News You Can Use - 04/26/2010

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
04/26/2010 - 05/02/2010

Shiloh Community Foundation  will sponsor “Come for the Art, Stay for a Taste”, the 1st Annual Taste of Shiloh and Arts Festival on April 24 at Shiloh High . The Arts Festival— with performances by local artists and musicians— will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Taste of Shiloh from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Entertainment will include a Car Show, live music, a Community Partners Fair, Silent Auction, play area for children, and lots of food provided by 40 of Gwinnett’s favorite restaurants. Tickets may be purchased for $10. For more information, call Adie Shimandle at 678-372-9257, or visit .

Duluth High  chorus will perform “Turn the Beat Around” at the 2010 Peach Jam on April 24 at 7 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on April 25. The show features music from genres including pop, Broadway, jazz and more. The show is professionally choreographed with 200 choral students. Tickets may be purchased for $10 (4/24) and $8 (4/25) for all ages at the auditorium one hour before each show. For more information, call 770-232-3354.

 Brookwood High  Robotics and Computer Club will use a Home Depot grant to build a robot to compete in the Aquabot underwater robot competition on April 24. The 2010 Gray’s Reef Southeast Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) Competition will be held in Savannah. For more information, call Brookwood High Teacher Theresa Friedman  at 770-972-7642.

Brookwood High
Principal Debra Dees is among the finalists for the 2011 Georgia High School Principal of the Year title. The Principal of the Year recognition program is sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The Georgia winner will represent the state in the competition for National Principal of the Year. The Principal of the Year program recognizes principals that excel in educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service. For more information, call Melton Callahan at 770-289-8759.
GCPS  high school artwork won several awards in the Georgia Watercolor Society Student Scholarship Show. The Georgia Watercolor Society offers scholarships to public high school seniors who will pursue further studies in visual arts. Awards are expected to exceed $2,500.
     1st Place- Ye Do , Brookwood High
     2nd Place-
Haemi Hoi , Peachtree Ridge High
     3rd Place-
Tracy Chen , Duluth High
Students earning honorable mention are Tina Kim  of North Gwinnett High, Helen Kim of  Peachtree Ridge High, Caitlin Joyce of Norcross High, and  Alex Jones  of Norcross High. The Jay Shapiro Memorial Awards went to Jean Pyo of Peachtree  Ridge High, Julio Garcia  of Norcross High, and  Tian Chen  of North Gwinnett High. For more information, email Judy Greenberg at

Duluth High Naval Junior ROTC won first place in the County Commissioners Cup against teams from North Gwinnett High, Parkview High,  and Peachtree Ridge High  JROTC programs. In addition, the Duluth High cadets earned first place honors in Armed Drill and Personnel Inspection and second place in Unarmed Drill. For the first time, Duluth High won the Commissioners Cup. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist at 770-232-3336.

Brookwood High and Mill Creek High
students and staff were recently recognized in prestigious theatre arts awards. The Shuler Hensley Awards are for excellence in high school musical theatre. Winners of an Shuler Hensley   Excellence Award were Patty Lindahl,  drama teacher at Brookwood High, for directing and the Brookwood High stage crew for technical execution. Brookwood High also had three nominations in the following categories: Music Direction, Kim Peeples , Chorus Teacher; Sarah Bess Jones , Featured Performer; and Calli McRae , Best Actress. Mill Creek High theatre arts teacher, Katherine Alexander , was nominated for Costume Design for   the production of “Seussical.”   Brookwood High had several nominees for their production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Thirty-nine schools participated and were evaluated by a panel of judges. For more information, visit .

A select group of
Duluth High band students traveled to Washington D.C. to compete in the Heritage Music Festival regional ensemble assessment. The group’s performance was awarded three superior ratings from the judging panel, comprised of three nationally recognized music ensemble adjudicators. Only one other band received a superior rating. The Duluth Band program has been invited to participate in the National Invitational Band and Orchestra Festival in Chicago, IL in 2011. The band was also awarded the “Spirit of Washington D.C.” Award, which is given to the ensemble who best represents its region, community and school. For more information, call 770-476-5206.

A Crews Middle
student was awarded the Best Business Website Award for her web site “Photography Studio,” the result of a course in computer programming and entrepreneurship. The will work alongside a sponsor manager to learn what it might be like to run a store for a day. To visit her web site, visit . For more information, call Roderick Hames, Crews Middle Business/Computer Education Teacher at 770-982-6957.


Norcross Elementary
Spanish Club students will participate in the annual Spanish Spelling Bee on April 27. For more information, call Rosa Escandell , teacher, at 770-448-2188.

Norcross Elementary
 will host the school’s annual International Night on April 27 in the gym. Each grade level will select two countries or islands to represent with research and exhibits. Displays will include food, drinks, literature, creative writings, artifacts, and attire. The community is invited to attend the event. For more information, call 770-447-2675.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
students will display 66 internship projects in the areas of Bioscience, Engineering, and Emerging Technologies at the Junior Fellowship Experience Symposium on May 3 at Duluth High. Presentations will take place from 6: 15 to 7 p.m., followed by an open house from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, call Molly McAuliffe , internship coordinator, at 678-473-6292.

