News You Can Use - 03/05/2012

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
03/05/2012 - 03/11/2012

A long line will be out the door at Arcado Elementary as students, parents, and community members visit the school’s cafeteria and enjoy some “Green Eggs and Ham.” Breakfast is served between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m.

Members of the Burnette family, for whom Burnette Elementary is named, will visit the school to join students in the reading fun. Other guests include representatives from the school’s business partners, Delta Communities and Publix at McGinnis Ferry. They will read from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Camp Creek Elementary teachers will walk their students next door to Parkview High for two, fun events. In the Parkview High media center, high school students and faculty members will read with Camp Creek Elementary students. In the Parkview High theater, the drama students have created original plays based on books for the elementary students to enjoy. They tailor the play to the grade level that will be attending the performance. Beginning at 9:15 a.m., students will walk back and forth to enjoy a day all about reading. In addition, more than 20 guest readers (Parkview Future Educators of America members) will visit Camp Creek Elementary to read in classrooms throughout the day.

Dacula High student athletes will visit one of their feeder schools, Dacula Elementary, and read to students as part of the “Real Men Read” program. The Dacula High football players (most former Dacula Elementary students themselves) will read to students between 9 and 10 a.m. They will be greeting students in the morning at 8:20 a.m. as students start arriving at school. At 8: 45 a.m., they will join them on the school’s news show. The successful program makes students aware that athletes love reading as well.

Duncan Creek Elementary will have a visit from a local “Cat in the Hat” parent Amy Peek, who will read in the library lobby from 9: a.m to 2 p.m. with grades K-3.

Mayor of Lawrenceville Judy Johnson will visit Lawrenceville Elementary and read to a group of students from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Level Creek Elementary students will welcome their North Gwinnett High “Bulldog Buddies” who will read to them from 9 a.m. to noon. The Buddies are student athlete leaders who visit the school throughout the school year to be mentors, and motivate students to Be A Leader.

The reading fun at Minor Elementary begins as soon as students start arriving, dressed as their favorite book character. Thanks to a grant the school received, the principal will distribute a free book to each student in the school’s media center. Police officers, Berkmar High student role models, and Board of Education Chairman Louise Radloff will visit the school to read to students. They are scheduled to visit as follows:
9:30 a.m. – noon --- Police officers
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Chairman Radloff
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Berkmar High students

Norton Elementary will host special guest visitors dressing in character, to read with students throughout the day. The schedule is as follows:
9:00-9:20 Ron Weber-Buck’s Pizza
9:30-10:20 Gwinnett County Public Library (dressing up as Thing 1 and Thing 2)
11:00-11:20- Desiree from Stevi B’s Pizza
1:00-1:20 Gwinnett Public Library (Dressing up as Cat in the Hat)

Mayor of Suwanee Jimmy Burnette and Suwanee city council members will visit Roberts Elementary throughout the day to read to students. Other guests include Suwanee police officers as well as Georgia Force employees. Mayor Burnette is scheduled to read at 11:0 a.m.

The Gwinnett Braves mascot, Chopper, will visit Sycamore Elementary on March 2 at 2:30 p.m. to present the Lanier Cluster Education Foundation with 10 eReaders for the cluster schools. For more information, call Administrative Assistant Betsy Bridwell at White Oak Elementary at 678-546-5536.

Summerour Middle will host the First Annual Gwinnett County Junior Leadership Corps Drill Competition on March 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Pinckneyville Middle and Summerour Middle will compete in drill and color guard competitions. For more information, call Andrea C. Steele, coordinator Junior Leadership Corps, at 678-301-7372.

More than 100 GCPS school teams will participate in the Gwinnett Readers Rally on March 3 at Berkmar High. Students from grades 4-12 will compete on ten-man teams in a quiz bowl type competition. Students will read books from a pre-determined list and will answer questions about those books. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. The competition will conclude at 2 p.m. The top four elementary teams will compete in the Championship Event on March 8, at the GCPS-TV studio at the Instructional Support Center (ISC). The top two middle and high school teams will participate in a Championship Bowl on March 8 at the ISC. The Championship Competition will be televised on GCPS-TV at a later date. For more information, call Kimberly Thames, Meadowceek Elementary media specialist at 770-381-4239.

Dr. Tonya Millsap and the Jones Middle Honor Band had a stellar performance at the Southern Division College Band Directors National Association and National Band Association In-Service Conference. Dr. Millsap received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence for her significant contributions to the band field and for the distinguished level of accomplishment of the Jones Middle Band. For more information, call 770-904-5450.

