News You Can Use - 02/22/2010

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
02/22/2010 - 02/28/2010

Trickum Middle will host a visit from Astronaut Thomas Marsburn on February 19 at 9:45 a.m. Mr. Marsburn’s mission this past July included multiple spacewalks where he repaired modules on the International Space Station. He will give a presentation on his experiences and engage students in a question and answer session. For more information call 770-806-3764.

Gwinnett County’s most avid readers will be participating in the GCPS 5th Annual Gwinnett Readers Rally on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Berkmar High. The Gwinnett Readers Rally is a quiz bowl competition for readers in grades 4 through 12. Schools prepare a team for the competition by having students read a preselected list of books. 86 GCPS teams are registered for the event. Berkmar High School’s Basketball Cheerleading Squads will perform at the opening ceremony. Author S.A. Harazin, “Blood Brothers,” a 2010 Georgia Peach Award nominee, will attend the high school closing ceremony. The division winners from each school level will go on to compete in a Championship Readers Rally on Feb. 25 at the Instructional Support Center. For more information, call Jamie Jones, Grayson High media specialist, at 770-554-7041; or Anne Chapman of Jackson Elementary at 770-682-4204.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation presents the Miss Peachtree Ridge Scholarship Pageant 2010 on Feb. 20. The theme of this year’s pageant is The Time of My Life - A Tribute to the music of the 80’s. For more information or tickets, contact Jane Denton at 678-957-3166 or

Ivy Creek Elementary gifted teacher Sharon Sanders was awarded a Mill Creek Education Foundation grant in the amount of $1,275 to purchase a class set of the “Junior Great Book” anthologies. The school’s gifted program will now have a class set of these books for grades 3-5. For more information, call Tammy Glausier, assistant principal, at 678-714-3655.

Norton Elementary is sponsoring a Writing Boot Camp for 5th grade students on Feb. 22 at 1:45 p.m. Students will report to “boot camp” to polish their writing skills in preparation for taking the Georgia State Writing Test. Administrators, counselors, teachers and other staff members assist the 5th grade teachers in presenting the lesson. For more information, call Laura Reed, Norton ES teacher at 770-985-1933.

The division winners from 5th Annual Gwinnett Readers Rally will compete in a Championship Readers Rally on Feb. 25 at the Instructional Support Center. For more information, call Jamie Jones, Grayson High media specialist, at 770-554-7041; or Anne Chapman of Jackson Elementary at 770-682-4204.

Shiloh High will hold a cluster celebration for Black History Month on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre. This year’s theme is “Man in the Mirror,” and all the cluster schools will participate in the performance. The event is dedicated to a Shiloh High student who was diagnosed with Ostersarcoma, (bone cancer). For more information, call 770-972-8471.

Grayson High is planning a living museum, film, skits, and hosting a visit from State. Superintendent Kathy Cox for Black History Month on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Cox will be the guest speaker at the event. Characters throughout the school will "come to life" and educate the audience about their contributions to American History in a creative, colorful, and visual way. The audience will view a brief documentary and film in the auditorium, followed by several student skits that demonstrate obstacles that were overcome in order to attain success. Grayson Technical Education Culinary Arts program students will provide refreshments for the Black History Program served as an appetizer buffet prior to the program, and a dessert buffet during intermission. Adult tickets may be purchased for $7 and $3 for childrens' tickets. For more information, call Teacher Valerie Lewis at 770-554-1071.

Duluth High is collecting pennies (or any type of currency) for Pennies For Patients on Feb. 26. Contributions from this fundraiser will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Level Creek Elementary students will participate in a project to benefit a local animal shelter with donations of money, supplies, sponsorships, adoptions, and caregivers. Team G-Force and Team Leopard will host a pet adoption day at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.) shelter on Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students may bring towels, blankets, litter, and animal toys, to school to be collected and delivered to the shelter. For more information, visit

Jeff Mather, a master teaching artist, will visit North Gwinnett High March 1-12 during Youth Art Month. Mr. Mather will help art and special education students design and build an onsite sculpture honoring Croy West, North Gwinnett High Art Teacher Debi West’s son, who passed away in 2008. This year’s Youth Art Month theme is “Going Green” and Mr. Mather held an initial meeting with 25 art students and students from the autistic spectrum program who knew Croy. Mr. Mather is the lead artist for the multi-school Onsite/Insight program in Atlanta and also serves on the board of directors of the Atlanta Partnership for Arts in Learning (APAL), an arts infusion organization. In addition, students will work on an outdoor classroom. Ms. West is using a grant she received as a Woodruff Arts Honoree to fund the project. Donations of materials for the project will be accepted. For more information, call Ms. West at 770-945-9558.

