GCPS Board Meeting Summary for July 19, 2012

The following are highlights of the July 19, 2012, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Board Chairman Louise Radloff, Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, Dr. Robert McClure, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Daniel Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board approves revised plan for required training
State law requires that local boards of education engage in mandatory training each year as individual members and as a collective governing board. An annual plan for the required training must be developed and approved by the local board of education. Previously, such a plan was developed for the Gwinnett County Board of Education for training from May 2011 through December 2014. The Board has approved an updated version of the plan, from July 2012 through December 2014, and will submit it to the State Department of Education.

Work session includes Title I update
Dr. Steve Flynt, associate superintendent for School Leadership and Operations, provided Board members with an update on the district's Title I program. Title I is a federal program that operates with state and district oversight. Schools are eligible for Title I funding based on annual poverty criteria ranking using the percentage of students eligible to receive free and reduced meals at school. Nearly 54% of Gwinnett's students qualify for free and reduced meals. As a result, any school at or above this district average is eligible to become a Title I school. In GCPS, 55 of the 60 eligible schools are designated as Title I. Accountability for Title I schools comes in various forms, including evaluation of schoolwide plans. In addition, Title I schools may be identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School under the state's No Child Left Behind waiver. Gwinnett currently has three Priority Schools: Meadowcreek HS, GIVE East, and GIVE West. Seven schools were identified as Focus Schools, based on 2011-12 criteria: Rosebud ES, Lilburn MS, Summerour MS, Sweetwater MS, Berkmar HS, Central Gwinnett HS, and Norcross HS. Phoenix HS, which is not a Title I school, is the only Alert School in GCPS.
In 2012-13, Gwinnett will have 55 Title I schools (37 elementary, 10 middle, and eight high schools). Title I schools benefit from additional staff and increased resources, offer extended learning time programs, provide staff development to help personnel better meet the needs of their students, and operate a parent resource center.

Gwinnett readies for back-to-school activities
Annually, in July, the Board is briefed on efforts to prepare for the new school year. Dr. Steve Flynt, associate superintendent for School Leadership and Operations, provided Board members with a review of these efforts. GCPS will have 132 facilities this coming school year, including four charter schools. SPLOST IV-funded projects are underway in the form of two major renovations at North Gwinnett HS and Rockbridge ES and in the rollout of eCLASS initiatives. In addition, more than 4,000 teachers participated in summer staff development about the alignment of the Georgia Common Core Performance Standards with the AKS.

School Board receives news on sales tax receipts
As part of its monthly financial report, Board members received an update on sales tax receipts. The report indicated that in June, sales tax receipts were running at approximately 57% of original projections. The district had projected it would collect $21,488,742 and actually received $12,211,759. The five-year SPLOST III collections actually wrapped up in June 2012. The district will receive this final month's collections in July. During the five-year program, the district had initially anticipated receiving just over $1 billion in sales tax based on its highest projections. However, due to the downturn in the economy during the program, the district's final revenue budget required to complete the projects promised was revised to $660 million. With one month's receipts remaining, actual receipts totaled $647,692,665.