GCPS Board Meeting Summary for February 13, 2003

          The following are highlights of the February 13, 2003, 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 of Education Recognizes Students and Staff
          The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized the following educators, and students at its February meeting.

          -- School Board members recognized Cheryl Wilson, principal of Rock Springs ES, on being named the 2002 Georgia Music Educators Association Administrator of the Year. In introducing Ms. Wilson, Fine Arts Coordinator Robert Andrews complimented her leadership, support, and encouragement of fine arts education. Rock Springs ES teacher Tiffany English, who nominated Ms. Wilson for the honor, described her principal as "a champion of fine arts."

          -- The Board recognized the state championship efforts of the Parkview HS stock market game team, comprised of students Kirk Abbott, Eric Griswold, and Joshua Schmitt. The entrepreneurial team, under the direction of teacher Mark Leviton, placed first among 3,200 teams. Beginning with a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio, they invested in stocks, increasing its worth to more than $254,000 in a 10-week period.

          -- School Board members commended the Brookwood HS boys' cross country team on its recent AAAAA state championship. In introducing the team and Coach Jerry Arnold, Principal Jane Stegall pointed out that this is the team's 7th state championship in 12 years. Coach Arnold thanked the Board for their support and for allowing the program to grow and compete in various national competitions. In accepting the School Board's recognition, Coach Arnold pointed out that Gwinnett was well represented in the state competition with a Parkview HS team placing 2nd, a Dacula HS team placing 3rd, and a Collins Hill HS team placing 5th.

          -- Parkview HS' football team was honored as this year's AAAAA state champions. In his comments, Principal Dale Robbins shared that the team has won 45 straight victories and three state championships. Coach Cecil Flowe expressed his excitement about the success of the program and appreciation for the support of the School Board, school, and school community. After addressing the Board, Coach Flowe introduced team representatives Todd McKnight, Jonathan Tarrantino, Kenneth Czar, Ben McKinzey, and David Obermeyer.

          -- The Board of Education recognized the Budgets, Finance, and Accounting staff on earning the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler informed School Board members that this is the first time GCPS has received this honor. In introducing her staff, Executive Director Theresa McDugald expressed her pride in the team effort that created a document that was described by ASBO as "an outstanding budget document," "very readable," and "impressive." Staff members recognized included: Phyllis Cooper, Cheri Folds, Lawanda Hankins, Vickie Melo, Donna Redfern, Dan Smith, and Bruce Taylor.

          School Board Authorizes 2003 GMA Lease Pool Annual Appropriation
          The Board adopted a resolution authorizing the appropriation of $6,508,043 to allow Gwinnett County Public Schools to continue participation in the pooled lease program sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association. This resolution is an annual requirement of the GMA pooled lease program. The money Gwinnett appropriates is available for future capital lease purchases as requested.

          GCPS and Gwinnett Public Library System Team Up to Provide Online Tutoring Service
          A new joint project between GCPS and the Gwinnett County Public Library system will provide students in grades 4-12 access to an online academic tutoring service. This service is a yearlong pilot funded through a federal grant and matching funds from both the library system and GCPS. Any student with a library card and a library online pin number may access the service via an Internet connection, Sunday through Thursday from 4-11 p.m. Students may access Live Homework Help by logging onto www.gwinnettpl.org. The service is contracted from nationally recognized Tutor.com, and tutors have been certified, are evaluated regularly, and have received a 7-year criminal background and reference check.

          GEMS Oversight Committee Recommendations Accepted
          The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted revisions, deletions, and additions to the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum based on recommendations of the GEMS Oversight Committee. The GEMS Oversight Committee meets annually to analyze data received on the AKS through the annual review process and to make recommendations regarding curriculum changes to the Superintendent. The GEMS Oversight Committee met on January 16, 2003. The recommended revisions, deletions, and additions to the AKS were based on input received from educators and community members. Details on the revisions may be obtained by contacting Lisa Burleson with the Center for Educational Programs at 770-338-4832.

          Gwinnett Proclaims Appreciation to the PTA
          In observance of the National PTA's founding 106 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. PTA Council Co-President Anita Solty accepted the proclamation on behalf of the county's Parent-Teacher Association.

          Advance Purchase of School Buses Approved
          In a move to acquire needed school buses at a desirable bid price, the Board approved the advance purchase of 48 72-passenger buses at an estimated cost of $2.6 million. The advance purchase of these buses will allow for delivery before the beginning of the 2003-04 school year. Plans are to fund the purchase from the General Fund Unreserved Fund Balance, with final payment to be made from the Fiscal Year 2004 budget funds or other funding sources.

            Board Continues Review of Policies
            Policy JCA – Student Complaint -- was rescinded after being tabled at the last meeting. The information formerly contained in this policy is included in Procedure P.JC “Student Complaints—Sexual Harassment/Discrimination.”
            The following policy changes were tabled until the March 13 meeting to allow for public input:

            Policy JRA – Textbooks/Library books—Staff recommends that this policy be rescinded as information contained in this policy has been incorporated into Policy JS “Student Contributions and Charges” or is already included in Procedure P.JS “Student Contributions and Charges (Textbooks and Library Books.)”

            Policy JS – Student Contributions and Charges – Staff is recommending changes to this policy to comply with current practice. Information previously contained in Policy JRA “Textbooks/Library Books” has now been incorporated into this policy.

            Citizens Address the Board of Education
            The following citizens addressed the Board:
            - Tony Arakawa
            - James Dumond
            - Barbara Moore
            - Cathy Coulter
            - Harold Garton

            The School Board approved the following appointments at its meeting on February 13, 2003.

            Name-- Current Position
            Calvin Watts-- Principal, St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School, Archdiocese of Atlanta. Previously, he served as an assistant principal for Immaculate Heart of Mary School (Archdiocese of Atlanta) and Bethesda ES.Principal, Annistown ES
            Barbara Schmich-- Assistant Principal, Henry Partee ESPrincipal, Centerville ES
            Donna Torbush-- Assistant Principal, K.E. Taylor ESPrincipal, J.G. Dyer ES
            Michelle Farmer-- Assistant Principal, R.D. Head ESPrincipal, R.D. Head ES
            Teia Gentry-- Assistant Principal, Sweetwater MSPrincipal, Meadowcreek ES
            Rita Cantrell-- Assistant Principal, Fort Daniel ESPrincipal, Suwanee ES
            Monica Batiste-- 4th Grade Teacher, G.H. Hopkins ESAssistant Principal, G.H. Hopkins ES
            Rebekah LeAnn Sims-- Administrative Assistant, Dacula MSAssistant Principal, Dacula MS
            Doris Jones-- Administrative Assistant, Dacula MSAssistant Principal, Dacula MS
            Galen Reavis-- Head Counselor, Grayson HSCounselor on Special Assignment, Dept. of Student Accountability, Assessment, and Advisement
            Jason Lane-- Administrative Assistant, Brookwood HSHalf-time Assistant Principal and Half-time Administrative Assistant, Brookwood HS
            Jodi Robinson-- Administrative Assistant, Brookwood HSHalf-time Assistant Principal and Half-time Administrative Assistant, Brookwood HS
            Paul Waters-- Social Studies Teacher, Grayson HSAdministrative Assistant, Grayson HS
            Julie Brown-- ESOL Teacher, Duluth MSHalf-time Administrative Assistant and Half-Time ESOL Teacher, Duluth MS
            All principal appointments are effective July 1. Ms. Batiste's appointment is effective July 28. Ms. Reavis moves to her new position March 10. All other positions are now effective.