The Gwinnett County Board of Education is committed to supporting the whole child and utilizing equitable and evidenced-based practices, intervention, and strategies that develop the skills our students need to build strong relationships, foster self-confidence, identify ways to repair and restore these relationships, and establish a positive supportive school culture and climate. In doing so, both the physical and emotional safety of students and staff members will be addressed. GCPS has created an organizational structure, led by the Department of Student Services, to build staff capacity in creating supportive school communities of educators and stakeholders focused on prevention, intervention, and post-response support for behavior and student well-being. Researched-based programs, frameworks, interventions, and strategies will be leveraged to best support each and every student to ensure that they reach their full potential.
The Department of Student Services supports all students as they grow and learn in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Student Services establishes processes, procedures, and best practices to support positive behavior and school culture and to promote academic success and social-emotional development. The department is comprised of four offices, including the Office of Behavior Supports and Interventions; the Office of Counseling, College, and Career Services; the Office of Health and Social Services; and the Office of Social Emotional Learning. Each office is staffed with specialized personnel to address and support school climate, positive behavior, social-emotional wellness, counseling, wraparound support, and healthcare needs. When students are challenged with non-academic concerns that prevent or impair school success or threaten their well-being, personnel within the department provide or connect students and families to the appropriate supports and/or services. The department works collaboratively with all schools and divisions across the district as well as community organizations to deliver services and programs that support each and every student and create positive learning environments in all of our schools.
Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures certain educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. This law identifies any student who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence as homeless. It provides legal protections for children and youth in homeless situations to immediately enroll in, attend, and succeed in school and qualifying public preschool programs. The law further provides support for student records maintenance and transfer, school of origin transportation, and appropriate dispute resolution for children and youth experiencing homelessness. In accordance with this law, Gwinnett County Public Schools affords children and youth experiencing homelessness equal access to the same free, appropriate public education— including comparable services, such as Title I support, special education, gifted, English Learners (EL), vocational/technical, and public preschool education— as provided to other non-homeless students. Children and youth experiencing homelessness will have access to needed services to support their academic achievement as they work to meet the same challenging standards to which all students are held. When a child is identified as experiencing homelessness, the parent or school personnel completes the Student Residency Questionnaire (SRQ) at the local school. The local school submits the form to the GCPS Homeless Education Program Social Worker (Liaison) within the Office of Health and Social Services. Please contact the Office of Health and Social Services at 678- 301-6882 for further information about the Homeless Education Program.
Gwinnett County Public Schools’ foster care program supports all students in DFCS custody placed in out-of-home care who are enrolled in GCPS. When a foster child enters GCPS, the case manager or the foster parent completes the Foster Care Questionnaire (FCQ) form at the local school or school of origin. The school submits the form to the GCPS foster care social worker (liaison) within the Office of Health and Social Services. The school will notate that the student is in foster care via the student management system. This process is repeated at the beginning of every school year and whenever a foster child’s placement changes. Within five days of enrollment, a Case Management Consultation (CMC) is held to determine the best interests of the child and develop a plan to best serve the student. During this meeting, the foster parent, foster care social worker, school counselor, assistant principal, and DFCS worker are invited to discuss the student’s strengths and areas of concern, current and previous supports, and, in accordance with House Bill 855, how trauma has affected the child’s academic performance and behaviors.