News You Can Use - 05/23/2011

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
05/23/2011 - 05/29/2011

The STRIVE program provides supervised, structured job training experiences to Gwinnett County students age 18-21 with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities and mild to moderate autism spectrum disorder. The job training takes place through a variety of Gwinnett County businesses. The annual celebration picnic, where 22 students will receive certificates, will take place at Bethesda Park on May 20, from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For more information, call Chip Underwood, STRIVE department chair and Oakland Meadow School teacher, at 770-513-6800.

Alford Elementary students have the opportunity to receive a safety helmet for biking and skateboarding on May 21 at 10 a.m. Parents and students may come by the school to receive a donated helmet for their student. For more information, call Catherine García-Brake, school social worker, at 678-245-3198.

GCPS TV received three Southeast Regional Emmy Award nominations at the 2011 Emmy Nomination Event in May. Winners will be announced at the 37th Presentation of the Southeast Regional Emmy Awards on June 18. GCPS TV Nominations include:
· Outstanding Achievement: News and Program Specialty Excellence, Children/Youth (12 and under), Program Love That Book!
· Outstanding Achievement: Crafts Achievement Excellence, Director Post-Production, Gwinnett Has It!
· Outstanding Achievement: Crafts Achievement Excellence, Editor - Short Form Love That Book!
For a complete listing of nominees, visit the NATAS website at more information, call Kolinda Scialabba
Information Specialist, Broadcast and Distance Learning, at 678-301-6507.

Duluth High orchestra senior Chelsea Sharpe performed Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Solo Violin and Orchestra with the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra (ASO) at Symphony Hall. Chelsea was the winner of the Youth Symphony’s concerto competition. She has served as the concertmaster for the 2010-2011 season. Chelsea is a member of the Atlanta Symphony's Talent Development Program and studies Violin with ASO violinist Ronda Respess. Chelsea has spent the last 6 summers attending music camps including the Interlochen Arts Center, Brevard Music Center, Bowdoin, and the prestigious Meadowmount School founded by the Juilliard pedagogue Ivan Galamian. This summer Chelsea will attend the Charles Castleman Quartet Program at the State University of New York in Fredonia. She received a scholarship to attend the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston Texas for 2011-2012. Chelsea made the Georgia All-State Orchestra six years running and two years as concertmaster. She also won the Duluth Fine Arts League College Scholarship given to a graduating senior. For more information, call 770-476-5206. For a photo of Chelsea and the ASO, call Sue Peterson, communication and media relations, at 678-301-6020.

At the 2011 FLARE science competition, GCPS students brought home many honors. FLARE is a program that integrates science and engineering concepts to develop solutions using alternative energy sources. For more information, call Mary Elizabeth Davis, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at 678-301-7036.

FLARE Elementary School Competition - Solar Cooker Division
Taste: School Team [Teacher]
Design: School Team [Teacher]
First Place
Stripling Red Rockets [Frank Yelinek]
Mehjabin Khan
Pharoe Hickson
Jason Sepulveda
Dacula Solar Scholars [Garth Scott]
Jaycee McDonald
Katie Nixon
Jaylah Johnson
Vallerie Azansou
Second Place
Trip Southern Cooks [Debbie Partrick]
Ethan Thurmond
Beans Seymour
Brian Borrero
Katie McCurley
Shivanni Ramdass
Norton The Solar Heat [Rose Bulau]
Megan Burton
Judson Baker
Falin Weathers
Nichelle Coltrain
Carlos Patino
Isaac Turner
Third Place
Chesney Chief's Chefs [Sonja Fox]
Danny Alevy
Kenan Black
Joel Garcia
Hussan Ali
Patrick Nguyen
Jaden Johnson
Level Creek Solar Chefs [Polly Rogers & Laurie Kovach]
Jinsil Lee
Jamie Dicello
Emily Mospan
Daniel Walsh
Jack Boyle
Lauren Kwasigroh

