09/13/2007









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for September 13, 2007

The following are highlights of the September 13, 2007, 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 recognizes students and staff members
-- Men, women, organizations, and institutions from around the world are creating innovative ways to use technology to benefit society worldwide. Some of the by-products of these efforts are the records of what has been accomplished and how technology is being used to make a difference. In its 19th year, The Computerworld Honors Program acknowledges these achievements as well as carves a place in history for these priceless materials to be retained. Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Division of Information Management are now part of this history after being recognized by Computerworld for their extraordinary use of information technology (IT) in providing access to information. This contribution has been archived for future generations and is now part of the international best practices in leading the world’s ongoing IT revolution. The award was accepted by Scott Futrell, chief information officer, on behalf of CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks at a global ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in June 2007.
-- The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc., has recognized two Gwinnett students with its Scholastic Art and Writing awards. The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers annually identifies and recognizes creative teenagers through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. These annual awards are the most comprehensive, national assessment in the visual and literary arts in the United States. Emily Beck of Mill Creek HS received the Gold Award in Drawing for her work, entitled "La Lume." Her work is on display at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., through November 5. Emily's teacher, Kelly Guyotee, noted her student's raw talent, as well as her hard work and creativity. Brookwood High's Laura Conner received the Silver Award in Computer Art for her work, entitled "Hand in Hand." Deb Sumpter is the art teacher at Brookwood HS. Ms. Sumpter applauded Laura's unique vision and said that having her recognized nationally has made everyone at the school proud.
-- Collins Hill HS' girls track team brought home the school's third state championship in girls track. Previous wins occurred in 2003 and 2006. Principal Glenn McFall acknowledged Coach Andrew Hudson and Assistant Coaches Jessica Sedor and Richard Ramsey, lauding their accomplishments during their tenure at the school. Coach Hudson thanked Board members for their support and recognized his team's outstanding performance at the state competition. As a part of the competition, team member Jackie Drouin ran the 1600-meter race in 4 minutes and 49 seconds, setting a AAAAA-class record.
-- The Board honored two Gwinnett high school teams-- Grayson HS and Parkview HS-- that are 2007 AAAAA state co-champions in girls soccer. Parkview HS' girls soccer team continued its winning tradition, winning its fourth state championship in seven years. At the end of the 2007 season, Parkview HS' girls soccer team was ranked sixth in the nation. In introducing his school's team, Principal Buck Buchanan saluted their prowess on the field, but also in the classroom. The team's grade point average of 3.69, earned the team the academic award from the National Association of Soccer Coaches of America. Parkview's coaching staff includes Judson Hamby, Mark Leviton, and Michael Tolmich.
This year marked Grayson's first state championship in girls soccer. Principal Keith Chaney said this championship game was one of the most exciting he has ever attended. Athletic Director Mike Phillips said this was a great opportunity for the Grayson program to go up against a team with the tradition that Parkview has. This past year's team won the most games of any other team in the school's seven-year history. Mr. Phillips thanked the parents and coaches for their support of the team. Coaches include Scott Luthart, Chris Wilson, and Terry Klinect.

Broad Foundation awards $3.7 million to fund leadership development in Gwinnett
The Broad Foundation has awarded a three-year grant to Gwinnett County Public Schools for the implementation of an in-depth school leader preparation program. The grant will support the district's Quality-Plus Leader Academy. Funds will be used to enhance the district's year-long training program for those who aspire to principal positions. Additionally, the grant will provide funds for the ongoing support for first- and second-year principals and assistant principals. Dr. Glenn Pethel, executive director for leadership development, told Board members that he feels the leadership of the Board and Superintendent gave Gwinnett a competitive edge when it came to acquiring this grant. He said, "The Broad Foundation was impressed by the system's efforts to launch these programs and the school system's commitment to developing leaders. As a system, we know that we will need 115 principals and 441 assistant principals in the next four to five years, and we have demonstrated the desire and commitment to ensuring we have quality leaders ready for the job."

FY09 budget development calendar tabled for review
The Board of Education reviewed the proposed calendar of activities and dates associated with the adoption of the FY2009 budget. The budget development calendar will be presented for approval at the October 11, 2007, Monthly Business Meeting. Key dates in the proposed budget calendar are: December 14, 2007 - February 1, 2008 - Prepare program budget requests; February 1, 2008 - Central Office budget managers submit completed proposed budget requests to Budget Office; March 7, 2008 – Superintendent’s Recommendations due to Budget Office; March 10-24, 2008 - Preparation and printing of Superintendent's recommended budget; April 19, 2008 - Board budget work session (Saturday); April 22, 2008 - Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget (Area Board Meeting); April 23, 2008 - Copies of Superintendent’s recommended budget available for public; April 27 and April 29, 2008 - Publish budget advertisement in newspaper; May 5, 2008 - First public hearing on budget; May 8, 2008 - Second public budget hearing, final budget adoption, and adoption of tentative millage rate; and June 2008- Final adoption of millage rate.

