News You Can Use - 02/25/2008









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
02/25/2008 - 03/02/2008


FRIDAY
In honor of Black History Month, the Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen will visit
Henry Partee Elementary students on Friday, February 22. Two presentations will take place in the school cafeteria from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and from 9:45-10:45 a.m. For more information, call the local school.

SATURDAY

The
GCPS transportation department will host the Georgia Special Needs School Bus Roadeo on Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the GCPS Suwanee Training Center located at 660 Hwy. 23. The Georgia Special Needs Bus Roadeo bus drivers and monitors from across the state will gain experience and training for dealing safely with students and situations they may encounter. As many as 25 teams from Georgia will compete for first place and a chance to represent the state at the National Special Needs Roadeo in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 8. For more information, call Lanetta G. Mills, GAPT Special Needs Committee Chairperson, Cobb County School District at (Office) 770-429-5811 or (C) 678-449-4075, or email lanetta.mills@cobbk12.org

The
Collins Hill Education Foundation (CHEF) will sponsor a Hometown Hoedown on Feb. 23 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, located at 2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford. Tickets are $45 per person (tax deductible) and include all of the following activities: Tex-Mex fare, line dancing, a DJ, live and silent auctions, Texas Hold’em tables, caricatures, old time photographer, and lasso lessons. Proceeds will support grant funding for innovative programs at the schools in the Collins Hill Cluster. Tickets may be purchased by visiting www.collinshilleducationfoundation.com .

The 2008 GCPS Spelling Bee competition narrowed the field to 12 finalists. From those twelve,
Asad Ladhani of Suwanee Elementary prevailed as the winner. All 12 participants will advance to the District 3 Spelling Bee on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in the Collins Hill High theater. Approximately 32 students from area school systems will compete with the winner and alternate of the District 3 Bee moving on to the State Spelling Bee in Atlanta on March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Georgia State University Student Center. For more information, contact Carey McDurmon , the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee Coordinator, at carey_mcdurmon@gwinnett.k12.ga.us .

HONORS

Jake Walters
of the Grayson High Technical Education Program earned junior certification by passing the Georgia Green Industry Association exam. This exam is a modified version of the test used to certify professionals in the green industry. For more information, call Teacher Leslie Bevan at 770-554-7093.

The
Norcross High Marketing Education Program earned industry certification from the Georgia Department of Education. For more information, call Teacher Sonya Neilson at 770-448-3674.

Georgia Perimeter College sponsors a yearly writing contest for high school students, recognizing outstanding student writers from schools throughout the metro area. Student winners from
GCPS for their essays include: 1st place: Courtney Reed, Parkview High; 2nd place: Shanise Lawrence, Berkmar High; and 3rd place: Jessica Drun, Parkview High . Poetry winners include: 1st place Malee Moua , 2nd place Possala Wang ; and 3rd place Andrew Harazin , all from Berkmar High. Short Story winners include 1st place Alex Wharton, Parkview High ; 2nd place Lucy Xu , Parkview High; and 3rd place Gavin M.C. Howard, Central Gwinnett High. For more information, call the local school, or contact Beth Jensen at bjensen@gpc.edu.

UPCOMING

During “Read Across America Week,” Representative Tom Rice will visit
Monarch School and read to students. Rep. Rice will read on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 678-542-2330.

Students
in the Dacula Middle Multicultural Club will sponsor a Multicultural Night on Feb. 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Activities include food tasting, a tour of artifacts from around the world, and performances by Dacula Middle students. For more information, call Nicole Anderson-Irish or Elethia Rhoden at 770-963-1110.

Duluth High’s
Chamber Choir will perform with the Louisiana State University A Capella Choir at a free concert scheduled for Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta. The Duluth High Chamber Choir is conducted by choral teacher, Greg Smith . For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Pharr Elementary
will sponsor the school’s fourth annual “Empty Bowls Dinner” on Feb. 28 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the cafeteria. A suggested donation of $7 for adults and $3 for children will purchase a meal of soup, bread, salad, a drink, and dessert, served by volunteers. Guests are encouraged to take home an empty bowl made by the students, as a reminder of people in the community who have “empty bowls.” Donations will benefit the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the Southeast Cooperative Ministry to help fight hunger in the local community. For more information, call 770-985-0244.

The
Gwinnett County Youth Symphony and Kendall Orchestras will perform with the Gwinnett Philharmonic on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at the Gwinnett Center. Tickets may be purchased for $28 for adult, $24 for seniors, $22 for members, and $12 for students, on the Philharmonic website, through Ticketmaster at 404-249-6400, through any Ticketmaster outlet, or at the Box Office of the Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway— Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.gwinnettphilharmonic.org .

Dr. M.H. Mason, Jr. Elementary
will host an International Festival on Feb. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food and entertainment from different cultures will be available. A Chinese dragon will also perform during the festival. For more information, call Parent Outreach Liaison Adriana Ledon at 678-957-0863.

