News You Can Use - 10/17/2011

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
10/17/2011 - 10/23/2011

School and community members are invited to the dedication of Moore Middle on October 16 at 2 p.m. For more information, call 678-226-7100.

GCPS’ Quality-Plus Leader Academy recently announced the class of 2012 Aspiring Principal Program (APP) participants. The following district leaders have been selected:
Yvette Arthur Jones Middle
Tonya Burnley Meadowcreek Elementary
Crystal Cooper Bethesda Elementary
Bonnie Driscoll Peachtree Ridge High
Margaret Fehrman North Gwinnett Middle
William “Bo” Ford, Jr. Brookwood High
Connie Hawkins Kanoheda Elementary
Kristina Jackson Arcado Elementary
Brenda Johnson Minor Elementary
Todd Marschke GIVE Center West
Katise Menchan Hull Middle
Sarah L. Skinner Pinckneyville Middle
Mary M. Thomas Arcado Elementary
Rukina Walker Trickum Middle
These participants will receive additional training and support that will help better prepare them for a principal position in a Gwinnett school. The program offers a unique curriculum, one that was created and developed by school system leaders, who also serve as the Academy’s professors. Class members will receive a comprehensive year-long training in curriculum and instruction, school budgets, human resources, operations management, community relations, and more. Gwinnett’s Quality Plus Leader Academy was launched in 2006. Close to 100 school district leaders have graduated from the Academy since its inception.

An article by Human Resources Teacher Development Coordinator DeNelle West was recently published in a national magazine. The description of the GCPS framework for helping new teachers was recently highlighted in the August 2011 edition of the “Journal of Staff Development.” The journal is published by Learning Forward— formerly known as the National Staff Development Council. For more information, call 678-301-6842.

Mill Creek High student Matthew Abraham has been selected as one of only 100 members of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The Army will visit Mill Creek High on Oct. 17 to present Matthew with his invitation. The school is planning an assembly for approximately 500 students at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Band Director Erik Mason at 678-714-5850.

Brookwood High Orchestra students will participate in a workshop with the Boston String Quartet on Oct. 19 and 20. During their two-day visit, students will engage in rehearsals, workshops, clinics, and roundtable discussions with musicians. This opportunity is provided to students by the Music Makers’ Foundation and other corporate sponsors of the Boston String Quartet. A culminating concert performance by both the Boston String Quartet and Brookwood High Orchestras will take place Oct. 20 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. in the theatre. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, call the school’s fine arts department at 678-639-3456.

South Gwinnett High Advanced Placement U.S. Government students will host a City of Snellville mayoral debate on Oct. 20 beginning at 7 p.m. Both candidates have accepted the invitation. The debate, taking place at the school’s theater, will include opening statements from the candidates, questions from a student panel, rebuttals following each question, and closing statements. In addition, Social Studies Teacher Cristy Lenski has the Marketing and Communications Committee promoting the event with publicity. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Norton Elementary is hosting a Family Literacy Night on Oct. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents and students may choose to attend sessions from a large group of activities including Making Words, Literacy and Art, Reader’s Theater, and Celebrating Norton Authors, to name a few. For more information, call the school at 770-985-1933.

Roberts Elementary will host a visit from Dr. Kelly Sink, a psychiatric neuroscientist from Emory University on Oct. 20 at 9:15 a.m. Dr. Sink will share with FOCUS students in Shay Woody’s third grade class about brain anatomy and function. Students will be given the opportunity to view brain tissue from different animal species and touch brain matter from Emory’s educational demonstration brain collection. For more information, call Ms. Woody at 678-745-2370.

Georgia Congressman Rob Woodall (7th District) will speak on the Flat Tax and events in Washington, D.C., including the national debt, to Peachtree Ridge High Teacher Linda Brimmer’s Financial Literacy class on Oct. 21 from 8-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Peachtree Ridge High at 678-957-3100.

Dyer Elementary classes will decorate pumpkins using story book characters for inspiration. Judging of the pumpkins will take place on Oct. 24 at 9 a.m. For more information, call Teacher Matt Bonk at 770-963-6214.

Grayson High Technical Education Program and Meadowcreek High will host visits from The John Lennon Bus, a non-profit mobile recording studio that provides students with free hands-on opportunities to create original music and video projects. The guest artist coming to work with Grayson students on Oct. 24 is Chuck Leavell ( The bus will stop at Meadowcreek High on Oct. 27. For more information, visit, or call the school.

Archer High will hold the school’s 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. For more information, call Valerie Lewis at 678-407-7700.

All 750 students and staff members at Sycamore Elementary participated in “Let's Jump” in support of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign which encourages kids and families to get healthy and active. In addition, Sycamore Elementary used the opportunity to support the National Geographic Kids magazine initiative to set the Guinness World Record title. Breaking the record required more than 20,000 people worldwide completing one minute of jumping jacks at the same time. For more information, call 678-714-5770.

Lanier Middle hosted International Observe the Moon Night in October. This event encourages students to share and explore the moon with the community. Participants viewed lunar samples from the Apolo missions. Planetarium shows were viewed in a portable StarLab. Telescopes were available to view the moon close up. For more information about Lanier Middle, visit

“ArtStage - Marching Band Exhibition, Part 1” This special edition of Artstage features marching bands from Archer, Berkmar, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Grayson, Meadowcreek, Parkview, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett, high schools, and a concluding performance by the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band. Support your school by tuning in and getting ready for a great program of music and marching. This 1 hr. 45 min. program airs this week at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Spanish for Educators - Level 1” This GCPS original 10-part series, taught by Elisa Brown, assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary, is an introduction to the Spanish language tailored especially for educators and other school employees. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday.

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--

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
10/14/2011Six finalists to learn if they will become Gwinnett’s 2012 TOTY (pdf)
10/10/2011Moore MS community invited to school’s dedication (pdf)

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October is computer Learning Month® and Crime prevention Month.

October 16-22 is Teen Read Week.

October 17 is Georgia Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

October 17-21 is Georgia School Bus Safety Week and National School Bus Safety Week.

A regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 20, 2011, at the Instructional Support Center (ISC), located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in October. Call the local school for the time and location.
Alford Elementary28-Oct
Alton C. Crews Middle20-Oct
Archer High School17-Oct
Berkmar High25-Oct
Camp Creek Elementary28-Oct
Craig Elementary31-Oct
Glenn C. Jones Middle27-Oct
Harmony Elementary21-Oct
Henry Partee Elementary26-Oct
Lanier High20-Oct
Lanier Middle20-Oct
Lilburn Elementary18-Oct
Lilburn Middle18-Oct
Lovin Elementary20-Oct
Mill Creek High25-Oct
Moore Middle School21-Oct
North Gwinnett High20-Oct
Parkview High25-Oct
R.L. Norton Elementary28-Oct
Riverside Elementary18-Oct
Simpson Elementary28-Oct
Sugar Hill Elementary18-Oct
Sycamore Elementary18-Oct
T. Carl Buice School20-Oct
Walnut Grove Elementary27-Oct
White Oak Elementary20-Oct

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.

Junior Master Gardner I
    10/17, 10/24
An Astronauts Life: Be a Space Scientist for a Day
    10/1-10/22, 10/29
Creatures of the Night
Haunted Night at the Museum
Fall Historic Bus Tour
Living in Space Exhibit