Volume 38 , Number 7May 18, 2018

School Board adopts FY2019 budget
Need-to-know highlights of this story:
The Board adopted the FY2019 budget on May 17.
The $2.193 billion budget benefits students and staff while ensuring the district remains a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
Highlights of the budget are available on the website.

On May 17, the Gwinnett County Board of Education conducted its second public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) budget before taking a final vote on the spending plan for the 2018-19 school year. When it comes to the budget, GCPS lives within its means, presenting a balanced budget and keeping spending within that budget. The district’s accurate and conservative approach to budgeting has enabled GCPS to achieve balanced budgets during challenging economic times while also delivering on the promises it has made to its stakeholders.

While challenges still remain— growth in student enrollment and increases in employee benefit costs— there is good news. Growth in the property tax digest for the fifth straight year and additional revenue from the state, including the elimination of austerity reductions, means that GCPS will be able to balance its budget, provide raises for its employees, and implement some improvement items… all without an increase in the millage rate. In fact, the Board has tentatively adopted a combined millage rate of 21.75, a decrease of .10 mills. (The millage rate will be finalized in June.) The FY2019 Budget benefits students and employees while also ensuring the district remains a good steward of taxpayers’ dollars.

Here are some highlights:
  • The total budget is $2.193 billion. The General Fund, funding the primary day-to-day operations of the district, represents 77.8% of the total budget.
  • GCPS will receive an additional $54.1 million in state funding, including funding for projected growth in student enrollment, the state-funded portion of teacher salary step increases, funding for state health insurance plans for additional certificated employees, state-funded increases in employer contributions to retirement for TRS-eligible staff, Equalization Grant funding, and an additional $17.4 million to fully fund the Quality Basic Education formula.
  • Gwinnett’s property tax digest is expected to grow by 3.1%, resulting in an increase of $17 million in local property tax revenue. The proposed budget does not recommend an increase in the property tax millage.
  • The budget supports a number of additional costs, including the addition of 128 additional teachers/instructional support positions to accommodate expected enrollment growth of 1,054 students and the opening of the new Paul Duke STEM High School, and an increase in the cost of employer contributions to local and state retirement systems and an increase in employer health insurance premiums for non-certificated employees.
  • Employees will see salary improvements in FY2019, including a 2.25% cost-of-living increase for all full-time employees and a salary step increase for all eligible employees. Nearly all (96%) of current teachers are expected to get a salary step increase.
  • The budget includes funding for a number of improvements— 10 additional School Resource Officers, increased daily pay for substitute paraprofessionals, additional technology support positions for schools, a Junior Achievement Academy at Parkview HS, expansion of the Community-Based Mentoring Program to serve Hispanic students, and additional support for special education, psychological services, and curriculum and instruction.
  • These budget-cutting measures remain in place: School staffing allocation formulas are unchanged, positions added to accommodate student growth. Average student:teacher ratios will remain the same. To the extent possible, vacant district-level positions will remain unfilled. Division operating budgets will remain relatively the same.

    Watch for a final adopted budget on the GCPS website after the millage rate is approved in June.
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  • GCPS answers teacher questions
    on Performance-Based Compensation System

    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS is continuing its rollout of Phase 2 (Performance-Based Awards) under the district's compensation system for teachers.
    Data from next school year will determine the first awards to be distributed in fall of 2019.
    There are two paths to the awards for teachers.
    Staff can find more information on a web page dedicated to the compensation system, and send questions via email to the Performance Based Awards mailbox.

    As we approach the end of the school year, the school district is continuing its rollout of Phase 2— the Performance-Based Awards— for GCPS’ Performance-Based Compensation System for Teachers. The first awards will be distributed in the fall of 2019, based on data from the 2018-19 school year.

    While it's one system, GCPS created two paths to the awards, ensuring that more teachers have the opportunity to be eligible for the performance-based award and providing a great way for GCPS to recognize that there are great teachers in every school in the district who deserve to be celebrated. The two paths are:
      • The Four-Metric Path is for eligible teachers who have scores on the four metrics (Professional Growth, TAPS Evaluation, Student Growth, and Weighted School Assessment).

      • Eligible teachers with scores on all performance metrics except Student Growth will be included in the Three-Metric Path.
    Since the rollout of Phase 2 began, the district has supported communication on the compensation system with a dedicated web page, an overview PowerPoint, a video from the superintendent, and a presentation on the award metrics. In addition, district leaders have solicited questions from teachers and administrators about the Performance-Based Awards, then shared answers to those frequently asked questions online. Earlier this spring, an FAQ document was released about eligibility and general information for the awards and another on the Student Growth Metric.

    Teachers are encouraged to submit further questions via Lotus Notes to the
    Performance Based Awards mailbox.

    A third FAQ, released this month, addresses additional questions asked by teachers. Topics include teacher eligibility, the Professional Growth Metric, the Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS) Evaluation Metric, the Student Growth Metric, the Weight School Assessment (WSA) Metric, and a handful of general questions.
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    GCPS ranks #178 on Forbes ‘Best Employers’ list
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS has made Forbes magazine's list of America's Best Large Employers.
    Ranked at #178, GCPS is one of just six K-12 school districts on the list of large employers.

    Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is in good company… ranking 178 out of the country’s top 500 employers on the Forbes “Best Employers” list! For the first time ever, GCPS made the list of top companies with 5,000 or more U.S. employees. Only six K-12 school districts made the Forbes list of large employers—GCPS, three Texas districts, and two districts in Maryland. With more than 23,000 employees, GCPS is the largest employer in Gwinnett County and is one of the largest employers in Georgia.

    Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked best by employees with their annual ranking of America’s best employers. In an article about the process used to determine its “Best Employers,” Forbes reported: “Statista surveyed 30,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. Statista then asked respondents to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 500 large and 500 mid-size employers that received the most recommendations.”

    “As an organization, we strive to be an employer of choice,” says CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “A long-standing goal for our district is to recruit, employ, develop, and retain a workforce that moves us toward becoming a system of world-class schools. We never lose sight of the fact that it is the people of GCPS— our teachers and those who support those who teach— that set us apart. And we are pleased that, as evidenced by our school district’s ranking on the Forbes ‘Best Employers’ list, our people recognize GCPS as a great employer and would recommend us to others.”

    Over the years, GCPS has garnered attention as a top employer several times, including recognition last spring as an Outstanding Great District for Great Teachers by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
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    Gwinnett seniors head off to 'promising' future
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    More than 12,600 make up GCPS' largest-ever graduating class.
    The vast majority of seniors have college plans.
    Our grads have been offered more than $207.2 million in scholarships.

    If anyone is counting, our graduating seniors are wrapping up their K-12 academic careers with more than 15,200 hours of teaching and learning. (That’s 6.5 hours for 180 days for 13 years for those doing the math at home.) After all that hard work, we’re not surprised that this largest-ever class of more than 12,600 on-track graduates is ready to cross the stage to accept their diploma and turn their tassels. Graduation ceremonies for the district’s 22 diploma-granting high schools have already begun, with Phoenix HS on May 21 and the last ceremony on May 26 for Mountain View HS.

    College, careers, military service and travel are on the horizon for our graduates. In the fall, most seniors— 84%— are headed to universities, colleges, and postsecondary schools in Georgia and around the country, with nearly 19% of college-bound graduates offered at least one scholarship. Most students (84%) will attend school in Georgia, with more than 86% enrolling in a four-year college or university and the balance attending a two-year college or technical college. Among the students heading out of state, 53 will matriculate at one of the eight prestigious Ivy League schools. We have nearly 700 students attending one of the top 50 schools in the country (based on U.S. News & World Report ranking).

    As of April 2018, our graduates have been offered close to $207.2 million in academic, athletic, and military scholarships, an increase of nearly $25 million over the previous year. Academic achievement earned offers of more than $106.5 million, including large, multi-year scholarships such as two recipients of Cooke College Scholarships, six Posse Scholars, and nine Gates Scholars. What’s significant is the number and amount of scholarships that were not yet announced when senior information was compiled in April, including HOPE awards (typically, about a third of graduates), some National Merit Scholars, and the full-ride scholarships awarded to GCPS’ 22 QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship recipients. Student athletes earned more than $93 million in athletic scholarships, an increase of $10 million over 2017.

    Next week, watch for the special issue of Communiqué celebrating
    the Cl
    ass of 2018!

    The nation’s five military service academies— Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine— offered appointments to 19 young leaders, representing more than $7.6 million in scholarships. Ten high schools had one or more appointments. A total of 435 seniors will serve their country through military service after graduation.

