GCPS Board Meeting Summary for December 13, 2001

          The following are highlights of the December 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.

          Board of Education Honors Efforts of Students and Staff
          • The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored Creekland MS for its extraordinary efforts in reading. The school's work to match appropriate strategies with the needs of students has resulted in Creekland being recognized at the state level and nationally by the International Reading Association. In accepting the Board's recognition Dr. Donna Lee, principal of Creekland, introduced the following school leaders: Linda Calhoun, Deana Triemer, Val Mickish, Barbara Dickson, and Karen Walker. During the recognition of these staff members, Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks honored Ms. Calhoun's 18 years with Gwinnett County Public Schools. She is leaving the system to join the Georgia Department of Education.
          • Board members recognized Collins Hill HS on winning the 8AAAAA state championship for its One-Act Play "The Murder Room." Principal Coley Krug applauded the talent and effort of the students. Director Dean Feldman thanked the six student actors and 35 crew members and their parents, as well as the staff of Collins Hill HS, for their dedication to their craft.
          • Also honored for winning a state championship was the Brookwood HS Boys' Cross Country Team. Coach Jerry Arnold thanked the Board for its continued support of athletics and academics. Almost 80 boys participate in the school's cross country program, which according to Coach Arnold "dominated the competition" this year.
          • School Board members honored the members of the 2002 Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) Renewal Committee. In introducing the members of the committee, Executive Director of Community and Media Relations Berney Kirkland referred to these community members as local heroes. In expressing the school system's gratitude for their help, Ms. Kirkland said, "They pledged their time, their talents, and their energy to informing Gwinnett County voters about the 2002 education SPLOST plan and how it would benefit students." The result of the committee's hard work and commitment was an impressive 78 percent approval rate on November 6. As a result, Gwinnett students will receive 20 new schools and 40 additions, for a total of almost 2,000 new classrooms, plus technology improvements for teaching and learning. The committee members recognized included:
          Steering Committee: J.W. Benefield, chair; Mike Levengood, Terry Evans, David Crews, Susan Wood, Bill Broucek, and Richard Tucker.
          Communication Subcommittee: Bill Broucek, chair; Michael Ell, John Snyder, David Will, Lori Luders, and Mary Warren.
          Promotional Activities Subcommittee: Susan Wood, Chair; Cindy Thompson, David Barker, Winford Lindsay, Sr., Cheri Thayer, Charlie Conn, Emory Morsberger, George Seed, Hugh Floyd, Ed McCabe, Debbie Tuschall, Steve Agee, Lynne Travis, and David Snell.

          Green to Join Gwinnett Retirement System Plan Administrative Committee
          The School Board appointed North Gwinnett HS Principal John Green to serve on the Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS) Plan Administrative Committee. GRS is directed by the nine-person plan committee, which is responsible for managing the $551.2 million in assets currently held for beneficiaries of GRS. Dr. Green's appointment is for a seven-year term, which begins January 1, 2002. He will replace Jim Markham, principal of Berkmar HS, whose term ends December 31, 2001.

          Board Members Adopt Reimbursement Resolution
          The School Board adopted a resolution that will allow the Board to use its FY2002 Budget General Fund, if necessary, to retire the sales tax notes for construction that were issued in January 2001. The resolution, which is required by the Internal Revenue Service, will allow the Board to cover any shortfall, up to $35 million, until the 2002 sales tax notes can be issued. If the General Fund is used, the money will be reimbursed out of proceeds from the 2002 notes once they are issued.

          Resolution Regarding Construction Sales Tax Notes Approved
          To prepare for the sale of construction sales tax notes in 2002, the Board approved a resolution authorizing staff to publicize the pending sale of the notes and to seek bids for their purchase. The Board will not take action on the actual sale of the construction notes until January. The proceeds will be used to purchase new school sites, expand current sites, construct and equip classrooms, renovate existing facilities, and make systemwide technology improvements. The resolution allows staff to take the necessary action to issue the tax-exempt construction notes. They serve as a temporary loan for cash-flow purposes in anticipation of the receipt of sales taxes in the year 2002.

          Certificate of Distribution of 2002 SPLOST Funds Adopted
          The Board approved a Certificate of Distribution of 2002 SPLOST Funds that calls for the revenue generated by the sales tax extension to be distributed between the Gwinnett County Board of Education and the Buford City Board of Education based on an FTE basis. Thus, GCPS will receive 98.1% of the revenue and Buford City Schools will receive 1.9%.

