News You Can Use - 10/03/2011

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
10/03/2011 - 10/09/2011

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation announces “Flicks for the Foundation”— a family movie night for Peachtree Ridge cluster schools. Movies will be shown 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 email

Snellville Middle students are participating in the 2011 Gwinnett Great Days of Service. On Oct. 1, student and parent volunteers will assist in painting, picking up trash, and planting flowers and trees. This is Gwinnett County’s largest annual community volunteer program. The Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services envisioned Gwinnett’s Great Days of Service to address the needs of the community and increase awareness of the many agencies and organizations that the Coalition supports. Throughout the years, Great Days of Service has grown into one of the largest volunteer initiatives in the United States. In 2010 alone, 95,000 volunteers including corporations, schools, businesses, individuals, church groups, and families, completed 500 service projects. To volunteer at Snellville Middle for Gwinnett Great Days of Service, contact Ken Mims at

Minor Elementary will host the school’s annual Garden Day on Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in conjunction with Gwinnett Great Days of Service and Hands on Atlanta. Students will beautify the garden area, spread mulch, and clean the nature trail and outdoor classroom in preparation for the fall planting of the organic garden. Students plant and grow the organic garden and have the opportunity to sample the produce. For more information, visit

Minor Elementary School Counselors Heather Alvira and Mike Wojtkowski will host a canned food drive to benefit a local food pantry. Two shopping carts will be placed outside the cafeteria for donations. The counselors will have their name on one of the carts and on Oct. 7 the counselor with the least amount of donations will accept a pie in the face from the other counselor. For more information, call Sherie Green, Minor Elementary LSTC, at 678-380-7249.

The Duluth High chorus will perform the first concert of the school year on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. Students will perform “Music from Around the World” in the auditorium. For more information, email Jean Ann Moale, Duluth Chorus Boosters Publicity, at,or call the school.

Duncan Creek Elementary 5th grade students will participate in “History Alive Day” on Oct. 4 with a Civil War presentation. Media Specialist Karen Martin’s father will share his personal collection of civil war artifacts and discuss local Civil War history from 9 -10 a.m. and again from 10-11 a.m. In the afternoon, students will participate in Civil War centers from 12:45-2:15 p.m. Each teacher will host a different activity in their classroom relating to the Civil War. For more information, call Teacher Jennifer Dietz at 678-714-5800.

Jumpstart, the Pearson Foundation and Gwinnett County Public Schools will participate in Read for the Record on Oct.6. The Pearson Foundation has provided books for every Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom to participate in the event. Parents and volunteers will read the story aloud to students. This year’s book is “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama,” an engaging story of rhyme and repetition. To learn more about Read for the Record, visit News media representatives are invited to be part of the event. They should coordinate a visit to a school by calling the school district’s Department of Communication and Media Relations at 678-301-6020.

Ivy Creek Elementary will host the school’s 3rd Annual Camp Night on Oct. 7. Families are invited to come for the evening or to spend the night. Activities will include concessions, a petting zoo, inflatables, and rides. Families are invited to pitch tents and sleep under the stars giving them a chance to unplug and get back to nature. This event is an opportunity to build positive community connections between the school, the PTA, and families. For more information, call 678-714-3655.

Mill Creek High student Matthew Abraham has been selected as one of only 100 members of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The Army will visit Mill Creek High on Oct. 17 to present Matthew with his invitation. The school is planning an assembly for approximately 500 students at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Band Director Erik Mason at 678-714-5850.

Brookwood High Orchestra students will participate in a workshop with the Boston String Quartet on Oct. 19 and 20. During their two-day visit, students will engage in rehearsals, workshops, clinics, and roundtable discussions with musicians. This opportunity is provided to students by the Music Makers’ Foundation and other corporate sponsors of the Boston String Quartet. A culminating concert performance by both the Boston String Quartet and Brookwood High Orchestras will take place Oct. 20 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. in the theater. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, call the school’s fine arts department at 678-639-3456.

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.

Grayson High Technical Education Program Teacher Tim Johnson has arranged for a visit to the school from The Lennon Bus, a non-profit mobile recording studio that provides students with free hands-on opportunities to create original music and video projects. The guest artist coming to work with the students through the program is Chuck Leavell ( Six students will be selected from the music technology class to write and record a song with Mr. Leavell. For more information, visit, or call Mr. Johnson at 770-554-1071.

Norcross Elementary will host a celebration to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. School displays will represent 21 countries. Students have been studying Hispanic Heritage during the month of September making arts and crafts to be displayed during the night of the celebration. Parents are invited to bring food that represents the Hispanic culture. For more information, call Milena Fuentes, Title III Parent Outreach Liaison - ELL Programs, at 770-448-3168.

Bethesda Elementary will host a Hispanic Heritage Program on Oct. 13 at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 770-921-2000.

Archer High will hold the school’s 2nd Annual Hispanic Month Celebration on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. For more information, call Valerie Lewis at 678-407-7700

“Read for the Record - Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” Celebrate Read for the Record Day by reading “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney on October 6. Tune in to GCPS TV for a special read along with Nesbit Elementary Principal Clayborn Knight. This five minute program airs Oct. 6 at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“The Suzanne Farrell Ballet - Deconstructing Divertimento” Renowned ballerina and Balanchine collaborator Suzanne Farrell, along with her acclaimed ballet company, present a performance and demonstration titled “Deconstructing Divertimento.” This program is designed to give students a unique vantage point as the company breaks down the choreographic theme and variations that define the classic 1956 Balanchine tutu ballet, “Divertimento No. 15. This 60-minute program airs this week at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 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.
09/28/201125 Gwinnett teachers honored as 2012 TOTY semifinalists (pdf)
09/22/201146 Gwinnett students make 2012 National Merit list (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.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through October 15.

October is computer Learning Month® and Crime prevention Month.

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.

October 16-22 is Teen Read Week.

School and community members are invited to the dedication of Moore Middle October 16 at 2 p.m.

October 17 is Georgia Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

October 17-21 is Georgia School Bus Safety Week and National School Bus Safety 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 October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
Arcado Elementary
Archer High School
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Camp Creek Elementary
Chesney Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula High
Duluth Middle
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.C. Magill Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
Knight Elementary
Lanier High
Lanier Middle
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lilburn Middle
Lovin Elementary
Mill Creek High
Moore Middle School
Mountain Park Elementary
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
North Gwinnett Middle
Oakland School
Parkview High
R.L. Norton Elementary
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Roberts Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
Trickum Middle
W.J. Cooper Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary
White Oak 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.

Junior Master Gardner I
    10/3, 10/17, 10/24
An Astronauts Life: Be a Space Scientist for a Day
    10/1-10/22, 10/29
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
Living in Space Exhibit