News You Can Use - 10/20/2008

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
10/20/2008 - 10/26/2008

The Peachtree Ridge High Playhouse will present “The Yellow Boat” on Oct. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $6 at the door. For more information, call 678-957-3150.

Rock Springs Elementary 5th graders will participate in an Invention Expo on Oct. 17 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Students will create, design, and build an invention that could make life easier for people. Some inventions include the mailbox flag or the remote control. Parents and community members are invited to attend and participate in this event. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

Arcado Elementary will hold a grand opening of the new Outdoor Classroom on Oct. 17 from 1:30- 2:15 p.m. Visitors may take student-guided tours through the classroom. For more information, call Teacher Debi Shane at 770-925-2100.

Patrick Elementary will host a Fireman’s breakfast on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. during Fire Prevention Month. More than 100 firemen will be served breakfast. Entertainment will include student readers and the school chorus will sing. Patrick Elementary is named after Mr. Bobby Patrick who was the first Gwinnett County firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

Corley Elementary will host an International Night on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Activities include a cultural writing workshop for students, food and games from different countries, folk dancing, and a parade of nations with students wearing cultural dress. For more information, call Eeoni Hollingsworth, parent center coordinator, at 687-245-3468.

The Duluth High Center-Stage Alliance Theater presents “Over the River and Through the Woods” Oct. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $6 from Teacher Vanette Vedder at the school and will be sold at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the performances. Visit for more information.

The Duluth High Orchestra is sponsoring the annual “Cow Patty Bingo” fundraiser. Admission tickets may be purchased from orchestra students for $5 each. Activities include a dunk tank and other games, and a chance to win $1,000 from the winning ticket along with other $100 prizes. The Cow will be released on the baseball field on Oct 18 at 1:30 p.m. to choose the winning numbers. Proceeds will benefit the Duluth High String Orchestra Alliance which helps students with scholarships, awards, letters, performance opportunities, music equipment, and instruments. For more information call 770-476-5206.

Frank N. Osborne Middle student Bethany Lartigue will attend the National Middle School Conference for students in Washington D.C. during the week of this year’s presidential election. Bethany is a student who radiates leadership skills, charisma, and determination. For more information on the conference, visit more information, call Teacher Vicki Layne at 770-904-5400.

Phoenix High had two winners at the recent “My Atlanta” art competition. Student Christine Papacsi won in the Best Use of Color category, and Teacher Becky Raffalovich placed first in the adult category. The “My Atlanta” display will be open every Saturday in October. For more information, call 770-513-6862.

Mill Creek High student Lauren Buchheit earned the 2008 Teen Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by the Atlanta Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and Lauren organized a car show at Mill Creek High to raise money for Relay for Life. More than $5,000 was raised and this annual event that is was so well received in the community. Lauren will be recognized on Oct. 28 at a luncheon at the Georgia World Congress Center, for her volunteer work for Relay for Life and other events at the school. For more information, call Pat Lowrie at 678-714-5850.

The Duluth High Cadet Drill Teams are preparing for an upcoming Drill Competition and for a field trip to the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville Oct.23-25. Cadets will watch the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team— the Blue Angels— as they perform during this student air show. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist, at 770-232-3336.

J.G. Dyer Elementary is having a pumpkin decorating contest to raise money for the United Way student campaign. Judging will take place on Oct. 27 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds from the pumpkin decorating contest will benefit the United Way. This event is a long-standing tradition at J.G. Dyer Elementary. For more information, call Teacher Matt Bonk at 770-963-6214.

The Duluth High chorus will present a Fall Concert, the first concert of the school year, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. For additional information, please visit our website at

Peachtree Ridge High will hold a mock election in the upcoming weeks. Students will register to vote for the two weeks prior to the mock election, which will take place on Oct. 30 and 31. The results will be announced on Oct. 31. For more information, call Teacher Jennifer Ulbrich at 678-957-3100.

Mulberry Elementary students hosted a visit from Skoodles Mobile. Classes spent 40 minutes writing stories and playing literacy games. Students donated about 100 books which enabled them to access the company web site from home. Pictures are available upon request. For more information, call Sue Tavernier, literacy coach/reading specialist, at 678-226-7460.

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

10/16/2008Gwinnett’s Meadowcreek High hosts full day program for college readiness (pdf)
10/15/2008Five Forks Middle, Trickum Middle, North Gwinnett High: Gwinnett Fine Arts program well-represented in Georgia Art Education Association Awards Program (pdf)
10/13/2008Lovin ES, South Gwinnett HS, and Susan Stripling ES Gwinnett names principals for three schools (pdf)

GCPS invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members may submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS through Nov. 9. The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions at their annual meeting. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2008-09 school year. Click here for the AKS Review Form.

“Education News Parents Can Use - Safeguarding America’s Colleges: Preventing Violence and Promoting Learning” The October edition of Education News spotlights two Department programs available through the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools that aim to enhance safety on campus; talks about what rights parents and students have under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); highlights higher education institutions that are leading the effort to enhance campus safety for all students and staff; and, provides user-friendly tips for parents on ensuring the safety, health and security of students. This 60-min. program airs live on Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.

“ArtStage - Marching Band Exhibition, Part 1” This special edition of Artstage features marching bands from Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Grayson, Parkview, and South Gwinnett high schools. Get ready for a great program of music and precision marching. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 20-26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Destinos” This telenovela, or Spanish language soap opera, teaches viewers to speak, listen, and comprehend Spanish by immersing students in everyday situations with native speakers, and introduces the cultures, accents, and dialects spoken in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. The understanding of Spanish and appreciation of many Hispanic cultures increases as students become absorbed in this mysterious and entertaining story. This 60-min. program airs Oct. 24-26 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, through Oct. 26 (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: AT&T on Channel 21, 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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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October is Computer Learning Month.

Oct. 20-24 is National School Bus Safety Week and Georgia School Bus Safety Week.

During the week of Oct. 20-29, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 will take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.

Oct. 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

Oct. 27 is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 13, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Craig Elementary
Duluth High
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
R.L. Norton Elementary
Simpson 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.-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.

Oct. 25, Archeology Merit Badge, $15 per scout
Come complete the requirements for this badge. Please do requirements 4, 5, and 11 and bring them with you to share. Pack a lunch and wear comfortable clothing. This badge will be completed in two parts as the first day will cover the academic portion and four hours of the excavation requirement. An additional date will be scheduled to complete the remaining excavation requirement. This program is limited to 12 participants. Please contact Catherine Long at 770-904-3503 for more information.

Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eco-Explorer Brownie Program, $8 per girl
Ecology is the study of how plants and animals live together in the environment. Each environment offers a unique ecological system to discover. While at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, your scouts will explore the ecology of our streams and forest. Scouts will have a chance to make their own observations and draw their own conclusions about the river environment. By focusing on the habitats and food chains, learners will gain an understanding of the importance of food chains and food webs as well as the need to protect all species.

Oct. 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Bat Basics, $5 per person, $15 for a family of four
You’ve heard the stories: they’re creepy, they get in your hair, they’re blind, and they all have rabies. Get the scoop on what bats are really like and search the grounds for real bats with a bat detector. Enjoy bat brownies too.