News You Can Use - 03/14/2011

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
03/14/2011 - 03/20/2011

Minor Elementary invites families to the first Annual Science Night on March 11 at 6 p.m. Science Specialist Chad Lane and the school science committee organized the event for students to showcase their science projects for friends and family. In addition to the exhibit, families will have the opportunity to learn and discover science concepts at any of three science stations—working with green slime, static electricity, or “fungus among us” experiments. For more information, call 770-925-9543.

Brookwood High Principal Debbie Dees is a finalist for Georgia High School Principal of the Year. Ms. Dees was nominated for this honor by the Georgia Association of Secondary Schools Principals. For more information, visit

Gayle Adkinson, Director of Gifted and Accelerated Education, has been selected for the Outstanding Student Award in a District Level Leadership Role by the University of West Georgia, College of Education. Ms. Adkinson was selected by the faculty of the Educational Leadership program.

GCPS was well represented at the annual conference of the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG). This year’s conference was the largest in FLAG’s history, with 412 registered participants and more than 90 sessions and workshops. Special keynote speaker at the conference was Mr. Andre Lewis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education. The following GCPS educators shared their expertise with colleagues from around the state:
· “A Make and Take Adventure!”— Joe Frank Uriz, Parsons Elementary, Alexandra Hunter, Beaver Ridge Elementary, Lillian Carrasco, Level Creek Elementary, Diana Diazgranados, Berkeley Lake Elementary, Sara Wellman, Peachtree Elementary, Allison Doherty, Stripling Elementary
· “Come on Down! Games and Game Shows in the World Language Classroom”— Holly Brodnax, Grayson High and Laura Droms, Mountain View High
· “Get Them Reading! Easy to Implement Reading Strategies” David Jahner, director of Foreign Language
· “Power Point Storytelling” Sara Wellman, Peachtree Elementary
· “Teaching Language through Etymology” Jaime Claymore, Mountain View High
· “Organizing for Success: Binders, Bags, Bins and Bombs!” Lara Foreman, Grayson High
· “What can FLAG do for you?” Joe Frank Uriz, Parsons Elementary
· “Beyond the Textbook: Communicative Strategies that Truly Engage Students” Kris Muir, Brookwood High
· “German Advanced Placement Begins in Level 1” Sanja Knezovic, Parkview High
For more information, call David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

Joe Frank Uriz from Parsons Elementary and David Jahner, Foreign Language director, served on the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Board for a two-year term from 2009-2011. Mr. Uriz served as Public Relations Director and Mr. Jahner as President. The two continue to serve on the 2011 - 2013 FLAG Board in different roles: Mr. Uriz is now President-Elect and Mr. Jahner is Immediate Past President. For more information, call David Jahner at 678-301-7020.

Of 24 GCPS students exhibiting at the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition Dogwood Festival (AHSAE), five were honored with AHSAE awards and will participate in Meet the Artist exhibits as well.
· 8th Place: Abbagail Holtz, Norcross High, “Bearden’s Buddy Bob”
· 9th Place: Julio Garcia, Norcross High, “Macbeth Witches”
· 10th Place: Angela Hood, North Gwinnett High, “After the Bath”
· 11th Place: Yana Nikolaeva, Mill Creek High, “Deception”
Honorable Mention was awarded to Kim Hokyum of Mill Creek High for “Dreaming of Evolution.” For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of Fine Arts, at 678-301-7015.

Shiloh High student Taviel Bartley has the winning entry in the Georgia Perimeter College High School Literary Arts Competition. The title of her poem is “I Too Mr. Hughes (Response to I Too)”. Her Teacher is Gayle Bankhead.

GCPS will hold a Transition Fair on March 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High for students with disabilities, their families, and educators. This event will provide information about services and resources to help prepare students transitioning from the school system. Students and families will have the opportunity to meet with local agency representatives to discuss and research the options available as they transition to post-school activities and employment. In addition, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., participants may attend breakout sessions to learn more about topics such as Medicaid Waivers, Social Security Benefits, Estate Planning and Guardianship, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Assistive Technology, and Vocational and Community Programs. For more information call Middle and High Schools Program Coach Alison Vernon or Community Skills Program Coach Tamra King at 678-301-7121.

