News You Can Use - 10/31/2011

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
10/31/2011 - 11/06/2011

Trip Elementary will host a Monster Math Night on Oct. 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Students and parents are invited to attend a night with games that focus on computation, problem solving, and mathematical understanding. This year’s theme is based on dominoes with 30 different game tables set up in a casino-like atmosphere. At the end of the evening, parents will be given some supplies allowing them to practice and play the games at home with their student. Other activities include students dressing in their Halloween costumes, a book character pumpkin decorating contest that benefits Relay for Life, and concessions (hot dogs, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, drinks, etc). For more information, call 678-639-3850.

The Shiloh High fall orchestra concert begins Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. The program includes an evening of “spooky” music from classics such as “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, “Danse Macabre”, “Night of the Bald Mountain”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “Thriller”. For more information, call Orchestra Director Whitney Duncan at 678-344-2728.

Archer High will hold the school’s 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. For more information, call Valerie Lewis at 678-407-7700.

Lanier High students Lindsey Bocech, Jordan Brannen, and Nivein Gobran will represent the state at the Anti-Defamation League’s 12th annual Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Nov. 13-16. For more information about the National Youth Leadership Mission, the Anti-Defamation Leagues, or A World of Difference Institute, call Shelley Rose, Associate Director, ADL Southeast Region, at 404-262-3470 or e-mail

Kenneth Mims, a teacher at Snellville Middle, has been chosen as a Marshall Memorial Fellows recipient. Mr. Mims teaches 8th grade physical science at Snellville Middle. He is involved in various civic activities, including groups helping seniors and those with mentoring activities for young people. Sponsored by the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., the Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) program provides a unique opportunity for emerging leaders from across the U.S. to explore institutions, politics, and culture across the Atlantic. Fellows each visit five or six cities during the three-to-four-week travel program, meeting formally and informally with a range of policymakers, government, political, nonprofit and media communities. Before coming to Gwinnett, Mr. Mims taught science in Camden, NJ, and in Philadelphia. This year, Mims, who has a master’s degree in science education, started a consulting firm specializing in science and math curriculum, and professional development for educators. Mims also was elected – at the age of 25 – to the school board in Winslow Township, NJ. For more information, visit

North Gwinnett High Art Teacher Debi West and two of her students are featured in a video in conjunction with The Dream Art Competition. This documentary film by Richard Karz includes appearances by students Taylor Smith and Eyoel Tewdros with public figures discussing the Civil Rights Movement and America. For more information, call Debi West at 770-945-9558 or visit

Lanier High’s Music Department entry into the “Glee Give A Note” contest has made it past the first round of competition. The video may be viewed and voted on at through 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 7. If the video makes it to the top 100 most popular videos in the Southeast region, it moves to the final round of the competition and is eligible to receive a grant of $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000. For more information, call Renee Wilson-Wicker, Lanier High Director of Choral and Orchestral Activities and Fine Arts Department Chair, at 678-765-4780.

Gwinnett student photographers participated in a unique opportunity to show their work in a juried professional venue-- Shutter Sense & NonSense. The exhibit engages students in artistic dialogue with peers to showcases a wide variety of techniques and perspectives that take place in schools. At the high school level, 11 students placed 1st; 12 placed 2nd; and nine placed 3rd; with 67 students earning honorable mention. The middle school level students earned one best in show; two 1st place; and 12 honorable mentions. For more information, call Becky Raffalovich of Phoenix High at 770-513-6862. For a complete list of winning students call Sue Peterson of Communication and Media Relations at 678-301-6020.

SCANA Energy will open a homework center at Nesbit Elementary on Nov.1, with an appearance by Harry the Hawk--Atlanta Hawks mascot. Harry will present “1, 2, 3 Healthy Me”, a program that focuses on healthy eating and staying fit, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Nesbit Elementary Homework Center operates from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and serves 30 students. SCANA Energy Homework Centers provide a safe and structured study environment where students can complete their class assignments and learn proper study skills. Each homework center operates with two certified teachers. SCANA Energy provides funds for the teachers, an assistant, snacks, and student incentives. For more information, call Simone McKinney at 404-760-6282 or email

McKendree Elementary will host Reading Extravaganza, a night where teachers dress up as story book characters and read stories to students and their families. The event will be held on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. and celebrates a love of reading for families. Students will arrive in their pajamas and enjoy cookies and milk before heading to “story time”. For more information, call the school at 678-377-8933.

