GCPS Board Meeting Summary for April 13, 2000

          The following are highlights of the April 13, 2000, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The official minutes of each monthly meeting are approved by the School Board at its meeting the following month.

          School Board Recognizes Outstanding Accomplishments
          - Berkmar HS Boys' Basketball Team, AAAA State Champions-- Coach David Boyd introduced his team and congratulated the members on their athletic and academic achievements.
          - Natalie Florence, a senior at Collins Hill HS, Girls' Cross Country State Champion-- Coach Andrew Hudson praised Natalie on her achievement. Natalie's unparalleled success includes winning eight Gwinnett County championships, nine region championships, and four state championships.
          - Susan Thompson of Collins Hill HS, Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year-- Assistant Principal Elaine Carter introduced Ms. Thompson and described her as a teacher with exceptional enthusiasm and talent.

          Education Groups Present Budget Priorities
          Each year as part of its budget-setting process, the School Board hears from the Local School Administrators Association (LSAA), the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Gwinnett Chapter, and the Gwinnett County Association of Educators (GCAE) regarding the organizations' budget priorities. Representing LSAA, principal Linda Daniels commended the Board on restoring the full-experience credit policy for teachers and for instituting the Stellar Subs program, which allots two permanent substitute teachers to each school. She also expressed support for several items in the Superintendent's Recommended Budget, including full-time local school technology coordinators for elementary schools and clerical help for implementing the student information management system. PAGE representative Debbie Roberts echoed Ms. Daniels' commendations and expressed the organization's wishes that the Board continue allowing schools flexibility in the use of teacher points. Other suggestions included increasing substitute teacher pay, funding online staff development opportunities, and providing a 3 percent salary increase for all personnel. Diane Lockwood and Dr. Barbara Blaasch of GCAE shared with the Board the results of a survey of its members. Among their top budget recommendations were increasing the local supplement by 3 percent, increasing substitute teacher pay, and funding professional leave days for school employees.

          Board Approves Leadership Appointments
          • Jeffrey Weiler, a former business official for a prominent Virginia school district and currently a senior consultant/manager with one of the nation's leading financial consulting firms, was named chief financial officer (CFO) by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Mr. Weiler is currently employed by KPMG, LLP, where he works primarily with public school district clients in implementing large-scale financial and budgetary computer systems, data warehouses, and improved business processes. Before joining KPMG, he was employed for 15 years by Fairfax County Public Schools in several financial capacities, including coordinator of the system's $1.2 billion budget. Mr. Weiler is a graduate of Virginia Tech with bachelor's and master's degrees in finance. He is expected to assume his duties as CFO for Gwinnett's school system in early summer.
          • Robert Andrews, currently employed at North Fayette ES, will be the school system's new fine arts coordinator. Mr. Andrews has a strong background in curriculum and instruction and has developed music programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. His career includes teaching at South Gwinnett HS (1978-81), Dacula HS and MS ( 1977-78) and Jeff Davis HS and MS in Hazelhurst, Georgia (1973-77). He earned a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Georgia. He also holds a a master's degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, IL) and a specialist's degree in educational leadership from the University of Georgia.
            Additional Leadership Appointments...
            • Jerri Berrong, currently an assistant principal at Richards Middle, will transfer to Shiloh Elementary. She will replace Beverly Todd-Lee, who was appointed principal of W.C. Britt Elementary.
            • Joyce Callahan, currently an assistant principal at Summerour Middle, will transfer to Alton C. Crews Middle. She will replace Kathy Pourchier who was appointed an Assistant Principal on Special Assignment.
            • Debbie Cherry, a teacher at Brookwood Elementary, was appointed as an administrative assistant at the school.
            • Christopher Culpepper, currently a full-day administrative assistant at North Gwinnett High, will serve the school next school year as a half-time assistant principal.
            • Philip Mark Hall, currently an administrative assistant at Lanier Middle, will serve as an assistant principal at Suwanee Elementary next school year. He fills the vacancy created when Barbara Hopkins was appointed principal of Benefield Elementary.
            • Karen Head, a teacher at Brookwood Elementary, was appointed as an administrative assistant at the school.
            • Alexis Jones, currently the principal of Buford Middle, was appointed to an assistant principal position at Collins Hill High.
            • McConnell Middle Media Specialist Deborah Klug will join the school's administrative team as an assistant principal next school year.
            • Wanda Law, a math teacher at Creekland Middle, will assume an assistant principal position at Lanier Middle next school year. The vacancy results from the retirement of Phyllis Falk.
            • Lynda Luckie, currently an assistant principal at Chattahoochee Elementary, will transfer to Harbins Elementary.
            • Nancy Morrison, currently an assistant principal at Lawrenceville Elementary, will transfer to Benefield Elementary. She will replace Gail Galloway, who is retiring.
            • Bradley Siegfried, currently a full-day administrative assistant at North Gwinnett High, was appointed as a half-time assistant principal at the school.
            • Laura West, a resource teacher at Meadowcreek Elementary, will serve the school next year as a half-time administrative assistant and a half-time resource teacher.
            • Scott Woodall, currently an administrative assistant at Berkmar High, will be an assistant principal at the school for the 2000-01 school year.
            • Luthenya Wright, currently an administrative assistant at Norcross High, was appointed to an assistant principal position at the school.

