News You Can Use - 10/22/2012

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
10/22/2012 - 10/28/2012

The Crews Middle Band, led by teachers Frank Folds and Amanda Hertel, is one of 4 middle schools in the state to receive a Georgia Music Educators Association Exemplary Performance Award. This award honors bands that consistently earn superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations, Solo and Ensemble Evaluations, and have members in the Georgia All-State Band. For more information, call the school at 770-982-6942.

Brookwood High’s Bronco Marching Band, led by teachers Laura Stanley and Rudy Wilson, has earned the title Grand Champions at the Yellow Jacket Classic Marching Band Competition in Rockmart, GA. The band was awarded several additional honors including 1st in Class in the categories of Band, Percussion, Overall Color Guard, and 2nd in Class for Drum Majors.

The Gwinnett Braves awarded a $1,000 grant for the month of September to the Norcross High Foundation for Excellence. The “All About Kids” themed grant will help fund the After School Matters program for Norcross High students. This program helps make after-school time productive and fun for Norcross students. The mission of the program is to increase the graduation rate and prepare students for a career or college. The program is staffed with caring adults who create a unique experience for each student. The Foundation plans to use the $1,000 grant to train teachers for the After School Matters program, as well as pay for snacks and bus tickets for the students attending. For more information on how to get involved with the Foundation for Excellence, contact Mr. Chris Saunders at 404-680-0523.

The Duluth High Chorus has scheduled a Fall Concert open to the public on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the school. For more information, call Jean Ann Moale, of the Duluth Chorus boosters Association at 770-476-5206.

Dyer Elementary students have been busy decorating pumpkins for the Dyer Elementary United Way Pumpkin Patch. Classes are using story book characters for inspiration. The character pumpkins will be judged on Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. For more information, call Teacher Matt Bonk at 770-963-6214.

Jones Middle Public Speaking and Journalism teacher Catalina Kreider will take the student mentors on a field trip to Four Oaks Manor for a formal luncheon on Oct. 23. Students will share their etiquette projects and experience a formal meal using the knowledge they gained during class. Nearly 90 students and parents will attend this event. Ms. Kreider leads the Student Leadership Academy and is the Student Mentor Advisor. For more information, call 770-904-5450.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a Literacy Night filled with reading activities on Oct. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participants will hear the book “If you give a mouse a cookie,” read out loud in both English and Spanish. Students will enjoy milk and cookies while they listen to the story. Activities will be incorporated into the night for Hispanic Heritage Month including a Parade of Nations. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will join with a local community sponsor – One Heart Church to sponsor a School Clean-Up Project. The event takes place on Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Community members and staff members will work together to keep Beaver Ridge Elementary clean and tidy for students. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

The Dr. Jim L. Markham Golf Classic at Chateau Elan Golf Club has been re scheduled for Nov. 6. The event, named in honor of Mill Creek High’s retiring principal, is an 18-hole Foursome Golf Scramble benefitting Relay for Life. The schedule of events includes registration, breakfast, silent auction, and practice. Golf begins at 9 a.m. and there will be awards and prizes. The deadline for registration is Oct. 30. For more information about registration, email

Central Gwinnett High theatre students return to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrenceville for an exciting afternoon of theatre games Nov. 9, and Dec. 7. The Central Theatre students are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS), and volunteer by teaching theater in the community to earn ITS honor points. This group is led by Central Gwinnett High senior Skylar Jackson. For more information, call teacher Lisa Bell at 404-861-5066, or email

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host a Thanksgiving Event for Families on Nov. 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with the help of their local community sponsor Perimeter Church. Families will enjoy a festive meal with fall décor celebrating all the things thankfulness. For more information, call the school at 770-447-6307.

Students at Starling Elementary practice their reading with the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program every other Tuesday at 10 am. Students have the opportunity to practice their reading out loud to dogs. The objective of this program is to provide a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere, which allows students to practice the skill of reading. Students (and teachers) enjoy the program which is run by volunteers and their personal dogs that have been tested and certified. For more information, call 678-344-6100.

Parents may now use a mobile app available at the Apple® App Store™ MyPaymentsPlusSM to purchase K-12 school meals, check account balances, review purchase history, and make payments right from their iPad or iPhone. For more information visit or call the School Nutrition Program at 678-301-6246.

Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC) is a public GCPS charter school. Parents who are interested in registering students in grades 6-12 should write a letter stating their intent to register for January, 2013 enrollment. Letters may be e-mailed to Letters may also be mailed or faxed to the GOC campus. The due date for the GOC Board of Trustees to receive the letter is December 5, 2012. Parents and students must come to GOC to register on December 7th or December 10th. After December 10th, no registrations will be accepted for the current school year. At GOC, students participate in a learning environment that differs from the traditional school. Students log into their courses to participate in learning activities Monday through Friday. Seat time and workloads are similar to more traditional counterparts, but the online environment allows students to log into their classes on a more flexible schedule. Additionally, this flexibility also allows teachers and staff at Gwinnett Online Campus to provide individual attention and support for all of our students. GOC is offering an Informational Meeting on November 13th on its campus. The session begins at 7:00 p.m. in Building “F”. Please visit or contact the office at 770-326-8082.

Pharr Elementary participated in the Mathletics American Math Challenge on Oct. 16-17. Students earn points by competing in problems across ten domains of mathematics. Cameron Karambelas, a fifth grader, placed 2nd in state and 18th in the nation. Pharr Elementary took 1st place in the primary category along with seven Pharr classes finishing in the top 10 in the state. 35 Pharr students place in the top 100 in the state. Other Gwinnett schools in the top 20 primary category were Brookwood Elementary, Head Elementary and Sugar Hill Elementary. Holly Shelnutt’s fifth grade class placed first in the state. Jennifer Dunn’s fifth graders placed second and the fourth grade class and Beth Jones class placed third.
For more information, call Monica Jones, Pharr Community Outreach Coordinator, at 770-337-6362.

“GCPS FOCUS” Comprised of shorter “Focus Moment” stories, the new GCPS FOCUS provides timely coverage on a wide variety of topics relating to Gwinnett County Public Schools. The 20-minute program airs this week at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Watch this week’s Focus Moment— “Touchdown for Arcado Students” by visiting

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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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.

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October is Computer learning Month® and Physical Therapy Month.

Red Ribbon Week runs from Oct. 23-31.

November 4-10 is National health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Month.

November 6 is a student and teacher holiday, and Elections Day.

American Education Week is November 11-17.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 15, 2012, at the 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.
Berkmar High
Cooper Elementary
Craig Elementary
GIVE Center West
Gwin Oaks Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Mill Creek High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Partee Elementary
Shiloh Middle
Simpson Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Trickum Middle
Walnut Grove 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.

Harvest Season – Nature’s Fall BountyOct. 27
Rivers Alive Stream CleanupsNov. 3
Green Living SeriesNov. 18, Dec. 21
Harvest Moon Night Hike in SeptemberNov. 26