News You Can Use - 02/02/2009

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
02/02/2009 - 02/08/2009

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host an International Night to celebrate cultural diversity on Jan. 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The program— “A World of Possibilities” — is free and will include food, games, prizes, and educational exhibits. Many countries will be represented including India, Mexico, England, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Germany, Colombia, Peru, Denmark, Thailand, and Israel. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

Gwinnett dancers will gather for a countywide Dance Festival at Brookwood High on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the theater. Tickets may be purchased for $5. Students from Berkmar, Brookwood, Collins Hill, Grayson, Mill Creek, Peachtree Ridge, Parkview, Meadowcreek, North Gwinnett, and South Gwinnett high schools will perform. For more information, call Anna D’Antonio at Brookwood High at 770-972-7642.

Five Forks Middle Counselor Kelly Flower was published in a national magazine“Professional School Counseling Journal.” The article, “Tackling Male Underachievement: Enhancing a Strengths-Based Learning Environment in Middle School Boys,” was published in the American School Counselor Associations magazine in December. For more information, call 770-972-1506.

The Shiloh High competition choir won top honors at the Heritage Music Festival in Washington D.C. The choir won 1st place in the Class AA division; they won the Adjudicator's Award (The Judge's Choice); and Most Outstanding Choir of the Festival - (highest scores earned). In addition, the choir has been invited to compete at the Heritage Gold Festival this spring. At this performance, all Heritage Festival Grand Prize Winners perform together at one of the World’s finest performance halls. For more information, call Craig Johnson, Shiloh High choir director, at 770-972-8471.

The South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation has its first major fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 5 at Summit Chase Country Club. The event will feature an evening of socializing, hors d’oeuvres, music, an auction, and an informative program that will introduce local business and community leaders to the organization. For more information on the fundraiser or to reserve tickets, please visit the foundation’s web site at

More than 200 colleges and universities will be represented at a free national college fair in Atlanta on Feb. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia National Convention Center in College Park. Students can register online to receive an admittance pass to the schools they are interested in. Workshops on financing, admissions processes, choosing a college, a parent’s role in the selection process, and more will be presented. To pre-register visit

Shiloh Cluster school counselors will host a school and community Cluster Resource Fair on Feb.10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will have free pizza, soft drinks, and door prizes. The Shiloh Cluster Resource Fair business partners and community sponsors will offer services to empower families and support student success for all grade levels. Important high school information regarding graduation requirements, future careers, and college enrollment will be made available. For more information, call 770-972-3224.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host the Central Gwinnett Cluster Witzzle Pro Math Tournament on Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. in the cafeteria. Fourth and fifth grade students from Cedar Hill Elementary, Margaret Winn Holt Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, and Simonton Elementary schools will compete. A Witzzle (witty puzzle) is comprised of a unique 3- by-3 array of digits using two operations to equal a target number. Child care will be provided at Shiloh Middle. For more information, call Anne Foley, media specialist, at 770-962-5015.

The 6th Annual Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant, “Saturday Night Fever,” will be presented by the Peachtree Ridge Foundation, on Feb. 21. Miss Freshman and Miss Sophomore competition takes place at 3 p.m. Miss Junior and Miss Peachtree Ridge 2009 competition takes place at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase the week of Feb. 16, or call the Foundation office at 678-957-3138 for more information.

Grayson High will host the school’s first African-American History Celebration on Feb. 25. The program titled “The Many Faces of Me… Past, Present, and Future” will be held in the theatre. For more information, call Teacher Valerie Lewis at 770-554-1071.

Creekland Middle will host “College 101” for parents of GCPS middle school students on Feb. 26 from 6:30 -8:30. Attendees should register by Feb. 19 and may attend three of the following workshops designed to help parents prepare to send their children to college:
  • Athletics and College Admissions
  • Military Options
  • PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT II-Why, When & Which Ones
  • Right Fit College: How to Find It
  • Technology in the College Admissions Process
  • Been There, Done That: Lessons Learned from Parents of College Students
Refreshments will be provided. To register, call 770-338-4700 by Feb. 19.

Norcross Elementary Counselor Amy Crapo will be taking 38 fourth and fifth grade students on a field trip to Georgia Gwinnett College on Feb. 26. It is not too early to start thinking about college. Students will tour the campus, and learn about math, science and technology and what it means to be a college student. For more information, call 770-447-2628.

Sweetwater Middle recently hosted a Community Leaders Luncheon. The program offered community leaders an opportunity to come together and discuss how to build safe, prosperous, educated, connected communities, which support a successful school for the community. Community members were encouraged to “Be There” for the community and school. The program focused on the topics of safety, prosperity, academic success, and staying connected. Each group was assigned the tasks of achieving goals and creating a proposed plan of action. The next meeting will be held in the summer to share the progress of the groups. For more information, call the communication and media relations office at 678-301-6020.

