GCPS Board Meeting Summary for April 12, 2007

The following are highlights of the April 12, 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
-- Joseph and Dottie Shafer, descendents of J. Floyd and Eunice Brannan, through an endowment to the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation made it possible for the district to award scholarships to six outstanding Gwinnett County Public Schools students wishing to obtain a college education to enhance their academic and leadership skills. Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,000 a year for four years as long as the student maintains a B average. The J. Floyd and Eunice Brannan Scholarships are the first awarded by the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, Inc. The scholarships are being presented at the Board meeting in honor of the Brannans' contributions to the community and Mr. Brannan’s service as a former chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Scholarship recipients are: Nicholas Callihan of Collins Hill HS, Luke Christenson of Grayson HS, Megan Dunning of Collins Hill HS, Charles Ford of Collins Hill HS, Halston Mize of Peachtree Ridge HS, and Kristen Tribble of Central Gwinnett HS.
-- The Board applauded the Brookwood HS Academic Team on winning the AAAAA State Championship at the Georgia State Academic Team Tournament in March. This is the school's 11th state championship in 20 years of competing. Brookwood was seeded #3 among the 16 AAAAA teams that made the State Tournament. In the championship match, Brookwood defeated #1 seed Chattahoochee HS by a score of 280 to 200. Brookwood has qualified two teams of players to compete at Nationals, set for May 24-28 in Chicago. Team members include Julie Reynolds - Team Captain, Senior; Megan Elsenbeck - Senior; Megan Yue - Senior; James Oguntebi - Senior; Layne Johnson - Senior; Joe Devlin - Junior; Louis Tigh - Junior; Vamsi Tata - Sophomore; and Arvind Sekar - Sophomore. Principal Jane Stegall introduced the team and coaches, also thanking the students' parents for their support. Leading the team to victory were assistant coaches Chris Michael and Jeff Corkill and Team Sponsor/Coach Rick Barry.
-- The Parkview HS Science Bowl Team won the state competition and will represent Georgia at the national competition at the end of April. This year, 1,800 schools from around the country participated in regional and state science bowl competitions. Parkview HS is one of 67 schools that has advanced to the national competition. This is the seventh time in the last nine years that Parkview HS has advanced to the national competition. Last year, the team placed among the top 16 in the final tournament.Team members include Zane Blanton, Murat Johnson, Linda Liu, Dipesh Patel, and Andrew Wilmot. The Board and Dr. Charles "Buck" Buchanan, Parkview's principal, also congratulated team coaches Steve Kuninsky and Catherine Rowan on their team's success.
-- A contingency from Gwinnett took honors at the recent American Association of Teachers of German chapter competition. Gwinnett honorees include:
Cassandra Goolsby, a teacher at North Gwinnett HS, was selected Leader of the Year, based on nominations received by her colleagues. She has been particularly helpful to the cause of the organization and to German teachers around the state. As this year's winner, Mrs. Goolsby will receive a free flight to Germany compliments of Lufthansa German Airlines.
Elliot Strumlauf, a senior at Parkview HS, was selected Student of the Year, based on nominations received by nominating teachers. Lufthansa German Airlines provides the Student of the Year with a free flight to Germany and the Goethe-Institut awards the recipient a three-week study course at one of its institutes in Germany.
Devon Drew, a sophomore at North Gwinnett HS, received an all-expenses-paid study trip to Germany, set for June 19-July 13. The scholarship is sponsored by the Pedagogical Exchange Service, a governmental agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the American Association of Teachers of German. Recipients were required to score at or above the 90th percentile on the National German Exam, complete an extensive application, and complete an interview in German. After being selected to represent Georgia in the national competition, Devon has been selected as one of only 30 participants from around the country to receive the scholarship.
This year more than 23,000 German students across the United States participated in the National German Exam, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German. Katherine Hardin, a second-year German student at Parkview HS, made a perfect score on the exam and the highest score of the 290 students in Georgia who took the Level 2 exam. Of the 10,340 across the nation who took the second-year exam, only 28 had perfect scores. Three other Parkview HS students-- Sophomore Devayani Bhusari, Junior Arthur Ganger, and Junior Travis Schneider-- each missed only one question on the exam, thereby achieving a tie for the second-highest score in the state. Only 58 students across the country missed just one item on the exam.
-- Board members saluted 40 DECA award-winners hailing from Gwinnett County Public Schools. DECA is an association of high school and college students studying marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. Gwinnett County Public Schools has 14 active DECA Chapters. Georgia DECA held its annual State Leadership Competition in Atlanta on March 16 and 17. Gwinnett had 245 students participating in this event. The students who are being honored-- all 1st- and 2nd-place winners-- will compete at the International Career Development Conference in Orlando April 28-May 2. A complete list of these students is available via the following link:
-- Also in the area of technical education, the School Board honored students who excelled in the state competition for Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). FBLA is the national business education association that prepares students for careers in business and business education. This organization also provides leadership development training for its members to become successful leaders in the schools, communities, and future careers. A total of 55 from Gwinnett participated in the State Leadership Meeting on March 16 and 17. This event was held at the Classic Center in Athens. The students, listed in the link below, will represent Georgia at the National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois in June.