FLARE Middle School Competition - Junior Solar Sprint Division
Speed: School Team [Teacher]
Design: School Team [Teacher]
First Place
North Gwinnett Dawgs on Fire [Jonathan Roy]
Kirtan Parekh
Jordan Thomason
Richie Adams
Tilak Patel
Tanay Sheth
North Gwinnett Dawgs on Fire [Jonathan Roy]
Kirtan Parekh
Jordan Thomason
Richie Adams
Tilak Patel
Tanay Sheth
Second Place
Dacula Dukes of Hazzard [Jane Puckett]
Nathaniel Hinton
Caroline Hinton
Cameron Moats
Cason Calhoun
North Gwinnett NFL [Jonathan Roy]
Lauren Johnson
Ryan Fulton
Third Place
Trickum Equipe Vitesse [Brian Lucy]
Kiara Harding
Kyra Foster
Alli Jones
Angad Joshi
Twin Rivers Do BaLee Do's [Julie Wilkerson]
Autumn Grimes
Allison Pham
Hayat Ramzi
Anasofia Garza-Serna
FLARE High School Competition - Senior Solar Sprint Division
Speed: School Team [Teacher]
Design: School Team [Teacher]
First Place
Phoenix Team Phoenix [Jennifer Collier]
Guillermo Jordan
Christopher Gordon
Brookwood Blazers [Gordon Parker]
Kutler Smith
Bradley Gwynn
Second Place
Brookwood Team Parker 2 [Gordon Parker]
Parker Stone
Andrae King
GSMST Wise Girls [Darlene Hughes]
Abigail Smith
Navjot Japra
Daria Jordan
Prima Modi
Raveena Singh
Third Place
GIVE East Power Puff Girls [Mary Lou Moore]
Justis Rorie
Eleasia Nelson
Brook Cobb
Phoenix Team Phoenix [Jennifer Collier]
Guillermo Jordan
Christopher Gordon

Berkeley Lake Elementary students in the 4th grade will participate in the Third Annual Pioneer Day on May 25 from 8:20 to 11:40 a.m., and from 12:30 to 1:40 p.m. Students will travel to different classes to make crafts and participate in activities that were done in the pioneer days such as making candles, sewing beanbags, churning butter, and other activities. For more information, call Berkeley Lake Elementary Teacher Julia Guyton at 770-446-0947.

Students from Chattahoochee Elementary have been learning How to Avoid Drugs, Violence, And Negative Choices Early through the ADVANCE Program taught by Officer Bobby Johnson of the Duluth Police Department. Graduation will take place on May 26 at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call the school at 770-497-9907.

Grayson Technical Education Program will offer a Middle School Summer Career Academy for rising 7th and 8th graders attending GCPS. Students are invited to explore careers in cooking, law enforcement, photography, robotics, sports medicine, digital media and web design, TV broadcast production, and music technology. The four-day camp takes place at Grayson High during the week of June 27-30. Students may choose three hour morning (9 a.m.) or afternoon (1 p.m.) sessions. One exception is the Robotics program from which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Transportation and meals are not provided. For more information, visit and payment can be mailed to the Grayson High Community School office at 50 Hope Hollow Road, Loganville, GA 30052. For more information, call Lisa Daenen at 770–554-7082.

GCPS is accepting applications to serve on the GEMS Oversight Committee. The GEMS Oversight Committee is a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. After the review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board. Members serve three year terms. Please review the downloadable application on the website. Completed applications should be returned by June 1 to the attention of Dale Robbins, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Support, at the Instructional Support Center. For more information, call 678-301-7030.

“ArtStage – Tapestry” Join GCPS TV for a virtual tour of the 2011 Tapestry Art Exhibit, featuring creative art work from schools across Gwinnett County. This 30-minute program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Love That Book” In celebration of Love That Book’s recent Emmy nominations, GCPS TV is airing a special rebroadcast of “Carmen at the Library.” Books featured on the program include :Katie Meets the Impressionists,” “The Circus Ship,” and “A Bad Case of Stripes.” This 15-minute program airs this week at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
05/18/2011Four GCPS schools problem solve to the top (pdf)
05/18/2011GCPS students take top two spots on State Writing Test (pdf)
05/13/201151 Gwinnett students to share in $1 million Broad Prize (pdf)
05/12/2011Seven named Gates Millennium Scholars (pdf)
05/12/2011Gwinnett 11th graders improve already high marks on Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) (pdf)

