GCPS Board Meeting Summary for January 11, 2007
|The following are highlights of the January 11, 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 attends to annual business at start of new calendar year
January is the month for the School Board to elect its officers for the new calendar year. As the first order of business, Louise Radloff, who represents District V, was elected chairman for 2007. Carole Boyce, District I representative, was elected vice chairman for 2007. In accordance with policy, the School Board reaffirmed its policies, designated the Gwinnett Daily Post as the official media organ for the school system, and approved retaining the services of Thompson & Sweeny as its legal counsel. In addition, Board members approved the meeting schedule for 2007. Adopted School Board meeting dates include January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 21, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13.
Board recognizes students and staff members
-- The Board saluted the Peachtree Ridge HS Competitive Cheerleading Team, this year's AAAAA state champions. Principal Dr. Steve Flynt introduced Dr. Rob Spencer, head coach, and acknowledged Assistant Coach Molly Spencer, as well as the student-athletes and parents in attendance. Coach Spencer has led five teams to state championships and will go down in history as leading Peachtree Ridge HS to back-to-back team championships in its first few years. In introducing team members, Coach Spencer applauded their heart and thanked the school and school community for their support.
-- Board members recognized Girma Mecheso of Berkmar HS on his first-place finish in state competition which earned him the individual title of AAAAA Boys Cross Country State Champion. Adding to this achievement, Girma also finished in the top 10 of the 2006 Foot Locker National Cross Country All-American Championships. This is the highest ranking ever achieved by a Georgia runner in the 28-year history of this race. Berkmar HS Athletic Director Glenn Wilson introduced Coach Chris Pae and Community Coach Karen Wood, thanking them for their work with Girma and other student athletes.
-- Twelve Gwinnett County schools were recognized nationally for significantly narrowing the student achievement gap between higher- and lower-performing student groups during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years. The recognition is based on analysis performed by Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services. Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of only three Georgia school systems in which more than five schools have significantly narrowed at least one achievement gap between student groups. Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of only three Georgia school systems that each have more than five schools that have significantly narrowed at least one achievement gap between student groups. The Gwinnett schools recognized for narrowing the achievement gap in the economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged category include Centerville Elementary, Chattahoochee Elementary, Dacula Elementary, B.B. Harris Elementary, McKendree Elementary, Rebecca Minor Elementary, Shiloh Elementary, K. E. Taylor Elementary, Alton C. Crews Middle, and Peachtree Ridge High. These 10 Gwinnett schools are among 69 schools across Georgia recognized in this category. Peachtree Elementary is one of only seven schools in Georgia recognized for closing the gap between Hispanic and white students. J.E. Richards Middle is recognized for closing the gap between black and white students.
According to SchoolMatters, a service of Standard and Poor's, "These schools are recognized in the hopes that they may serve as benchmarks and sources of promising practices for educators elsewhere in the state who are trying to close achievement gaps while improving the achievement of all students."
Board reviews policy/procedure work
It is the practice of the Gwinnett County Board of Education to conduct regular audits of Board policies and administrative procedures that serve as operational guidelines for the school system. This practice ensures that the school system is in compliance with state and federal laws and State Board of Education rules. Over the last year, three new policies were adopted, nine policies were revised, three new procedures were adopted, 21 procedures were revised, work on seven procedures carried over into the new year, with one of those approved in January.
Superintendent updates Board on legislative session
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks provided School Board members with an update on the legislative session that got underway this week. Governor Sonny Perdue told a joint session of the General Assembly that "Education is the single most important factor in the future prosperity of the state." Below are a few details of the Governor's education budget:
• 3% raise on state-paid portion of the salaries for teachers, bus drivers, and lunchroom workers
• $21 million for middle school graduation coaches
• Additional $8 million for high school graduation coaches
• $750,000 for online tutorial services statewide
• $32.5 million in additional funds for equalization
• $11.2 million for classroom gift cards for teachers and one card per school for media center
• $417.7 million for capital outlay
• 2008 QBE reduction proposed at $140 million (Funds were redirected to reduce the austerity cut from a proposed $170 million to the $140 million level.)
• Funds also are being redirected to provide foreign language media materials statewide
• Supplemental budget adds $5.2 million to equalization
Board approves redistricting plan for three new schools
Board members approved attendance boundaries for three new elementary schools opening in the fall of 2007. In recommending the proposed boundaries, Planning Department staff considered input from parents and others that was received through the schools' boundary committees and at the public hearing on December 14.