Pinckneyville Middle
Girls As Leaders (GALs) will sponsor a three-part event with proceeds benefiting Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. A luncheon, fashion show, and silent auction will take place at the school beginning at 11 a.m. on March 1. Luncheon tickets may be purchased for $7 and fashion show tickets for $5; or a combined ticket to both may be purchased for $10. For more information, email Pinckneyville Middle Teacher Bridget_Guenthner@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

Rock Springs Elementary
PTA will host a Family Literacy Night on March 3 at 7 p.m. Families are invited to participate in several activities celebrating literacy at “The Rock!” Clayborn Knight, a literacy expert, will act as guest speaker offering strategies on how to support and encourage reading and writing at home using his storytelling abilities. Activities will include performances by the Readers’ Rally Team, square dancing, and the after school student group. Student writings will be on display throughout the building. For more information, call Media Specialist Kathy Schmidt, or Assistant Principal Nancy Childers at 770-932-7474.

Harbins Elementary
will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 3rd. Parents and community members are invited to come by the school and have birthday cake with the Cat in the Hat on Read Across America Day. In addition, each day of the week will a different mystery reader will share a story with students. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Middle and high school students served in
GCPS’ special education program— along with their families, teachers, and counselors— are invited to a college fair and program from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 3 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. Participants will explore diploma and college options, the SAT, admissions, and graduation requirements. Event sponsors are GCPS, the Gwinnett PTA Council, and the Gwinnett County Extension Service. Call 678-377-4010 to learn more.

Mill Creek High
will host a job fair on March 5 from 8:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. for students taking Junior Language Arts. This job fair will provide students with the opportunity to practice interviewing skills, complete applications, write a resume, as well as the possibility of obtaining future employment. The job fair, allows students to interview in a non-threatening environment, and businesses the opportunity to interview some of the best students in the area. The Language Arts teachers are working together with the Business Education department to recruit businesses to participate in the job fair. For more information, call Mill Creek Teachers Beth Knight , Ramona Avery , or Chesley Cypert at 678-714-5850.

Fort Daniel Elementary
will host the 2nd Annual Science fair on March 6. Projects will be on display throughout the day. Interviews and judging will take place around 4 p.m. For more information, call 770-932-7400.

The
Duluth High Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will host a Charity Dodge Ball Tournament on March 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Duluth FBLA chapter at the school. Faculty, middle school and high school students will compete in the tournament. In addition to the game, there will be music and food. Tickets may be purchased for $5 for adults, $2 for students. There is no charge for children under the age of 5. For more information contact FBLA Advisor Jo Anne Woods at Joanne_s_woodsa@gwinnett.k12.ga.us, or call 770-476-5206 or770-232-3339.

Norcross Elementary
will host a free Health Fair on March 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information will be shared on how to become healthy and stay healthy. Screenings will be offered for vision, diabetes, blood pressure, nutritional assessments, and safety and security practices for home and school. Other activities include a bike rodeo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and child safety seat inspections from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school teamed up with the Latin American Association, State Farm, the Norcross Police Department, Safe Kids Georgia and other community providers for the event. Food will be available for purchase and proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. For more information, call 770-448-2740.

The
Brookwood High Dance Team has been asked to perform at the 9th National High School Dance Festival at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on March 12-14. The dance team will perform a piece choreographed by senior Katie Fletcher. For more information, call Teacher Anna D’Antonio at 770-972-7642.

Susan Stripling Elementary
will hold a fashion show to benefit Relay for Life on March 13 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Teacher LaRae Trummell at 770-582-7575.

Meadowcreek High
will sponsor the “2008 Creek Mustangs Love to Read Festival” on March 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and on March 14 from 9:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local authors, journalists, storytellers, poets, and parents will share their stories and poems with students. For more information, email Angela_Reid@gwinnett.k12.ga.us, or call 770-931-7122.

The
Parkview High, SAVE/SADD (Students Against Violence Everywhere/Students Against Drunk Driving) chapter is the recipient of a $2,000 Highway Safety Grant awarded by the Governor’ office of Highway Safety. The chapter used the funds last semester to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, promote safe driving and seat belt use through workshops. This semester the funds will be used to implement a safe driving campaign encouraging teens to turn off their cell phones while driving and buckle up at all times. In addition, the chapter will host a town hall meeting March 13 in the school’s theater, entitled “Is it Worth the Risk”. Last but not least, the grant will also support both the Prom Promise and Good-Bye Prom campaigns. For more information, call Teacher Margaret Shortreed at 770-921-2874.

Duluth Middle
will host the school’s 1st annual Flea Market on March 15th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the bus parking lot. Spaces are available to rent for $25 by individuals and school clubs. Funds raised will benefit school programs including academic and student clubs and organizations. For more information, email Judy_Koppenall @gwinnett.k12.ga.us, Susan_Dugan @gwinnett.k12.ga.us, or Mark_McCain @gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

Students with disabilities, their parents, and educators are invited to the
GCPS’ Transition Fair to learn more about services and programs to prepare special education students for the transition from high school to adulthood. Participants may review information from local providers in the areas of employment options, residential services, day-habilitation, and recreation and leisure. Speakers will address topics such as Medicaid waivers, using Benefits Navigator to help maximize benefits, Transition 101 for students and parents, and accessing employment supports, including vocational rehabilitation. The Fair is set for March 15 at Monarch School . Call Cathy Schmidt at 678-301-7107 with questions.

The Pride of
Mill Creek Marching Band has been selected to participate in the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City on March 17 at 11 a.m. The parade will end at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

ONGOING— BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Berkmar Middle
students and staff members celebrated Black History month by participated in a National African American Read-In sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English and National Council of Teachers of English . Berkmar Middle students logged over three hundred hours of reading about African Americans or reading books by African American authors in one day. Throughout the month of February students will present original works or works by great African American authors during the morning announcements. For more information, call 770-638-2300.

RECENTLY

Maxwell High School of Technology
students volunteered with Gwinnett County Special Olympics elementary students. Maxwell students provided physical assistance and enthusiastic support to the young competitors. Seventy four Maxwell students worked with more than 300 elementary children from all over Gwinnett County at the Bowling Special Olympics. Photos are available upon request. For more information, call Teacher Eleanor Green at 770-936-6838.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT GWINNETT ENVIRONMENTAL & HERITAGE CENTER

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.com or call 770-904-3500.

March 1, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Rain Barrel Workshop, $40 per barrel, center admission not included

Make a rain barrel and take it home the same day. Participants will receive a 55 gallon barrel, complete with screening and a spigot, ready to collect water. Each session limited to 20 participants. Call 770-904-3500 to pre-register by Feb. 27.


March 8. How to Attract Birds in Your Backyard, Co-sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society, ages 16 and up, 8 a.m. walk, 9:30 a.m. presentation, $3/person, GEHC Members free

Join David Decker, volunteer at the Atlanta Audubon Society, as we learn how you can bring birds into your backyard. Pre-register by February 23.


Family Events

March 8, 1 p.m., Brer Rabbit: “Tales From the Briar Patch,” combination tickets available: family of four-$25, adults $10, children $6

Professional Storyteller Chetter Galloway will entertain and educate with Brer Rabbit tales that make you laugh out loud and teach important lessons in life. Guests may pre-register and pay until 5 p.m. on Feb. 29.


March 8, 2 to 3 p.m., Little Sprouts (Ages 5-8)

Visit with author Grady Thrasher and illustrator Elaine Hearn Rabon of “Tim and Sally’s Vegetable Garden,” a book that introduces children to gardening. Students will plant a garden in a cup to take home. This program is an engaging way to introduce your children to the world of gardening. Pre-register by Feb. 29.


Scout Programs

March 15, 1 to 3 p.m., Webelos Naturalist, $7/scout

Learn about the natural world while working on the Naturalist Activity Badge, with an emphasis on the requirements that are harder to complete at home. Be prepared to spend time outdoors. Pre-register by March 1.


March 22, 1 to 4 p.m., Brownies - Eco-Explorer (Ages 6-8), Center admission not included

This event introduces girls to ecology and how plants and animals live together in the environment. Come and learn how to explore nature around you. The badge is included. For registration information please contact Sabrina Jones at PSMetro2@girlscoutsnwga.org or call 678-420-6870.


March 29, 1 to 4 p.m., Jr. Girl Scouts - Ready for Tomorrow Badge, Center admission not included

Participants will complete 6 requirements for this badge. Learn how to cook with the sun using a solar oven, how you can help endangered species, develop your own personal credo for the environment, design a seal of approval for products, and participate in a trash pickup along the center’s trails. Prepayment is required for this event. Call 770-904-3500 for more information. Registration deadline is March 15.


GCPS TV

“GCPS Focus”
This week’s “Focus” will take a closer look at the changes to Georgia’s graduation requirements, issues on the horizon for Gwinnett schools, and a reunion of Gwinnett’s student leaders. This 30-minute program airs daily 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.

“Education News Parents Can Use: Dropout Prevention: Helping All Students Get on Track for Success”
The February broadcast of ‘Education News” will address key issues such as: How will the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind help solve the dropout epidemic? What is the “Silent Epidemic” and how does it affect America’s competitiveness? What do successful dropout prevention and recovery programs look like across the country? and, What programs are available to help at-risk students who face academic challenges or need additional help and support to succeed in school? This 60-minute program airs Feb. 25 and Feb. 27-March 1 at 1 p.m.

