News You Can Use - 04/07/2008

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
04/07/2008 - 04/13/2008

News You Can Use…
News You Can Use... will return April 17 for the week of April 21-27, 2008.

District I Area Board Meeting at Dacula High, 7 p.m. (See below for more details.)

Beaver Ridge Elementary will host its annual Science Night with a focus on “Keeping Our Planet Healthy and Strong,” on April 3 at 5:30 p.m. The fair will be held in conjunction with a musical concert and art show. For more information, call 770-447-6307.

Mill Creek High PTSA, FEAR THIS, INC. and SADD will host a “Teen Driving Seminar” (Life Is Now) on April 3 at 7 p.m. in the school theater. Speakers include Woodrow Gaines (FearThis4Life), a representative from Gwinnett County Solicitors Office, and an Allstate insurance representative. A Mill Creek High parent will give a testimonial. Additionally, the meeting sponsors will hold drawings for a free Stretch Limo Lincoln Town Car and two driver education courses; valued at $150 each. In order to qualify for the prize drawings, students must be present and be a 2007–08 PTSA member. This meeting is open to the community For more information, call 678-714-5850.

You’ve heard of pep rallies for football games, even basketball games, but how about a pep rally for a different type of score? G.H. Hopkins Elementary students will participate in a Meadowcreek Cluster-wide pep rally as schools across the state gear up for the annual state mandated tests, the CRCT assessment program. The day-long pep rally will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as all K-5 students participate. G.H. Hopkins Elementary cheer squad and dance team members have invited the Meadowcreek High marching band, the high school’s step team, and the Louise Radloff Middle step team to perform. For more information, contact G.H. Hopkins Elementary teacher Grace Na at 770-564-2661.

The Mill Creek High string orchestra recently performed in New York City at the College of Staten Island in the National Freedom Festival. The orchestra was awarded 2nd place in the competition. Judges were especially impressed with the students’ tone quality, phrasing, energy, and professional stage presence. For more information, call Teacher Dana Lowe at 678-714-5850.

Duluth High Girls Basketball Coach Jeremy Huckaby, was named Gwinnett County Girls Coach of the Year by the “Gwinnett Daily Post.” Coach Huckaby led the Lady Cats to a school record of 21 wins and to the school’s first “Final 4” appearance by a girl’s basketball team. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The North Gwinnett High varsity math team placed third at the 2008 Georgia Tech Math Competition. Varsity team members are Michael and Jeffrey Angell, Marco Arenas, Sven Schlumpberger, and Patrick Morton. In addition, the North Gwinnett High math team placed fourth in the southeast regional National Log 1 Contest. Eight students placed in the top 27 in their respective categories: Mu (Calculus): Michael and Jeffrey Angell and Sven Schlumpberger; Alpha (Precalculus): Sang Y. Kim, Sang H. Kim, Patrick Morton, and Seon Yoo; and Theta (Algebra II): William Bates. For more information, call Teacher and Mu Alpha Theta Sponsor Diane Shumway at 770-945-9558.

Sweetwater Middle students Thomas Coffia, Sydney Pearlstein, and Erin Hinesley won 2nd place in their division at the regional competition for National History Day. Thomas Coffia won for his website, and Erin and Sydney won for their exhibit. Both projects will advance to the state competition in Macon at the end of April. In addition, Erin and Sydney were awarded the T.R.R. Cobb House Award for Southern History for their excellence in research. Representatives will award the students on April 15, at 2:45 p.m. The teacher sponsor for these students is Elizabeth Blackmon. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

The Mill Creek High hockey team placed 1st in state competition. Photo available upon request. For more information, contact Mill Creek High Athletic Director Gary Long at 678-381-9680.

The Mill Creek High 9th grade girls track team finished 3rd out of 14 at the Parkview Invitational track meet. For more information, contact Mill Creek High Athletic Director Gary Long at 678-381-9680.

