News You Can Use - 04/08/2013

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
04/08/2013 - 04/21/2013

News You Can Use… will return April 18, 2013

Cooper Elementary will sponsor a Career Fair in the gym on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Brandy Bortak, school counselor, at 770-554-7386.

Brookwood High student Matt Stout won the Gold medal at the Interscholastic Orienteering Competition and has been named 2013 National Varsity Orienteering Champion. Teammate Austin Fowler won the Bronze medal. These students are among 12 students in the nation selected as members of the national Orienteering USA Junior Standing Team. For more information, visit For more information about Georgia, please visit

The Mountain View High WorldQuest team won at state and will move to nationals in WorldQuest competition (April 26-28) in Washington, D.C. WorldQuest is an academic competition of 10 categories of global and temporal importance in social studies. For more information, call Mill Creek High Teacher Garin Berry at 678-407-7600.

The South Gwinnett High Robotics Team won the 2012-13 Motivate Award during state competition, and team advisor Doris Bonaby won the 2012-13 Compass Award. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Janet Blouin of Brookwood High has been named Region 11 Advisor of the Year by Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Samantha Sinclair of Archer High has been named FBLA New Advisor of the Year. Call the local school for more information.

97 GCPS students won honors at the state PTA Reflections contest. Of those, five division winners will advance to nationals. National PTA has been honoring students’ artistic achievements through the Reflections Program since 1969. The 2013-14 Reflections theme is “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” Students are encouraged to create new works of art in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and visual arts. For a complete list of Gwinnett winners, contact the Media Relations office at 678-301-6020.

Gwinnett student photographers exhibited their work in the Shutter Sense and Nonsense event at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center during February and March. Nearly 500 works were entered into the contest. Gwinnett winners include:
1st place (15) High School winners
SchoolFirst NameLast NameTypeFormatTitle
Brookwood High SavannaWeaverPortraiture-FormalDSLR, PhotoshopEyes of A Child
Brookwood High AnnaBrantnerTextureDSLR, PhotoshopThe Eye of the Beholder
Duluth High ToniPerrucciFilm Black & White35mmKeeping it Classy
Grayson High PeytonGloverPinholeSilver GelatinReflection
Grayson TechRamshaAliArchitecturalDigital PhotographyRust Under the Bridge
Grayson TechChloeFoegeColorDigital PhotographySomewhere Over the Rainbow
Grayson TechGabrielleFortierEmotiveDigital PhotographyGauze
Lanier High CarolineHumphreyDigital Black & WhiteDigital PhotographyInto Darkness
Mill Creek HighCeliannePianetaDigital ManipulationPhoroshopThe city that never sleeps
North Gwinnett High MollyNowickiAnimalsDigital PhotographUntitled
North Gwinnett High DanicaSellersLandscape/NatureDigital PhotographBeach
Parkview HighMadisonMcMinnAlternative ProcessDigitalOur Father
Parkview HighAdaGhaliPortraiture-InformalDigitalOracle
Parkview HighRavenMoffettSocial CommentaryDigitalHaiti in Pink
Phoenix High JohnMendozaProductDigital PhotographySwag

1st place (6) Middle School winners and (1) Best in Show
SchoolFirst nameLast nameTypeFormatTitle
Osborne Middle MadelineGannAlternative Process/PinholeDigital Rise Up
Osborne Middle SchoolMaggieCheathamPortraitureDigital Caught in time
Osborne Middle TylerFanninBlack & WhiteDigital Through the HOOP
Snellville Middle EmilyKaufmanAlternative Process/PinholePin Hole PhotographySelf Defence
Snellville Middle EmilyKaufmanAnimalsDigital PhotographyOnly the Strong Survive
Snellville Middle AllisonJennyLandscape/NatureDigital PhotographyBeautiful Chaos
Osborne Middle KayleighHahnPortraitureDigital Potential (Best in Show)
For more information, call Phoenix High Teacher Becky Raffalovich at 770-513-6862.

Chattahoochee Elementary is among the Georgia schools participating in a cultural exchange with South Korea. The Georgia Department of Education launched a cultural exchange program with South Korea that includes a cultural exchange for teachers from both countries. State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge and Ha Tae-Yun, Vice Minister of Education for the Republic of Korea and President of the country’s National Institute for International Education, announced the partnership. The program includes a chance for a group of teachers from South Korean to spend time in Georgia public and private schools, and for Georgia teachers to travel to South Korean schools. The first group of 26 teachers will travel to Georgia for 10 weeks, spending time in local schools in Fulton and Gwinnett counties. For more information, call 770-497-9907.