Berkmar High will host the 2nd Annual Greater Lilburn Business Expo on March 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lilburn businesses will have an opportunity to promote their businesses to each other and the community at this event. More than 100 businesses are expected to participate in this event produced in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Lilburn Business Association, and the Lilburn Community Partnership. For more information, visit,or call Diana Preston, assistant principal, at 678-230-9058, or email

North Gwinnett High will sponsor the 3rd annual Art Auction on March 16. More than 500 student works of art will be available at the silent auction in the cafeteria. There will also be cookies, sodas, and fruit, available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. There will be a live auction at the end of the silent auction. Entertainment will include performances by the school’s orchestra and chorus. Local framing businesses will professionally frame the art for a fee, and donate 50% of the money back to the Relay for Life team. For more information, call Debi West, art teacher, at 770-945-9558.

Berkmar Middle is participating in a Fundred Dollar Bill Project to collect as many as 4,000 original, hand-drawn interpretations of the U.S. hundred dollar bills between now and March 18. The Fundred Dollar Bill Project is raising nationwide awareness of the environmental threat of lead contamination and lead-poisoning by collecting the funds necessary for a model remediation effort in New Orleans. New Orleans is the initial focus of this project as 30-50% of inner city children are affected by elevated blood lead levels and at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems. For more information, visit

GCPS and the Gwinnett Interagency Transition Council will hold its annual Transition Fair for people with disabilities, their families, and educators on March 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Peachtree Ridge High in Suwanee. This event will focus on providing information on services and resources to prepare students transitioning from the school system. Students with disabilities and their families will have the opportunity to meet with local agency representatives to discuss and research the options available as they transition to post-school activities and employment. Featured participants include representation in the areas of employment support, residential services, day-habilitation programs, recreation and leisure, assistive technology, and support organizations. In addition, participants can attend breakout sessions to learn more about topics such as Medicaid waivers, SSI, financial planning and guardianship, transition planning, and employment support options. For more information, call 678-301-7137.

Norcross High will host the fourth in a series for immigrant families on achieving academic success in U.S. schools on March 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The title of this program is “Parenting Your Student to Academic Success in the U.S. (Middle and High School) Session IV – What the Future Holds.” Information will be shared on how to achieve graduation and what happens next, opportunities for students, and skills needed to succeed. For more information, or to request an interpreter, call Amy Valverde-Jensen, at 678-616-5180 a week before the workshop.

70 GCPS art students had their works selected to be displayed in the Capitol Art Exhibit through Feb. 27. The Capitol Art Exhibit is cosponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association and the Office of the Secretary of State and is the premier event of Youth Art Month. This exhibit displays the exceptional creative ability of Georgia’s students to legislators and the public. For more information, visit

Gwinnett County residents will experience the ambiance of an art gallery next time they visit the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee, as hundreds of pieces of student art work will be on display in the district headquarters’ welcome area. Gwinnett County Public Schools students enrolled in K-12 fine arts programs will exhibit what they have learned and created in the classroom during the annual “Tapestry Display.” Gwinnett County parents, community members, students, and staff are welcome to view the pieces of art through March 23 with three opening nights at the ISC, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, in Suwanee.
  • The following clusters will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 1, March 2-10, 6-8 p.m.: Berkmar, Dacula, Grayson, Grayson High Technical Ed Program, Mountain View, Norcross, and South Gwinnett.
  • The following clusters will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 2 March 16-19, 6-8 p.m.: Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Meadowcreek, North Gwinnett, and Parkview Clusters, Oakland Meadow, and Phoenix.
  • The following clusters will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3, March 23-31, 6-8 p.m.: Archer, Collins Hill, Duluth, GSMST, Give East & West, Mill Creek, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh.
For more information, call the Fine Arts Office at 678-301-7015.

Ivy Creek Elementary recently sponsored a fundraiser for “Amazing little Grace,” a 1st grade student in Sherry Green’s class. Grace was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) and is on a heart transplant list. Renee Machen, Ivy Creek Elementary art teacher, led the endeavor to sell decorated heart-shaped magnets. Volunteers created original magnets with inspirational sayings on them. Proceeds benefitted Grace’s family. Photos available upon request. For more information call 678-714-3655.

Alford Elementary celebrated International Night on Feb. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents brought a traditional dish from their country of origin to share. Cultural activities, crafts, and music were available in some classrooms. Country themes were assigned to grade levels including grades K-1st-Vietnam; Mexico-2nd grade; 3rd grade-Haiti, teachers held a bottled water drive for earthquake victims; and 4th-5th grade-United States. For more information, call Joseph Ruiz, parent instructional support coordinator, at 678-245-3209.

