News You Can Use - 09/14/2009

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
09/14/2009 - 09/20/2009

Walnut Grove Elementary will sponsor a “Hats on for Cancer” day on Sept. 11 to benefit CURE, a local group raising funds for cancer research. Students and staff members wishing to wear a hat during the school day may donate $1 to the cause. Later that day, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Walnut Grove PTA will host a Tailgate Party to support the Collins Hill High football team. Football players, cheerleaders, and band members will visit Walnut Grove Elementary. Students will sell lemonade at the Collins Hill High game to raise money for CURE. For more information, call 770-513-6892.

Trickum Middle band students will perform with the Parkview High Band for Trickum Night at the football game on Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

The Duluth High athletic department will host a tailgate party on Sept. 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the school parking lot. Employees will be treated to a hamburger or hotdog meal before the football game. For more information, call 770-476-5602.

The Duluth High Chamber Orchestra will perform the French and American national anthems for the opening ceremonies at the “La Fete des Violins” exhibit in Duluth on Sept. 12 at Huthmaker Violins. The exhibit will showcase French string instruments and bows and is sponsored by the
Embassy of France, Trade Commission-Ubifrance and The Chambres des Metiers det de l'Artisanat. The exhibit will have more than 80 string instruments and bows from past makers and some of today's master violin makers. Eight violin makers from France will be at Huthmaker Violins from Sept. 11 through Sept 13. The violin makers will be working with Duluth High Orchestra students during their stay. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit

Britt Elementary will commemorate the schools 40th anniversary with a celebration on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. In 1969 Britt Elementary first opened its doors. The event will honor four decades of academic success, while paying tribute to the school’s rich history. The celebration will take place in the school cafeteria from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 770-972-4500.

Five Forks Middle band student Ashleigh Cox was one of five national middle school winners in an essay contest from School Band and Orchestra magazine, winning a $1,000 scholarship. A photo of Ashleigh receiving her award is available upon request. For more information, call Five Forks Band Director Joe Bader at 770-972-1506.

Norcross High Orchestra student Ben Lo is one of eight students nationwide to receive a full scholarship to attend Robert McDuffie and Friends Labor Day Festival of Strings at Mercer University in Macon. Ben received instruction in master classes, chamber ensemble, and orchestra at the festival. Picture available upon request. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Harmony Elementary will honor the National Anthem by singing in an assembly at school on Sept.14 in the gym at 9 a.m. There will be a moment of silence to commemorate the deaths of September 11 victims and the military and their families. The North Gwinnett High Air Force JROTC unit will present the flag “Taps” will be performed by a North Gwinnett High trumpet player. For more information call 770-945-7272.

Oakland Meadow School will host a curriculum night on Sept. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A spaghetti dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a program to discover Hawaii through touch, smell, taste, hearing, seeing, and movement. Participants will experience the beach, volcanoes, rainforests, a taste of Hawaiian foods, and preview student computer activities. For more information, call Kathleen Pelletier, Oakland Meadow teacher, or Eleanor Coppedge, media specialist, at 770-513-6800.

Alford Elementary will host a writing workshop for teachers on Sept. 17. Children’s author Lester Laminack will visit the school. Mr. Laminack will model lessons and provide staff development training for teachers. The event is funded through a grant provided by the Georgia Humanities Council. For more information, call 678-924-5300.

GCPS will host Super Saturday Title I Be There Fairs in several clusters on Sept. 26. The events will include information sessions on Title I, tips and tools for school success, lunch, and fun activities for children. The event also will focus on the importance of parents “being there” for their children to support their success in school. The programs will be offered to families served by Title I schools. Fairs will be organized by cluster, with a few exceptions. Participating clusters are Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Meadowcreek, Norcross, and Shiloh/South Gwinnett (combined). Only a cluster's Title I schools will participate in the fair. This project is being coordinated by GCPS’ Federal and Special Programs office. Visit the system website for times and locations. For more information, call Carol Grady, director of federal and special programs, at 678-301-7059.

Kanoheda Elementary has been chosen from among more than 100 schools to host a visit by the Atlanta Falcons players and cheerleaders on Sept. 29. The players will participate during class and share with students the importance of doing well in school and being leaders. Several Kanoheda Elementary 4th grade classes will be visited by the Falcons players. The Falcons First Down Fitness Challenge program provides classrooms with P.E. equipment and fitness information to use during recess and at home. For more information, call Teacher Amanda Parker at 770-682-4221.

Grayson High will host a screenwriting workshop and contest for GCPS students on Oct. 10. A commercial for the Grayson Technical Program will be taped on campus. For more information, call Assistant Principal Isabelle Beach Jones at 770-554-7394.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus shares tips for staying healthy during flu season, provides an update on the ‘Be There’ parent involvement campaign, and spotlights a new online tool for parents… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. program airs Sept. 15-20 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.

“ParenTVision - Warning Signs” Hosted by Collins Hill High counselor and graduation coach Margaret Cheeley, “Parentvision” explores topics relating to raising teens in the 21st century. This month features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program Warning Signs. Depression, anxiety, and suicide...more children today suffer from these issues and ailments than ever before - and many of these kids are undiagnosed. One study reports that nearly a third of teens have felt sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in a row: 80 percent more teenage girls are hospitalized for depression than they were 10 years ago. The CDC reports that one in five teens will consider suicide this year, and one in 10 will make a serious attempt. What are the warning signs of these illnesses? How can parents help? What is the latest advice from experts, and can kids help each other? This episode also features a discussion with Margaret Cheeley, graduation coach and host of Parentvision; Dianne Thompson, Director of Advisement and Counseling for GCPS, and Dr. Donald L. Davidson, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, GracePoint Counseling Associates. This 60-min program airs Sept. 14-19 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through October 18 (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 Web

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... 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 ( to check out the e-News archives.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

Citizenship Day is Sept.17.

Constitution Week is Sept. 17-23.

Elementary and middle school students will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of Sept. 21-25.

Juniors will take the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test on Sept. 24.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., October 8, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

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

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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 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.

September 16, 20, 30 Junior Master Gardener Level 1, Native Origins History
September 12 Transportation & Housing
September 18, 25 Science Process Skills
September 30 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference