Volume 39 , Number 5April 22, 2019

Additional state, local funding boost GCPS budget for FY2020
Need-to-know highlights of this story:
The FY2020 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget calls for $2.319 billion in the Total Budget.
The proposed General Fund for day-to-day operations is set at $1.795 billion (77.4% of the total).
This 3.7% increase in the General Fund reflects salary improvements, increases in mandated employer-paid benefits, and costs associated with increased student enrollment.
The budget include a $3,000 cost-of-living increase for teachers and others paid on the teacher salary schedule, with more than $3 million on top of earmarked funding from the state to ensure all paid on the teacher salary schedule, not just classroom teachers, receive the increase.
All employees not paid on the teacher salary schedule will receive a 2% cost-of-living increase.
All eligible employees will receive a salary step increase, with nearly all (95%) of current teachers expected to get a salary step increase.

A growing local tax digest for the sixth year in a row (after decreasing for five years) and the promise of a $3,000 raise for teachers in the state budget are giving a boost to the school district’s budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1. Each y
ear, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) develops and adopts a budget for the next fiscal year. The good news for FY2020 is that additional state and local revenue will allow GCPS to balance its budget, provide raises for its employees, and implement several improvement items.

The FY2020 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget calls for $2.319 billion in the Total Budget, including $1.795 billion (77.4% of the total) in the proposed General Fund for day-to-day operations. This 3.7% increase in the General Fund reflects salary improvements, increases in mandated employer-paid benefits, and costs associated with increased student enrollment.

About state and local revenue…
GCPS will receive an additional $63.1 million in the state Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula, offset by a $10.8 million increase in the district’s “Local Fair Share” contribution, resulting in a net increase in state QBE revenue of $52.3 million for the district. State revenue includes:

  • $7.7 million for projected enrollment growth;
  • $41.4 million to cover the $3,000 raise for teachers (part of the State Teacher Salary Schedule);
  • $8.4 million for teacher salary step increases (training and experience) and additional certificated employees who will be enrolled in state health insurance plans;
  • $1.2 million for an increase in the employer contribution to the Teachers Retirement System; and
  • $86.4 million in Equalization Grant funding based on taxable property “wealth per student” (up $4.4 million from 2018).

    The tax digest is expected to grow by 3%, resulting in an increase of $21.4 million in local property tax revenue. (The proposed budget does not recommend an increase in property tax millage.) Title ad valorem taxes and investment earnings are expected to grow a combined $10.5 million over FY2019.

    About expenditures for salaries and benefits…
    Increases in employee salary and benefits account for a portion of additional expenditures, including:

  • $8.1 million for 104 additional teacher/instructional support positions needed for expected enrollment growth of 446 students and the opening of McClure Health Science HS;
  • $5.8 million for increases in employer-paid benefit costs, including $400,000 for the employer contribution to the Gwinnett Retirement System, GCPS’ alternative to Social Security; $3.1 million for the employer share for insurance premiums for more than 270 added employees; and $2.3 million to fund the rate increase for the employer-paid portion for the
    More than meets the eye!
    In this issue, learn more about how the District invests in employees with Board-paid benefits— part of your Hidden Paycheck!
    Teachers Retirement System;
  • $44.6 million to pay the $3,000 cost-of-living increase for teachers and others, such as counselors, media specialists, and LSTCs, who are paid on the teacher salary schedule (includes more than $3 million on top of earmarked funding from the state to ensure all paid on the teacher salary schedule, not just classroom teachers, receive the increase);
  • $7 million for a 2% cost-of-living increase for all employees not paid on the teacher salary schedule;
  • Approximately $13.7 million for a salary step increase for all eligible employees, with nearly all (95%) of current teachers expected to get a salary step increase.

    About additional improvements…
  • Funding to add six school resource officers, five school psychologists, five behavior support specialists, an instructional coach for Fine Arts and a bilingual teacher to establish the Korean Dual Language Immersion program at Parsons ES next year;
  • Increases in per-pupil funding for local schools;
  • Enhanced operational and maintenance support for buildings and grounds, information management, and information security.

    About ongoing budget-cutting measures…
  • School staffing allocation formulas will be unchanged as will average student:teacher ratios. Schools will continue to receive positions to accommodate student growth.
  • Central office operating budgets will remain relatively the same and vacant district positions will remain unfilled to the extent possible.

