GCPS Board Meeting Summary for May 11, 2000

          The following are highlights of the May 11, 2000, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The official minutes of each monthly meeting are approved by the School Board at its meeting the following month.

          School Board Recognizes Outstanding Accomplishments
          The following individuals and groups were honored by the Board for their outstanding achievements at the state or national level.
          - Shiloh High School JROTC, Georgia Air Force JROTC State Drill Champions, led by Lt. Col. Pat McDonald and Chief T. J. Held
          - Dana Marsal of McKendree ES, named Intramural Director of the Year by the Intramural Sports Council
          - Dave Hunter of Brookwood HS, Georgia AAAA Athletic Director of the Year
          - Jane Okpala of Norcross HS, Georgia Spanish Student of the Year
          - Central Gwinnett HS, Collins Hill HS, Duluth HS, North Gwinnett HS, Phoenix HS- recognized by the Georgia Department of Education for improving their students' SAT performance for three consecutive years.
          - Brookwood High Varsity Academic Team, State AAAA Champions for the fifth consecutive year, and Brookwood High Junior Varsity Academic Team, State AAAA Champions for the second year in a row. Coaches are Rick Barry, Nancy Neace, and Carol Case.
          - Reverend Ron Sailor and Frances Davis of Appalachee Baptist Church were recognized for their work with the church's AKS Intervention Program.
          - Karen Throckmorton was recognized and thanked for her service for the past two school years as Gwinnett PTA Council Co-President.

          Citizens Address the Board
          Three citizens and a teacher representing the Gwinnett County Association of Educators addressed the Board on a variety of topics including the school system's partnership with Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, the new state discipline law that allows teachers to remove disruptive students from the classroom, concerns related to the perceived treatment of minority students, the increased use of standardized testing, and possible test anxiety among some students taking Gwinnett's Gateway tests.

          Gwinnett County Board of Education Adopts FY2001 Budget
          The Board adopted the fiscal year 2000-01 budget in the expenditure amount of $961,392,939, as recommended by the Superintendent. The adopted budget includes $2,116,819 in additional expenditures beyond what was included in the budget tentatively adopted by the Board on April 20. The additional costs will be covered by state dollars allocated for clinic workers and the early intervention program. The millage rates for maintenance and operations and for debt service to support this budget are scheduled to be set on June 22, when sufficient information will be available from the tax commissioner's office regarding projected tax revenues for the county.

          Board Approves Leadership Appointments
          • Wanda Yeargin, currrently director of middle and high school staffing in the GCPS Human Resources Division, was appointed executive director for school improvement, succeeding Dr. Bill Heron, who retired in March.
          • Kristie Clements, currently an assistant principal at Norcross HS, will be an assistant principal at Maxwell HS of Technology next school year.
          • Cynthia Truett, currently an assistant principal at Rockbridge ES, will transfer to an assistant principal position at Taylor ES.
          • Mona Roberts, currently a teacher at Cedar Hill ES, will become a half-time administrative assistant at the school.
          • Sheri Black, currently an administrative assistant at Suwanee ES, was appointed to an assistant principal position at Chattahoochee ES.
          • Mimi Gaines, currently an administrative assistant at Harmony ES, will be an assistant principal at the school next year.
          • Eva Hunter, currently a teacher at Norcross ES, will serve as a half-time administrative assistant next year.
          • John Wight, currently a teacher at Partee ES, was appointed as an administrative assistant at the school.
          • Michelle Ford, currently an administrative assistant at Knight ES, will be an assistant principal at Pharr ES next year.
          • Dr. Valerie Dickerson, currently a curriculum assistant principal at Westlake HS in Fulton County, will serve as an assistant principal at Richards MS.
          • Glenn George, currently a teacher and coach at Shiloh HS, was appointed as an administrative assistant at Shiloh ES.
          • Susan Horne, currently a part-time counselor and part-time administrator at Shiloh MS, will become an assistant principal at the school next year.
          • Christopher Ray, currently an administrative assistant at Stripling ES, was appointed to an assistant principal position at the school.
          • Joy Davis, currently a teacher at Lanier MS, was appointed as an administrative assistant at Summerour MS.
          • Cheryl Krug, currently a media specialist at Taylor ES, will serve as an administrative assistant at the school next school year.

