News You Can Use - 10/25/2010

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
10/25/2010 - 10/31/2010

Sweetwater Middle invites families to International Night on Oct. 22. Students have been working since August on projects to present at the event. Parents are invited to share their culture of origin through food, dance, and displays. Highlights include a parade of nations by parents and students as well as performances in dance and song from around the world. The “headline” act will be a performance by Venezuelan salsa singer Erick Casal at 7 p.m., followed by a viewing of displays from different cultures and a sampling of the cuisine. For more information, call Kristen Pariseau, Sweetwater Middle teacher, at 770-921-4131.

Snellville families are invited to the annual Community Forum on Alcohol and Drug Awareness on Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Snellville United Methodist Church, Heritage Hall, Bldg. H. There is no charge for the “Red Ribbon A’Faire” and the community is invited to attend. Outdoor activities take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include a live radio broadcast, mayoral proclamation, K9 dog demonstrations from members of the fire department, face painting, contests, and concessions. At 1 p.m. speakers will share how to prevent drug addiction and how to make the community a healthier and safer place to live. For more information, call Shaysha Kingsbury 770-596-3671.

Central Gwinnett High student Daniel Gehle was named one of 50 students from Georgia to serve on the 2010-11 Student Advisory Council. For more information, call Courtney Burnett, GaDOE communication officer, at 404-657-1340.

Mill Creek High student Brandon Noa attended the Global Young Leaders Conference during the summer. Sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) offers students from countries all over the world the opportunity to interact with each other and explore global leadership issues. The theme of the program is “The Leaders of Tomorrow Preparing for the Global Challenges and Responsibilities of the Future.” For more information visit

Collins Hill High Screamin’ Eagle Band earned the title “Grand Champion” at two prestigious competitions— the Southern Invitational held at Sprayberry High School and the Georgia Contest of Champions. In addition, the ensemble took top honors in visual, general effect, and colorguard competitions. For more information, call Band Director Ryan Bybee at 770-682-4100.

Sweetwater Middle Teacher Dr. Abdulah Kapic received the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta Building Bridges Award, Speaker of the Year. Individuals who have reached out to strengthen relationships and expand knowledge and awareness between Muslims and the community are honored with this award. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

Berkeley Lake Elementary is the recipient of a $700 Exxon Mobile grant sponsored by a local station. The grant will be presented to the school on Oct. 29 at 2:45 p.m. Exxon Mobil has a history of supporting education, local communities, and society through programs focusing on math and science. For more information, call Melinda O’Herron, Berkeley Lake Elementary media specialist at 770-582-7520.

Dyer Elementary will host a pumpkin-decorating contest. Proceeds will benefit United Way and the judging will take place on Oct. 25 at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call 770-963-6214.

Beaver Ridge Elementary students are decorating pumpkins as book characters or with a book theme. The pumpkins are on display at the school until the end of Oct. Students will vote for their favorite pumpkin on Oct. 25 and the winners will be announced on Oct. 29. For more information, call Vivian Kelly-Bateman, media specialist, at 770-447-2691.

Gwin Oaks Elementary students will participate in a mock election on Oct. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will present their “voter registration card” at the check in table. They will then have an opportunity to cast their ballots electronically using a mock election website hosted by the Youth Leadership Initiative. Votes will be cast for Governor, U.S. Senator, and the constitutional amendment to increase the price of license tags by $10 to pay for trauma centers. Students will receive an “I Voted Today” sticker. For more information, call Sharon Amolo of Gwin Oaks Elementary, at 770-982-6903.

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education has announced that Gwinnett’s Norcross High has been selected as one of seven schools that will make up this year’s annual Bus Trip Across Georgia. Norcross High will host the tour on Oct 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The theme this year is “Greater Flexibility, Greater Focus on Results.” Schools selected as stops have a proven track record of academic excellence and sustained performance. Norcross High has been able to use the flexibility offered through Gwinnett County’s Investing in Educational Excellence contract to better serve the needs of its students. Visit the Partnership web site – Annual Bus Trip page for more information about the organization and the event.

The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc. will host the 28th annual reception for Gwinnett County Public School educators on October 28 at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee. This year’s theme is “Making a Difference for the Future.” A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, visit

Berkeley Lake Elementary students have been celebrating Red Ribbon Week and supporting a United Way Fund Drive during the month of October with many different activities. On October 29, students will participate in a Book Character Dress Up Day to wrap up the month’s activities. For more information, call Melinda O’Herron, Berkeley Lake Elementary media specialist, at 770-582-7520.