    About 1,100 students will enter the workforce after high school, many armed with credentials and certificates earned through our career and technical education programs and sought after by local employers. Students graduating from the district's Academy high schools— Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Discovery, Lanier, Meadowcreek, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett— complete high school with valuable exposure to college majors of interest and experience in potential careers. Another 500+ seniors have other post-graduation plans— from “gap year” travel to mission work.

    A record number of seniors are graduating with a grade percent average of 90 or better. Among our 3,246 Honor Graduates are each school’s highest ranking students— the valedictorian (1st in class) and the salutatorian (2nd in class). More than half of Gwinnett seniors— 7,100— took on the challenge and rigor of college-level Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses during high school. And here’s another record, 1,231 seniors participated in the state’s dual-enrollment program, earning both high school and college credit.

    Congratulations on this exciting milestone! We’re can’t wait to see what our graduating seniors accomplish in the years ahead. We wish the very best for the Class of 2018 as you head out into a future filled with Promise!
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    District leaders approved by Board at April, May meetings
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Five principals and several central office leaders have been named in April and May.

    The following school and central office appointments were announced during April and May:
    New Position
    Previous Position
    Dr. Kimberly R. Birds
    Principal, Creekland MS
    Assistant Principal,
    Northbrook MS
    Kimberly A. Bussey
    Principal, Dacula MS
    Assistant Principal,
    Twin Rivers MS
    Marci R. Sledge
    Principal, Discovery HS
    Principal, Pinckneyville MS
    Kimberley "Kim" Mankin
    Principal, Northbrook Center
    Principal/Program Administrator,
    The BRIDGE at Northbrook Center (GNETS Services)
    Jacinta Z. Henry
    Principal, Starling ES
    Assistant Principal,
    Starling ES
    Emily Keag
    Director of
    Instructional Support,

    Curriculum and
    Instructional Support
    Principal, Suwanee ES
    Deborah M. Martin
    Director of Mathematics,
    Curriculum and
    Instructional Support
    Coordinator of Instructional Resources and Support,
    Curriculum and Instructional Support
    Nury Crawford
    Director of
    Community Mentoring,
    School Improvement
    and Operations
    Assistant Principal,
    Dacula Middle School
    David D. Harris
    Director of Retirement and Risk Management,
    Business and Finance
    Consulting Actuary,
    Nyhart (Atlanta, Ga.)
    Dr. Edward “Eddie” Maresh
    Director of School Staffing,
    Human Resources
    and Talent Management
    Principal, Creekland MS
    Michael J. Nicholson
    Community School Director,
    Dacula HS
    Assistant Principal, Dacula HS
    Hope J. Hawkins
    Community School Director,
    Gwinnett School of Mathematics,
    Science, and Technology/
    Maxwell HS of Technology
    Assistant Principal,
    Gwinnett School of Mathematics,
    Science, and Technology

    Dr. Birds transitions to her new post at Creekland as Dr. Eddie Maresh, principal, joins the Staffing team. Ms. Bussey moves into the principal's office at Dacula MS as Dr. Kellye Riggins principal, takes a position outside of the school district. Dr. Gene Taylor's retirement prompts the new position for Ms. Sledge. Ms. Mankin takes on her new leadership duties with the June retirement of Dr. Barbara Martin who has served as principal of the ADAPT and STRIVE programs at Northbrook Center. As principal of Northbrook Center, Ms. Mankin will have responsibility for The BRIDGE, ADAPT, and STRIVE programs. Ms. Henry moved into the principal's office at Starling as the former principal, Rachel Ernst, took a position outside of the school district. Mrs. Keag transitions to a new role in Curriculum and Instruction, filling the position previously held by Debbie Cate who recently retired. Bonnie Brush’s appointment as executive director of Curriculum and Instruction created a vacancy in the Mathematics Office, which prompts the new position for Ms. Martin. Ms. Crawford moves to the Mentoring Office to head up the mentoring program for Hispanic students. Tom Daymude's retirement prompted the new position with GCPS for Mr. Harris. As Dr. Kim McDermon transitions to a new role as director of Effectiveness Systems, Dr. Maresh will join the Staffing team.