The Dacula High cheerleading program recently awarded the Leah Pope Memorial Scholarship to student Morgan Wilson, and the Heather Kerlin Memorial Scholarship to student Leanne Mollica. Leah Pope would have been in her senior year at Dacula High. She passed away in January of her freshman year. For more information, call Assistant Principal Amanda Sailors at 770-513-0847.

North Gwinnett High French Teacher Rhonda Archer has been selected to participant in an exchange program through the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Tech. North Gwinnett High partners with a school in France as an element of this program. North Gwinnett High is one of only six schools selected from Georgia to participate in the program. Sixteen students and one teacher from France will be hosted by NGHS students the week of March 8-14. The students will be at the school March 9, 13, and 14. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Brookwood High will host the Harlem Legends in a charity event for the Amanda Riley Foundation on March 10 at 3 p.m. The Legends team members are former Harlem Globetrotters and these players will compete in a game against the Amanda Riley All-Stars— Brookwood coaches and teachers and other members of the community. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, call Donna Faulkner at 770-736-2088, or email

Duluth High students will perform “Footloose” on March 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. and March 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $10 for adults and $8 for a student or children. For more information, call Theatre Director Gwyn Jones at 770-476-5206.

Pinckneyville Middle students will perform the musical “Oklahoma” on March 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. for more information; call Theatre Arts Director and Drama Club Sponsor Tracey Buchner at 770-263-0860.

The 2012 Gwinnett Transition Fair is scheduled to take place on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High. The event is for students with disabilities, their parents, and educators. Topics will include Medicaid Waivers, Navigating Social Security Benefits, Estate Planning and Guardianship Options, Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Assistive Technology, and Vocational and Community programs after high school. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet with representatives from agencies and organizations in the Metro Atlanta area. For more information, contact Allison Vernon or Tamara King at 678-301-7121.

Minor Elementary will celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary on March 18. Community members have donated a collection of memories that will be shared at the event. For more information, and to RSVP, call the school at 770-925-9543.

In support of the soccer program, Dacula High has an Adopt-a-Player program where faculty members sponsor a team member for the entire soccer season. Dacula has participated in this program for several years to help the community support the team. For more information, call Amanda Sailors, assistant principal, at 770-513-0847.

Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC), Gwinnett’s full-time online learning option, has extended registration for the 2012–13 school year through March 15 for students in grades 6–12. Students can get more information through the counselor’s office at the local middle or high school and on the GOC. This charter school opened its doors as a fulltime school in August of 2011. It will expand to include the middle school level starting this coming fall. Learn more at

High school students who need to make up a class or want to get ahead, including rising 9th graders may take designated classes during the summer. Registration is ongoing at the following locations and online.
Face-to-Face ClassesOnline Classes
When: June 12 to July 11 (July 4 holiday)
    · 1st Period: 7:30-11:00 a.m.
    · Lunch: 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    · 2nd Period: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High, Peachtree Ridge High, and South Gwinnett High.
How: Learn more about face-to-face summer school. Students may register online for face-to-face classes through June 4 or register in person on May 31 at Peachtree Ridge High.
When: June 11 to July 10 (July 4 holiday)

Where: Offered through Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC).
How: Register online. Online registration closes June 4.
Face-to-face meeting required for final exams and for selected classes (health, PE, and science labs).
Important information for face-to-face and Online Campus summer school students:
  • Transportation is not provided for face-to-face summer school classes or for the face-to-face sessions required for Online Campus courses.
  • A student should take no more than two summer classes: two face-to-face classes, two online classes, or a combination.
  • All tuition fees are due at the time of registration.
  • Any student planning to participate in the summer school graduation ceremony must take all summer classes with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
  • Both the Face-to-Face classes and the online programs will follow a Monday-to-Thursday schedule. Face-to-face and online summer classes will not meet on Fridays.

Hull Middle celebrated Black History Month with an exciting, talent-filled presentation for each grade level. The Hull Jazz Band performed “Superstition,” the chorus sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “I Dream A World,” and the Dance Team performed a step number for the students. Seventh grade student Sarah Cox sang a rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” and 8th grade student Tyler Crudup sang a moving rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come.” The highlight of the celebration was a performance by the Hull Middle Drama Troupe. The scene titled “The Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Shelli Milks brought the story to life for the students. The event’s coordinator was Shenee Holloway, an eighth grade language arts teacher at Hull Middle School. For more information, call Ben Pope at Ben Pope 770-232-3200.

