GCPS Board Meeting Summary for December 11, 2008

The following are highlights of the December 11, 2008, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Carole Boyce, Vice Chairman Daniel D. Seckinger, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Dr. Robert McClure, and Louise Radloff. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Students and staff members earn Board recognition
-- The Board honored Debi West, a North Gwinnett HS art teacher, who was named 2009 Georgia Art Educator of the Year by the Georgia Art Education Association. Ms. West has taught in Gwinnett County Public Schools for 14 years and was the district's 2005 GCPS Teacher of the Year.
-- Board members also saluted Loria Crews, Five Forks MS art teacher, who also was honored by the Georgia Art Education Association. Ms. Crews was named the 2009 Middle Level Art Educator of the Year. She has taught art at Five Forks MS since the beginning of her teaching career in the fall of 2001 and was the Five Forks Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2007.
-- Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year Aimée Burgamy, a visual arts teacher at Trickum MS, received additional kudos on her recognition by the Georgia Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association as the 2009 Outstanding National Junior Art Honor Society Sponsor. She received this award for her work to establish the Trickum MS National Junior Art Honor Society in 2007 and for achievement in the arts, and community service through art.
-- School Board members recognized Brookwood HS on its designation as a 2008 Georgia School of Excellence. Brookwood HS is among just 26 schools in the state, and one of only four high schools, to earn the prestigious honor of being named a Georgia School of Excellence. Only 26 Schools of Excellence are chosen each year and they are honored in two categories. In each of the 13 Congressional Districts, two schools are recognized--one in the top 10 percent of schools in Georgia, as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics, and one school that demonstrated greatest continuous gains in student achievement for the past three years, as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Brookwood HS earned the recognition as a school in the top 10 percent.
-- The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Education, has honored Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) with 25 awards to 23 of its schools for academic achievement and improvement efforts during the 2007-08 school year. The recognition is part of the Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS), which recognizes Georgia schools for their continuous improvement in raising student achievement and closing achievement gaps on state curriculum tests as well as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. The state recognizes schools in two categories: 1) Highest Performance, indicating the percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards; and 2) Greatest Gains, indicating the greatest gains in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards. In each category, the state recognizes four school award levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The 23 GCPS schools are among just 279 schools recognized statewide. Two Gwinnett schools, Fort Daniel ES and Dacula HS, are among just eight schools in the state that earned awards in both categories. The following schools earned the 2008 Single Statewide Accountability System Award.
Greatest Gain
Schools that showed the greatest improvement in the state Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) at the elementary and middle levels, or the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) taken by juniors at the high school level
Fort Daniel ES – Principal Carolyn Madsen
Pinckneyville MS – Principal Nancy Martin
Dacula HS – Principal Donnie Nutt
Beaver Ridge ES – Principal Esther Adames

Highest Performance

Schools that demonstrated the highest achievement on the CRCT at the elementary and middle school levels, or the GHSGT at the high school level.
Simpson ES - Principal Bron Gayna Schmit
Camp Creek ES – Principal Kathy Jones
Duncan Creek ES – Principal Chris Emsley
Brookwood HS – Principal Debra Dees
Brookwood ES – Principal Karen Head
R.D. Head ES – Principal Leigh Westcott
Riverside ES – Principal Dr. Craig Barlow
Suwanee ES – Principal Dr. Kim Smith

Alton C. Crews MS – Principal Dr. Vince Botta
Mill Creek HS – Principal Jim Markham
Fort Daniel ES – Principal Carolyn Madsen
Freeman’s Mill ES – Principal Marian Hicks
Level Creek ES – Principal Dr. Nancy Kiel
Parsons ES – Principal Dr. Charlotte Sadler
Frank N. Osborne MS – Principal John Campbell
Collins Hill HS – Principal Glenn McFall
Dacula HS – Principal Donnie Nutt
Grayson HS – Principal Keith Chaney
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology* -- Principal Dr. Jeff Mathews
North Gwinnett HS – Principal Ed Shaddix
Parkview HS – Principal Dr. Charles "Buck" Buchanan

* Recognition for this school was based on state end-of-course tests. The school served only 9th graders in 2007-08.

-- Board members honored Mill Creek HS' competition cheerleading team on earning the title 2008 AAAAA Competition Cheerleading Champion. Head Coach Brenda Petty led the team to its first championship season. In introducing the team, Ms. Petty recognized the students, their parents and the administration of Mill Creek for their support of the program. She also recognized the team's assistant coaches-- Ashley Baker and Hayley Rounds. When speaking about her team, she said, "They are great cheerleaders but they are even greater young ladies."
-- The School Board also saluted members of the Mill Creek HS' softball team on their 2008 AAAAA State Championship season. This is the first softball state championship for Mill Creek HS. Head Coach Kelly Murdock expressed her pride in her student athletes and for the manner they represent the program, on and off the field. The team's assistant coaches are Frank Turner, Emily Webb, Jennifer Maloney, and Faith Davenport.

Board of Education reviews IE2 Partnership Contract
During the afternoon work session, Dr. Steve Flynt, chief academic officer, provided the Board with the status of Gwinnett County Public Schools' proposed IE2 Partnership Contract with the Georgia Board of Education. The contract would allow the school system to receive flexibility for its schools from specified state statutes and/or rules in exchange for greater accountability for student achievement. Prior to the Board meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education held a public hearing regarding the district's draft proposal of the IE2 Partnership Contract. A number of teachers and parents addressed the Board to express concerns and ask questions during the hearing. During the Board meeting, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and Board members recognized the concerns expressed during the hearing, and indicated that parents and teachers will be involved as the process moves to the local school level. In his remarks, Mr. Wilbanks said, "The partnership contract offers us an unprecedented opportunity to empower the principals and teachers in our schools to do what they believe will best help their students improve their academic achievement." The next opportunity for the Gwinnett County Board of Education to take action on the IE2 Partnership Contract would be December 17 at a special called meeting to address the district's legislative priorities.

School Board continues its policy work
School Board members tabled the following policy to allow for further input:
Policy DCI- Budget Amendment-- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.

Board recognizes outgoing Chair
School Board members and CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks expressed their appreciation to 2008 Board of Education Chair Carole Boyce for her service this past year. In her honor, the school district is providing a leadership book to the next cohort of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy. In addition, the Board is donating books to Dacula HS, Grayson HS, and Central Gwinnett HS-- schools in Mrs. Boyce' School Board District.

Citizens addressing the Board
-- Susan Dietz and Dr. Barbara Wilson
-- Tony Williams
-- Paul LaMotte