Five takeaways from Gwinnett school board meeting

Gwinnett County school board members held their monthly work session and meeting Thursday.

Here are five takeaways:

1) Bad kindergarten students?

The number of kindergarten students suspended from school has increased from 111 so far this school year in comparison to 86 at this point during the prior school year. “This suggests our students are entering kindergarten with a lower level of maturity,” district official James Taylor said during a presentation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in May about the school district’s desire to better prepare children for kindergarten. A bill before the Georgia House of Representatives would require school districts to come up with a “corrective action” plan for students in kindergarten through third grade who have been suspended multiple times. Read more about it on the AJC’s Legislative Navigator.

2) Substitute teachers may get raises.

Officials said they may propose an increase for substitutes during budget season this spring. Gwinnett last year bumped up substitute pay from $80 a day to $85 a day for short-term assignments, but officials said that amount is still behind the metro average. School board members were frustrated last year that some substitute teachers weren’t showing up. Many subs were taking assignments in other school districts that offered more money.

3) An alternative school may open soon in south Gwinnett.

Administrators said a planned G.I.V.E. South center could open at the start or during the 2016-17 school year. Click here to read more about the plans.

4) Gwinnett is looking for some adjunct professors.

The school district is trying to meet a state initiative called Move On When Ready that aims to better prepare high school students for college by allowing them to take college-level courses. Gwinnett officials said they currently do not have enough adjunct professors to teach those courses and will work with its human resources department on the issue.

5) Two new principals.

The board voted to make Chattahoochee Elementary School assistant principal Kassia Morris-Sutton the new principal of Norcross Elementary School. Dora Hill recently retired as principal. Board members also appointed Centerville Elementary School principal Brenda Johnson to become the principal of Baldwin Elementary School, a new school opening in August.

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