News You Can Use - 10/06/2008

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
10/06/2008 - 10/12/2008

Grayson High hosted the 2008 Gwinnett County Academic Team Tournament. The following schools placed at the tournament.
1st Place Brookwood High (Sponsor: Rick Barry)
2nd Place Central Gwinnett High (Sponsor: Cathy Hirsch)
3rd Place Norcross High (Sponsor: Will Stoll)
4th Place Duluth High (Sponsor: Sigrid Serpico)
Junior Varsity:
1st Place Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (Sponsor: Steve Garrison)
2nd Place Duluth High (Sponsor: Sigrid Serpico)
3rd Place North Gwinnett High (Sponsor: Roger Prill)
4th Place Brookwood High (Sponsor: Rick Barry)
For more information, call Kelly Buchanan, Gifted Program/QUEST Internship teacher at 678-301-7018.

Abby Lathan, a 5th grade student in Alice Cohhiher’s class at Patrick Elementary, won 1st place in the “Plains, Peanuts, and a President” postcard art contest. Abby’s piece was selected from among 16,000 entries. Abby and her family were invited to Plains, Ga. for the Peanut Festival and had the opportunity to participate in the parade and meet former President Jimmy Carter. For more information, call 687-765-5260.

The following Orchestra students have been chosen as members of the 2008-09 Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra:
Brandon Hou Pinkneyville Middle Violin
Do Young Kim Alton C. Crews Middle Violin
Alex DeFreese Brookwood High Violin
Dakota Minter Brookwood High Bassoon
Robert Nelson Brookwood High Bass
Emily Jackson Collins Hill High Violin
Jesse Strauss Dacula High Percussion
Jason Yoo Duluth High Cello
Chelsea Sharpe Duluth High Violin
Andrew Chang Norcross High Viola
Kally Woo Norcross High Viola
Ben Lo Norcross High Violin
Minnie Seo Peachtree Ridge High Violin
Austin Yoo Peachtree Ridge High Violin
Cecilia Trode Peachtree Ridge High Viola
Emily Breeding Peachtree Ridge High Bassoon
Caitlin Coker Shiloh High French Horn
For more information, call Sydney Mellard, orchestra director, Alton C. Crews Middle at 770-982-6940.

Duluth High will present a “Noche de la Comunidad Latina” on Oct. 9 at 6:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. School information will be shared in Spanish. There will be food, beverages, and musical entertainment. For more information call 770-476-3372.

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH ACTIVITIES: 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 represented by Spanish-speaking students. Announcements will inform students about the regions displayed on the bulletin boards, and there will be a daily trivia question, which can be answered by students. 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.

Patrick Elementary will host a Fireman’s Breakfast on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. during Fire Prevention Month. More than 100 firemen will be served breakfast. Entertainment will include student readers and the school chorus will sing. Patrick Elementary is named after Mr. Bobby Patrick who was the first Gwinnett County firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty. For more information, call 678-765-5260.

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 is sponsoring the annual “Cow Patty Bingo” fundraiser. Admission tickets may be purchased from orchestra students for $5 each. Activities include a dunk tank and other games, and a chance to win $1,000 from the winning ticket along with other $100 prizes. The Cow will be released on the baseball field on Oct 18 at 1:30 p.m. to choose the winning numbers. Proceeds benefit the Duluth High String Orchestra Alliance which benefits students through scholarships, awards, letters, performance opportunities, music equipment, and instruments. For more information call 770-476-5206.

Peachtree Ridge High will hold a mock election in the upcoming weeks. Students will register to vote two weeks prior to the election which will take place on Oct. 30 and 31. The results will be announced on Oct. 31. For more information, call Teacher Jennifer Ulbrich at 678-957-3100.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.

Gwinnett students learn about public service through districtwide “Great Days of Service” project (pdf)
20 Gwinnett educators take step closer to Gwinnett Teacher of the Year title (pdf)
Gwinnett students invite community members to help them “Read for the Record” (pdf)
GCPS to work with community on review of instructional materials: science, health and physical education, mathematics, and reading intervention (pdf)
96 percent of Gwinnett schools make AYP: Alcova Elementary and Snellville Middle make AYP (pdf)

Gwinnett County Public Schools invites community members and employees to participate in its annual review of Gwinnett’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Employees and community members have from Oct. 8 through Nov. 9, to submit suggestions for revisions to the AKS. 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 their 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 2008-09 school year. Click here for the AKS Review Form.

“Math Rules - MR9” Learn the rules of “Tangram Fraction Fill In” and “Start2Finish” this week on Math Rules— GCPS TV’s innovative and educational math series for elementary students and their parents. Join hosts Lisa Lee, K-12 mathematics coach; Greta Loeber, math specialist at Simpson Elementary; and special guest students as they strategize their way through these fun and educational games. This program airs Oct. 6-11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“The Real George Washington” Hosted by award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts, this 45-minute program features Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough. Mr. McCullough shares his insights into George Washington’s significance in the founding of our nation. An exciting program feature is a sneak preview of the many treasures in the galleries of the new Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center and the Ford Orientation Center. This state-of-the-art exhibition space reveals the complex and multifaceted man that was the real George Washington. This program airs Oct. 6-11 at 2:30 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part series is an introduction to the Spanish language, tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Viewers tuning in will have the opportunity to learn key phrases and basic vocabulary for use during the school day and in the community. This GCPS TV original series will air in hour-long segments at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, through Oct. 26. A new class will air each week, beginning on Monday.

“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 Oct. 6-12 at 4 p.m. and 9 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--

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October is Computer Learning Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

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.

Oct. 12-18 is Teen Read Week.

Oct. 13 is a Student Holiday, Teacher Planning/Staff Development day.

National School Lunch Week runs from Oct. 13-17.

The PSAT will be administered Oct. 15 for grades 10 and 11.

During the week of Oct. 20-29, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 will take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.

Oct. 20-24 is National School Bus Safety Week and Georgia School Bus Safety Week.

Oct. 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in September and October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Berkmar Middle
Central Gwinnett High
Charles Brant Chesney Elementary
Craig Elementary
Dacula Elementary
Dacula High
Dacula Middle
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Duluth High
Glenn C. Jones Middle
Harmony Elementary
Henry Partee Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
J.P. McConnell Middle
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Lilburn Elementary
Mill Creek High
Norcross Elementary
Norcross High
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Peachree Ridge High
R.D. Head Elementary
R.L. Norton Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Simonton Elementary
Simpson Elementary
Snellville Middle
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee Elementary
Sweetwater Middle
Sycamore Elementary
T. Carl Buice School
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 or call 770-904-3500.

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 compost, 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.