              SNP Quarterly Financial Report Given to Board of Education
              Three times a year, the Board is provided information regarding the school system's cafeteria programs. The report includes participation rates and the financial status of each school's program. This quarter's report reflects an increase in participation from this time last year and shows that the School Nutrition Program is in a sound financial position.

              GEMS Oversight Committee Recommendations Approved by Board Members
              The Board of Education approved the essential Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) in courses within the following programs: Foreign Language, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Health/Physical Education, Science, Band, Technical Education/Computer Science, as well as proposed revisions to current AKS in grades K-12.
              The proposed AKS for these courses and the proposed revisions to existing AKS were recommended to the superintendent by the GEMS Oversight Committee. In developing their recommendations for first-time adoption of AKS in courses, GEMS Oversight Committee members examined extensive quantitative and qualitative data provided by parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. The committee's recommendations regarding revisions to current AKS was based on recommendations from curriculum program managers, as well as suggestions and input gathered from GCPS teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.
              Two GEMS Oversight Committee members provided the Board with their thoughts on the work of the committee. Dr. William Curlette of Georgia State University explained how the AKS are carefully correlated to the state's Quality Core Curriculum, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Georgia High School Graduation Test, and the SAT I. Dr. Curlette expressed support for the curriculum development process. In his remarks, he proposed a technical advisory committee be appointed for the Gateway Assessment Program. Don Caron, a language arts teacher at Meadowcreek High School, explained the process the committee followed in validating the AKS for recommendation to the superintendent. Saying he firmly believes good things are happening in Gwinnett County education, Mr. Caron said the committee's recommendations reflect what parents, teachers, and the community at large believe is appropriate for our youngsters to learn.

              State Grants Gwinnett Waiver from CRCT at Grades 4 and 7
              Dr. Cindy Loe briefed the Board on her visit to the State Board of Education's monthly meeting earlier in the day. The intent of her visit was to ask the State Board of Education to grant Gwinnett County Public Schools a waiver from the state's upcoming criterion-referenced competency tests (CRCT) on the grounds that the Gateway tests assess the state's curriculum and much more. The State Board voted unanimously to grant the waiver for the fourth and seventh grade CRCTs. Gwinnett County students in grades 4 and 7 will not participate in the CRCT testing through the year 2002-03, as the law allows. While at the State Board meeting, Dr. Loe also accepted a commendation from the Board on behalf of five Gwinnett high schools that had increased their SAT scores for the past three years. The schools are Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Duluth, North Gwinnett, and Phoenix high schools.

              Policy IEA, Grouping for Instruction, Tabled for Input
              Recommended changes to Policy IEA, Grouping for Instruction, have been tabled until the School Board's May 11 meeting to allow for public input. The proposed changes authorize the principal and local school to make decisions regarding placement of students, based on the individual needs of the student. The classroom composition shall reflect Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' accrediting standards and system goals.