            School Board Adopts Guidance and Counseling Standards and Competencies
            Vickie Watts, GCPS coordinator of Guidance and Counseling, presented for Board approval the recommended "Standards and Competencies" for the school system's Guidance and Counseling Program. The standards are essentially belief statements about students, counselors, and the guidance program itself.
            The competencies, which resemble the AKS in format, describe by grade level what students need to know and be able to do as a result of participating in a developmental guidance program. The standards and competencies were developed by the Guidance and Counseling Advisory Committee, which was composed of educators, community members, and School Board representatives. The committee worked during two school years to develop the standards and competencies, using feedback from a number of sources including 25,000 counseling survey responses from students, staff, and parents. The Board unanimously approved the standards and competencies.

            Division of Facilities and Operations Reports on Upcoming Summer Work
            Chief Operations Officer Jim Steele provided Board members with a report detailing the work his division will complete during the summer months. Some of the projects include:
            • The Department of Construction and Facility Planning will complete construction of Grayson HS and seven large additions at Collins Hill HS, Kanoheda ES, Pinckneyville MS, Dacula ES, Pharr ES, Taylor ES (activity building), and Dacula HS (gym). Work will continue on the new Norcross HS and its stadium/field house, eight large additions, and nine renovations.
            • The Department of Building Maintenance will paint 13 schools; relocate approximately 200 portable classrooms; complete HVAC renovations at 12 schools; upgrade the energy management system at 14 schools; conduct preventative maintenance at all schools; re-roof three schools; reseal 11 wood gym floors, and complete miscellaneous projects at 39 locations.
            • The Department of Environmental and Supply Services will provide custodial clean-up at Grayson HS and other renovation sites; conduct preventive pest inspections/treatments at all schools and complete perimeter termite treatments at 12 schools; and outfit new schools, additions, renovations, and portable classrooms with furniture, equipment, and textbooks.
            • The Department of Contracts Engineering will carpet, paint, and do carpentry renovations at various schools. The department will monitor and facilitate booster club projects at Central Gwinnett, Duluth, and North Gwinnett high schools and stadium construction at Duluth HS and Grayson HS. Staff also will install stadium lighting at Central Gwinnett HS, Dacula HS, and Grayson HS.
            • The Department of Fleet and Grounds Maintenance will conduct site work at 16 schools; do sidewalk maintenance at 9 schools; do preventive maintenance on playground safety surfaces at 18 schools; improve handicap access at three schools; complete renovations to 24 high school PE fields, 11 elementary and middle playgrounds, and North Gwinnett High's stadium field. Also on the agenda for this summer is construction of school bus parking at 10 locations and preventive maintenance, repairs, warranty work, and state safety inspections on 957 school buses.
            • The Department of Transportation will reorganize to provide more focused customer service; conduct annual training for all drivers prior to the start of school; rehearse the 4,000 bus routes before school opens in August; continue training 100-plus new drivers; and test approximately 200 drivers on their Annual Driver Proficiency Test.
              When classes resume in August 2000, the system will have increased by 672,784 square feet and 190 additional classrooms.

              Board Members Hear Update on Recent Gateway Testing
              Superintendent Wilbanks reported to the Board that all indications point to a smooth, successful administration of the Gateway tests in January and April. Attendance was unusually high on Gateway testing days and schools issued positive reports about the testing at their sites. He congratulated the students and teachers who were involved with the test administration and expressed confidence that the results will be positive when the scores are received.

              North Gwinnett HS Baseball Field to be Named in Honor of Educator
              North Gwinnett HS's baseball field will be named in honor of Kenneth McDaniel. "Coach Mac" served as the school's first baseball coach, as well as the school's first boys' basketball coach. He also was the principal of the school from 1969 to 1973. Mr. McDaniel continues to be a strong supporter of North Gwinnett HS. The school plans to hold a ceremony on May 19 honoring Mr. McDaniel and officially naming the new baseball field.

              Board Adopts Policy IEA, Grouping for Instruction
              School Board members adopted proposed Policy IEA, Grouping for Instruction, which had been tabled since the Board's May 11 meeting to allow for public input. The policy authorizes the principal and local school to make decisions regarding the placement or grouping of students for instruction, based on the individual needs of each student. It further requires that the classroom composition reflect state and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' accrediting standards and system goals.