News You Can Use - 10/18/2010

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
10/18/2010 - 10/24/2010

Brookwood High invites the community to participate in upcoming Homecoming events.
· A parade will take place on Oct. 15 beginning at 4:45 p.m. and include the marching band, horses representing the Bronco mascot, the dance Step Team, fencing demonstrations, the Lawrenceville Trolley, candy for all the kids, and much more. The parade begins at Brookwood Elementary, winds through Brookwood Manor subdivision, and continues down Dogwood Road in front of Brookwood High. Dogwood Road will be closed between Webb Gin House and Brookwood Manor from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Oct. 15.
· The homecoming football game begins at 7:30 p.m. on Oct.15 at the Brookwood Community Stadium. The half-time show includes the crowning of homecoming King, Queen, Prince and Princess. Tickets may be purchased for $7 at the gate.
For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-978-5088, or email

The announcement of the Broad Prize for Urban Education, the largest education award in the nation, is just days away. Earlier this spring, Gwinnett County Public Schools was nominated for the prestigious Broad Prize for the second year in a row. It’s the school district’s work on closing the achievement gap between different groups of students that once again attracted the attention of the Broad. It named Gwinnett one of five top performing districts nationwide. As a finalist, GCPS is guaranteed to receive a quarter of a million dollars in scholarship money. Thirteen Gwinnett graduates from the Class of 2010 each received a $20,000 scholarship as a result of Gwinnett’s finish as a finalist last year. If the school district is named the winner during this year’s announcement, it will receive a million dollars in scholarship money for the Class of 2011. You can watch Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announce this year’s winner on GCPS TV live from New York. The announcement takes place at 11:30 a-m. on Tuesday October 19. News media representatives are invited to watch the announcement at the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee.

GCPS was recognized by the Center for Digital Education, a national technology group, and the National School Boards Association. The district was ranked sixth for large school population in the nation based on its responses on the 2010 Digital School District Survey. The Survey’s purpose is to recognize school districts and school boards across the nation whose use of digital technology in interfacing with students, parents and community, district governing, and bettering of operations proved exceptional. Christopher Wells, director of information technology policies and communications, will receive the award on behalf of GCPS at the upcoming National School Boards Association’s Technology and Learning Conference in Phoenix, AZ. For more information, call 678-301-6510. For more information on the Digital Education Center, visit

GCPS has numerous participants in the Green and Healthy Schools for 2010 program sponsored by Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. For a list of schools and their efforts to ensure a greener and healthier natural world visit The Green and Healthy School Program is joint initiative of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful and Gwinnett County Public Schools. It is a system of strategic planning, teaching, learning, and doing that results in a greener and healthier natural world. For more information, email Brenda McDaniel at

Collins Hill High Principal Glenn McFall and Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Frances Davis have been selected to be members of the Senior Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2010 – 2011. Gwinnett Senior Leadership is made up of a diverse group of Gwinnett’s mature residents who have an interest in contributing their experience and adding value to the Gwinnett community. Monthly programs for the class will focus on justice, education, power, growth, government, the region, health and human services.

GCPS Chief Operations Officer Jim Steele is being inducted into the Stephens County (Georgia) Hall of Fame for his lifelong accomplishments and service to the community. Mr. Steele has been with GCPS since 1976 and is responsible for the Division of Facilities and Operations.

Snellville families are invited to the annual Community Forum on Alcohol and Drug Awareness on Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Snellville United Methodist Church, Heritage Hall, Bldg. H. There is no charge for the “Red Ribbon A’Faire” and the community is invited to attend. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., outdoor activities will include a live radio broadcast, mayoral proclamation, K9 dog demonstrations from members of the fire department, face painting, contests, and concessions. At 1 p.m. speakers will share on how to prevent drug addiction and how to make the community a healthier and safer place to live. For more information, call Shaysha Kingsbury 770-596-3671.

Dyer Elementary will host a pumpkin-decorating contest. Proceeds will benefit the United Way. Judging of the pumpkins will take place on Oct. 25 at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call 770-963-6214.

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education has announced that Gwinnett’s Norcross High has been selected as one of seven schools that will make up this year’s annual Bus Trip Across Georgia. Norcross High will host the tour on Oct 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The theme this year is “Greater Flexibility, Greater Focus on Results.” Schools selected as stops have a proven track record of academic excellence and sustained performance. Norcross High has been able to use the flexibility offered through Gwinnett County’s Investing in Educational Excellence contract to better serve the needs of its students. Visit the Partnership web site – Annual Bus Trip page for more information about the organization and the event.