“The Author in You - Gail Karwoski”
Author Gail Karwoski has a rich background in education – serving as a classroom teacher for more than 13 years. She has also enjoyed careers as a journalist and an editor, and is now a full time, award-winning author of both historical fiction and nonfiction books. Join us on “The Author in You” to learn more about her writing techniques and how history became her favorite subject to write about. This 30-minute program airs Feb. 25-March 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“A Whale Story: A South Seas Adventure”
Every Fall, gray whales migrate from cold northern seas near Alaska all the way South to warmer waters off the shores of Mexico. This 6,000-mile journey is the longest migration of any mammal and it provides a spectacular scene for visitors. This electronic field trip gives viewers an up close and personal look at these giant mammals that range from 40 to 50 feet long and can weigh up to 73,000 pounds. Viewers will learn about migratory patterns, life cycles, dangers faced by Gray Whales, ecosystems, and how we can protect these majestic mammals. This 60-minute program airs live at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)”
This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air through March 9 on GCPS TV. This 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1”
A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers will learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Each Monday, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot. The series runs through April 6.

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 & 26. For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-7800, or e-mail gcpstv@gwinnett.k12.ga.us. A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site-- www.gcpstv.org.

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Visit the school system website at
www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us for the most current News Releases.
02/20/2008Three Gwinnett teachers recognized as “Outstanding Cultural Educators” (pdf)
02/19/2008GCPS Foundation Fund receives $20,000 contribution from Scientific-Atlanta Foundation (pdf)
02/18/2008Random selection process fills slots for 2008-09 freshman class for Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pdf)
02/18/2008Gwinnett Certified Teacher Employment Fair set for March 3 (pdf)
02/15/2008Gwinnett names 2008-09 principals for eight schools (pdf)
02/13/2008GCPS Foundation Fund receives $50,000 donation from Wachovia Foundation (pdf)
02/12/2008Gwinnett band directors awarded with “Citation of Excellence” from National Band Association (pdf)
02/11/2008GSMST receives nearly 500 applications; Lottery to be held Friday, February 15 (pdf)
02/11/2008Margaret Winn Holt Elementary teacher named: 2008 Georgia VFW Citizenship Education Teacher (pdf)

CALENDAR

March is National Nutrition Month.

March 3 is Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

March 5 is the Grade 5 Writing Assessment.

March 3-7 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, National Foreign Language Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 10 is a student holiday.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 13, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

March 17-28 is the Grade 3 Writing Assessment Evaluation.

March 21 is a student and teacher holiday.

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



School
Feb
School
March
Berkmar High
2/26
Alcova Elementary
3/4
Berkmar Middle
2/28
Alford Elementary
3/11
Central Gwinnett High
2/25
Alton C. Crews Middle
3/7
J.G. Dyer Elementary
2/27
B.B. Harris Elementary
3/27
Lovin Elementary
2/28
Berkeley Lake Elementary
3/6
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
2/27
Berkmar High
3/25
Mountain Park Elementary
2/25
Brookwood Elementary
3/3
Nesbit Elementary
2/28
Brookwood High
3/25
Parkview High
2/26
Camp Creek Elementary
3/28
Peachree Ridge High
2/25
Cedar Hill Elementary
3/6
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
3/14
Collins Hill High
3/18
Dacula Elementary
3/14
Dacula High
3/14
Dacula Middle
3/11
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
3/14
Duncan Creek Elementary
3/6
Fort Daniel Elementary
3/7
Frank N. Osborne Middle
3/7
GIVE Center West
3/13
Glenn C. Jones Middle
3/20
Grayson Elementary
3/14
Gwin Oaks Elementary
3/7
Harbins Elementary
3/20
Harmony Elementary
3/28
Henry Partee Elementary
3/6
J.C. Magill Elementary
3/14
J.E. Richards Middle
3/25
J.G. Dyer Elementary
3/26
J.P. McConnell Middle
3/3
Jackson Elementary
3/13
K.E. Taylor Elementary
3/20
Lanier Middle
3/6
Lawrenceville Elementary
3/4
Lovin Elementary
3/27
Mulberry Elementary
3/6
Norcross High
3/13
North Gwinnett High
3/18
Parsons Elementary
3/3
Peachree Ridge High
3/24
Peachtree Elementary
3/13
Pinckneyville Middle
3/27
R.L. Norton Elementary
3/7
Richard Hull Middle
3/14
Riverside Elementary
3/11
Rock Springs Elementary
3/6
Rockbridge Elementary
3/12
Shiloh Elementary
3/13
Simpson Elementary
3/7
Snellville Middle
3/13
South Gwinnett High
3/11
Sugar Hill Elementary
3/17
Suwanee Elementary
3/7
Sweetwater Middle
3/20
Sycamore Elementary
3/6
T. Carl Buice School
3/20
Trickum Middle
3/25
Walnut Grove Elementary
3/20