 for Relay for Life. The event takes place Friday, May 13, at 1:45 p.m. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Alcova Elementary will offer a four-day Kindercamp scheduled from July 11-14 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Pre-Registration is due May 13 and space is limited to 80 students. Students will experience a day at the farm, zoo, beach, and a day with bugs. Activities will allow rising kindergartners to become familiar with the school layout, experience art, music, daily routines, and meet kindergarten teachers. For more information, call Tandy Button at 678-226-7996.

The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society will visit Berkmar Middle this Saturday, May 14, to help students discover what is believed to be the remains of a 19th century plantation mill site located on school property. The discovery takes place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Berkmar Middle 8th grade students, their teachers, and parents will be part of the adventure. This project allows students to focus on science, history, and the practical, technical skills that archaeology employs. For more information, call Melissa Martin, Parent Instructional Support Coordinator, at 770-638-2310.

Collins Hill High students earned state recognition in the state National History Day contest, and will advance to nationals to represent Georgia in June.
Senior Papers: 1st place: Manav Dutta; Honorable Mention: Angela Mo
Senior Individual Exhibits: 1st Place: Ryan Hawks
Senior Group Exhibits: 2nd Place: Kessler Barlow, Ryan Sterrit
Honorable Mention: Devan Barker, Katelyn Nesbit
Senior Group Web sites: 2nd Place: Giahoa Nguyen, Ellen Min, Mariam Ahmed, Eun Jun Lee
Honorable Mention: Kyle T. Heaton, Hannah Bright
Patricia Behring Teacher Award: Dr. Terrae Fogarty
For more information, visit or

Two Collins Hill High students are among 12 students in the state who will spend a year studying in Germany through a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program scholarship. 250 scholarships are offered nationwide. The winning students are junior Blake Hoover, who is completing his third year of German studies; and senior Melissa Rary, who completed AP German and attended the Governor’s Honors Program in German last summer. For more information, visit

25 GCPS students finished in the top 10 in nation on the National French Exam. The National French Contest, “Le Grand Concours,” is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. 38 Gwinnett students place in the top 10 state rankings, with 25 of those students placing in the top 10 nationally. Additional honors include highest scores in the state on Level 1 and 4 exams, 2nd highest score in the state and nation on Level 2 exam, and 2nd highest in state on Level 4 exam. For a complete list of names call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020. For more information, call David Jahner, director of foreign language, at 678-301-7020.

The Georgia School Nutrition Association recognized twenty-five GCPS elementary, middle, and high schools for increasing lunch participation and 42 schools were recognized for increased breakfast participation. Twenty-five GCPS schools were recognized for consistently high breakfast participation over three years and 13 schools were recognized for consistently high lunch participation over three years. In addition, Diane Edwards, lead accountant for Gwinnett’s school nutrition program, won the Naomi Tolbert Central Office Support Award. Alice Ertley (retiree) won the Ann C. Smith Hall of Fame Award, and Gwinnett’s local association was honored with the GSNA President’s Award, the highest honor an association can win. For more information, call Ken Yant, director of the School Nutrition Program at 678-301-6246.

Sweetwater Middle students rank 1st in the nation with a perfect score in the WordMasters Challenge. Team members scored a perfect 200 points for the second meet in a row, competing against more than 220,000 students across the US. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Creekland Middle and Hull Middle competed with 14 local middle schools in the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) competition. Using the sun’s power, students put their hand-built solar sprinters to the test in a fast paced race at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA. Hull Middle’s solar sprinter, Radiation Racer, won 1st place, and Creekland Middle’s sprinter won 3rd place for speed and performance. For more information, call Kay Parks at 706-367-6122 or visit

Jeff Peterson, physical education teacher at Mountain Park Elementary, was selected from among the Gwinnett County PE teachers to receive the 2011 Marilyn Brackett Excellence in Teaching Physical Education Award. This award goes to the physical education teacher who exemplifies outstanding professional leadership; excellent, uncompromised teaching and a personal devotion to lifelong learning; dedication and commitment to the education of students and colleagues; and evidence of consistently “going the extra mile” in service to the profession, the community, and to the improvement of physical education for students. For more information, call 770-921-2224.

Artwork from 10 GCPS student artists was selected for display in the 1st Annual Jay Shapiro Arts Legacy Foundation scholarship show at Binders. Below are listed the student names and their art teacher. For more information, visit,or call North Gwinnett High Art Teacher Debi West at 770-945-9558.
Norcross HighNorth Gwinnett High
Julio Garcia - Angela CronanAbigail Kim - Debi West
Alex Jones - Angela CronanGrace Kim - Debi West
Tyler Smith - Angela CronanEyoel Tewdros - Debi West
Conor McCoonan - Kimberly LandersKimberly Wang - Debi West
Nathalie Nicoava - Kimberly Landers
Abigail Holtz - Barbara Willis
Chattahoochee Elementary will host a visit from Officer Bobby Johnson of the Duluth Police Department. The third session of Avoid Drugs, Violence, And Negative Choices Early (ADVANCE) training for 5th grade students will take place on May 16, and a graduation ceremony will take place on the May 26 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. For more information, call Chattahoochee Elementary at 770-497-9907.

Globetrotter Michael Douglas will visit Sweetwater Middle students on May 17 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. to encourage summer reading. Through the Michael Douglas Youth Foundation students will learn about the “How to be Smarter, Read Books Program” encouraging students to read a minimum of 25 books over the summer. For more information, call 770-931-7059.

Britt Elementary will host a visit from Congressman Rob Woodall on May 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. During the visit, Congressman Woodall will have lunch with students and visit classrooms. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Alford Elementary students have the opportunity to receive a safety helmet for biking, skateboarding, etc. on May 21 at 10 a.m. Parents and students may come by the school to receive a donated helmet for students, For more information, call Catherine García-Brake, school social worker, at 678-245-3198.