Patrick Elementary will honor the work of Gwinnett firefighters as a tribute to Bobby Patrick, the school’s namesake, during an Annual Stakeholders’ Breakfast. This year the event will take place on Nov. 19 at 8:30 a.m. Students are held to the high standards of work ethic and team spirit as demonstrated by local firefighters. A yearly data report will be presented to show student progress. Students will give insight into the “day in the life” of a Patrick Elementary student, and chorus students will perform for the firefighters. Bobby Patrick Mentors (20 firefighters who work with the students) will be honored with a special recognition. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

GCPS and the Area II Gwinnett County Council of PTAs will present a College Fair for Students with Disabilities at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee on Dec. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session topics include Navigating and exploring financial options for college, accommodations at the postsecondary level, choosing a career path, and preparing for college and organizing your college search. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit with College Admissions and Disability Services representatives from colleges across the state. For more information, contact the GCPS Department of Special Education and Psychological Services at 678-301-7138, or email Allison Vernon at allison_vernon or Keysha DuPont at keysha_dupont

Sweetwater Middle students recently participated with the Atlanta Falcons Fitness Flag Crew at the Georgia Dome to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month. Serving on the Flag Crew involves an on-field rehearsal, meet and greet/stretching with the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, lunch, the opportunity to visit Falcons Landing and unfurling the giant Falcons flag on-field during player introductions. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Britt Elementary teachers were awarded $100 Walmart gift cards each for classroom projects. Teachers described how they would use the card to increase student achievement in the classroom.The Walmart store manager and Human Resources Manager awarded 10 teachers a gift card. The winning teachers are Shannon Davis, Sara Forrester, Kay Hart, Carrie Hoelscher, Mary Lynn McCarthy, Tom McNeill, Ginger Roberts, Amy Russell, Trisha Voiles, and Tracy Ward. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

The students, faculty, and staff at Gwinnett’s eight new facilities invite their communities to take part in the formal dedication of the buildings Gwinnett County Public Schools opened for the first time in August. A series of dedication ceremonies have been taking place this fall. Remaining events are scheduled as follows:

Sunday, October 17:
Grace Snell Middle, 2 p.m.
3800 Brushy Fork Rd., Loganville

Sunday, October 24: Sunday, November 7:
Jenkins Elementary, 2:30 p.m. Burnette Elementary, 1:30 p.m.
12 Village Way, Lawrenceville 3221 Burnette Rd., Suwanee

Shiloh Elementary will celebrate 20 years of teaching and learning by hosting a community event on Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the school. Former principals of the school will be in attendance. The chorus will perform and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 770-985-6883.

Norton Elementary invites community members, staff, and students to the school’s 25th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. A special program begins at 3 p.m. Current and former students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to view a slide show presentation highlighting the school’s history. Students will perform a musical program and participants may view an exhibit of 25 years of school history. For more information, call 770-985-1933.

Pharr Elementary will celebrate 20 years of teaching and learning with a community event on Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-985-0244.
Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

10/12/2010Six educators named finalists for 2011 Teacher of the Year (pdf)
10/08/2010More than 20 GCPS seniors up for national scholarship (pdf)

“2010 Broad Prize Watch” Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of five finalists for the country's largest education award--The Broad Prize for Urban Education. One hundred of the largest urban school districts nationwide are considered for The Broad Prize each year. Join GCPS TV for a special live viewing of the announcement from New York City. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 19 at 11:30 a.m.

“Love That Book!” Love That Book! a new series exploring the wonderful world of books, premieres this week on GCPS TV. Hosted by storyteller and New York Times bestselling children’s book author Carmen Deedy, this dynamic and engaging new series is sure to delight children and the child in all of us. This 15-min. program airs this week at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“ArtStage: Marching Band Exhibition, Part One” This special edition of Artstage features marching bands from Archer, Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Grayson, Meadowcreek, Parkview, Shiloh and South Gwinnett, along with the Georgia Tech Marching Yellow Jackets. Support your school by tuning in and getting ready for a great program of music and precision marching. This 94-min. program airs Oct. 18-24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This GCPS original 10-part series is taught by Elisa Brown, Hopkins Elementary assistant principal. This program is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through Nov. 5 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

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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Instructional Materials Review through Oct. 29— Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials in the curriculum areas of Science and Technical Education, through Oct. 29. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center (ISC) Building 200 lobby, 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee, during the times listed: Monday–Friday, through Oct. 29, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 21, 5–8 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

October is Computer Learning Month.

Oct. 18 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Oct. 18-22 is Georgia School Bus Safety Week and National School Bus Safety Week.

Oct. 18-24 is Teen Read Week.

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades 3, 5, and 8 is scheduled for Oct. 18-27.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., October 21, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

October 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

November is American Indian Heritage Month.

November 2 is a student teacher holiday and election day.

November 1-7 is National Occupations Student Organization (HOSA) Week.

Standard Time begins November 7.

November 9-13 is School Psychology Week.

November 10 and 11 are early release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

November 11 is Veterans Day.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alford Elementary
Archer High School
Buice School
Camp Creek Elementary
Craig Elementary
Crews Middle
GIVE Center West
Harbins Elementary
Jones Middle
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Mill Creek High
Norton Elementary
Parkview High
Partee Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Summerour Middle
Walnut Grove 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.
Ongoing through Dec. 18 Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA): Beyond Bricks & Sticks
Harvest Moon Hike

Georgia’s Past and Present
Junior Master Gardener Level 1
Monthly Science Class for Fall 2010-Electricity-High School

Monthly Science Class for Fall 2010-Electricity-All Ages
Herbs In Our Heritage
Science and Math Process Skills

Let’s Take A Closer Look…
Little Sprouts
Want to Navigate Like Lewis and Clark?

Right to Hike-Ella’s Run
Creatures of the Night Festival

Georgia’s Past and Present
Junior Master Gardener Level 1

Herbs In Our Heritage

Harvest Season