07/13/2000









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for July 13, 2000

          The following are highlights of the July 13, 2000, Gwinnett County Board of Education Meeting

          Principal Appointments Approved for Four Schools
          In adopting the Personnel Report submitted by Mr. Wilbanks, the Board approved a long list of new hires and leadership appointments, including numerous teachers and support personnel for the 2000-01 school year. Leadership appointments included the following:
          • Dr. Valerie Clark, currently the principal of Shiloh MS, was appointed by the Board to the principal position at Central Gwinnett HS.
          • Karen Robinson, currently an assistant principal at Shiloh MS, will be the school's new principal.
          • Joyce Callahan, currently an assistant principal at Alton C. Crews MS, was appointed principal of Pinckneyville MS. She succeeds Diana Baird who was recently appointed Director of Middle and High School Staffing.
          • Jaime Espinosa, an assistant principal at Summerour MS, will be the school's new principal. He fills the vacancy that resulted from the appointment of Dr. Gale Hey to the position of Director of Teacher Staff Development.
            Other Leadership Appointments...
            • Aimee Litt, currently a reading specialist at Dyer ES, appointed administrative assistant at the school.
            • Julian Brown, principal of Commerce MS in the Commerce City Schools, will be an assistant principal at Lilburn MS.
            • Lynne Best, a teacher at Norcross HS, will serve as an administrative assistant at the school.
            • Byron Watts, a retiree of the school system, will be a half-time assistant principal at the GIVE Center.

              School Board Continues Funding to GUIDE
              Board members agreed to provide $32,750 to help continue funding the Gwinnett United in Drug Education (GUIDE) program. The School Board and the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners sign an annual contract to support the program. Programs and services offered through GUIDE include: action groups for alcohol and other drug abuse prevention; assistance in establishing alcohol and other drug-free student clubs; a referral network for individuals and families with alcohol and other drug abuse problems, and for school officials and others to use when individual youth are found to have abused alcohol or other drugs; and a speakers bureau that disseminates information to various community groups.

              School Nutrition Report Shared With Board
              Three times a year the Gwinnett County Board of Education receives an update on the school system's School Nutrition Program (SNP). The report provides information on participation levels and the financial status of each school's program. The report, which provides figures through May 2000, shows a systemwide participation level of almost 70 percent (Elementary- 76 percent, Middle- 58 percent, High School- 49 percent participation with a la carte). It also reflects that the program is in a sound financial position.

              Annual Special Education Comprehensive Plan Approved
              Gwinnett County's Board of Education is required by state rules and regulations to annually approve the Special Education Comprehensive Plan, which assures that the school system complies with all state and federal requirements regarding special education. The plan specifies how GCPS will use the federal money that will flow to the system for special education. Federal dollars account for nine percent of GCPS' cost of educating special education children; 96 percent of these federal dollars is spent on direct instructional costs. This plan must be approved by the Georgia Department of Education before federal special education funds are released.

              Gateway Update Reflects Improvement In All Subtest Areas In Grades 4 and 7
              Board members received an update regarding the Gateway Assessment Program. Total results from the fourth- and seventh-grade Gateway tests were shared with the Board. When compared to the pilot test scores, student performance improved in all subtest areas at both grade levels. Fourth-grade passing rates ranged from more than 99 percent in social studies (0.9 percent failure rate) to almost 97 percent in science (3.1 percent failure rate). Seventh-grade results were equally positive. Failure rates ranged from just over one percent (1.1 percent) in social studies to 1.6 percent in language arts. Results for the pilot test and the test given last April were computed using the same cut score.

              All parents of students who took the Gateway have been notified of their child's scores. Students who failed the Gateway test were given the opportunity to attend summer school to help them prepare for a Gateway retest. The retest will be given the last week of summer school. If a student does not pass the Gateway retest he/she will receive instructional help in the areas of need next school year while learning the next grade level's curriculum.

              GEMS Oversight Committee Appointment Process Reviewed
              The Gwinnett Educational Management System (GEMS) Oversight Committee is the group that annually analyzes data on the Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum and then makes recommendations to the superintendent. The committee of 24 educators and 24 community members has been in existence since being appointed by the superintendent in 1996. In an effort to update the group's membership, all charter members were asked to rotate off the committee and/or reapply for membership. Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks decided to appoint four additional community members, bringing the total to 28, to broaden community representation on the committee. Applications for membership were solicited at schools, in the newspaper, and on Gwinnett County Public Schools' web site. The membership will be representative of all school clusters, community groups, school levels, and program areas. Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks plans to finalize the group's membership by the end of the month.

              Proposed Policy Tabled
              Proposed changes to Policy BDC, Policy Adoption were tabled until the August 10, 2000, Board meeting to allow for public input. The proposed changes reflect the Board's current practice in adopting or revising Board policy.