10/11/2007









GCPS Board Meeting Summary for October 11, 2007

The following are highlights of the October 11, 2007, 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 students and staff members
-- The Board congratulated the Maxwell HS of Technology Auto Collision Repair Program on earning industry certification through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To achieve this recognition, the school's automotive training program underwent rigorous evaluation by NATEF. Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment were used as benchmarks. The Auto Collision Repair Program facilitates cooperation between local education and industry leaders and provides added assurance that Maxwell HS of Technology graduates will have received training for entry-level technician jobs. Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that Maxwell HS of Technology be certified by ASE. ASE is a national nonprofit organization that certifies automotive training programs as well as tests and certifies repair technicians. Don Henderson and Butch Luther are the Auto Service Repair instructors for Maxwell HS of Technology.
-- Dr. Jacqueline Huffman of North Gwinnett HS was named the state's Marketing Education Educator of the Year at the 60th Annual Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE) Summer Leadership Conference. Dr. Huffman was nominated by her peers and chosen by a committee of GACTE leaders. Dr. Huffman teaches in the marketing program at North Gwinnett HS, which has received industry certification and is an exemplar in the area of marketing education. Many students in this program are ranked among the top winners at region, state, and national Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competitions.

Board moves to begin General Obligation Bond process
The Gwinnett County Board of Education authorized CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and staff to begin the process to issue General Obligation Bonds to incur debt for the purpose of purchasing sites for schools and building and equipping them. The school system will move forward with coordinating with the Gwinnett County Elections Office to call a special election for voters to consider a General Obligation Bond referendum question on the February 5, 2008, ballot during the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary. Passage of the General Obligation Bonds will not result in a tax increase. Instead voters will be asked to approve maintaining the system's debt service millage rate at its current level. If approved, the General Obligation Bonds will fund Phase II of the system's long-range plan for providing classrooms and technology for Gwinnett students.The projects included in Phase II, along with the need for additional funding to complete this phase, have been a part of "The Plan" since it was shared last fall.

SPLOST II audit finds GCPS in compliance
In November 2004, MGT of America, Inc., was awarded a contract to conduct an Annual Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) Audit and Review. This report is presented in compliance with the O.C.G.A. 48-8-141, 48-8-121 and 21-2-491. The purpose of this study is to conduct an external audit and review of SPLOST II fund expenditures by GCPS to ensure compliance with the requirements of Georgia law and to prepare a final report of the findings, commendations, recommendations, and projected costs and/or cost savings for recommendations. Based on this report, Gwinnett County Public Schools has been found to be in full compliance in all areas audited and reviewed for the 2005-06 school year. Among the commendations for which GCPS was cited were recognition for the system's management of its facilities development and construction program that meets SPLOST II objectives and often exceeds them, a project cost-control process that resulted in lower construction costs than those found in neighboring counties, and its involvement of technical and child nutrition departments during the planning phases of construction projects.

FY09 budget development calendar approved
The Board of Education approved the proposed calendar of activities and dates associated with the adoption of the FY2009 budget. Key dates in the proposed budget calendar are December 14, 2007 - February 1, 2008 - Prepare program budget requests; February 1, 2008 - Central Office budget managers submit completed proposed budget requests to Budget Office; March 7, 2008 – Superintendent’s recommendations due to Budget Office; March 10-24, 2008 - Preparation and printing of Superintendent's recommended budget; April 19, 2008 - Board budget work session (Saturday); April 22, 2008 - Board budget work session and adoption of tentative budget (Area Board Meeting); April 23, 2008 - Copies of Superintendent’s recommended budget available for public; April 27 and April 29, 2008 - Publish budget advertisement in newspaper; May 5, 2008 - First public hearing on budget; May 8, 2008 - Second public budget hearing, final budget adoption, and adoption of tentative millage rate; and June 2008- Final adoption of millage rate.

Board of Education previews draft of legislative priorities
Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education communicates with the Gwinnett Delegation to the General Assembly those issues of critical importance to the funding and effective operation of Gwinnett County Public Schools. The 2008 Legislative Program summarizes the continuing positions and state funding improvement requests that the Board wishes to bring to the delegation for consideration in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks will present a draft of the 2008 Legislative Program for the Board's consideration and adoption at the November 8, 2007, Monthly Business Meeting.

Board celebrates October 7-13 as Distributive Education Clubs of America Week
The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted a proclamation designating October 7-13, 2007, as Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Week. This week has been set aside by the national organization, DECA, Inc. DECA provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. DECA and marketing education help prepare students for careers in business and marketing, which contributes to a well-educated workforce for the nation.

School Board continues to review and update policies
-- School Board members approved the following policies that had been placed on the table last month to allow for further input.
Policy DJE- Purchasing- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy EB- Property Alterations- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.

The following proposed policies have been placed on the table for further input:
Policy EBC- Data Access and Security- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GANA- Communicable Diseases- This new policy has been proposed to comply with current state law regarding the need to meet communicable diseases standard and practices.
Policy IDCH- Dual and Joint Enrollment Program- This new policy has been proposed to comply with current state law regarding the eligibility of students to attend postsecondary institutions while still enrolled as high school students.
Policy JDD- Consequences for Offenses- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy JGC- Student Health Services- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy JGI- Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect- The title of this policy has been changed from “Child Abuse or Neglect.” Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes as well as mandates in state and/or federal law.

Citizens addressing the Board
-- Patricia Ledgister
-- Steven Bouye