Gwinnett County Public Schools | Education - Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 2

November 2005

Tsoi named top teacher for Gwinnett


Dr. Mai Yin Tsoi of Collins Hill HS was named 2006 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY) on Nov. 3 at a banquet recognizing the school system’s 105 local school TOTYs. Dr. Tsoi will represent GCPS in state TOTY competition. For more on this inspiring educator and other TOTY honorees, click here.

Dr. Mai Yin Tsoi
Dr. Mai Yin Tsoi (right) is congratulated by Marshall Boutwell, president of the Gwinnett Federal Credit Union.

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“Like America, Gwinnett County benefits from its outstanding public school system. Success lives and thrives here… and for many, success is first experienced and learned in a Gwinnett classroom.”
Mr. WilbanksJ. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent

Click here for more on the role of public education in our community as we celebrate American Education Week and here for businesses participating in American Education Week activities.

27 Gwinnett schools recognized under state accountability system

Improving and promoting excellence in student academic achievement snagged state awards for 27 Gwinnett County schools. Under the Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS), the state recognizes schools in two categories: 1) Greatest gain in percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards; and 2) Highest percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards. Click here for a list of GCPS schools honored and here for more about the state’s accountability system, administered by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education.

Board to share legislative priorities with Gwinnett delegation

In a breakfast meeting with the county’s legislative delegation later this month, Gwinnett County School Board members will discuss issues that are critical in improving the impact of educational programs. Click here for the school system’s priorities for the upcoming session.

After the storm: Hurricanes have impact on Gwinnett
  • Katrina fuels enrollment… Gwinnett school communities have opened their hearts and classrooms to nearly 1,300 students affected by Hurricane Katrina. Local school administrators, office staff, and teachers continue to aid school counselors and social workers in helping these students make the transition. Several displaced educators have found new school homes in Gwinnett as well. You can read more about how GCPS school communities are helping these new residents when you click here.
  • Rita prompts calendar change… As Hurricane Rita threatened fuel supplies, GCPS complied with Gov. Perdue’s request to cancel classes Sept. 26–27 to save diesel. Students and teachers will make up the missed days Feb. 20 and March 13, but that left the school calendar with just one more designated make-up date.
Katrina quilt "The “Caring Quilt” at Berkeley Lake ES, which tracked donations, was one of many service projects in Gwinnett schools after Katrina.

To plan for the uncertainty of winter weather, GCPS added another make-up day. April 14— originally a teacher/student holiday— will become Snow Make-Up Day Priority 3, while May 25 will become Snow Make-Up Day Priority 4, if needed. Click here for a copy of the revised calendar for your fridge.

Redistricting to balance enrollment for
Brookwood, Meadowcreek clusters

School communities in two clusters— Brookwood and Meadowcreek— have nearly completed the redistricting process to balance enrollment between schools in the cluster and to relieve overcrowding, moving students out of portable classrooms where possible. The proposed boundary changes do not cross cluster lines. Once approved, the boundary changes would go into effect for the 2006–07 school year. Brookwood Cluster schools affected by the redistricting include Brookwood ES, Craig ES, Gwin Oaks ES, R. D. Head ES, Alton C. Crews MS, and Five Forks MS. Meadowcreek Cluster schools include Lilburn ES, Nesbit ES, and Rockbridge ES. Local schools, parents, staff, and community members have had the opportunity to review draft maps and give input in writing and in public meetings. Boundary committees, composed of an educator and a parent or community member from each affected school, have made recommendations. The School Board will vote on final recommendations on Dec. 8. Click here for redistricting details.

GCPS seeks school nutrition workers
  • Starting hourly pay of $8.82, more with verified food production experience.
  • Most jobs are a very fast-paced four hours— generally 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., with a
    30-minute unpaid break.
  • Food assistant positions qualify for benefits and free training. Uniforms provided.
  • Also, immediate openings for Employees in Motion (substitutes who can travel to schools, as needed).
  • Other jobs occasionally available: Food assistant (breakfast), food assistant/cashier, assistant managers, and managers.

Click here for an application online. Applications also are available at local school offices or by calling the GCPS Application Line at 678-377-8909.

