News You Can Use - 09/19/2011

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
09/19/2011 - 09/25/2011

Brookwood High invites the community to participate in Homecoming events. A parade is scheduled for Sept. 16 at 4:30 p.m., and will include the marching band, drama department, a fencing demonstration, floats from the Brookwood Cluster middle and elementary schools, candy for all the kids, and much more. The parade begins at Brookwood Elementary and ends in front of the high school. The football game begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Brookwood Community Stadium. The halftime show includes the crowning of the king, queen, prince, and princess. Tickets are $7 at the gate. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-344-6302.

A Lawrenceville Elementary teacher will be surprised on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. with a visit from OfficeMax and “Adopt-A-Classroom.” to commemorate the nationwide event “A Day made Better.” The teacher was nominated and won the award of $1,000 of resources and supplies for the classroom. For more information, call the school at 770-963-1813.

Duluth High will host an event to help students make better choices--“ Pathways: DnA-- Drugs and Alcohol. Every Kid is affected. Every kid has a choice.” Students and parents are invited to hear a presentation with science-based information to reduce the likelihood of children experimenting with alcohol and drugs-- now or at anytime in life. The event takes place on Sept. 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Duluth High Theater. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

GCPS will host a High School Marching Band Exhibition to showcase the talent of the school district high school band programs. The bands will perform on Sept. 19 and 20 at the locations and times listed below. For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of Fine Arts, at 678-301-7004.
Grayson High
September 19
Mill Creek High
September 20
High School
Performance Time
High School
Performance Time
Archer6:30 p.m.National Anthem will be performed 6:20 p.m.
Meadowcreek6:45 p.m.Mountain View6:25 p.m.
Berkmar7:00 p.m.Dacula6:35 p.m.
Grayson7:15 p.m.Lanier7:05 p.m.
Central Gwinnett7:30 p.m.Peachtree Ridge7:15 p.m.
South Gwinnett7:45 p.m.Duluth7:25 p.m.
Shiloh8:00 p.m.Norcross7:55 p.m.
Parkview8:15 p.m.Mill Creek8:05 p.m.
Brookwood8:30 p.m.North Gwinnett8:35 p.m.
University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band 8:45 p.m.Collins Hill 8:45 p.m.

Dacula High classes are studying the U.S. Government and Constitution during the month of September. Students created a tree to represent the branches of government and will learn about the right to vote by participating in several voting activities throughout the month. Students voted on menu items for a special the meal and purchased the food during community skills classes. Constitution Day will be celebrated by preparing and eating the special meal on Sept. 20. For more information, call Brandi Poore, teacher, at 770-963-6664.

Rock Springs Elementary students in Teacher Shelly Everett’s classes will participate in an international “Pinwheels for Peace” installation ( Student pinwheels will be on display through Sept. 21, in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11. Photo images of past pinwheel installations and the ground zero memorial will be shared with students during morning announcements for the duration of the school’s 10 days of peace celebration. Fifth grade students will study memorials and design a memorial of their own, along with writing a dedication speech. For more information, call 770- 932-7474.

Back by popular demand, Minor Elementary will host not one, but two Girls on the Run groups. New Balance Shoes will visit the school on Sept. 21 to fit the girls with tennis shoes for running. Girls on the Run teaches girls about healthy living and builds self-esteem. For more information, call Teacher Shawna Voigt or Beth S. Peterson, Parent Instructional Support coordinator, at 770-806-2227.

Puckett’s Mill Elementary fine arts teachers are participating in an international “Pinwheels for Peace” installation ( Students are creating pinwheels to house feelings and thoughts on Peace. The pinwheels will be “planted” in the ground in conjunction with international peace day on Sept. 21. Students in each grade level will be taught a song inspired by the thought of peace. Students will sing the songs outside the school while installing the pinwheels throughout the day. After 1 p.m., more than 1,100 student/faculty pinwheels will be displayed in the front of the school. For more information, call Beau Pezoldt, teacher, at 678-765-5110.

Brookwood High Advanced Theater students present “My Imaginary Pirate” on Sept. 22 and 24 at 7 p.m. in the theater. Adult tickets may be purchased at the door on performance night for $7 and $6 for senior citizens and students. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 678-344-6302.

Duluth High students Ashwinni Guruswami and Veronica Macias have been selected to attend the Georgia State Bar Association Law Academy in Athens this fall (Sept. 22-25). Both students are Duluth High Mock Trial members. For more information, visit The Law Academy provides pre-mock trial season training for student team leaders and extensive instruction on trial procedure. The Law Academy faculty members are attorneys from across Georgia who are Mock Trial veterans. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

GCPS will host the annual high school Scholar’s Bowl competition at Central Gwinnett High on Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. The semi-finals will take place later that morning and the competition will conclude early in the afternoon. This year, GCPS will send the top two teams to WSB’s High Q competition. For more information, call Brookwood High Teacher Michael Dana King at 404-386-2194; or Central Gwinnett Teacher Cathy Hirsch at 770-963-8041.

