GCPS Board Meeting Summary for November 15, 2012

The following are highlights of the November 15, 2012, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Board Chairman Louise Radloff, Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, Dr. Robert McClure, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Daniel Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board recognizes students and staff
- Members of the Board of Education congratulated the North Gwinnett HS Air Force Junior ROTC on its recognition as a 2011-12 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit with Merit award winner by the Department of the Air Force. This is the highest possible rating for an Air Force Junior ROTC unit. This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that perform above and beyond normal expectations, and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the AFJROTC mission of producing better citizens for America. The objectives of the AFJROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; to promote community service; to instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education; and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals. Air Force Junior ROTC is located in 884 high schools across the United States and at selected schools in Europe, in the Pacific, and in Puerto Rico. Junior ROTC enrollment includes more than 117,000 cadets. Principal Ed Shaddix, Major Bruce Bonds, and Chief Master Sergeant Michael Shannon expressed pride in the cadets' accomplishments.
- The School Board honored eight Gwinnett schools that recently earned recognition as 2012 Georgia Department of Education Reward Schools. Knight ES was the only GCPS school designated in the "Highest Performing" category. Title I schools recognized in this category are among the top 5% of Title I schools in the state with the highest absolute performance over three years for the "all students" group on statewide assessments. A Highest-Performing School must have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the “all students” group and all of its subgroups in 2011. A school may not be classified as a Highest-Performing School if there are significant achievement gaps across subgroups that are not closing in the school. Benefield ES, Bethesda ES, Kanoheda ES, Lawrenceville ES, Minor ES, Partee ES, and Winn Holt ES were honored as schools making "Highest Progress." The schools are among the top 10% of Title I schools in the State that are making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments. Accepting the Board's congratulations on behalf of their school communities were principals Toni Ferguson of Knight ES, Dr. Melissa Walker of Benefield ES, Deborah Harris of Bethesda ES, Debra Scott of Kanoheda ES, Lisa Marie Johnson of Lawrenceville ES, Christina Wimmer of Minor ES, Dr. LaVern Lynch of Partee ES, and Dr. Jim Curtiss of Winn Holt ES.
- The Board of Education saluted Britt ES and Snellville MS on their recognition as "Family Friendly Partnership School Award" honorees. Britt ES was named one of three state winners and Snellville MS was one of the nine finalists. The honored schools were selected because they represent the best in customer service for Georgia families, whether on the phone, at the front office, or on the Internet. The schools have welcoming staff members, comfortable waiting areas, clear signage, and engaging student work throughout the building. They have easy-to-navigate websites and are forging partnerships with parents to help improve student achievement. The schools also provide unique, engaging, and innovative parent engagement programming that is successful in reaching all families in the school. Accepting the Board's commendation on behalf of their schools were principals Doris Jones of Britt ES and Katise Menchan of Snellville MS.

Board approves one-time salary adjustment for full-time, benefits-eligible employees
The Gwinnett County Board of Education recently learned that its 2012 property tax collections have come in slightly above the amount that was anticipated and upon which the Board based the current budget. This is good news for the district, and the Board members wanted to make sure it translated into good news for GCPS teachers and employees. The Board authorized CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks to put these unexpected financial resources toward something extremely valuable-- the district's human resources. As a result, this month, every full-time, benefits-eligible employee will receive a salary adjustment in the amount equal to one full day's earnings at his or her current daily rate. The one-time salary adjustment will be paid in a lump sum in the paychecks issued in November. The average GCPS teacher (T-5, Step 11) will receive an approximate $300 pay adjustment and the range for teachers will be between $200 (T-4, Step 0) and $456 (T-7, Step 32).

School councils from Shiloh and Peachtree Ridge clusters make report to BOE
As part of the recognition portion of the meeting, representatives of local school councils from the Shiloh and Peachtree Ridge clusters made a presentation to the Board, sharing how their councils help bring parents, teachers, school administrators, and the business community together to discuss concerns and share ideas for school improvement.

GCPS continues to make strides in AP testing
Dr. Steve Flynt, associate superintendent for School Leadership and Operations, provided School Board members an update on the district's work to increase Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities for students. He shared that GCPS has been named on the 3rd Annual AP Honor Roll for expanding opportunity and improving performance for AP students.

Board approves legislative priorities for 2013
Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education shares with the Gwinnett Delegation to the General Assembly issues of critical importance to the funding and effective operation of Gwinnett County Public Schools. The 2013 Legislative Program summarizes the continuing positions and state funding improvement requests that the Board wishes to bring to the delegation for consideration in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. These adopted priorities will be posted on the district's website. On December 3, the Board will meet with members of the Gwinnett Delegation to review the district's legislative agenda.

Instructional materials approved
In compliance with Policy IFAA and the Georgia Department of Education Rule 160-4-1.12, an instructional materials review was conducted for non-fiction language arts texts for grades K-8 and language arts teacher resources for grades K-5 to align to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, as well as materials for Advanced Placement Latin, and Advanced Placement Spanish. In addition, recommended supplemental materials were approved by the Community Health Advisory Committee (CHEAC) as required by Board policy. The Board approved the adoption, which is to be funded in the multi-year capital budget.
Recommended Supplemental Materials
Recommended Instructional Materials

BOE continues updates to policies
Board members tabled the following policy to allow for public input:
Policy GBRIB- Sick Leave Bank: Changes are proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.

School Board members to attend state meeting
The members of the School Board voted to allow Chairman Louise Radloff, who represents District V, and District III representative Dr. Mary Kay Murphy to attend the annual conference of the Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia School Superintendents Association. The annual conference-- to be held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Atlanta-- provides learning opportunities for Board members on topics such as student achievement, communication and community engagement, and education law.

Gwinnett BOE to be represented at National School Board Association's meeting
The Board of Education authorized two members who will be named at a later date to represent the Board at the National School Board Association's 2013 Federal Relations Network Conference in Washington, D.C., Jan. 27-29, 2013. This meeting is attended by School Board members nationwide. It provides for local input concerning America's education agenda, as well as the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with members of Congress and the Administration.