Simon’s Fund, a Philadelphia-based non-profit, is funding heart screens for 300 Gwinnett middle and high school students in an event on April 7 at the offices of the Cardiovascular Group in Lawrenceville. The free screenings look for undetected heart conditions through an ECG exam and a physical. If needed, students will receive an echocardiogram, and may be referred to a cardiologist for follow-up. Based on past screenings, one out of every 100 students will discover an undetected heart condition. Registration opens March 6 online at Participation is limited to 300 students. Students and their families must complete paperwork as part of the registration process. For more information, visit Simon Fund at

The Greater Gwinnett Championship, the county’s new Champions Tour golf tourney, is scheduled for April 15-21 at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The tournament will benefit a number of local charities, including the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund. This 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. The event will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. To purchase tickets or volunteer for Greater Gwinnett Championship, visit

The PGA Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf, April 15-21 has volunteer opportunities available for students age 13 and up, and for adults. Volunteer opportunities include:
  • Shuttle drivers to transport volunteers and players from parking lot to events, seven passenger van, no special license needed
  • Each hole needs at least 16 volunteers, assuming each volunteer works only the minimum three shifts
  • Volunteers are required to purchase a uniform packet which includes meal tickets, a high-quality golf shirt, wind jacket and a hat or visor. The total cost is $75 per adult or $25 per student.
For more information, and to register, visit and click on “Volunteer.” The PGA will allocate a portion of advance ticket purchases (for one day passes and weekly badges only) to GCPS if noted when ordering online at

The Manilow Music Project will partner with Gwinnett County Public Schools to collect instruments to benefit music programs in the district’s schools. Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow initiated the instrument drive by donating a Yamaha piano to GCPS. Mr. Manilow will perform at a concert at the Gwinnett Center on April 27. Music lovers who donate new or gently used instruments will receive two tickets to the show, while supplies last. Instruments may be dropped off at the Center box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and after noon on weekend days with an event at the Center. More than 97,000 K-12 Gwinnett students are enrolled in music programs. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Gwinnett Center box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Registration is going now for the 4th Annual GCPS “I See A Cure” Relay for Life 5K Run/Walk scheduled for April 27 at 8 a.m. GCPS is the largest supporter of Gwinnett Relay for Life. This event is a great opportunity for GCPS employees, faculty, and students, as well as the community, to support this important cause. Participants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag, and participate in a pre-race warm-up to live music at the 200 building of the Instructional Support Center (ISC). Raffle prizes and age group awards will be presented. The school or team with the most participants will be recognized at the awards presentation. Visit to register. If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 or Diane Cribb at 678-301-6121. Visit for more information.

Cedar Hill Elementary will host a 25th Anniversary Celebration on May 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. A special program begins at 2:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Please RSVP by emailing by 4/22/13. For more information, call Administrative Assistant Peggy Dutzy at 678-377-8984.

Call the local school for more information.
Harbins Elementary School
Linda Wood, Teacher
PTA meeting, “Broadway Beat”
April 18
Presented in the Harbins Cafe at 6:30
In addition, we will have a tribute to our parents and friends who have volunteered at Harbins during the 2012-2013 year.
9:00 am in the Harbins Cafe also on April 18. Our Solo Singers will perform.

North Gwinnett High School
Teacher: Reyna O’Leary
Name of Event: Turn It Up
Date: April 18 and 19
Location: North Gwinnett H.S. Theater
Time: 7:00 pm

Duluth High Chorus will finish out the year with performances on April 19 and 20 in the auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Students will perform the variety show “Peach Jam” for the community. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Mill Creek High
Name of Event: “Beauty and the Beast” - Non Musical Children's Show
Date: April 19 & 20
Time: 7 PM

Archer High
Teacher: Brian Wolfe, Meghan Bawcum, Todd Ferguson, Ken Johnson (Principal)
Name of Event: AHS 1st Annual Jazz Festival
Date: Saturday, April 20
Location: Archer High
Time: 5-9 (could be slightly altered)

Grayson Tech Black Box Theatre
Teacher: Laura Heckman and all MS Drama Teachers
Name of Event: Dramarama
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: All-Day event

Archer High
Teacher: A D'Antonio - Brian Wolfe - Todd Ferguson
Name: Jazz Festival
Date 4/20
Location Archer High
Time: TBA

South Gwinnett High is performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare...Abridged
April 24-26 at 7 pm

Brookwood High
Name of Event: Musical “Pippin”
Date: April 25, 26
Time: 7 p.m.

School: Mill Creek High School
Teacher: Suzanne Kross
Name of Event: Spring Dance Concert: “Broadway”
Date: April 25, 26, 27
Location: MCHS Theatre
Time: 7 pm

Mountain View High
Dr. Beverly Johnston
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera
April 25, 26, 27
Mountain View High Theatre
7 p.m.

Collins Hill High
Penny Brown
Spring Musical: “GODSPELL”
Date: April 26 and 27
Location: Collins Hill High Theatre
Time: 7 p.m.

