GCPS Board Meeting Summary for November 11, 2004

The following are highlights of the November 11, 2004, 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.

GCPS earns Relay for Life honors; School Board recognizes top fundraising teams
The Gwinnett County Board of Education's commitment to Relay for Life recently earned honors from the American Cancer Society. According to Mary Root, who co-chaired Gwinnett's Relay, "Gwinnett is the envy of the rest of the world when it comes to Relay for Life. Others are so impressed with the level of participation of our school system." Dianne Fahring of Sugar Hill ES, who joined Ms. Root as co-chair of the Gwinnett event, and Alma Thomas of Business and Finance presented School Board members with honors GCPS earned from the American Cancer Society for its Relay for Life efforts. The school system raised the most money in the metro Atlanta area, earning the title of "Most Outstanding School District in Region 7" (metro Atlanta). In addition, Gwinnett County Public Schools was honored as the "Most Outstanding Relay for Life School District in the South Atlantic Division" (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Maryland). Collectively, the school system's 162 teams raised $957,131.19, accounting for nearly half of the funds raised in the Gwinnett County relay event.

School Board members recognized 35 GCPS teams that raised $10,000 or more in the 2004 Relay for Life event. Honored teams and the amounts each team raised include: Berkeley Lake ES, $17,377.52; Brookwood ES, $13,011.42; Brookwood HS, $12,365.31; Cedar Hill ES, $17,285.54; Central Gwinnett HS, $12,191.63; Chattahoochee ES, $26.262.86; Collins Hill HS, $36,939.19; Craig ES, $19,469.86; Dacula ES, $11,557.86; Dacula HS, $20,157.44; Duncan Creek ES, $12,319.78; Five Forks MS, $20,561.97; Freeman’s Mill ES, $12,651.21; Fort Daniel ES, $11,572.87; Grayson HS, $10,066.16; Harbins ES, $18,277.40; R.D. Head ES, $14,681.67; Jackson ES, $18.049.26; Lanier MS, $21,890.73; J.P. McConnell MS, $10,525.97; Rebecca Minor ES, $11,491.10; Norcross HS, $38,769.47; Riverside ES, $16,557.52; Rock Springs ES, $11,028.75; Shiloh ES, $13.907.59; Shiloh MS, $24,120.00; Simpson ES, $18,008.01; Sugar Hill ES, $14,271.99; Suwanee ES, $12,654.76; Sweetwater MS, $16,231.83; Trickum MS, $10,252.73; Walnut Grove ES, $10,252.97; Lawrenceville West CDs, $15,815.67; Transportation, $27,631.18; and the Service Center Piglets, $12,317.18.

Board prepares legislative priorities for the upcoming session
Each year, the Gwinnett County Board of Education communicates with members of the Gwinnett Delegation to the General Assembly those issues that are critical in improving the impact of educational programs. The school system's priorities for the upcoming session have been finalized and are available on the school system's Web site. Click here for this year's priorities. Board members will present the approved legislative priorities to Gwinnett legislators at a breakfast meeting on November 30.

BOE proclaims November 14-20 as American Education Week in Gwinnett County Public Schools
As part of the School Board's recognition of the importance of public education and in an effort to salute the public school employees who work to provide Gwinnett students with the academic knowledge and skills they will need to build successful futures, the Gwinnett County Board of Education joins other school systems and organizations, including the Gwinnett County Association of Educators, in proclaiming November 14-20 as American Education Week.

School Board continues work to update policies
The following proposed policy revisions and new policy were adopted having been placed on the table for review at the last School Board meeting:
-- Policy BBF - School Councils-- Minor changes reflect current state law.
-- Policy IDDD - Gifted Students-- Minor changes comply with new requirements in state law.
-- Policy IEDA - Unstructured Break Time-- This new policy complies with new requirements in state law. A major provision of HB1190 provides that by January 1, 2005, each local board of education shall establish written policies allowing or prohibiting unstructured break time for elementary and middle school students. This policy reflects the system's current practice of allowing local school principals to make decisions regarding length, frequency, timing, and location of breaks.

Gwinnett BOE members discuss upcoming National School Boards Association conference
Board members appointed School Board Chair and District III Representative Dr. Mary Kay Murphy and District V Representative Louise Radloff to serve as their representatives at the 2005 National School Boards Association's Federal Relations Network Conference in Washington, D.C. A member of the Board annually represents his/her congressional district by attending the conference. The 2005 conference will be held Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, and will be attended by School Board members from around the nation. This conference provides for local input concerning America's education agenda, as well as the opportunity to dialogue with members of Congress and the administration.

Citizens and groups addressing the Board
-- April Gann and Susan Dietz of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators