News You Can Use - 04/16/2012

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
04/16/2012 - 04/22/2012

The Grayson High Technical Education Program presents “Blockbusters in the Black Box” on April 13 at 8:30 a.m. and noon. The performances are created and performed by the Music Technology and Music Recording classes to simulate the post-production process found in the film industry. For more information, call the school at 770-554-7704.

Britt Elementary is one of several GCPS schools receiving a Kroger Earning Plus Learning Grant. Britt’s grant is in the amount of $5,000. Kroger will present the award to the school on April 13 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call Assistant Principal Melissa Madsen at 770-972-4500.

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hosting a 5K race to benefit Relay for Life. The race is scheduled for April 14 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the ISC (Instructional Support Center), Building 200 in Suwanee. Warm-up begins at 7:45 a.m. in front of Building 200 and the 5K Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to age group winners. For more information, call Patrice Pendergast or CoTinna Harris at 678-301-6076. To register, visit

GCPS students earned top awards in the state art and writing contest sponsored by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. The winning students will be recognized April 20 at the annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol. Student winners from Sweetwater Middle include Brittany Ramos, 3rd place for art; and Byron Moon and Violaine Muhemedi, 3rd and 4th place, respectively, for writing. Mountain View High winners include Matthew Woolridge, 1st place; and Amy Andrelchik, 4th place; both for writing. For more information, call the local school, or visit,2096,24114746_174262439,00.html.

Trickum Middle Principal Kay Sands is featured in PAGE ONE magazine’s cover story about the challenges principals face. To view the magazine and the article, visit For more information, call the school at 770-806-3742.

Peachtree Ridge High student Mark Lougee won a 2nd place Thomas Mettille Student Achievement Award in the K-12 category for his mapping software “Virtual Adventure Travel Tour - The Outside Boy.” Mark will receive a $100 cash prize for his entry. The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), the sponsoring organization, is a non-profit professional and educational association that promotes the effective and ethical use of spatial information and information technologies for the understanding and management of urban and regional systems. It is a multi-disciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the spatial data community can come together and share concerns and ideas. Georgia URISA is a proud chapter serving geospatial industry and community in the State of Georgia. For more information, visit

Peachtree Ridge High senior Karl-Mary Akre is the winner of the Vernon E. Carne Scholarship essay competition and recipient of a $3,000 scholarship. First runner up in the competition is Shakori Fletcher from South Gwinnett High. Peachtree Ridge High Principal Dr. Kevin Tashlein was honored as “tallest principal” by the Georgia United Credit Union, who also sponsors the scholarships. For more information, call Kim T. Wall, Director, Public Relations & Community Development at 770-476-6409.

North Gwinnett High Visual Arts teacher Debi West has been profiled in a local arts publication Visit to view the complete article.

Berkmar High Teacher Dennise Peagler had the highest percent of student participation (95%) in the 2011-2012 Georgia Laws of Life essay contest. More than 40,500 Laws of Life essays were written by Georgia students this year. For her efforts in promoting the event, Ms. Peagler is the recipient of a $100 award. For more information, call 770-806-3715.

Two Duluth High social studies teachers were recently recognized. Geri Flanary was named one of the 30 Most Outstanding Educators in America and featured in a chapter of the book “Great Educators” by Pintail Publishing. In addition, Delores Dalton was nominated by one of her students as National History Teacher of the Year. For more information on these Duluth High teachers call 770-476-5206.

Gwinnett County Retired Educators Association (GCREA) has awarded two $1,500 scholarships to Gwinnett County teachers. The recipients are Pam Nunn, a 3rd grade teacher at Craig Elementary, who is pursuing an Ed.S. degree with a major in brain-based teaching; and Donna Springer, a language arts teacher at Mill Creek High, who will be earning her Ed.D. GCREA will be presenting their awards at a luncheon meeting on April 20 at 11 a.m. at Hamilton Mill Golf Club.

