GCPS Board Meeting Summary for November 8, 2007

The following are highlights of the November 8, 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 Title I Distinguished Schools Program, authorized in Section 1117 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, recognizes Title I schools that have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for three or more consecutive years. The program was established by the Georgia Department of Education to recognize schools that meet the state's academic content standards and student academic achievement standards. State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox hosted a banquet honoring the Georgia Title I Distinguished Schools on November 2 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Gwinnett schools honored for making AYP six years in a row are Annistown ES, G.H. Hopkins ES, and Kanoheda ES. Schools recognized for five consecutive years of making AYP are Bethesda ES, Cedar Hill ES, Lilburn ES, Nesbit ES, Norcross ES, and Peachtree ES. J. A. Alford ES, Corley ES, Meadowcreek ES, Rebecca Minor ES, and Rockbridge ES were honored for four years of AYP achievement. With three years of making AYP, Beaver Ridge ES, Charles Brant Chesney ES, and Margaret Winn Holt ES rounded out the list of Title I schools honored as Distinguished Schools.

-- Gary Petmecky of Parkview HS was selected as the 2007 Social Studies Teacher of the Year at the Georgia Council for the Social Studies' annual conference on October 19, 2007. He is currently the social studies department chair at Parkview HS and was formerly named an Economics Teacher of the Year at the state level. He has been a statewide winner of the Georgia Stock Market Game, and serves as president of the Georgia Association of Economic Educators. In addition to teaching economics and American history classes at his school, Mr. Petmecky teaches Advanced Placement Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses for the College Board and served on Gwinnett County Public Schools' Social Studies Curriculum Review Committee this past year. In addition, Mr. Petmecky has assisted in training more than 400 Gwinnett County middle and high school teachers in the use of the Virtual Economics CD from the National Council for Economic Education. He was employed in the business world before coming to Gwinnett County Public Schools where he has taught for more than 15 years.

-- Board members saluted Sweetwater MS on its national recognition for exemplary use of the "Second Step" advisement program that promotes a safe and drug-free environment at school. As part of classroom instruction, the advisement program helps children develop empathy, interpersonal problem-solving, and cooperation skills. When applied, these skills help create a safe and drug-free learning environment. Sweetwater MS implemented the "Second Step" program three years ago and is the only Georgia school receiving this year's Jeff L. Townsend Award. The school will receive a $1,000 grant toward expansion of the program. Mark Cheshire, ISS teacher, and Mary Vaughn, lead counselor, work with the program. GCPS' Safe and Drug-Free Schools Office also was honored with a $1,000 grant in recognition of its systemwide support. Vicki Watts and Mary Flynt work with the program at the system level.

-- Recently, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Education, recognized 263 schools for improving and promoting excellence in student achievement. Award-winning schools have received banners and certificates based on the following two categories: Greatest gain in meeting and exceeding academic standards, or highest percentage of students meeting and exceeding academic standards. The four area levels include Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The following Gwinnett schools earned the 2007 Single Statewide Accountability System Award for greatest gains: Annistown ES- Gold, J.P. McConnell MS- Platinum, Simonton ES- Silver. Gwinnett schools honored for having highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding academic standards are: Brookwood ES- Bronze, Brookwood HS- Gold, Camp Creek ES- Silver, Collins Hill HS- Bronze, Alton C. Crews MS- Gold, Duncan Creek ES- Silver, Freeman's Mill ES- Silver, R. D Head ES- Silver, North Gwinnett HS- Bronze, Frank N. Osborne MS- Silver, Parkview HS- Bronze, Parsons ES- Gold, Riverside ES- Gold, Simpson ES- Platinum, and Suwanee ES- Bronze.

-- The Board honored 45 Gwinnett County Public Schools Relay For Life Teams that raised $10,000 or more for the American Cancer Society in 2007. Among the 105 school system teams participating, 43 school teams and two Central Office teams raised $10,000 or more. The total amount raised by Gwinnett County Public Schools for the American Cancer Society through Relay For Life was more than $1,177,863. Honored GCPS teams and the amounts raised are:

