01/10/2008









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for January 10, 2008

The following are highlights of the January 10, 2008, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board attends to annual business at start of new calendar year
January is the month for the School Board to elect its officers for the new calendar year. As the first order of business, Carole Boyce, who represents District I, was elected chairman for 2008. Daniel D. Seckinger, District II representative, was elected vice chairman for 2008. In accordance with policy, the School Board reaffirmed its policies, designated the Gwinnett Daily Post as the official media organ for the school system, and approved retaining the services of Thompson & Sweeny as its legal counsel. In addition, Board members approved the meeting schedule for 2008. Adopted School Board meeting dates include January 10, February 14, March 13, April 17, May 8, June 19, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11.

Board salutes award-winning schools, students, and staff
-- At its November meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education honored Gwinnett's schools honored through the 2007 Single Statewide Accountability System for promoting and improving student achievement. Representatives from one school-- Simonton ES-- were not able to attend that meeting. Simonton ES received a Silver Award for greatest gains under the Single Statewide Accountability System. A complete list of Gwinnett schools earning the 2007 Single Statewide Accountability System Award for greatest gains includes Annistown ES- Gold, J.P. McConnell MS- Platinum, Simonton ES- Silver. Gwinnett schools honored for having highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding academic standards are Brookwood ES- Bronze, Brookwood HS- Gold, Camp Creek ES- Silver, Collins Hill HS- Bronze, Alton C. Crews MS- Gold, Duncan Creek ES- Silver, Freeman's Mill ES- Silver, R.D. Head ES- Silver, North Gwinnett HS- Bronze, Frank N. Osborne MS- Silver, Parkview HS- Bronze, Parsons ES- Gold, Riverside ES- Gold, Simpson ES- Platinum, and Suwanee ES- Bronze.
-- Board members recognized two Gwinnett schools that were among the 23 honored by the state as Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement. One public school from each Congressional District is chosen in each of two categories: "Top 10 Percent" and "Greatest Gains." Freeman’s Mill ES has been named a Georgia School of Excellence in the "Top 10 Percent" category. Schools in this category are measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Marian Hicks is the principal at Freeman's Mill ES. J.P. McConnell MS has been named a Georgia School of Excellence in the "Greatest Gains" category. Schools in this category must demonstrate the greatest continuous gains in student achievement for the past three years, as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Paula Everett-Truppi is the principal at J.P. McConnell MS.
-- The Board of Education saluted the Collins Hill HS boys and girls cross country teams on their AAAAA State Championship seasons. Activities Director Roland Wallace introduced the teams and coaches. He applauded head coach Andrew Hudson on his nine state championship teams. Mr. Hudson is the head coach for both teams, with Richard Ramsey assisting with the boys' team and Jessica Sedor assisting with the girls' team. This is the second state title for the Collins Hill HS Boys Cross Country Team with a previous win in 2000.The top finish for the girls team marks its fifth consecutive state title.
-- Duluth HS Co-Ed Competition Cheerleading Team received a nod on winning its third state championship. The team also was named the 2007 National Team of the Year by the National Cheerleading Conference and the 2007 Sportsmanship Award winner by the Georgia High School Association. Principal Pat Blenke applauded the efforts of the team and its coaches, and thanked the parents for their support of the student-athletes. The team is coached by Lindsay Norcom, head coach, and Kelly Halcomb, assistant coach.
-- Board members also congratulated the Peachtree Ridge HS Girls Competition Cheerleading Team on its state title win. The school's principal, Dr. Steve Flynt, introduced Dr. Rob Spencer, the team's head coach, and members of the team, thanking them for setting a standard of excellence. Peachtree Ridge HS is the first school in AAAAA history to win three consecutive girls state championships in the sport. Dr. Spencer thanked the parents and community as well as the school's leadership for supporting the team throughout the year.
-- The School Board saluted the school system's Special Education department, under the direction of Executive Director Susan M. White, for its recognition by the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Council for Administrators of Special Education (GCASE). At the annual fall conference of GCASE, Gwinnett County Public Schools was recognized as a leader in the state of Georgia for outstanding efforts to improve the performance of students with disabilities. Data from the 2006-07 school year reflected the accomplishments of Gwinnett schools. This recognition for excellence in the education of students with disabilities was achieved by meeting the state target:
  • for students who meet or exceed achievement standards for Math;
  • for students who meet or exceed achievement standards for Reading/English Language Arts;
  • for reducing the students who drop out of school;
  • for graduates with regular education diplomas; and
  • for educating young children in the least-restrictive environment.

Board extends contract of CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks
The Gwinnett County Board of Education unanimously approved an extension of the superintendent's contract, calling for a new two-year term beginning July 1, 2008. Under the new contract, all terms will remain the same except the Board will no longer make a contribution to the Gwinnett Retirement System. Instead, the Board will provide the superintendent with a $3,500 per month retirement supplement. Mr. Wilbanks' annual cost of living raise will begin Jan. 1 of each calendar year. His current contract will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2008, to reflect those terms. Mr. Wilbanks has served as Gwinnett County Public Schools' superintendent since March of 1996.

Board reviews process for updating policies and procedures
It is the practice of the Gwinnett County Board of Education to require an ongoing audit of Board policies and administrative procedures that serve as operational guidelines for the school system. This practice ensures that the school system is in compliance with state and federal laws and State Board of Education rules, and allows for Board oversight and governance. A review of this past year's policy activity indicates that five new polices were adopted, 41 polices were revised and adopted, 13 policies were rescinded, six new procedures were approved, 68 procedures were revised and approved, and six procedures were rescinded.

School Board continues its policy work
School Board members approved the following policies. They had been placed on the table last month to allow for further input.
Policy GAAA- Equal Opportunity-- Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GAE- Complaints and Grievances-- Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GAG- Staff Conflict of Interest-- Minor changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GAK- Criminal Background Check-- The descriptor code has been changed from GBD and the title has been changed from “Fingerprinting/Criminal Record Check/Evaluation Requirements for Employment.” Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GAM- Mandatory Reporting of Employee Crimes-- Minor changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GAMA- Drug Free Workplace-- Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GBC- Employment and Recruitment-- Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GBM- Professional Personnel Transfer-- This new policy has been created to reflect improvements in system processes.
Policy GBO- Personnel Resignations and Reemployment-- Minor changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GBRC- Employee Work Day-- The title of this policy has been changed from “Personnel Attire and Working Conditions” and the descriptor code has been changed from GBR. Changes have been made to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GBRI- Personal Leave-- Minor changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GBRIB- Sick Leave Bank-- Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GBRIG- Family and Medical Leave Act-- The title of this policy has been changed from “Family and Medical Leave.” Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy GCRA- Drug and Alcohol Testing-- The descriptor code has been changed from GBRA. Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.

The Board rescinded the following policies which had been tabled for review at its December meeting:
Policy GABA- Personnel Resource Allocation-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GAC- Staff Involvement in Decision Making-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GAEA- Complaints About Personnel-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GAK- Personnel Records-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GBA- Personnel Compensation-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GBAB- Pay for Performance-- This policy is obsolete and no longer required.
Policy GBBA- Personnel Qualifications and Duties-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy GBI- Evaluation of Personnel-- This policy is not legally required.
Policy HA- Personnel Negotiations-- This policy is not legally required.