GCPS Board Meeting Summary for March 15, 2012

The following are highlights of the March 15, 2012, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Board Chairman Louise Radloff, Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, Dr. Robert McClure, and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board recognizes students, teachers, and schools
- Board members saluted Dr. Robert Patrick of Parkview HS and Miriam Patrick of Duluth HS on their recent recognition by the Foreign Language Association of Georgia. Dr. Patrick received recognition as the state’s K-12 Teacher of the Year. He is viewed as a leader, not only among the Latin teachers here in Gwinnett, but also across the nation. Dr. Patrick was honored as Parkview HS Teacher of the Year for the 2008-09 school year. He now will represent Georgia as the state’s representative in the regional language teacher of the year competition. Ms. Patrick received recognition as the state’s K-12 Teacher of Promise, an award that recognizes a teacher in his or her first three years who shows great potential to contribute to the profession. In addition to representing Gwinnett, the Patricks also represent the same family. Both father and daughter are to be recognized at FLAG’s annual conference, set for March 22–24. 
- The Georgia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association awarded Dr. Bernadette Scruggs of Peachtree Ridge HS the 2012 American String Teachers Association Educator of the Year award at the Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference on January 27, 2012, in Savannah. This award is given annually to a school string teacher who has had a distinguished career in a school orchestral setting. Dr. Kevin Tashlein, the school's principal, gave Board members and the audience a glimpse into Dr. Scruggs' classroom and the tremendous impact she has on students.
- The Gwinnett BOE recognized a Lanier HS junior for her award-winning artwork, submitted to "The Dream" Art Contest. Song Choi took home the Grand Prize with her pencil drawing, entitled "No More Silence For Us." "The Dream" Art Contest: Visions of the Civil Rights Movement and America Today received more than 759,000 entries from students in public schools and after-school art programs (K-12) throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Awards Ceremony was held on February 4, 2012, at Grady HS, celebrating Black History Month. The aim of the contest was to foster an appreciation for the relevance of history and to demonstrate the vital importance of the arts in education and in daily life. All entries were a portrait of someone (famous or not) from the Civil Rights Movement, a defining image of the movement, or a contemporary depiction (of people, places, or things) that pertains to the legacy of the movement today. Accompanying Song were her principal, Kerensa Wing, and art teacher, Jack Foreman.
- The Georgia Department of Education recently named 367 schools as 2012 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools, with 19 of the honored schools here in Gwinnett. In addition to being named an AP Honor School, several schools earned recognition in more than one category. AP classes are college-level classes taught by specially trained high school teachers and exams are administered by the College Board. Students who earn a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit. The 2012 AP Honor Schools are named, based on participation and results from 2010-11 AP classes and exams. Click here for a complete listing of schools, including the categories in which they earned honors.
- The Georgia Department of Education recently recognized 33 Gwinnett County Title I schools as 2011-12 Georgia Title I Distinguished Schools for outstanding achievement. Schools making AYP for 10 or more consecutive years receive monetary awards. Schools making AYP for three or more consecutive years receive a certificate of recognition. Click here for the listing of Gwinnett's Title I Distinguished Schools.

School Board applauds Osborne MS for recent academic accomplishments
School Board members welcomed Osborne MS Principal John Campbell and Student Council President and 8th Grade Student Justin Marshall, who discussed their school's recent academic accomplishments. Mr. Campbell reviewed some of the things his school has done to emphasize writing and their efforts to move students to higher levels of achievement in all academic areas. In sharing about his experience at Osborne, Justin said, "I attribute much of my success to the writing strategies I have learned while at Osborne." He also spoke of how students write in every subject and praised the Osborne staff for the support they provide to students. The school has been the highest performer in Georgia on the 8th Grade Writing Test for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011) and was a Platinum award winner in the "Highest Performance" category of the Statewide Single Accountability System for the 2010-11 school year. The school's achievement caught the attention of State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, who visited the school in March with Rep. Donna Sheldon. Principal Campbell and his school also were recognized in the Georgia House of Representatives by Rep. Sheldon during the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Board of Education hears report on Junior Leadership Corps program
The Junior Leadership Corps (JLC) program was launched in January of 2011 at two Gwinnett schools in the Norcross Cluster, Summerour MS and Pinckneyville MS. During tonight's meeting, Board members received an update on the program, which is designed to develop successful, productive leaders, starting in the middle school years. Originally established through a partnership between the U.S. Army and the National Association of State Boards of Education, JLC now is solely operated under the auspices of Gwinnett County Public Schools. Principals Dorothy Jarrett of Summerour MS and Wanda Yeargin of Pinckneyville MS, with JLC cadets Flavio Salgado-Avila of Summerour and Eliza Antonowich of Pinckneyville, briefed the Board on the successful first year of the JLC program and its growing effectiveness and popularity in year two.

Board members approve curriculum changes, align AKS to Common Core State Standards
Beginning in the Summer of 2011, teachers and school leaders from GCPS have been meeting to review the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), in order to draft AKS for annual review by the GEMS Oversight Committee. On March 1, 2012, the GEMS Oversight Committee convened for the 17th time. This committee-- comprised of school leaders, teachers, and community members-- reviewed and modified the draft AKS, preparing it for consideration by the superintendent and Board of Education. The proposed AKS are fully aligned to the CCSS, an alignment that will ensure Gwinnett students continue to be college- and career-ready in an increasingly competitive environment. As approved, the changes to the AKS will be implemented in the 2012-13 school year. Click here for an executive summary of the proposed curriculum changes. To review minutes of the March 2012 meeting of the GEMS Oversight Committee, click here.

Gwinnett schools with positive behavior program host international visitors
As part of the international Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) conference being held in Atlanta, a group of international visitors came to Gwinnett to view our schools and to learn about their participation in the program. During their visits to Peachtree ES, GIVE Center West, and Dacula MS, the visitors indicated they were impressed with the Gwinnett program. The visit allowed them to see "PBIS in action" as they took part in a school tour, a presentation, a short meeting, and informal Q & A with district and school PBIS coaches, administration, PBIS Team, and students.

Gwinnett recognizes service of BOE members
March is traditionally the month for acknowledging the service of school board members in Georgia. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks recognized the exemplary governance and public service exhibited by the five members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education, presenting each Board member with a certificate in recognition of his or her service on behalf of the students, parents, employees, and citizens stakeholders of Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Radloff to attend American Mothers Convention
The Board approved travel for
Board Chairman Louise Radloff to attend the annual American Mothers Convention on May 3-6 in Washington D.C. Mrs. Radloff has been recognized as the group's 2012 National Mother of Achievement.

BOE members selected to attend GSBA functions
Board members designated
District II Representative Dr. Mary Kay Murphy and 2012 Vice Chairman and District I Representative Carole Boyce to serve on the Georgia School Boards Association's Governmental Operations Committee, representing GCPS at the Committee meetings. In addition, Dr. Murphy was selected to represent the Board as its representative to the 2012 Georgia School Boards Association's Summer Conference and Delegate Assembly in Savannah. This event is scheduled for June 15-16, 2012.