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GCPS could purchase land for new school

If the Gwinnett County Public Schools Board of Education approves plans, a new elementary school could soon be built in the southwest part of the county.

The property on Graves Road in the Meadowcreek cluster was requested by staff to be approved for purchase after negotiations began in late June. The BOE is expected to take action on the property decision at Thursday’s monthly Board meeting.

The school is one of three scheduled to open in the district in August, 2015.

The BOE is also expected to take action on a grant South Gwinnett High was awarded for at-risk students not on track for graduation.

Three local churches and several community organizations came together with South to support 150 students each year for 12 hours per week in tutoring, credit recovery, graduation test requirements support, recreation, skills development and transporation home. The three-year grant began in 2011. The grant for this year is $234,167 from the U.S. Department of Education.

In other school news, another national honor is coming to Berkmar Middle, and the community is already reaping the reward of a well-known physical education teacher. P.E. teacher Dana Griffith, honored by the NFL Network two years ago as national P.E. Teacher of the Year, will be recognized by the BOE. Berkmar Middle was one of three Georgia schools to receive recognition from the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Council.

The school has already received physical education equipment valued at $100,000 that’s also available for community use to develop a healthier lifestyle, said GCPS spokesman Jorge Quintana.

Griffith was the school district’s 2006 Middle School Teacher of the Year.