    Online, find the FY2020 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget, a one-page budget flyer with highlights, and an overview from the March 23 Budget Work Session. The remaining dates in the budget calendar include two public hearings (May 9 and May 16) with final budget adoption expected May 16.
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  • Give feedback to update priorities for 2020–2030
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Employees, parents, MS and HS students, and community members are encouraged to participate in an online survey to share their thoughts on updating the district's strategic priorities.
    The survey is open through April 28 and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
    Survey participants can sign up to be considered for the pool of participants for follow-up focus groups in May.

    As part of GCPS’ process to update the district’s “Strategic Priorities for 2010–2020 for the next decade, it has launched an online survey of staff members, parents, MS and HS students, and community members. You are invited to share your thoughts and help us to ensure we continue to provide the best education possible for Gwinnett students.

    This survey should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It is open through April 28. (Your answers are strictly confidential. The final reports will share only the overall results, not individual responses, unless you identify yourself in the open-ended comments.)

    Upon completing the survey, participants can sign up to be considered for a round of focus groups to be held in early May.

    After the survey closes, we will share the findings and specific steps we’re taking as a result of your feedback.

    Check your Lotus Notes email for an invitation to take the survey with a one-time link or find the survey link on the GCPS website.
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    RAND study finds GCPS boosted student achievement by implementing ‘Principal Pipeline’ strategy funded by Wallace
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS was one of six school districts that participated in a study about increasing student achievement by improving principal effectiveness.
    The RAND study concluded that the "Principal Pipeline" initiative funded by The Wallace Foundation was "feasible, affordable, and effective" in hiring, developing, and supporting strong leaders who led school improvement.

    Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is one of six large school districts to boost student achievement by adopting a comprehensive strategy for improving principal effectiveness, according to Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way to Improve Schools,” a new report from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.

    As part of an $85-million, six-year initiative funded by The Wallace Foundation, GCPS began building a “principal pipeline” in 2011 by implementing rigorous leader standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring and placement, and on-the-job support and evaluation for its principals.

    The effort has paid off. RAND’s report finds that, across all six districts participating in the initiative, building these pipelines produced positive effects on student achievement in reading and math for elementary and middle school students and in math for high schools. Schools with newly placed principals in the six districts outperformed comparison schools by 6.22 percentile points in reading and 2.87 percentile points in math. Benefits were large for students in the lowest quartile of performance. In addition, this leadership development initiative benefited all schools in a district, not just those with new principals who emerged from the training.

    “It has long been my conviction— backed up by a growing body of research— that a focus on leadership is the key to school improvement,” says GCPS CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “Without strong school leaders, we cannot hope to make the gains our students need and deserve. Leadership matters, especially in our schools. Now, the research that confirms this view is stronger than ever.”

    Building principal pipelines also improved principal retention, the report finds. For every 100 new principals, pipeline districts saw nearly eight fewer losses after three years, compared with other districts in the state that were staffing similar schools.

    The approach was affordable. A 2017 study of the initiative found that pipelines cost 0.4% of district budgets (about $42 per student) per year. Another study found that two years after Wallace funding ended, districts continued to support pipelines with local funding.

    “Our study provides compelling evidence that when districts set clear leadership expectations and used those standards to hire, develop, and support strong leaders, then principals, schools, and students benefited,” says Susan Gates, lead researcher on the report and a senior economist at RAND. “The positive effects were remarkably widespread across grade levels and across districts.”

    Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, notes that the study and earlier findings, together, show that building principal pipelines is “feasible, affordable, and effective, and can also be sustained.” “We now have compelling and meaningful evidence that pipelines can be a major strategy for large districts to improve schools and raise student achievement.”
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    Session ends with more teacher pay, laws waiting for signature
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    A number of education-related bills passed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly by the end of the 2019 session and await the governor's signature or veto by May 12.

    Sine Die. The Latin translation means “without day.” For lawmakers, it refers to the final adjournment of a legislative session. And for those under Atlanta’s Gold Dome, the stroke of midnight as April 2 became April 3 meant time was out on any measure that hadn’t passed in both chambers. (Any bills that did not advance will be reassigned to the appropriate committee and may be considered by the General Assembly during the 2020 Session.) With bipartisan support, the FY2020 state budget was passed. (See p. 93 for education section.) The budget includes a $3,000 pay raise for certified teachers and certified employees, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, media specialists, special education specialists, and technology specialists.
    2019 Legislative Session by the Numbers
  • 92 education-related bills were filed during the 2019 session.
  • A total of 24 education-related bills passed both chambers and were sent to the Governor.
  • The Governor has 40 days to veto bills.
  • Here’s a roundup of some of the House and Senate bills related to education that crossed the finish line and await Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature or veto by May 12:
    HB 12Mandates child abuse reporting posters in schools to include phone number of Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS)
    HB 59Allows students of military personnel to enroll in school based on orders (before residency)
    HB 70Revises temporary guardianship procedures for minors and developmentally disabled adults
    HB 83Requires recess of at least 30 minutes each day for students in grades K–5 with provisions
    HB 197Provides for the establishment of the Strategic Integrated Data System for state agencies
    HB 315Requires consultants to local governments, including school districts, to disclose any conflicts of interest
    HB 322Requires certain bids or proposals to be advertised in the Georgia Procurement Registry
    HB 459Requires districts to verify school bus driver information for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) twice per year
    HB 514Creates Georgia Mental Health Reform and Innovation Commission
    HB 527Changes program weights in Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula for funding purposes
    HB 530Prohibits parents from removing or withdrawing a student from school to avoid compliance with laws (mandatory attendance, school discipline, etc.); mandatory referral to DFCS if student not enrolled in homeschool, private school, or another public school within 45 days of withdrawing from school
    SB 2Allows electric membership corporations (EMCs) to offer broadband in their service areas
    SB 9Expands unacceptable sexual interactions with students and provides penalties for staff committing assault
    SB 15“Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act” (includes requirement that schools have updated safety plans to deal with certain threats, site risk assessments, and other provisions)
    SB 25Revises bus passing rules (Bill signed into law in February)
    SB 48Provides for identification and support of students with dyslexia in grades K–2
    SB 52Provides for Code revisions from recommendations of the Code Revision Commission, including revisions related to Kinship Caregiver Act, fingerprints, Strategic Waivers, and sex education
    SB 60“Jeremy Nelson and Nick Blakely Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act” (provides for training on sudden cardiac arrest and development of guidelines for removal from and return to athletic activity)
    SB 67Provides eligibility for regular, advance, and low-wealth capital outlay funding for disaster-stricken school systems
    SB 83Expands opportunities for elective HS courses (History and Literature of the Old and New Testament Eras)
    SB 108Requires middle and high schools to offer computer science courses
    SB 212Authorizes licensed driver training schools to administer on-the-road driving skills test
    Read analysis of the session in these reports from the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Georgia Public Broadcast, WABE, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Check out 2019 issues to watch
    If you’d like to see how the recently closed session matches up with the issues that Gold Dome watchers had an eye on, check out “The Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019,” the 15th edition of the annual publication produced by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. The 2019 list included challenges facing the state— from funding and safety concerns to the barriers to high-quality early learning and postsecondary options.

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    District celebrates transportation professionals
    GCPS transportation staff members are the first adults to interact with more than 133,000 Gwinnett students each school morning and the last to close their school day in the afternoon. They are charged with the safe delivery of students between home and school, driving the district’s 1,980+ buses more than 23.5 million miles each year. We’re proud (and not surprised) that GCPS’ Transportation Department— the third largest transporter of schoolchildren in the U.S.— is considered one of the five best in the country by the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute.
    Last month, district leaders and School Board members recognized the district’s transportation professionals for their service to Gwinnett students and their families. Highlighting the evening event was the recognition of the 2018–19 School Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year:

  • Regular Education Bus Manager of the Year Gretchen Arnold— Ms. Arnold says making sure her students receive safe and caring transportation gives her purpose. She has more than two decades of experience and currently drives routes for Brookwood HS, Gwin Oaks ES, and Five Forks MS.
  • Special Education Bus Manager of the Year Julie Peterson— The 15-year veteran says, “Each and every one of the kids that I drive brings me joy in my everyday life.” She drives routes in the Grayson and Brookwood clusters and transporting students who attend Oakland Meadow School and Northbrook Center.
  • Bus Monitor of the Year Hannah Robinson— Ms. Robinson and her sister are monitors in the same zone and their mother is a school bus driver. She says her mom encouraged her to get into the “family business” and it quickly became clear that Ms. Robinson made the right choice. “I love it so much,” she shares.