High schools engage students through 3 new R’s
HS student

When it comes to the high school experience, the three R’s have taken on new meaning. Education experts say that high schools must focus on rigor, relevance, and relationships to keep students engaged in learning and ensure that expectations are high for all students as they prepare for college and the work world. Click here to learn more.

About teaching and learning… mathematics and literacy

Support aids math mastery for Gwinnett students: Collaboration, extra help, and technology are just a few ways Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) supports students working to master the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) in GCPS’ mathematics curriculum. Click here for seven everyday math tips for young mathematicians.

Literacy ‘seeds’ planted, nurtured across curriculum, at each grade level: In the garden of knowledge, the seeds of literacy are among the first to be planted. Once children enter a Gwinnett classroom, literacy grows and grows. Gwinnett educators in every content area and at every grade level nurture the literacy knowledge and skills that are critical to a child’s academic success Click here for 10 at-home reading reinforcers and here for K-12 literacy skill-builders.

Math photo
During the summer Shiloh Cluster Math Institute, students reinforced their learning with fun, instructional activities.

Watch for these college and career resources, events
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund: Students can find scholarship information, publications, seminars and workshops, and other resources to make higher education a reality. Call 770-992-4259 or click here.
  • It’s crunch-time for the Class of 2006. Click here for a free, one-stop site for Georgia students to explore career and college options, including online financial aid and state college applications. And, the state’s new online SAT prep class is free and available to Georgia public school students 24/7. Local schools provide pass codes to students.
  • Open House events highlight tech ed: Rising juniors and seniors and their parents can learn more about technical education programs, diploma options, and the application process during events at two campuses in January. The Grayson High School Technology Education Program Open House is set for Jan. 17, 7-8:30 p.m. Call 770-554-7082 to learn more. The Maxwell High School of Technology Open House will be held Jan. 19, 2:30-4 and 6-7 p.m. Click here to check out programs or call 770-963-6838 for Open House details.
  • ‘Accessing Resources for College-Bound Special Needs Students’: Middle and high school students served in GCPS’ special education program— along with their families, teachers, and counselors— are invited to a college fair and program from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville. Learn more on diploma and college options, the SAT, admissions, and graduation requirements. Event sponsors are GCPS, the Gwinnett PTA Council, and the Gwinnett County Extension Service.

Let’s stay in touch…

TV Remote

  • Tune into GCPS TV. Click here for programming and cable channels for GCPS TV.
  • Watch the GCPS Web site. Click here for the home page.
  • Check your email every other month for this electronic newsletter. Click here for the e-News archives.
  • Look for Communiqué, GCPS’ community newsletter. Read the fall issue when you click here.

Honors add up for Gwinnett students, staff, schools

GCPS accomplishments are stacking up. Consider the following… our highest-ever average SAT score, a national School of Distinction in literacy, the state’s top robotics team, medal-winning fencers, honors in school nutrition and transportation, state championships in fast-pitch softball and girls’ and boys’ cross-country, grants galore, BellSouth Educators, $1 million-plus raised for cancer research, winning essays and poetry, a Georgia social studies teacher (and program) of the year, a Yale Teaching Award recipient, NAACP Image Award honoree, student leadership recognition, scholarship recipients, and top honors in art and music. Click here for more honors and awards. Award lists are updated periodically as schools, staff members, and students are honored at the state and national levels. During the school year, “News You Can Use” is a weekly collection of honors and upcoming events submitted by local schools.

Next up, 2006

2005 is winding down. Next up, 2006. Click here for a list of GCPS dates through the first weeks of 2006.


We would like to hear your suggestions for topics to cover in future issues of this publication, or ways we can keep in touch if you do not wish to receive this e-mail publication. Thank you for your continued support of public education and of Gwinnett County Public Schools' efforts to become a system of world-class schools. Please e-mail with your feedback and suggestions.


©2005 Gwinnett County Public Schools. All rights reserved. 11/05

GCPS: 52 Gwinnett Dr., Lawrenceville, GA, 30045 (770) 963-8651
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2005 Gwinnett County Board of Education
Daniel D. Seckinger, Chairman; Dr. Robert McClure, Vice Chairman;
Carole Boyce; Dr. Mary Kay Murphy; and Louise Radloff
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks