05/12/2005









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for May 12, 2005

The following are highlights of the May 12, 2005, 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.

School Board honors students and staff
-- Parkview HS senior Lucas Bermudez was recognized by Board members as the state STAR Student for 2005. Mr. Bermudez nominated his most influential teacher, Phil Heier, who was honored as 2005 state STAR Teacher. Annually, each high school in the county (both public and private schools) names its STAR student, the senior in the top 10 percent of his or her class with the highest SAT score in one sitting. Each STAR student then names a STAR teacher— the educator who has had a particularly strong influence on the student’s academic career. Students compete at the system and region levels before moving on to state competition.
-- Board members recognized the excellent work of the student staff members for Shiloh HS' literary magazine, Dreamscape. The publication was among 96 magazines selected statewide for the Highest Award of the National Council of Teachers of English. This is the second year in a row that Shiloh's magazine has won this award. Murla Crawford is the staff advisor for the publication.
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored the Collins Hill HS Girls Basketball Team and Head Coach Angie Hembree on winning its recent AAAAA state championship. Coach Hembree was unable to attend, but Athletic Director Tony Aguirre shared some of her achievements and wished her well as she moves to the college level.
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored the Collins Hill HS Boys Swim/Dive Team and Head Coach Jennifer Weaver on the team's second straight state title in AAAAA. Team members broke seven school records and seven team members are in line for All-American consideration.
-- In addition, Collins Hill HS' Wrestling Team was recognized for its state championship season. Coach Cliff Ramos introduced his coaching staff and several of the team members who earned state recognition at various weight classes.
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education honored the Duluth HS Cheerleaders and Head Coach Kelly Halcomb on winning the AAAAA state championship for Competitive Co-Ed Cheerleading. Prior to introducing her award-winning team, Ms. Halcomb thanked the school's administration and Board for its support of the program..
-- Eighteen GCPS students earned perfect scores on the National Latin Exam, a multiple-choice exam taken by students in Latin I through Latin VI that tests students' knowledge of structure, syntax, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, along with understanding of Roman culture. Fewer than 1% of the more than 140,000 students who took the exam worldwide earned a perfect score. The National Latin Exam is co-sponsored by the American Classical Association and the National Junior Classical League. Honored students include:
Latin I: Christine Bottomley of Brookwood HS; William Herald, Loan Le, and Meng Lee, all of Duluth HS; Rebecca Damren, Joe Fang, and Charles Guan, all of North Gwinnett HS; Roseanne Abraham, Erika Bowman, Kelsey Jordan, Jae Kim, Nicole Nation, Ian Nurse, and Sanjay Srivatsan, all of Parkview HS; and Candace Buckner of South Gwinnett HS
Latin II: Maryia Lu of Duluth HS and Megan Brunning of Parkview HS
Latin IV: James Ren of Parkview HS (Mr. Ren is one of only 20 students in the world to earn a perfect score on this prose exam.)
-- The Board honored representative GCPS music educators who accompanied Robert Andrews, fine arts coordinator, during the school system's recognition as one of the "Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America." The American Music Conference recognized Gwinnett County as a top school system for music education based on the results of a national survey conducted by a partnership of leading national music and music education organizations. Representing Gwinnett's more than 220 music educators were Tiffany English of Sugar Hill ES, Monica Harriman of J.P. McConnell MS, Dr. Peter Lemonds of Duluth HS, Sydney Mellard of Alton C. Crews MS, Christy Pence of Dacula HS, Richard Shivers of Riverside ES, Judy Spears of Dacula HS, and Rudy Wilson of Brookwood HS. Mr. Andrews credited Gwinnett's teacher leaders for the school system's 285 All-State Band, Chorus, and Orchestra students, 15 Governor's Honors Finalists, 19 students who passed the Advanced Placement Music Theory exams, 125 middle and high school bands, choruses, and orchestras who earned superior ratings at the Large Group Performance Evaluations.
--Board members recognized Leanne Luttrell, a FOCUS teacher at Sycamore ES, selected for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest honor for teaching these subjects. Ms. Luttrell is the only math teacher from Georgia, and one of only 95 teachers nationwide, to be honored with the award this year. In a letter to all awardees, President George W. Bush wrote, “This award recognizes the contributions that teachers make to America’s legacy of progress by encouraging young people to study and understand math and science. With a strong foundation in these critical subjects, today’s students will be able to better compete and succeed in the 21st century workforce.”
-- The School Board commended Gayla Malkiel for her outstanding service as Gwinnett PTA Council Co-President in 2003-04 and President for 2004-05. Executive Director to the Superintendent Berney Kirkland described Ms. Malkiel as a gracious and intelligent leader who truly supports and believes in PTA. Ms. Malkiel's term as Gwinnett's Council President was history-making, as she chartered 18 new school PTA units in the last two years. In addition, Gwinnett County also hosted the state PTA convention this year. Throughout her term, she has exhibited a commitment to helping local school units succeed, continuously looking for ways for PTA to truly make a difference in the lives of children. Although her term as Council President has concluded, Ms. Malkiel will continue her work contributing to the state PTA and the Alton C. Crews PTA Board.
