Volume 1, Issue 2

May/June 2004

In this issue

Welcome to the second 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) successful.

Gwinnett County Public Schools congratulates the Class of 2004 and wishes all students and staff a safe summer. Although the school year has just ended, it's not too early to begin planning for next school year. Click here for a 2004-05 calendar and here for the list of 2004-05 schools and principals.

GCPS salutes Class of 2004 — largest graduation class in history

More than 7,000 students took part in graduation exercises at Gwinnett’s 15 high schools this May. Located in growing north Gwinnett, Collins Hill High is home to the largest Class of 2004, with more than 800 students. The smallest class, with 200 students, graduates from the new Peachtree Ridge High, which opened last August. The vast majority of Gwinnett seniors have college plans in their futures. Gwinnett graduates earn millions of dollars in academic, athletic, and military scholarships and a high percentage will be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship. For a list of Gwinnett’s top seniors, click here.

Gwinnett County Board of Education adopts FY2005 budget

Totaling approximately $1.3 billion, the school system’s FY2005 budget represents a decrease of 8.0% from the previous year’s budget. Despite state budget cuts totaling $27 million, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) will continue a number of initiatives that have had a positive impact on teaching and learning, and will accommodate its growing student population along with the associated costs of opening 10 new facilities and opening the Monarch School in the old Duluth Middle location. For more on the budget, click here.

Public hearings to set millage rate
June 1 at 11:45 a.m
June 10 at 11:45 a.m.
June 10 at 7 p.m.

GCPS earns '2003-04 Super District' title

Recently, GCPS earned the designation of “2003-04 Super District” for quality schools. The Commissions on Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools bestow this recognition on school districts in which all eligible elementary, middle, and secondary schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Gwinnetts quality school system vies for Georgia Oglethorpe Award

In its pursuit to become a system of world-class schools, GCPS needs to know how it compares to other high-performing organizations. GCPS has taken up the challenge by applying for a 2004 Georgia Oglethorpe Award. This award recognizes Georgia organizations that have documented performance results in the areas of leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; and process management. The Oglethorpe Criteria are the same as those used for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a national standard for identifying excellence. GCPS has progressed through several levels of consideration, recently welcoming a Georgia Oglethorpe team for a multi-day site visit in mid-May. The school system will learn how it fared later this summer.

2002-07 capital program on target despite lagging sales tax

An anticipated 6,500 more students next school year… a 2004-05 student enrollment topping 135,000… the need for 30 to 35 more new schools from 2007 to 2012… These figures speak to the growth GCPS continues to experience.

Voter support for the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) in 1997, and again in 2001, allowed the school system to add schools and classrooms at a record pace. However, sales tax collections are down, running at 71 percent of projections. The School Board took a bold step in April 2004, approving a lease/purchase plan to offset lagging sales tax revenue. This will allow GCPS to finish the promised projects and buy land for future schools. Click here to learn more about the lease/purchase agreement, its benefits, as well as preliminary plans for the 2007-12 building program.

National and state honors roll in for Gwinnett students and staff

High-achieving students and staff are part of GCPS’ success. Examples of recent Gwinnett award winners include J.E. Richards Middle’s Gina Vines, the National Middle School Counselor of the Year; Shailaja Bista, an 11-grader at Parkview High School, who finished first in the nation on the Le Grand Concours, Level 5, National French Exam; 10 students who wrote perfect papers on the National Latin Exam; plus state wins in academic and athletic competitions. Click here for a summary of GCPS honors for 2003-04.

Summer teaching and learning abounds

Summer is here, and it will be a busy time for GCPS. In addition to preparing 10 new facilities for an August opening, GCPS will continue its focus on teaching and learning. Summer school, online courses, online homework help, enrichment activities, and summer reading programs are on the school system’s summer itinerary. Click here for more on summer learning in Gwinnett.

GCPS featured in American School Board Journal

GCPS is referred to as an “achievement success story” in the June 2004 issue of the American School Board Journal. The article, “Gateways to the future,” outlines how GCPS has defied the odds by raising student achievement on measures like the SAT and Advanced Placement as the school system has become more diverse, both economically and ethnically. Dr. Cindy Loe, GCPS associate superintendent, relates the success story, reviewing the development of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum and the district’s Gateway assessments, along with the implementation of resources for teachers and support for struggling students.


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. 6/04

GCPS: P.O. Box 343, Lawrenceville, GA, 30046-0343 (770) 963-8651
If you prefer not to receive GCPS information via e-mail please email your comments or concerns to GwinnettSchoolsE-News@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

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