News You Can Use - 05/02/2011

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
05/02/2011 - 05/08/2011

Duluth High chorus students present the 15th Annual Peach Jam musical variety show, “Kids in America” April 30 and May 1. Performances will be held in the school auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. For more information, call Jean Ann Moale, publicity chairperson for the Duluth High chorus, at 770-476-5206.

The GCPS Instructional Support Center Relay For Life team is sponsoring a 5K run/walk to benefit the American Cancer Society on April 30. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the race begins at 8 a.m. Registration is $25 the day of the race. For more information and registration forms, please email or contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 ( or CoTinna Harris at 678-301-7257 (

Five Atlanta-area high school students have been named finalists for the Woodrow Wilson Community Service Award. Recipients of this award are high school juniors who have been nominated by school counselors and recognized as major contributors to a wide range of community efforts within their respective communities. Stephanie Gargiulo of Brookwood High is a regional finalist for Gwinnett County schools for establishing her own foundation to raise money to benefit a child with Mitochondrial disease, and for her commitment to service through the Girl Scouts of America. For more information, call Managing Director Charlie Hurt at 404-974-4982.

Duluth High student Catherine Lewis earned a $500 scholarship from the Georgia United Credit Union. A total of $12,500 was distributed to thirteen high school seniors through the Vernon E. Carne Scholarship program and the Archbishop John F. Donoghue Catholic Scholarship program. This is the 17th year that Georgia United has awarded the Vernon E. Carne Scholarship and the 4th year for the John F. Donoghue Catholic Scholarship for a total of approximately $200,000 awarded to high school seniors during the tenure of both programs. Annual selection is based on academic accomplishments, leadership and participation in both school and community activities and includes a short essay competition. For a complete list of winners, visit

Norcross Elementary received a $1,000 award from Kroger for a video entry in the “Go Green” competition. For more information, call 770-448-2188.

Head Elementary welcomes Tennessee Titan and former Head Elementary student Jared Cook to Field Day on May 6. In support of Relay For Life, the entire student body will walk around the running track two times at the end of the day. For more information, call Len Garner, Head ES teacher at 770-972-8050.

Duluth High SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and the Duluth Police Department will work together to promote safe driving for prom by asking students to buckle up, don’t drink, and don’t text and drive. This year the campaign runs from May 9-13, in conjunction with the Act Out Loud organization. Students will have the opportunity to sign a pledge stating they will not text and drive. Duluth High will also have the opportunity to win a $10,000 school award by receiving the most student votes for the school at the “act out loud” website. For more information, call Teacher Nilda I. Vicéns at 770-476-5602.

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

Berkmar Middle Principal Kenney Wells and Gifted Teacher Jim Eacona are working on an archaeological research project with the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society. On May 14, Dr. James J. D’Angelo will help students discover what is believed to be the remains of a 19th century plantation mill site located on school property. For more information, call Melissa Martin, Parent Instructional Support Coordinator, at 770-638-2310.

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.

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.

“Fractured Union” Fractured Union examines the complex and often tumultuous relationships between our founding fathers. Historical interpreters portraying Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Mason offer high school students a close look at the presidents engaged in heated discussion. This 60-minute program airs this week at 1 p.m.

“Meet the Author - Jennifer O’Connell” With an artistic mother and a storytelling father, Jennifer O’Connell grew up loving art and stories. This illustrator’s picture book, “Ten Timid Ghosts”,is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller. During the program, O’Connell shows the progression from initial sketches to dummy books to final illustrations and answers student questions. This 30-minute program airs this week at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 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, 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.
04/27/2011Registration opens for GCPS summer learning options (pdf)
04/25/2011Three principals set to lead new schools in 2011 (pdf)
04/22/2011GCPS Foundation facilitates more than 30 scholarships (pdf)
04/21/2011Top school bus staffers honored by GCPS (pdf)
04/20/2011Corporations reward three GCPS graduating seniors (pdf)
04/20/2011Yale University honors Duluth High’s Lemonds (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 May 9–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 between May 9 and 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.

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

May 1-7 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 11 is National School Nurse Day and Child Nutrition Employee Day.

May 16-20 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 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 12.

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.
Anderson-Livsey Elementary
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Cooper Elementary
Couch Middle
Duluth High
Ferguson Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
GIVE Center East
Grayson High
Harbins Elementary
Head Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Jones Middle
Knight Elementary
Lanier Middle
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
Mountain Park Elementary
Mountain View High School
Norcross High
North Gwinnett Middle
Peachtree Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Shiloh High
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
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.

Homeschool Days-Westward We Go!May 3
Geology in Today’s WorldMay 3
Heritage Living SeriesMay 4
Let’s Take A Closer Look...May 5
Biology 102May 6
Art In the Garden IIMay 6
It’s Your HouseMay 6
Our Shared Birds-The International Feathered TouristMay 7
Geology: History of the EarthMay 10
Heritage Living SeriesMay 11
Let’s Take A Closer Look...May 12
Biology 102May 13