-- The School Board saluted Sandra Levent, Sugar Hill ES principal, for her selection as one of 10 Principals of the Year by the Georgia PTA. Ms. Levent was nominated by her school's PTA for her commitment and dedication to the students of Sugar Hill ES. Her PTA leadership commended Ms. Levent for the love and long hours she gives to the school.
-- Board members recognized students and coaches from Parkview HS and Meadowcreek HS who took first and second place honors, respectively, at the State Science Olympiad. Both teams will represent Georgia in national competition on May 20-21 at the University of Illinois. For the third straight year, a Parkview team won the top spot in the state. Members include seniors Lucas Bermudez, Leo Chen, Joey Hazan, Jim Lu, Shane Lu, and Saranya Selvaraj; juniors Andrew McDowell and Tim Soo; and sophomores Nourine Ahmed, Ting Gau, Archana Kumar, Stephanie Wang, and Hamilton Wen. Coaches are Phil Heier and Susan Parker, both teachers, along with Dr. Dave McDowell, a parent. The Meadowcreek HS team members include seniors Mikhail Akbashev, Joe Contreras, Vandana Murty, Casey Nicodemus, Said Saab, Ranni Tewfik, and Erin Thackston; juniors Semon Akbashev, Anish Bhatt, Seung Mo Gu, Nivedh Manohar, Ken Nguyen, and Tran Pham; and sophomores Keegan Nicodemus and Elinor Willis. The Board also recognized the team's coaches: Teachers Stephen Beall, Lisa Beck, Joe Cox (head coach), Mike Heyes, Laura Kohnke, and Fred Okoh; and Assistant Principal Patricia Sharpton.
-- The Board honored AP Physics Teacher IV Bray of Berkmar HS for his selection as one of 18 U.S teachers honored with the 2004-05 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. This award recognizes exemplary teaching, providing honored teachers with a $1,000 award. Mr. Bray also was recognized for this honor in a February issue of USA Today.
-- Nearly 70 students placed first or second in statewide events in the areas of business, computer science, culinary arts, marketing, and technology education. They earned recognition out of thousands of students throughout the state, with many qualifying to participate at the next level of competition in their respective categories:
Top-placing students in state Future Business Leaders of America competition include…
Brookwood HS—Christopher LaFay, 2nd Place in Computer Concepts; and Blake Vander Wood, 2nd Place in Technology Concepts
Central Gwinnett HS—Igor Yarmuratiy, 1st Place in Accounting II Advanced
Duluth HS—Stephen Brincks, 1st Place in Economics
Meadowcreek HS—Hasan Soneji, 2nd Place in Visual Basic Programming
Parkview HS—Linda Liu, 1st Place in Business Math; Timothy Soo, 2nd Place in Business Calculations; and Lily Jang, 2nd Place in Economics
Peachtree Ridge HS—Himali Patel, 2nd Place in Intro to Business
South Gwinnett HS—Kyle Tait, 2nd Place in Accounting II Advanced
Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America honored this Gwinnett team…
North Gwinnett HS—Team of Moses Jones, Brett Luna, and Ryan Mitas, 2nd place in Culinary Arts
Gwinnett students who placed in state marketing competition for Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) include…
Brookwood HS—Team of Lea Mothorp and Linsey Paullin, 2nd Place in National Pin Design Contest
Central Gwinnett HS—Team of Jonathan Davis and Becca McCleskey, 1st Place in Creative Marketing Project; Tony Garceau, 1st Place in Economics; Ashley Melonson, 1st Place in Marketing Spelling and Vocabulary; Jesse Kuiper, 1st Place in Marketing Math; and Brian Simmons, 2nd Place in State Pin Design Contest
Grayson HS—Team of Tiffany Bethell, LaDonna Jenkins, and Jessenia Tascon, 1st Place in National Pin Design Contest
Mill Creek HS—Meghna Dave, 1st Place in Marketing Management Series
North Gwinnett HS—Team of Emily Knight, Chris Morris, and Christine Sciota, 1st Place in Civic Consciousness Project; team of Sanaa Merani and Karen Wieloch, 1st Place in E-Commerce Management; team of Miriam Atri, Rose Buckley, and Megan Fulford, 1st Place in Public Relations Project; team of Christine Lomba and Alice Serres, 1st Place in Travel and Tourism Management; Brian Postma, 2nd Place in Entrepreneurship-Independent Business; and David Morrical, 2nd Place in Vehicles and Petroleum Marketing
Parkview HS—Arlington Lindskog, 1st Place in Food Marketing-Associate Level; and Katherine Fitchett, 2nd Place in Marketing Management Series
Peachtree Ridge HS—Team of Michael Malool, Christina O’Dell, and Jackie Richardson, 2nd Place in Retail Marketing Research; team of Raheem Budhani and Gundeep Hora, 2nd Place in International Business Plan; and Zack Gruczkowski, 2nd Place in Retail Merchandising-Associate Level
Shiloh HS—Josh Garmon, 1st Place in Retail Merchandising-Management Level
South Gwinnett HS—Ashley Pelletier, 2nd Place in Job Interview
Award-winning participants in the state's Technology Student Association competition include…
Central Gwinnett HS—Daniel Sanchez, 1st Place in Transportation Modeling
North Gwinnett HS—Vann Herren, 2nd Place in Architectural Model
Parkview HS—Team of Chris Barnidge, David Bernal, Mark Brown, Jocelyn Cotton, Peter Dietz, Craig Lynberg, Sarah Stewart, Todd Stovall, Lesly Thomas, Brian West, Tony Wilkey, and James Yount, 1st Place in Architectural Model; team of Jaime Dugan, Zain Gillani, and Lesly Thomas, 1st Place in Cyberspace Pursuit; Lesly Thomas, 1st Place in Extemporaneous Presentation; Brian West, 1st Place in Technical Sketching and Application; team of Chris Barnidge, Rob Wilkey, and Faraz Kamili, 2nd Place in Robotics; Sarah Stewart, 2nd Place in Technical Sketching and Application; and Mark Brown, 2nd Place in Dragster Design
South Gwinnett HS—Team of Zach Krish, Caleb Kimsey, and Jerome Williams, 2nd Place in Technology Bowl.
Award-winning participants in the state's SkillsUSA (VICA) competition include…
Maxwell HS of Technology— Travis Prather, 1st Place in Electronics Technology; Keith James, 1st Place in Criminal Justice; Veronicka Gebrai, 1st Place in Medical Math; and Brian Pruett, 2nd Place in Eletronics Applications
In addition, Denise Breheim of Phoenix HS was recognized as a Congressional Art Show winner in Commercial Photography.

