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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Board Meeting Summary for 03/16/2017

Board Meeting Summary for 03/16/2017


The following are highlights of the March 16, 2017, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE). Board members present included Chairman Louise Radloff, Vice Chairman Carole Boyce, Daniel Seckinger, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Dr. Robert McClure. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.
 
Superintendent reviews successful start to 2017
The first three months of 2017 have been exciting ones for Gwinnett County Public Schools as the district was honored four times with prestigious awards and recognitions by national organizations. Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks started tonight's meeting by sharing information regarding each of the district's recent honors and the performance results that earned GCPS these significant recognitions.
- January 30, 2017: GCPS received the Excellence in Literacy Leadership Award during the 2017 National Reading Recovery and K-6 Literacy Conference.
- February 21, 2017: The College Board recognized GCPS as its Advanced Placement (AP) District of the Year among large districts.
- March 7, 2017: The National Council on Teacher Quality honored GCPS as an Outstanding Great District for Great Teachers
- March 8, 2017: AdvancED completed its site visit as part of the district's accreditation process, providing GCPS with a glowing report.

Board salutes staff, students, and schools on recent honors
- Members of the Board congratulated Dr. Tommy Welch, principal of Meadowcreek High School, on his recognition as the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP) 2018 Principal of the Year. He was selected for the honor from a field of five finalists. He now advances to a national competition where he will compete against winners from every state. The national winner is expected to be announced late this year.

- The Board of Education thanked Jim Barbee, a teacher at Peachtree Ridge High School, and Keith Chaney, the principal of Mountain View High School, for their service on the Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS) Administrative Committee. GRS is led by an administrative committee comprised of teachers, administrators, and other plan participants. These dedicated employees volunteer to serve on behalf of their fellow employees and retirees as trustees of the GRS retirement funds. These two members have completed a seven-year term on the committee.

- The School Board commended the Brookwood HS Boys Swim and Dive Team on its state championship title. The team won back-to-back state championships in 2015-16 and in 2016-17, bringing the school's total to five swim and dive titles for the boys team. Principal Bo Ford expressed his community's pride in the team and their accomplishments. Mr. Ford introduced Head Coach Greg Puckett and Assistant Coach Susan Lockwood, thanking them for their service and for the legacy they have created at Brookwood High School. In his comments, Coach Puckett thanked the Board for their support of swimming and shared the success of Gwinnett's swim programs over time. This year alone five of the top 10 boys teams at state and two of the top 10 girls teams at state were from Gwinnett. He also expressed his appreciation to the parents who have gone above and beyond to support the students and the swimming program at Brookwood High School. In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of his student athletes, Coach Puckett thanked  Assistant Coach Lockwood, and Dive Coach Brooke Heberling for their support. 

- In other state championship news, the Board congratulated the Grayson High School Football Team on its 2016-17 state championship season. This is the second state championship in football for Grayson High. Athletic Director Brian DeBerry applauded the efforts of the team members both on the field and in the classroom. The No. 10 Grayson Rams (14-1) rallied to stun the No. 8 Roswell Hornets (14-1) in overtime to win the 7A championship with a score of 23-20. Mr. DeBerry shared that the team's honors this year included being named the 2016 Public School National Champion. 

- Eighteen GCPS high school students earned a nod from the Board on their recent success at the DECA state competition. DECA is an international association of high school and college students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Through DECA, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ students have the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities and compete in a variety of events on an international level. Students being recognized were 1st or 2nd place winners at the DECA State Career Development Conference held in Atlanta February 16-18, 2017. The winning students will represent GCPS this April at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif. Recognized students include Daniel Batterman of Brookwood High School- 1st place in Accounting Applications; Gabriella Delliponti of Mill Creek High School- 1st place in Job Interview; Carter Neely of Mill Creek High School- 1st place in Personal Financial Literacy; Jordan Johnson of North Gwinnett High School- 1st place in Business Growth Plan; Maham Godil of Peachtree Ridge High School- 1st place in Independent Business Plan; Cleon Beckford of South Gwinnett High School- 1st place in Professional Selling; William Healy of South Gwinnett High School- 1st place in Restaurant and Food Service Management; Brandon Kang of Brookwood High School- 2nd place in Advertising Testing; George Peters of Brookwood High School- 2nd place in Business Speech; Chloe Freeman of Mill Creek High School- 2nd place in Principles of Business Administration; Lola Henry of Mill Creek High School- 2nd place in Advertising Campaign; Haley Gilbert of Mountain View High School- 2nd place in Principles of Finance; Esther Kim of Mountain View High School- 2nd place in Quick Serve Restaurant Management; Ashley Kyelem of Parkview High School- 2nd place in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism; Sanisha Shah of Peachtree Ridge High School- 2nd place in Principles of Marketing; and the team of Mia Hagye, Allison Landress, and Madeline Landrey of North Gwinnett High School- 2nd place in Independent Business Plan.

