By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Gwinnett heads back to school: August 10th

It's back to school time!  Check with your local schools for information about registration and open houses/meet your teacher events.

Gwinnett County Public Schools will welcome students back on Monday, August 10th. It's a new year and there are many new things... new students, new teachers, new schools, new programs, and new lunch items. 

Back-to-school activities planned for students
Many GCPS schools will hold back-to-school activities in the week and days prior to August 10. Parents are encouraged to check school web sites for the dates and times of these planned activities. These activities are a great way to get ready for the school year as students can meet teachers, pick up schedules and locker assignments, learn about bus routes, pay for school lunches, and learn about clubs and other opportunities. In addition, parents, have the opportunity to join the PTA and to learn more about their child’s school. 

Registration for new Gwinnett students 
New students who are registering at a Gwinnett County school for the first time should call their local schools for details regarding registration hours, testing for placement, and procedures. Many GCPS schools are using online registration for new students; however, not all schools are using the online registration system for returning students in 2015-16. Check with your school for details. Parents unsure which school their child will attend should call the GCPS Department of Planning at (678) 301-7085. 

Apple 190GCPS to operate 136 facilities, welcoming 2,800 new students
2015-2016 projected enrollment: 176,048

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), the largest school system in Georgia, will welcome approximately 2,800 new students to its classrooms in 2015, bringing the system’s total student enrollment to more than 176,000 students.     

Four new schools brings total number of facilities to 136

As the school district welcomes new students, four new schools and one replacement school will open their doors for the first time in 2015. Two of the new facilities are elementary schools, one is a middle school, and the other is a high school. GCPS also is replacing Summerour Middle School with a brand new building. With the opening of the four new schools, the school district will operate 79 elementary schools, 28 middle schools, 21 high schools (including GSMST and Phoenix HS), and eight other educational facilities/schools.

New schools opening in 2015:

Baggett Elementary School
(Located in the new Discovery Cluster, students will feed into Richards Middle School.)

Graves Elementary School
(Located in the Meadowcreek Cluster, students will feed into Radloff Middle School.)

Jordan Middle School
(Located in the Central Gwinnett Cluster, students from Jenkins Elementary School and Simonton Elementary School will feed into the new Jordan Middle School.)

Discovery High School
(Anchors the new Discovery Cluster, which includes students from Richards Middle School, Alford Elementary School, Baggett Elementary School, Benefield Elementary School, and Cedar Hill Elementary School.)

Replacement school
Summerour Middle
(Located in the Norcross Cluster, students from Stripling Elementary School (S. of Peachtree Industrial Blvd.), Beaver Ridge Elementary School, and Norcross Elementary School will feed into Summerour Middle School.)

In addition to the four new schools and one replacement school, three existing special education programs— Assisting Developing Adults and Productive Transitions (ADAPT), Supported Training and Rehabilitative Instruction in Vocational Education (STRIVE), and the Building Relationships in Discipline, Goals, and Education (BRIDGE) Program—  are relocating to Northbrook Center which is located at 1225 Northbrook Parkway in Suwanee. Northbrook Center also will house the Department of Safety and Security and the Duluth/Peachtree Ridge Transportation Office.

Four of the 136 educational facilities that GCPS will operate in 2015-2016 are charter schoolsGwinnett Online Campus (Online charter school serving grades 4-12); Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (Charter high school); New Life Academy of Excellence (Charter school serving grades K-8); North Metro Academy of the Performing Arts (Charter school serving grades K-7).

In addition, the school district also operates the following special entitiesGIVE Center East; (Gwinnett InterVention Education Center, an alternative program for middle and high school students); GIVE Center West; Oakland Meadow School (special education programs); Northbrook Center (Facility housing the ADAPT/ STRIVE/BRIDGE special education programs); and Maxwell High School of Technology (a career/technical education program that prepares students for a career or post-secondary institution).  

