News You Can Use - 04/20/2009

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
04/20/2009 - 04/26/2009

Parkview High Performing Arts program presents the musical “Annie Get your Gun” on April 16-18 at 7:30 p.m., and April 19 at 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets may be purchased for $7 and student tickets for $5. For more information, call 770-921-2874.

Duluth High student government students will host “Flix on the Field on April 17 at 8 p.m. in the stadium. The first show is “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Additional viewings will take place on April 24, May 1, and May 8. Concessions will be available – gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

The Berkmar High Jazz and Arts Festival will take place April 18, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the school. The Festival features performances by the Berkmar Jazz Band and Choir. Jazz ensembles will perform beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for the Taste of Berkmar may be purchased to sample food from area restaurants including BBQ, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, American, desserts, and beverages. There will be a silent auction and activities for children such as face painting, moonwalk, bowling, and fast pitch. The festival is free. Food/activity tickets may be purchased for $10 by calling the school at 770-921-3636. For more information, check the web site at or Ticket sales will benefit student organizations.

Trickum Middle’s Green Team PTSA invite parents and students from the Parkview Cluster schools to participate in the school’s Earth Day project on April 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to create a giant ground sculpture made entirely out of aluminum cans. The Earth Day Ground Sculpture project will be created on the field behind the school and will hold approximately 20,000 cans. Volunteers including a local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will be on hand to organize the project that will create a heart shape with the words “love your planet” spelled out beneath the heart. For more information, call Ginger Criswell, PTSA environmental chair at 678-910-3182 or 770-923-5693.

“Eco-Force” members from Brookwood Elementary, J.C. Magill Elementary, and Craig Elementary will host an Earth Day Fun Fest on April 18 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brookwood Elementary. There is no charge for this community event. Activities include environmental awareness projects, an inflatable playground, the REI tent maze, carnival games, a recycled art show, and a recycle parade. Food will be available for purchase. Community members are invited to donate recyclable items such as tennis shoes, printers, batteries, cartridges, laptops, toner, cell phones, paper, cardboard, plastic bags, computer mice, monitors, PC’s, scanners, PDAs, and CFL’s to exchange for a “fun ticket.” (For more information on the ticket system, visit Greening Youth Foundation at Tickets will also be available for purchase. The schedule of events is as follows:
11:00- 11:40 Recycled Art Show
12:00- 12:45 Recycle Parade
1:00- 1:30 3R’s Eco-Force Performance
Volunteers may contact Angelou Ezeilo at, or call 770-225-1216.

Beaver Ridge Elementary students and Weston Solutions will team up on April 23 and 24 for the 2nd annual “Make a Difference Day” to celebrate Earth Week. Weston Solutions will offer mini sessions focusing on environmental issues to all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. This year’s theme is “A Better Tomorrow Begins with Today.” For more information, email Science Specialist Nancy Koehler at

The following GCPS visual arts students have been named as National Medal winners by The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards: Jennifer Frisco, Gold Medal- drawing, Collins Hill High, Karen Campbell, art teacher; Soo Kim, Gold Medal- drawing, Collins Hill High, Karen Campbell, art teacher; and Chelsea Hinkel, Silver Medal- ceramics and glass, Mill Creek High, Kelly Guyotte, art teacher. This March, professionals in the visual and literary arts reviewed regional Gold Keys, awarding National Gold Medals and National Silver Medals to the most talented students in the nation. More than 140,000 works of art and writing were submitted to regional programs of The Scholastic Awards. Approximately 10,000 submissions were reviewed on the national level. Collins Hill High and Mill Creek High artwork is among the 1,000 that received national honors. The artwork will be on display at the World Monuments Fund Gallery in New York in June. For more information, call the local school.

Duluth student Silki Modi, Secretary of the Duluth Chapter of Key Club International, has been awarded the 2009 Duluth Kiwanis Scholarship of $1000. She has been accepted to Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory, Northwestern, and University of Georgia.

GCPS had 746 seventh grade students participate in the Duke University’s Tip program, an academic talent search for 7th grade students in 16 states. Of the GCPS test takers, 290 qualified for state recognition, and 16 qualified for grand recognition. The students take the SAT or ACT, based on their results they may be awarded Grand or State recognition. (Recognition criteria available at

Winn Holt Elementary will host a Relay for Life fundraiser on April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but a minimal charge for activities and concessions. Participants may walk the track in preparation for the county Relay for Life event. Other events include face painting, games, luminaria lighting at dusk, Karaoke, hair design, a nail salon, cake walk, and entertainment. For more information, contact the school at 678-376-8600.

Former students and staff members of J.G. Dyer Elementary are invited to the “Retire Dyer Celebration” as the school moves to a new building for the 2009-10 school year. The event takes place at the school on April 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. The retirement celebration will be an opportunity to share memories and visit with past administrators, faculty, and staff. The Dyer Elementary Spring Festival will follow the retirement event from noon to 4 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, call 770-963-6214, or email

The 13th annual Duluth High Peach Jam will be held in the auditorium on April 25 and 26. This event will be professionally choreographed by Grammy Award winner Arif Vega. This year’s theme is “Reel to Real,” a tribute to movie music. Tickets are $10 for April 25 at 7 p.m. and $8 for the April 26 matinee at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call Greg Smith, Duluth High chorus teacher, at 770-232-3354.