Berkmar Cluster schools will host two workshops on Jan. 28 by national author Greg Tang, known for his math picture books, at Berkmar High. The teacher workshop will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a family workshop will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The goal of these sessions is to promote success in mathematics for all students. For more information, visit

Simonton Elementary hosted an International Night on Jan. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students created travel brochures and stories about the countries they studied. For more information, call 770-513-6637.

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.

01/29/2009Shiloh High concert choir sweeps top honors at D.C. Heritage Music Festival (pdf)

Gwinnett high school students take learning from classroom to career during Science and Engineering Fair on February 6 (pdf)
01/26/2009Gwinnett educator named “National Foreign Language Supervisor of the Year”

“Education News Parents Can Use: Success Stories: Schools at the Leading Edge of Reform” The January edition of Education News showcases the Department’s Washington-based Teaching Ambassador Fellows (including Gwinnett’s own Julie Shively) five teacher leaders who are spending a year at the Department of Education, contributing their firsthand knowledge and experience to the development of federal education policy. Throughout the broadcast, the Fellows reflect on and discuss a range of topics, from early childhood education to the value of service learning, and from supporting English Language learners to the challenges of recruiting, preparing, retaining and compensating teachers. This 60-min. program airs February 2-7 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Career Day: Alternative Energy-Green Design” Career Day is an exciting new series designed to support efforts to increase student interest and performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Career Day programs are designed to spark student interest in various STEM-related careers through virtual field trips into various days in the lives of our experts. The first program in the series focuses on alternative energy and green design. Students will get an up-close look at a working solar home with a one-of-a-kind tour from an energy efficiency engineer, go through an energy audit with an energy services consultant, and get a special peek at the research and development being conducted at the University of Maryland's Energy Research Center. This 30-min. program airs Feb. 2-8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original 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. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, Feb. 2-April 12 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 1” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 15 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can seek the week’s programs from noon to 4 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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

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The English Language Learners ACCESS Test administration Window runs through Feb. 27.

February is Black History Month and Technical Education Month.

National School Counseling Week is Feb. 2-6.

February 11-12 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., Feb. 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

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

Alton C. Crews Middle2/13
Annistown Elementary2/10
Arcado Elementary2/9
Beaver Ridge Elementary2/5
Berkeley Lake Elementary2/19
Berkmar High2/10
Berkmar Middle2/12
Bethesda Elementary2/16
Brookwood Elementary2/23
Brookwood High2/10
Centerville Elementary2/6
Central Gwinnett High2/10
Creekland Middle2/12
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary2/20
Duluth High2/17
Duluth Middle2/24
Five Forks Middle2/6
Fort Daniel Elementary2/6
Freeman's Mill Elementary2/13
GIVE Center East2/10
GIVE Center West2/12
Glenn C. Jones Middle2/19
Grayson High2/15
Harmony Elementary2/27
Ivy Creek Elementary2/20
J.G. Dyer Elementary2/25
Jackson Elementary2/5
K.E. Taylor Elementary2/20
Kanoheda Elementary2/5
Knight Elementary2/6
Level Creek Elementary2/24
Louise Radloff Middle2/12
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary2/26
McKendree Elementary2/6
Meadowcreek Elementary2/9
Mountain Park Elementary2/23
Mulberry Elementary2/19
Norcross Elementary2/6
Norcross High2/12
North Gwinnett High2/10
Oakland School2/15
Parkview High2/24
Parsons Elementary2/25
Peachree Ridge High2/23
Peachtree Elementary2/17
Pharr Elementary2/5
Puckett's Mill Elementary2/5
R.D. Head Elementary2/13
R.L. Norton Elementary2/27
Rebecca Minor Elementary2/6
Rock Springs Elementary2/12
Rockbridge Elementary2/12
Shiloh High2/2
Shiloh Middle2/7
Snellville Middle2/12
Sugar Hill Elementary2/2
Summerour Middle2/5
Susan Stripling Elementary2/14
Suwanee Elementary2/16
Sweetwater Middle2/13
Trickum Middle2/10
W.C. Britt Elementary2/3
W.J. Cooper Elementary2/9
Walnut Grove Elementary2/19

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 or call 770-904-3500.

Feb. 11, 3-5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 11, 3 to 5 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 creating an urban forestry plan.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 p.m., Earth Heroes, $8 per participant
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero. Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle, the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium. This program will complete the requirements for Earth Is Our Home Try-It.

Feb. 12, 3 to 5 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.

Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Environmental Science Merit Badge, $10 per scout
Conduct experiments and learn about your impact on the natural environment in this four-hour session. Complete or start the experiments in requirement three of this merit badge that is required to become an Eagle Scout. Please register by Feb. 13 by calling 770-904-3500.