GCPS Board Meeting Summary for February 10, 2005

The following are highlights of the February 10, 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
-- Board members recognized Parkview HS students Leo Chen and Henry Xu for earning perfect scores on the ACT. The ACT is a nationally normed postsecondary admission test which covers four areas-- English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. In his introduction, Dr. Charles Buchanan, principal of Parkview HS, expressed pride in these students' academic achievement, which includes being named National Merit Finalists.
-- Dr. Jim Curtiss, principal of Winn Holt ES, was honored on his receipt of the Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Art Education Association. Dr. Curtiss, who was the principal of Grayson ES prior to this school year, received the award for his support of the visual arts. Letha Kelly, Grayson ES' visual arts teacher, commended Dr. Curtiss for his interest in the arts, citing his visits to classrooms and his very open support of the arts. She specifically thanked him for his support of the development of a computer visual arts class at the school, describing him as an exemplary administrator.
-- The Board of Education recognized Collins Hill HS' Screamin' Eagle Marching Band, one of only three bands in the nation to be presented The Sudler Shield, an international award recognizing high school bands of world-class excellence. The award, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, is based on international standards of excellence in musical performance, marching execution, choreography, and show design for high school marching bands. Principal Glenn McFall introduced band directors Richard Marshall and Heath Lawless, commending these teachers, along with the students and their parents, for their hard work and dedication to the band program. Band students attending the meeting included Daniel Treuman, band captain; and drum majors Kristen Harris, Jacob Prosser, and Daniel Cook.
-- 43 Gwinnett teachers recently earned national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). GCPS had more teachers certified in 2004 than any other Georgia school system and has 161 board-certified teachers on staff. According to NBPTS, this voluntary process involves a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes nearly a year to complete. Through the assessment process, teachers document their subject-matter knowledge, provide evidence that they teach their subjects to students most effectively, and demonstrate their ability to manage and measure student learning. Congratulations to Gwinnett’s newest board-certified teachers: Krista K. Bennett of Charles Brant Chesney ES, Cheri P. Carter of Brookwood ES, April A. Coleman of J. P. McConnell MS, Cindy Gordon Cordero of J. E. Richards MS, Stacey Smallwood Covey of Duncan Creek ES, Sally H. Crawford of Nesbit ES, Susan B. Fancher of Craig ES, Lynn DeWitt Fogel of Rockbridge ES, Leslie Kelly Fowler of Summerour MS, Gary James Fryns of Cedar Hill ES, Beverly Saxton Jerrim of Duluth HS, Donna Jimenez of Berkmar HS, Susan A. King of Knight ES, Melinda Wilson Klinect of Duluth HS, Darlene Jean Kukulski-O'Brien of Walnut Grove ES, Terry Meadors Lee of Chattahoochee ES, Vickie A. McCrary of Collins Hill HS, Debra Medwick of Parkview HS, Nancy Smith Meek of Phoenix HS, Mary Anne Percy Meeks of Duluth HS, Loretta J. Mirandola of Berkmar HS, Kathleen R. Muir of Arcado ES, Julie Ann Nelson of Centerville ES, Millie Patterson of Freeman’s Mill ES, Janna Penn of Shiloh HS, Brenda Fay Petty of Mill Creek HS, Dave Powell of Mill Creek HS, Janice J. Pruitt of Frank N. Osborne MS, Madeline Realmuto of Bethesda ES, Novlett A. Salmon-Davis of Berkmar HS, Derek R. Schroll of Rockbridge ES, June Wright Smith of Pinckneyville MS, Star H. Smith of Kanoheda ES, Dr. Walter R. Snow of Berkmar HS, Dr. Lisa Tilley of Parkview HS, Judith M. Vestrand of Parkview HS, Richard J. Voss of Duncan Creek ES, Cathy Lynn Ergle Warr of Parkview HS, Lori Weitzel of Camp Creek ES, Dorothy Wilson of J. P. McConnell MS, Mary Martha Wilson of Louise Radloff MS, Craig Christopher Witmer of Brookwood HS, and Timothy B. Yoder of J. P. McConnell MS.

