Volume 2, Issue 1

August 2004

- Mill Creek High School

Welcome to the 2004-05 School Year!

Yellow school buses are rolling and school bells are ringing. Welcome to the 2004-05 school year! Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is looking forward to another great year of teaching and learning.

Share GCPS news with your friends, family, co-workers, and others in the community. They can click here to subscribe to e-News. Thanks for reading, and welcome to GCPS’ best year ever!

As a school system and as individual schools and departments, we aspire to be world-class. We work toward that vision every day, at every work site, whether it be a classroom, an office, a cafeteria, a school bus, or a shop,” says CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “For GCPS, ‘world-class’ means many things: high academic standards for all students; effective and innovative teaching strategies; continuous improvement, and accountability for results; an attitude of partnership with the community and with parents; safe and secure facilities for our students and staff; and high-performing and inspiring employees with diverse ideas and strengths. With student success as our mutual objective, let’s make 2004-05 another outstanding year for the students in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Click here for GCPS’ vision, mission, and strategic goals.

- CEO/Superintendent
J. Alvin Wilbanks

What’s new for 2004-05?
  • Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) opened a record-setting 10 new facilities— on time, debt-free, and with construction costs 40% below the national average, thanks to prototype designs and collaborative partnerships with contractors, architects, and engineers. With the classrooms at the new schools and an addition at Meadowcreek High School, the school system was able to remove 170 portable classroom buildings systemwide.
  • GCPS has 106 facilities this year— 63 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, 16 high schools, and seven other educational facilities, including the new Monarch School (special education and pre-K), housed in the old Duluth Middle School building. Click here for a list of schools.
  • New families continue to choose to live in Gwinnett County, often citing the quality of schools. As a result, enrollment will top 135,500 students this year, an increase of 6,000 over last year.
  • The school system hired about 1,200 new teachers to start this year. GCPS is the county’s largest employer, with more than 23,000 full- and part-time positions and available substitutes. Click here to learn about employment opportunities, including openings for bus drivers.
  • Gwinnett juniors and seniors interested in careers in fine arts, science, and technology have access to cutting-edge courses and equipment through the innovative Grayson High School Technical Education Program. Click here for details on this new program and facility.
  • Students can get Live Homework Help online in core subjects through a continued partnership between GCPS and the Gwinnett County Public Library.

Gwinnett schools make academic progress under federal rules

Gwinnett school communities have worked hard to meet statewide improvement goals in academics and attendance/graduation rates. The results are in, and every single GCPS school showed improvement over the previous year. Here’s a look at the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in Gwinnett:

  • 78 schools (or 85%) met accountability goals for 2003-04, higher than the state average of 78%.
  • 9 schools met goals for two consecutive years, and moved out of Needs Improvement status.
  • 14 schools did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP), down from 30 schools that did not meet goals last year.
  • No Gwinnett schools were identified as Persistently Dangerous Schools.

Click here for details on GCPS’ academic progress, plus links on NCLB and AYP, and more on school improvement efforts in Georgia.

State, county test results show continued high performance

Gwinnett students and teachers focus on teaching and learning, which translates into improved student achievement.

  • On the 2003-04 Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), GCPS’ average scores were above the state in all grades and subjects except 1st grade Reading, which matched the state average.
  • Scores on Gwinnett’s Gateway assessments also were high, even as the cut scores increased.

Click here for more information on 2003-04 test results.

New state promotion requirement starts for 5th graders

New this year, Georgia 5th graders must pass the Reading and Math sections of the CRCT to earn promotion to the 6th grade. Gwinnett students also must pass the 5th grade writing Gateway and earn passing grades.

Click here for more on promotion requirements for elementary and middle school students.

Involved parents and communities improve education

Parents, grandparents, retirees, community members, and business partners have many options for connecting with their neighborhood school. For example, adults might make a classroom presentation on a hobby, serve as a mentor, participate in a workday in the outdoor classroom, or offer business support of a program. At home, involved parents and caring adults. . .

  • Let students know that they value education;
  • Make sure students have a regular place to study and do homework;
  • Communicate their high expectations for their child, and praise the student’s efforts;
  • Keep in touch with teachers by e-mail, telephone, notes, or visits;
  • Are familiar with school rules and policies and reinforce them at home; and
  • Ensure that students are in class each day, ready to learn.

Remember, older students still need adults to take interest in their progress and be ready to help, if needed.

Click here for the “Help Your Child” series, published by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Click here for a copy of “100 Ways for Parents to be Involved in Their Child’s Education,” produced by the National PTA.

Plan to attend back-to-school events

Curriculum nights and open houses are a great way to establish the all-important connection between home and school. Activities vary from school to school, but you can expect to meet your child’s teachers and to learn about classroom expectations and what your child will learn this year. Click here to link to Gwinnett’s curriculum. Click here for some frequently asked questions on back-to-school events.

GCPS upcoming calendar includes holidays, testing dates
  • Aug. 12, School Board meeting: open forum at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 14, Bus Driver Job Fair, Berkmar HS, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • September is Library Card Sign-up Month. (Click here to visit the Gwinnett County Public Library site.)
  • Sept. 6 is Labor Day, a systemwide holiday.
  • Sept. 9, School Board meeting: open forum at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 7 is the last day of the first grading period for elementary and middle school students.
  • Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 are student holidays.
  • Click here for a full calendar of dedications.
  • Click here and scroll down for upcoming testing dates on the GCPS calendar.

New GCPS teachers share their back-to-school excitement

Students aren’t the only ones getting into the back-to-school spirit. Click here to “catch the excitement” from a few of the 1,200-plus educators who attended GCPS’ New Teacher Orientation in July.


We would like to hear your suggestions for topics to cover in future issues of this publication, or ways we can keep in touch if you do not wish to receive this e-mail publication. Thank you for your continued support of public education and of Gwinnett County Public Schools' efforts to become a system of world-class schools. Please e-mail GwinnettSchoolsE-News@gwinnett.k12.ga.us with your feedback and suggestions.


©2004 Gwinnett County Public Schools. All rights reserved. 8/04

GCPS: P.O. Box 343, Lawrenceville, GA, 30046-0343 (770) 963-8651
This e-mail may be considered advertising under federal law.
If you prefer not to receive GCPS information via e-mail please email your comments or concerns to GwinnettSchoolsE-News@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

Gwinnett County Board of Education
Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Chairman; Dr. Billy Britt, Vice Chairman; Daniel Seckinger;
Dr. Robert McClure; and Louise Radloff
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks