News You Can Use - 03/04/2013

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
03/04/2013 - 03/10/2013

The Hull Middle PTSA will host a Read Across America event for student readers at the school on March 1. Prizes for the Hull Middle Read Across contest will be awarded. 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.

Minor Elementary will celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 1 with a Pajama Party and a donation from a community member. Community members including a fire fighter, a police officer, and Board Member Louise Radloff will read to classes. A reading cafe will be set up in the Media Center where students can gather to read a good book. Teachers have also planned some fun activities using many of Dr. Seuss’s wonderful books. The school will dedicate a new area in the media center, “The Digital Den.” A community member donated 60 Kindles to the school. Minor Elementary is one of the Gwinnett schools participating in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) pilot program. The school will close out the day with a school-wide reading chain in the hallway. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. and last throughout the day. For more information, call Brooke Treadwell at 678-245-3166, or email

Alcova Elementary students and teachers prepare to “Rev Up” for National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Day. Students will join millions of their peers across the country to celebrate the 16th annual event which commemorates Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading. More than 45 million readers, both young and old, are expected to pick up a book and read. On Feb. 28 and March 1, Alcova Elementary will host community guest readers including Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, business partners, parents, and many more. For more information, call Administrator Kia Henley at 678-378-8500, or email

Bethesda Elementary will celebrate Read Across America on March 1 with “Wacky Day” and visits from guest readers. For more information, call 770-921-2000.

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 High Athletic Director Bill Navas and his staff will provide support personnel for the tournament. GCPS Food and Nutrition 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.

Students from the North Gwinnett High Studio One Class have organized a festival— “The Cultures of Suwanee”— scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 2 at the park at Suwanee Town Center. The event will help people of different backgrounds come together to understand each other. Students met with City of Suwanee officials, contacted sponsors and venders, and arranged entertainment for this family-friendly event. For more information, visit

Joshua Stephens, art student of Mike Lasseter at Mill Creek High, was named the grand prize winner for his entry “Shake the Foundations” in the DREAM@50 Art Contest. GCPS had 21 semi-finalists compete in the art contest. For more information, visit The national awards ceremony for the grand prize winner from the 10 participating cities will be held in Washington, D.C., in August 2013.

Brookwood High juniors Austin Fowler and Matt Stout have been selected to participate on the National Orienteering USA Junior Standing Team. These students are among 12 young men in the nation chosen for this prestigious team. The team will compete in the sport of orienteering, a competitive international sport that combines racing through the woods using a map and compass in a timed race. The students have been coached locally by Five Forks Middle Teacher Amy Williams, and compete most weekends at meets sponsored by the Georgia Orienteering Club. The official announcement can be viewed at For more information about orienteering locally, visit

State Superintendent Dr. John Barge honored students who demonstrate “Excellence in Student Achievement.” Among these students was Archer High Sara Beth Marchert who was honored for her outstanding work through FBLA. Sara Beth began her FBLA journey in middle school and was the first Middle Level State President. After attending more than 40 FBLA conferences; competing at the Region, State, and National levels; and earning all four levels of her Business Achievement Award; Sara Beth rounds out her FBLA experience by serving as 2012-13 State President. For more information, call Samantha Sinclair, teacher and FBLA adviser, at 678-407-7700.

At the National Art Honor Society Conference North Gwinnett High student Ha Truong won the Georgia Art Education Association Portfolio Scholarship and Elizabeth Hamilton won the Helen Fleming Stone Portfolio Scholarship. For more information, contact Visual Art Department Chair Debi West at

Meadowcreek High student Brian Jones is the winner of the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition. Brian won 1st place by competing with more than 175 students and will travel to New York to compete nationally for the title. Meadowcreek High has participated for the last four years, and each year, had a representative in the final round. This year four students advanced to finals. For more information, call Theater Arts Director Nikki Toombs at770-381-9680, or visit

North Gwinnett High Visual Arts Teacher Debi West received the Arts Educator of the Year Award presented by ArtWorks! Gwinnett at the Fusion Art Awards held at the Buford Theater and Community Center. Britt Elementary Teacher Chase Garner was a nominee for the Arts Educator of the Year Award. For more information, call the local school.

Snellville Middle is planning a Career Day for students on March 15. More than a dozen community professionals and organizations will participate in the event including Eastside Medical Center and the Snellville Police Department. In addition to Career Day, a Job Fair for parents and community members will be held March 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Representatives from Eastside Medical Center, the Snellville Police Department, and Walton EMC will be in attendance. Both events will be held at the school. For more information, call 770-972-1530.