    Congratulations to 2019 BMMOTY Honorees!
    Above (L to R): Driver Gretchen Arnold, Driver Julie Peterson, and Monitor Hannah Robinson

    At Right: Michael Moody, lead mechanic for Fleet Maintenance Department, based at Centerville Shop 2

    The selection of the 2018–19 winners is the result of an extensive process. First, they were nominated by their colleagues in their transportation zone. There are 25 regular education zones and 12 special education zones. Nominees then were given a written and driving skills test. Eleven finalists were selected— five regular education bus managers, three special education bus managers, and three special education bus monitors. A judging committee selected the winners from among the finalists. Michael Moody, lead mechanic for the Fleet Maintenance Department, also was honored as GCPS Fleet Technician of the Year.

    Don Moore, executive director of Transportation for GCPS, applauded the efforts of all staff who safely transport Gwinnett students to and from school. He shares, “It was an honor to be able to recognize some of our best drivers and monitors at our annual awards banquet.” “Our bus drivers and monitors ensure their students arrive safely, on time, and ready to learn,” Mr. Moore says. “We appreciate all they do for the school system and the students we serve.”
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  • School and district leaders approved by Board
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    This spring, the School Board has approved five principal appointments and several central office leaders.

    The following appointments were announced in February, March, and April:
    New Position
    Current/Previous Position
    Cortina Harris
    Principal, Alcova ES
    Assistant Principal,
    Lovin ES
    Karen Lillard
    Principal, Brookwood ES
    Beaver Ridge ES
    Jonathan Day
    Principal, Harmony ES
    Principal, Mulberry ES
    Tamara Perkins
    Principal, Simonton ES
    Principal, Parsons ES
    Niki Ross
    Principal, Phoenix HS
    Assistant Principal, Phoenix HS
    Melissa Huffman
    Director of
    Financial Operations,
    Business and Finance
    Assistant Director of Financial Operations, Business and Finance
    Roger Clark
    Director of Transportation, Facilities and Operations
    Assistant Director of Transportation,
    Facilities and Operations
    Dawn Parker
    Director of School Staffing–High School,
    Human Resources and Talent Management
    Alonzo A. Crim HS

    (Atlanta Public Schools)
    Andrea Lang
    Director of Security Architecture and
    Engineering, CEO/Superintendent’s Office
    Coordinator of Infrastructure Services,
    Information Management and Technology
    Retirements at the end of the school year for three current principal— Brookwood’s Cheri Carter, Anne Marie Keskonis of Harmony, and Phoenix HS’ Donna Scott— create leadership openings for Ms. Lillard, Mr. Day, and Ms. Ross. Ms. Harris steps into the principalship with Dr. Todd Langley’s departure for a position in another school system. Ms. Perkins takes on her new role as Clifton Alexander joins the School Improvement team.

    Cortina Harris
    Karen Lillard
    Jonathan Day
    Tamara Perkins
    Niki Ross
    Ransomware poses security risk
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Employees should be familiar with how ransomware works and how it is delivered to safeguard against a cyber-criminal infecting computers with malware and demanding a ransom.
    Staff members should be aware of red flags and what to do when they receive a suspicious email or text.

    What is ransomware?
    Ransomware is a type of malware cyber-criminals use to infect computers and encrypt computer files until a ransom is paid. After the initial infection, ransomware will attempt to spread to connected systems, including shared storage drives and other accessible computers.

    If the cyber-criminal’s ransom demands are not met, the files or encrypted data will usually remain encrypted and unavailable to the victim. Even after a ransom has been paid to unlock encrypted files, cyber-criminals will sometimes demand additional payments, delete a victim’s data, refuse to decrypt the data, or decline to provide a working decryption key to restore the victim’s access.

    How does ransomware work?
    Ransomware identifies the drives on an infected system and begins to encrypt the files within each drive. Ransomware generally adds an extension to the encrypted files such as .encrypted, .locky, .crypt, .cryptolocker or .petya to show that the files have been encrypted.

