In this issue
Welcome to the first edition of Gwinnett County
Public Schools' e-newsletter
a quick, easy way to learn
more about Georgia's largest school system. You'll find stories
on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and
the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS)
Gwinnett will open nine new schools, including Mill Creek High
School, pictured above. All of these schools will be staffed
with veteran GCPS principals at the helm. Several school leadership
changes have been announced as longtime administrators move from
existing schools to the new facilities, and additional principal
appointments are made. Click
here for the list of 2004-05 principals.
School Board takes
next steps in lease/purchase financing agreement
continues to be made in establishing the lease/purchase financing
plan that will allow GCPS to keep building classrooms its students
need. Terms of the agreement between Gwinnett County Public Schools
and the Gwinnett County Development Authority have been accepted
by both parties. Work is underway on finalizing the financial
structure, which will be ready for approval in March or April.
Under the agreement, GCPS will obtain funding
through the Authority for construction and capital improvements
approved by voters in the November 6, 2001, sales tax referendum.
GCPS will make annual payments to the Development Authority until
the lease is paid, using revenue from the one-cent sales tax.
The lease/purchase financing plan has several
benefits. It allows the school system to keep building classrooms
while taking advantage of a very favorable economic climate.
Interest rates are at a 40-year low and the school system's credit
rating is the best it can be-triple A from Moody's Investors
Services. That means GCPS can obtain the advance funding it needs
at very low cost. In addition, land, which is becoming more scarce
and more expensive, can be purchased now for approximately 30
new schools needed in the next building program.
A public hearing on the lease/purchase financing
option is scheduled prior to the School Board's March 11 meeting.
The public hearing will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the
Board Room at the school system's Lawrenceville East facility,
located at 723 Hi-Hope Road in Lawrenceville.
is a community partner in war on drugs and violence
findings from the Gwinnett County Grand Jury indicated citizens
need to learn more about drug and gang-related crime. GCPS encourages
young people and their families to learn as much as they can.
Students learn about drug abuse and violence prevention in class
and through special programs that promote a safe learning environment
and teach students to make good choices. In addition, the Safe
and Drug-Free Schools and Counseling programs, along with the
school system's School Resource Officers, provide prevention
and intervention resources that benefit students and families.
For more on resources available through the schools, click
New Grayson Technical
Education Program gives students the 'edge'
new Grayson High School Technical Education Program will offer
cutting-edge courses, through a half-day program or an evening
schedule, that go beyond what is available at students' regular
high schools. Students will explore career options through programs
like Technical Theater; Biotechnology; Veterinarian Technology;
Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism; and Digital Media and Design.
Registration for fall classes in the Grayson
High School Technical Education Program will be held this spring
in all Gwinnett high schools. Click
here for details.
DOE seeks input
on curriculum revisions
an effort to improve the statewide curriculum, the Georgia Department
of Education and education experts considered best practices
in developing the new Georgia Performance Standards, currently
Parents, educators, and community members are
invited to review the curriculum and make specific comments through
March 31. The State Board of Education is expected to act on
the curriculum changes in May.
In Gwinnett, teams of teachers are reviewing
the draft curriculum. The GEMS Oversight Committee, which annually
reviews Gwinnett's AKS curriculum, also will be asked for input
on the suggested changes.
After the State Board adopts the new state curriculum,
GCPS will make any changes necessary to align the AKS with the
state curriculum, while maintaining its high expectations for
teaching and learning.
Click here to review
the proposed state curriculum online.
chosen for influential state task force
J. Alvin Wilbanks is one of 19 Georgia leaders appointed by Gov.
Sonny Perdue to study state education funding. The task force
will reexamine the Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula,
which determines how state funds are allocated to Georgia's K-12
With so much riding on state funding and school-related
legislation, GCPS is well served by keeping the county's 23-member
legislative delegation informed of important education issues.
For a look at GCPS' 2004 Legislative Program, click
Program Update-- Aggressive building program continues as enrollment
schools, a strong curriculum, and a community that cares about
education have made Gwinnett County an attractive place to raise
a family or locate a business. In fact, for five straight years,
GCPS has welcomed 6,000-plus students per year, swelling the
student population to 129,000 this school year.
As Gwinnett's school population has grown so
have housing challenges, prompting the system's most aggressive
building plan ever. The 2002-07 building program calls for 11
elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, and
three replacement facilities— plus additions to 40 schools
and three renovations at existing facilities. The projects total
1,989 additional classrooms. Click
here to find out more about GCPS' building program, classroom
needs, and funding for growth. For the 5-year enrollment forecast, click
students in workplace 'classrooms'
summer, a group of GCPS math, science, and technology teachers
engage in a learning program based in local businesses and industries.
The Georgia Industrial Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) program
places teachers in workplace settings for six to eight weeks
where they get real-life business experience to take back to
the classroom. An information
meeting for teachers is scheduled for March 18. For more
information or to learn how your business can host a teacher,
visit the CEISMC (Center
for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing)
Dates in GCPS
11: Public hearing on the lease/purchase agreement
(5:30 p.m.), to be followed by Board of Education meeting at
April 15: Board of Education meeting, 7 p.m.,
April 13, 20, 22, 27 & 29: Area Board Meetings
For Area Board Meeting locations and other school system
would like to hear your suggestions for topics to cover in
future issues of this publication, or ways we can keep in touch
if for some reason you do not wish to receive this e-mail.
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 email GwinnettSchoolsE-News@gwinnett.k12.ga.us with your feedback and suggestions.