News You Can Use - 03/16/2009

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
03/16/2009 - 03/22/2009

Grayson High will host “Taste of Grayson” on March 14 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Grayson High Commons area. All proceeds will benefit the Grayson Cluster Schools. Come and sample the delicious cuisine from the Grayson area restaurants and caterers. Festivities include vendors and live entertainment. Tickets may be purchased for $10 and are on sale at the seven Grayson cluster schools, or by contacting Diane Schatell at, or by visiting

Erica Poole, Spanish teacher at South Gwinnett High, received a scholarship for a trip to Spain. Ms. Poole will study at the AP summer institute in Seville. Kathy Wheeler, French teacher at Pinckneyville Middle, received a scholarship from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy to study in France. For more information, call Director of Foreign Language David Jahner at 678-301-6020.

Parkview High’s JROTC Air Rifle Team is the Georgia High School Association 6th Area/Region and Area 6B champion. The team also won awards for High Team Prone, High Standing, High Kneeling, and High 3 Position. Cadet Captain Melissa Quartarone won awards for High Prone, High Kneeling, and High Aggregate. Cadet Sergeant Amanda Korb received the High Standing Award. The next competition will be held March 19. A win would will place the team on the top 11 teams list in the state. Those 11 teams will compete for the state championship at Fort Benning on April 4. For more information, call Modesto Silverio, Captain USMC, retired, SMI Parkview HS MCJROTC, at 770-921-2874.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host author David Mark Lopez on March 19. Mr. Lopez is the author of the “Maddie’s Magic Markers” book series. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

On March 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., Berkeley Lake Elementary volunteers are invited to attend a volunteer appreciation breakfast in the media center. This year’s theme is “We’re Lucky to Have You!” Staff members and students will show their appreciation to parents and community members who support education at the school. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

GCPS and the Gwinnett Interagency Transition Council will present a Transition Fair for high school students with disabilities and their families on March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High, located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee, 678-957-3103. Attendees will be able to visit with representatives from various agencies and service providers from 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Boxed lunches will be sold. For more information, call Allison Vernon at 678-301-7137, Tamra Burnette at 678-301-7132, or Chiara Perry at 678-301-7115.

The R.D. Head Elementary PTA will host author Deborah Wiles on March 23. Ms. Wiles will meet in grade-level assemblies with students in grades 2 through 5. Ms. Wiles will engage students in reading and writing. Students may purchase a copy of her autographed books. For more information, call 770-972-8050.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host a Family Math Night—Partnering for Success on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Students and parents may drop by and learn to play games that strengthen the understanding of math concepts. Free take-home math game kits are available to the first 200 families that arrive at the school. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

Berkeley Lake Elementary will host a Scholastic Spring Book Fair March 27 through April 1. This fair will offer students and parents an opportunity to buy books for summer reading. For more information, call 770-446-0947.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 7. Kindergarten registration is scheduled for May 7 at the local school. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2009, are invited to register their children for the 2009–10 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times. To find out which school a child will attend, parents and guardians may call the Planning Department at 678-301-7085.

Berkmar High received a $10,000 Best Buy Teach Award for integrating interactive technology into its classroom curriculum. Best Buy Teach Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000 to schools to sustain or enhance existing educational programs. Fifteen 9th-grade programs were awarded $10,000 for technology-based programs they’ve successfully implemented. For more information, call Diana Preston at 770-921-3636 or visit

Gwinnett County residents will experience the ambiance of an art gallery next time they visit the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC) in Suwanee, as hundreds of pieces of student art work will be on display in the district headquarters’ welcome area. Gwinnett County Public Schools students enrolled in k-12 fine arts programs will exhibit what they have learned and created in the classroom, during the annual “Tapestry Display.” Gwinnett County parents, community members, students, and staff are welcome to view the pieces of art through March 24 at the ISC, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, in Suwanee. The artwork on display is from the following schools in the Collins Hill, Dacula, Grayson, North Gwinnett, and Shiloh clusters, including Grayson Technical Education Program, GIVE Center East, GIVE Center West, and Maxwell High School of Technology. An opening reception is scheduled for March 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Maxwell High School of Technology will offer a Summer Career Camp June 8 through 12 for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders interested in exploring careers. This week-long session with hands-on learning activities will include a variety of programs such as Graphic Design, Automotive Services, Cosmetology, Health Care and Medical Services, Early Childhood Education, Georgia Pre-K Camp Counselors, Public Safety, and Welding. All camp programs are led by certified GCPS instructors with enthusiastic high school student aides. Registration before April 15 is $35 and $40 after April 15. For more information and to register, visit or call Nancy Zamprelli at 770-338-4625.

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

03/12/2009Brookwood High’s Cox earns national accolade for AP physics (pdf)
03/11/2009Three Gwinnett middle schools earn spots at state robotics tournament (pdf)
03/10/2009Fine Arts lessons come to life during Gwinnett’s Tapestry Display (pdf)
03/09/2009Eight GCPS schools on Georgia’s AP Honors Schools list (pdf)
03/05/2009Community support funds healthy initiatives for McKendree Elementary (pdf)

“Sweet Honey in the Rock” Join members of internationally renowned a cappella ensemble “Sweet Honey In The Rock” for a unique sound experience as the group captures the complex sounds of blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, and hip hop using their vocal prowess. During this performance and demonstration, students learn how the ensemble uses their collective voice as an instrument to create music that is filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms. The Grammy Award®–winning group discusses how they blend musical idioms and styles to create a sound that can only be described as sweet. This 60-min. program airs March 16-18 and 20-12 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Meet the Author-Rob Cleveland” Master Storyteller Rob Cleveland brings new insight to an ancient tradition: telling stories. A former special education teacher, Cleveland is a storyteller-in-residence at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. As an author, comedian, actor, and educator, Rob Cleveland doesn’t just write stories; he performs them. This 30-min. program airs live, March 19 at 1 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This 10-part GCPS TV original 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. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday, through April 12 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

“English, Yes I Can! - Level 1” This video telecourse is designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through March 22 on GCPS TV. A new 60-minute class airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m., and repeats at 1 a.m. On Sunday, viewers can seek 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: 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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March is National Nutrition Month.

March 17 is the Gateway Math Reasoning Test for grades 4 and 7.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., March 12, 2009, at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in March. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alcova Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
B.B. Harris Elementary
Benefield Elementary
Camp Creek Elementary
Cedar Hill Elementary
Collins Hill High
Corley Elementary
Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary
Frank N. Osborne Middle
Harbins Elementary
Harmony Elementary
J.G. Dyer Elementary
K.E. Taylor Elementary
Lovin Elementary
Nesbit Elementary
North Gwinnett High
Parkview High
Patrick Elementary
Peachree Ridge High
Pinckneyville Middle
Simpson Elementary
Sugar Hill Elementary
Suwanee 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.

March 21, 10 a.m. to noon, Understanding Green Roofs, Cost: GEHC members free, $10 per individual (includes Center admission)
The garden roof on the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center will be described during an exclusive tour, during which participants will learn of the tremendous benefits of this type of roof. The advantages of a garden roof will be explained and the process of installation and maintenance will be described. Some of the many benefits include: increased insulation and thermal protection, increased roof life expectancy, noise reduction, storm water quantity and quality control, and of course, aesthetics. *Teachers can earn PLU credit by attending this and other programs in our Green Living Series.

March 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge-- Boy Scouts, Cost: $10 per Scout (center admission is extra)
Make a difference in your community by learning how to conserve soil, water, and energy. Find out how healthy soil and clean water affect your everyday life. Learn about water pollution, what causes erosion, and what you can do to make it better. Please complete the following requirements prior to this program 1a, 2d, 5, 6d, 7e, and one of 7a (We’ll visit requirement 7a(6), but you'll still need to write the report).

March 21, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Becoming Earth Heroes and History Heroes-- Brownie Girl Scouts, Cost: $16 per Scout (includes center admission)
Find out how you can become an Earth Hero and History Hero! Learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Discover items to recycle & the power of solar energy, and create your own terrarium! Explore archaeology and learn how to protect archaeological sites. Play old-fashioned games and learn about women's history. These programs will completer the Earth Is Our Home, Try It requirement, and Listening to the Past,Try It requirement. Bring a sack lunch to eat at the central pavilion or dining area.

March 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bird Watching Walk and Book Signing Cost: free, (center admission is extra)
Bird lovers, come hear author John Yow read his new book “The Armchair Birder.” Participate in a bird walk lead by Jim Wilson on the GEHC campus. Books will be available for purchase. GEHC will also present “Birds in the Backyard.”

March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Listening to the Past-- Brownie Girl Scouts, Cost: $8 per Girl Scout (center admission is extra)
Become a History Hero and participate in fun activities to earn your Listening to the Past, Try It requirement. Activities include visiting a local archaeological site, looking at artifacts, listening to an elders story of growing up in the community, and playing games from the past.

March 28, 1 to 2 p.m., Pioneers to the Present, Cost: family $10, individual $5, GEHC members free (includes center admission)
Take a walk back in time for Women’s History Month 2009 at GEHC. Regardless of the era, women have worked and played hard over the centuries, accomplishing and aspiring to do better for the environment, fellow man, and themselves. We have many women to be proud of here in Georgia, so come celebrate with us and learn through a brief presentation, as well as learn a traditional game and craft.

March 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Archaeology Merit Badge, Cost: $15 per Boy Scout (center admission is extra)
Come experience a dig and complete the requirements for this badge. Before you come please do requirements 4, 5, and 10 and bring them with you to share. Pack a lunch and wear comfortable clothing.

March 30, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Little Hands: Camouflage, Cost: $5 per child/$2 each additional sibling (for 3-5 year olds)
It’s not easy being green, or is it? Why are animals different colors? We will explore the world of camouflage. We will make an animal and see where it can hide safely. Play games, sing songs, read stories and see if we can use what we have learned on the trail.