News You Can Use - 03/22/2010

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
03/22/2010 - 03/28/2010

GCPS and the Gwinnett Interagency Transition Council will hold its annual Transition Fair for students with disabilities, their families, and educators on March 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Peachtree Ridge High in Suwanee. This event will focus on providing information on services and resources to prepare students transitioning from the school system. Students with disabilities and their 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. Featured participants include representation in the areas of employment support, residential services, day-habilitation programs, recreation and leisure, assistive technology, and support organizations. In addition, participants can attend breakout sessions to learn more about topics such as Medicaid waivers, Social Security Income, financial planning and guardianship, transition planning, and employment support options. For more information, call 678-301-7137.

Four GCPS middle schools— Bay Creek , Berkmar, Couch , and Duluth— will participate in the ING Run for Something Better® race on March 21. More than 420 middle school students have trained for this event. Students who complete the program are eligible to run in the Final Mile Event by running the final 1.1 miles of the ING Georgia Marathon course and receiving a medal, a T-shirt, snack, and orange shoe laces. For more information, call Chuck Truett, director of health and physical education, at 678-301-7040.

Norcross Elementary 1st grader Michael Omoigui is one of the 22 students selected from more than 1,000 entries to have his art work displayed on the Georgia Youth Art Month flag. To view the artwork, visit more information, call 770-448-2188.

Sweetwater Middle student Randall Priest will attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in D.C. The Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) helps students develop and sharpen their leadership skills by examining the leaders of the past and empowering them to make a positive social impact in their community and the world. For more information, visit

This years’ Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant theme was “The Time of My Life, a tribute to the music of the 80’s”. The event is sponsored by the Peachtree Ridge Foundation. Becca Smith was named 2010 Miss Peachtree Ridge High School, Catherine May was selected as Miss Freshman, Baillie Burmaster was named Miss Junior, and Taylor Adkins was named Miss Sophomore. For more information, call 678-957-3138.

Norcross High will host the fourth in a series for immigrant families on achieving academic success in U.S. schools on March 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The title of this program is “Parenting Your Student to Academic Success in the U.S. (Middle and High School) Session IV – What the Future Holds.” Information will be shared on how to achieve graduation and what happens next, opportunities for students, and skills needed to succeed. For more information, or to request an interpreter, call Amy Valverde-Jensen, at 678-616-5180.

Ivy Creek Elementary staff members will host a fundraiser for Grace, a student at the school in need of a heart transplant. On March 26, staff members from Ivy Creek Elementary, Jones Middle (where Grace’s father teaches), and Mill Creek High (where Grace’s mother teaches) will compete in “Goals for Grace,” a basketball tournament where cluster schools compete against each other. Tickets may be purchased with a $5 donation, and concessions will be sold. All proceeds from this event will go to the “Hearts for Grace” fund. For more information visit,or call Tammy Glausier, Ivy Creek assistant principal, at 678-714-3655.

Dacula Cluster schools will hold the 3rd Annual Dacula Cluster Choral Concert on March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Hebron Baptist Worship Center. This concert is in conjunction with the celebration of 100 years of education in Dacula. Choruses from Alcova, Dacula and Mulberry elementary schools will perform with Dacula Middle and Dacula High. In addition, other talent will be highlighted and student art work will be displayed. Admission to the concert is free. The Dacula High Student Council is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive at the event. For more information, call Beth Warzon, Alcova Elementary music specialist, at 678-376-8500.

The GCPS Instructional Support Center (ISC) Relay for Life Team team will sponsor a 5K run/walk to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on April 17 at 8 a.m. at the ISC, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Building 200, Suwanee. Early registration for adults (by April 1) is $15; 12 and under $10. Registration received after April 1 and on race day is $20 for adults and $15 for those 12 and under. All pre-paid participants will receive a t-shirt. Limited t-shirts will be available on race day for those who register the day of the race. Awards will be given. For more information and to register, call CoTinna Harris at 678-301-7257 ( or Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 (

Trip Elementary students and their parents are invited to participate in preparing for the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests by attending Trivia Nights on March 22 and 29 at Johnny’s New York Pizza in Grayson. Concessions may be purchased at 6:15 p.m. Trivia begins at 7 p.m. Participants will be equipped with tools and prizes that will prepare them for testing. For more information, call 678-639-3850.

