GCPS Board Meeting Summary for July 13, 2006

The following are highlights of the July 13, 2006, 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 outstanding principals
-- School Board members saluted Brookwood HS Principal Jane Stegall, Camp Creek ES Principal Kathy Jones, Shiloh ES Principal Vivian Stranahan, and Trickum MS Principal Lynne Davis on their state recognition as High Performance Principals. Governor Sonny Perdue announced the names of individuals who were identified as "High Performance Principals," as defined by SB 468, which was passed and funded during the last session of the General Assembly. This grant program is designed to encourage those recognized to become principals in secondary "Needs Improvement" schools, but it also serves as an opportunity to recognize and honor the individual and collective achievements of these high-performing educators. Two other Gwinnett principals-- Dr. LaVern Watkins of Norcross ES and Dr. Burrelle Meeks of Knight ES (retired)-- also received this state honor and will be recognized at a future meeting.

Gwinnett School Board calls for extension of the sales tax to be on November ballot
The Board of Education adopted a resolution calling for the extension of the sales tax for schools to be included on the ballot on November 7, 2006. The ballot measure would ask Gwinnett County voters to approve extending the current special purpose local option sales tax for educational purposes for another five years. SPLOST III would be in effect from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012, if approved. The current one-cent sales tax for schools expires on June 30, 2007. Due to Gwinnett County Public Schools' continued enrollment growth over the past two decades, and the projected continuation of that growth for the foreseeable future, new schools and other capital improvements for the additional students are an ongoing, pressing need. SPLOST III is projected to generate, at best, $1.1 billion – enough funding to cover 40 to 50 percent of the known classroom and capital needs. Additional funding will need to be considered to complete the five-year building program. Attached is a presentation on the system's needs and "The Plan" to address those needs, along with a listing of projects and a fact sheet. This information, along with other factual information about the proposed building program, will be available on the school system's Web site, GCPS-TV, and at meetings in the coming weeks and months.
Presentation on The Plan BOE 7-13-06.pdfThe Plan Document BOE 7-13-06.pdfSPLOST III fact sheet.pdf

Georgia Education Coalition begins addressing common issues
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks provided Board members with an update on the Georgia Education Coalition. At the June 22 meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved a resolution to participate in the newly formed Georgia Education Coalition, Inc. (GEC). The coalition was established to allow member systems to address the critical fiscal and policy issues that are common concerns to all members. The intent of the GEC is to serve as a vehicle for discussion of issues of mutual concern and for communicating about those issues with elected state leaders in a unified voice. The process to incorporate the GEC is underway. The group has eight charter member systems-- Cartersville City, Cherokee, Cobb, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale. Six other systems will be taking the resolution to their Boards of Education in the coming months and the membership is expected to grow. The group held its first organizational meeting on June 28. At that meeting, Mr. Wilbanks was elected chairman of the GEC.

Board continues update of policies
The Board approved the following policy changes which had been tabled for review at the June 22 meeting:
- Policy GAD- Professional Learning Opportunities-- Changes have been made to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
- Policy JGJ- Crisis Management Plan/Required Drills-- Changes have been made to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.

Board attends to new business
Under new business, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, representing District III, provided her fellow Board members with a briefing on the Georgia School Boards Association Summer Conference and Delegate Assembly held in June 2006. In addition, District V Board Member Louise Radloff was authorized to represent the Board at a Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful workshop.