News You Can Use - 11/17/2003

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
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003

Wendy Metcalf, director of school technology solutions, and Kristie Clements, Buchanan High School of Technology principal, presented an interactive session on “Offering Opportunities and Flexibility with Online Learning” at the National School Boards Association Annual Technology and learning Conference in Anaheim, California. For more information call Ms. Metcalf at 678-985-5258.

Two middle school teams presented at the National Middle School Association conference in Atlanta earlier this month. Jana Czerwonky, Jennifer Gillis, Steve James, and Amanda Sparks, all of Richard Hull Middle, presented “No Pain, No Gain… Taking the ‘Ouch’ out of Team Time.” Hull staff members Chris Gegen and Stacey Lovett produced the Team Time video used in the presentation. Fran Coyle and Veronica Lawrence, both of J.E. Richards Middle, presented “Meeting the Needs of the Multicultural Students in Your School.” For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

Jessica Sargent, a Trickum Middle student, was second runner-up for GCPS in the “Clean Water Campaign waterSmart Essay Contest. Jessica’s essay placed second in all entries received from GCPS students. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Richard Hull Middle is recruiting volunteers for an after school tutoring assistance program (TAP.) Volunteers should have a knowledge of middle school level math or language arts skills and a willingness to work with students. The biggest need for volunteers is in the areas of prealgebra and algebra. Volunteers must attend an orientation meeting before beginning the program. The program is schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. If you are interested in assisting the students of Richard Hull Middle, call Peggy Goodman, assistant principal, at 770-232-3395.

Beaver Ridge Elementary will celebrate National Children's Book Week Nov. 17-21 with an essay/poster contest about favorite books. Students will write essays and create posters to enter the contest. Winners of the essay contest will receive free books. The class with the winning poster will receive a gift certificate to a book store. In addition, to commemorate American Education Week, teachers and administrators will share on the morning announcements why they chose a career in education. For more information, call Linda McMahon at 770-447-6307.

Parsons Elementary will celebrate American Education Week with the following activities:
Nov. 17, 19, 20 A surprise will be placed in staff mailboxes.
Nov. 18 Thank you cards will be exchanged between staff members.
Nov. 21 Teachers will dress like students and students will dress like teachers. Students will share parent narratives entitled “What school was like when I was in _________ grade.”
For more information, call 678-957-3050.

Trickum Middle English Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) students and their families will share a potluck Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 20 in the cafeteria. Families will bring traditional dishes from their countries of origin. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy also will be served. Examples of student writings will be on display, and a student video performance will be viewed. Students have made place mats with class photos that will be distributed to parents. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Lawrenceville Elementary will celebrate Children's Book Week, Nov. 17-21, with the theme “Free to Read.” The week’s activities include the following:
Monday: Read In (Each class will drop everything and be free to read for two hours.)
Tuesday: No TV Tuesday
Wednesday: Guest readers will share their favorite books. Appearances will include Miss Mall of Georgia 2004, the Gwinnett County Fire Chief Jack McElfish, Lawrenceville Mayor Bobby Sykes, Gwinnett Gladiators hockey players, Central Gwinnett High football players and cheerleaders, and several other volunteers.
Thursday: Students will share their favorite book and create a patch to complete a class quilt. The quilts will be displayed outside of each classroom.
Friday: On Reading Swap Day, each class will rotate to various classrooms in the school. Each session will be focused around a piece of literature and an activity that goes along with the story.
For more information, call Lawanna Caudle at 770-963-1813.

North Gwinnett High will host a science fair on Nov. 20 and 21. Set up will begin Nov. 20 after school, and judging will take place that evening. Projects will be on display all day Nov. 21. For more information, call Amber Jarrard at 770-945-9558.

Sycamore Elementary has a variety of activities planned during the week of Nov. 17-21 for American Education Week. Parents are invited to participate in activities during the week such as volunteering in a classroom or the media center, or reading to students. A “Lunch and Learn” session will be offered for parents each day of the week. Topics will include:
--Nov. 17, “Brain Games,” hosted by Leanne Luttrell
--Nov. 18, Deb Murphy and Mary Zaharis will provide an overview of the Gateway Assessment, the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program, and the Cognitive Abilities Test.
--Nov. 19, Kindra Walker will present strategies for ESOL.
--Nov. 20, Technology and the Curriculum for Elementary Students
--Nov. 21, Pam Wilson will host “Read, Read, Read”
Also, teachers will be recognized at a special ceremony on Nov. 17 for their contributions to education. A Thanksgiving luncheon will be held Nov. 20 for business partners and community members. School Board Member Daniel Seckinger, Sycamore’s representative, will attend the luncheon. Sycamore students will also celebrate National Children's Book Week by focusing on reading. Students will dress up as their favorite book character on Nov. 21, and prepare bookmarks in the computer lab. Students in the Sycamore Technology Club will prepare computer-animated projects to share with students on the morning news show. And, students will create a “Sycamore” tree outside the media center with leaves representing each book read by the students during the week. For more information, call Brenda Anderson, principal, at 678-714-5770.

