News You Can Use - 02/25/2013

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
02/25/2013 - 03/03/2013

Bethesda Elementary will learn about Black History Month on Feb. 22 with visits from guest readers, who will highlight Black History Month. For more information, call 770-921-2000.

Norcross Elementary will commemorate Black History Month with the Annual Black History Program on Feb.22. The Primary Program (Kindergarten – 2nd Grade) will take place in the gym from 9 to 10 a.m. The Intermediate Program (3rd – 5th Grades) will also be held in the gym from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. For more information, call Norcross Elementary at 770-447-2675.

Hull Middle will celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 22 with many student activities including performances by the Jazz band, chorus, drama club, 6th grade pianist, dance team, and 8th grader Sarah Cox will sing “Change is Gonna Come.” For more information, call Assistant Principal Scott Frandsen at 770-232-3263.

Dacula High will host a Diversity Program on Feb. 22 with the theme of “Keeping the Dream Alive!” during Black History Month. Dacula High’s diverse student body will share a view of history with performances by the chorus, drum line, cheerleaders and the Duluth High Sapphires. Historical presentations will be played throughout the day in the theater. Student tickets may be purchased for $2. For more information, call the Duluth High Social Studies Department at 770-963-6664.

The Hull Middle PTSA will host a Read Across America event for student readers at the school. A Read Across Hull Middle contest will run through Feb. 22 with prizes being awarded on March 1. Students will read each week and record their minutes. Students reading at least 180 minutes in that 3 week period, earn a Hershey chocolate bar. Additional prizes will be awarded to top readers in the school. 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.

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

Minor Elementary will celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 1 with a Pajama Party. 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. We 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

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.

Four GCPS teams are among 22 to compete in the Academic Decathlon state championship hosted by Berkmar High. The GCPS competing teams are Parkview High (county champion) and wild card teams from Berkmar High, Mill Creek High, and Dacula High. PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon focuses on the importance of developing well-rounded individuals. This program provides incentive for all students to become interested in intellectual activities. For more information, visit

Meadowcreek Elementary will host Siemens Science Day on Feb. 22 from 9:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Siemens Corporation professionals will speak to students about the importance of math, science, and technology education and discuss the impact scientists and engineers have on society. Students will have the opportunity to perform hands-on science activities. Displays and experiments will be set up in three locations in the school for 5th grade students to participate in experiments with electrical circuitry and chemical and physical changes in matter and density. These activities allow students to discover that math and science are “cool” subjects that can lead to exciting career opportunities. For more information, call Holly Moore at the school at 770-638-2376.

Peachtree Ridge High will host a visit from Congressman Rob Woodall, Ga. 7th District, on Feb. 22 at 7:30 a.m. Students will have the opportunity to ask the congressman how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect them in the future, explain the Fair Tax bill, and discuss the cost of higher education and school loans. For more information, call Assistant Principal Lynne Best at 678-512-6066.

Author Sherry Dixon will visit Sweetwater Middle for a book signing during the morning and afternoon of Feb. 22. Ms. Dixon is the author of “Natural Destiny,” her first work of fiction. Ms. Dixon was born to parents of Guamanian and Sicilian descent. She is the second of seven children and lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Don. Sherry and Don have five children and eight grandchildren. Ms. Dixon will present her work and the story of her journey to become an author with students. For more information, call the school at 770-717-2160.

The 2013 Gwinnett Regional Science & Engineering Fair will take place on Feb. 22, at the Gwinnett Center, beginning at 9 a.m. An open house will be held at 4:00 p.m. and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate science and engineering and take part of inspiring the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett County. Call 678-301-7036 or visit the Science Fair website—— for more information or to sign up to support the 2013 Science and Engineering Fair as a sponsor or judge.

Brookwood High graduate and NFL player and guest speaker Rennie Curran and the GCPS Community-Based Mentoring Program Present a Career Summit for Youth titled “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The program will take place Feb. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brookwood High. Students are encouraged to dress for success to attend this career workshop for middle and high school males.(Students are asked to wear a suit, shirt and tie, or business casual attire.) Students will learn about careers in medicine, the legal field, law enforcement, business, technology, and entrepreneurship. At the conclusion of the workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn about colleges, business, and community organizations. Lunch will be provided. Participation is limited to 150 students, and registration is required. The event is open to male students in grades 6-12. Register online at, by phone at 678-301-7286, or by email at

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute and the Friends of Gwinnett Senior Services are sponsoring a Caregivers Conference on February 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville. The keynote speaker will be Maria Greene, consultant for the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. Fall prevention will be discussed by Ingrid Wedderburn of the Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center. Education will be addressed by
Georgann Eaton, Principal of Sweetwater Middle. Legal issues will be presented by Paul Black. And Grandparents will be the topic of Judy Perdue’s presentation. A ten dollar registration fee will cover a continental breakfast, a box lunch, and door prizes. Vendors from related organizations will provide information on aging. This Caregivers Conference is being supported by the Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services. To register, contact GNLI at For more information please call (678) 964-4838.

The 2013 Miss Peachtree Ridge High Scholarship Pageant will be held on Feb. 23. This year’s theme is “Pretty in Pink” and will honor contestants’ friends and family members by making a donation to the American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds. The Miss Freshman/Miss Sophomore Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and the Miss Junior/Miss Peachtree Ridge High Pageant will begin at 7 p.m. in the school theater. For more information, visit the school website at

North Gwinnett High art teacher Debi West has been published in the March issue of “Arts and Activities”— a national magazine. In addition, several pieces of student artwork are included in the article as well. Teachers Bruce Bowman, Yvette Kim, and Debi West teach these students. To read the article and view the artwork, visit

Two Gwinnett middle school teams placed among the top five in the PAGE Academic Bowl competition for Middle Grades state championship. These teams are from Duluth Middle (4th Place), coached by Jenn Burley and Kelli Perry; and Hull Middle (5th Place), coached by Connie Derrick and Carol Bates. The teams competing in the final rounds earned medals and awards. For more information, visit

South Gwinnett High dancers won several awards in competition at the Showstopper Regional Dance Competition in the following divisions:
  • Nia Bentham, Jamaiya Harris, Marianne Javier, Jocelyn Jones, Lea Nelson, Helen Samuel, Victoria Walker, and Chelsea Warren: 1st Place Platinum in Advanced Small Group Hip Hop - 4th Overall
  • Jocelyn Jones: 1st Place Gold in Performance Contemporary Solo- 5th Overall
  • Lea Nelson and Chelsea Warren: 1st Place Gold in Advanced Open Contemporary Duet - 7th Overall
  • Nia Bentham, Lea Nelson and Chelsea Warren: 1st Place Gold in Advanced Contemporary Trio - 6th Overall
  • Chelsea Warren: 2nd Place Platinum in Advanced Lyrical Jazz Solo - 10th Overall
For more information, call Shelly Collins, Artistic Director of Dance, South Dance Alliance, at 678-344-2114, or visit email

The Duluth High Chorus will perform a concert on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. This performance will take place in the school auditorium. Call the school at 770-476-5206 for more information.

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 Athletic Director Bill Navis 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.

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 if you have any questions.

Tapestry Week 1
The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 1: Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, and South Gwinnett clusters including Phoenix High
  • Opening Night: March 4, 6–7:30 p.m.

Tapestry Week 2
The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 2: Grayson, Lanier, Mountain View, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, and Shiloh clusters, including GIVE Center East and GIVE Center West.
  • Opening Night: March 13, 6–7:30 p.m.

Tapestry Week 3
The following clusters/schools will exhibit student work during Tapestry Week 3: Archer, Brookwood, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, and Norcross clusters, including GSMST, and Oakland Meadow School.
  • Opening Night: March 25, 6–7:30 p.m.

The school district’s charter schools and a special technical education program have scheduled information sessions and registration dates as they prepare for the 2013–14 school year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC), GCPS’ diploma-granting, virtual charter school, will serve grades 4–12 next year. GOC will hold the final information session on and Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Registration for full-time students will be open Feb. 1–28.
  • Maxwell High School of Technology online registration is currently taking place. Maxwell is GCPS’ technical career-focused charter high school. Students attend classes at both Maxwell and their regular GCPS school.
  • Grayson High Technical Education Program is a career-focused special program housed at Grayson High. Registration applications are available online in February.

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. (

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.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
02/21/2013Knight ES receives $30K for outdoor classroom (pdf)
02/20/2013Gwinnett high schools make AP Honor Schools (pdf)
02/18/20132013 Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair: Focus on Research Expands to Largest Level in 35 year History (pdf)

“2013 Counselor Recognition Program” GCPS TV is honored to air a special broadcast of the 2013 Counselor Recognition Award Ceremony. Show your support of our wonderful counselors and all they do for our students by tuning in to watch. This 90-min. program airs Feb. 25 to March 3 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“GCPS FOCUS” Comprised of shorter “Focus Moment” stories, the new GCPS FOCUS provides timely coverage on a wide variety of topics relating to Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 20-minute program airs Feb. 25 to March 3 at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 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, 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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February is National African American History Month and Technical Education Month.

February 25 and 26 are Early Release days for elementary and middle schools for parent-teacher conferences.

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.

On March 2, Read Across America is celebrated along with Dr. Suess’ birthday.

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 February. Call the local school for the time and location.
Archer High School25-Feb
Berkmar High25-Feb
Dyer Elementary27-Feb
McConnell Middle26-Feb
Monarch School28-Feb

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.