News You Can Use - 11/22/2004

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
11/22/2004 - 12/05/2004

Note: GCPS schools will be closed Nov. 24-26. News You Can Use… will return Dec. 3.
Chris Vigardt, J.P. McConnell Middle art teacher, is capping off American Education Week with the help of the school’s teachers and staff. These educators will gather throughout the day to put finishing touches on a collaborative piece of artwork. The 8’ by 4’ impressionist painting will be displayed in the front office. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Norcross High students earned straight superior ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble competition. The following students participated in solo performance: Katie Baumgarten, Josh Crowe, Andrew Lyu, Melissa Ting, and Duy Vu. These students performed in ensemble: Katie Baumgarten, Lin Chen, Josh Crowe, Jason Holben, Daniel Hsu, Deanna Joe, Erin Kirby, Andrew Lyu, Ricky Phosai, Michelle Razumov, Scott Simpson, Melissa Ting, Will Toole, Ginger Tsai, and Duy Vu. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The following GCPS art students are winners in the All-State Festival of Art and Design competition held at Brenau University.
Gold Award: Thomas Scott North Gwinnett High “Twist”
Silver Award: Darilyn Chu North Gwinnett High “Still Life 1”
Bronze Award: David Bonilla Grayson High “New Directions”
SoYeon Choe Collins Hill High “La Musique”
For more information, call the local school.

Norcross High drama students placed 3rd in the state One-Act Play competition for their performance of “Steel Magnolias.” Cast members— directed by Gina Parrish— include Laura Hall, Sarah Hodges, Ashleigh Sanders, Lindsay Sanders, Whitney Sciberras, and Laura Warner. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

The Nordson Corporation has awarded a $5,000 grant to Norcross High to build a robot for the FIRST robotics competition. Students will decide on a goal/topic for the year’s competition and take approximately six weeks to design, build, test, and ship a robot. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful recognized Cedar Hill Elementary as second-place recycler during America Recycles Day. For more information, call Connie Wiggins of the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett at 770-822-5187.

For more information, call the local school.
Peachtree Elementary is working with Norcross Cooperative Ministries to collect food for Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays. The collection will be turned into a learning activity as the students keep a tally of the different kinds of food that are donated.

Creekland Middle has sponsored a canned food drive. Special Education classes are responsible for sorting and distributing the food to families within the community and school. Surplus food will be distributed to other food pantries in the community.

Shiloh Elementary kindergarten students cook a Thanksgiving feast and gather together to eat. This activity is a culmination of their study of the first Thanksgiving.

Chattahoochee Elementary has traditional celebrations for Thanksgiving. One 1st grade teacher cooks a turkey with her students and shares the feast. The cafeteria manager and crew are in the process of sewing Pilgrim and Indian outfits that will be worn by the cafeteria staff and administrators. Parents are invited for the annual Thanksgiving feast in the cafeteria.

Parsons Elementary kindergarten students will perform a Thanksgiving play, followed by a feast.

Sycamore Elementary kindergarten students will present a Thanksgiving play on Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. The school conducted a canned food drive during the week of Nov. 15-19. Sycamore Elementary served a traditional Thanksgiving lunch on Nov. 18.

McKendree Elementary will have an open Thanksgiving lunch for families.

Knight Elementary teacher Sue Ellen Wortzel will lead a discussion on gratitude and recognizing the positive aspects of life as an American.

Margaret Winn Holt Elementary activities:
-- Donna Bates’ 2nd graders are learning about Native Americans of the Plains and Eastern Woodlands. A Native American parent presented to the class on Nov. 15.
-- Another teacher built an Indian village and Pilgrim settlement for comparison. The students made Indian teepees and Pilgrim log cabins. The students also make Indian and Pilgrim crafts.
-- Parents and families were invited to visit the cafeteria on Nov. 16-18 to celebrate American Education week with a Thanksgiving feast.
-- On Nov. 23 kindergarten classes plan to have a feast in which with half of the students will dress as Indians and half will dress as Pilgrims.

Henry Partee Elementary’s preschool special needs classes will have a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 22 at noon. Families are invited to participate.

Sugar Hill Elementary teacher Dale Ioannides had his students read “Long Ago and Today,” which shows aspects of colonial life compared to today. A pumpkin dessert will be prepared in a slow cooker on Nov. 23. Lee Alice Plemons’ 1st grade class invited parents to bring a dessert and share in a Thanksgiving feast.

Rockbridge Elementary activities:
--The classes of Kim Butler and Gloria Stewart celebrated an International Day of Thanks on Nov. 19. The students were asked to bring their favorite dish to share at 1 p.m.
-- Students in Jaque Burkhart and Pat Shepley's classes held a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 19, with one class of Pilgrims, and one class of Native Americans. They served soup, cornbread, apple juice, and pumpkin pies. Students discussed what the first Thanksgiving was like.
--To celebrate Thanksgiving, Eugenia Byrd's students will dress like Pilgrims and Lisa Boaz's students will dress as Native Americans. They will make cornbread and tell each other what we are thankful for.
-- Toni Case's class ties its Thanksgiving studies into the Colonies and where the idea for the celebration originated. They talk about what other countries do to show thankfulness.
-- Teachers Gwen Cordner and Amy Dean helped their students cook a traditional feast on Nov. 12.

Susan Stripling Elementary activities:
--Kindergarten students will read “Stone Soup” and stories about the first Thanksgiving feast. They will make stone soup and dress as Pilgrims and Indians.
--Stripling Elementary 2nd graders will perform a play about the first Thanksgiving.
--Stripling 4th grade students will complete their unit on colonization with a Colonial Day. Classes will rotate among the rooms and enjoy different activities representing that era.

Centerville Elementary classes are hosting harvest celebrations such as an Alphabet Feast or a Vegetable Harvest. Several classes are making Stone Soup.

Annistown Elementary will host grade-level Thanksgiving feasts. Classroom centers will be used to celebrate Thanksgiving, study colonization, bake bread, shake cream to make butter, and to write about what “I Am Thankful For…" Some students will dress as Indians or Pilgrims.

Ivy Creek Elementary activities:
--Students are studying an Indian and Colonists unit. A Thanksgiving feast will be served.
--Another class of students will interview the oldest relative that they visit with over the holiday. When they return the class will do an immigration unit that will discuss family histories. One part of the unit looks at their favorite family recipe. The kids are welcome to bring examples of this "delicacy" when they present their report. Later, a Classroom Recipe book, representing our many cultures, will be prepared as a gift for Mother’s Day.
-- Another class does a play about Gov. Bradford, and the Pilgrims giving thanks with Squanto and the Native Americans. The teacher tapes the play and sends a copy home with each student.
-- Another class has planned a program about Pilgrims and Indians that will be followed by a feast. Students will dress in costume.
-- In addition to learning about Pilgrims in social studies, one class will complete a family tree. During the holiday, students are encouraged to discuss where their ancestors are from and why they came to this country. The class will tally its results and make a graph of how many students are from which countries.
-- Another class is studying the Eastern Woodland Indians and the Plains Indians. Students will have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Students will read the book, watch the movie, and then compare and contrast the two.

Simpson Elementary
--All kindergarten classes are participating in a Friendship Feast on Nov. 22 from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. as a culmination of their studies of Thanksgiving. Many classes focused on the Pilgrims or Native Americans and early life in this country and in Georgia. Classes discussed the communities and how they are alike and different from today. All students are learning a song to share about Thanksgiving before sharing foods typical of a Thanksgiving dinner. They represent those who come together to give thanks for all they are fortunate to have.

At R.D. Head Elementary, Laura Boone's kindergarten class celebrates Thanksgiving by recreating the first Thanksgiving. Students bring food to share with the class that the Pilgrims and Indians might have served for their feast. The students dress in the Pilgrim or Indian costumes made in class. Corn, cornbread, nuts, berries, and popcorn are usually among the favorites.

The Norcross Foundation for Excellence will light the $35,000 matrix board in front of Norcross High on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. The sign will promote school activities and events. The school will host the reception for the families who made this sign a possibility. For more information, call 770-448-3674.

Friday mornings in November and December, Ms. Pockets will visit Peachtree Elementary. Ms. Pockets, a parent dressed as an elf, visits every classroom and collects pocket change from students. The money collected is used by Peachtree Care Team to help families in need throughout the year. In the past, more than $1,500 has been collected. For more information, call 770-448-8710.

Twenty Collins Hill High teachers and their students will decorate trees for a local Festival of Trees competition. The competition will be held on Nov. 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the media center. One tree will be selected to be donated to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Festival of Trees, which opens Dec. 4 at the Georgia World Congress Center. A reception also will be held on Nov. 29, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The money raised will go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Trees are available for advance order at $50. Classes can design décor to fit a business theme or lobby. For additional information, contact Kristy Verdi at 770-682-4100 or by e-mail at

Beginning on Nov. 29, Buchanan High School of Technology will begin Web registration for 7th period and online classes. Online courses are open to high school students and adult learners. The cost for face-to-face classes is $205, and online classes are $285. Both require a $25 refundable materials deposit. The cost for Advanced Placement classes is $350. Visit their Web site to register for spring course offerings a For more information, call 770-326-8000.

Members of the Collins Hill High Chorus will add their choral magic to the Disney World Candlelight Processional at Epcot on Dec. 2. Approximately 125 students will join the mass choir led by the Liberty Singers from Epcot in performances at the American Gardens Theater at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. The choir is accompanied by the Walt Disney World Orchestra, and narration is provided by Kirk Franklin. To be invited to perform at Disney, each choir must send a videotape of their group singing two musical selections— one of their choice and "Joy to the World." This will be Collins Hill High’s fifth performance at Disney. The students will return and join other chorus members for the Holiday Concert, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Collins Hill High Commons Area. Selections from their Disney trip will be performed. For more information, call 770-682-4100.

The Susan Stripling Elementary Chorus will perform at a candlelight luncheon in the cafeteria on Dec. 2 and 3. The chorus will sing during the lunch schedule. Parents are invited to eat lunch with students by candlelight. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

The Norcross Players, along with Simpson Elementary students, will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. on. Tickets are available at the door an hour before each show for $6. For more information, call the drama hotline at 770-447-2667.

Bethesda Elementary will host a Family Math Night on Dec. 2. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a PTA meeting and chorus performance. Sessions will include “Tips on Helping Your Child with Math” and “Math Testing Tips.” Both sessions will be offered in English and Spanish. Games and interactive activities will be available for the students. For more information, call 770-717-7363.

Simpson Elementary 5th grade students will participate in an Ellis Island simulation to learn about immigration on Dec. 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. The students will go through examination centers staffed by parents who speak another language, and be allowed to either enter or be deported, depending on country quotas from 1910, their physical and mental health, and whether they can "bribe" the officials. For more information, call 770-417-2400.

SAT tests will take place at Buchanan High School of Technology throughout the academic year. The SAT I test will be administered on Dec. 4, and Jan. 22 in building F. Preregistration is required. The new SAT, which will include a writing portion, will be administered beginning in the spring of 2005. For more information, call 770-326-8000.

“ArtStage-2004 Gwinnett County High School Marching Band Exhibition: Part Two”
This program features Gwinnett County high school marching bands performing their 2004 half-time shows. Featured schools include Collins Hill High, Dacula High, Duluth High, Meadowcreek High, Mill Creek High, Norcross High, and Peachtree Ridge High. This 60-minute GCPS TV original program airs Nov. 22-25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Nov. 26-27 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Highlighting Excellence: Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year” GCPS TV presents a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year awards ceremony. The 2-½ hour program airs Nov. 26-28 at 8 p.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 2)” This video telecourse is designed to teach English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 2 is scheduled to air Nov. 1 through Dec. 2 on GCPS TV. The program airs Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m. The program repeats at 1 a.m. each evening and in a block on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 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 678-985-5233, or e-mail A list of this week’s programming may be found on the GCPS Web site--

November is American Indian Heritage Month.

November 21-27 is National Family Week.

November 24-26 is Thanksgiving break for schools.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during November. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.

Alford ElementaryNov. 18678-924-5300Lanier MiddleNov.770/945-8419
Alton C. Crews MiddleNov. 9770/982-6940Lawrenceville ElementaryNov.770/963-1813
Annistown ElementaryNov. 15770/979-2950Lilburn ElementaryNov.770/921-7707
Arcado ElementaryNov.770/925-2100Lilburn MiddleNov.770/921-1776
B. B. Harris ElementaryNov. 23770/476-2241Mason ElementaryNov. 12770/232-3370
Beaver Ridge ElementaryNov.770/447-6307McConnell MiddleNov. 29770/554-1000
Benefield ElementaryNov.770/962-3771McKendree ElementaryNov. 5678/377-8933
Berkeley Lake ElementaryNov. 9770/446-0947Meadowcreek ElementaryNov. 16770/931-5701
Berkmar HighNov.770/921-3636Meadowcreek HighNov.770/381-9680
Bethesda ElementaryNov. 16770/921-2000Mountain Park ElementaryNov. 22770/921-2224
Brookwood Elementary770/736-4360Nesbit ElementaryNov.770/414-2740
Brookwood High770/972-7642Norcross ElementaryNov.770/448-2188
Camp Creek ElementaryNov. 5770/921-1626Norcross HighNov. 11770/448-3674
Cedar Hill ElementaryNov. 4770/962-5015North Gwinnett HighNov. 16770/945-9558
Centerville Elementary770/972-2220Norton ElementaryNov.770/985-1933
Central Gwinnett HighNov. 8770/963-8041Oakland CenterNov.770/513-6800
Chattahoochee ElementaryNov.770/497-9907Parkview HighNov. 23770/921-2874
Collins Hill HighNov.770/682-4100Parsons ElementaryNov. 1678/957-3050
Cooper Elementary770/554-7050Partee ElementaryNov.770/982-6920
Corley ElementaryNov. 16678-924-5330Peachtree ElementaryNov.770/448-8710
Craig Elementary770/978-5560Peachtree Ridge HighNov.678/957-3100
Creekland MiddleNov. 18770/338-4700Pharr ElementaryNov. 18770/985-0244
Dacula ElementaryNov. 5770/963-7174Pinckneyville MiddleNov. 16770/263-0860
Dacula High770/963-6664R.D. Head ElementaryNov. 19770/972-8050
Dacula MiddleNov.770/963-1110Rebecca Minor ElementaryNov.770/925-9543
Duluth HighNov. 16770/476-5206Richard Hull MiddleNov. 19770/232-3200
Duluth MiddleNov.770/476-3372Riverside ElementaryNov. 18678/482-1000
Duncan Creek Elementary678/714-5800Rock Springs ElementaryNov.770/932-7474
Five Forks MiddleNov. 12770/972-1506Rockbridge Elementary770/448-9363
Fort Daniel ElementaryNov. 5770/932-7400Shiloh ElementaryNov.770/985-6883
Freeman's Mill ElementaryNov.678/377-8955Shiloh HighNov. 16770/972-8471
GIVE CenterNov.770/338-4898Shiloh MiddleNov.770/972-3224
Grayson ElementaryNov.770/963-7189Simonton ElementaryNov.770/513-6637
Grayson HighNov.770/554-1071Simpson ElementaryNov. 5770/417-2400
Gwin Oaks ElementaryNov. 12770/972-3110Snellville MiddleNov.770/972-1530
Harbins ElementaryNov. 16770/682-4270South Gwinnett HighNov. 16770/972-4840
Harmony ElementaryNov. 8770/945-7272Stripling Elementary770/582-7577
Hopkins ElementaryNov.770/564-2661Sugar Hill ElementaryNov. 4770/945-5735
Ivy Creek Elementary678/714-3655Summerour MiddleNov. 9770/448-3045
J. G. Dyer ElementaryNov. 8770/963-6214Suwanee ElementaryNov. 18770/945-5763
J.C. Magill ElementaryNov.770/554-1030Sweetwater MiddleNov.770/923-4131
J.E. Richards Middle770/995-7133Sycamore Elementary678/714-5770
Jackson ElementaryNov.770/682-4200T. Carl Buice CenterNov.770/271-5060
K. E. Taylor ElementaryNov.770/338-4680Trickum Middle770/921-2705
Kanoheda Elementary770/682-4221W. C. Britt Elementary770/972-4500
Knight ElementaryNov. 22770/921-2400Walnut Grove ElementaryNov. 18770/513-6892

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during December. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Alford Elem678-924-5300Lanier Middle
Alton C. Crews Middle
770/982-6940Lawrenceville Elem
Annistown Elem770/979-2950Lilburn Elem
Arcado Elem
770/925-2100Lilburn Middle
B. B. Harris Elem770/476-2241Mason Elem770/232-3370
Beaver Ridge Elem
770/447-6307McConnell Middle770/554-1000
Benefield Elem
770/962-3771McKendree Elem678/377-8933
Berkeley Lake Elem770/446-0947Meadowcreek Elem770/931-5701
Berkmar High
770/921-3636Meadowcreek High
Bethesda Elem770/921-2000Mountain Park Elem770/921-2224
Brookwood Elem770/736-4360Nesbit Elem
Brookwood High
770/972-7642Norcross Elem
Camp Creek Elem770/921-1626Norcross High770/448-3674
Cedar Hill Elem770/962-5015North Gwinnett High770/945-9558
Centerville Elem
770/972-2220Norton Elem
Central Gwinnett High770/963-8041Oakland Center
Chattahoochee Elem
770/497-9907Parkview High770/921-2874
Collins Hill High
770/682-4100Parsons Elem678/957-3050
Cooper Elem770/554-7050Partee Elem
Corley Elem678-924-5330Peachtree Elem
Craig Elem770/978-5560Peachtree Ridge High
Creekland Middle770/338-4700Pharr Elem770/985-0244
Dacula Elem
770/963-7174Pinckneyville Middle770/263-0860
Dacula High
770/963-6664R.D. Head Elem770/972-8050
Dacula Middle
770/963-1110Rebecca Minor Elem
Duluth High770/476-5206Richard Hull Middle770/232-3200
Duluth Middle770/476-3372Riverside Elem678/482-1000
Duncan Creek Elem678/714-5800Rock Springs Elem
Five Forks Middle770/972-1506Rockbridge Elem
Fort Daniel Elem
770/932-7400Shiloh Elem
Freeman's Mill Elem
678/377-8955Shiloh High
GIVE Center
770/338-4898Shiloh Middle
Grayson Elem
770/963-7189Simonton Elem
Grayson High
770/554-1071Simpson Elem770/417-2400
Gwin Oaks Elem
770/972-3110Snellville Middle
Harbins Elem770/682-4270South Gwinnett High770/972-4840
Harmony Elem770/945-7272Stripling Elem770/582-7577
Hopkins Elem
770/564-2661Sugar Hill Elem770/945-5735
Ivy Creek Elem
678/714-3655Summerour Middle
J. G. Dyer Elem770/963-6214Suwanee Elem770/945-5763
J.C. Magill Elem
770/554-1030Sweetwater Middle
J.E. Richards Middle
770/995-7133Sycamore Elem678/714-5770
Jackson Elem770/682-4200T. Carl Buice Center
K. E. Taylor Elem
770/338-4680Trickum Middle770/921-2705
Kanoheda Elem
770/682-4221W. C. Britt Elem770/972-4500
Knight Elem770/921-2400Walnut Grove Elem