News You Can Use - 12/05/2005

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
12/05/2005 - 12/11/2005

The Peachtree Ridge Foundation recently awarded grants to Jackson Elementary, Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary, and Richard Hull Middle. The grants will be used for teacher training at Hull Middle and Jackson Elementary, and for the music program at Mason Elementary. Since its inception in February 2003, the Foundation has provided assistance in the areas of arts, academics, and athletics, totaling more than $120,000. For more information, call Diane Clausen, Executive Director of the Peachtree Ridge Foundation, at 678-957-3166.

The Mill Creek High softball team won the AAAAA region championship this fall. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

South Gwinnett High was recognized by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement as a regional winner for region 8-AAAAA for improved SAT test scores. The school was awarded a trophy and a $1,000 grant. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

Tammy Snyder of Pharr Elementary was awarded a $250 grant from the Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education. The grant will be used to purchase novels for her 4th grade gifted education students. For more information, call 770-985-0244.

Grayson Elementary will host the school’s Holiday Chorus concert on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 770-554-1071.

The Five Forks Middle Performing Arts students will perform at the Governor's Mansion Holiday Tours during the first week of December. Each group will perform holiday musical selections as guests tour the Governor's Mansion. The dates and times are: Dec. 6, 10 to 11:45 a.m., Instrumental Ensembles; Dec. 6, 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Chorus Club; and Dec. 9, 10 to 11:45 a.m., Chamber Orchestra. For more information, e-mail the band and chorus directors at,,,, and

Members of South Gwinnett High Singers of South group, directed by Amanda Sali, will present their Winter Chorus Concert on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Snellville United Methodist Church. The concert will feature musical works by Michael Praetorius, Gustav Holst, and John Rutter, as well as a Holiday Sing-Along. For more information, call 770-972-4840.

The Berkmar High Choral Department will present the school’s eighth annual Madrigal Dinner on Dec. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m., and on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance for $15. For more information, call 770-806-3717.

Gail Handler’s class at Arcado Elementary is participating in the “Heifer International” project this holiday season. Students will donate money toward the purchase of a farm animal to be donated to a family living in poverty in another country. For more information, visit, or call 770-972-2100.

Grayson Elementary and Cub Scout Pack 499 are collecting toys for the annual Toys for Tots Drive. The collection boxes will remain in the school lobby through Dec. 9. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

The Mill Creek High Interact Club is sponsoring a clothing drive for the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter and the Battered Women’s Shelter. Students will be collecting children’s coats to donate to the shelters. The Mill Creek High Key Club, Peer Leaders, and Care Team will collect toys for needy families. The toy drive will run through Dec. 11. Drop-off boxes will be placed in the commons area in the mornings and at lunch. For more information, e-mail

South Gwinnett High will host 19 area restaurants on Dec. 5 from 6-9 p.m. for the first Taste of South event at the school. This fine arts fundraiser includes the participation of band, chorus, drama, orchestra, and visual arts students. The evening will conclude with a joint concert of advanced music ensembles. Tickets are $10. For more information, e-mail Erik Mason at Erik­

Camp Creek Elementary kindergarten classes will host Dr. Jean Feldman on December 6. Dr. Jean is well-known for songs that are both fun and educational. She has recorded eight CD's that are used in many elementary schools, and she gives instructional workshops all over the United States. For more information, call 770-921-1626.

Mill Creek High will host the school’s second annual Art Show on Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Student artwork will be on display. In addition, the Mill Creek Art Club and National Art Honor Society members will host a Pottery Sale, donating all proceeds to the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. For more information, call Kelly Guyotte at 678-714-5850.

The special education classes at Grayson Elementary will compete in Special Olympics bowling on Dec. 7. For more information, call Joan Prichard, at 678-442-7610.

Katie Waldrop’s classes at Mill Creek High will hold mock weddings on Dec. 8 at 9:45 and at 11:45 a.m. as a project for individual and family development chapters focusing on relationships, engagement, and marriage. Students will wear bridesmaid’s dresses and the bride and groom will be dressed in wedding attire. The minister's role will be written by a local minister and there will be a reception following the ceremony. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

J.P. McConnell Middle will hold a “Holly Days” craft show on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors and exhibitors will have their craft items available for purchase. Chick-fil-A and pizza will be available to purchase for lunch. Admission is free and there will be raffles throughout the day. For more information, call 770-554-1000.