The Meadowcreek High Band will visit Universal Studio’s “Lights, Camera, Music” April 7-11. This year, the Meadowcreek High band has participated in the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, The Atlanta Classic, and The Magic City Classic in Birmingham. The Mighty Marching Mustangs were featured in The Clark-Atlanta Homecoming Parade, whose band was in the Movie “Drum Line.” Other performances include the Garden City Invitational in Augusta, and the upcoming Chick-fil-a Bowl Pregame and Half time show. For more information, call Band Director Jimmie McKinley at 770-381-9680, or visit

The Mill Creek High mixed choir will perform in New York City. The dates and venues are: April 10, St. John the Divine Cathedral, and April 11, St. Paul’s Cathedral. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Duluth High Soccer Booster Club will host the 1st annual Duluth Alumni Soccer games on April 19 at 5:30 (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) in the stadium. All former Duluth High players and coaches are invited to participate. Barbecue sandwiches will be sold during the game along with soccer spirit wear and concessions. There will be a gate fee of $5. All proceeds will benefit the Booster club. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Grayson High School Technical Education Program will host the Annual Spring Plant Sale sponsored by the Greenhouse Class on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale will take place behind the Technical Building at Grayson High School. For more information, call Teacher Leslie Bevan at 770-554-7093.

The 4th annual Berkmar High Taste of Jazz Festival will take place on April 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. in the school parking lot— along with the 5th annual Taste of Berkmar High food sampling event. This year the featured jazz entertainment includes the “Carter McMullen Trio” and the “Sam Skelton Quintet.” Additionally the Berkmar jazz band and orchestra with show choir will perform. Taste of Berkmar will feature cuisine from more than 20 restaurants from the Lilburn-Lawrenceville-Duluth areas. Food tasting will take place from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The festival will feature games for all ages including bowling by Brunswick Lanes, dance lessons, an art show, and live/silent auction items. Funds raised will benefit student organizations. For more information, visit the Berkmar High web sites www.berkmarbaseball.comand

WESTON Solutions, an environmental company, has offered to “Make a Difference” on Earth Day 2008 for Beaver Ridge Elementary students. Activities will take place on April 23 and 24. Students will have the opportunity to make water cycle bracelets and pine cone birdfeeders in addition to learning about “green” roofs, rain barrels, alternative energy, and recycling. Water Drop the mascot will also make an appearance. For more information, call Teacher Nancy Koehler at 770-447-6307.

The Norcross Elementary MARS Kids Club will visit the Atlanta Symphony April 27. Students will hear Tchaikovsky: “The Voyevode” (The Provincial Governor), Beethoven: “Piano Concerto No. 2,” and Rachmaninov: “Symphony No. 2.” Prior to the trip, the students will learn about the music, discuss what happens to prepare for a performance, and learn about the different parts of the symphony. For more information, contact Teacher Robert Fortenbery at 770-448-2188.

Creekland Middle will host the 2nd Annual “Think College Early Fair” on April 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Eighth graders interested in attending a four-year college, a two-year institution, a technical school, or joining the military after they graduate from high school are invited to attend the free event along with their families. The fair will focus on why college is important, how to plan for college, how to choose a college, and how to pay for college. Colleges and universities from across Georgia will be represented. Parents and students will have the opportunity to attend informative workshops as well. Free refreshments and free “Preparing for College” resources will be available for parents and students. For more information, please contact Maria Grovner 770-338-4735.

Duluth High celebrates its 50 year anniversary on May 8, 2008. A reception in the 600 building lobby will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a program in the auditorium at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

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.

Saturdays in April, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Scavenger Hunt Frame, $5 per frame
Meet at the Central Pavilion, head to the woods, hike a trail and gather natural elements to decorate a frame! We’ll provide all the supplies you’ll need for a beautiful, wooden picture frame. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limited to 12 participants per session. Register one week in advance. Center admission is additional fee. (Program will not be held Saturday, April 19-Earth Day).

April 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Earth Day Event, free
· EcoRun 5K - 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., preregister $20, on race day $25, Fun Run $15 Start your day off on the right foot by participating in the EcoRun, then stay for a variety of hands-on activities including a Kid Zone, native plant walk, vendors, and building tour. Food will be available for purchase.
· Ivy Creek Greenway Ribbon Cutting 10 a.m. Join us for this free event as we cut the ribbon on the first segment of the new Gwinnett Greenway! Bring your wheels to “Trick Your Ride” at our bike decorating station and explore the greenway with the “Hike-N-Hunt” activity! Trail segment is from the Center’s Trail Head to Gravel Springs Road, including the Mall of Georgia area.
· 1 mile Fun Run, 10:30 a.m. Be the first to run on the new Ivy Creek Greenway just after the Ribbon Cutting! Registration fee of $15 includes T-shirt. Race day registration begins at 9:30.
· Follow That Drop 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day at this fun, free, eco-friendly event. Enjoy games and crafts in the Kid Zone, EcoExpo vendor fair, native plant walks, environmental programs, and more! Join The River and B98.5 Radio for even more fun. Food concessions available. Center admission additional fee.