Susan Stripling Elementary’s Winter Chorus Family Night will be held Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. A light dinner may be purchased before the performance for $1.50, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. For more information, call Anne Newhouse at 770-582-7577.

Thirty select members of Brookwood High’s advanced choruses will perform on Thanksgiving Day with “America Sings” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. “America Sings” is a group of students from across the U.S. who will come together for the performance. For more information, call Kim Peeples at 770-972-7642.

Tune into Gwinnett County Public Schools educational access channel for “Teachers Up Close” this week (Nov. 17-23). The show airs at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight each day. “In Five,” a five-minute news update, airs at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. daily. GCPS TV cable channels and providers include:
--Adelphia on Channel 20
--Comcast on Channel 24
--BellSouth Entertainment on Channel 21
--Charter Communications on Channel 22
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-985-5233, or send an email to A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

The Duluth High Choral Department will present the Seventh Annual Olde Madrigal Dinner on Nov. 21 and 22 at the First Baptist Church of Duluth. This celebration of a 16th century Madrigal Dinner will include a four-course meal. Seating begins at 7:30 p.m on Nov. 21, and 6:30 p.m on Nov. 22. Tickets are $18. For reservations or more information, call 770-232-3354.

Simpson Elementary kindergarten students will have a Thanksgiving feast in the cafeteria on Nov. 21 from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. Students will learn about pilgrims and Native Americans by coming together to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The students will dress as pilgrims and Native Americans. For more information, call Kathy Thomas at 770-417-2400.

Sycamore Elementary fifth grade students, parents, and teachers will participating in an Immigration Food Festival on Nov. 21 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. This festival coincides with an immigration unit the students are studying. Students will dress-up as immigrants representing their family ancestry, perform in plays and folk dances, research family history using the web, and sample food from different cultures. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Trickum Middle Student council, the Nutritional Advisory Council, and Red Cross are sponsoring a canned food drive Nov. 17-21. The food will be collected in homeroom and will be donated to the Lilburn Co-Op. For more information, call 770-921-2705.

Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary students in three classes “joined forces” to write holiday letters and cards for service men and women serving in the Fallujah area of Iraq. The students collected items to make care packages for 12 soldiers serving in the 82nd Airborne. The wet wipes, eye drops, cotton swabs, breath strips and lip ointments that were included in the care packages will be appreciated by the soldiers after a dusty day serving our country. A Thanksgiving delivery date is anticipated. For more information, call Julie Nykanen at 770-232-3370.

The Richard Hull Middle Volunteer Center sponsored a letter writing campaign for the Great Days of Service. Students wrote 586 inspirational and encouraging letters to servicemen and women overseas. For more information, call Pam Willis at 770-232-3217.

Sycamore Elementary students collected more than 1,400 canned food items for the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry last week. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

The faculty and students of Norcross High will raise funds for the “Norcross Cares” project during the month of November. Funds raised will be used to support the Norcross Care Team, which provides support for needy Norcross High families. Fundraising events include collecting spare change during football games, a Mr. Legs contest, and a Teacher Turkey Trot. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The BETA Club at Summerour Middle is sponsoring a canned food drive through Nov. 20. Students may donate nonperishable food items to help needy families during this holiday season. Norcross Cooperative Ministries will distribute the food items throughout the Norcross community. Sponsors for this drive include Sherri Whittier and Kayla McCarthy, Summerour Middle teachers. For more information, call Ms. Whittier at 770-448-3045.

Craig Elementary is sponsoring a holiday food drive through Nov. 21. Nonperishable goods are being collected for distribution to Gwinnett families in need. For more information, call Jill Bassett at 770-736-6572.

North Gwinnett High is sponsoring a raffle drawing for a 2001 Chevy S-10 pick-up through Dec. 12. The drawing will take place at halftime at the boys’ basketball game against Central Gwinnett High. The truck is on display at the school, near the weight room, and a photo is posted on the school Web site Tickets are $5. Half of the ticket price will go to the school clubs that sell tickets and half will to the school capital fund for athletic improvements. For more information, call Chris Culpepper at 770-271-5171.

North Gwinnett High, the PTSA, and the North Gwinnett community have created a “Partnership for Academic Achievement.” Volunteers will meet with students during lunch to assist with a guided study program. Subject-specific tutoring opportunities also are available. Contact Mary Jane Hamre at 678-482-8543 for more information.

K.E. Taylor Elementary will sponsor a Holiday Fest on Nov. 18, featuring the Taylor Chorus at 6 p.m., at the Publix on Old Peachtree Rd. and Hwy. 20.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 11, 2003, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville. Prior to the regular meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. to allow persons not on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board.

Nov. 16-22 is American Education week.

Nov. 17-23 is National Children’s Book Week.

Nov. 19 is Education Support Professionals Day.

Nov. 20 is National Parental Involvement Day.

Nov. 23-29 is National Family Week.

Nov. 26-28 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during Nov. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.