- Board members congratulated the principals, staff members, and students from all of the Gwinnett high schools that earned recognition as 2017 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools. The Georgia Department of Education recently announced the honorees and Gwinnett's 19 traditional high schools along with Phoenix High School and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology received this recognition. AP classes and exams are administered by the College Board.  Many colleges award credit for passing the optional AP exams with a 3 or higher on a 5-point scale or allow a student to exempt certain courses.  The 2017 AP Honor Schools are named based on results from 2015-16 AP classes and exams. In addition to the honors earned by these individual schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools has been recognized by the College Board as its 2017 AP District of the Year for large school districts.

  • AP Challenge Schools: AP Challenge Schools are schools with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in the four core areas (English, math, science, and social studies). 

         Phoenix High School

  • AP Access and Support Schools: Schools with at least 30% of AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African- American and/or Hispanic and 30% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

         Archer High School; Berkmar High School; Dacula High School; Discovery High School; Duluth
         High School; Lanier High School; Mountain View High School; Norcross High School;
and Shiloh
         High School

  • AP Merit Schools: AP Merit Schools are schools with at least 20% of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

         Archer High School; Brookwood High School; Collins Hill High School; Dacula High School; Duluth
         High School; Grayson High School; Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
         (GSMST); Mill Creek High School; Mountain View High School; Norcross High School; North
         Gwinnett High School; Parkview High School;
and Peachtree Ridge High School

  • AP STEM Schools: AP STEM Schools are schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, and AP Computer Science).

         Archer High School; Berkmar High School; Brookwood High School; Central Gwinnett High School;
         Collins Hill High School; Dacula High School; Discovery High School; Duluth High School; Grayson
         High School; GSMST; Lanier High School; Meadowcreek High School; Mill Creek High School;
         Mountain View High School; Norcross High School; North Gwinnett High School; Parkview High
         School; Peachtree Ridge High School; Shiloh High School;
and South Gwinnett High School

  • AP STEM Achievement Schools: Schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses and at least 40% of exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

         Archer High School; Brookwood High School; Collins Hill High School; Dacula High School; Duluth
         High School; Grayson High School; GSMST; Mill Creek High School; Mountain View High School;
         Norcross High School; North Gwinnett High School; Parkview High School;
and Peachtree Ridge
         High School

  • AP Humanities Schools: Schools with students testing in the following AP courses: at least one ELA course, two social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.

         Archer High School; Berkmar High School; Brookwood High School; Central Gwinnett High School;
         Collins Hill High School; Dacula High School; Duluth High School; Grayson High School; GSMST;
         Lanier High School; Meadowcreek High School; Mill Creek High School; Mountain View High
         School; Norcross High School; North Gwinnett High School; Parkview High School; Peachtree
         Ridge High School;
and Shiloh High School

- Also honored tonight were the Gwinnett schools recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as 2016-17 Title I Reward Schools. Eleven Gwinnett schools were honored. Two schools--  Harris Elementary School and Shiloh Elementary School-- earned recognition in the Highest-Performing category. Nine other Gwinnett schools were recognized in the High-Progress category. Those schools include Alcova Elementary School, Beaver Ridge Elementary School, Bethesda Elementary School, Kanoheda Elementary School, Knight Elementary School, McKendree Elementary School, Peachtree Elementary School, Winn Holt Elementary School, and Shiloh Middle School.
 
