News You Can Use - 03/19/2007

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
03/19/2007 - 03/25/2007

The Duluth High Chamber Orchestra placed 2nd in the high school division of the National Orchestra Festival, sponsored by the American String Teachers Association, March 8-10 in Detroit, Mich. The Duluth Chamber orchestra was selected to compete against other top orchestras in the country. The chamber is under the direction of Dr. Peter Lemonds and Reid Smith and has 26 student members. Their program included pieces by Ricciotti, Piazzola, and Wiren. Performances will be held at Max Fisher Hall, home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

Brookwood High art students Haley Adams, Jashae Blue, Sarah Horsley, Ian Jones, and James Kreamer were selected by a juried process as finalists at the 2007 Georgia High School Drawing Competition, from among 270 entries, to have their work included in an exhibition at Savannah College of Art (SCAD/Atlanta). An award ceremony will take place on April 21 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Erin Susanne Banks of SCAD at 404-253-2700.

Norcross High boys basketball coach Eddie Martin was named 2007 Georgia Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Collins Hill High girls basketball coach Tracey Tipton was named 2007 Georgia Co-Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

A team of 40 high-achieving Brookwood High math students recently competed in Log1, a three-round, national math competition, sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society for high schools and two-year colleges. The Brookwood team had a combined score of 717, and finished 7th overall for Region III, which includes Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Several students earned individual honors: Juniors Parth Tejani and David Kilgore finished 19th and 20th, respectively, in the Alpha Division (Precalculus), and Sophomore Sangbeom Kim finished 23rd in the Theta Division (Algebra II). For more information call 770-972-7642.

Alton C. Crews Middle student James Longmate won the Council for Exceptional Children’s tee shirt design contest. For more information, call Barbara Runkle from Oakland School at 770-513-6800.

Duluth High student Steven Lau has been selected as the recipient of the Ruth Cowan Scholarship from Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education. Steven will be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 29. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

The Berkmar and Meadowcreek clusters will sponsor a series of bilingual (English and Spanish) community-based parent meetings entitled “Let’s Talk Testing” to inform parents about the assessment program. The meeting schedule and locations are listed below.
March 17 9 to 11 a.m. St. James Lutheran Church
March 24 9 to 11 a.m. Norcross Human Resources Center
March 27 9 to 11 a.m. First Baptist Church
March 28 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Hispanic Mission
For more information, call Lilburn Middle parent coordinator Ivonne McNally at 770-638-2383.

The Sweetwater Middle Theatre Department will perform the Disney musical “Aladdin, Jr.” on March 23 and 24 at the Meadowcreek High theatre at 7 p.m. This is the middle school’s first theatrical performance. Student tickets may be purchased at the door for $3, and adult tickets are $5. For more information, call theatre director Brandy January at 770-851-6062.

Brookwood High will sponsor “Taste of Brookwood” March 24 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the Commons Area at the school. Participants are invited to taste food items from local restaurants. Entertainment will include performances by the Brookwood Jazz Bands, students, and special guests. Items for the silent auction may be viewed by visiting auction. Tickets may be purchased from band students or online at for $10, and include 5 taste tickets, a beverage and dessert. All proceeds benefit the Brookwood Band Program. For more information, visit The Taste of Brookwood Web site.

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation will sponsor the Fourth Annual Lions Golf Classic to be held at the Tournament Players Club at Sugarloaf on March 26. For more information and a registration brochure, visit or call Lynn Brunatti, executive director of the Foundation at 678-957-3166.

GCPS honors the system’s top bus manager and monitors at an annual banquet. The 2007 Bus Managers and Monitors banquet will be held on March 26 at 7 p.m. at Winfield Hall in Duluth. For more information, call Tammy Coogler in the transportation office at 770-513-6692.

Pharr Elementary will sponsor the school’s third annual “Empty Bowls Dinner” on March 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria decorated with student art work. For a $7 per person donation, participants will receive a meal of soup, bread, salad, a drink, and dessert, served by volunteers. Guests are encouraged to take home an empty bowl made by the students, as a reminder of people in the community who have “empty bowls.” Donations will benefit the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry that helps fight hunger in the local community. For more information, call

The Lilburn Middle will host two parent meetings in March. One on student safety will be held on March 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Parent Center and a Parent Night with information on CRCT and Gateway assessment will be held March 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. For more information, call Lilburn Middle parent coordinator Ivonne McNally at 770-638-2383.

Frank N. Osborne Middle will host the second part of the school’s Hispanic Outreach Program on March 28 at 7 p.m. Information will be shared on assessment of students and the school nutrition program. Parents will have the opportunity to take a sample CRCT test to help them better understand and experience what their children do. Information on how to read the results of the assessment will be discussed, followed by a question and answer session. Refreshments will be available at 6:45 p.m. For more information, call Rachel Mickle, counselor and Hispanic Partners in Education Team member, at 770-904-5412.

Lawrenceville Elementary will celebrate international diversity on March 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Activities will be fun and educational for the whole family. A “Parade of Nations” will highlight native dress from around the world. Booths will be set up highlighting various countries. In addition, there will be performances by community groups and students. Food from different cultures will be available for taste sampling. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Gwin Oaks Elementary will host a visit from children’s book author Deborah Wiles on April 11, 12, and 13. For more information, call 770-972-3110.