    Dr. Kimberly

    in April and May
    Dr. Eddie

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    Mark calendars for staff start and end dates for 2018-19
    The first day of school for the 2018-19 school year is Aug. 6, but most staff members get an earlier start on the new school year. The folks in Human Resources and Talent Management remind us of the following reporting dates for the employee groups that make up the majority of school system staff:

    Beginning and Ending Dates for Staff for 2018-19
    Employee Group
    Start and End Dates
    174-day staff
    Aug. 6, 2018 to May 17, 2019
    175-day staff
    Aug. 3, 2018, to May 17, 2019
    180-day staff
    Aug. 6, 2018, to May 22, 2019
    181-day staff
    Aug. 3, 2018, to May 22, 2019
    185-day staff
    July 30, 2018, to May 22, 2019
    190-day staff
    July 30, 2018, to May 24, 2019
    193-day staff
    July 24, 2018, to May 23, 2019
    200-day staff
    July 23, 2018, to May 31, 2019
    210-day staff
    July 23, 2018, to June 10, 2019
    220-day staff–
    ES & MS administrative assistants+
    July 9, 2018, to June 10, 2019
    Other 220-day staff
    July 23, 2018, to June 24, 2019
    230-day staff+
    July 9, 2018, to June 24, 2019
    12-month staff+
    July 2, 2018, to June 28, 2019
    +Note: Local schools will observe a four-day week during July. Schools will be closed on the following Fridays: July 6, July 13, and July 20.

    Ask your supervisor if you are unsure of your return-to-work date for the new school year.
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    Four-day work week in effect at schools during part of July
    Remember that local schools will observe a four-day week during July— from Monday, July 2, to Friday, July 20, returning to a normal Monday-to-Friday schedule on July 23. Schools will be closed on the following Fridays: July 6, July 13, and July 20. On Wednesday, July 4, all schools and locations will be closed for the Independence Day holiday. The four-day week affects all programs at the local school, including enrichment camps and other activities. The energy-saving schedule saves money as thermostats are set warmer for the three-day weekends, and lights are switched off. Affected employees will work a modified schedule or use vacation time and work a shorter week under the schedule.
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    Find 2018-19 calendars on website
    The 2018–19 student calendar is posted on the Calendar page of the school system website, and the staff calendar is coming soon. The booklet-style calendar that includes department and division dates, as well as fast facts, a map, and other helpful information, will be available to full-time employees at the start of the new school year.
    Speaking of calendars… Depending on the number of days worked for your employee category, you have an “end date” coming up in the next few days or weeks. You probably already have that date circled on the calendar, but check the list of 2017-18 work calendars posted on the Employment Tab of the GCPS website.
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    District encourages families to register new students in July
    Summer is the best time to get ready, get set, and get registered for students who are new to Gwinnett or changing schools due to a move! We know that kids miss out on learning opportunities when families wait until the first day to register their student for school. In an effort to ensure new students are present and engaged in learning from the first day of school, GCPS is launching a coordinated summer registration campaign.

    All schools will be open to register students from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays during July— July 10, July 12, July 17, July 19, July 24, and July 26. (Local schools may offer additional registration opportunities during the summer.) The campaign encourages families to start the registration process online, then visit their neighborhood school to complete registration with required documents and information. Parents can confirm which school serves their neighborhood with the district’s online School Locator feature.
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    GCPS accepting applications for GEMS Oversight Committee
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS is accepting applications from staff, parents, and community members to serve on the GEMS Oversight Committee.
    The committee reviews the AKS curriculum and makes recommendations on revisions and additions.
    The deadline to apply for a three-year term is Aug. 24.
    Applications are available on the GCPS website.

    Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is inviting school district employees, parents, and community members to apply for the GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1. After the review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks for adoption by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Committee members serve three-year terms. Completed applications should be returned by Aug. 24, to the attention of Jadd Jarusinski, director of Instructional Resources and Support, at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee. The downloadable application can be found on the GCPS website. On the home page, go to the pull-down menu and select “I want to apply for…”
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    Book Mobiles hit the road on June 4
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    — The two GCPS Book Mobiles will travel 35-stop routes in the Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters on week days between June 4 and July 27.
    — Students will be able to check out and return books throughout the summer.

    This summer, students in the Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters will be able to "choose their own adventure" and those adventures will be arriving every week on a converted school bus!