General information on high school summer school registration
Summer session is available for students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders who may take designated classes. All classes have a fee. Learn more about summer school on the GCPS website,
Face-to-Face Classes
Dates: June 14–July 13 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Locations: Central Gwinnett High, Mill Creek High, and Shiloh High
Register: Online registration (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) will be held through June 7 at attending face-to-face classes also may register in person (cash or money order only) at Central Gwinnett High on June 4. All out-of-county students must register on June 4 at Central Gwinnett.
Online Classes
Dates: June 13–July 11 or 12 (July 4 holiday, M-Th)
Location: A reliable computer with an Internet connection (daily access required). Note: Final exams require face-to-face meeting. Some courses require materials pick-up June 8 or 9. Health, PE, and science classes require face-to-face meetings for labs and/or tests.
Register: Register online (VISA/Mastercard credit or debit card, e-check) at through June 3.

Elementary and Middle School Summer School…
Elementary and middle school students who need more time and opportunity to learn will have that option during Gwinnett’s free Academic Summer School. Qualifying students in grades 3–8 would be recommended for the 15-day session if they have not met requirements for promotion to the next grade— passing required sections of the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8; or passing core classes for 6th graders. Participating students will take a retest at the end of summer school to determine placement for 2011–12. Students will attend summer classes Monday through Thursday for three weeks, starting June 20 and ending July 14, with July 4 as a holiday. Summer school students will not attend classes on Fridays. Parents of qualifying students will receive additional information from their student’s school later this spring.

Gwinnett County Summer Remediation and Testing Program -- Summer 2011
Students who must retake one or more sections of the state-required Georgia High School Graduation Tests/Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSGT/GHSWT) are encouraged to participate in free remediation classes prior to the retest opportunity in mid-July. Both remediation classes and summer retests will be held at Phoenix High. Information on registering for remediation classes and taking GHSGT/GHSWT retests follows:
Summer Remediation Classes:
Classes will be held Monday, June 27, through Friday, July 8. Monday, July 4, is a Student/Teacher Holiday. Classes meet daily, Monday through Friday, and are available at the following times:
1st Period
8 – 10:15 a.m.
2nd Period
10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
3rd Period
1:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies
Language Arts
Social Studies

Registering for Summer Remediation Classes:
Students will come to Phoenix High School on either Wednesday, June 22, or Thursday, June 23, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to register for classes.
GHSGT Summer Testing:
Social StudiesMonday, July 118 a.m.
ScienceTuesday, July 128 a.m.
MathWednesday, July 138 a.m.
WritingWednesday, July 132 p.m.
English/Language ArtsThursday, July 148 a.m.
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled testing start time. Student results will be sent to the student’s home school, not Phoenix High.
· Students are required to present a valid picture I.D. in order to be admitted to testing. This may be a driver’s license, passport, student I.D., or state I.D.
· This is the only GHSGT/GHSWT state testing window during the summer. The next administration will be given in September at each local high school. For more information, call Tracy Robertson, coordinator of assessment for high school students, at 678-301-7057.

Additional summer remediation and testing for math section of GHSGT
Project EXPRESS is an additional option that will be offered through the State Department of Education at 40 sites across Georgia. This remediation will take place June 13-24, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, and will culminate in students taking the math portion of the GHSGT on June 24. Specific information regarding online registration procedures, parent permission forms, sites available, etc. will be available through school counselors within the next few days. Registration for Project EXPRESS begins May 9 and the program begins June 13. The math portion of the GHSGT will be administered on June 24 for students participating in the state’s Project EXPRESS.
Important Note: Students may only participate in the GHSGT for math ONCE during the summer. If they participate in Project EXPRESS in June and take the test on June 24, they will not be allowed to take it again through GCPS in July.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

May 25-27 is early release for high school final exams.

May 26 is a Snow make-up Day for January 13.

May 27 is a Snow make-up Day for January 14, and the last day of school.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools have been scheduled from May 23-May 30. Visit the GCPS website to view dates, times, and locations.

May 30 is Memorial Day, a systemwide holiday.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., June 16, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council meetings in May and June. Call the local school for the time and location.
Cooper Elementary
May 31
Parkview High
June 21
South Gwinnett High
June 21

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.

Geology: History of the Earth
May 24
Heritage Living Series
May 25
Let's Take A Closer Look...
May 26
Our Shared Birds-The International Feathered Tourist
May 28
Gwinnett Historic Bus Tour
Jun 4