Below you’ll find a link to the winter issue of the digital Communiqué, an online magazine for families, staff, and community members. In this issue, you’ll find stories about how our schools prepare students for college and career, including stories about technical and career education, Career Pathways, robotics, foreign language instruction, word study, a Q&A on Gwinnett’s e CLASS digital initiative, as well as the “essential” news you don’t want to miss. The online magazine includes stories found in the print version of Communique Essentials, plus so much more. Shared as an interactive PDF, the online Communiqué format offers more features from GCPS classrooms, short video clips, and links to resources (including smartphone applications that support learning at home).
So click below and read, view, and enjoy this latest publication from Gwinnett County Public Schools.

“ParenTVision - Just Once” This month’s “ParenTVision” features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program “Just Once.” To police and DEA officers, methamphetamine is the drug they hate most. It is cheap, easy to make, and highly addictive - even after one use. “Meth” is ruining entire rural areas and towns across America - and spreading. Learn the devastating health risks and behavioral dangers, and what some people are doing to fight back. This episode of ParenTVision also features a candid discussion with Collins Hill High Counselor and host of ParenTVision Margaret Cheeley; and two former GCPS students whose lives have been impacted by meth abuse. This 60 minute program airs this week at 2 and 8 p.m.
“Jazz – Eldar” A 2008 Grammy®-nominated jazz artist at age 21, Eldar is described as one of the finest jazz pianists of his generation. Having produced five albums and performed in Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and some of the most notable jazz venues around the world, Eldar is known for his extraordinary technique, musicality, and virtuosity. With his trio, Eldar guides students in how to listen to jazz and performs some of his original compositions. This 30-minute program airs this week at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Hopkins Elementary Assistant Principal Elisa Brown, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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 website--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter, GCPS eNews... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( and to check out the e-News archives.

Each spring, the Gwinnett County Board of Education goes on the road, meeting once in each Board member’s district. The meetings are a time for the School Board to share information with the public and for citizens to discuss education topics with their elected officials. New this year, the meetings will be organized by Board electoral districts, reflecting the new district lines, rather than by school clusters. However, citizens may attend any of the five meetings. All Area Board Meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater, with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. The change in Board district lines prompted a venue change for two of the meetings. Meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations.
March 27 District IV, represented by Dr. Robert McClure, South Gwinnett HS
March 29 District I, represented by 2012 Board Vice Chair Carole Boyce, Dacula HS
April 10 District II, represented by Daniel Seckinger Collins Hill HS
April 12 District V, represented by 2012 Board Chair Louise Radloff, Meadowcreek HS
April 17 District III, represented by Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Duluth HS

Visit the school system website at the most current News Releases.
02/28/2012Peachtree Ridge Highs Dr. Scruggs receives Ga. music educator honor (pdf)
02/27/2012Gwinnett community invited to experience “Tapestry” (pdf)
02/23/2012More than 100 teams to compete at 2012 Gwinnett Readers Rally (pdf)

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 5-9 is Exceptional Children’s Week, National School Breakfast Week, and Newspapers in Education Week.

March 5-11 is National Foreign Language Week.

Daylight Savings Time begins March 11.

Girl Scout Sunday is March 11.

March 12 is a student holiday.

March 17 is Camp Fire USA Birthday, Girl Scout Sabbath, and St. Patrick’s Day.

March 20 is the first day of spring.

March 30 is a Student/Teacher Holiday or Snow Make-Up Day.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 15, 2012, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Annistown Elementary
Archer High School
Berkmar High
Britt Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood High
Buice School
Burnette ES
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Centerville Elementary
Central Gwinnett High
Chattahoochee Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Crews Middle
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Duncan Creek Elementary
Five Forks Middle
Fort Daniel Elementary
GIVE Center West
Grace Snell MS
Grayson Elementary
Grayson High
Harbins Elementary
Harris Elementary
Head Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Jenkins Elementary
Jones Middle
Kanoheda Elementary
Lanier Middle
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Magill Elementary
Mason Elementary
McConnell Middle
Meadowcreek Elementary
Moore Middle School
Mountain View High School
Mulberry Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Norton Elementary
Osborne Middle
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Phoenix HS
Richard Hull Middle
Shiloh Elementary
Shiloh High
Shiloh Middle
Simonton Elementary
Snellville Middle
Starling Elementary
Stripling Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
Taylor Elementary
Trip Elementary
Twin Rivers Middle
Walnut Grove Elementary
White Oak Elementary
Winn Holt 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.
Spring Equinox – let the flowers grow!March 10, 12, 17
Green Living Kids: Backyard Wildlife HabitatMarch 10
Girl Scout Tea at the Lawrenceville Female SeminaryMarch 10, 17