April 19, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Environmental Club - Club Method (Middle and High School)
Earn some community service hours by supporting our Earth Day event. We will need assistance with set up and break down of stations and with hands-on activities in Kids Zone.

April 26, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Environmental Health, $5/girl, center admission additional fee
Taking care of the environment is an important responsibility for everyone. We will complete six requirements; bring items for requirement #1. Badge is included. Pre-register by April 5.

April 26, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Architecture and Environmental Design, Girl Scouts Interest Project Award (Ages 11-17), $7/girl
As architectural technologies continue to change, careful consideration is given to the impact on the environment. Come see an example of this architecture as our building is constructed following the LEED design (badge included). Pre-register by April 12 by calling 770-904-3500 or online at

“ArtStage: Marching Band Exhibition 1 & 2” Get in step with your favorite GCPS marching band! During the week of Spring Break, GCPS TV’s “ArtStage” takes a spectacular look back at local bands performing their halftime show exhibitions. Don’t miss this opportunity to tune in and support your local band. Part 1 showcases bands from Berkmar High, Brookwood High, Central Gwinnett High, Grayson High, Parkview High, Shiloh High, and South Gwinnett High. Part 2 showcases bands from Dacula High, Duluth High, Norcross High, Mill Creek High, Collins Hill High, Meadowcreek High, North Gwinnett High, and Peachtree Ridge High. This 2-plus hour program airs April 7-13 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Going, Going, Faster: The Science of Speed!” Ball State University This electronic field trip takes place on the brickyard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. At this stop you will explore Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion that states an object usually stays in motion with the same speed unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Students will have the opportunity to meet Indy and NASCAR drivers and follow them as they drive the race track and demonstrate Newton’s First Law. This 60-minute program airs April 7-10 at 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., and April 11-13 at 11 a.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 & 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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Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

04/01/2008GCPS school bus managers celebrate 10th annual recognition
03/31/2008J.C. Magill Elementary Media Specialist receives state-level honor
03/31/2008Gwinnett 8th Graders Post High Passing Rates on Georgia Writing Assessment/Gateway
03/28/2008School Bus Transportation: Safety training earns GCPS top state and national honors

Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system’s budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the meetings.
· Tonight - District I, Dacula High
· April 15-District IV, South Gwinnett High
· April 22-District II, Peachtree Ridge High
· April 24-District V, Berkmar High
· April 29-District III, Duluth High

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2009 include:
April 19-- Board budget work session
April 22-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
April 23-- Recommended budget available for public review
May 5-- First public hearing on budget
May 8-- Second public hearing on budget, final adoption of budget, tentative millage rate set
June 9-- Adoption of millage rate

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

April 7-11 is Spring Break for schools.

April 10-11 are systemwide spring holidays for GCPS. All locations will be closed.

April 13-19 is National Library Week.

April 14-18 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

April 14-20 is Young People’s Poetry Week.

April 15-18 is the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test for Grades 3, 4, and 5.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., April 17, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The Grade 10 High School Gateway will be given on April 22 and 24.

April 23-25 is the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test for Grades 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during April. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
    Alford Elementary
    Annistown Elementary
    B.B. Harris Elementary
    Berkeley Lake Elementary
    Bethesda Elementary
    Brookwood High
    Camp Creek Elementary
    Centerville Elementary
    Central Gwinnett High
    Chattahoochee Elementary
    Corley Elementary
    Craig Elementary
    Creekland Middle
    Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
    Five Forks Middle
    Freeman's Mill Elementary
    Glenn C. Jones Middle
    Gwin Oaks Elementary
    Harmony Elementary
    Henry Partee Elementary
    Ivy Creek Elementary
    J.G. Dyer Elementary
    K.E. Taylor Elementary
    Kanoheda Elementary
    Louise Radloff Middle
    Meadowcreek Elementary
4/21 & 4/24
    Mill Creek High
    Mountain Park Elementary
    Nesbit Elementary
    Norcross High
    North Gwinnett High
    Oakland School
    Parkview High
    Parsons Elementary
    Peachree Ridge High
    Pinckneyville Middle
    R.D. Head Elementary
    Rebecca Minor Elementary
    Richard Hull Middle
    Riverside Elementary
    Rock Springs Elementary
    Shiloh Elementary
    Shiloh High
    Simpson Elementary
    Snellville Middle
    South Gwinnett High
    Sugar Hill Elementary
    Suwanee Elementary
    Sycamore Elementary
    W.C. Britt Elementary
    Walnut Grove Elementary