Gwinnett County parents and students are invited to attend a Spring Fling through the Grayson Technical Education Program on March 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Grayson Technical Building. Events will include games, raffles, prizes, and crafts. The local community, interested GCPS students, and families are invited to attend. Experience hands-on application of innovative programs and meet the highly skilled and industry-certified faculty. For more information, visit

The South Gwinnett Cluster Title I schools will host a “What to do this Summer--Be There Fair” for families on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Snellville Middle. There is no charge for the event. Information will be presented during three information sessions on Cyberbullying, Testing Prep, Gang Awareness, and other topics for parents. Community groups will provide information about summer activities available in Snellville and Gwinnett County. Entertainment will be provided by the music and dance programs from Britt Elementary, Norton Elementary, Rosebud Elementary, and Snellville Middle. Lunch will be served and childcare is provided. This program is sponsored by the GCPS Title I Program and the South Gwinnett Cluster Title I schools. For more information, call Britt Elementary, Norton Elementary, Rosebud Elementary, or Snellville Middle.

Trickum Middle 8th grade gifted language arts students have embarked on a mission to research and learn about human rights issues around the world. Students will share this knowledge at the 2nd annual “Messages to Humanity” museum. Students will act as curators of the museum giving tours to students on March 28. On March 29 the museum will remain open into the evening for parents and community members to experienceNight at the Museum.” For more information, call Debra Moody or Cathy Alexander at 770-931-5650.

The artwork of GCPS’ many talented students will be showcased during Tapestry 2011. The event will be held for three weeks at the Instructional Support Center (ISC) with evening receptions on March 15, and March 22 at 6 p.m. The exhibit includes pottery, paintings, jewelry, etc. Call the Fine Arts Office at 678-301-7004 if you have any questions.
Tapestry Week 2 (March 11-17)
The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 2: the Collins Hill, Dacula, Lanier, Mountain View, Norcross, Parkview, and Shiloh clusters.
· Reception: March 15, 6-7:30 p.m.
Tapestry Week 3 (March 22-29)
The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3: the Archer, Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Duluth, and Grayson cluster; including the Grayson High Technical Education Program.
· Reception: March 22, 6-7:30 p.m.
Exhibit hours are 7 a.m.-8 p.m. during the week, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Beginning in August of 2011, Gwinnett County Public Schools will offer students a new way to earn a diploma… online through Gwinnett Online Campus. Registration for the new school is ongoing and has been extended through March 31, 2011. Registration materials and information about the online high school and online learning can be found on the district website and at

Grayson High School Technical Education Program, housed on the Grayson High campus, is currently accepting application for classes in 2011-12. For more information and an application, visit

Maxwell High School of Technology offers exciting, innovative courses of study for all students in Gwinnett County. Maxwell High School of Technology is currently registering students for classes in 2011-12. Maxwell is recognized as one of the premier career and technical high schools in Georgia. Visit for more information and to register.

Local businesses supported Sweetwater Middle’s financial literacy program with prizes, refreshments, gift certificates, gift cards, and many more contributions to make the program a success. During session five, mentors created a game using Monopoly currency for a review of the previous four sessions. Student winners will have an opportunity to choose prizes for their efforts.

Norcross Elementary recently celebrated Read Across America. Guest readers included National Football League players, politicians, businesses, non-profit organizations, parents and other Gwinnett County Public School personnel and community officials. This activity was extended for numerous days as a result of the overwhelming response of interested guest readers. Photos are available upon request.

Sweetwater Middle technical education teachers hosted a Technology Education Career Day. For more information, call Michael A. Oce at 770-923-4131 ext. 3502.

Minor Elementary Counselor Heather Alvira was awarded a Career Programming Enhancement Grant through the 21st Century Grant Program. The grant will be used to develop student awareness of post-secondary education and careers. Funds from the grant will allow students to explore and research career possibilities with the aid of parent volunteers, counselors, teachers, and community members. The initiative will conclude with a week of students career events in May.

Minor Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Shawna Voigt earned a grant from “Girls on the Run of Atlanta”. Ms. Voigt used the grant to start a running club for fourth and fifth grade girls to meet twice weekly for twelve consecutive weeks to train together to participate in a 5k run in the spring. Girls on the Run of Atlanta is a non-profit program whose mission is to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Each young lady receives a free pair of running shoes for their participation. Teachers Heather Alvira and Laurie Pitcock co-sponsor the club.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus welcomes new student leadership programs to the Norcross Cluster, takes part in a visit from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and recognizes the contributions of Gwinnett’s top counselors...join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week 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.

