News You Can Use - 09/22/2008

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
09/22/2008 - 09/28/2008

The Mill Creek High Interact Club and Care Team will sponsor a “Kiss the Pig” contest during September. Students are asked to donate money to have their favorite teacher or administrator kiss a pig. The ‘winner’ will kiss the pig at the morning Homecoming Assembly on Sept. 19. Donations will benefit the student led United Way Challenge and the school’s Care Team, which helps students and families in the Mill Creek community. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Parents and guardians of GCPS students who attend Berkmar Cluster Title I schools are invited to learn more about how the school and home can work together to help every child succeed. As part of the school system’s “Be There” initiative to inspire Gwinnett parents to be there for their student, the schools have teamed up to provide parents with additional information and assistance at Sweetwater Middle on Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. Nine Title I schools have teamed up for the event. The group includes the eight Title I schools in the Berkmar Cluster which are J.A. Alford Elementary, Benefield Elementary, Bethesda Elementary, Corley Elementary, Kanoheda Elementary, Rebecca Minor Elementary, Berkmar Middle, and Sweetwater Middle. In addition, Charles Brant Chesney Elementary, part of the Duluth Cluster, also is part of the free event. For more information, call 770-923-4131.

The Five Forks Middle Art Club invites students and staff members to participate in the “Pinwheels for Peace” project. Participants will decorate a pinwheel that will be displayed outside the school on the Monday after International Peace Day— Sept. 22. Students can write, draw, decoupage, or use images to display their thoughts and feelings regarding war and peace, tolerance, and living in harmony with others. A video will be broadcast demonstrating ideas for decorating the pinwheels. For more information on the project, visit more information contact Loria Crews, Merissa Bush, or Kelly Remick, Five Forks Middle teachers, at 770-972-1506.

Brookwood High will host “Heart Screens for Teens” on Sept.27. Ultrascan, Inc. has teamed up with Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine to offer an affordable, safe screening program to schools, sports teams, and other organizations interested this program. Please contact Gayla Malkiel at for registration dates and times and to schedule an appointment for screening. For more information, contact Stephanie Naus from Ultrascan, Inc. at 770-813-8323.

Sweetwater Middle has several activities and celebrations planned for Hispanic Heritage Month which runs through Oct. 15. Activities include decorating bulletin boards and displaying posters to represent the different regions of Spanish-speaking students. Announcements will inform students about the regions displayed on the bulletin boards, and there will be a daily trivia question for students to answer. Fridays will be ‘theme’ days where students can wear clothing matching the colors of the flag of their heritage; wear traditional clothing native to the student’s culture; dress in a color to support unity; and wear a favorite shirt or jersey on sports day. There will be a student designed postage stamp contest and three International Nights. For more information, call Counselor Evelyn Chatters or Teacher Kristen Pariseau at 770-931-7083.

The Duluth High Center-Stage Alliance Theater presents “Over the River and Through the Woods” Oct. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $6 from Teacher Vanette Vedder at the school and will be sold at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the performances. Visit for more information.

The Duluth High Orchestra annual “Cow Patty Bingo” fundraiser has begun. Tickets may be purchased from orchestra students for $5 each, for a chance to win $1,000 from the winning ticket. The Cow will be released on the baseball field on Oct 18th. For more information call 770-476-5206.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
09/17/2008Berkmar Cluster parents invited to learn more about their child’s Title I school (pdf)
09/16/2008More than 100 Gwinnett educators honored by colleagues, selection process for GCPS Teacher of the Year begins (pdf)
09/15/2008Georgia PTA honors Gwinnett with 20 awards (pdf)
09/15/2008Nearly 50 Gwinnett students up for $35 million in scholarships (pdf)
09/15/2008Gwinnett educator to be featured on national TV program (pdf)

Parentvision: Teen Issues for Concerned Parents” This new series of programs, hosted by Collins Hill High Counselor and Graduation coach Margaret Cheeley, explores topics relating to raising teens in the 21st century. Each episode takes an in-depth look at this “millennial” generation, and helps parents understand the issues facing teens today. The third program in this series includes the Connect With Kids (CWK) Network program “Affluenza,” and airs Sept. 22-28 at 7 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS original series is an introduction to the Spanish language and is tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers will learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. Each Monday, a new segment will air at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. repeating daily through Sunday in those time slots. The series runs through October 26.

“French in Action” This Annenberg Media series uses active participation to increase fluency in French, while introducing French culture. Pierre Capretz’s proven language-immersion method is presented within a humorous teleplay with native speakers of all ages and background. The storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman’s adventures in Paris and the French countryside is reinforced by Dr. Capretz’s on-camera instruction. This 60-min. program airs Sept. 26-28 at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month’s on GCPS Focus… we’ll take a look at mentoring programs in our schools, celebrate Gwinnett’s AYP success stories, and take a fantastic journey through the human body. This 30-minute program airs 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: AT&T on Channel 21, 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 A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... 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.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

Constitution Week runs through Sept. 23.

Elementary and middle students will take the Cognative Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of Sept. 23-26.

Juniors will take the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test on Sept. 24.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., October 9, 2008, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in September. Call the local school for the time and location.
      Annistown Elementary
      B.B. Harris Elementary
      Beaver Ridge Elementary
      Bethesda Elementary
      Brookwood Elementary
      Brookwood High
      Camp Creek Elementary
      Centerville Elementary
      Collins Hill High
      Corley Elementary
      GIVE Center West
      Harmony Elementary
      J.E. Richards Middle
      J.G. Dyer Elementary
      Knight Elementary
      Level Creek Elementary
      Lovin Elementary
      Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
      Nesbit Elementary
      Parkview High
      Peachree Ridge High
      R.L. Norton Elementary
      Suwanee Elementary
      W.C. Britt Elementary
      Walnut Grove 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.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is open to the public Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.gwinnettEHC.comor call 770-904-3500.

Oct. 4, 11 to 11:45 a.m. or 2 to 2:45 p.m., Rain Barrel Workshop, $40/barrel
Learn how rain barrels can help you lower water bills and provide chemical-free water for your gardens, ponds, bird baths and flower beds during water restrictions and year round. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to make their own Rain Barrel. Registration required by Sept. 13 for an 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. session, limited to 20 participants at each session. This is part of the Green Living Series, teachers may receive PLU credit.

Oct. 4, 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m., Heritage Hike, $9 per adult, $5 per student (includes center admission)
Join our program specialist as you are led on a hike along trails to learn about the inhabitants of this area. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

October 11, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Composting Workshop, $5 per person
Participants have the opportunity to learn more about composting, how to make it, and the different methods that can be used. Composting is an effective way to naturally feed your lawn and plants and reuse the leaves and other matter you may currently dispose of. There are several benefits including soil improvement which leads to smaller use of chemicals, retains moisture in soil and alleviates the amount of waste going to landfills. Kids can participant in Compost in a Cup. Please register by September 20. This program is limited to 30 participants. This is part of our Green Living Series, teachers may receive PLU credit.

October 11, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Club Method, $5 per student
Spend your Saturday with Club Method taking an exciting approach to environmental involvement. Through the use of environmental challenges, teens will gain valuable team-building skills, develop problem solving skills, and have the opportunity to participate in club only programs such as job training, off trail hikes, and community service hours. Registration is required by September 20, limited to 25 students.

October 11, 1 to 2 p.m., Nature Kids- Up and Down Hike, $5 per kid
Hike up and down our hilly trails and enjoy the seasonal changes in the environment. While we wander, we’ll borrow a few leaves to make a leaf print. Registration is required by September 20 and is limited to 15 kids.