Rock Springs Elementary invites the community to the school’s first Science and Technology Night on Sept. 26, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the school. Participants will be traveling to a variety of engaging science sessions which teach about the earth, life, chemistry, and physical science content through hands-on activities. Students will be given the opportunity to build their own whirly birds, listen to their own heartbeats, race magnetic cars, observe snakes and spiders, and participate in other activities. The night is designed to inspire students and their families to explore the world of science and technology. The presenters are teachers and students from Stripling Elementary, McConnell Middle, Moore Middle, Radloff Middle, Snellville Middle, Berkmar High, and Collins Hill High. Other presenters include faculty members from the school and the Department of Federal and Special Programs. For more information, call 770-932-7474.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation announces “Flicks for the Foundation”— a family movie night for Peachtree Ridge cluster schools. Movies will be shown on Sept. 30 on the high school practice field. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk. Guests can come early to view the silent auction booths filled with themed baskets donated by cluster schools and the Peachtree Ridge High booster clubs. Children can play in the bounce houses and families can enjoy dinner from the concession stand provided by the Touchdown Club. Donations of $5 per person will be accepted (children four and under are free). For more information contact Jane Denton, Executive Director at 770-495-5415 or

Georgia Congressman Rob Woodall (7th District) will speak on the Flat Tax and events in Washington, D.C., including the national debt, to Peachtree Ridge High Teacher Linda Brimmer’s Financial Literacy class on Oct. 21 from 8-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Peachtree Ridge High at 678-957-3100.

Berkmar High recently hosted a visit from children’s author Carmen Deedy. Born in Havana, Cuba, Ms. Deedy came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Ga., where she lives today.
Ms. Deedy shared stories with students who connected with her experiences. For more information, call Karen Sard, media specialist, at 770-806-3732.

Dacula High students commemorated 9/11 by constructing a large paper flag outside the school. It was hung on the school’s fence. For more information, call the school at 770-963-6664. Photos available upon request.

“Common Courage: The Nine Who Made a Difference” The first day of school is always filled with great anticipation, but imagine this: You’re enrolled in what some architects have called the most beautiful high school in America. As you make your way toward Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, you become aware of an angry mob that has gathered across the street from the high school. In fact, the governor has called out the National Guard to maintain order, but every time you attempt to enter the school the guardsmen block your way. This is the scene that greeted “the Little Rock Nine,” as they were called by the media, in September 1957. Join the rangers and other special guests of this national historic site to examine the issues and compelling stories that have evolved from the desegregation of Little Rock Central High. This 60-min. program airs this week at 1 p.m.

“ArtStage: Tapestry 2010/2011” Join GCPS TV for a virtual tour of the 2010 and 2011 Tapestry Art Exhibit, featuring creative student art work from schools across Gwinnett County. This 60-min. program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” Spanish for Educators is a valuable language resource and learning opportunity provided by GCPS TV. This 10-part series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, 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 web site--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
09/14/2011The search begins for Gwinnett’s 2012 Teacher of the Year (pdf)
09/14/2011Gwinnett SAT scores increase on all sections: GCPS test-takers top state, national averages on 2011 SAT (pdf)
09/13/2011Grayson High student places 1st during national FBLA event (pdf)
09/12/2011Mill Creek High student’s artwork selected for D.C. exhibit (pdf)

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

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 17-23 is Constitution Week.

October is computer Learning Month® and Crime prevention Month.

October 3 and 4 are Early Release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week.

October 10 is a Student Holiday and Planned Teacher Furlough Day.

October 10-14 is National School Lunch Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 20, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in September. Call the local school for the time and location.
Annistown Elementary27-Sep
B.B. Harris Elementary29-Sep
Beaver Ridge Elementary29-Sep
Berkmar Middle22-Sep
Brookwood High20-Sep
Camp Creek Elementary30-Sep
Chattahoochee Elementary20-Sep
Collins Hill High20-Sep
Dacula Middle20-Sep
Duluth High20-Sep
Duncan Creek Elementary21-Sep
G.H. Hopkins Elementary30-Sep
GIVE Center East20-Sep
GIVE Center West29-Sep
J.E. Richards Middle26-Sep
J.G. Dyer Elementary28-Sep
Lanier High20-Sep
Monarch School23-Sep
Nesbit Elementary20-Sep
Peachree Ridge High22-Sep
R.L. Norton Elementary30-Sep
Rebecca Minor Elementary22-Sep
Shiloh High27-Sep
Starling Elementary30-Sep
Suwanee Elementary20-Sep
Trip Elementary30-Sep
Walnut Grove Elementary29-Sep

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.

Living in Space Exhibit
Junior Master Gardner I
    9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/17, 10/24
An Astronauts Life: Be a Space Scientist for a Day
    10/1-10/22, 10/29
Just Passing Through
Honeybee Festival
Touch a Tractor
    10/8, 10/9
Green Halloween Costume Swap
Moonlight Mondays
An Astronauts Life: Be a Space Scientist for a Day
Creatures of the Night
Haunted Night at the Museum
Fall Historic Bus Tour