Patrick Elementary will honor the work of Gwinnett firefighters as a tribute to Bobby Patrick, the school’s namesake, during an Annual Stakeholders’ Breakfast. This year the event will take place on Nov. 19 at 8:30 a.m. Students are held to the high standards of work ethic and team spirit as demonstrated by local firefighters. A yearly data report will be presented to show student progress. Students will give insight into the “day in the life” of a Patrick Elementary student, and chorus students will perform for the firefighters. Bobby Patrick Mentors (20 firefighters who work with the students) will be honored with a special recognition. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

GCPS and the Area II Gwinnett County Council of PTAs will present a College Fair for Students with Disabilities at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee on Dec. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session topics include Navigating and exploring financial options for college, Accommodations at the postsecondary level, Choosing a career path, and Preparing for college and organizing your college search. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit with College Admissions and Disability Services representatives from colleges across the state. For more information, contact the GCPS Department of Special Education and Psychological Services at 678-301-7138, or email Allison Vernon at allison_vernon or Keysha DuPont at keysha_dupont

Shiloh Elementary will celebrate 20 years of teaching and learning by hosting a community event on Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the school. Former principals of the school will be in attendance. The chorus will perform and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 770-985-6883.

Norton Elementary invites community members, staff, and students to the school’s 25th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. A special program begins at 3 p.m. Current and former students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to view a slide show presentation highlighting the school’s history. Students will perform a musical program and participants may view an exhibit of 25 years of school history. For more information, call 770-985-1933.

Pharr Elementary will celebrate 20 years of teaching and learning with a community event on Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 770-985-0244.
The students, faculty, and staff at Gwinnett’s eight new facilities invite their communities to take part in the formal dedication of the buildings Gwinnett County Public Schools opened for the first time in August. Burnette Elementary will host the community at a dedication scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3221 Burnette Rd., Suwanee.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
10/19/2010Gwinnett earns 2010 Broad Prize (pdf)
10/15/2010"Love that Book!" premieres this fall on GCPS TV (pdf)
10/15/2010Amended report: 91.5% of Gwinnett schools make AYP (pdf)

“ParenTVision - Parenting in the Age of Alcohol” Are parents sending mixed messages when it comes to alcohol and teens? Actions like providing bowls to “collect the keys” when partiers arrive and then purchasing or supplying alcohol for the teens while parents stay upstairs and let the kids celebrate in the basement. Then there’s the misperception that everyone is drinking... when actually they’re not. For teens who do drink alcohol, there's great harm - to both the developing teenage brain and developing lifestyle patterns. “Parenting in the Age of Alcohol” explores the reality of teen drinking, the awkward moments of adolescence, and the choices parents make, along with the key role parents play in helping teens grow up to achieve their adult potential. View this 60-min. program Oct. 25-31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus joins the system in celebrating National School Lunch Week, applauds award-winning counselors heading for national recognition, and takes a closer look at how South Gwinnett High parents put safety first under the Friday Night lights...join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus, your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This GCPS original 10-part series is taught by Elisa Brown, Hopkins Elementary assistant principal. This program 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, through Nov. 5 (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: 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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Instructional Materials Review through Oct. 29— Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review and provide input on proposed curriculum materials in the curriculum areas of Science and Technical Education, through Oct. 29. All materials can be reviewed at the Instructional Support Center (ISC) Building 200 lobby, 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee, during the times listed: Monday–Friday, through Oct. 29, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 21, 5–8 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

October is Computer Learning Month.

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades 3, 5, and 8 is scheduled for Oct. 18-27.

October 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

November is American Indian Heritage Month.

November 2 is a student teacher holiday and Election Day.

November 1-7 is National Occupations Student Organization (HOSA) Week.

Standard Time begins November 7.

November 9-13 is School Psychology Week.

November 10 and 11 are early release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

November 11 is Veterans Day.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 18, 2010, 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.
Craig Elementary
GIVE Center West
Jones Middle
Mill Creek High
Norton Elementary
Parkview High
Partee 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. 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.
Ongoing through Dec. 18 Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA): Beyond Bricks & Sticks

Georgia’s Past and Present
Junior Master Gardener Level 1

Herbs In Our Heritage

Harvest Season