    Starting in June, two mobile libraries-- the new "EXPLORE!" Book Mobile and the "POW!" Book Mobile-- will travel 35-stop routes in the Meadowcreek and Norcross clusters each week, checking out school library books to students who may not have easy access to the public library.

    The two Book Mobiles will be stocked with books for all ages and reading levels— Pre-K to 12th grade— pulled from the shelves of each cluster's media centers. The weekly schedule (Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.) will repeat each week, starting Monday, June 4, and ending Friday, July 27.

    During the school year, local schools can “Book the Bus” for a school or community event. For these visits, the book mobile will be stocked with new books— purchased with donations or provided by sponsors— so that children can build their own personal libraries.

    On May 5, nearly 250 runners and walkers "booked it" for a great cause. The GCPS Book Mobile 5K and Fun Run raised more than $8,000 to purchase new books for students. The event also raised awareness about the district's newest library-on-wheels.

    At the ribbon-cutting event for the mobile library, Ashley, a Summerour MS 7th grader, said she was excited about the mobile library that will be coming to her neighborhood and hoped others would take advantage of the opportunity. "I am an avid reader. Literacy has been so important to my success in school and is helping me pave the way to a successful future," Ashley said. "Reading can and will change your life for the better. I'm living proof of that!"

    This summer, follow the bookmobile on Twitter @gcpslibraries or through the hashtag #GCPSBookMobile.
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    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
    reaches agreement with Piedmont Healthcare

    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    The contract dispute between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) and Piedmont Hospital has been resolved and the contract renewed.
    BCBSGa members who used Piedmont providers while the contract was not in force will still receive in-network coverage.

    Here’s some good news for State Health Benefit Plan members who use the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) network and Piedmont Hospital and affiliated medical offices!

    On April 25, BCBSGa announced that the insurer had reached a new, multi-year agreement with Piedmont Healthcare, Inc., and Piedmont Clinic Physician Practices.

    The contract between BCBSGa and Piedmont had expired April 1. Until a new contract was approved, State Health Benefit Plan members who used the BCBSGa network could have been responsible for higher out-of-pocket costs if they used Piedmont-affiliated providers to receive non-emergency care.

    In its announcement, BCBSGa notes that “that any consumers who received health care services from Piedmont facilities and affiliated providers on or after April 1 will receive in-network coverage.” The statement continues, “We are pleased that the new agreement will enable our consumers to continue to access affordable care through all Piedmont hospitals and physicians that are now back in our network.”

    Piedmont’s in-network facilities and medical practices include:
    • Piedmont Clinic Physician Practices
    • Piedmont Hospital (Atlanta)
    • Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center
    • Piedmont Fayette Hospital (Fayetteville)
    • Piedmont Henry Hospital (Stockbridge)
    • Piedmont Mountainside Hospital (Jasper)
    • Piedmont Outpatient Center at East Ellijay
    • Piedmont Newnan Hospital
    • Piedmont Newton Hospital (Covington)
    • Piedmont Imaging/Diagnostic Centers
    • Piedmont Ambulatory Surgery Centers
    • Piedmont Urgent Care Centers
    BCBSGa members with questions can call the Member Services number— 1-855-641-4862— found on their member ID card.
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    Special Education Teacher Job Fair set for May 30
    Know any special education teachers interested in joining our team?

    GCPS will host a Special Education Teacher Job Fair on Wednesday, May 30, to fill positions for the 2018-19 school year. The hiring event will be held from 8 a.m. to Noon at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center. To be considered for employment, applicants must hold Special Education certification or be eligible for certification by July of 2018.

    Only a limited number of interviews are available so encourage your teacher friends to hurry and register! To register, applicants should follow these steps:
  • Complete an online application at gcpsjobs.com.
  • Submit a “Request to Attend the Job Fair” no later than Friday, May 25.
  • Log in and confirm the online application is complete.
    Applicants selected to attend the job fair will receive an email confirmation.

    Questions? Applicants should contact the GCPS Recruitment Team at gcpsteach@gwinnett.k12.ga.us or call 678-301-6076.
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  • GCPS celebrates future educators with Teacher Signing Day
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS held a Teacher Signing Day on May 8 for 70+ future educators.
    Participants networked with representatives from colleges and professional organizations.