    Once the ransomware has completed file encryption, it creates and displays a file or files containing instructions on how the victim can pay the ransom. If the victim pays the ransom, the threat actor may provide a cryptographic key that the victim can use to unlock the files, making them accessible.

    How is ransomware delivered?
    Ransomware is commonly delivered through phishing emails. Phishing emails often appear as though they have been sent from a legitimate organization or someone known to the recipient, enticing the recipient to click on a malicious link or open a malicious attachment. After the malicious code has been run, the computer becomes infected with ransomware.

    What can I do to prevent a ransomware infection?

    When you receive a suspicious email or text…
  • Do not reply, reply to all, or forward the message to any other person.
  • Do not open any attachments.
  • Do not click any website links provided in the message.
  • Carefully examine the message.
  • Beware of unknown senders or sensational subject lines.
  • Look at the hyperlinks in the message carefully to identify fraudulent URLs. For instance, they might use bankofamerica.co versus bankofamerica.com. To view the hyperlink, hover your mouse over the link until a pop-up shows you the true destination.

  • Recognize the red flags…
  • Misspelled words and poor grammar.
  • Urgent subject lines.
  • Promises of free gifts or prizes.
  • Requests to verify your username, password, account number, or other sensitive information.

  • Take action…
  • Report suspected social engineering attempts to your TST/LSTC or contact the Customer Support Center at (678) 301-6547.
  • Forward any suspicious email messages to Phishing_SPAM@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
  • Delete the email from your Inbox, Sent Folder, and Trash Folder to permanently dispose of the message, or delete the text message/SMS.

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    Your Hidden Paycheck:
    District invests in employees with Board-paid benefits

    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    The School Board provides GCPS with additional compensation (employer-paid portions of insurance, retirement, and leave).
    This Hidden Paycheck can add up to 30% or more to an employee's actual salary.

    The net pay you see when you look at your online pay advice or your paycheck tells only part of the story. The Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE) provides additional compensation to you in the form of employer-paid portions of insurance, retirement contributions, and accumulated leave that can add up to 30% or more to your actual salary.

    It’s important to note that your Hidden Paycheck does not match your actual pay advice, benefits summary, or your paycheck, because our check or pay advice summarize what you, the employee, pay for benefits by payroll deduction. The Hidden Paycheck illustrates what the BOE pays on your behalf for benefits. It is a summary of the value-added compensation provided by the BOE towards employee benefits such as basic life, health and dental insurance, retirement, workers compensation and Medicare. It also illustrates the value of the leave you earn each year.

    Be sure to review your personalized Hidden Paycheck on the Employee Portal so you can understand the true value of your total compensation… and just how valuable an asset you are to GCPS!

    Email your questions to “Benefits” on Lotus Notes, or to Benefits@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
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    June 11 information session set for prospective retirees
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    A free Retirement Benefits Forum will be held June 11 at the ISC.
    The event will include overviews from retirement systems, Social Security, and VALIC retirement savings plans.
    Seating will be limited so make sure to register online.

    A free Retirement Benefits Forum will be held at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on June 11. The event will provide an overview of the major programs through which GCPS employees may earn benefits for their retirement, with guest speakers from the Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS), Teachers Retirement System (TRSGA), Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), Social Security, and VALIC.

    Starting at 5:30 p.m., light refreshments will be served and representatives will be available to answer individual questions. The formal program will begin with a session on GRS and 403(b) retirement savings plans, followed by a session on Social Security. (Note: GCPS employees do not earn Social Security benefits because the district withdrew from the plan in 1983. Instead, full-time employees earn benefits through GRS’ defined-benefit retirement plan, funded by the School Board.) At 7:30, choice sessions will provide prospective retirees with information about either TRSGA or PSERS benefits.

    Seating will be limited so make sure to register online (www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/RetireeEvent) for the Forum, which is sponsored by GCPS’ Retirement Services Department.
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    Coach Saban to keynote Sports Hall of Fame induction
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    The Gwinnett County Sports hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2019 on May 1.
    Coach Nick Saban will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
    Tickets and sponsorships for the fundraising event are available online.
    Anyone can participate in the online Silent Auction (April 28-May 1).

