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Gwinnett schools buys two more acres for new Meadowcreek school

Board of Education approves new math materials

SUWANEE — Gwinnett County Public Schools on Thursday received approval to make a second land purchase to add to the parcel needed for a new school set to open in 2015.

At its regular monthly business meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved the purchase of two acres from Roberto C. Aparicio at 1750 Osborne Drive in Norcross for $330,000. In August, the Board approved a purchase of 19.37 acres for $1.93 million, or $100,000 per acre, from the Gwinnett County Water and Sewerage Authority for a Meadowcreek cluster elementary on Graves Road adjacent to the Aparicio land.

After planning for the construction of the school, district officials determined that the additional land was necessary.

“We had a window of opportunity in order to get that property and the window was closing quickly,” CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said.

The school is expected to open in August 2015, and relieve Nesbit and Hopkins elementary schools. With 1,948 students, Nesbit is the largest elementary school in the district.

District adopts new math materials

The Board also approved new math materials for the district that are designed to have middle schoolers build on the elementary foundation of numbers and operations and go into higher applications and operations, while at the high school level be applicable to real-world scenarios, said Nikki Mouton, executive director for curriculum and instruction.

The district expects to have teacher staff development from March through July, and implement the materials in August. The materials cost $10.9 million.

A consumable work text is new for third-graders through fifth-graders, as elementary schoolers will have digital access and interactive text for each student packaged in a “weekly reader” format.

Kindergarten and first grade materials are published by Pearson Education, while McGraw Hill Education publishes materials used for second through fifth grade. Teachers recommended that the district stay with the same publisher for second through fifth grade.

At the high school level, number theory has been offered at the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology since 2008, while multivariable calculus has been piloted at four schools based on student need.

Puckett’s Mill kindergarten teacher honored with award

A kindergarten teacher at Puckett’s Mill Elementary was honored at the regular business meeting for winning the 2013 Gwen Hutcheson Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award. Colleen McGiboney co-developed a program called “kindergarten community” 17 years ago, which is a weeklong integration of all areas, and involves business and community members.

McGiboney also created a popular “Amazing Race” blog project that generated web site traffic from around the country, received a signature from Antarctica, and had a mention on the United Nations Facebook page.

“Children love her, parents love her, and Mrs. McGiboney is highly regarded among her peers,” Puckett’s Mill Principal Ruth Westbrooks said.

Added McGiboney, “When you work with 5-year-olds, you never know what you’re going to get. Everyday’s an adventure and when we come up with these crazy ideas, they’re all in.”

District adopts agreement with Gwinnett Hospital System

The Board also approved a district agreement with the Gwinnett Hospital System regarding sports medicine services. The agreement, which is effective on Jan. 1 and will be implemented starting with the 2014-15 school year, provides a formal agreement to an existing relationship between the schools and the hospital system.

Wilbanks said the agreement will extend and improve education about injuries, treatment and prevention, and establish an evidence-based protocol.