News You Can Use - 10/27/2008









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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
10/27/2008 - 11/02/2008


FRIDAY
Mill Creek High physics students will hold a marshmallow launch project to promote problem solving and to understand how science works in the real world. For more information, call Teacher Clyde Wylie at 678-714-5850.

SATURDAY
Mill Creek High Key Club students will volunteer their time at the Life is Good Pumpkin Festival held at Sterling on the Lake on Oct. 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds from the festival will benefit HomeAid and Project Joy. HomeAid builds and renovates multi-unit facilities for homeless children and families. The organization has helped more than 80,000 individuals rebuild their lives since 1989. Project Joy helps children play in safe environments. For more information, visit www.lifeisgood.com, www.homeaid.org,and www.projectjoy.com,or call Teacher Clyde Wylie at 678-714-5850.

HONORS
GCPS had 34 student winners in the 2008 Reflections contest. These winners have their work on display at the High Museum of Art through Jan. 1, 2009. For a complete list of winners in the Visual Arts and Photography categories, call Sue Peterson, communication and media relations, at 678-301-6020.

Collins Hill High band students finished 8th in the Bands of America St. Louis, MO Super Regional Championships. There were 56 bands in competition from 17 states. This is the best showing the band has ever had at a Super Regional where the level of competition is extremely high. The band will perform at the Mill Creek High game on Oct. 24 during halftime, and at the 9th Annual Eagle’s Nest Invitational Marching Band Competition at Collins Hill on Oct. 25. For more information, call Ryan Bybee, band director, at 770-682-4100.

Meadowcreek High student Linh Nguyen won the 2nd annual Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Culinary competition at the Fall Rally on Oct. 8. The competition consisted of two phases: a knife skills test of four classic knife cuts, and a hot food cooking phase an entree, starch, and vegetable. For more information, call Teacher Debbie Grant at 770-381-9680.

UPCOMING
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.

Susan Stripling Elementary parents will learn the recipe for helping their students with mathematics at home, while cooking. The school’s Parent Center has teamed up with local business partner, Cici’s Pizza, for a day of lessons in mathematics. The restaurant has invited parents to visit their kitchen where the school’s staff will teach parents how cooking any meal can turn into an opportunity for learning. Measuring and counting will be part of the mathematics recipe on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information, please contact Susan Stripling Elementary staff member Deserie Sanchez at 770-582-7590.

Sweetwater Middle will acknowledge a commitment to living a drug-free life by celebrating Red Ribbon Week Oct. 27-31. Activities throughout the week include signing drug-free pledge cards, wearing red ribbons, and wearing red shirts. Students will receive stickers to place in notebooks. On Oct. 29 there will be a Lunch and Learn for parents from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. These activities are geared toward increasing student awareness of the negative impact of substance abuse. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

R.D. Head Elementary will host a visit from Atlanta Falcon kicker Jason Elam on Oct. 28 from 9:20 a.m. to 11 a.m. His visit is being coordinated through the NFL’s “Take a Football Player to School” program. A 2nd grader at Head Elementary won the visit and a limo ride to school. Mr. Elam will speak with students at an assembly. For more information, call 770-972-8050.

The Sweetwater Middle Parent Center will host an International Night on Oct. 28 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the gym. Parents, students, and staff will learn about different cultures. Parents are invited to attend with their students for a fun-filled night of family entertainment. For more information, call Amanda Scott at 770-923-4131.

The Duluth High chorus will present a Fall Concert on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. For additional information, please visit the school website at www.duluthchorus.com.

Peachtree Ridge High will hold a mock election. Students have registered to vote 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.

Sweetwater Middle will host a Community Luncheon on Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the media center. Community leaders and mentors are invited to come and meet others in the community, to share a vision, ideas, and creative strategies to benefit the school and community. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

On Nov. 5, fifteen Nesbit Elementary students with vision problems will receive eye exams and eyeglasses at no cost to the student. The Lions Club will provide funding for the vision services. Hopewell Missionary Baptist church will provide transportation for the students, and the vision department at Wal-Mart on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road will conduct the exams. Countywide, school counselors report more than 600 students each year struggle with untreated vision problems. Nesbit Elementary averages 50 students per year. For more information, call Janet Fienemann, school social worker, at 770-414-2740.

Recently, the Suwanee Elementary Dad's Club built an outdoor classroom for the students. The Outdoor Classroom will be revealed at a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the Suwanee Elementary Fall Festival on Nov. 8. The fall festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes rides, inflatable jumping activities, cotton candy, clowns and more. For more information, email PTA Co-President Amy Staehling at amy68@bellsouth.net or call 404-295-7903.

Lawrenceville Elementary will host a Parent Fair on Nov. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria. The school will share information and resources for community members and families. More than 20 vendors will participate. Businesses donating door prizes include the Lawrenceville Police Dept., Angel Food Ministries, the Lawrenceville Fire Dept., Fidelity Bank, Costco, Publix, Chick-Fil-A, the Aurora Theatre, Gwinnett Medical, the United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville, Personalized Keepsakes, Books-A-Million, Lawrenceville Travel and Tourism, Kumon, Bank of America, Gwinnett Helpline, Lawrenceville on the Square, the Dept. of Transportation, The Sunshine House, Gwinnett Braves, and Stars and Strikes. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Creekland Middle will host a parent seminar onAffluenza”-- the unfulfilled, relentless, feeling resulting from trying to buy all the latest stuff and ‘keep up with the Jones’ on Nov. 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria. Collins Hill High Counselor Margaret Cheeley is the guest speaker. To reserve a place, call Carla Winkler, Creekland Middle staff member, at 770-338-4700.


Visit the school system website at www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us for the most current News Releases.
10/22/2008Gwinnett invites teachers to join Georgia’s largest and best school district (pdf)
10/20/2008Dedication ceremonies set for five new facilities (pdf)

ONGOING
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.

GCPS TV
“GCPS Focus” This month’s Focus will take a look at Berkmar High’s “inspiring” story of Advanced Placement success, learn about economics and civics lessons in Gwinnett, and check in on the State Superintendent’s recent visit to Gwinnett … join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. program airs Oct. 27-Nov. 2 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.

“The Author in You - Jackie Hardrick” Author Jackie Hardrick’s mission in writing for and speaking to teens is to “enlighten, inspire, and empower them to avoid risky behaviors by stressing consequences of actions and valuing themselves and their education.” Covering topics such as addiction, teenage pregnancy, self-esteem and dating, her young adult novels “Imani in Young Love & Deception” and “Imani in Never Say Goodbye” help to make teens stop and think about consequences before they act. This 30-min. program airs Oct. 27-Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers 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., Monday-Sunday, Oct.27-Jan. 4.

“Destinos” This telenovela, or Spanish language soap opera, teaches speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in Spanish by immersing students in everyday situations with native speakers and introduces the cultures, accents, and dialects of 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. 31-Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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 gcpstv@gwinnett.k12.ga.us. A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site-- www.gcpstv.org.

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CALENDAR
October is Computer Learning Month.

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.

Nov. 2 Standard Time begins.

Election Day is Nov. 4, schools are closed.

Nov. 10-14 is School Psychology Week.

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day.

Nov. 12-13 is early release for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

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.

Nov. 16-22 is American Education Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October and November. Call the local school for the time and location.
School
Oct
School
Nov
Craig Elementary
10/27
Alcova Elementary
11/18
Glenn C. Jones Middle
10/30
Alford Elementary
11/3
Harmony Elementary
10/31
Alton C. Crews Middle
11/14
J.G. Dyer Elementary
10/29
Arcado Elementary
11/10
Parkview High
10/28
B.B. Harris Elementary
11/20
Peachree Ridge High
10/27
Benefield Elementary
11/20
R.L. Norton Elementary
10/31
Berkmar High
11/11
Simpson Elementary
10/31
Bethesda Elementary
11/10
Brookwood Elementary
11/24
Camp Creek Elementary
11/21
Cedar Hill Elementary
11/13
Chattahoochee Elementary
11/11
Collins Hill High
11/11
Corley Elementary
11/18
Creekland Middle
11/13
Dacula Elementary
11/21
Dacula Middle
11/11
Duluth High
11/18
Duluth Middle
11/11
Five Forks Middle
11/14
Fort Daniel Elementary
11/7
Frank N. Osborne Middle
11/14
Freeman's Mill Elementary
11/21
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
11/11
GIVE Center East
11/11
GIVE Center West
11/6
Grayson Elementary
11/14
Grayson High
11/28
Harbins Elementary
11/20
Harmony Elementary
11/21
Ivy Creek Elementary
11/21
J.E. Richards Middle
11/11
J.G. Dyer Elementary
11/19
J.P. McConnell Middle
11/10
Jackson Elementary
11/13
K.E. Taylor Elementary
11/21
Knight Elementary
11/7
Lanier Middle
11/18
Louise Radloff Middle
11/13
Lovin Elementary
11/20
McKendree Elementary
11/7
Meadowcreek Elementary
11/17
Meadowcreek High
11/6
Monarch School
11/7
Mountain Park Elementary
11/17
Norcross High
11/6
North Gwinnett High
11/25
Oakland School
11/6
Parkview High
11/25
Patrick Elementary
11/21
Peachree Ridge High
11/17
Peachtree Elementary
11/18
Pharr Elementary
11/20
Pinckneyville Middle
11/20
Puckett's Mill Elementary
11/6
Rebecca Minor Elementary
11/21
Richard Hull Middle
11/14
Shiloh High
11/3
Shiloh Middle
11/6
Snellville Middle
11/13
South Gwinnett High
11/11
Sugar Hill Elementary
11/18
Summerour Middle
11/6
Susan Stripling Elementary
11/20
Suwanee Elementary
11/3 11/20
Sycamore Elementary
11/7
Trickum Middle
11/11
W.C. Britt Elementary
11/18
W.J. Cooper Elementary
11/17
Walnut Grove Elementary
11/20

UPCOMING EVENTS AT GWINNETT ENVIRONMENTAL & HERITAGE CENTER
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 www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

Nov.1, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Heritage Hike, $9 per adult, $5 per kid (includes center admission)
Join our Program Specialist as you are led on a hike along our trails to learn of the inhabitants of this area. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Register in advance.

Nov. 1, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hawks, Falcons and Owls-Oh My!, free
Join the Georgia Falconry Association at our Central Pavilion and meet these beautiful birds close up. Learn about their habitats and how you can protect them.

Nov. 1, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Xeriscaping Workshop, $5 per person
Join us as we learn about the advantages of xeriscaping. Learn how to conserve water, plant drought tolerant plants and achieve a beautiful landscape. Handouts will be provided. Register by October 25; limited to 30 participants each session. *Teachers can earn PLU credit by attending this and other programs in our Green Living Series. See website for details.

Nov. 6, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Attracting Hummingbirds to your Yard, $5 per student
Did you know that Georgia is home to hummingbirds in the summertime and wintertime? Come learn about these fascinating birds, including how to attract them to your backyard. Participants will make a hummingbird feeder to take home. Registration required by October 23; limited to 20 participants. *Teachers can earn PLU credit by attending this and other programs in our Green Living Series. See website for details.

Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Heritage Day, GEHC members Family of Four: $10, Family of Four $20, Adult $10, Kid $5 (includes center admission)
Join us for a great day of history and live demonstration by the Peachtree Weavers. They will demonstrate the technique of weaving and the use of drop spindles to create fiber arts. Bring your family to see first hand how it is done. Discover how the Cherokee lived their daily lives in northern Georgia by educator Diamond Go Sti. This program celebrates Native American Heritage Month and is perfect for families. Registration is required by Oct. 25.

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Club Method (Middle and High School), free
Spend your Saturday with Club Method as they take an exciting approach to environmental involvement. Registration is required by Oct. 18, limited to 25 students.

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Nature Kids (Grades 2nd -4th ), $5 per student
Make a Park Come join us as we make a model of an ideal natural park land. We?ll talk about what is important for wildlife and then build a take home example of valuable habitat. Registration is required by Oct. 18, limited to 15 kids.

Nov. 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Exploring the Night Sky, Adults $10, Kids $5, Family of Four- $25
Explore the beautiful night sky with a guided walk and tour of the fall constellations and listen to the stories surrounding them. Learn about the planets visible in our fall skies--Venus and Jupiter. This program will occur rain or shine. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Program minimum 15, maximum 35. Spots fill quickly, call 770.904.3500 to pre-register and pay by Nov. 7.

Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Ocean Awareness Day, free for teachers
The theme of this workshop is "Bring in the Ocean: Connecting Ocean Science to your Classroom Standards." Participants can choose to participate in Physical Science, Earth Science, or Life Science activities to use with your students. Note: Registration is required; forms are available on our website or by emailing carol.flaute@gwinnettcounty.com.Register by Oct.31; limited to 42 participants.

Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Ready for Tomorrow Badge Program, $8 per girl
Join us for this badge as we complete 6 requirements. Learn how to cook with the sun using a solar oven, how you can help endangered species, develop your own personal credo for the environment, design a seal of approval for products, and participate in a trash pickup along the Center's trails. This program is limited to 20 participants each session, please register by Nov.1.