    On May 1, you’re invited to join Nick Saban, head football coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the GCPS Foundation Fund as we celebrate the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019! The Class of 2019 has the distinction of being the 10th class of inductees and includes Coach Mickey Conn, championship-winning Grayson HS football coach and South Gwinnett HS graduate; Rennie Curran, linebacker for Brookwood HS, University of Georgia, and Tennessee Titans; Coach Angie Hembree who led Collins Hill HS and Norcross HS to six state girls basketball championships; David Saville, team manager for Norcross HS’ football program and longtime equipment manager for the Clemson Tigers; Coach John Sawyer, multi-sport coach and teacher at South Gwinnett HS; and Megan Wiggins, three-sport standout at Shiloh HS who went on to play softball in college and the pros. Learn about sponsorship opportunities and purchase tickets online. You also can participate in the 2019 HOF Silent Auction (April 28–May 1), featuring high-end electronics, sports memorabilia, and more. Questions? Contact Aaron Lupuloff, senior executive director of the Foundation, at 404-405-6471.
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    GCPS plans ahead for summer
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Students interested in HS summer classes have until June 2 to register for online classes and until June 3 to sign up for face-to-face classes.
    High school summer classes run June 10 to July 2, with summer graduation on July 3.
    ES and MS Summer School is set for June 10-28 for eligible students.
    Families who are new to the district or whose child is changing schools due to a move will be able to register for the 2019-20 school year on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July— July 9, July 11, July 16, July 18, July 23, and July 25— from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all school locations.

    Here are some need-to-know dates and important information about summer plans in Gwinnett.

    HS Summer School:
    High school students looking to make up a class or get ahead can take summer classes through Gwinnett Online Campus or the district’s face-to-face summer program. Summer classes for both online and face-to-face will run June 10 to July 2, Monday through Friday. Online registration for both program is handled at www.mypaymentsplus.com/. Health and PE classes are open to rising 9th graders. The cost for each one-semester class is $250 for current GCPS students. Registration for Online Summer School continues through June 2. Face-to-Face Summer School classes will be offered at Dacula HS, Norcross HS, and Shiloh HS. Online registration for face-to-face classes is available through June 3, with in-person registration set for Norcross on June 3. Summer graduation is set for July 3.

    ES and MS Summer School:
    Dates for Elementary and Middle Summer School are June 10–28 on a Monday-Friday schedule. Students in grades 3–8 who do not meet promotion requirements may have the opportunity to attend summer school for targeted instruction. Elementary School summer school will be provided in two separate sessions each day— one for language arts and one for mathematics. Depending on their needs, students will be recommended for one or both of the sessions. Middle schools also hold a.m. and p.m. sessions, addressing the four core academic areas.

    Summer Registration Campaign:
    In an effort to ensure new students are present and engaged in learning from the first day of school, GCPS is once again conducting a coordinated summer registration campaign to encourage families who are new to the district (or whose child is changing schools due to a move) to register during the summer rather than waiting for the start of the school year. All schools will be open to register students from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays during July— July 9, July 11, July 16, July 18, July 23, and July 25.
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    Registration events set for May 2 for rising kindergartners
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Families of rising kindergartners should start the registration process online, completing registration at the local school on May 2.
    Additional information about required documents, registration times, and more are available on the district website.

    Members of the Class of 2032 are getting ready for the big day… their first day of Kindergarten on Aug. 5. All GCPS elementary schools will welcome our rising kindergartners at registration events to be held on May 2. (Times vary by school so check this list of registration times.) Parents can begin registration on the school’s website now, but must complete the process with a visit to the school for the May event to submit required documents, including birth records and required health and residence information. On the Kindergarten Registration web page, learn more about the event, documents for registration, tips for parents, and more.
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    2019–20 GOC registration reopens, continues for CTE options
    Registration is underway for the following GCPS schools and programs for the 2019–20 year.
  • Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC): Full-time registration has reopened for students in grades 4–12 who are interested in attending GOC for 2019–20. Registration closes on Friday, May 3, at 2 p.m.
  • Maxwell HS of Technology: Registration for the 2019–20 school year is underway for programs with open slots. Online registration is open and accessible via the Student Portal.
  • Grayson HS Technical Education Program: Online registration for 2019–20 continues, available through the Student Portal.
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  • Annual Child Find meeting aids
    families of children with disabilities

    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Families of children with disabilities who are not served in GCPS programs are encouraged to attend Child Find on May 10.
    The program is designed to connect eligible children and youth (ages birth to 21) with support services.