GCPS adopts instructional materials after comprehensive review
In compliance with Gwinnett County Public Schools Policy IFAA and the Georgia Department of Education Rule 160-4-1.12, the periodic program and instructional materials review was conducted in the areas of Language Arts, grades K-3, 6-8, and 9-12; Foreign Language, grades 6-12; and Science electives, grades 11-12 (Forensic Science and AP Environmental Science). All materials were selected by a teacher review committee based on support of the grade level Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum, and were piloted in classrooms during Fall 2004.
-- Language Arts instructional materials for grades 9-12 include a comprehensive literature program, writing handbooks, and a variety of novels as well as a Reading Intervention Program for students who are reading below expected grade level.
-- Foreign Language instructional materials for grades 9-12 include textbooks and related material for Spanish I–VI and AP, French I–VI and AP, German I–VI and AP, and Latin I–III and AP, and Spanish for Native Speakers courses (which reinforce Spanish reading and writing proficiency for heritage speakers in order to promote learning of English). The review committee of teachers is recommending language labs for high school foreign language classrooms. A pilot was conducted at Shiloh High. The labs provide an efficient, focused, intense learning environment to enhance students' language acquisition. Labs include software loaded onto the teacher's laptop; headsets, microphones and volume control for each student; a teacher console equipped with CD, cassette, VCR, DVD, Internet, and production software such as Word and PowerPoint; and an LCD projector to display videos, websites, and student projects. Student achievement data with use of language labs indicates higher scores on listening comprehension skills and more accurate readings of student speaking performance.
-- Instructional materials also are recommended for grades 11-12 for new Science electives: Forensic Science and AP Environmental Science.
-- Health and Student Academic Support & Advisement materials were approved by the Community Health Education Advisory Committee (CHEAC).

Gwinnett proclaims appreciation to the PTA
In observance of the National PTA's founding 108 years ago this month, the School Board adopted a proclamation stating its appreciation for the PTA as a valued partner in Gwinnett County Public Schools' quest to become a system of world-class schools. In doing so, the Board acknowledged the Gwinnett PTA Council and the local school units for their work as advocates for children, families, and public education in Gwinnett County. The Board of Education officially proclaimed February 17, 2005, as PTA Day in Gwinnett County Public Schools. School Board members thanked Gayla Malkiel, Gwinnett PTA Council president, and the PTA membership for the yeoman's job they have done for Gwinnett schoolchildren.

Summer school dates, sites, and administrators set
Annually, Gwinnett County Public Schools holds an academic summer session for students. Dates, sites, and locations for the 2005 summer session include:
Elementary School
Dates: June 21-July 13 (holidays July 4 and 5)
Locations: Gwinnett elementary students on academic contracts have the opportunity to benefit from a summer school program, conducted at each GCPS ES, with a few exceptions. Students of approximately nine schools will attend programs at other schools due to planned summer construction.
Summer School Assistant Principals: Celia Thompson of Jackson ES and Yvette Rodney of Meadowcreek ES
Middle School
Dates: June 21-July 13 (holidays July 4 and 5)
Locations: All middle schools except Duluth MS. Duluth MS students will attend a site that has yet to be determined.
Summer School Principal: Donna Scott (GIVE Center)
High School
Dates: June 9-July 14 (holidays July 4 and 5)
Locations: Shiloh, Peachtree Ridge, and Berkmar high schools
Summer School Assistant Principal: Dr. Linda Williams (Grayson)
Site Assistant Principals: Craig Hanson/Jan Wyche- Shiloh, Roland Wallace- Berkmar, TBA- Peachtree Ridge

Markham to join GRS Administrative Committee
School Board members approved the appointment of Jim Markham, principal of Mill Creek HS, to serve on the Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS) Plan Administrative Committee. This committee is responsible for managing the $865 million in assets currently held for beneficiaries of GRS and for ensuring that the plan document is properly administered. The GRS Plan Administrative Committee is comprised of nine representatives. GCPS' chief financial officer and chief human resources officer serve as permanent members. The other seven members serve seven-year terms. The committee includes three teachers, one local school administrator, one classified employee, one retiree, and one position of any classification of employee covered by the plan. Mr. Markham fills the position for the local school administrator. His seven-year term begins Feb. 11, 2005.

Board continues update of policies
The Board tabled a revision of Policy DCI-Budget Amendment for review until the March 10, 2005, meeting. The revision includes minor changes to reflect current practice. In addition, it was recommended that Policy FGG-Change Orders be rescinded at the March 10 meeting. Information from this policy is contained in Policy DJE-Purchasing.

Citizens addressing the Board...
- Faye Caldwell
- Debbie Wright
- Sheryl D. Jefferson