Gwinnett County residents will experience the ambiance of an art gallery next time they visit the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee, as hundreds of pieces of student art work will be on display in the district headquarters’ welcome area. Gwinnett County Public Schools students enrolled in K-12 fine arts programs will exhibit what they have learned and created in the classroom during the annual “Tapestry Display.” Gwinnett County parents, community members, students, and staff are welcome to view the artwork through March 30 with three opening nights at the ISC, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, in Suwanee.
  • The following clusters will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3, March 23-31: Archer, Collins Hill, Duluth, GSMST, Give East & West, Mill Creek, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh. (Reception night: March 23, 6-8 p.m.
The exhibit will be open for public viewing from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call the Fine Arts office at 678-301-7015.

Grayson High recently hosted “Beat the Beast”, an art exhibit and sale to benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation. Grayson Art Teacher Megan Brockington organized the event to bring awareness to a disease that claims the life of one American every hour. The event also featured bake sale items and an activities table where students could paint a ribbon to support Melanoma research. For more information, visit

Berkmar Middle students collected “art cash” by participating in Fundred, a nation-wide drawing project which is raising money to eliminate the devastating effects of lead-contaminated soil that currently places children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Fundred made a visit to Berkmar Middle and collected the student drawings. For more information, visit call Art Teacher Pepper Arnold at 770-633-2300.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/17/2010Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame Needs You (pdf)
03/15/2010Through writing and art, students learn about world issues (pdf)

“ArtStage: 2010 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus” Celebrate “Music in Our Schools Month” by watching this special presentation featuring the 2010 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus and the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde. This 60-minute program airs March 22-27 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month’s program looks in on what’s brewing with school-based coffee houses, discusses the changing face of Gwinnett leading up to the 2010 Census, and experiences the sights and sounds of the 2010 Science Fair. Join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus - your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airis 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.

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--

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March is Music in Our Schools Month and National Nutrition Month.

The Georgia Writing Evaluation Window for Grade 3 and 7 runs through March 26.

The Georgia High School Graduation Tests (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies subtests) are scheduled for March 22-25 for Grade 11.

April is Occupational Therapy Month, School Library Media Month, and Young Peoples Poetry Month.

April 2 is a Student/Teacher holiday, and International Children’s Book Day.

April 5-9 is spring break for schools.

April 9 is a systemwide spring holiday for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 15, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

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

Camp Creek Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dyer Elementary
Harris Elementary
Jones Middle
Lilburn Middle
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pinckneyville Middle
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Summerour Middle
Suwanee Elementary
Taylor Elementary
Twin Rivers Middle

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 call 770-904-3500.

March 23
Homeschool: Heritage Living Series: Natural Dyes
Homeschool: Little Hands: Did You See the Stars?
Homeschool: The Forces Within
Little Hands: The Ants Go Marching
March 24
Homeschool: The Forces Within
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Science Process Skills
Homeschool: Guided Trail Hikes
March 26
Homeschool: Pre-Chemistry for Grades 6-9
Junior Master Gardener Level I
Homeschool: Comparative Studies Close-up
March 27
Super Saturday: Nature Hike
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Turtle Feeding
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Nature Hike
Super Saturday: Blue Planet
Super Saturday: Green Building Tour
March 29
Worm Moon Hike
March 30
Homeschool: Wildlife Gardner Series: Insects
Homeschool: The Forces Within
March 31
Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II
Homeschool: The Forces Within
Little Hands: The Ants Go Marching
Homeschool: Monthly Lab Extension
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Science Process Skills