READ ACROSS AMERICA—Dr. Seuss’ birthday
Berkeley Lake Elementary will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday during Read Across America Week March 1-5. Activities will include guest readers in classrooms. For more information, call Melinda O’Herron, media specialist, at 770-582-7520 or 678-291-4240.

Kanoheda Elementary is planning a storybook celebration for Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2). Students dressed as a favorite storybook characters will arrive at school on March 2. The hallways will be transformed into storybook settings by staff members who will also be dressed as a favorite character from a book. County office employees, business partners, parents, and other community members will be guest readers in classrooms. Later in the day, students and staff members will form a Reading Chain around the building to sit linked together and read for a period of time. For more information, call 770-682-4221.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/18/2010Parkview High student selected as 2010 STAR student (pdf)
02/17/2010Parsons Elementary's Uriz: Georgia's Foreign Language Teacher of Year (pdf)
02/17/2010Twelve Gwinnett schools make DOE's AP Honor Schools list (pdf)
02/16/2010Wells to lead Lanier High's Athletics Program (pdf)
02/15/2010School publications earn national recognition (pdf)
02/12/2010GCPS among top U.S. employers (pdf)

“ParenTVision: Against All Odds” When faced with an obstacle or a challenge in life, some kids keep going, and others give up. Those who keep going are called “resilient.” They are ready to try new things, to experience failure, and then to brush off and try again. Experts say resilient kids have learned three things that others have not, each beginning with the letter P: “If you come to believe that the bad things in your life are Permanent, Pervasive and Personal, really whatever age you are, it’s going to render you susceptible to a lot of different psychological problems,” says Dr. Mark Katz, a clinical psychologist and author. Learn how to teach kids that problems are NOT permanent, pervasive and personal - watch “Against All Odds. This episode of ParenTVision also features a discussion with Margaret Cheeley, Collins Hill High graduation coach and host of ParenTVision; and a panel of GCPS students - including former Collins Hill High student, Kyle Maynard. This 60-min. program airs Feb. 22-27 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month’s program visits a classroom of students who are learning the lessons of dressing for success, we take a closer look at the district’s efforts to support literacy and writing skills for students in grades K-12, and we learn more about the Anderson and Livsey families… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min. program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

“Ella! – Prince William/Kennedy Center Performing Arts Series” Celebrating the life and work of legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald, Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater and Janis Siegel, of The Manhattan Transfer, pay tribute to the “First Lady of Song” in a program that includes some of the songstress’ best-loved jazz hits. Supported by an ensemble from the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band, Ms. Bridgewater and Ms. Siegel show how Ella Fitzgerald has influenced singers of today, share film clips of this remarkable vocalist, and perform well-known favorites from Ella Fitzgerald’s repertoire. This 60-min. program airs Feb. 22-27 at 1 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 GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--

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February is National African American History Month.

March is Music in Our Schools Month and National Nutrition Month.

March 1 begins Read Across America Week. March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

March 1-6 is Newspapers in Education Week.

March 3 is the Georgia Writing Assessment date for Grade 5.

March 7 is Girl Scout Sunday.

March 8-12 is National School Breakfast Week and National Foreign Language Week.

March 12 is a student holiday.

March 15 is a Flood Make-Up Day for Sept. 22, 2009.

March 15-26 is the Georgia Writing Evaluation Window for Grade 3 and 7.

March 17 is the Gateway Mathematics Reasoning Test for Grade 4.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 18, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The Georgia High School Graduation Tests (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies subtests) are scheduled for March 22-25 for Grade 11.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in February. Call the local school for the time and location.
Beaver Ridge Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Bethesda Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Dyer Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Mountain Park Elementary
Norton Elementary
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
South Gwinnett High
Summerour Middle
Winn Holt Elementary
Woodward Mill 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.

February 22
Water S(our)ce Exhibition: Call to Artist Deadline
February 23
Homeschool: WGS: Birds
Homeschool: LH: Did You See the Stars?
Homeschool: Rocks
February 24
Homeschool: Rocks
Little Hands: Lunch for Bears
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Monthly Lab Extension
March 1
Snow Moon Hike
March 2
Homeschool: LH: Did You See the Stars?
March 9
Homeschool: HLS: Women Inventors
Homeschool: LH: Did You See the Stars?
March 10
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire
Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II
March 12
Friday Snack Pack
Homeschool: Pre-Chemistry for Grades 6-9
Homeschool: Comparative Studies Close-up
Homeschool: Intro to Orienteering
March 13
Stormwater Management