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GCPS approves building new school for $1.93M

SUWANEE — With a need to relieve two neighboring elementary schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools on Thursday approved plans to purchase land for a new one.

At its regular monthly Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the purchase of 19.37 acres for $1.93 million, or $100,000 per acre from the Gwinnett County Water and Sewerage Authority for the Meadowcreek cluster on Graves Road in the Norcross area. Chief Operating Officer Daniel Jardine said he expects to close on the property by the end of the month.

The school is expected to open in August 2015.

“It will relieve Nesbit and Hopkins elementaries, even though it will take some time to come online, at least there will be some relief in a window of two years,” board member Louise Radloff said.

The BOE also approved the third year of a three-year 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.

Chairwoman Carole Boyce said this program is something that could be transported to other areas around the district, and board member Robert McClure called it a model.

“It’s the kind of public partnership we don’t have enough of,” he said. “It can make a difference regardless of what community they’re in.”

At the end of the meeting, the BOE heard from several parents who asked the board members to re-evaluate a policy adopted in June regarding nontraditional educational centers. All of the parents promoted TNT Academy in Lilburn, as did its director, Nancy Gordeuk, who said she is a former GCPS teacher. Gordeuk said her center is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission.

On its web site, TNT Academy said it’s a non-traditional education center serving middle and high school students engaged in independent study. The academy also provides credit recovery for public school students who have failed a class.

District spokeswoman Sloan Roach said students at nontraditional educational centers, starting with this school year, have to follow the process currently in place for home schooled students. They now have to take a state-mandated test or one provided by a local school system in order to validate the credit. The policy doesn’t change the requirements for home schooled students.

Gordeuk said placing a ‘P,’ for passing, on transcripts would be detrimental to students’ grade-point averages and scholarships.

“What does a P mean?,” she said. “Is it a P with a 70, or a P with a 90?”

The parents said while their children struggled academically or socially in traditional schools, they excelled at TNT Academy. Gordeuk added that nontraditional schools are needed in this community.

McClure said the BOE would look at the policy, but must also maintain its mission to educate children to the standard that’s necessary.

Comments

Karl 8 months, 1 week ago

"GCPS approves building new school for $1.93M"

ummm...hey, headline writer person. The $1.93 million is to buy just the land, not "building new school for $1.93M"

I bet not only we taxpayers, but the BOE too wishes a new school could be built for $1.93 million.

Talk about a mis-leading headline.

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SuxBeanU 8 months, 1 week ago

Nice scam, the taxpayers are buying land from the taxpayers

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SurelyNot 8 months ago

Soooo.....give it to the taxpayers for free. I mean since it is already OURS...what a great idea. I think the county would really go for that idea.

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Mack711 8 months, 1 week ago

Sounds like robbing Peter to Pay Paul. This land should have been transferred to the schools system at no cost to the school system if it was already owned by the county. Shell game in progress.

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Why_not 8 months ago

Each department of the county has their own budget, therefore transfers of property have to be handled this way. It's the same when fleet maintenance does repairs on any county vehicle....they bill the respective department for the repair costs. It's called balancing the books......

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R 8 months ago

Like "transfer" at original cost...

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kevin 8 months, 1 week ago

" relieve two neighboring elementary schools" from what? "nontraditional educational centers." I thought that was what a Charter school was for. Now this up and coming spending "program." Doesn't the Gwinnett BOC have to approve this first? $100,000/acre seems a bit high if you ask me, especially when own county government agency is selling it to another county agency. Sure smells like a dead fish.

"The BOE also approved the third year of a three-year grant South Gwinnett High was awarded for at-risk students not on track for graduation." I thought this also was what a Charter school was for. "Chairwoman Carole Boyce said this program is something that could be transported to other areas around the district, and board member Robert McClure called it a model." Another Charter school model.

Business as usual for the GCSB. Their way of keeping our tax money "in-house." instead of building Charter schools.

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Haughton 8 months ago

....... Because of kids that don't belong in GCPS.

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Haughton 8 months ago

GCPS continues to give more to those that contribute the least. Yet the county wonders why it's tax base continues to fall. We are looking more and more like Dekalb everyday, quite literally since a lot of Dekalb residents are illegally sending their kids into GCPS.

The plea for GCPS leadership to look at large cases of Residency Fraud continues to fall on deaf ears.

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mgram2 8 months ago

Elementary schools in South Gwinnett county have been long neglected. Look at their enrollment numbers versus those in Northern Gwinnett!

Gwinnett county is working towards having a school system where regardless of where you live in the county.. you still get a great education. That sounds worth it to me. Sorry if those poorly contributing kindergarteners bother you so much.

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Haughton 8 months ago

I only care about those students that live in Gwinnett. South Gwinnett and Shiloh clusters have tons of kids that live in Dekalb. This is one of the largest areas of School Residency Fraud. I know for fact the teachers and administration in those clusters have alerted the powers at GCPS of this out of control problem. Open your eyes to what is going on right under your nose.

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mgram2 8 months ago

I am SO happy to read this! Both Hopkins and Nesbit have an enrollment of over 1,900 children at each! Nesbit had to resort to getting trailers for kids this year. It's sad watching the kids walk through mud puddles on rainy days just to get to the restrooms. THANK YOU GCPS. We've really needed this!