GCPS will hold its annual Transition Fair on March 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students with disabilities, their families and educators will receive information about community services, resources, and assistance for transitioning to adulthood. Participants include representation in the areas of employment support, residential services, day programs, recreation, and leisure, among others. In addition, participants can attend breakout sessions to increase their knowledge the topics of Medicaid Waivers, Social Security Benefits, Financial and Estate Planning, Guardianship options, and Employment Support Options. In addition, participants may attend a special session with young adults from the program, Empowering Our Youth, as they lead a panel and discussion about self-awareness and self-advocacy for people with disabilities. For more information, call 678-301-7121 or email or

Chattahoochee Elementary Family Science Night is scheduled for March 21. Students and their families will have the opportunity to participate in science demonstrations the on physics of roller coasters, the state of matter of OObleck, how to use a microscope, the science behind pop rockets, animal classification, and much more. The Elachee Nature Center will set up the Star Lab and Telescope Center near the gym. Science Club members will guide families through the event. In addition, the 2nd Annual Family Science Fair will be taking place. All entries will be awarded ribbons and medals. For more information, call the school at 770-497-9907.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will celebrate 30 years of Excellence in Education. The faculty and staff invite the community to a Canvas Dedication commemorating 30 years of excellence on March 22 at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. For more information and to RSVP, contact by March 15.

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

Registration is going now for the 4th Annual GCPS “I See A Cure” Relay for Life 5K Run/Walk scheduled for April 27 at 8 a.m. GCPS is the largest supporter of Gwinnett Relay for Life. This event is a great opportunity for GCPS employees, faculty, and students, as well as the community, to support this important cause. Participants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag, and participate in a pre-race warm-up to live music at the 200 building of the Instructional Support Center (ISC). Raffle prizes and age group awards will be presented. The school or team with the most participants will be recognized at the awards presentation. Visit to register. If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Patrice Pendergast at 678-301-6076 or Diane Cribb at 678-301-6121. Visit for more information.

Tapestry 2013 will be held for three weeks at the Gwinnett County Public Schools Instructional Support Center (ISC) with opening nights on March 4, March 13 and March 25 at 6 p.m. During the display dates, the ISC will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday - Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday; and 1–6 p.m. on Sunday. Call the Fine Arts Office at (678) 301-7015 for more information.
Tapestry Week 1 (March 2-7)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 1: Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, and South Gwinnett clusters and Phoenix HS
  • Opening Night: March 4, 6–7:30 p.m.
Tapestry Week 2 (March 13-18)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 2: Grayson, Lanier, Mountain View, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh clusters, and GIVE Centers
  • Opening Night: March 13, 6–7:30 p.m.
Tapestry Week 3 (March 21-26)
  • The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3: Archer, Brookwood, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, and Norcross clusters, GSMST, and Oakland Meadow School
  • Opening Night: March 25, 6–7:30 p.m.
Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) offers high school students two ways to learn for credit this summer.
  • Face-to-face summer classes (June 11–July 10) will be offered at three locations— Archer, Lanier, and Meadowcreek high schools. Online registration is now open for face-to-face classes. Students may register online ( for face-to-face summer classes through June 3, or register in person on May 30 at Meadowcreek High. Find course offerings and frequently asked questions on the face-to-face summer school website. (
  • Online summer classes (June 10–July 8) will be offered through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). Registration for online classes will open March 1. (Find course offerings and frequently asked questions online, along with registration information on the GOC website. (

Dates for GCPS 2013 Academic Summer School for Qualifying Students in Grades 3-8 have been set. Students may attend a 15-day session with no classes on Fridays. The first day of class is June 10, and last day is July 3. Summer school will not be provided at every school, due to maintenance and construction at some schools and plans for combined “cluster” summer school sites. Participating students will be notified of location for summer school sessions at a later date.
  • Parents of eligible students will be notified that their student may participate in the free session and given specifics about location and hours.
  • Most summer school sites will not offer transportation. Those schools with additional federal funding to offer transportation will notify parents regarding availability.
  • The free academic summer school is for students who were not successful on tests required for promotion or who did not meet promotion criteria at their grade level.
  • Students are given an opportunity to retake the CRCT subtest(s) at the end of summer school in order to meet promotion criteria and earn promotion to the next grade.

In partnership with Invent Now, Gwinnett County is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program for students entering grades one through six this summer. This weeklong adventure in creativity immerses children in imaginative play that reinforces and supplements school-year learning in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Students work together to seek innovative solutions to real-world challenges and sharpen learning skills such as teamwork and creative problem solving as they rotate through four modules each day. The camp runs from June 10-14. Dr. Gloria Elliott will direct the Camp Invention Geo-Quest program at Shiloh Elementary. Local educators will facilitate program modules, and high school and college students will serve as Leadership Interns. Register on or before March 28 for a $25 discount off the $225 tuition. Register online using Camp Code: C-GA22-11352-13 for a $195 tuition. Every registration includes a free Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800-968-4332 to register.

