News You Can Use - 01/12/2009

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
01/12/2009 - 01/18/2009

North Gwinnett High Teacher Debi West was named one of the four 2008 honorees for Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Riverside Elementary Reading Specialist Dr. Judy Stephenson had a chapter entiled “Teaching the Basics of Language Learning: Developing a First Grader’s Early Literacy Skills” published in the book “Negotiating Literacy Learning: Exploring the Challenges and Achievements of Struggling Readers, K-6.” For more information, call 687-482-1000.

Centerville Elementary will hold “Our Shared Forests,” a 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 770-972-2220.

GCPS will be represented by 80 elementary and middle school students in the GCPS Spelling Bee on Jan. 17 in the Central Gwinnett High theater. Registration will be held from 7:15-8:15 a.m. The Written Bee begins at 8:30 a.m. (only contestants will be allowed in the theater during this event.) The Oral Bee runs for about 30-45 minutes after the written bee (between 10 and 10:30 a.m.). This event is open to the public. The top twelve spellers from the written bee will advance to the oral bee. All twelve of these spellers will advance to the District 3 Bee to be held at Collins Hill High on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in the theater. Leslie Treat, the Reading Recovery teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary, will be the word caller. Spelling Bee judges are Todd Cline of the Gwinnett Daily Post; Lisa Eubanks, Local School Technology Coordinator at Patrick Elementary; and Melanie Mount, Reading Specialist at Duncan Creek Elementary. The Gwinnett Daily Post will award all winners with a trophy and the 1st place winner receives $200; runner-up receives $75, and 3rd-12th place winners receive $25. For more information, call Corley Elementary Assistant Principal Carey McDurmon at 678-924-5330.

The Gwinnett County High School Photography Competition-- Shutter Sense & Non-Sense-- will take place at Carisma Gallery, in Buford. The exhibition of student photography from eight area high schools will be on display from Jan. 25 through Jan. 31. An award ceremony and reception, open to the public, will take place on Jan. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. Organized by Parkview High Art Teacher, Alexandra Kates, the competition drew more than 300 entries this year. For more information, call Margaret Kolk at 770-271-7501 or 770-595-2337.

Chattahoochee Elementary will host an International Festival on Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents will work together to create displays that share information about their country of origin. Students are given a passport to get stamped as they visit each of the different displays. For more information, call ESOL Teacher Allison Ogburn at 770-497-9907.

Collins Hill High Student Dorian DeRamus has been accepted into the People to People Presidential Inauguration program. Dorian is part of a delegation of student ambassadors that will witness the swearing in of Barack Obama as the 44th president and the first African American president of the United States. Dorian will listen to the inaugural address. While in Washington, Dorian will gain insights into American leaders throughout history, during discussions with political experts, have access to the U.S. Capitol and National Archives, explore the newly reopened National Museum of American History, and visit Washington’s monuments and memorials. For more information, visit

Mill Creek High Student Brandon Ona has been invited by the Congressional Leadership Council to attend the Presidential Inauguration Jan. 17-21. Brandon will listen to keynote speakers, visit memorials in our nation’s capitol, tour museums, and attend the Inaugural Ball. For more information, visit

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 ( and the school web site ( Registration packets must be submitted by January 23, 2009.

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

01/08/2009Gwinnett students and parents invited to explore Grayson High Technical Education Program (pdf)
01/07/2009Gwinnett’s Teacher of the Year earns national honor (pdf)
12/19/2008GCPS names 28 educators for "Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program" (pdf)

“GCPS Focus” This month’s Focus will share highlights from the Principal For a Day program, visit one of “America’s Healthiest Schools,” and take a look at how strong community partnerships help our students set their sights on success… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“In Pursuit of Science - Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip” Enter the exciting world of early American scientists and their discoveries. Follow a young colonial boy in his exploration of science and the world around him. Discover the important scientific exploration that took place in the early years of America. This 60-min. program airs live on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m.

“Primarily George” This program features educators from Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. These educators will highlight online primary source documents, in their respective collections, that can be used to teach students about various aspects of George Washington’s life. Panelists will discuss the challenges and best practices involved in teaching with primary source documents. They will also give brief overviews of the online collections that can be used to access the sources. This 45-min. program airs Jan. 12-16 at 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

“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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On Jan. 15, Grayson High Technical Education Program will hold an Open House.

Jan. 20-Feb. 27 is the English Language Learners ACCESS Test administration Window.

Jan. 21 is the middle school Georgia Writing Assessment.

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

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.

B.B. Harris Elementary
Benefield Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Duluth Middle
Frank N. Osborne Middle
G.H. Hopkins Elementary
Grayson Elementary
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Lanier Middle
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
Monarch School
Nesbit Elementary
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Peachtree Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
R.L. Norton Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
South Gwinnett High
T. Carl Buice School
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.-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.comor 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.