          Signage Approved for Gwinnett Technical College
          The Board of Education adopted a motion to grant the building of a sign to be constructed and maintained by Parkway Media, Inc. on Gwinnett County Board of Education property, fronting on University Parkway (Highway 316). The sign will feature the Gwinnett Tech logo, as well as a digital board for advertisements. Distribution of profits from the ad space will be shared by Gwinnett Technical College and Parkway Media.

          School Board Acts On Gwinnett Technical College Lease Agreement
          School Board members approved the leasing of space across from the Gwinnett Tech campus to be used as classroom space for the technical college while renovations are being completed.

          Board/Superintendent Discussion
          • In response to concerns expressed by constituents regarding the possible annexation of the Mall of Georgia by Buford, the Gwinnett County Board of Education expressed its support for keeping the Mall of Georgia in the county.
          • Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, representing District III, led the Board's recognition of the school system's Division of Facilities & Operations for earning the Public Sector Owner Annual Project Leadership Award from the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA). The award was presented in recognition of excellence in project management, design, cost management and user/customer satisfaction, related to the new Norcross HS.

          Superintendent’s Contract Approved
          After completing the annual evaluation of Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks, the Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to renew the superintendent's contract for two years when his current contract ends on June 30, 2002. His new contract, which calls for a base annual salary of $175,000, will run July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2004.

          Board Approves Changes to Policies
          School Board members approved changes to several policies. The policy changes had been tabled since the Board's November meeting to allow for public input. The policies are: Policy GAAA - Equal Opportunity, Policy GAD - Professional Development, Policy GAE - Complaints by Personnel, Policy GAK - Personnel Records, Policy GAL - Salary Deductions, Policy GAM - Mandatory Reporting of Employee Crimes, Policy GBC - Employment and Recruitment, Policy GBD - Fingerprinting/Criminal Record Check, Policy GBO - Personnel Resignations & Re-employment, Policy GBR - Personnel Attire and Safety, Policy GBRG - Non-school Employment/Personnel Tutoring for Pay/Endorsements, Policy GBRI - Family and Medical Leave, and Policy GBRIA - Judicial, Military Duty and Religious Leave.

          In addition, the following policies were rescinded: Policy GBP - Personnel Re-employment, Policy GBCC - Employment and Recruitment, Policy GBD - Personnel -- Hiring, Policy GBRGB - Personnel Tutoring for Pay, Policy GBRIE - Religious Leave, Policy GCDA - Hiring--Certified Personnel, Policy GCDB - Hiring - Classified Personnel, and Policy GGE - Administrative Assignment.
            Board Chairman Louise Radloff Applauded for Leadership in 2001
            Outgoing Board Chairman Louise Radloff was praised and thanked by the Board and Superintendent Wilbanks for her leadership this past year. A longtime Board member, this was Mrs. Radloff's seventh term as Board chairman. In recognition and appreciation of her service in 2001, the Gwinnett County Board of Education will donate three books to the YES Program in Mrs. Radloff's honor. Mrs. Radloff has been involved in this community program which benefits students.

            Citizens Addressing the Board
            - Alex J. Mazuek
            The School Board approved the following appointments at its meeting on December 13.

            Name, Current Position
            Dot Schoeller, local school technology coordinator at Norcross ESAssistant Principal at Arcado ES
            Carol Ferguson, administrative assistant at Hull MSAssistant Principal at Hull MS
            Carol Grady, Title I lead teacherCoordinator of Federal and Special Programs, Organizational Advancement
            John Wight, administrative assistant at Partee ESAssistant Principal at Partee ES
            Phillip Davidson, half-time administrative assistant and half-time teacher leader at South Gwinnett HSAssistant Principal at South Gwinnett HS
            Edgar "Love" Kimbrough, lead coordinator in the Office of Administrative Services for Special Education and Psychological ServicesInterim Director of Special Education and Psychological Services, Organizational Advancement

    The following leadership transfers were presented to the Board of Education members for their information:
            • Judith Ford, a retiree who currently serves as a half-time administrative assistant at Magill ES, will be a half-time assistant principal at Magill for the remainder of the 2001-02 school year.