News You Can Use - 03/20/2006









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
03/20/2006 - 03/26/2006


HONORS
The Norcross High Philharmonic Orchestra was named number one high school string orchestra in the nation at the 2006 American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival last week in Kansas City, Mo. The orchestra is directed by Allison Bates and Cathie Hudnall. For more information, call Fine Arts Director Robert Andrews at 678-301-7015.

Grant Reppert, GCPS transportation director, has been certified as a Director of Pupil Transportation by the National Association for Pupil Transportation. Mr. Reppert is one of only 99 people in the nation to hold this certification. For more information, call Michael Martin at 800-989-6278.

Lilburn Elementary is the 2006 Georgia School of Excellence for Congressional District 13, one of 20 schools in the state recognized this year. State School Superintendent Kathy Cox announced the honor March 9. Lilburn Elementary was selected from among District 13 schools for showing the greatest gains for student achievement in reading, language arts and math over three years. For more information, call 770-921-7707.

Nearly 350 GCPS band, chorus, and orchestra students in middle and high school were selected for All-State competition. For a full list of student names, contact Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

GCPS had 32 participants earn Superior, Excellent, or Notable ratings at the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Spoken Language Competition in March 4 at Marietta High. Students competed in Spanish, German, French, and Latin. For a list of names, call Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

GCPS had 74 first through fourth-place wins at the State German Convention in February. For a complete list of winners, contact Sue Peterson at 678-301-6020.

The winners of the first annual Gwinnett Readers Rally are listed below. A team from Sugar Hill Elementary, coached by Beth Ascher, placed first, and the Dr. M.H. Mason Elementary team, coached by Carolyn Armstrong, placed second at the elementary level. Lilburn Middle’s team, coached by Marguerite Noga, Juanita Benjamin, and Anne Peters, won first place, and Five Forks Middle, coached by Juliana Anglada and Susan Slay, placed second in the middle school competition. North Gwinnett High, coached by Carla Youmans, placed first at the high school level and Collins Hill High, coached by Amy Golemme, placed second. Two middle school teams and two high school teams advanced to regional competition. Gwinnett teams in regional competition were successful in their first-ever appearance. North Gwinnett High placed first at the Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl and will advance to state finals in Athens on April 22. Collins Hill High placed third in regional competition. For more information, call Meg Reed at 678-377-8933.

UPCOMING
Alton C. Crews Middle will host the school’s 8th annual Technology Fair March 21, beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-982-6940.

Grayson Elementary will hold its final session of Grayson Parent Academy on March 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. Parents are invited to “Understanding Standardized Testing” to get information about tests students will take in April. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

Benefield Elementary will host an “Empty Bowls” dinner consisting of soup, salad, a grilled cheese sandwich, crackers, and tea, starting at 6:30 on March 23. The cost is $3 per person and participants will receive a clay bowl made by students. The bowls are a reminder that there is hunger in the world, including in our community. In addition, a silent auction will be conducted, featuring bowls created by Benefield staff members. Proceeds from the dinner and the silent auction will be donated to the Lawrenceville Co-operative Ministry. There will also be visual arts-themed carnival games, activities, and prizes. Student artwork will be on display. For more information, call Marcy Cincotta-Smith or Laura Rilling at 770-962-3771.

The Grayson Elementary PTA will host an Annual Mother/Son Event on March 24 with dinner at 6 p.m. This year’s event is “Dinner & Movie.” Moms and sons will enjoy a dinner catered by Frontera Restaurant, followed by a movie in the gym. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

Mill Creek High will host several events in March.
· The Tri-M music honor society will hold a charity dinner on March 24 at 7:15 p.m. at Mill Creek High. The dinner benefits the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which provides instruments to needy students in the U.S. Tickets are $30 per person and $55 for a couple. Dinner will be served in the Commons area with food provided by The Fieldhouse.
· The talent show will be held on March 25 at 7 p.m. in the school theater.
· The Mr. Mill Creek contest will be held on March 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.
For more information on any of these events, call 678-714-5850.

B.B. Harris Elementary will host a “Focus on Family Carnival” March 25 at Duluth Town Green from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a Space Jump, Titanic Slide, Spider Man Obstacle Course, Tiki Rock Climb, Dual Sport Bungee, Body Art/ Face Paining, Games, food, and more. For more information, call 770-232-3241.

The Dacula Community will benefit when the Gwinnett Gladiators host the South Carolina Stingrays on the ice at the Arena at the Gwinnett Center. The puck drops at 4:05 p.m. on March 26. The Dacula High Marketing department is planning activities for the event. Discounted tickets ($12 for regular $16 tickets) are available at the school or order on-line at www.gwinnettgladiators.com/gwinnett/tickets/daculahs.asp. The Gladiators are donating $2 per discounted ticket to benefit the Dacula Relay for Life, Dacula Academic Foundation, and Student Council. In addition, March 26 is Public Safety Night at the arena. Police cars, police motorcycles, fire trucks, a smokehouse trailer, and more will be on display. For more information, call Tammi Maness at 770-963-6664.

The Brookwood High dance department has been selected to participate in the National High School Dance Association Festival at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Fla., on March 29 through April 2. The dancers will perform a classical pointe work entitled “Femmes” set to “Concerto for two Pianos” by Francis Poulenc. For more information, call 770-736-4360.

Earlier this school year, student members of the Sweetwater Middle Beta Club collected ‘almost new’ children’s videos and books for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). The items were donated to new day surgical center scheduled to open in April, located in Duluth. When the facility opens, student art will be on display; including artwork from Karen Berne’s art students. In addition, the Beta Club undertook a school beautification project building a stone wall and gardens by the flagpole. At Christmas time gifts were donated to the Gwinnett Shelter for Abused Women and Children. School supplies were assembled and donated for the Katrina evacuees who joined Sweetwater as students. For more information, call Joan Beattie at 770-923-4131.

Arcado Elementary will host a 25th Anniversary celebration on April 17 beginning at 7 p.m. in the gym. Former Arcado students— especially families with a second or third generation student at the school— are invited to contact the school to become a part of the celebration. For more information, call Koki Horner at 770-925-2100 or by email at koki_horner@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

RECENTLY
Amy Hatcher of Walnut Grove Elementary had her gifted classes involved in some interesting activities over the past couple of months. In January fifth graders wrote a melodrama set in the Gold Rush era, performing the play for parents and other guests, and the school’s entire fifth grade. In addition, in February and March, students researched cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Mad Cow Disease, and other illnesses and developed PowerPoint presentations on their research, extending their learning of the curriculum regarding the human body. Students presented the material, fielding questions from a panel of adults at the conclusion of the presentation. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

Berkmar Middle recently held the school’s 2nd annual Symphonic Camp on March 3 and 4. Orchestra students worked with guest conductors and clinicians. This year’s conductors featured Michael Palmer, director of orchestras at Georgia State University, and Juana Alzoga, orchestra director from DeKalb County’s Sequoyah Middle. For more information, call 770-638-2300.

Mary Cooper’s 6th grade gifted classes at Five Forks Middle had a visit from Bob Martin, a former administrator with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, on March 14. For more information, call Nannette Parrish at 770-972-1506.

The Trickum Middle Nutritional Advisory Committee is sponsoring a fundraiser, entitled “School to School, Children to Children.” Funds collected by the club will be sent to aid a school in New Orleans. A student who temporarily attended Trickum after Hurricane Katrina returned to the Lilburn school and told her former classmates about the many needs of her school in New Orleans. Checks may be made payable to Trickum Middle. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

GCPS TV
GCPS Focus” This week on GCPS Focus...we celebrate Gwinnett's counselors of the year and learn more about the counselor's important role; a feature on the fine arts curriculum highlights music, arts, dance, and theater; and we take a look at a new show produced for students and by students. This 30-min. program airs March 20-26 at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Education News Parents Can Use: Helping America's Youth - Engaging At-Risk Students” The March broadcast of “Education News Parents Can Use” will explore the Helping America's Youth Initiative, with a special emphasis on what schools can do to engage children in their studies, promote healthy behaviors, and prepare students for successful lives after graduation. The program will feature a videotaped message from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, “Best practices” in positive youth development, and a conversation with educators, researchers, and community leaders. This 60-min. program airs March 21-23 at 9 p.m.