Proposed calendars under review
The school system is currently sharing proposed calendars for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school year, seeking feedback from staff and community members.
Click here to view the proposed calendars.

School names adopted for 12 schools opening in 2008 and 2009
The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted names for new schools due to open in August 2008 and August 2009. To give these schools an identity, school naming committees were formed within the clusters where the new schools will be built. In making his final recommendations, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks gave consideration to: Individuals who have made a significant contribution to the community, names of communities served by the school, roads, landmarks, and geographical locations in proximity of the new school. The new school names are:
Opening in 2008:
-- Trip ES, 841 Cooper Rd in Grayson (school naming committee comprised of Grayson ES and W.J. Cooper ES community members)
-- Puckett's Mill ES, 2442 S. Pucketts Mill Rd.in Dacula (school naming committee comprised of Duncan Creek ES and Fort Daniel ES community members)
-- Rosebud ES, 4151 Rosebud Rd. in Loganville (school naming committee comprised of R.L. Norton ES and J.C. Magill ES community members)
Opening in 2009:
-- Starling ES, 1725 Grayson Hwy. in Grayson (school naming committee comprised of Grayson ES and Pharr ES community members)
-- White Oak ES, 6442 Suwanee Dam Rd. in Buford (school naming committee comprised of Sycamore ES community members)
-- Woodward Mill ES, 2020 Buford Dr. in Lawrenceville (school naming committee comprised of Freeman's Mill ES community members)
-- Couch MS, 1777 Grayson Hwy. in Grayson (school naming committee comprised of J.P. McConnell MS community members)
-- Bay Creek MS, 821 Cooper Rd. in Grayson (school naming committee comprised of J.P. McConnell MS community members)
-- Twin Rivers MS, 2240 Braselton Hwy. in Buford (school naming committee comprised of Osborne MS community members)
-- North Gwinnett MS, 160 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Sugar Hill (school naming committee comprised of Lanier MS community members)
-- Archer HS, 2255 New Hope Rd. in Lawrenceville (school naming committee comprised of Grayson HS and Dacula HS community members)
-- Mountain View HS, 2351 Sunny Hill Rd. in Lawrenceville (school naming committee comprised of Mill Creek HS community members)

Board adopts proposed changes to the AKS
The Gwinnett Educational Management System (GEMS) Oversight Committee held its annual meeting on March 1, 2007, to review and recommend changes to the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. Dr. Cindy Loe, associate superintendent for Teaching and Learning and GEMS Oversight Co-Chair, reviewed GEMS meeting highlights, as well as the suggested revisions to the AKS based on input received from educators and community members.

Board tables proposed policies for input
Staff is recommending that the following proposed policies remain on the table for further input:
Policy BAA- Board's Theory of Action for Student Achievement-- This proposed new policy articulates its theory of action for improving student achievement and effectuating its core beliefs and commitments about teaching and learning.
Policy JCD, Student Conduct Behavior Code-- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.