The Duluth High Interact Club, in cooperation with the City of Duluth, will sponsor the third annual Battle of the Bands competition on April 14 at the Town Green in downtown Duluth. Eight Duluth High student bands will compete for a grand prize. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Duluth High Care Team, the Gwinnett Center for Sexual Assault (GSAC), the Foster Children’s Organization, and Rainbow Village. Last year’s event raised more than $6,000 for the charities. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

Dacula High Marketing students will sponsor “Before the Dice Fall... Fashion Royale Prom Fashion Show 007” on April 17 at 7 p.m. in the school theater. Students will model 2007 prom fashions. Male and female models were selected from the student body. Tickets may be purchased for $5 in advance or $7 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. Refreshments will be served, and fashion vendors will be available following the show. The Fashion Marketing students are responsible for the planning and organizing the show. The Promotion Marketing students will promote the show. For more information, call Tammi Maness, marketing and apprenticeship coordinator, at 770-338-4748.

Part science and nature center, part energy institute, and part history center, the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center is a collaborative educational initiative. Partners are Gwinnett County Public Schools, county commissioners, the University of Georgia, and the Center’s foundation. The Center is dedicated to student field studies and activities weekday mornings and is open to the public weekday afternoons and weekends (closed Mondays). Learn more at or call 770-904-3500.

March 17, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Leopold Educator Workshop (LEP), $30.00 per person
LEP is a hands-on, interdisciplinary resource that uses the Sand County Almanac as a foundation combining an ecologically sound understanding of science with literary prose for teachers of 6-12th graders. Bring a sack lunch and snack. Call Kathy Barrett at 770-904-3500.

March 17, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Club Method, $10.00 per person
High and middle school kids bring your friends and join us for cool science experiments and fun. Dues vary depending on activity. For questions or to register, email

March 22, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., SpineCrackers Book Club, $7 person, free to GEHC members
Join this monthly group to explore the story of the life of Will Cooper in Charles Frazier’s “Thirteen Moons.” Email to register or pay at the door.

March 24, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Greenway Gurus, (3rd-5th grade kids), $10.00 per child
Make “tracks” and join us in some serious detective fun. We’ll “track” down the clues to discover wildlife in our area as this environmental club learns about deer, raccoons and other critters. Club dues are $10 per meeting. For questions or to register, email

March 24, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Hawks, Falcons & Owls—Oh My!
Join the Georgia Falconry Association as they teach visitors about the importance of protecting these animals and their habitats. Free with paid admission.

March 31, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Boy Scout Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge, $7.00 per Boy Scout
Come dressed in comfortable attire and bring a sack lunch. Pre-register at

“ArtStage - Elementary Honor Chorus” Celebrate “Music in our Schools Month” by watching a special presentation of “ArtStage” featuring the 2007 Elementary Honor Chorus and the Gwinnett Young Singers. This 60-min. program airs March 19-24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Colonial Williamsburg: Made in America” -- Live Electronic Field Trip. Throughout American history, advances in technology have revolutionized the nature of work several times over. This trip through three centuries examines technology's effects on labor, the family, and how people perceive their jobs. The 60-minute program airs live at 10 a.m. on March 22.

“The Arts in Every Classroom - A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers” This Annenberg CPB workshop provides new ideas about working with the arts for K-5 classroom and arts specialist teachers. The eight one-hour video programs show workshop leaders from the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts working with Learner Teams-- teachers, principals, and arts specialists-- from three elementary schools. The Learner Teams work through a curriculum unit based on a multi-arts performance piece by Cirque du Soleil. Programs 1-4 of this 8-part workshop air March 19-22 at 11 a.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” This video telecourse designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through April 3 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs daily Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can see the week’s programs from noon to 4 p.m.

Tune in to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ educational access channel for education programs and information. TV cable channels and providers include:
Adelphia on Channel 20 (Ch. 97 without converter) BellSouth on Channel 21
Charter on Channel 22 Comcast on Channel 24
For more information, call the GCPS Broadcast and Distance Learning Department at 678-301-6460, 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.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
03/14/2007GCPS earns system accreditation along with commendations (pdf)
03/12/2007Gwinnett School System Aaa Bond Rating Reaffirmed (pdf)
03/09/2007GCPS Title I schools add community resources (pdf)
03/09/2007GCPS special needs school bus drivers on the road to nationals (pdf)
03/08/2007Gwinnett students’ artwork on display during annual exhibit (pdf)

Each year, 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. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present information on the school system's budget, goals, and direction. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Citizens may attend any of the meetings.
· April 10—District III meeting, Norcross High
· April 17—District V meeting, Meadowcreek High
· April 19—District IV meeting, Shiloh High
· April 24—District I meeting, Grayson High
· April 26— District II meeting, Collins Hill High

Each year, the Gwinnett County School Board reserves key dates relating to the development of the next year’s budget. Budget dates for FY 2008 include:
March 29 and 30, 2007-- Superintendent’s Recommended budget to Board
April 14, 2007-- Board budget work session
April 17, 2007-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget
May 3, 2007-- First public hearing on budget
May 10, 2007-- Second public hearing and final adoption
June 2007-- Adoption of millage rate
Sept. 2007-- Transmit adopted budget to State Department of Education

March is Music in Our Schools Month, National Middle Level Education Month, National Nutrition Month, Social Work Month, Women’s History Month, and Youth Art Month.

March 19 is a student holiday and teacher planning day.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during March. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
B.B. Harris Elementary3/27
Berkmar High3/27
Bethesda Elementary3/20
Collins Hill High3/20
Dacula High3/30
Harbins Elementary3/20
Harmony Elementary3/30
J.P. McConnell Middle3/26
Lawrenceville Elementary3/20
Lilburn Elementary3/22
Lilburn Middle3/29
Nesbit Elementary3/22
Rock Springs Elementary3/29
Simpson Elementary3/30
South Gwinnett High3/20
Sweetwater Middle3/29
T. Carl Buice School3/20