    More than 70 future educators attended GCPS’ Teacher Signing Day event on May 8, part of a statewide celebration of young people planning to enter the teaching profession after college graduation. Most attendees were high school students, including Gwinnett students taking courses in related career pathways such as Teaching as a Profession and Early Childhood Care and Education. A few middle schoolers were on hand as well.

    A networking reception gave participants an opportunity to talk to School of Education representatives from 13 colleges and universities from around the state as well as allied organizations that support teachers such as Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), and Bright from the Start’s Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). The future educators learned about education programs and available scholarships along with opportunities for bilingual teachers in GCPS’ Dual Language Immersion program.

    During a special program to wrap-up the event, speakers focused on The Promise of Gwinnett and how returning to teach in a Gwinnett classroom carries the Promise into the future.

    Dr. Doug Doblar of Head ES— a 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist was keynote speaker for the event. "I really can’t stress enough how excited I am that you’re here," he said. "I’m so proud that you’re considering becoming a teacher, just like I was at your age." Dr. Doblar went on to share that having a plan is great, but so is taking advantage of the opportunities that come along, even if they're not part of the original plan. He had planned to teach calculus, his favorite class in school. Instead, Dr. Doblar is an award-winning math and science teacher at the elementary level, teaching at the elementary school he attended as a child.

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    GCPS campaign supports ‘good work’ of United Way
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    GCPS staff and students raised $569,120 through the United Way campaign to help families and children in Gwinnett.
    The GCPS campaign ranked #3 in Gwinnett County for 2017.
    Half of the $145,131.43 raised in student campaigns will be returned to support programs at the local schools.

    Just as our schools focus on each child’s Promise, United Way and its partners focus on ensuring that every child in our community has the opportunity to reach his or her potential. We all know that when children thrive, communities can thrive.

    Keysha Robinson, GCPS director of Critical Needs Staffing and campaign chair for United Way, says the school district’s partnership with United Way makes a lot of sense. “United Way is an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of students in our schools and their families,” she says. According to United Way, about a quarter of Gwinnett’s children live in communities with “Low” or “Very Low” Child Well-Being Scores on key measures.

    Communities that can say, “all the children are well” have:
  • babies who are born healthy;
  • kids who read proficiently by 3rd grade;
  • teens graduating from high school prepared for college, careers, and life;
  • children growing up in secure homes, in safe neighborhoods, with healthy food, and access to medical care to keep them healthy;
  • children supported by communities where people are educated, employed, and housed; and
  • families with ready access to good healthcare and affordable healthy foods.

    “We know the funds and efforts are funneled directly into our community which ultimately supports our core business of teaching and learning,” says Ms. Robinson. “Supporting students and families who struggle with food insufficiency and providing housing assistance are just a few of the ways United Way will assist our students and families...and that is good work!"

    Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Download United Way of Greater Atlanta’s VolunHere™ app for your iOS device to find hundreds of local non-profit volunteer opportunities to get involved. Plus get informed on the most important community issues today and learn more about United Way’s Child Well-Being Scores for communities in Gwinnett. (Watch for the app for Android, coming soon!)

    And that good work is supported by our school communities. Through the 2017 United Way campaign, our staff and students showed their support once again, raising $569,120 to help families and children in Gwinnett. This includes fundraising efforts from local school employees, students, and central office staff to support service agencies and community programs. The district ranks #3 in Gwinnett for United Way giving, behind large employers Publix and WestRock.

    The largest school campaigns were Lilburn ES ($11,465), McConnell MS ($13,552), and Meadowcreek HS ($12,684), with the largest division campaign by staff in the Curriculum and Instructional Support Division ($15,497).

    Student campaigns raised $145,131.43. Of that amount, half will be returned to support programs at the local schools.

    A number of schools exceeded their fundraising goals. These schools exceeded their goal by $1,000: Cooper ES, Head ES, Kanoheda ES, Starling ES, Coleman MS, Dacula MS, McConnell MS, South Gwinnett HS, and GIVE Center West. Corley ES and Lilburn ES topped their goal by $2,000. Shiloh HS had a big year, raising $3,000 above the goal. And Meadowcreek HS knocked it out of the park, exceeding the school’s goal by $4,000!

    As participation increases, so does fundraising. These locations boasted the greatest increase in participation: Woodward ES (up 41%), Sweetwater MS (up 13%), Shiloh HS (up 45%), and Human Resources and Talent Management (up 23%).
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  • Sports Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2018
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Almost 500 attended the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2018.
    The event raised more than $155,000.
    All proceeds benefit academic initiatives and student scholarships administered by the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund.