    Each year, GCPS conducts a meeting for the families of children with disabilities (birth to age 21) currently not served by GCPS who may benefit from support services available through the school system’s Department of Special Education and Psychological Services. This year, the Child Find meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., in the Central Gwinnett Room (2.111) in Building 200 of the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee. Families unable to attend are encouraged to contact GCPS with their questions about services for students with disabilities. Call or email Becca McCleskey with GCPS’ Office of Compliance at 678-301-7104 or contact Parent Mentors Jackie McNair (678-301-7149) or Dawn Albanese (678-301-7212).
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    Boost literacy with Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run on May 4
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    The 2nd annual GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run will be held May 4. (Register by April 30 for a shirt.)
    Proceeds will be used to purchase new books to help children build their personal library through the school-based Book the Bus program.
    The summer program is expanding, adding more routes, days, and hours to serve four additional clusters— Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, and Shiloh— in addition to Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters.

    Runners and walkers of all ages and athletic abilities have an opportunity to “book it” for a good cause— support for the district’s book mobiles! Register for the 2nd annual GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run to be held May 4 at Pinckneyville MS. The event will raise funds to purchase new books for the school-based Book the Bus program, helping children to build their own personal library. A family-friendly atmosphere before and after the race features vendor exhibits, games, music, and more! Fees range from $15 for the Fun Run to $25 for the 5K ($30 after April 28). Register by April 30 to be guaranteed a shirt. All participants under age 18 get a free book.

    Since the school program launched in 2017–18, the Pow! and Explore! buses have visited more than 100 Gwinnett schools during the school year and distributed more than 40,000 free books. During the summer, the book mobiles are stocked with school library books and run routes in neighborhoods without easy access to a public library branch, checking out books to keep children reading during June and July. This summer, the program is extending its reach, adding more routes, days, and hours to serve four additional clusters. The book mobiles will make 100 stops each week— Monday through Saturday— once again serving the Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters and running new routes in the Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, and Shiloh cluster.
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    Vulcan Materials Quarry Crusher Run: Crush it and support GCPS!
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Quarry Crusher Run Atlanta is set for May 4.
    Proceeds from the Quarry Crusher benefit schools in the Meadowcreek Cluster.
    School employees and students can get a discount on the registration fee.

    Runners (and walkers), do you think you have what it takes to descend more than 600 feet to the bottom of a rock quarry before you begin your climb out? If you think you can “dig deep” and challenge yourself to complete this feat, Quarry Crusher Run Atlanta, sponsored by the Vulcan Materials Company, is the race for you! The 3.7-mile route descends to the bottom of Vulcan’s Norcross quarry and offers unbelievable views of the quarry with every step. The best part? The May 4 race benefits our students! Vulcan will donate proceeds to the GCPS Foundation to support Meadowcreek HS, Radloff MS, Meadowcreek ES, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Gwinnett County.

    Registration for the Quarry Crusher— from the top to the bottom of the quarry and back— costs $40, and a Double Crusher (7.4 miles) is twice the challenge for $50. New this year, folks can experience the quarry with half the steps for $40. For the Half Crusher, run or walk to the bottom of the quarry then catch a van ride back to the top! Get a $10 discount using one of these promo codes— GCPSSTAFF, TEACHER, or STAFF. (Make sure to use all caps.) Active and retired military personnel, and first responders also can get a discount. The race is open to runners and walkers, ages 12 and older. Can’t make it to the quarry on race day but still want to support the event and GCPS? Sleep in and donate online! #DigDeep #QuarryCrusher #QCRGivesBack #RockTheQuarry #TrainHard #Run4Schools
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    EB Bulletin Board

    What's new on the Bulletin Board?
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Check out Bulletin Board items with the latest on... work calendars, DLI deadline, mentoring opportunities, Essentials, , Communiqué stories, recent GCPS TV videos, the next Spotlight, Perks, and commute alternatives