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SurelyNot 8 months ago

Kevin, it would be wonderful if all the struggling and not on track kids went to Charter schools. Wish they would so my high performing kids were in a school with all high performers, but that is not what public schools were created to do....send away the challenges. Charters would like to attract all kids....not just those who have challenges, though. Even the private schools see a benefit to attracting students of all levels of ability ... but not motivation. Privates don't want the ne're do wells...but, guess what? Neither do traditional public or non traditional public. As for the DeKalb co kids in GCPS...well, that is not new either. And quite frankly, those of you who shout that out ad nauseum need to face the fact that it takes a heck of a lot of manpower to run all the liars out of the system.

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R 8 months ago

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Haughton 8 months ago

"As for the DeKalb co kids in GCPS...well, that is not new either. And quite frankly, those of you who shout that out ad nauseum need to face the fact that it takes a heck of a lot of manpower to run all the liars out of the system."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The recent scandals within Atlanta Public Schools and Dekalb School Board have taken School Residency Fraud in GCPS to a whole new level. GCPS is being invaded, and to shrug this off as a simple little problem is a slap in the face to real Gwinnett school children and their hard working, taxpaying parents.

GCPS knows that it will take minimal effort and money to curb this overwhelming and fast growing burden on our schools. Just an implementation of a School Residency Fraud program and investigation with PSA's to alert cheaters will considerably halt the massive fraud currently taking place. School systems around the country have had enough, and GCPS being the largest and one of the best systems in GA makes us a large target for fraud.

My wife is a teacher, a 29 year veteran of GCPS. There are many teachers and school level admins out there that are passionate about the subject of School Residency Fraud. Talk honestly and openly with any teacher in GCPS and your eyes will be opened and you'll be forced to face reality.


http://www.verifyresidence.com/faq.html

http://www.residencychecks.com/

http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/06/school-enrollment-fraud-can-be-costly.html

http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/schools/gusd-hires-retired-police-officer-to-investigate-residency-fraud/article_b354510c-d9cd-11e2-8a10-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=image&photo=1

http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/enroll/files/FAQ-residence-fraud.pdf

http://www.dcpcsb.org/Parents/Residency-Fraud-and-Verification-Guidelines.aspx

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/04/23/boston_city_councilor_seeks_tighter_residency_rules_for_exam_schools/

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R 8 months ago

Be careful I wonder if such a program would impact sports efforts?

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mgram2 8 months ago

The cost and man-power it would take to investigate all 165,000 students would be ridiculous. I'm not saying that it is by any means right to commit residency fraud... and I know it does weigh on our system.. but the alternative isn't much better of a solution. This is something that would have to be continuously done each year. If we have that kind of money in GCPS.. then I would much rather that teachers FINALLY get raises. I know in South Gwinnett as well there is a large number of people living with extended family and friends and do not actually own or rent their own space. This makes proving residency tricky.. but they still must fill out a residency affidavit which is signed by both parties.. and is then notarized. There is a process to try to handle this issue.. And I am saying all these things being a GCPS teacher MYSELF.

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Haughton 8 months ago

I can tell you did not bother to read one word of any of my posts. You just admitted you are complicit in this mounting problem within GCPS. You are part of the problem, and have buried your head in the sand and not willing to stand up to be part of the solution. GCPS is the next education scandal in the metro area, and this will be a huge part of it. I will be here to continue with the discussion when, not if, that occurs.

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R 8 months ago

Just like our countries borders ....

Who needs to look to DC?

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Ashley 8 months ago

About 20% of the kids we are paying for our from DeKalb I bet. The school Principals get paid by the kid so they do not care.

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Why_not 8 months ago

So you are saying that at least 33,000 students in Gwinnett are from DeKalb? I think that's a bit of a stretch.

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R 8 months ago

Yeah its probably on the low side at that ...

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SurelyNot 8 months ago

@ Haughton...why don't you have your veteran teacher wife ask her administration WHY more out of district people are not withdrawn from GCPS? .It is a matter of personnel. And time. But I totally agree it should be done, Really what we need are courts to enforce the penalties for falsifying information to a state entity. That would put a halt to it. And a penalty for falsifying the residency affidavit...those people who lie and say someone is living with them when they aren't. .But it is just like those who lie to on everything else. Some get caught. Some don't. Fines are never high enough and fails are never big enough.

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Haughton 8 months ago

I stopped reading your post as soon as you insulted a veteran educator. Besides, why should I bother reading your posts when you have refused to read and fully comprehend my contributions? Good evening.

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mgram2 8 months ago

@ Haughton Failing to agree with you does not imply failing to read your post. It was read. I disagree. The End.

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mkfrech 8 months ago

Although I am not a resident of Gwinnett, I am a former employee who worked there for ten years as a school social worker (and no, I was not forced out or pressured to leave, so I'm not some disgruntled former employee with an agenda). I would implore those of you who have very legitimate concerns regarding matters related to this school system, and how it is governed, to please consider doing one or more of the following: Attend school board meetings, and when there are open-forum opportunities: SPEAK! Also, I know that the board holds regional board meetings in various parts of the county at different points during the school year: Please attend those that are held, ESPECIALLY the ones that take place in the particular area where you reside...And last (but not least), GET INVOLVED in the Board of Education elections, and not just on the day the elections take place! If you are not satisfied with the job that your Board of Education representative is doing, then BE PRESENT at public forum opportunities and challenge them! Or, go a step further and actively support those who are running against them, if that is something about which you feel passionate. Those folks are elected, not appointed, and YOU have the power and responsibility to effect change if change is indeed what you want! Writing letters to the newspaper in response to articles is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, and I certainly encourage it (many of these debates are valuable and PRICELESS), but the letters have limited effectiveness. Just a few suggestions for your consideration.

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sst 8 months ago

$100,000 an acre?! What the heck is on that land? How is it that that land can be worth so much and my land is a paltry pittance of what it used to be?

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