7/10/2003









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for July 10, 2003

          The following are highlights of the July 10, 2003, 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.

          School Board recognizes Alton C. Crews Scholarship winner
          The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored Parkview HS graduate Christina Alligood as the 2003 recipient of the Alton C. Crews Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship, which is named in honor of a former Gwinnett superintendent, is awarded to a student who plans to become a teacher in Georgia. Human Resources Director Kelly Herndon introduced this year's honoree and described the rigorous selection process. Christina, who aspires to become a special education teacher, said that teachers have been her most common role models over the year. (Her mother, Janet Alligood, is an employee at Mountain Park ES.) Last year, she interned at Mountain Park ES working with special education students and learning the difference between individual therapy and working with an entire class. Christina plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall.

          Gwinnett Technical College staff share school's success stories
          With approximately 50 faculty and staff members behind her, Sharon Rigsby, president of Gwinnett Technical College, provided School Board members with an update on the postsecondary school's accomplishments. "The College is doing great things," she said, "and we are very proud of all that has been accomplished."

          Very visible signs of the college's success are increased enrollment, a job placement rate of 98 percent, and three new buildings. Jan Lindenfeld, an instructor who has been a part of Gwinnett Tech's progress for the past 15 years, described the school as the county's workforce provider, explaining how instructional programs have expanded to meet the needs of students and businesses. Instructor Jim Sass reviewed with the Board some of the technological advancements, including the embracement of virtual classrooms. Veteran employee Randy Allen addressed the Board not about his experiences on the job, but rather as a student enrolled in the college's Adult Education Program. He expressed his appreciation for the program and the opportunities it provides adult students. In closing, Ms. Rigsby thanked School Board members for their ongoing support and expressed her appreciation for the "fabulous professionals" who are a part of the Gwinnett Tech team.

          Gwinnett Board of Education approves changes to student conduct behavior code and to policy for mandatory reporting of student crimes
          The Board set aside its normal policy-revision protocol of placing proposed policy revisions on the table until the next monthly Board meeting in order to approve revisions to two current policies that relate to student discipline and the mandatory reporting of student crimes.
          Policy JCD- Student Conduct Behavior Code
          The revisions to the student conduct behavior code reflect new state discipline definitions and changes to existing state definitions as they relate to the federal No Child Left Behind law and determining Persistently Dangerous Schools. The revisions ensure that the school system's discipline codes match state and federal discipline reporting criteria and also include other general improvements to the policy. In addition, the revisions address changes in state code regarding paging devices and electronic communication devices (cell phones). The revised policy now allows students to have in their possession these devices on a limited basis. However, the use by a student of any personal electronic communication device during school hours or on a school bus is prohibited. The revised policy allows local school principals to set rules pertaining to student possession and use of pagers and/or cell phones to ensure there is no disruption.
          It was necessary for Board members to approve these changes at the July meeting in order to implement and incorporate the policy changes into the 2003-04 student handbook.
          Policy JCDE- Mandatory Reporting of Student Crimes
          In June, the school system and the Gwinnett County District Attorney signed an agreement regarding the reporting of student crimes to the District Attorney's Office. As such, changes to Board policy were necessary to reflect processes included in the revised agreement. The revisions to this policy eliminate the mandatory reporting of damage to school property in excess of $100 and eliminate the requirement to report orally to the District Attorney. The shortened timeline for Board approval was necessary as this agreement becomes effective August 1, 2003. Input on this policy revision will be solicited and if necessary, the item will be brought back before the School Board.

          In other policy action...
          The Board approved policy revisions to Policy GAD - Professional Development Opportunities and Policy GAE - Complaints and Grievances. The minor changes approved reflect current practice.

          The following policies are recommended to be rescinded at the August 14, 2003 Board Meeting:
          Policy GBRB - Personnel Time Schedule-- The information contained in this policy has been incorporated into Policy GBR Personnel Attire and Working Conditions.
          Policy GBRG - Non-School Employment/Personnel Tutoring for Pay/Endorsements-- The information contained in this policy has been incorporated into Policy GAG Staff Conflict of Interest.
          Policy HAN - Staff Job Actions-- The information contained in this policy has been incorporated into Policy HA Personnel Negotiations.

          The following proposed new/revised policies were placed on the table for review until the August 14, 2003 Board meeting:
          Policy GAG - Staff Conflict of Interest-- Staff is recommending that the code and name of this policy be changed from GBRG Non-School Employment/Personnel Tutoring for Pay/Endorsements to GAG Staff Conflict of Interest to match GSBA suggested standards.
          Policy GAK - Personnel Records-- Staff is recommending proposed changes to this policy to comply with current practice.
          Policy GAM - Mandatory Reporting of Employee Crimes-- Staff is recommending that information pertaining to Drug-Free Workplace be removed from this policy and added to the new Policy GAMA Drug Free Workplace.
          Policy GAMA - Drug-Free Workplace-- Staff is recommending a new Policy GAMA to contain information pertaining to a drug-free workplace currently contained in Policy GAM Mandatory Reporting of Employee Crimes.
          Policy GBD - Fingerprinting/Criminal Record Check-- Staff is recommending proposed changes to this policy to add clarity to the information currently contained in the policy.
          Policy GBN - Professional Personnel Separation-- Staff is recommending proposed changes that include changing the name of the policy from Teacher Non-Renewal to Professional Personnel Separation and deleting information in the policy pertaining to teacher tenure to match current law.
          Policy GBR - Personnel Attire and Working Conditions-- Staff is recommending that the name of this policy be changed from Personnel Dress and Safety and information from Policy GBRB Personnel Time Schedule be added to Policy GBR.
          Policy GBU - Professional Personnel Ethics-- Staff is recommending a new policy GBU Professional Personnel Ethics pertaining to compliance with the Professional Standards Commission Code of Ethics.
          Policy HA - Personnel Negotiations-- Staff is recommending proposed changes that include changing the Descriptor Code and Name from HAN Staff Action to HA Personnel Negotiations to match GSBA suggested standards.
          Policy EGA-- Liability Insurance-- Staff is recommending proposed changes in the policy that refer to insurance, defense costs, and deductibles.

          Citizens and groups addressing the Board
          - Heather Koffman
          - Doug Kalmbach
          - Jama Willbanks


          Name-- Current Position
          New Position
          Leigh Westcott-- Assistant Principal, Mountain Park ESPrincipal, Berkeley Lake ES
          Deborah Harris-- Speech-Language Pathology Teacher, GCPSAssistant Principal, Meadowcreek HS
          Maureen Hill-- 4th Grade Teacher, Walnut Grove ESAssistant Principal, Simonton ES
          John Walsh-- Previously served as an Assistant Principal at E.O. Green Jr. HS (Port Huneme, Calif.)Assistant Principal, Susan Stripling ES
          Carlos Cantu-- Community School Teacher and Professional Consultant, Carlos Cantu Consulting, LLCEven Start Administrator, T. Carl Buice Center
          Allan Gee-- Principal, Kodiak MS (Kodiak, Alaska)Administrative Assistant, J.E. Richards MS
          Karen McGinnis-- Teacher Leader, Dacula MSAdministrative Assistant, J.E. Richards MS
          Andrea Lang-- Stellar Substitute, Richard Hull MS; and previously worked in technology roles with IBM, Federal Express, Albion International, and Florida Power and LightAIX System Programmer/Administrator, Information Management
          Terry Rice-- Teaching Assistant/Trainer, Technology Center, Inc. (Norcross, Ga.)Applications Manager, Gwinnett Technical College
          Ms. Westcott takes over leadership of Berkeley Lake ES from Dr. JoAnn Brown, who has joined the staff of Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement.

          In addition, the following organizational changes involving existing positions were presented to Board members for their information:
          Name-- Current Position
          New Position
          Ann Izadi-- Assistant Principal, Jackson ESAssistant Principal, Duncan Creek ES
          Deb Murphy-- Assistant Principal, McKendree ESAssistant Principal, Sycamore ES
          Diana Preston-- Assistant Principal, Lilburn MSAssistant Principal, Berkmar HS
          Daniel Schuster-- Assistant Principal, Lilburn MSAssistant Principal, GIVE Center
          Cynthia Truett-- Assistant Principal, K.E. Taylor ESAssistant Principal, Bethesda ES
          Rhonda Dermer-- Administrative Assistant, Norcross ES Half-time Administrative Assistant, Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. ES; and Half-time Administrative Assistant, Norcross ES
          Aimee Litt-- Half-time Administrative Assistant and Half-time Reading Specialist, J.G. Dyer ESPart-time Administrative Assistant and Part-time Reading Recovery Teacher, W.J. Cooper ES
          Inga McCoy-- Assistant Principal, Shiloh HSHalf-time Assistant Principal, Camp Creek ES