Norcross High will host a visit from Gov. Nathan Deal at an April 16 baseball game. Gov. Deal will throw out the first pitch in recognition of the school’s scholar athlete baseball player— Chris Raasch. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Beaver Ridge Elementary offers Spanish classes to all students. The school’s Annual Spanish Spelling Bee is a time for students to shine and demonstrate just how much they have learned in Spanish classes. The Bee will take place on April 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the gym. For more information, call Assistant Principal Nury Crawford at 770-447-6307.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will hold a ‘Little Beavers’ information session for rising kindergartners on April 24 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Parents and students will learn what to expect in kindergarten and how to support their students. For more information, call Assistant Principal Nury Crawford at 770-447-6307.

Beaver Ridge Elementary students and teachers have been working hard throughout the year preparing for the CRCT and now it is time to “Roll Out The Red Carpet For The CRCT!” The school will hold a pep rally on April 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the gym to get students excited about taking the test. For more information, call Assistant Principal Nury Crawford at 770-447-6307.

Sweetwater Middle families and community leaders will join Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful for Good Neighbor Community Days on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Projects will include graffiti paint-out on fences, litter pick up, and right-of-way beautification. The Cruse Road Project includes 13 work sites from James Road to Bethesda School Road designated as Good Neighbor Project Locations. Event sign in and parking will take place at 2933 Club Drive, Lawrenceville; and additional parking is available at Sweetwater Middle after signing in at Club Drive. Registration is required and may be completed by filling out the form from your student and returning it to the teacher, or visit Families and community members interested in participating should select the Cruse Road Project in the “drop down” list and name Sweetwater Middle as their group.

Meadowcreek High students will perform “Westside Story” on April 26 at 7 p.m. and April 27 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-381-9680.

Sweetwater Middle’s award winning “Sweetwater Players” have placed in the top three schools in State Theater competition for two years in a row in addition to several members of the players winning individual awards. The Sweetwater Players will perform the musical “Fame, Jr.” on April 27 and 28 at 6 p.m. More than 200 student performers will be on stage with the help of 30 student technicians. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in advance beginning April 9 or at the door for $6. Parents and community members who need more information or to purchase tickets, can call the Sweetwater Middle Parent Center at 770-923-4131.

Duluth High’s Chorus will perform Peach Jam on April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. This program is the last performance for the school year. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Meadowcreek High will host the school’s 25th Anniversary Celebration on April 30. A reception will take place at 6 p.m. Call the school at 770-381-9680 for more information.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 3 at the local school. Parents may call the Planning Department at 678-301-7085 to find which school their student will attend. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2012, are invited to register their children for the 2012-13 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times and should bring the following documents for registering their child: an official document showing proof of birth date, proof of residency in an attendance zone; a Georgia certificate of immunization; evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year; a photo ID of the person registering the child; proof of custody/guardianship; a child’s social security number; and a copy of the pre-K progress report. Additional information may be viewed on the system web site

The GCPS Foundation Fund will present the 2012 Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame fundraiser for World Class Schools at the Gwinnett Braves Stadium on May 5, at 6 p.m. Gwinnett County’s best athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sponsorships are available by calling 678-301-7287, or by visiting

Gwinnett DFCS will sponsor the 2nd Annual Foster Care Awareness Celebration on May 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 33 South Clayton St., Lawrenceville. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Elaine Cannick, Resource Development Supervisor, at 770-339-2370.

The Gwinnett 3rd Annual FLARE (Focus on Leadership and Advancement in Renewable Energy) Competition brings together students from elementary, middle, and high school to celebrate innovation in alternative energy. The vision of FLARE is to provide a venue for students to integrate science and engineering concepts in order to consider the impact of alternative energy on our community. The competition categories include: Elementary School: Solar Cookers; Middle School: Junior Solar Sprint; and High School: Senior Solar Sprint. The event takes place on May 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Instructional Support Center parking lot, 437 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee, GA 30024. For more information, call Director of Science Dr. Jonathon Wetherington at 678-301-7045.