“Colonial Williamsburg - Women of the Revolution” Bravery. Loyalty. Sacrifice. Women of the Revolution possessed all of these qualities. Explore the excitement, peril, and individual stories of Deborah Sampson, Mary Perth, Martha Washington, and other women on both sides of the conflict, who proved their mettle in America’s war for independence. This 60-minute program airs March 14-19 at 1 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.

The schedule is set for the Gwinnett County Board of Education’s annual Area Board Meetings, a time of year when School Board members meet in their local districts. These meetings, which are in addition to the regular monthly Board meeting, are an opportunity for the five Board members to meet in their district, share information, and hear from their local constituents. The program includes CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks’ annual update on the state of the school district, which focuses on the system’s accomplishments, challenges, and continuous efforts to raise student achievement. The Area Board Meetings are held by School Board district, but the public is invited to attend any of the meetings. All Area Board Meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.
March 29-- District II --- Hosted by Board member Daniel D. Seckinger at Lanier High.
District II represents all or part of the Collins Hill, Lanier, Mill Creek, Mountain View, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge clusters, including Buice School.
March 31-- District III --- Hosted by Board member Dr. Mary Kay Murphy at Norcross High. District III includes all or part of the Duluth, Norcross, and Peachtree Ridge clusters, including GIVE Center West, Gwinnett Online Campus, and Monarch School.
April 12-- District IV --- Hosted by Board Chairman Dr. Robert McClure at Brookwood High. District IV includes all or part of the Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Grayson, Parkview, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett clusters.
April 14-- District V --- Hosted by Board Vice Chairman Louise Radloff at Berkmar High.
District V includes all or portions of the Berkmar, Brookwood, Meadowcreek, and Parkview clusters.
April 19-- District I --- Hosted by Board member Carole Boyce at Grayson High.
District I includes all or portions of the Berkmar; Brookwood; Central Gwinnett; Collins Hill; Dacula; Grayson; Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, Mountain View, and South Gwinnett clusters; including GIVE Center East; Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Hooper Renwick School; Maxwell High School of Technology; Oakland Meadow School; and Phoenix High.

March is Music in Our schools Month, National Nutrition Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 13 is Daylight Saving Time (advance clocks one hour).

March 14 is a snow make-up day (Priority 2) — school in session.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 17, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council meetings in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
Archer High School
Berkmar High
Buice School
Burnette ES
Camp Creek Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Couch Middle
Creekland Middle
Crews Middle
Dacula High
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Dyer Elementary
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Harris Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Kanoheda Elementary
Lanier High
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Middle
Mason Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Mulberry Elementary
North Gwinnett High
North Gwinnett Middle
Norton Elementary
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pinckneyville Middle
Puckett's Mill Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Stripling Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
Taylor Elementary
Trickum Middle
Twin Rivers Middle
Walnut Grove 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: Crow Moon HikeMar 14
Your House, My HouseMar 15, 16, 17, 18
Little Hands Winter 2011Mar 15
Winter 2011 Homeschool Days-Women's History: Not for Girls OnlyMar 15
Understanding Genetics-3rd-5th GradesMar 15, 16
Biology 101Mar 18
Recycled Art PartyMar 18
Culinary MathMar 18
Freaky PhysicsMar 18

For a complete list of activities at a local park, visit

March 19 & 26, 9-11 a.m. - Breakfast with the Veterans
Have an interest in military history? Enjoy breakfast with our country’s finest war veterans. Continental breakfast served at 9 a.m., film presentation, Q & A session and then a tour of the Veterans Museum. A great, interactive experience for Scout troops. Age 9-up, $12/person; pre-registration required by March 17. For more information, call 770-822-5450. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 85 E. Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Code: GHCH1505

March 19, 2-4 p.m. - Girl Scout Dance Party
Come learn about different dance styles, watch a dance performance, learn some dance moves, have a healthy snack and more! This event will meet the requirements for the Brownie Dancercize Try-It and the Junior Dance Badge and the patch is included! $9/person, pre-registration required, call 770-614-2060. Brownies, 2:00-3:30pm, Code: BPCC14100 or Juniors, 4:00-5:30pm. Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, 2723 North Bogan Road, Buford. Code: BPCC14101

March 19, 7-10 p.m. - Moon Over Paradise Prom
The perfect formal prom experience for Home School students. Have an awesome night with friends, live music, dancing and refreshments! Grades 9-12, required. Call 770-822-5450 to pre-register. Tickets may be purchased for $35/person or $60/couple. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 85 E. Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Code: GHCH11050