2006-07 and 2007-08 school calendars to be distributed
The calendars for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are now ready for final distribution. Drafts have been available on the school system's Web site since early April.
CALENDAR FY2006-2007 - FINALIZED - 5-12-05.docCALENDAR FY2007-2008 - FINALIZED - 5-12-05.doc

School Board approves revisions to the Gateway Assessment Program
School Board members adopted the Superintendent's recommendation of revisions and additions to the Gateway Assessment Program. The state's new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), begins to take effect in fall 2005. Gwinnett County Public Schools will integrate the GPS and accompanying changes in the state's required assessments with the testing that is done as part of its Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) Assessment Program. In most areas, the state's curriculum and assessments mesh well with Gwinnett's current assessments, including Gateway tests at certain levels. However, the Board approved the following changes to align Gwinnett's assessment program with the state.
-- Beginning next year, Gwinnett's 7th grade Gateway test will follow its current 4th grade plan, including the subtest areas of language arts and math only. Science and social studies, along with language arts, reading, and mathematics, will be tested using the state's Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). For promotion or "Gateway" purposes, Gwinnett 7th graders will need to earn a passing score in language arts and mathematics on the Gateway, and a passing score on the science and social studies subtests of the CRCT.
-- As the state implements its new GPS, the content of the state CRCTs will change. Gwinnett will take that into account in grades 4 and 7 as it uses the science and social studies sections of the CRCT for promotional purposes. The first year the new curriculum for a subject is taught and learned will be an "alignment year." Gwinnett will not use the CRCTs to determine promotion for 4th and 7th graders during an alignment year, allowing students and teachers time to adjust to the new curriculum. The alignment years in which the CRCT will not be used for promotion for Gwinnett 4th and 7th graders are as follows:
7th grade science CRCT-- Spring 2006
4th grade science CRCT-- Spring 2007
7th grade social studies CRCT-- Spring 2008
4th grade social studies CRCT-- Spring 2009

FY06 budget approved
The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted its FY2006 budget in the expenditure amount of $1,234,346,726. School Board members met in work sessions to discuss the budget April 14 and 16, and then held public hearings on May 5 and at the beginning of its meeting on May 12.
Upcoming Budget-related dates include:
June 6 7 p.m. First public hearing on millage rate, Board Room at Lawrenceville East
June 13 11:45 a.m. Second public hearing on millage rate, Board Room at Lawrenceville East
June 13 7 p.m. Third public hearing on millage rate and adoption of final millage rate, Board Room at Lawrenceville East

School Board approves attendance protocol
Gwinnett School Board members endorsed the student attendance protocol developed for the school system by the Gwinnett County Attendance Protocol Committee. State law requires that each local Board of Education publicly state its decision regarding the recommendations of the Attendance Protocol Committee called for in the law. The systems' protocols must be submitted to the Georgia Department of Education by June 1, 2005, for approval, and go into effect July 1. Key provisions of the protocol address the processes and procedures by which schools will inform parents and students of attendance expectations and the consequences for excessive unexcused absences. Community agencies also play a role in implementing the protocol and cooperated in its development by submitting a list of services each provides in support of children and families.

Board continues update of policies
The Board approved changes to two policies that had been tabled in April in order to receive public input.
Policy KB – Public Information – Minor changes have been made to this policy to reflect current practice.
Policy JBCF – Admission – Gwinnett Technical College-- This policy was rescinded as Gwinnett Technical College has become a separate entity and is no longer under the direction of Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Citizens addressing the Board...
-- Connie Wiggins