Norcross High will host Sandra Cisneros, author of “The House on Mango Street” on April 27 for the county library program. For more information, contact Michelle Long, director of public relations, at , or call 770-822-5326.

Mulberry Elementary will host “Careers on Wheels” on April 29. Students will have an opportunity to explore different careers in a hands-on fashion featuring community experts exhibiting work vehicles that include a helicopter, bucket truck, an airplane fuselage, the ArcheoBus, an ambulance, a fire truck, and an 18 wheeler. Students will have time to explore the vehicles and learn about career choices.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 7. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2009, are invited to register their children for the 2009–10 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times. The Planning Department phone number is 678-301-7085 and may be called to find out which school a child will attend.

Rockbridge Elementary will host a community health fair on May 8 from 4 to 5 p.m. This event will conclude a series of Friday afternoon family fitness activities. There will be food, vendors, as well as a local radio station. An invitation is extended to the community and GCPS. For more information, call E-Chia Chihade, parent instructional support coordinator 770-326-8090.

Gwinnett high schools will hold graduation ceremonies May 18-23, 2009. The GCPS graduation schedule may be viewed on the system website.

GCPS’ Area Board Meetings will be held in April. The meetings are held in each of the Board member’s districts and give staff and community members an opportunity to get an update on school system issues. In addition, a public forum at each meeting allows for participants to discuss education topics with their elected officials. Following is a listing of the meeting dates. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m.
April 21-- District I at
Central Gwinnett High – Clusters: Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Grayson
April 23-- District III at
Norcross High – Clusters: Duluth, Norcross
April 28-- District V at
Parkview High – Clusters: Berkmar, Meadowcreek, Parkview
April 30-- District II at Mill Creek High – Clusters: Collins Hill, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge

Maxwell High School of Technology will offer a Summer Career Camp June 8 through 12 for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders interested in exploring careers. This week-long session with hands-on learning activities will include a variety of programs such as Graphic Design, Automotive Services, Cosmetology, Health Care and Medical Services, Early Childhood Education, Georgia Pre-K Camp Counselors, Public Safety, and Welding. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration is $40. For more information and to register, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4625.

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

04/15/09DeJesus to lead Beaver Ridge Elementary (pdf)
04/09/09Gwinnett students to showcase skills during national competitions (pdf)
04/08/09Five Gwinnett students make National Achievement list (pdf)
04/07/09Parsons Elementary’s Candis a Georgia top language arts teacher (pdf)
04/06/09Meadowcreek High to represent Georgia during national Culinary Arts challenge (pdf)
04/03/09Atlanta festival to feature work of Gwinnett student artists (pdf)

“ArtStage: 2009 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus” GCPS TV is proud to present a special ArtStage featuring the 2009 Gwinnett County Elementary Honor Chorus and the Shiloh High Concert Choir Ensemble. This 60-minute program airs April 20-25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“The Author in You - Writer's Toolbox” GCPS TV is proud to present an exciting new format for “The Author in You.” Each 15-minute episode will now feature an author and GCPS students discussing the art of writing, with special emphasis on sharing specific writing tips and suggestions for improving the writing process. Targeted toward students, this new and enhanced format will prove a great teaching tool for the classroom. This week’s program features award-winning author Carmen Deedy and students from Cedar Hill Elementary. This 15-min. program airs April 20-25 at 1 and 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part GCPS original series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, and parent-teacher conferences. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through June 21 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 3” This video telecourse is designed to teach advanced English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 3 is scheduled to air through May 7 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 see 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: 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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April is Keep America Beautiful Month, National Poetry Month, Occupational Therapy Month, and School Library Media Month.

April 14-20 is the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test for Grades 3-5 and 6-8.

The 10th Grade High School Gateway will be given on April 20 and 22.

April 20-24 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) testing dates are April 21-23 for grades 1 and 2.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 14, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

April 22 is Earth Day.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
B.B. Harris Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Chattahoochee Elementary
Craig Elementary
Creekland Middle
Dacula High
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Duluth Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Freeman's Mill Elementary
Grayson High
J.E. Richards Middle
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Knight Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
McKendree Elementary
Meadowcreek Elementary
4/20 4/28
Meadowcreek High
Mill Creek High
North Gwinnett High
Oakland School
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
4/1, 4/30
Pharr Elementary
Pinckneyville Middle
Richard Hull Middle
Riverside Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Susan Stripling Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
Trickum Middle
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 or call 770-904-3500. For more information on events, visit the GEHS public calendar on the web site.
April 18: Earth Day Event
April 20: Little Hands: April Showers Bring May Flowers!
April 20: Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
April 20: Sisterhood of the Traveling Plants
April 21: Celebrate Earth Day
April 21: Where Do the Children Play? and Going Green Neighborhood
April 22 (Earth Day): Trail clean-up, Environmental Epic Show, and Celebrating Our Earth: Rachel Carson and a Sense of Wonder
April 23: From Trash to Treasure and Where Do the Children Play?
April 24: Night at the Museum: Save the Earth
April 25: Little Hands: April Showers Bring May Flowers!
April 25: Sustainability and Solar Energy: Understanding Green Roofs, Adventures with Eco-Heroes Series, Green Power Patch, Energy 101 Workshop, and Solarbots
April 27: Little Hands: April Showers Bring May Flowers!