    On April 30, the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2018 in front of a sellout crowd of friends, family, and Gwinnett sports fans. The 9th annual induction ceremony, an evening gala, was the largest Hall of Fame event to date, with almost 500 in attendance. Check out this video from the 2018 induction ceremony from GCPS TV.

    The Class of 2018 inductees are Jeff Francoeur, retired MLB outfielder and Parkview HS graduate; former NFL and University of Georgia (UGA) punter Drew Butler from Peachtree Ridge HS; Norcross HS’ Joyce Pierce, a basketball standout at Georgia
    Sponsors for the
    ceremony included:

    Presenting Sponsor
    Gwinnett Medical Center

    Platinum Sponsors
    Hisense, Sean and Cindy Murphy Family, and Sports Medicine South/Dr. Gary Levengood

    Gold Sponsors
    Ernst & Young, Georgia Power, Infinite Energy Center, Infinite Energy Company, Jackson EMC, Mall of Georgia MINI, Mitusbishi Electric Classic, Partnership Gwinnett, Proof of the Pudding, and Scholastic Images Balfour

    37 Table Sponsors

    Tech who went on to a professional basketball career in France; Michelle Green, who led both Duluth HS and UGA to softball championships; and Duluth golfer James Mason, a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and the reigning Georgia Senior Open champion.

    Coach Bobby Cox, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former Atlanta Braves manager, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony to honor the five elite inductees, all GCPS graduates.

    The event raised more than $155,000 in sponsorships, ticket sales, and proceeds from an online auction featuring luxury electronics, event tickets, and more. All proceeds benefit academic initiatives and student scholarships administered by the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund.

    Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018

    Back Row (L-R): 
    Drew Butler, Jeff Francoeur, James Mason

    Joyce Pierce

    Not pictured:
    Michelle Green

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    Nominate a GCPS educator for
    AJC Celebrating Teacher Awards!

    So, here's your chance to brag on some of Gwinnett's awesome educators! Again this year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is sponsoring its community recognition program to make sure the “best of the best” in the classroom get the recognition they deserve.
    Selection of the winners of the AJC Celebrating Teachers Awards will be based on how nominees went above and beyond to educate, inspire, and encourage students during the 2017-18 school year.

    Students can nominate their own teacher. Parents can nominate their child's teacher. Or, you can nominate an incredible co-worker or a friend who is amazing, in and out of the classroom. Just make sure to submit your nomination by the May 27 deadline. Be prepared to share how your nominee inspires and encourages students, helping to prepare the next generation for college, career, and life.

    Ten honorees will be selected from among the nominations by a panel of academic leaders representing Georgia’s local universities and professional education standards, specialize in a variety of fields. Winners will be honored at a special event hosted by the AJC.
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    Get your sticker! Don't forget to vote in the primary
    Need-to-know highlights of this story:
    Registered voters can vote early at designated locations through 7 p.m. today, May 18.
    Regular Primary voting is set for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 22.
    Prospective voters can still register to participate in the general Election in November.

    If you are a registered Georgia voter, plan to vote in the upcoming May 22 primary. Georgians voting in the primary will determine which candidates will meet in the General Election on Nov. 6 for statewide and local offices, including governor, state school superintendent, statehouse and congressional seats, and other state and local officials.

    Registered voters can log on to My Voting Page (MVP) for a sample ballot, poll location and polling hours, early voting locations and times, information on absentee voting, and more.

    Plan to vote at your regular polling place on May 22 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., or take advantage of the early voting option this week. For Gwinnett voters, todayFriday, May 18, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.is the last day for early voting at several locations:
  • Bogan Park Community Recreation Center in Buford
  • Dacula Park Activity Building in Dacula
  • George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center in Suwanee
  • Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registration and Elections in Lawrenceville
  • Lenora Park Gym in Snellville
  • Lucky Shoals Park Gym in Norcross
  • Mountain Park Activity Building in Stone Mountain

    If you're not yet registered to vote, it's too late to vote in the primary but you can still be ready for General Election on Nov. 6. Prospective voters can submit a voter registration application online or by mail. County residents can call the Gwinnett County Office of Elections at 678-226-7210 with questions.
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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.. a new look for eCLASS, CTE feedback opportunities, last chance for HS summer school registration, the next Spotlight, recent online Communiqué stories, registration reminders, the latest from GCPS TV, Perks, and commute alternatives
    Watch for new look, feel for eCLASS… The eCLASS C&I program will have a new look starting May 24. The new look is called "Daylight" because it will present a brighter and more open experience for users. You can get a preview of how it will look by going to the Employee Portal and clicking on eCLASS News.
    Watch for summer news… While the majority of GCPS’ employees do not work in our schools during the summer months, the district keeps “making news” during the break between school years. Keep up with the latest school system happenings online as we share summaries of Board meetings, news releases on honors and back-to-school news, and more. Check out the GCPS home page for the latest news and special spotlight items during June and July. And follow the school district on Facebook and Twitter. During the summer months and year-round, you also can find information on the Employee Portal.
    Give feedback on CTE course for middle school… The Georgia Department of Education welcomes feedback and comments on Performance Standards for 33 Middle School Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses and programs. This survey feedback will be used to inform the review and revision of Middle School Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education Performance Standards for these courses. But hurry, the survey is open only through 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 18. Note: The survey questions are listed below the gray box with current course standards links.
    Last chance to register for HS summer classes… The deadline is just weeks away for Gwinnett high school students who need to catch up or want to get ahead with summer classes. Registration now for online classes and for face-to-face summer classes available at three locations. June 3 is the deadline to register for online summer classes through Gwinnett Online Campus (GOC). The face-to-face summer program is conducting online registration through June 4, with in-person registration for face-to-face classes set for June 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Discovery HS. Online, learn more about summer options for high school students, including rising 9th graders.
    We say a fond farewell to retirees at close of 2017-18 school year… Next week, watch for the special retirement issue of Education Briefs. More than 500 retirees are celebrating their GCPS careers as they move on to their post-retirement plans. Our best wishes go with all of our retirees, along with our thanks for their service to Gwinnett County Public Schools!
    Something to celebrate?As the year winds down, don’t forget to 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. Send in your end-of-year honors for our back-to-school issue by Sept 7. If you missed it, find honors through April in the most recent issue of Spotlight.
    Find the latest from Communiqué… Communiqué is the district’s digital magazine, sporting new content every day or two. Recent and upcoming posts include staff celebrations, some musical innovation, mentoring updates, word on summer Book Mobile routes, videos from around the county, plus calendar updates, dates and deadlines on the Bulletin Board, and the latest episode of In5ive. Story ideas? Great photos? Feedback? Let us know at communique@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
    2018-19 registration continues for some schools and programs… Some reminders about remaining registration dates and information sessions:
    Maxwell High School of Technology: Registration for the 2018–19 school year is underway.
    Grayson HS Technical Education Program: Online registration for 2018-19 continues. Students can apply from any GCPS computer, and must be in the GCPS network to apply.
    Find latest Focus Moments on GCPS TV… These are just a few of the recent videos from GCPS TV:
    Award-winning teachers: Brookwood HS and Patrick ES celebrated winners of the 2018 Atlanta Families' Award for Excellence in Education.
    Some 'Caring' kids: The Caring Awards recognize students who work to make a difference in their schools and communities.
    The Fine Arts on display: Can you imagine your art on display at the High Museum?
    A special visitor: Martin Luther King III visited Corley ES to read his book about his famous father and answer students' questions.
    Elite athletes: Check out the Class of 2018 induction ceremony for the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame.
    Be prepared to save this summer… Put ‘GCPS Perks’ at your fingertips with the Foundation’s mobile app. GCPS employees have easy access to employee perks and discounts via their smartphone! Perks include special offers and discounts from local and national businesses. With the app, users also can make a donation, purchase event tickets, catch up on Foundation news, and contact the Foundation team. Download the app today for your iOS or Android device.
    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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    2017-18, we’re outta here!
    As GCPS closes another successful school year, we hope you find time this summer to relax with family and friends, refresh your spirit, and (if you have a conference or class planned) revitalize your professional practice.

    Have a safe and relaxing summer!

    We look forward to seeing you in 2018-19!
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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 email. This occurs because the upgrade defaults your email 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 email default. Select OK and save. You may have to close your browser and reopen to update your email default.
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        GCPS    Employment    Back Issues   
        Last modified on 05/22/2018