Cross-Functional Action Team (XFAT) presents recommendations on Educational Specifications
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks charged a recent cross-functional action team (XFAT) to review current educational specifications for all schools and recommend updates and modifications for the 2012 Building Program to ensure improved alignment of education specifications among programs across grade levels. Team members Principal Glenn McFall of Collins Hill HS, Assistant Principal Yvette Rodney of Meadowcreek ES, Teacher Joe Cox of Brookwood HS, and Susan White of Special Education presented the team's report. Among the team's recommendations was the establishment of an Educational Specifications Oversight Committee that would convene annually to review what changes might be needed to meet future student and school needs. The team also recommended a number of facility, furniture, and equipment specifications to add to the current standard for Gwinnett schools.

Members selected to represent Board at GSBA events
The School Board annually appoints representation to the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) Legislative Liaison Network to help communicate the Board's perspective on legislative issues to the members of the Georgia General Assembly. Chairman Louise Radloff will serve on the GSBA Legislative Liaison Network for 2008 and has been authorized to represent the Gwinnett County Board of Education at the Advocacy Workshop in Dublin, Georgia, on October 22, 2007.

Board approves Britt-Moody Field as new name for Grayson HS football field
The Gwinnett County Board of Education approved a request from the Grayson community to name the high school's football field "Britt-Moody Field" in honor of two very important members of the community. Jack Britt graduated from Grayson HS in 1946 and played basketball on the Grayson HS team the year the school won the county championship. He is a World War II veteran. Mr. Britt started the football programs at Tucker HS and Lawrenceville HS, and also taught at South Gwinnett HS, Parkview HS, and Bethesda ES. Mr. Britt built several trophy cases for Grayson HS and lockers for the softball, basketball, and soccer programs. He also contributed to the building of the Grayson HS’ stadium, concession stand, restrooms, and coaching offices. He continues to be an active member of the Grayson Alumni Association. Dr. Mike Moody was the first principal of Grayson HS from 2000 to 2002. He created the vision of “First Comes Learning" at Grayson HS. Dr. Moody led the fundraising efforts to build Grayson HS's football stadium, and the baseball and softball facilities. Because of his diligence, Grayson HS was the first new high school to open with a stadium built by the community. He developed a strong working relationship between Grayson HS and the Grayson Alumni Association. Dr. Moody was an educator for 32 years. The community will officially dedicate the football field before the Grayson v. South Gwinnett game on Friday, October 5, 2007.

Board continues to review and update policies
-- School Board members approved the following policies that had been placed on the table last month to allow for further input.
Policy DCI- Budget Amendment-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DFL- Investment Earnings-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DI- Accounting and Reporting-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DIB- Financial Reports-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DJD- Expense Reimbursements-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DK- Student Activities Funds (Restricted Funds)-- Changes are aligned with improvements in system processes.
Policy DO- Property Disposal-- The title of this policy has been changed from "School Properties Disposal" and changes have been made to the policy to align it with improvements in system processes as well as mandates in state and/or federal law.
Policy EGD- Accident Insurance Policy for School Children in Transit-- The title of this policy has been changed from "Liability Insurance (Defense and Indemnification)" and the contents have been divided into three policies-- EGD, EGE, and EGF. Changes have been made to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy EGE- Defense and Indemnification for Board Vehicle Accidents-- The content of this policy was previously included in Policy EGD "Liability Insurance (Defense and Indemnification)." Changes have been made to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy EGF-- Defense and Indemnification for General Liability Incidents-- The content of this policy was previously included in Policy EGD "Liability Insurance (Defense and Indemnification)." Changes have been made to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy FC- Facility Impact Statement Notification-- The title of this policy was changed from "Information Campaigns (Facility Impact Statement)" and minor changes have been made to the policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy IFBG- Acceptable Use of Electronic Media-- The descriptor code for this policy has been changed from IFB to IFBG. Changes have been made to the policy to align it with improvements in system processes as well as mandates in state and/or federal law.

The following proposed policies have been placed on the table for further input:
Policy DJE- Purchasing- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy EB- Property Alterations- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.

Citizens Addressing the Board
-- Angela Whitlock