News You Can Use - 12/19/2008









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
12/19/2008 - 01/11/2009


HONORS
Student members of the Lilburn Elementary Robotics Club won the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition at Creekland Middle in December. They placed 1st in the Research Presentation portion of the contest, competing against 30 other schools, including 28 middle schools. For their project, they chose to compare the effects of atmospheric pollution on both Georgia’s sea turtles and the sea turtles of El Salvador. The team was led by Beverly Allen, Simone Dreifuss, Jane Evans, Laura Flaherty, and Cody Nolan. For more information, call Lisa Campbell, media specialist at 770-931-5660 or visit http://www.georgiafll.org/.

GCPS artists are among the top 12 finalists in the 2009 Keep Atlanta Beautiful T-shirt design contest. The winner’s designs will be featured through Jan. 2 on WSB-TV Going Green Georgia web site,—www.wsbtv.com/goinggreengeorgiaindex.html. Visitors may vote for their favorite design and the winner of the popular vote will have his/her design featured on the 2009 Keep Atlanta Beautiful T-shirt. The finalists are Alisa Cotting, Pinckneyville Middle; Patrick Haas, Pinckneyville Middle; Jose Ramirez, Central Gwinnett High; and Kendal Vogler, Pinckneyville Middle School. For more information, call Annie Nixon, communications specialist for Keep Atlanta Beautiful at 404-822-5956, or email annie.nixon@keepatlantabeautiful.org.

Debbie Cate, director of school operations and support, received a Shining Star Award for her efforts in coordinating GCPS’ Great Days of Service participation for 95 schools. For more information, call Nicole Love at 770-995-3339.

GCPS was a big winner in the 2008 Publication, Photography, and Electronic Media Contest of the Georgia School Public Relations Association, receiving three Best in Category Awards, eight Gold Awards, two Silver Awards, and one Bronze Award. Every GCPS entry earned recognition at some level. For the contest, judges look at the stated purpose/goal for the entry and its success in meeting the goal for the identified audience along with design and content. The entries were produced by staff in GCPS’ Communication and Media Relations Dept., unless otherwise noted.
  • 2008-09 New Teacher Handbook (Produced for Staff Development): Gold in Handbook Category and Best in Category Award
  • Envisioning a System of World-Class Schools (RGA brochure): Gold in Special Purpose Publication Category and Best in Category Award
  • “Starfleet Institute” article (From Communiqué): Gold in Excellence in Writing Category and Best in Category Award
  • 2008-09 New Administrators Folder (Produced for Leadership Development): Gold in Special Purpose Publication Category
  • 2008-09 Choice Book (Produced for Teaching and Learning): Gold in Special Purpose Publication Category
  • 2008-09 Employee Calendar: Gold in Calendar Category
  • “Green GCPS” article (From Communiqué): Gold in Excellence in Writing Category
  • GCPS eNews (Subscription community newsletter): Gold in Electronic Communication Category
  • Communiqué Connection (Related online resources, companion to Communiqué): Silver in Electronic Communication Category
  • Back to School 2007 (GCPS TV production with CMR support): Silver in Audio-Visual Category
  • Berkeley Lake ES International Festival (Photo taken by school staff, used on GCPS web site): Bronze in Photography Category.
For more information, call Director of Publications and Public Information Laura Nurse at 678-301-6018.

GRANTS
The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation awarded the South Gwinnett High Math Department a grant to purchase Interwrite Pad which allows instructors and students the ability to project computer images onto any surface, from any place in a classroom, essentially creating an interactive white board. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES/EVENTS
The Lanier Middle Holiday Shop was a huge success this year. PTSA members and the school counselors worked hard to ensure that the students received a nice Christmas. More than 90 students in need were selected by their teachers and invited to visit the Holiday Shop in the Media Center. Care Team members collected donations from teachers, parents, Relay for Life, and a Jeans-Day fundraiser in order to purchase the gifts. Students “shopped” for their family gifts at no charge. With the help of counselors, students made selections for their families, wrapped the gifts, and took them home to place under their trees. For more information, call 770-945-8419.

The North Gwinnett Cluster Schools sponsored a successful “Toys for Tots” holiday project this month. A total of 2,683 toys were collected by the eight schools that participated. For more information, call Dr. Jacqueline Huffman, North Gwinnett High teacher, at 770-945-9558.

Visit the school system website at www.gwinnett.k12.ga.usfor the most current News Releases.

12/17/2008Gwinnett educators complete prestigious Academy program (pdf)
12/16/2008Meadowcreek High student earns 1st place in state culinary competition (pdf)
12/15/2008Gwinnett School Board names nine school principals (pdf)

UPCOMING
Centerville Elementary will hold an “Our Shared Forests” science night on Jan. 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This multicultural, environmental education project was developed in partnership with The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Maquipucuna Foundation of Ecuador, Georgia Parent Teacher Association (PTA), The University of Georgia, and several environmental education centers in Georgia. Activities will include hands-on science stations focusing on migratory birds that “share the forests” between Ecuador and Georgia, a puppet show performed by members of the Centerville EarthSavers Environmental Club, and an animal show put on by Wildlife Wonders. Students will learn about the dependence of native cultures (in Georgia and Ecuador) on the forest for food, medicine, and a variety of life-support services, and how they can serve as wise stewards of our shared forests. For more information, call Lorraine Presson at 770-972-2220.

ONGOING
Registration for the 2009–10 freshman class of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology is underway. Registration materials are available in all GCPS middle schools and on both the GCPS web site (www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us) and the school web site (www.gsmst.org). Registration packets must be submitted by January 23, 2009.

GCPS TV
“ArtStage: Sounds of the Season” A holiday tradition continues with the GCPSTV “Sounds of the Season,” featuring student musical performances from across the county. It’s a lively holiday celebration sure to warm your heart and put a smile on your face. This 60-min. program airs Dec.22-28 at 2 and 8 p.m.

“Kids Can Cook - Gifts from the Kitchen” Join host Suzanne Magni and students from Trickum Middle and Riverside Elementary as they create “Gifts from the Kitchen” perfect for that someone special on your holiday list. Gift ideas featured include Parmesan star croutons; banana pancake mixes, and Christmas gingerbread houses. This 30-min. program airs Dec. 22-28 at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony” GCPS TV is proud to present a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony. Join local school recipients, administrators, and Board members for a wonderful evening of recognition and celebration. Program highlights include award presentations to the local winners, “A Glimpse of Excellence” video honoring the six TOTY finalists, and the announcement of the level winners and the 2009 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. This two-plus hour program airs Dec.22-28 at noon.

“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 tuning in 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., through Jan. 4.

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
December 17-19 is early release for high school exams.

Georgia’s End-of-Course Test Window will take place through Dec. 19.

Dec. 22-Jan. 2 students will be on Winter Break. (Gwinnett Offices closed Dec. 21-31 with a holiday Jan. 1.)

Jan. 2 is Teacher Planning/Staff Development, student holiday.

Students return to school Jan. 5.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Jan. 8, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

On Jan. 15, Grayson High Technical Education Program will hold an openhouse.

On Jan. 22, Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an openhouse.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in December. Call the local school for the time and location.

School
Dec
School
Jan
Duncan Creek Elementary
12/18
B.B. Harris Elementary
1/29
Glenn C. Jones Middle
12/18
Beaver Ridge Elementary
1/8
Mulberry Elementary
12/18
Benefield Elementary
1/15
Camp Creek Elementary
1/30
Cedar Hill Elementary
1/15
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
1/9
Chattahoochee Elementary
1/20
Collins Hill High
1/20
Corley Elementary
1/27
Craig Elementary
1/26
Dacula Elementary
1/23
Dacula High
1/23
Dacula Middle
1/13
Duluth Middle
1/13
Fort Daniel Elementary
1/9
Frank N. Osborne Middle
1/16
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
1/13
Grayson Elementary
1/16
Gwin Oaks Elementary
1/9
Harbins Elementary
1/22
Harmony Elementary
1/30
Henry Partee Elementary
1/22
J.C. Magill Elementary
1/9
J.G. Dyer Elementary
1/28
J.P. McConnell Middle
1/12
K.E. Taylor Elementary
1/16
Lanier Middle
1/13
Lawrenceville Elementary
1/13
Level Creek Elementary
1/27
Lilburn Elementary
1/22
Lovin Elementary
1/22
Meadowcreek High
1/22
Mill Creek High
1/13
Monarch School
1/16
Nesbit Elementary
1/29
Norcross High
1/8
Parkview High
1/27
Patrick Elementary
1/30
Peachree Ridge High
1/26/
Peachtree Elementary
1/20
Pinckneyville Middle
1/22
R.L. Norton Elementary
1/30
Richard Hull Middle
1/9
Riverside Elementary
1/6
Shiloh Elementary
1/8
Simonton Elementary
1/12
Simpson Elementary
1/30
Snellville Middle
1/8
South Gwinnett High
1/13
Sycamore Elementary
1/9
T. Carl Buice School
1/22
Walnut Grove Elementary
1/15

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.com or call 770-904-3500.

Dec. 20, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Winter Walk, $3 per person, GEHC members Free
Enjoy a winter walk with our Program Specialists as they take you on an incredible hike through the property. See beautiful landscapes that are usually inaccessible during the spring and summer months. Winter walks are perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors. The program is limited to 12 participants each session, please register by calling 770-904-3500.


Jan. 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Webelo Forester Program, $8 per scout
Unravel the mysteries of life in the forest. Is it really more than just a bunch of trees? Find out how trees grow, what makes the forest tick, and how you can improve where you live with trees by making an urban forestry plan.

Jan. 2, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Webelo Naturalist Program, $8 per scout
Are you curious about the natural world? Join us as we investigate our grounds in search of plants and signs of animals to complete the requirements of this activity pin.