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Enhanced Learning Through Innovation

Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent
Gwinnett County Public Schools

In today’s world, words like “innovation” and “transformation” are used in a variety of settings. But what do they mean when applied to schools?

In Gwinnett County Public Schools, you will find these words in action every day as teachers enhance learning through innovative practices that transform the classroom and engage students. This work is part of a coherent strategy that prepares students so they are ready for college, career, and civic responsibility.

Within this strategy are innovations in how we deliver instruction.  Examples include our use of technology and digital content through our eCLASS initiative; the integration of project-based learning in our classrooms; the Dual Language Immersion program, soon to be offered in six elementary schools, and the academies in operation at seven high schools. We see increasing emphasis on STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) in schools districtwide. And we have embarked on innovative community partnerships, such as the one with Junior Achievement (JA) that brought us BizTown and Finance Park for middle schoolers, plus a new JA academy opening at Norcross High School next year.

We are excited about expanding our strategies to engage and encourage students. Yet we never lose sight of our core business, effective teaching and learning, which has earned us an enviable reputation as one of the nation’s leading districts. As we explore out-of-the-box ideas that are creative and innovative, we also must ensure that we take care of what is inside the box and “do the ordinary extraordinarily well” in
providing all students a quality education.

Transformation does not occur in a vacuum. It occurs where there is a shared vision. In GCPS, our vision is to become a system of world-class schools. We believe great strides can be made toward realizing that vision— and transforming our schools— through effective and appropriate uses of innovative teaching strategies throughout the district. We look forward to seeing what Gwinnett’s talented, inspired teachers and leaders have
in mind!