GCPS Board Meeting Summary for September 13, 2001

          The following are highlights of the September 13, 2001, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education.
          The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

          Gwinnett County Board of Education Approves Applications for State Construction Funding
          School Board members approved two applications for state dollars that will provide some much-needed funding for classroom construction. The first application relates to House Bill 1187. It seeks state funds to help address the need for classrooms resulting from the lower class sizes mandated in the new education legislation. The application requests $11,361,627 in this fiscal year to help fund the construction of one elementary school and one middle school. The Capital Outlay Application requests the use of accumulated "exceptional growth" funds in FY 2003. These funds, in the amount of $9,516,775, will be combined with a portion of the House Bill 1187 funds to construct the middle school. (Gwinnett County Public Schools has identified the need for 20 new schools and additions to 40 schools to address its classroom needs based on a student population that is growing by more than 6,000 students a year. These needed classrooms are included in the Board's 2002 building program, which would be funded by an extension of the current one-cent special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). The SPLOST extension will be put to the voters in a referendum on November 6, 2001.)

          FY2003 Budget Development Calendar Approved
          The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted its Fiscal Year 2003 budget development calendar. Among the key dates included in the calendar are:

          December 17, 2001-- Program managers begin development of department budgets.
          February 18-22, 2001-- Superintendent and Cabinet review budget requests.
          April 11, 2002-- Superintendent's budget recommendations are available for the public.
          April 13, 2002-- Board budget work session.
          April 16, 2002-- Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget.
          April 21 & 28, 2002-- Recommended budget published in the newspaper.
          April 22, 2002-- Copies of tentative budget available for public.
          May 2, 2002-- First public hearing on tentative budget.
          May 9, 2002-- Second public hearing and final adoption of the budget.

          School Board Agrees to Provide Funding for the Gwinnett United in Drug Education (GUIDE) Program
          Board members agreed to provide $32,750 to help fund the Gwinnett United in Drug Education (GUIDE) Program through a mutual agreement with the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. This annual contract and the money provided by the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners helps GUIDE design, develop, sustain, assist in, and deliver to citizens-- including students-- programs and services related to education about alcohol and other drug abuse and prevention. GUIDE activities 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 drug abuse problems and for school officials to use when youth are found to have abused alcohol or other drugs, and a speakers bureau for school and parent groups.

          Board of Education Hears Testing Highlights
          Dr. Cindy Loe, associate superintendent of Organizational Advancement, shared highlights from recently received standardized test results. The results show Gwinnett County students' SAT scores are at an all-time high of 1027 compared to the state average of 980 and the national average of 1020. In addition, 79 percent of Gwinnett seniors took the test, far more than the number tested in Georgia (63 percent) or the nation (45 percent).
          Dr. Loe also briefed the Board on how the system's 2001 results on the new Stanford 9 test compare to the 2000 scores on the ITBS, the test that Georgia students had taken previously for a number of years. The results show that Gwinnett's students' scores rose on all subtests in grades 5 and 8, and showed only slight declines in grade 3. A detailed report of the school system's results on these and other standardized tests is available on the GCPS web site at www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

          Board Members Commend National Achievement of Students
          • The Board recognized John Blesener, a 2001 graduate of South Gwinnett HS, for his first place finish in national competition in the area of computer networking/concepts. Mr. Blesener's parents accepted the recognition on his behalf.
          • Also honored was Fenil Ghodadra, a senior at Shiloh HS, who placed second in the business calculations competition at the national level.

          The following citizens addressed the Board:
          Cindi Wilson
          Charles W. Skala

          The School Board approved the following appointments at its meeting on September 13.

          Name, Current Position
          Paula Cobb, an administrative assistant at Dr. M. H. Mason Jr. ESAssistant Principal, Dr. M. H. Mason Jr. ES
          George Pringle, a teacher at Richard Hull MSCommunity School Director, Collins Hill HS
          Dr. Deborah J. English, secondary instructional coordinator in the DeKalb County school systemSocial Studies Coordinator in the Center for Educational Programs
          David Barber, Data Analyst in Zoning and Student Assignment Services for the Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, TennesseeCoordinator of Enrollment Forecasting and Boundary Planning
          Lorri Chin-Shue, child support enforcement agent with the Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children ServicesGeorgia Fatherhood Coordinator, Gwinnett Technical College
          Valerie Strickland, accounting manager for Maxxis International, Cheng Shin Rubber USA in SuwaneeDirector of Accounting, Gwinnett Technical College