“Building our Strengths through Language” Students are preparing to compete in the global marketplace with greater multilingual skills and multicultural understanding. The study of language and literature provides cognitive, analytical, and communication skills that are critical in today's society. This program highlights the foreign language opportunities available to students and shows how quality instruction prepares students for the growing demands of a global community. This 30-min. program airs March 20-26 at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

“Meet the Author - Mary Batten” Ms. Batten is an award-winning science writer of books for children and adults. From “Aliens From Earth: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems” to “Who Has a Belly Button?”—her books are recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. During the program, Ms. Batten will discuss how her books encourage children to explore anything and everything in the natural world, including their own backyards. This 30-min. program airs March 20-26 at 2 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators” This GCPS TV original series, is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. However, the community is invited to watch and learn as well. The 10-part series will air in hour-long segments through May 28. Each week, a new show will premiere at 8 p.m. on Monday, then be rebroadcast in that same time slot Tuesday through Sunday.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or e-mail gcpstv@gwinnett.k12.ga.us. A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site-- www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

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FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Employees and citizens have five opportunities in April to hear about proposed budget plans for 2006–07 and discuss education topics with their elected officials in a public forum. One meeting is scheduled in each of the School Board members’ districts. Area Board Meetings are set for…
• April 11, Daniel Seckinger’s District II meeting, North Gwinnett High;
• April 18, Carole Boyce’s District I meeting, Central Gwinnett High;
• April 20, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy’s District III meeting, Duluth High;
• April 25, Dr. Robert McClure’s District IV meeting, Brookwood High; and
• April 27, Louise Radloff’s District V meeting, Parkview High.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

For a listing of GCPS prom dates, visit www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Middle Level Education Month, National Nutrition Month, Social Work Month, Women’s History Month, and Youth Art Month.

Georgia High School Graduation Tests will be administered to juniors March 27-30.

April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day.

April 3-7 is spring break for schools.

April 8 is a systemwide spring holiday for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

April 10-16 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held April 13, 2006, at 7 p.m., at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

April 14 is a student and teacher holiday.


The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during March and April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
School
March
School
April
Alcova Elementary
3/16
Alcova Elementary
4/6
Bethesda Elementary
3/21
Berkmar Middle
4/27
Britt Elementary
3/30
Cedar Hill Elementary
4/11
Chesney Elementary
3/17
Centerville Elementary
4/25
Collins Hill Elementary
3/27
Chattahoochee Elementary
4/18
Creekland Middle
3/23
Cooper Elementary
4/18
Dacula High
3/3
Corley Elementary
4/27
Duncan Creek
3/9
Craig Elementary
4/24
Fort Daniel Elementary
3/3
Dacula High
4/18
Grayson Elementary
3/17
Fort Daniel Elementary
4/21
Gwin Oaks Elementary
3/17
Freeman's Mill Elementary
4/13
Harbins Elementary
3/21
Gwin Oaks Elementary
4/28
Harris Elementary
3/28
Harris Elementary
4/11
Jackson Elementary
3/9
Jones Middle
4/11
Jones Middle
3/30
McConnell Middle
4/18
Lanier Middle
3/7
Meadowcreek Elementary
4/17
Mason Elementary
3/17
Meadowcreek High
4/18
McConnell Middle
3/27
Mountain Park Elementary
4/27
McKendree Elementary
3/31
Norcross Elementary
4/13
Norcross Elementary
3/9
Parkview High
4/25
North Gwinnett
3/14
Parsons Elementary
4/11
Osborne Middle
3/17
Riverside Elementary
4/11
Parsons Elementary
3/20
Shiloh High
4/25
Riverside Elementary
3/14
Shiloh Middle
4/20
Simpson Elementary
3/31
Sweetwater Middle
4/27
Snellville Middle
3/9
South Gwinnett
3/15
Sweetwater Middle
3/30
Sycamore Elementary
3/2