Volume 2, Issue 2

October 2004

Kanoheda’s Ralstin surprised
with national honor

Kanoheda ES Teacher Susan Ralstin got the surprise of her life recently when she was awarded the prestigious Milken Family Foundation 2004 National Educator Award.
Click here for more.

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Milken Award Winner Susan Ralstin

“Nov. 14-20 is American Education Week. Thank you for supporting your local public school, our school system, and our students’ dreams,” says J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). “Together, teachers, parents, and community members are making great public schools for every child.”

Click here for more about your
public education system and American Education Week.

Data collection daunting task for school systems

Did you know school systems collect nearly nine times as many data elements as a major corporation? So says a recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article about the complex and daunting task of collecting, analyzing, and reporting student, school, and system data to fulfill local, state, and federal requirements. Click here to learn more about findings from the Information Technology Project, sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Nov. 6 on calendar for upcoming job fair

Join the Gwinnett County Public Schools Team—the county’s largest and best* employer (*Gwinnett Magazine, “Best of Gwinnett 2003”). Click here for upcoming teacher fairs and here for other employment.

Gwinnett’s top teachers recognized at local, county levels

The process of selecting Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) 2005 Teacher of the Year (TOTY) is well underway. The pool of 97 local school TOTYs has been narrowed to six finalists. An elementary, middle, and high school TOTY will be named at the annual TOTY banquet on Nov. 9. One of these level winners will become Gwinnett’s 2005 TOTY. Click here for a list of finalists, semifinalists, and local school winners.

World-class measures show GCPS progress

Gwinnett students scored above state, national, and global averages on 2004 high school tests, setting county records in participation and scores. Click here for full results. Here are highlights for the SAT I and ACT college-admissions exams, and Advanced Placement (AP) tests:

  • Students matched or set records on the verbal and math sections of the SAT I for the county’s highest-ever total score of 1037. Click here for details on the new essay requirement for the SAT I and other changes for 2005.
  • Test-takers also outperformed Georgia and U.S. peers on the ACT Assessment with an average composite score of 21.4 (out of 36), compared to state and national averages of 20.0 and 20.9, respectively. Click here for upcoming ACT changes.
  • More than two-thirds of students scored 3 or higher for college credit (well above state and global averages), even as GCPS reached an all-time high in participation on college-level AP exams. Click here for more on AP classes and tests.

HS Gateway results show pluses, improvement areas

A significantly higher percentage of 10th graders posted scores in the “Effective” and “Excellent” ranges on Gwinnett’s 2004 HS Gateway. However, the number of students who did not meet the standard also increased during the final year of a five-year phase-in of teacher-set cut scores. System leaders say that, while most students met the high standards, there’s more work ahead to ensure all students are prepared to meet those standards. Click here for HS Gateway details.

Gwinnett superintendent serves on
governor’s task force on state funding

“Georgia’s school systems struggle with funding issues as they work to better serve students,” says CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, a member of a state task force addressing equitable funding for Georgia’s schools. “That is true whether the system is large and growing, like Gwinnett, or it has a small, stable enrollment like many in Georgia. The charge for the task force is to ensure that each system has the resources it needs to deliver a quality educational program.” Click here for background.

Suggest AKS changes through Oct. 29

We invite you to participate in the annual review of Gwinnett's Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Submit suggestions by Oct. 29. Click here for a form.

Instructional materials review underway

Through Oct. 30, citizens can provide input on proposed instructional materials in 9-12 language arts, 6-12 foreign languages, technical education materials, and two HS science electives. Next spring, the Gwinnett School Board will consider recommendations. Click here for more.

State curriculum revisions near completion

The state Board of Education has approved revised curriculum for K-12 English/Language Arts, K-12 Science, K-8 Mathematics, and K-12 Social Studies. HS Math standards currently are under review. The curriculum will be phased in over time, allowing for alignment with local curriculum and teacher training. Full implementation is scheduled for 2008–09. Under the new standards, courses roll out over two years. In the first year, school systems will become familiar with the new standards, but students will learn and be tested on the old curriculum. In year two, students will learn and be tested on the new standards. Click here to review adopted state standards.

Parents are essential partners in education success

Study after study shows the positive impact when parents are involved in their child’s education. In addition to higher graduation levels, high achievement, decreased disciplinary problems, and better self-esteem are benefits seen at all grade levels.

  • Click here for tips on getting involved.
  • Click here for the “ABCs of Staying in Touch with Your Child’s School.”
  • Click here to make the most of parent-teacher conferences.
  • Click here for ways to help with homework.

7,000+ seniors making plans for life after high school

Gwinnett high schools pride themselves on preparing students for the future, providing the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and on the job. School counselors have information on college admissions and scholarships. Related community resources include:

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Town Hall Meeting will cover access to college and financial aid information. The free program is set for Nov. 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Meadowcreek HS, and will be presented in Spanish. Call 770-992-8841 or 770-992-4259 for details.
  • On Feb. 28, a college fair and program will focus on resources for college-bound students with special needs. Call 678-377-4010 to learn more.

Click here
for GCPS TV Programming.

Check out upcoming GCPS calendar dates
  • Oct. 18 starts National School Bus Safety Week and Teen Read Week. Click here for teen literacy activities.
  • Red Ribbon Week, a celebration of drug-free living, runs Oct. 23-31. Click here for more on GCPS’ anti-drug programs.
  • Set clocks back an hour on Oct. 31 for Standard Time.
  • Student holiday on Election Day, Nov. 2.
  • Nov. 6 is the Certified Teacher Job Fair.
  • Nov. 10 and 11 are K-8 early release days.
  • Nov. 11, School Board meeting: open forum at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m.
  • American Education Week begins Nov. 15, along with National Children’s Book Week and Youth Appreciation Week.
  • Nov. 17 is Education Support Professionals Day.
  • Nov. 18 is National Parental Involvement Day.
  • National Family Week is celebrated the week of Nov. 22.
  • Thanksgiving holiday runs Nov. 24-26.

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 GwinnettSchoolsE-News@gwinnett.k12.ga.us with your feedback and suggestions.


©2004 Gwinnett County Public Schools. All rights reserved. 10/04

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