Head Elementary will host a Veterans Day event on Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. Third grade students will honor the veterans in attendance by performing a selection of patriotic songs and speaking about the history and significance of the day. There will be a short video compilation in honor and in memory of the school’s veterans, and photographs will be taken. Students will present the veteran that they invited with a medal and certificate. All K-5th grade students will attend the final portion of the program. For more information, call Carol Suggs at 770-972-8050.

Minor Elementary will host a “Girls on the Run” race on Nov. 13. Staff members will be volunteer buddy runners with the girls. The race starts at 161 Arizona Avenue Soccer Complex in Atlanta. For more information, visit or call Beth S. Peterson, Parent Instructional Support Coordinator, at 770-806-2227.

Grayson High Technical Education Program will hold a Community Service Day on Nov.10. Students will focus their service on helping veterans. For more information, call 770-554-7082.

Grayson High will host an Art and Science Fair for the Grayson High Technical Education Program on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. Student work will be displayed along with lab demonstrations. For more information, call 770-554-7082.

Shirley Lasseter, Gwinnett County Commissioner and Harbins Elementary Principal for a Day, will visit the school on Nov 16. Ms. Lasseter will share about the branches of government, the political process, and hold a town hall meeting at 1:45 p.m. answering students’ questions. Ms. Lasseter will also teach a session to students in the Leadership Academy. For more information, call 770-682-4270.

Gwinnett Online Campus, Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option, will offer informational sessions providing the information needed to make an informed decision about enrolling at Online Campus full-time.
Middle School Meetings: 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.; High School Meetings: 7:30 - 8:15 p.m.
  • Nov. 3: South Gwinnett High, Theater
  • Nov. 17: Parkview High, Theater
  • Dec. 1: Meadowcreek High, Theater
  • Dec. 8: Central Gwinnett High, Theater
  • Jan. 5: Grayson High, Theater
  • Jan. 12: Mill Creek High, Theater
  • Jan. 19: Collins Hill High, Theater
  • Jan. 26: North Gwinnett High, Commons Area
  • Feb. 2: Duluth High, Theater
Registration for the 2012-13 school year will run Feb. 1-29, 2012. Students can get more information through the counselor’s office at the local middle or high school and on the GOC website. Click here to learn more about the GOC charter high school or Gwinnett’s virtual middle school, opening in August of 2012.

Grayson High School Technical Education Program, Lanier High, and Meadowcreek High hosted visits from The John Lennon Bus, a non-profit mobile recording studio that provides students with free hands-on opportunities to create original music and video projects. For more information, visit, or call the school.

Norcross Elementary students expressed love, care and gratitude to the troops by participating in the “Bert Show” community project and writing “Letters to Troops” during the month of October. A total of 679 letters have been written and submitted for mailing to the troops. For more information, call 770-448-2188.

Brookwood High and Parkview High fans came out in droves to not only support their teams, but to raise 9,804 items for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. As part of the Gwinnett CAN Challenge, sponsored by Holtkamp Heating and Air Conditioning, rival Gwinnett schools have been competing during the fall to see which school can collect the most donations for local food banks in the week leading up to the Friday night football game. The Brookwood-Parkview game on October 21 was by far the biggest haul taken in for one event. The final score was announced at halftime: Brookwood collected 7851 items and Parkview collected 1953. Brookwood earned a $500 grant and Parkview earned $250 grant from the Holtkamp Family Foundation. For more information visit, or contact Donna Faulkner at or 678-344-6302.

“ParenTVision” Host Margaret Cheeley, Collins Hill High counselor, introduces a new magazine style format for this season’s ParenTVision. Topics covered on the first show include connecting to schools via new technologies, Facebook and its appeal with teens, the college search process, changes in HOPE, and a look at just how much sleep students are getting. This 30-min. program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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, 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 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.
10/14/2011Six finalists to learn if they will become Gwinnett’s 2012 TOTY (pdf)
10/10/2011Moore MS community invited to school’s dedication (pdf)

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November is National Native American Heritage Month.

November 6-12 is National Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Week.

November 8 is Election Day.

November 11 is Veterans Day.

November 13-19 is American Education Week.

November 14-18 is School Psychology Awareness Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., November 17, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

November 18 is Substitute Educators Day.

November 21-25 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

November 24 is Thanksgiving Day.

November 24-25 is Thanksgiving break for 12-month staff.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in November. Call the local school for the time and location.

Craig Elementary31-Oct
Alcova Elementary16-Nov
Alford Elementary8-Nov
Arcado Elementary29-Nov
Archer High School15-Nov
Bay Creek Middle12-Nov
Beaver Ridge Elementary11-Nov
Benefield Elementary12-Nov
Berkmar High9-Nov
Bethesda Elementary15-Nov
Britt Elementary16-Nov
Brookwood Elementary15-Nov
Burnette ES19-Nov
Cedar Hill Elementary4-Nov
Central Gwinnett High10-Nov
Chattahoochee Elementary16-Nov
Chesney Elementary5-Nov
Collins Hill High9-Nov
Corley Elementary16-Nov
Creekland Middle11-Nov
Crews Middle18-Nov
Dacula Middle9-Nov
Duluth High16-Nov
Duluth Middle9-Nov
Duncan Creek Elementary17-Nov
Fort Daniel Elementary5-Nov
Freeman's Mill Elementary12-Nov
GIVE Center East9-Nov
Grace Snell MS8-Nov
Grayson Elementary12-Nov
Harbins Elementary18-Nov
Harris Elementary18-Nov
Head Elementary17-Nov
Ivy Creek Elementary19-Nov
Jackson Elementary4-Nov
Jenkins Elementary18-Nov
Kanoheda Elementary18-Nov
Knight Elementary5-Nov
Lanier High16-Nov
Lanier Middle16-Nov
Level Creek Elementary18-Nov
Lilburn Middle16-Nov
Lovin Elementary18-Nov
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary4-Nov
Mason Jr. Elementary19-Nov
McConnell Middle8-Nov
McKendree Elementary5-Nov
Meadowcreek Elementary15-Nov
Meadowcreek High11-Nov
Monarch School15-Nov
Mountain Park Elementary15-Nov
Mountain View High School19-Nov
Mulberry Elementary17-Nov
Nesbit Elementary30-Nov
Norcross High11-Nov
North Gwinnett High18-Nov
Oakland School9-Nov
Osborne Middle12-Nov
Parkview High30-Nov
Patrick Elementary12-Nov
Peachree Ridge High18-Nov
Peachtree Elementary16-Nov
Pharr Elementary4-Nov
Pinckneyville Middle11-Nov
Puckett's Mill Elementary4-Nov
Radloff Middle18-Nov
Rebecca Minor Elementary5-Nov
Richard Hull Middle12-Nov
Richards Middle15-Nov
Rockbridge Elementary19-Nov
Shiloh High2-Nov
Simonton Elementary4-Nov
Snellville Middle16-Nov
Sugar Hill Elementary16-Nov
Suwanee Elementary18-Nov
Sweetwater Middle2-Nov
Sycamore Elementary5-Nov
Trickum Middle16-Nov
Trip Elementary19-Nov
Twin Rivers Middle8-Nov
Walnut Grove Elementary18-Nov
White Oak Elementary17-Nov
Woodward Mill Elementary12-Nov

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.

Living in Space Exhibit
Design & Build Your Own Planet
    11/2, 11/9, 11/16
Cherokee Double Basket
Recycling on Earth and Beyond…
    11/5, 11/12, 11/19
Moon Light Monday: Beaver Moon Hike
Green Living Series Fall 2011: Energy
Archaeology Merit Badge at McDaniel Farm Park