GCPS Board Meeting Summary for June 17, 2010

The following are highlights of the June 17, 2010, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Vice Chairman Dr. Robert McClure, Carole Boyce, Louise Radloff, and Daniel D. Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board honors award-winning students and staff
-- Board members congratulated Jones MS on its 1st place finish in the Georgia Project Citizen Showcase, a program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education and the Georgia Humanities Council. Project Citizen is a program for middle school students that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps young people learn processes to monitor and influence public policy as engaged citizens. Project Citizen is conducted with the assistance of the National Conference of State Legislatures and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Jones MS' Winning Portfolio, "Water Wars III: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia," will be entered into the National Project Citizen Showcase to be held at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures, July 25-28, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky. In developing their portfolio, the students conducted research and surveys, attended guest speaker presentations, and conducted interviews with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, Governor Sonny Perdue's staff, officials with U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss' office, as well as, special interest groups. Accepting the honor on behalf of the winning students were Principal Dr. Rich Holland and Teacher Ann Hince. In introducing her class, Mrs. Hince talked about her students' academic achievement, recognizing them as outstanding students. Class members include: Angelova Aleksandra, Sybille Calice, Stephanie Campos, Niiya Clinton, Anna Conceicao, Kiersten Duran, Brianna Gardocki, C.J. Kirchner, Philip Lee, Andrew Lee, Jessica Nguyen, Logan Norris, Benjamin Otiwu, Isaac Park, Kayla Pedersoli, Jasmyn Peña, Zachary Razewski, Mauricio Solarte, Max Soto, Ethan Steele, Joshua Trossevin, Diana Vazquez, Brenda Velazquez, Aristedes Velez, and Elizabeth Wylie.
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized Linda DeWaay as a recent recipient of the School Social Workers Association of Georgia's (SSWAG) Elise Nesbit Trailblazer Award. This award recognizes an outstanding member of SSWAG who promotes services to students and families and has made a significant contribution to the profession of school social work, both locally and statewide. Ms. DeWaay has served Gwinnett County students for more than 20 years and has served on multiple committees in our community and in our school system. Accompanying Ms. DeWaay was David Johns, Director of Health and Social Services.
-- The Board saluted the following students for 13 years of perfect attendance during their K-12 academic careers:
Ronald C. Dietz and Jessica Martini, both of Brookwood HS; Jesse Glaze and Alexis Wilson, both of Grayson HS; Quang Nguyen of Meadowcreek HS; Seung Hyup Baek, Susan Kang, and Nicholas Orangio, all of Mill Creek HS; Scott Navin of Norcross HS; and Erica Hendricks of Peachtree Ridge HS.

Board of Education renews GUIDE agreement to continue offering substance abuse prevention programs
Annually, the Gwinnett County Board of Education and the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners enter into an agreement to support the operation of GUIDE, Inc., which develops and delivers local programs and services related to education about the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use and abuse. This year marks the 24th year that GUIDE has served Gwinnett's need for a substance abuse prevention agency.

School Board completes Gateway Review
Of the 44,687 Gwinnett 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th graders required to meet local Gateway promotion requirements, the vast majority earned passing scores on the first try and will be promoted to the next grade level. However, 396 students did not do as well on these assessments as would be expected, based on their classroom grades. For these students, the district's Assessment Review Procedure was initiated and acted upon by the Board. After a thorough review, Board members approved the following recommendations:
  • Waive passage of this year's Gateway requirement and promote to the next grade-- 59 students
  • Waive passage of this year's Gateway requirement, promote to the next grade, but recommend summer school-- 219 students
  • Do not waive passage of this year's Gateway requirement, recommend summer school, and require a retest and passage for promotion-- 118

    In making these determinations, Board members took into account each student's scores on state assessments, classroom performance as documented by the child's teacher(s), other assessment information, and evidence provided by the family of extenuating circumstances that could have affected the student's performance on the test.

Board approves lease of former Mechanicsville site
The Board approved the lease of the former Mechanicsville School to the Chattahoochee Friends for a period of five years at a rental rate of $25 per year. This historic building, formerly used as a two-room school, served the Mechanicsville Community in Norcross. The facility, which is currently unoccupied, would be maintained by and all costs covered by the Friends during the lease period.

Board continues updates to policies
Policy JCD- Student Conduct Behavior Code-- Changes were recommended that align this policy with mandates in state and/or federal law. Staff recommended and the Board acted to set aside its normal policy-revision protocol in order to approve this revised policy at this meeting. This action will allow these policy changes to be included in the 2010-2011 Student/Parent Handbook.
Policy IDCH- Dual Enrollment-- Staff is recommending the title of this policy be changed from "Dual and Joint Enrollment Program." In addition, other changes have been proposed that align this policy with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law. This proposed policy with revisions was placed on the table for review until the July 15, 2010, meeting.