News You Can Use - 11/23/2009

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.

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News You Can Use…
A Gwinnett County Public Schools Tip Sheet For The News Media
11/23/2009 - 12/02/2009

Trip Elementary will host a Lunch-and-Learn workshop on Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m. in the media center. Approximately 50 parents will eat lunch with their students and participate in a Writer's Workshop presentation. Friday’s event is for 3rd-5th grade students and parents. For more information, call 678-639-3850.

13 Gwinnett student artists competed in national competition winning 14 Scholastic Gold Keys. Silver Key winners included 42 GCPS students, and 41 students earned Honorable Mention. Gold and Silver Key artwork will be included in the Scholastic Regional Art Exhibition at the Georgia State University Art and Humanities Building beginning Nov. 30. The exhibit will conclude with a closing reception and awards ceremony on Dec. 5. For more information, call Robert Andrews, director of fine arts, at 678-301-7203.

Grayson Technical Education Program student Cody Dunagan earned 1st place at the State Wildlife Management competition recently for individual competition. In addition, the Grayson team of students Phillip Bates, Justin Butcher, Cody Dunagan, and Tommy Shaw earned 7th place in their team event. For more information, call Lindsey McLain, teacher, at 770-554-7093.

The Duluth High competitive cheerleading team (Claw Squad) placed 3rd in the co-ed division at the State cheerleading competition. For more information, call coaches Chelsea Belvins or Lindsay Norman at 770-476-5206.

Duncan Creek Elementary will host the school’s 7th annual “turkey trot” race on Nov. 23 at 3:50 p.m. Fifth grade students will race around the school ending at the bottom field. Then the boys will race the girls. Top runners will receive prizes for Thanksgiving dinner—turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, and fruit. For more information, call 678-714-5800.

GCPS and the Area II PTA will co-host a College Fair for Students with Disabilities on Dec. 5 from noon to 3 p.m. at the GCPS Instructional Support Center in Suwanee. GCPS invites students with disabilities and their parents to meet with college representatives and learn about higher education options. Topics include financial options, accommodations at the postsecondary level, and preparing for college during high school. Representatives from the military also will be present. For more information, call Chiara Perry, coordinator for special education programs at 678-301-7138.

Shutter Sense and Non-Sense, a high school photography exhibit, began as a way to showcase Gwinnett County Public Schools photography students’ work in a professional gallery space. Photographs in the exhibit are judged by professional photographers. Middle school students will exhibit their photographs for the first time in this year’s Shutter Sense and Non-Sense Photography Exhibit. There are approximately 50 photographs at the middle school level. A reception and awards presentation for the middle and high school photography students will be held on Jan. 8, 2010, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. For more information, call Alexandra Kates, Parkview High teacher, at 770-921-2874.

The Duluth High Student Council and Key Club are hosting Toys for Tots for the Duluth community. Toys for Tots will deliver drop boxes to the school by the end of this week. Duluth residents are encouraged to bring their new unwrapped toys to Duluth High. The toy drive will run through Dec. 11. The clubs will host a holiday movie series at 7 p.m. in the gym on Dec. 11, following the freshmen basketball game. Several Marines and the Atlanta 501st Legion (Star Wars characters) will attend the event. The movies will be “The (true) Grinch That Stole Christmas”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and “Elf”, starring Will Ferrell. The admission price is the donation of a new, unwrapped toy (for Toys for Tots). Food will available for purchase. Families are invited to attend the event. For more information, call Dr. Marsha Hunter, media specialist at 770-232-3336.

Registration information for Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) for the 2010-11 freshman class is available on the GCPS web site and on the GSMST web site. Middle school information sessions about GSMST will be taking place in November and December, as well. The registration deadline is January 22, 2010. GSMST is a charter school and therefore enrollment is open to all current Gwinnett County 8th grade students who complete the 8th grade requirements and who reside in Gwinnett County. The school focuses on advanced and challenging studies in the fields of engineering, biosciences, and emerging technology. The rigorous course work at GSMST may not meet the needs of all students. As this is a school of choice, it is highly recommended that parents and students review the GSMST curriculum and learn more about the school’s offerings before making a decision to register.

GCPS middle school art teachers have 118 student works of art on display at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Concourse E through December as part of the Atlanta Airport Art Show. This artwork will be on display throughout the holiday season. A tour is scheduled for Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. For more information, call Trickum Middle Teacher Dr. Aimée Burgamy at 770-921-2705.

Erica Poole’s South Gwinnett High Spanish classes recently researched Hispanic artists and created artwork inspired by the artist they chose. For more information, call Sue Peterson at 770-682-6030. Photo available upon request.

Pinckneyville Middle hosted a visit from Dr. Peter Ostrum, who played the character “Charlie” in the 1971 production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. More than 180 students participated in the school’s production of the show, and there was a full house in attendance for the performance. For more information, call 770-263-0860.

Duluth High media specialist, Dr. Marsha Hunter returned from a two-week visit to China as a member of the People-to-People delegation from the International Reading Association. The team visited all the cities the president visited, and observed students, talked with educators, and visited culture locations throughout Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing. Literature and literacy were the focus of the visit, along with the education system in Chinese schools. Hunter was one of 35 educators in the delegation and will be sharing her experiences with the Duluth High faculty later in the school year. For more information, call 770-232-3336.

Visit the school system website at for the most current News Releases.
11/19/2009Centerville ES and Sweetwater MS: Recipients of National PTA grant (pdf)
11/17/2009Gwinnett students presented with 1,992 AP Scholar Awards (pdf)
11/13/2009Gwinnett students take top honors at International Media Festival (pdf)

“Celebrating Excellence: Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony (TOTY)” GCPS TV is proud to present a special broadcast of the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony. Join local school recipients, administrators, and Board members for an evening of recognition and celebration. Program highlights include award presentations to the local winners, a video honoring the six TOTY finalists, and the announcement of the level winners and the 2010 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. This 2-plus hour program airs Nov. 23-29 at 8 p.m.

“GCPS Focus” This month, GCPS Focus turns the spotlight on the 2010 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year and the five impressive finalists.
We’ll take a look at how the system is helping students achieve their highest potential with accelerated learning, and rallying community support and participation in systemwide mentoring initiatives … join us for these stories and more on GCPS Focus— your news show about Gwinnett County Public Schools. This 30-min program airs Nov. 23-28 at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

Spanish for Educators - Level 2” This 10-part GCPS TV original series is an advanced Spanish language class designed to help educators learn words and phrases relating to school rules, school personnel, giving directions, and parent-teacher conferences. Hour-long segments will air at 11 a.m. through Dec. 13 (a new class will air each week, beginning on Monday).

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 Web
Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools’ e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia’s largest school system. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Go to the school system’s homepage for sign-up information ( to check out the e-News archives.

Nov. 1-30 is American Indian Heritage Month.

National Family Week is Nov. 22-28.

Nov. 25-27 are Thanksgiving holidays for schools, central offices locations are also closed.

Georgia End of Course Test Window is from Dec. 16-18.

Early release days for Final Exams are scheduled for Dec. 16-18.

The following schools will hold School Council Dates in December. Call the local school for the time and location.
Annistown Elementary
Berkeley Lake Elementary
Brookwood High
Centerville Elementary
Dacula High
Duluth High
Jones Middle
Kanoheda Elementary
Level Creek Elementary
Winn Holt Elementary
Mill Creek High
Nesbit Elementary
Norcross High
Parkview High
Parsons Elementary
Head Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Rock Springs Elementary
Rockbridge Elementary
South Gwinnett High
Starling 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.

November 30
Little Hands - Pumpkins, Gourds, and Acorns

December 12
Community Involvement