Maxwell High School of Technology is holding a Middle School Summer Camp for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from across the district interested in exploring careers in Architecture Drawing and Design, Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Law and Justice, and Pre-K Camp Counseling. The camp is scheduled to take place June 11-14 from 8 to 11 a.m. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration runs through May 7, and the registration fee is $50. For more information and to register your child today, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603 or Sherri Stephenson at 770-338-4625.

High school students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders may take designated classes during the summer. Registration is ongoing at the following locations and online.
Face-to-Face ClassesOnline Classes
When: June 12 to July 11 (July 4 holiday)
  • · 1st Period: 7:30-11:00 a.m.
  • · Lunch: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • · 2nd Period: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High.
How: Learn more about face-to-face summer school. Students may register online for face-to-face classes through June 4 or register in person on May 31 at Peachtree Ridge High.
When: June 11 to July 10 (July 4 holiday)
Where: Offered through Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC).
How: Register online. Online registration closes June 4.
Face-to-face meeting required for final exams and for selected classes (health, PE, and science labs).
Important information for face-to-face and Online Campus summer school students:
  • Transportation is not provided for face-to-face summer school classes or for the face-to-face sessions required for Online Campus courses.
  • A student should take no more than two summer classes: two face-to-face classes, two online classes, or a combination.
  • All tuition fees are due at the time of registration.
  • Any student planning to participate in the summer school graduation ceremony must take all summer classes with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
  • Both the Face-to-Face classes and the online programs will follow a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Face-to-face and online summer classes will not meet on Fridays.

The 2012 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 will begin on June 18 and run through July 9, with no classes on Fridays, or July 4. The 15-day session will take place at some schools and some combined “cluster” summer school sites due to construction and maintenance projects. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school. Parents of eligible students will be notified that their student may participate in the free session and given specifics about location and hours. Most summer school sites will not offer transportation. Those schools with additional federal funding to offer transportation will notify parents regarding availability. The free academic summer school is for students who were not successful on tests required for promotion or who did not meet promotion criteria at their grade level. Students are given an opportunity to retake the CRCT subtest(s) at the end of summer school in order to meet promotion criteria and earn promotion to the next grade.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Hopkins Elementary Assistant Principal Elisa Brown, 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.

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 website--

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Each spring, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. New this year, the meetings will be organized by Board electoral districts, reflecting the new district lines, rather than by school clusters. However, citizens may attend any of the five meetings. All Area Board Meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater, with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. The change in Board district lines prompted a venue change for two of the meetings. Remaining meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations.
April 12 District V, represented by 2012 Board Chair Louise Radloff, Meadowcreek HS
April 17 District III, represented by Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Duluth HS

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
04/11/2012Six Gwinnett students earn 1st place in Georgia science fair (pdf)
04/10/2012More than 100 Gwinnett students accepted to Governor’s Honors Program (pdf)
04/04/2012Gwinnett represented by 15 National Achievement recipients (pdf)
04/03/2012Two Gwinnett WordMasters teams earn high honors (pdf)
04/02/2012Sweetwater Middle 6th graders win Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl (pdf)
03/29/2012Three GCPS employees honored for making student safety their top priority (pdf)

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

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 19, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

April 22 is Earth Day.

May is National Physical Education and Sports Month and Better Hearing and Speech Month.

Kindergarten registration day is May 3.

May 7-11 is School Nutrition Employee Week and Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teacher Appreciation Day is May 8.

National School Nurse Day is May 9.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Brookwood High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Craig Elementary
Duluth Middle
Dyer Elementary
Ferguson Elementary
Fort Daniel Elementary
Harris Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Lanier High
Mason Jr. Elementary
Monarch School
Patrick Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
Richard Hull Middle
Richards Middle
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Summerour Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary
Woodward Mill 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.

Earth Day Every Day-April Visitor ServiceApril 21
Exploring The EnvironmentApr 18, May 16
Earth Day CelebrationApr 21
Intro to Rug Hooking Class for Youth Ages 10 to 17Apr 28, May 12
e-Planetarium Show in AprilApr 28
Our Shared Birds –The International Feathered Tourist May 5, 12, 19
Pioneer School at McDaniel FarmMay 5
Night Hike: Flower MoonMay 7
World Turtle DayMay 26