Rock Springs Elementary challenged the school community to raise $3,000 for Relay For Life. The goal was reached on May 13, and the reward was an opportunity to dunk counselors, assistance principals, and the principal in a dunking booth. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

GCPS is accepting applications to serve on the GEMS Oversight Committee. The GEMS Oversight Committee is a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. After the review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board. Members serve three year terms. Please review the downloadable application on the website. Completed applications should be returned by June 1 to the attention of Dale Robbins, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Support, at the Instructional Support Center. For more information, call 678-301-7030.

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--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter, GCPS eNews... 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 ( and to check out the e-News archives.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
05/11/2011Almost 9,000 Gwinnett seniors part of Class of 2011 (pdf)
05/10/2011Nine seniors earn $2,500 National Merit award (pdf)
05/10/2011Two GCPS students achieve Georgia’s highest German scores (pdf)
05/10/2011Two GCPS students achieve Georgia’s highest German scores (pdf)
05/05/2011Norcross High’s Parrish inducted into Hall of Fame (pdf)
05/04/2011North Gwinnett High students earn study abroad scholarships (pdf)

General information on high school summer school registration
Summer session is available for students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders who may take designated classes. All classes have a fee. Learn more about summer school on the GCPS website,
Face-to-Face Classes
Dates: June 14–July 13 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Locations: Central Gwinnett High, Mill Creek High, and Shiloh High
Register: Online registration (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) will be held through June 7 at attending face-to-face classes also may register in person (cash or money order only) at Central Gwinnett High on June 4. All out-of-county students must register on June 4 at Central Gwinnett.
Online Classes
Dates: June 13–July 11 or 12 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Location: A reliable computer with an Internet connection (daily access required). Note: Final exams require face-to-face meeting. Some courses require materials pick-up June 8 or 9. Health, PE, and science classes require face-to-face meetings for labs and/or tests.
Register: Register online (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) at through June 3.

Elementary and Middle School Summer School…
Elementary and middle school students who need more time and opportunity to learn will have that option during Gwinnett’s free Academic Summer School. Qualifying students in grades 3–8 would be recommended for the 15-day session if they have not met requirements for promotion to the next grade— passing required sections of the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8; or passing core classes for 6th graders. Participating students will take a retest at the end of summer school to determine placement for 2011–12. Students will attend summer classes Monday through Thursday for three weeks, starting June 20 and ending July 14, with July 4 as a holiday. Summer school students will not attend classes on Fridays. Parents of qualifying students will receive additional information from their student’s school later this spring.

Gwinnett County Summer Remediation and Testing Program -- Summer 2011
Students who must retake one or more sections of the state-required Georgia High School Graduation Tests/Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSGT/GHSWT) are encouraged to participate in free remediation classes prior to the retest opportunity in mid-July. Both remediation classes and summer retests will be held at Phoenix High. Information on registering for remediation classes and taking GHSGT/GHSWT retests follows:
Summer Remediation Classes:
Classes will be held Monday, June 27, through Friday, July 8. Monday, July 4, is a Student/Teacher Holiday. Classes meet daily, Monday through Friday, and are available at the following times:
1st Period
8 – 10:15 a.m.
2nd Period
10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
3rd Period
1:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies

Registering for Summer Remediation Classes:
Students will come to Phoenix High School on either Wednesday, June 22, or Thursday, June 23, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to register for classes.
GHSGT Summer Testing:
Social StudiesMonday, July 118 a.m.
ScienceTuesday, July 128 a.m.
MathWednesday, July 138 a.m.
WritingWednesday, July 132 p.m.
English/Language ArtsThursday, July 148 a.m.
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled testing start time. Student results will be sent to the student’s home school, not Phoenix High.
· Students are required to present a valid picture I.D. in order to be admitted to testing. This may be a driver’s license, passport, student I.D., or state I.D.
· This is the only GHSGT/GHSWT state testing window during the summer. The next administration will be given in September at each local high school. For more information, call Tracy Robertson, coordinator of assessment for high school students, at 678-301-7057.

Additional summer remediation and testing for math section of GHSGT
Project EXPRESS is an additional option that will be offered through the State Department of Education at 40 sites across Georgia. This remediation will take place June 13-24, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, and will culminate in students taking the math portion of the GHSGT on June 24. Specific information regarding online registration procedures, parent permission forms, sites available, etc. will be available through school counselors within the next few days. Registration for Project EXPRESS begins May 9 and the program begins June 13. The math portion of the GHSGT will be administered on June 24 for students participating in the state’s Project EXPRESS.
Important Note: Students may only participate in the GHSGT for math ONCE during the summer. If they participate in Project EXPRESS in June and take the test on June 24, they will not be allowed to take it again through GCPS in July.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

May 16-20 is Custodial Appreciation Week.
A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 5:30 p.m., May 19, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

May 25-27 is early release for high school final exams.

May 26 is a Snow make-up Day for January 13.

May 27 is a Snow make-up Day for January 14, and the last day of school.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools have been scheduled from May 23-May 30. Visit the GCPS website to view dates, times, and locations.

May 30 is memorial Day, a systemwide holiday.

The following schools will hold School Council meetings in April and May. Call the local school for the time and location.
Chesney Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Couch Middle
Duluth High
Harbins Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Snellville Middle
Summerour Middle
Taylor Elementary
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. 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.

Moon Light Monday: Milk Moon Hike
May 16
Homeschool Days - From Georgia West!
May 17
Geology: History of the Earth
May 17
Heritage Living Series
May 18
Let's Take A Closer Look...
May 19
Biology 102
May 20
Art In the Garden II
May 20
All About Series…
May 20
It’s Your House
May 20
Turtles and Trowels
May 21