Mill Creek High will hold the school’s annual “Taste of Mill Creek” on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the commons area. As many as 25 restaurants will provide a “taste” of their cuisine. Live entertainment will be provided by schools in the Mill Creek Cluster. The school’s Soccer Goal Club will sponsor “Pictures with Santa” and a craft fair. There will be a silent auction, and poinsettias will be available for sale. Advance tickets are $10, entitling a person to 10 food-tasting coupons and an entry in the grand prize drawing. Individual coupons will be sold at the door. For more information, e-mail Deb Conroy at or Lisa Reed at

Grayson Elementary will hold a Skate Night on Dec. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. The theme will be “Pick up a Book and Look.” Students may donate gently used and new books to help schools and libraries affected by Hurricane Katrina. Participants also may trade books as well as donate them. The student who gives the most books will receive a prize. Guests at the book collection will be Ashley Brooke Edge-- Teen Miss U.S. United 2005 and Teen Miss Georgia U.S. United 2005-- and the Grayson High Cheerleaders football players. This group of students will donate their time as well. For more information, call 770-963-7189.

Lawrenceville Elementary will hold a graduation ceremony on Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. in the gym for its 5th grade students to mark their completion of the ADVANCE program. ADVANCE (Avoiding Drugs, Violence And Negative Choices Early) is a program developed by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with the Gwinnett County Police Department, Gwinnett County Board of Education, and Gwinnett United in Drug Education (GUIDE). Officer Mark Dau of the Lawrenceville Police Department has presented this program over a period of seven weeks. Lawrenceville Mayor Bobby Sikes will attend the ceremony along with Chief Randy Johnson, Major Paul King, Captain Greg Vaughn, and Lieutenant Gary Kotkiewicz. For more information, call 770-963-1813.

Mill Creek High has formed an Equestrian Club. The club will meet once a month to discuss topics related to the equine sport and the care of horses. Students who are considered to be members in good standing of the club are eligible to train at Jefferson Equestrian Center and compete in shows against other local school teams. Horses will be provided for lessons, shows, and competitions. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

The Mill Creek High Key Club received its charter from a local Kiwanis Club on Nov. 8. The Key Club, sponsored by Dr. Clyde Wylie, received a banner and charter at the ceremony. A picture is available upon request. For more information, call 678-714-5850.

Susan Stripling Elementary recently hosted author and storyteller Carmen Deedy. In addition, Georgia Public Broadcasting will film Ms. Deedy with Stripling Elementary students as a part of the Georgia Department of Education’s “Georgia Read More” initiative, supporting literacy awareness. For more information, call 770-582-7577.

“The Industrious Tradesmen - Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip” Follow the lives of several journeymen fresh from their apprenticeships in trades and business as they learn how skill and opportunity will have an impact on their careers. Discover which ones will accomplish their dreams of becoming shop masters. This 60-min. program airs live Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. and rebroadcast at 1 p.m.

“NASA Connect: Team Extreme: The Statistics of Success” This program focuses on NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate and the teamwork required to produce a successful space mission. Students will draw a parallel between the teamwork used in a NASA mission and how teamwork energizes the popular sport of auto racing. Using hands-on lessons and web-based activities, students will develop an understanding of statistical analysis and how people use statistics to make decisions. This 30-min. program airs Dec. 5-7 and Dec. 9-11 at 10 a.m.

“The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Workshop” Annenberg/CPB. The programs in this video library show classroom teachers and arts specialists successfully using the arts in a variety of ways. Teachers featured in these programs include specialists in dance, music, theater, and visual art, as well as classroom teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade. Programs 1-12 (two 30-min. programs, airing back-to-back) of this 14-part workshop air Dec. 5 - 10 at 11 a.m.

“English...Yes, I Can! (Series 1)” English...Yes, I Can (Series 1) is a video telecourse designed to teach beginning English literacy skills to adult learners. Series 1 is scheduled to air through Jan. 3 on GCPS TV. The 60-minute program airs Monday–Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 1 a.m., and 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--

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The next regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m., Dec. 8, 2005, at Lawrenceville East, located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.

Dec. 14-16 are early release days for high school exams.

Dec. 19-30 is Winter Break (student holidays) with student holidays Jan. 2 and 3. Students return to school Jan. 4.

The following Gwinnett schools will hold Local School Council Meetings during December and January. Call the local school for the time and meeting place.
Fort Daniel
Grayson High
Meadowcreek High
Berkmar Middle
Brookwood Elementary
Brookwood High
Buice Center
Central Gwinnett
Dacula High
Duncan Creek
Five Forks
Grayson Elementary
Level Creek
Lilburn Middle
Mountain Park
North Gwinnett
Shiloh Middle