News You Can Use - 02/11/2013

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
02/11/2013 - 02/17/2013

Buice School, a school for students with special needs, will host a math night event on Feb. 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. Buice School will be transformed into “T.C.’s Town Square” for an evening full of fun math activities. Students and their families will visit T.C.’s grocery store, post office, flower shop, pizza shop, and home improvement store learning how the math concepts of numbers, shapes, estimation, money, and measurement are used outside the classroom. For more information, call the school at 770-271-5060.

Puckett’s Mill Elementary will host a Science and Technology Night on Feb. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and families are invited to attend this popular event that brings professionals from around the area to demonstrate how science and technology are applied in different careers. Entertainment includes a performance by science-magician Arthur Atsma. Participants may attend breakout sessions. For more information, call the school at 678-765-5110.

SUNDAY-Feb. 10
More than 200 colleges and universities will be represented at the National College Fair in Atlanta. Open to middle school and high school students, the event is scheduled to take place on Feb.10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Information on financial aid and college admissions will be available at workshops during the fair. Students may register at, and watch a video with more information at for a complete overview of the fair.

North Gwinnett High band student Victoria Bethel competed in the Carolina Trumpet Festival at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Students at the high-school, undergraduate, and graduate level competed for a chance to perform in concert, as well as to win a new trumpet. Of the 15 finalists in the contest, Victoria placed first earning a new Shires custom made C trumpet. For more information, contact North Gwinnett Band Director Rudy Gilbert at

Phoenix High is sponsoring a Wellness Fair on Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon. in the gymnasium. Phoenix High is participating in the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program sponsored by the South East Dairy Council and the NFL. Students and faculty will sign a pledge to participate in demonstrations by “Fuel Up to Play 60” Student Ambassadors, on ways to exercise including dance, weight training, and the treadmill to name a few. The South East Dairy Council will share an information presentation. “Game Plans” include educating students on making the best choice at fast food establishments and participating in exercise activities. Other presentations sponsored by AID Gwinnett, Safe Kids, and GUIDE will be available for participants. Representatives from the Fire Department will share employment opportunities and the Lions Club will offer vision screenings. For more information, call PE and Health Teacher Carol Call at 770-513-6862.

Maxwell High School of Technology will hold an Open House on Feb. 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. for sophomores and juniors interested in attending the school next year. Programs of study include Aircraft Flight Operations, Early Childhood Education, Architecture, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Services, Construction Welding, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Drawing and Design, Electronics, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare, Interior Design, Law and Justice, Medical Services, Nursing, and Sciences: Diagnostics. For more information, call 770-963-6838 or visit to register online in February.

The 2013 Gwinnett Regional Science & Engineering Fair will take place on Feb. 22, at the Gwinnett Center, beginning at 9 a.m. An open house will be held at 3:30 p.m. and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate science and engineering and take part of inspiring the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett County. Call 678-301-7036 or visit the Science Fair website—— for more information or to sign up to support the 2013 Science and Engineering Fair as a sponsor or judge.

Sweetwater Middle with host a visit from Author Sherry Dixon on Feb. 22 at 8:50 a.m. and later in the day at 4 p.m.. Ms. Dixon will share her journey of becoming an author and be available for a book signing. For more information, call the school at 770-717-2160.

NFL player and guest speaker Rennie Curran and the GCPS Community-Based Mentoring Program Present a Career Summit for Youth titled “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The program will take place Feb. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brookwood High. Students are encouraged to dress for success to attend this career workshop for middle and high school males.(Students are asked to wear a suit, shirt and tie, or business casual attire.) Students will learn about careers in medicine, the legal field, law enforcement, business, technology, and entrepreneurship. At the conclusion of the workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn about colleges, business, and community organizations. Lunch will be provided. Participation is limited to 150 students, and registration is required. The event is open to male students in grades 6-12. Register online at, by phone at 678-301-7286, or by email at

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute and the Friends of Gwinnett Senior Services are sponsoring a Caregivers Conference on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville. The keynote speaker will be Maria Greene, consultant for the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. Fall prevention will be discussed by Ingrid Wedderburn of the Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center. Education will be addressed by
Georgann Eaton, Principal of Sweetwater Middle. Legal issues will be presented by Paul Black. And Grandparents will be the topic of Judy Perdue’s presentation. A ten dollar registration fee will cover a continental breakfast, a box lunch, and door prizes. Vendors from related organizations will provide information on aging. This Caregivers Conference is being supported by the Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services. To register, contact GNLI at For more information please call (678) 964-4838.

The 2013 Miss Peachtree Ridge High Scholarship Pageant will be held on Feb. 23. This year’s theme is “Pretty in Pink” and will honor contestants’ friends and family members by making a donation to the American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High Pageant will begin at 7 p.m. in the school theater. For more information, visit the school website at

The Duluth High Chorus will perform a concert on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. This performance will take place in the school auditorium. Call the school at 770-476-5206 for more information.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) will host the AAASP Wheelchair Basketball State Tournament at Duluth High on March 2. The tournament will feature 5 teams from Georgia competing in the following format: Game 1—11 a.m.: Junior Varsity Semi-final game; Game 2—3 p.m.: Varsity Semi-final game; and Game 3: Junior Varsity Championship game. Duluth Athletic Director Bill Navis and his staff will provide support personnel for the tournament. GCPS SNP (School Nutrition Program) staff will provide team lunches to all participating teams and coaches. The varsity final will be played at the Macon Coliseum prior to the GHSA state basketball finals. For more information, call Mike Phillips, Coordinator for Adapted Sports at 678-301-6885.

The Greater Gwinnett Championship, the county’s new Champions Tour golf tourney, is scheduled for April 15-21 at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The tournament will benefit a number of local charities, including the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund. This 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. The event will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. To purchase tickets or volunteer for Greater Gwinnett Championship, visit

The Hull Middle PTSA will host a Read Across America event for student readers at the school. A Read Across Hull Middle contest will run through Feb. 22 with prizes being awarded on March 1. Students will read each week and record their minutes. Students reading at least 180 minutes in that 3 week period will earn a Hershey chocolate bar. Additional prizes will be awarded to top readers in the school. Students may dress up in red and white, or dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character on March 1. In addition, children can bring a gently used Dr. Seuss book that will be collected and donated to a local charity. For more information, call Chrissy Wise-Cooper, literary committee member, at 678-227-9158; or Media Specialist Carol Bates at 770-232-3200.

This year’s review of GCPS’ curriculum offers two opportunities for parents, staff, and community members to share their feedback about the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS). The school system is seeking input on new AKS that have been developed to align with new state Common Core Standards as well as AKS for other new courses. In addition, citizens may give feedback on additions, changes, or deletions for the current AKS. Both reviews run through Feb. 15. A committee will consider both community and staff suggestions and will make its recommendations to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education. Following adoption, feedback will be provided to staff members who made suggestions. See below for details on each review, and links for both the current 2012-13 AKS and the proposed 2013-14 AKS.
  • Review of AKS aligned with NEW Common Core Math Courses and NEW AKS for other courses-- Last year, the Georgia Department of Education adopted a new state curriculum-- the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS)-- for K-12 Language Arts, K-12 Mathematics, and literacy standards for Science, Social Studies, and Technical Education. The first phase of this revised curriculum began in 2012-13, with K-12 Language Arts and K-9 Mathematics. Gwinnett County Public Schools curriculum directors for these areas worked with teachers to ensure the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum for 2012-13 was aligned to the new CCGPS standards.

This next phase for 2013-14 includes five new Common Core-aligned mathematics courses for grades 9-12-- Algebra II CC, Geometry CC, Accelerated Geometry CC, Precalculus CC, and Accelerated Precalculus CC. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to review the proposed AKS to provide input on the recommended curriculum revisions for the five new mathematics courses for grades 9-12.

In addition, AKS are under review for two Junior Leadership Corps courses for middle school students, and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) courses for the district’s Army program at the high school level.

Click here to review and comment on the NEW AKS via an online survey. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 15.
  • Annual review of CURRENT Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum-- If there is an AKS participants would like to see added, deleted, or revised, they may complete the AKS Review Form, which is available on the GCPS website. A copy of the review form is also available at the local school.
  • AKS Review Forms may be submitted by e-mail to or by U.S. mail to Curriculum Development Office, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, Georgia 30024.
Comments will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 15.

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 the final information session on and Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Maxwell High School 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 regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson High. 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 in February.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites parents and members of the community to join GCPS staff members by participating in a review of proposed curriculum materials. Parents may provide input on the proposed materials by participating in the public review. GCPS holds an extensive review before adopting materials for classroom use. Materials submitted by publishers are reviewed by teachers, administrators, and parents for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. During the review that runs from Feb. 11 to Feb. 23, GCPS staff and members of the Gwinnett community will review mathematics materials for grades 6-12 and non-fiction books for grades K-5. Reviews are scheduled as follows:

Instructional Support Center
Hallway between Buildings 100 and 200, 437 Old Peachtree Road NW, Suwanee
  • Monday–Friday, Feb., 11-22, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 5–8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Based on all input gathered from this review, a recommendation will be made to the Gwinnett County Board of Education for adoption of materials. For more information about the instructional review process, please contact Ryan Queen, Director of Instructional Materials, at 678-301-6828.

“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. This 20-minute program airs Feb. 12-17 at 6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Voices and Visions: Langston Hughes” Langston Hughes, among the most versatile and prolific of modern American authors, achieved distinction in poetry, fiction, and drama. Race is at the center of his work— the beauty, dignity, and heritage of blacks in America. Hughes always sought to speak to all Americans, especially on the larger issues of social, economic, and political justice. This 60-minute program airs Feb. 11-17 at 1 p.m. and 8 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.
02/04/2013GCPS invites community in review of instructional materials (pdf)

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February is National African American History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 10-16 is National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Week.

February 12 is Georgia Day.

February 12-16 is National SkillsUSA Week.

February 15 is a Student/Teacher Holiday.

February 17 is National PTA Founders Day.

February 18 is a Student Teacher Holiday.

February 25 and 26 are Early Release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., February 28, 2013, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

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

Archer High School
Bay Creek Middle
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar High
Bethesda Elementary
Crews Middle
Dacula Middle
Duluth High
Dyer Elementary
Grayson Elementary
Harmony Elementary
Head Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Lawrenceville Elementary
McConnell Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Mill Creek High
Monarch School
North Gwinnett Middle
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
Puckett’s Mill Elementary
Radloff Middle
Rock Springs Elementary
Rockbridge Elementary
Rosebud Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Summerour Middle
Trip 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. 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.

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