News You Can Use - 11/19/2012

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.

View All Archived News You Can Use

News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
11/19/2012 - 11/25/2012

News You Can Use… will return on November 29, 2012

Ivy Creek Elementary will host an in-house field trip for 2nd grade students on Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. A historian will share history, dress, and other facts about Sequoyah and Cherokee Native Americans. Some students will have the opportunity to dress up for the visit. For more information, call Teacher Becky Dodd at 678-714-3655.

Peachtree Ridge High theater students in Dean Feldman’s class won 2nd place in State One-Act Play competition. Students Jamie Aspinwall, Ethan Boatright, Sarah Doner, Cam Gaskins, Mallory Ivy, Michael Lluma, Gabby Moreno, Kristen Reeves, Mckenna Rogness, and Jimmy Slazeck earned the title One-Act Play State Runner-Up winners in the 7AAAAAA competition from the Georgia High School Association with a performance of “The Murder Room.” For more information, call 678-957-3100.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recognized eight GCPS schools during the 2011-12 school year as “Heart Safe Schools.” Clinic workers and first responders from Chattahoochee Elementary-Misty Higgins, Kanoheda Elementary-Lizzie Hampton, Norcross Elementary-Dwan Neal, Stripling Elementary-Sonya Fouch, Snellville Middle-Chandra Raab, Brookwood High-Melanie Pickens, Berkmar High-Candy Stanford, and Give Center West-Lisa Gravlee. Becoming a “HeartSafe School” involves having a designated emergency response team trained in CPR and the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), holding an annual AED emergency drill, requiring pre-participation sports physicals, among other requirements. For more information, call RN Jeri Jones at 678-616-5656.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology art students in Jennifer Prince’s class had works of art displayed in the High Museum of Art’s “A Teen Exhibition Teen Program,” works inspired by the recent presidential campaign; and the exhibition “Choose Me: Arthur Grace’s Portraits of a Presidential Race.” Students and their work include:
  • Kelly Glennon “Freedom of Speech” Styrofoam, Acrylic Paint and Wax
  • Zoe Clara Kim “Hope” Digital Painting and Collage
  • Elizabeth Solimonu “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” Oil Pastel
  • Lexys Velarde “SB1070” Oil on Canvas Panel.
For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Brookwood High student musicians Ian Chen and Micah Jo have been invited to perform in the National High School Performance Series Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in February 2013. These students are taught by Dr. Cathie Hudnall and Mr. Philip Reesman at Brookwood High. For more information, call 770-972-7642.

Archer High student Olivia White in Megan Brockington’s class won 3rd Place in the Piedmont college High School Artist Show. Olivia was awarded a cash prize and scholarship. For more information, call 678-407-7700.

Berkmar Middle has been awarded two grants totaling $9,000 to support student fitness and wellness. The school received a $5,000 Georgia SHAPE school grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Governor’s SHAPE Initiative to increase physical opportunities for students by purchasing equipment and supporting programs targeting fitness. Berkmar Middle is also the recipient of a $4,000 Fuel Up to Play 60 grant to increase healthy eating and physical activity among students. The nationwide grant helps schools jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. Funds will support a Dance Club, healthy cooking classes, and equipment targeting increased wellness behaviors. For more information about the grants, contact the school at 770-638-2300.

After winning at Regional Punt, Pass, and Kick Competition, Duncan Creek Elementary students will move forward to compete at the Georgia Dome on November 29. For more information, call 678-714-5800.

Berkmar Middle students and staff collected 2,773 pounds of food during the month of October to earn 3rd place in the FalCan food drive. The 2012 FalCan Food Drive School Challenge sponsored by Publix and United Healthcare and benefits the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The school received 25 tickets to the Nov. 18 Falcons Game. For more information, contact Teacher Dana Griffith at 770-638-2300.

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold information sessions around the district on Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), the district’s STEM-focused charter high school, will hold informational meetings for interested 8th graders on Dec. 13 and Jan. 15. The registration packet is available for download with a Feb. 1 deadline. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery on Feb. 11.
  • Maxwell HS of Technology begins online registration on Feb. 1. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their GCPS home school.
  • Grayson HS Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson HS. An information session for the 2013–14 school year is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Registration applications will be available online Feb. 1.
  • New Life Academy of Excellence, a Board-approved charter school with two locations, will serve grades K–8 next year. Kindergarten families may register Jan. 7–11 at the Norcross campus. If more registrations are received than available seats, the school will hold a public lottery.

Alcova Elementary presented “Under the Stars @ Alcova- An Evening of Science Events.” Parents and students participated in a variety of hands-on projects. Activities included A Star Lab Planetarium presentation from the Elachtree Nature Center, The Atlanta Astronomy Club telescope session, and a Reptile Wrangler live animal display, a Georgia Aquarium exhibit, a science sampler feature from Dacula High students and teachers, a dinosaur dig area, as well as science and technology and science and art content integration activities.

Duncan Creek Elementary students hosted the school’s annual “turkey trot” race recently. Students raced around the school and runners received prizes for Thanksgiving dinner—turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, and fruit. For more information, call 678-714-5800.

“Celebrating Excellence: 2013 Teacher of the Year Banquet” GCPS TV is proud to present a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year banquet. Join local school recipients, administrators, and Board members for an evening of recognition and celebration. Program highlights include award presentations to the local winners, videos honoring the six TOTY finalists, and the announcement of the level winners and the 2013 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. This two hour program airs Nov. 16-25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“GCPS FOCUS” Comprised of shorter “Focus Moment” stories, the new GCPS FOCUS provides timely coverage on a wide variety of topics relating to Gwinnett County Public Schools. The 20-minute program airs this week at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 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, Comcast on Channel 24 and 26, and for AT&T check under local government listings. 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.
11/09/2012Centerville ES, Crews MS, Lilburn MS, & Mill Creek HS BOE calls special meeting to name four school principals (pdf)

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Thanksgiving break for schools is Nov. 19-23.

Nov. 21 is a planned furlough day and all GCPS offices will be closed.

Thanksgiving is Nov. 22.

All offices will be closed November 22 and 23 for Thanksgiving break for 12 month staff.

The following schools will hold Local School Council Dates in November. Call the local school for the time and location.
Benefield Elementary30-Nov
Berkmar High30-Nov
Berkmar Middle30-Nov
Camp Creek Elementary30-Nov
Cedar Hill Elementary28-Nov
Corley Elementary30-Nov
Duluth High27-Nov
Duncan Creek Elementary28-Nov
Dyer Elementary28-Nov
Freeman's Mill Elementary30-Nov
Kanoheda Elementary30-Nov
McConnell Middle27-Nov
Nesbit Elementary27-Nov
Parkview High27-Nov
Pharr Elementary29-Nov
Riverside Elementary27-Nov
Roberts Elementary30-Nov
Rosebud Elementary30-Nov
Sweetwater Middle30-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.
Young Architect - Come BUILD your creativity!Nov. 24
Green Living Kids: Where did all the water go?Nov. 19
Harvest Moon Night Hike in SeptemberNov. 26
Green Living SeriesDec. 21
Certified Interpretive Guide WorkshopDec. 4
Green Living Kids: Become A Waste Warrior-Fighting Waste Through The Power Of RecyclingDec. 21
Young Architect: Designing the FutureJan. 13