GCPS has made several enhancements to the student portal. Responding to the most-requested feature enhancement, GCPS added student access to grades and drilldown specifics on assignments in a new “My Grades” tab on the MYeCLASS student portal. Parents also are encouraged to sign up for the go2 Parent Portal, which serves as a valuable online resource for information about their child and his or her academic career, safely and securely, anytime from anyplace. Learn more about both portals on the GCPS website.

Maxwell High School of Technology will host a four day technical education summer camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders (current middle school students) on June 3- 6 from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will explore careers in programs such as: Auto Collision, Auto Services, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electronics, Early Childhood Ed.–Babysitting Certification, Flash 2-D Game Animation, GA Pre-K Early Childhood Ed – Counselor, Graphic Communications and Design, Healthcare Science, Law and Justice, and Welding. All camp programs are led by GCPS instructors assisted by enthusiastic high school student aides.
The camp fee is $80 and is non-refundable. Registration runs March 4 to May 3 at
All forms must be completed before registration is complete. Each program must have a minimum of 10 students to be offered. For more information, call Sherri Stephenson at 678-518-6630 or Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4603.

Berkmar Middle recently gave 8th grade students a tour of Maxwell High School of Technology. Students toured the campus and learned about more than a dozen technical programs at Maxwell High. During the hour-long tour, students had the opportunity to see classes in session and ask questions of the students and instructors. In addition, students spoke with representatives from Berkmar High about academics, athletics, and extra-curricular options. For more information, call 770-638-2300.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/28/2013Gwinnett students exhibit talent and skills during 2013 Tapestry Display (pdf)
02/27/2013Duluth MS’ Burley named MS Science Teacher of Year (pdf)
02/26/2013Moore MS 6th grader earns perfect score on WordMasters (pdf)
02/25/2013North Gwinnett MS’ Clement named Volunteer of the Year (pdf)

“ParenTVision - The Power of Expectations” Research shows that expectations set by parents have a tremendous influence on children— in sports, in the classroom and in life. The key for parents, experts say, is to make their expectations clear, and to begin setting those expectations at an early age. This 60-min. program airs March 4-10 at 8 p.m.

“Aerospace Academy: Design a Satellite” This program shows the unique aspects, benefits and importance of satellites through demonstrations and simple experiments. Students learn about all key parts of a satellite and how they work. Students will then create their own satellite. This 30-min. program airs March 4-10 at 3:30 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--

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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.

March is Music in our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month®, Women in History Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 4-8 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 4-10 is National Foreign Language Week.

March 10 is Girl Scout Sunday.

March 10-16 is Girl Scout Week.

March 11 is a student holiday and planned furlough day.

March 12 is Girl Scout Sabbath.

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day and Camp Fire USA Birthday.

The first day of spring is March 20.

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

Archer High School18-Mar
Harris Elementary21-Mar
Benefield Elementary28-Mar
Berkeley Lake Elementary26-Mar
Brookwood Elementary8-Mar
Buice School22-Mar
Burnette ES26-Mar
Camp Creek Elementary22-Mar
Central Gwinnett High21-Mar
Chattahoochee Elementary5-Mar
Chesney Elementary15-Mar
Collins Hill High12-Mar
Cooper Elementary4-Apr
Couch Middle15-Mar
Creekland Middle7-Mar
Crews Middle21-Mar
Dacula High15-Mar
Duncan Creek Elementary28-Mar
Ferguson Elementary8-Mar
Five Forks Middle27-Mar
Osborne Middle15-Mar
Harbins Elementary14-Mar
Harmony Elementary28-Mar
Hopkins Elementary1-Mar
Hull Middle26-Mar
Ivy Creek Elementary28-Mar
Jackson Elementary14-Mar
Jones Middle14-Mar
Kanoheda Elementary28-Mar
Lanier Middle19-Mar
Level Creek Elementary26-Mar
Magill Elementary7-Mar
Mason Elementary3-15 and 3-26
Minor Elementary28-Mar
Moore Middle School29-Mar
Mountain View High School8-Mar
Norcross High14-Mar
North Gwinnett High28-Mar
Parsons Elementary3/7 and 3/26
Peachree Ridge High26-Mar
Peachtree Elementary15-Mar
Pinckneyville Middle7-Mar
Puckett's Mill Elementary28-Mar
Riverside Elementary26-Mar
Rock Springs Elementary28-Mar
Shiloh Elementary5-Mar
Simonton Elementary14-Mar
Simpson Elementary22-Mar
Snellville Middle21-Mar
South Gwinnett High21-Mar
Starling Elementary15-Mar
Sugar Hill Elementary28-Mar
Suwanee Elementary28-Mar
Sweetwater Middle28-Mar
Sycamore Elementary3-21, 3-26
Taylor Elementary22-Mar
Walnut Grove Elementary21-Mar
White Oak Elementary20-Mar
Winn Holt Elementary27-Mar

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.
Exhibits Education