GCPS Board Meeting Summary for April 15, 1999

          Board Recognizes Outstanding Efforts and Hears from Educator Groups
          • Eve Hunter of Norcross Elementary was honored by the Board for her selection as the recipient of the "Marilyn Brackett Excellence in Teaching Award for Physical Education."
          • Elena Morin of Gwinnett Technical Institute was honored for winning the Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education Award.
          • The Board presented awards of appreciation to the members of the cross-functional action team, the Community Study Team on Student Transportation, which worked from October through January addressing issues related to transportation and school starting times.

            Other groups addressing the Board:
            Three organizations addressed the Board in regard to the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2000.
            • Dr. Jim Kahrs, Shiloh High principal and president of the Local School Administrators Association, spoke on behalf of the organization in support of the Superintendent's Recommended Budget for FY2000. Dr. Kahrs urged the Board to reinstate full experience credit to new hires so the school system is not at a disadvantage among metro school systems when competing for the best teaching candidates.
            • Diane Lockwood, Lilburn Middle teacher and president of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, presented the results of a survey conducted by GCAE regarding the FY2000 budget. According to the teachers who responded to the survey, the top three budget priorities are:
              1. provide for safety and security of students and staff by providing locks on classroom doors, better lighting, and cameras at entrances.
              2. raise the pay for substitute teachers
              3. pay incoming teachers in full for their past years of experience.
              A written statement of its budget priorities was presented to the Board by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. PAGE asks that the Board incorporate differentiated staffing in the point system to accommodate student needs and local choice for applications, continue staff development efforts, and fund at least a four percent increase on the state portion for certified personnel.

              AKS Approved for Several Program Areas
              The School Board approved first-time Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) for courses in middle school study skills, high school health/physical education electives, high school language arts electives, high school fine arts and visual art courses, and ROTC. The Board also approved revisions to current AKS for all grade levels. The new and revised AKS were recommended to the superintendent by the GEMS Oversight Committee, which examined extensive quantitative and qualitative data provided by parents, teachers, administrators, and community members.

              Shiloh High to Seek Waiver from State Board of Education
              The Gwinnett County Board of Education agreed to seek a waiver from the Georgia Department of Education to allow Shiloh High to implement the 4x4 block schedule beginning next school year for a period of three years. The 4x4 block schedule calls for the school day to be arranged in four 90-minute periods or "blocks". A student may earn one unit of credit for each course completed. Students will take four courses in the fall term and four courses in the spring term which will allow them to earn eight credits per year instead of the current six. The goals and objectives for the modification of the school day are carefully aligned with the school's Local School Plan for Improvement, which is aligned with the Gwinnett County Board of Education's goals. The Board applauded the school administration's diligence in working with the community to educate citizens about the 4x4 proposal and cultivate their support for the innovative schedule.

              Board Adopts Policy Revision and Tables Another
              • Board members approved revisions to Policy BBF, Advisory Committees. The policy, previously tabled, requires each school to have a decision-making entity comprised of internal and external audiences.
              • Policy LDAJA, Police Interrogations & Investigations was tabled for input until the May 13 Board of Education meeting. This policy outlines provisions for access to students by law enforcement officers, DFACS, CPS workers, and officers of the court.

                GSBA Delegate Selected
                In new business, the Board chose Dr. Billy Britt to be its delegate to the Georgia School Boards Association conference in June.