News You Can Use - 11/22/2010

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
11/22/2010 - 11/28/2010

News You Can Use… will return on December 2 after Thanksgiving break.

Patrick Elementary will honor the work of Gwinnett firefighters as a tribute to Bobby Patrick, the school’s namesake, during an Annual Stakeholders’ Breakfast. This year the event will take place on Nov. 19 at 8:30 a.m. Students are held to the high standards of work ethic and team spirit as demonstrated by local firefighters. A yearly data report will be presented to show student progress. Students will give insight into the “day in the life” of a Patrick Elementary student, and chorus students will perform for the firefighters. Bobby Patrick Mentors (20 firefighters who work with the students) will be honored with a special recognition. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

The Brookwood High Orchestra is sponsoring a “Cow Patty Bingo” fundraiser on Nov. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5. Activities include a petting zoo, cotton candy, moonwalks, funnel cakes, hotdogs, nachos, and more. In addition, participants have a chance to win $1,000 from bingo. Proceeds will benefit the Brookwood High Orchestra. For more information call Donna Faulkner at 770-978-5088.

Duncan Creek Elementary 3rd grade students will take part in an afterschool skating program that runs from Nov. 29 through Dec 17. Skatetime will begin at 2:30 p.m. and take place in PE class in the gym. Students will learn the benefits of skating and increase their ability to skate. For more information, call Dayna Alkire, Duncan Creek Elementary teacher, at 678-714-5800.

Collins Hill High will host the screening of the documentary “Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life” on Nov. 30 at 2:30 in the theater. The documentary is about an Athens student battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and proceeds from the event will benefit this cause. Darius will arrive at Collins Hill High to address the students and answer questions. Tickets may be purchased for $1 and donations will be accepted. For more information, call Angela Dean, Collins Hill High teacher, at 770-682-4100.

On Nov. 30, the Sweetwater Middle 7th grade social studies department will host workshops by Tom Gonzalez, the illustrator of “14 Cows for America,” a story of how one tribe in Africa sent their condolences to America after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. In preparation for the workshops, students will work in collaborative groups to research a topic on Africa and create an illustrated book. Mr. Gonzalez will lead four hands-on workshops throughout the day to help guide the student teams as they collaborate on their final project. The workshops will focus on how a writing team has to work together to ensure all the key aspects of the piece – the facts, the story, the writing, and the illustrations – work in sync to create an interesting, thought-provoking piece of writing. For more information, call Elizabeth Blackmon, Sweetwater Middle literacy coach, at 770-923-4131.

GCPS and the Area II Gwinnett County Council of PTAs will present a College Fair for Students with Disabilities at the Instructional Support Center in Suwanee on Dec. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session topics include Navigating and exploring financial options for college, Accommodations at the postsecondary level, Choosing a career path, and Preparing for college and organizing your college search. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit with College Admissions and Disability Services representatives from colleges across the state. For more information, contact the GCPS Department of Special Education and Psychological Services at 678-301-7138, or email Allison Vernon at allison_vernon or Keysha DuPont at keysha_dupont

On Dec. 7, former Falcon’s football star Tim Green, author of “The Big Time” and “Football Genius,” will visit Sweetwater Middle students. Mr. Green will speak at a student assembly from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon with the school’s Readers’ Rally team. Mr. Green will share his message about the importance of reading and attending school. Mr. Green urges students to put school before sports and to think about success in terms of personal relationships and kindness rather than fortune and fame. During his visit, Mr. Green will also sign copies of his most recent title, “The Big Time.” For more information, visit Elizabeth Blackmon, Sweetwater Middle literacy coach, at 770-923-4131.

Maxwell High School of Technology healthcare science students recently assisted in a blood drive. 276 individuals donated blood. For more information, call 770-963-6838.

Osborne Middle language arts teachers conducted two parent writing workshops on Nov. 16. Workshop titles included: Why writing is taken so seriously; How writing is evaluated; How the writing process is taught; How we write in all the core content areas; and What parents can do to help their child with writing. Over the past six years, more than 1,000 Osborne Middle parents and students have participated in these workshops learning how to become better writers. Osborne Middle had the highest 8th grade writing assessment results in the state. For more information, call 770-904-5400.

Rockbridge Elementary students recently experienced the Old West with a visit from a Wells Fargo & Company stagecoach. The world-famous stagecoach gave rides to students who are studying the Old West. Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson and Gwinnett school Board member Louise Radloff were on hand to help welcome the stagecoach to Rockbridge Elementary. For more information, call 770-448-9363.

Cooper Elementary families held a Broad Prize celebration recently. Parents were served a Thanksgiving Feast to celebrate the system’s accomplishment. Many Gwinnett Schools are celebrating the Broad Prize win with their communities. For more information, call 770-554-7050.

Magill Elementary Principal Crystal Collins will play Mother Ginger in the Gwinnett Ballet version of the “Nutcracker” on Dec. 5. “The Nutcracker” and all the tradition of dancing, music, magic and beautiful costumes will be performed at the Performing Arts Center on December 5 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Mill Creek High will host a Reindeer Run and breakfast on Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. The race will begin at the Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church. The entry fee is $20 before Dec. 1 and $25 after Dec. 1. This fee includes a T-shirt. Registration may be done online or by mail, or on the day of the race. There will be awards for different age groups of racers. Following the race a pancake breakfast with Santa will take place at the church. Tickets are $5. The events will benefit the Kiwanis Club and the American Cancer Society.
For more information visit

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
11/15/2010Two Gwinnett teachers earn top honors from Georgia Art Education Association (pdf)

“GCPS TV” Celebrating Excellence: Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony” GCPS TV is proud to present a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony. Join local school recipients, administrators, and Board members for an evening of recognition and celebration. Program highlights include award presentations to the local winners, a video honoring the six TOTY finalists, and the announcement of the level winners and the 2011 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. This 2 hour program airs Nov. 22-28 at 8 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus celebrates Gwinnett County Public Schools’ recognition as The 2010 Broad Prize for Urban Education Award winner, introduces you to outstanding teachers who have won local and national honors, and learns how the community supports our schools through the Principal For a Day program… join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute 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.

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--

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.

Gwinnett County Public Schools invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum through Dec. 3. Employees and community members have until Friday, Dec. 3, to submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS. Visit the GCPS website to print a review form. Submit one Word document as an attachment by e-mail to or mail a printed copy to:
Curriculum Development Office
Instructional Support Center
437 Old Peachtree Rd., NW
Suwanee, GA 30024-2978
The GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the AKS, will consider all suggestions at the committee’s annual meeting. That committee then will recommend changes to CEO/Superintendent
J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Board of Education for implementation in the 2010-11 school year.

November is American Indian Heritage Month.

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

November 22-26 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

November 24 is a furlough day for 12-month staff.

November 25 is Thanksgiving Day.

November 25-26 is Thanksgiving break for 12-month staff.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in November. Call the local school for the time and location.
Arcado Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
Parkview High

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.

Ongoing through Dec. 18 Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA): Beyond Bricks & Sticks

Take A Hike
Beaver Moon Hike

Take A Hike


Take A Hike

Regional Qualifier for FIRST Lego League