19 Schools and one Central Office team honored for raising $10,000 to $15,000
Chattahoochee ES-- $10,014.59; Alford ES-- $10,103.21; Dacula ES-- $10,176.19; Peachtree ES-- $10,204.21; Pinckneyville MS-- $10,218.27; Simonton ES-- $10,225.35; Grayson ES-- $10,706.99; Duluth MS-- $10,728.40; Craig ES-- $10,742.42; Brookwood ES-- $11,372; Jackson ES-- $11,669.67; Shiloh ES-- $11,788.12; Pharr ES-- $11,855.95; Glenn C. Jones MS-- $11,897.95; Gwin Oaks ES-- $12,140; Cedar Hill ES-- $12,191.82; Margaret Winn Holt ES-- $12,388.58; Rock Springs ES-- $12,577; IMD CDs (Central Office)-- $14,325; and Ivy Creek ES-- $14,806.12

17 School Teams honored for raising $15,001 to $25,000
Grayson HS-- $15,622; Harbins ES-- $15,880; Nesbit ES-- $16,252.09; Simpson ES-- $16,551.72; Central Gwinnett HS-- $17,500.81; W.J. Cooper ES-- $17,569; Peachtree Ridge HS-- $17,642.36; Fort Daniel ES-- $17,877.90; R.D. Head ES-- $18,065.98; Trickum MS-- $18,294.21; Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. ES-- $18,719; Five Forks MS-- $18,947.84; Duncan Creek ES-- $20,196.68; Brookwood HS-- $20,474.83; Sugar Hill ES-- $20,750.54; Creekland MS-- $21,335; and Mill Creek HS-- $23,524.67

Six Schools and one Central Office team honored for raising $25,001 to more than $50,000
Parkview HS-- $25,796.63; Shiloh MS-- $29,688.38; Riverside ES-- $33,681.22; Collins Hill HS-- $36,364.38; Lanier MS-- $36,420; Transportation (Central Office)-- $39,998.93; and J.P. McConnell MS-- $50,626.91

One school honored as the system's top Relay for Life fundraiser:
Norcross HS-- $94,098.53

Board approves resolution calling for a referendum on General Obligation (G.O.) Bond issue
Last month, the Gwinnett County Board of Education authorized CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and staff to begin the process necessary for calling an election for qualified voters to consider a General Obligation Bond referendum question on the February 5, 2008, ballot during the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary. At this month's meeting, the School Board approved the resolution calling the election. If approved, the voters will authorize the School Board to sell up to $750 million in tax-exempt, General Obligation Bonds. The issuance of the bonds will not require a tax increase as the bonds will be paid off using property taxes collected under the current debt-service millage rate.
Approval of the G.O. Bonds will allow the school system to fund Phase II of "The Plan", its long-range building program. With current economic conditions, sales tax collections have been slightly lower than expected each month, while actual costs for Phase I of the building program have been higher than anticipated. As a result, the school system has updated "The Plan" to include more capital improvements in Phase II than originally outlined. A copy of the updated plan is attached.
The Plan- Updated 11-07.pdf

Board receives redistricting update
Board members reviewed proposed revisions to the original maps issued by the system's Planning Department. The proposed revisions to three maps are the result of input gathered over the past six weeks, balanced with the system's goal of balancing enrollment. Maps and remaining key dates in the redistricting process are available on the school system's web site.

Board of Education approves 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, as adopted by the Board, 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.

School Board Members to attend NSBA Federal Relations Network Conference
The Board of Education authorized Board members Louise Radloff and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy to represent the Gwinnett County Board of Education at the 2008 National School Board Association's Federal Relations Network Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3-5, 2008. The Federal Relations Network conference is attended by school board members nationwide. 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.

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 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.
The following proposed policies have been placed on the table for further input:
Policy EE- School Nutrition Program- The proposal calls for the title of this policy to be changed from “Food Services Management.” Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy ICC- Educational Research- Minor changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy IDE- Competitive Interscholastic Activities, Grades 6-12- The descriptor code is proposed to change from JHA and the title to be changed from “Extracurricular Activities.” Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy JCAAA- Title I, Parent Involvement- Changes have been proposed to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy JB- Attendance- Proposed changes address the descriptor code change from JBD.
The Board tabled the following policies that are recommended to be rescinded:
Policy IDCB- Community School Program- Procedure KG “Use of Facilities” outlines the responsibilities of the Community School Director and the regulations for after-school programs.
Policy JQE- Student Marital and Parental Status- The contents of this policy are included in Policy JBA, “Eligibility for Enrollment and Admissions.”

Citizens addressing the Board
-- Randy Redner and Linda Story, American Cancer Society
-- John Lammert