At the district level and in our schools and clusters, teachers and school leaders are exploring new ways to engage students in their learning. Here are just a few creative learning opportunities you will find in GCPS this coming year:
•College and Career Academies and Project-Based Learning
•Discovery High School Entrepreneurship Center
•STEM and STEAM
•Blended/Hybrid Learning and BYOD
•Dual Language Immersion
•IB, AP, and Dual Enrollment

New facilities and new school hours for some schools/programs and transportation
Gwinnett County parents and students at 19 different schools should take note of start and end times at their schools for the new year. School starting and ending times typically are revised to accommodate academic programs, scheduling, and transportation. The new times take effect on August 10, 2015, the first day of school. School hours for all GCPS schools are available on the school system’s web site at www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

As Gwinnett students and their families get ready for another school year on Tuesday, August 5, Gwinnett County school bus drivers will hit the road ahead of time to prepare families for school bus riding safety. 

Gwinnett County students and parents will start noticing the district’s school buses in their neighborhoods starting Tuesday, July 28, through Monday, August 3. All GCPS bus drivers will run their assigned routes during actual drive times in the mornings and afternoons, beginning Tuesday, August 4 through Friday, August 7. Parents and students should look for their school’s name which will be displayed on a card in the bus window to help parents identify their child’s bus. (Note: The practice runs on registration day at their student’s school will be limited as drivers take part in back-to-school activities at the local school locations and mandatory safety training sessions). 

On the first few days of school, Gwinnett school officials ask that parents have students at the bus stop approximately 15 minutes before their scheduled bus arrival. To ensure the safety of students, especially young students who are new bus riders, drivers will go through additional procedures before releasing students at their bus stops. This means that many buses may run behind schedule the first few days, especially on the afternoon routes.

Number to call if child doesn’t get off bus: If, for some reason, a child does not get off his or her bus at the scheduled bus stop, parents or guardians should call their local school.  If they can’t reach the school, they may call transportation at 770-513-6686.

Number to call regarding special education transportation questions and services: 770-513-6881.

Working together to keep Gwinnett children safe
Riding the school bus is an exciting experience, especially for young first-time riders. As the new school year begins, GCPS asks parents to review bus stop safety with their children, including these back-to-school safety recommendations:

•Parents should find the location of their child’s bus stop 
•Parents should drive their child around the area near the bus stop, ensuring familiarity with the route and recognition of where to get off the bus. 
•Parents should make sure their children understand that if they are uncertain about a stop they should not get off the bus. 
•Parents should set the child’s routine from the very first morning.
•Parents need to plan with a group of other parents and adults to have an adult supervisor present each morning and afternoon at the bus stop. 

About the Gwinnett County Board of Education …
Regular Board meetings scheduled on monthly basis each calendar year
Gwinnett County Board of Education meetings are set every calendar year in January. The meetings are typically held on the third Thursday of each month in the Board room at the school system’s Instructional Support Center (ISC), 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee. Each month, the Board of Education’s regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. All meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public. Gwinnett County citizens are encouraged to attend Board of Education meetings so that they can become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the school system.

The remaining meetings for the 2015 calendar year are scheduled for the following dates: August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19, and December 17. Meeting dates for 2016 will be adopted next January.

Board welcomes citizen input
The Board meeting agenda is prepared in advance of each monthly meeting. Anyone wishing to speak before the Board should inform the Superintendent’s Office in writing by noon on the Monday prior to the Board meeting. Requests may be mailed to GCPS, 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee, GA 30024 or may be faxed to (678) 301-6030. 

They also can be e-mailed to MySchoolBoard@gwinnett.k12.ga.us. Any Board member, staff member, or citizen may suggest items for the agenda. Each month’s meeting agenda is available online at noon on Monday the week of the Board meeting. In addition, citizens may contact their School Board members, individually or as a group, by e-mail at MySchoolBoard@gwinnett.k12.ga.us.

2015 Board of Education members
District III:  Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, 2015 Chairman
District IV: Dr. Robert McClure, 2015 Vice Chairman
District I: Carole Boyce
District II: Daniel D. Seckinger
District V: Louise Radloff

For more information about anything you have read here please visit: www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us or call 678-301-6000. The main office for Gwinnett County Public School is located at 437 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee, GA 30024.