Beginning in March, the Gwinnett County Board of Education will go on the road, as it does each year, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public. They also are an opportunity to hear CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks’ annual address on the state of the school district, focusing on the district’s strategic direction, recent successes and new initiatives, and current budget challenges. Below are the remaining meeting dates.
April 4
April 16
Archer High
Meadowcreek High

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration (May 2) Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 2. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. If you are not sure of which school your child will attend, call the Planning Department at 678-301-7085. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2013, are invited to register their children for the 2013-14 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times and should bring the following documents for registering your child; an official document showing proof of birth date; evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year (a current Georgia Form #3300); a valid certificate of immunization (Georgia Form #3231); proof that you live in the attendance zone; proof of custody or guardianship, if not the birth parent; the child’s social security number (or you may sign a waiver at the school); and a photo ID for the adult registering the child. Additional information may be viewed on the system website

Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC) has reopened the window for 2013-14 registration from April 15 through May 3. Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option has reopened registration for the 2013–14 school year for students in grades 4-12. GOC is a diploma-granting charter schools. GOC, which began as a high school, expanded to include middle school students in 2012-13, and will add grades 4 and 5 in 2013-14. Learn more at

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) offers high school students two ways to learn for credit this summer.
  • Face-to-face summer classes (June 11–July 10) will be offered at three locations— Archer, Lanier, and Meadowcreek high schools. Online registration is now open for face-to-face classes. Students may register online ( for face-to-face summer classes through June 3, or register in person on May 30 at Meadowcreek High. Find course offerings and frequently asked questions on the face-to-face summer school website. (
  • Online summer classes (June 10–July 8) will be offered through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). Registration for online classes will open March 1. (Find course offerings and frequently asked questions online, along with registration information on the GOC website. (

Dates for GCPS 2013 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 have been set. Students may attend a 15-day session with no classes on Fridays. The first day of class is June 10, and last day is July 3. Summer school will not be provided at every school, due to maintenance and construction at some schools and plans for combined “cluster” summer school sites. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school sessions.
  • Parents of eligible students will be notified that their student may participate in the free session and given specifics about location and hours.
  • Most summer school sites will not offer transportation. Those schools with additional federal funding to offer transportation will notify parents regarding availability.
  • The free academic summer school is for students who were not successful on tests required for promotion or who did not meet promotion criteria at their grade level.
  • Students are given an opportunity to retake the CRCT subtest(s) at the end of summer school in order to meet promotion criteria and earn promotion to the next grade.
In partnership with Invent Now, Gwinnett County is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program for students entering grades one through six this summer. This weeklong adventure in creativity immerses children in imaginative play that reinforces and supplements school-year learning in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Students work together to seek innovative solutions to real-world challenges and sharpen learning skills such as teamwork and creative problem solving as they rotate through four modules each day. The camp runs from June 10-14. Dr. Gloria Elliott will direct the Camp Invention Geo-Quest program at Shiloh Elementary. Local educators will facilitate program modules, and high school and college students will serve as Leadership Interns. Register online using Camp Code: C-GA22-11352-13 for a $195 tuition. Every registration includes a free Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800-968-4332 to register.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a four day technical education summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders (current middle school students) on June 3-6 from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will explore careers in programs such as Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Early Childhood Ed.–Babysitting Certification, Flash 2-D Game Animation, GA Pre-K Early Childhood Ed – Counselor, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare Science, Law and Justice, and Welding. All camp programs are led by GCPS instructors assisted by enthusiastic high school student aides. The camp fee is $80 and is non-refundable. Registration runs through May 3 at All forms must be completed before registration is complete. Each program must have a minimum of 10 students to be offered. For more information, call Sherri Stephenson at 678-518-6630 or Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603.

Grayson High Technical Education Program will host a tech ed summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th grade GCPS students from June 10-13. Programs include Digital Media and Animation; Video Broadcast journalism, Photography, Culinary, Music Technology and Robotics. The three time options for those attending include two half-day sessions from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. or from noon to 3 p.m. A full day option is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Robotics session only. To register, visit from April 1to May 15. For more information, call 770-554-7083.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/29/2013GCPS middle schoolers invited to learn new skills during summer (pdf)
03/28/2013GCPS thanks transportation employees for student safety (pdf)

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--

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The following schools will hold Local School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood High
Craig Elementary
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Ferguson Elementary
Grayson High
Harris Elementary
Hopkins Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Lanier High
Level Creek Elementary
Louise Radloff Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Monarch School
Norcross Elementary
Oakland School
Patrick Elementary
Peachtree Elementary
Rockbridge Elementary
Stripling Elementary
Walnut Grove Elementary
Woodward Mill Elementary

April is National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 8-12 is Spring break (school holidays).

April 12 is a Spring holiday for 12-month staff.

The week of April 14-20 is National Environmental Education Week, National Library Week, and Week of the Young Child.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 18, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

April 21-27 is National Student leadership Week.

April 22 is Earth Day.

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.

· Peanuts…Naturally
· Water Wise
· Discover H2O
· Water Ways
· Blue Planet
· Gwinnett History Exhibit
· e-Planetarium

· Education
· Pre-K – 12
· Homeschool
· Outreach Programs
· OSF Kits: Our Shared Forest
· e-Planetarium
· Heritage Self-Guided Tours