Maxwell High School of Technology, GSMST spotlight recent accomplishments in reports to the BOE
Representatives from two Gwinnett schools-- Maxwell High School of Technology and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST)-- presented reports to the Board on their school's accomplishments, areas needing attention, and general student experience. The reports are part of a series that will be presented by the school district's "special entity" schools that serve students districtwide rather than in specific clusters. These schools will present at regular Business Meetings of the Board this spring as the 2017 Area Board Meetings move to a focus on school cluster reports. 

  • Maxwell had a number of individuals who addressed the Board to share the school's story. Parent Kathy Reynolds spoke of her student's success in the Culinary Arts program and requested that the Board consider the transportation issues Maxwell students face as they move between their "home" school and Maxwell. Bailey Rhodes, a Fire Services student, spoke to the Board about his experience in the program and thanked the Board for their support of the fire tower that will be coming to the campus in the future. Max Chavez, an auto services teacher and department chair, shared with the Board some examples of many of the great things going on at Maxwell. He highlighted the many opportunities at the school in which students work with businesses and community organizations-- opportunities that allow students to apply their learning in real-world settings. 
  • In its presentation to the Board, GSMST was represented by Teacher Collyn Milsted, Parent Trina Patton, and Senior Amy Jasani. Ms. Milsted spoke to the Board about the cross-curricular work going on at the school and the school's focus on high-level analysis and the knowledge students will need as they continue their education at the next level. Ms. Patton provided the Board with a parent perspective on GSMST and how the school has allowed her child to explore her creativity and curiosity. She appreciates the opportunities and challenges GSMST has provided her child and said their family is grateful for GSMST. She asked the Board to continue working with families to do more good work. Amy provided the Board with the student perspective on her school. She acknowledges the rigor of the coursework at the school but also praised the enthusiasm found throughout the school. In particular she noted how students are challenged to grow, to challenge themselves, and to go out to take on the world.

BOE approves two appointments to GRS Administrative Committee
The Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS) is directed by a nine-person committee. The chief financial officer and the associate superintendent for the Division of Human Resources and Talent Management serve as permanent members of this committee. In addition, the committee consists of seven members who serve seven-year rotating terms, including three teachers, one local school administrator, one classified employee, one retiree, and one position of any classification covered by the GRS plan. In light of two members rolling off the committee, the Board of Education appointed Tony Aguirre, local school administrator at Collins Hill High School, and Trent Alexander, teacher at Lawrenceville Elementary School, to the GRS Administrative Committee to fill the vacated positions. 

BOE purchases additional property for future Meadowcreek Cluster Elementary School
School Board members approved the purchase of an additional tract of land, located at or near 1150 Old Norcross Tucker Road in Tucker, GA, for the new elementary school to be built in the Meadowcreek Cluster. The tract of land, owned by the Brookwood Park Homeowners Association, consists of 3.35 acres located in the 6th District, land lot 168, parcel 298. The purchase price is $30,000 or $8,955 per acre.
 
Meeting includes a number of items related to Board service
The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) will hold its 2017 Summer Conference and Delegate Assembly in Savannah on June 9-10, 2017. The Gwinnett County Board of Education approved the travel to the conference for Dr. Mary Kay Murphy and any other Board member who is able to attend. The Board also designated Dr.  Murphy as its voting delegate at the Delegate Assembly. In addition, Dr. Murphy will serve on the 2017 GSBA Governmental Operations Committee, which develops the legislative priorities that will be presented to GSBA's Delegate Assembly in June.

GCPS thanks Board members for service during School Board Appreciation Week
The week of March 13-17, 2017, is the week set aside for acknowledging the service of school board members in Georgia. On behalf of the students, parents, employees, and citizen stakeholders of Gwinnett County Public Schools, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks recognized the five members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education for their exemplary governance and public service. 

School Board continues policy work
The Board approved revisions to the following policy which was tabled at the last meeting to allow for public review:
Policy GAK - Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Check-- Changes have been made to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.

The following policy was tabled until the April meeting to allow for public input:
- Policy IJ- Balanced Assessment Program-- This new policy has been created to reflect improvements in system processes.
- Policy DFL- Investment Earnings-- Changes have been made to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes and with mandates in state and/or federal law.

Citizens addressing the Board
- Domonique Cooper 
- Jamie Beacham 

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