Gwinnett elementary schools invite families to Kindergarten Registration on May 6. Kindergarten registration is held at the local school. Parents and guardians of children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2010, are invited to register their children for the 2010-11 school year on this day. Parents may call the school for registration times and should bring the following documents for registering their child: proof of residency in an attendance zone; a Georgia certificate of immunization; evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year; a photo ID; proof of custody/guardianship; a child’s social security number; and a copy of the pre-K progress report. The Planning Department phone number is 678-301-7085
  and may be called to find out which school a child will attend. Additional information may be viewed on the system web site

Grayson Elementary
 5th grade gifted students will host an interactive history museum entitled “Experiencing Historical Events Through A Child’s Eyes” on May 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. In addition, special guests who experienced World War II, the Holocaust, or the Great Depression will be honored. For more information, email Kristie Horn  at


 Area Board Meetings are being held in April. The meetings are held in each of the Board member’s districts and give parents, staff, and community members an opportunity to get an update on school system issues. In addition, a public forum at each meeting allows for participants to discuss education topics with their elected officials. Following is a listing of the meeting dates. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the host school’s theater. Refreshments will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m.
     April 27-- District I at Archer High  – Clusters: Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Grayson
     April 29-- District IV at
Shiloh High  – Clusters: Brookwood, Shiloh, South Gwinnett

The Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, Inc.  seeks nominations for the Gwinnett County Hall of Fame. The induction will be held at Gwinnett Braves game on June 6 . Nominations currently are being accepted for inductees to the newly established Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame sponsored by the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, Inc., Georgia Power, All American Specialties, and Scholastic Images/Balfour. The Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame will honor athletes who have competed in any facet of Gwinnett County athletics through public or private school, or who have represented the citizens of Gwinnett with honor on a state or national stage. The first annual induction event will be a joint celebration with the Gwinnett Braves at Coolray Field on June 6, during the 2:30 p.m. game. The celebration of Gwinnett’s finest athletes begins at 1 p.m. with a Home Run Derby, silent auction, and raffle. All proceeds from this charitable event will support academic initiatives benefiting the 159,000 students in the 123 schools of Gwinnett County Public Schools. The nomination form is available at , or by request at 678-301-6077 or 678-301-7287.


“GCPS Focus”
This month’s Focus gets down to business with DECA, rallies around reading, and takes a closer look at how students benefit when educators share teaching techniques. Join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-minute program airs this week at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.  

“ParenTVision: Shattered”
 This month’s program features the Connect With Kids Network (CWK) program “ Shattered”— the extraordinary story of one night that changed lives forever. A young girl, driving under the influence of alcohol, was speeding out of control when her car smashed into another car, killing the driver. Viewers will hear from eyewitnesses and their 911 call before, during, and after the crash, as well as from loved ones affected by the accident. This episode features a discussion with Margaret Cheeley , Collins Hill High graduation coach, and host of Parentvision; Pam South, State Court Judge in Gwinnett; and Andre Castro, Youth Development Coordinator for the East Metro Health District. This 60-minute program airs April 26-May 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.  

“The Author in You – Writer’s Toolbox: Bruce Lansky”
 Bruce Lansky, internationally known poet and anthologist, has a passion for getting children excited about reading and writing poetry. His poetry books - including “Mary Had a Little Jam,” “If Kids Ruled the School,” and “Rolling in the Aisles” are currently among America's best-selling children’s poetry books. During the program, Lansky discusses where ideas come from and his views on making writing fun. This15-minute program airs April 26-May 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 2”
A GCPS TV original series, this 10-part program taught by Elisa Brown , assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary , 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 through June 20, a new segment will air at 11 a.m., repeating daily through Sunday in that time slot.

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, 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 GCPS TV is now available via live video streaming on the GCPS TV web site--


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GCPS set start and end times for schools for the 2010-11 school year. Visit the system web site to view changes for some schools start and end times.

April is Occupational Therapy Month, School Library Media Month, and Young Peoples Poetry Month.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and Better Hearing and Speech Month.

May 2-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 3-7 is Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week.

Advanced Placement (AO) Exams are scheduled for May 3-14.

The Georgia End of Course Test Window for grades 9-12 is scheduled for May 10-21.

Georgia End of Course Tests for Grade 8 are scheduled for May 12.

May 17-23 is Custodial Appreciation Week.

The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., May 20, 2010, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. N.W. in Suwanee.

May 24-26 is early release for high school final exams.

May 26 is the last day of school.

Graduation ceremonies for high schools have been scheduled from May 26-29. Visit the GCPS web site at to view dates, times, and locations.

May 31 is Memorial Day, a systemwide holiday.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in April. Call the local school for the time and location.

Alcova Elementary
Alford Elementary
Alton C. Crews Middle
Brookwood High
Central Gwinnett High
Craig Elementary
Dacula High
Grayson Elementary
Grayson High
J.G. Dyer Elementary
Kanoheda Elementary
Lawrenceville Elementary
April 27
Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
Monarch School
Mountain Park Elementary
Mulberry Elementary
Pharr Elementary
Rebecca Minor Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
Simonton Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Starling Elementary
Trip Elementary
W.C. Britt Elementary
Woodward Mill 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. 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.

Water S(our)ce Exhibit  
Pink Moon Hike  
Water S(our)ce Exhibit  
Homeschool: HLS Heritage Cooking  
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire  
Homeschool: The Earth's Atmosphere  
Water S(our)ce Exhibit  
Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II  
Homeschool: The Earth's Atmosphere  
Little Hands: Bird Beak Buffet  
Homeschool: Science Process Skills  
Homeschool: Monthly Lab Extension  
Homeschool: Nature's ABC Extraordinaire  
Junior Master Gardener Level I  
Homeschool: Navigate Like Lewis & Clark  

Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II  
Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II  
Junior Master Gardener Level I  
Homeschool: Navigate Like Lewis & Clark  
Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Rainbarrel Workshop  
Segway Heritage Tour  
Homeschool: Weateher and Storms  
Little Hands: Let's Celebrate with Mother Nature!  
Homeschool: Operation Water: JMG Level II  
Homeschool: Weather and Storms  
Junior Master Gardener Level I  
Homeschool: Navigate Like Lewis & Clark