    Employees can find dates worked for 2019–20 online… GCPS’ Compensation team has posted employee work calendars for the 2019–20 school year on the GCPS website. The calendars show beginning and ending dates for next school year as well as days worked each month for various employee groups. Staff members also will receive a one-page employee calendar and a booklet calendar at the beginning of the new year.
    DLI registration closes May 9… May 9 at 3 p.m. is the deadline for rising kindergartners to register for Gwinnett’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program— an opportunity for elementary students to develop proficiency in another language while learning the curriculum. Next school year, DLI will be offered at nine GCPS schools— Spanish at Annistown, Baldwin, Bethesda, Camp Creek, Ivy Creek, Level Creek, and Meadowcreek elementary schools; French at Trip ES; and, new for 2019–20, Korean at Parsons ES. The schools will accept transfers if available slots are not filled by students in the school zone. Out-of-zone families must provide transportation. (Remember, in addition to completing DLI registration paperwork, families must register for kindergarten at the school to which their child is zoned.)
    District seeks mentors for both boys and girls… Studies show that successful mentoring programs help students develop social skills, improve their school achievement and graduation rates, build character, and many other benefits. Now in its 10th year, GCPS has served hundreds of young men, and now, young women through its Community-Based Mentoring Program, with a number of GCPS staff members serving as mentors. The district is seeking both men and women to serve as mentors. Prospective mentors can learn more about how to become a mentor and find an application online.
    Check out Essentials newsletter… The spring issue of Essentials takes a look at digital citizenship, honors, and more! A special insert takes you into schools in the Collins Hill cluster as we explore the Promise of Innovation through STEM learning.
    Find the latest from Communiqué… The latest posts to the online Communiqué  include award-winning staff and students, an anti-bullying initiative, and upcoming events, plus calendar updates, dates and deadlines on the Bulletin Board, and the latest episode of In5ive. Check the magazine frequently for the latest news!! Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at communique@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
    Watch recent Focus Moments on GCPS TV… These are just a few of the recent videos from GCPS TV:
    — GCPS TV captured a number of art celebrations during Youth Art Month, including Dramarama, County Dance Day, the annual Tapestry exhibit, and a visit to the High Museum of Art.
    — Award-winning staff members included the Georgia Principal of the Year, GCPS' Media Specialist of the Year, and counseling recognitions.
    — Student winners also were highlighted, including Readers Rally and Media Festival participants, CTE Students of the Year, Gwinnett HEAT athletes, and winners at the Science, Engineering + Innovation Fair.
    Something to celebrate?… Share your good news with your colleagues in Spotlight. If you have earned a state or national award, earned a degree, made a presentation, or had work published, send the information to the Spotlight mailbox  via Lotus Notes, or to the Communication and Media Relations Department through the courier.
    Stretch your budget with employee discounts… Special offers and discounts from local and national businesses are as close as a computer or smartphone for GCPS employees. They're easy to find online at the Employee Perks tab on the GCPS Foundation web page or via the new app for your phone, available from Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
    Also, watch for occasional “perks” newsletters with rundowns on special offers and the latest deals.
    Check out Georgia Commute Options… Sign up for Georgia Commute Options programs, find carpool partners, and log your commute trips to earn cash and win prizes online. On the Commute Options website, you can:
    Find out how much you’re spending on your commute by using Georgia Commute Options Commute Calculator.
    Manage everything, from ride-matching to incentives;
    Use easy “drag and drop” features to log your commute;
    Set text or e-mail log reminders for any day of the week and any time;
    Set alerts via text or e-mail when new carpool or vanpool matches become available;
    Check current enrollment status in any of the Georgia Commute Options incentive programs;
    Find Park and Ride locations and transit routes in the Atlanta region; and
    View or share public pages through Facebook or Twitter log-in.

    A mobile-friendly version of the system is available so users can log commute trips on the go. Go to the website to learn how to improve the way you get to and from work. If you have any questions, call 1-877-9-GA-OPTIONS.

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    Let us know what you think!
    Click here to give us your feedback on Education Briefs.

    Problems with the feedback link? If you recently upgraded your Microsoft Office software, you may get a message to set up Microsoft Outlook in order to send your feedback by e-mail. This occurs because the upgrade defaults your e-mail preference to Outlook. To reset your e-mail preference to Lotus Notes, with your browser open, go to Tools/Internet Options/Programs/Internet Programs/Set program access and computer defaults. Toggle Custom, and using pull-down menu, select Lotus Notes as e-mail default. Select OK and save. You may have to close your browser and reopen to update your e-mail default.
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        Last modified on 05/21/2019