Past Directors of Oakland Center
1977-1978 Dr. Lowell Ense
1978-1993 Michael D. Weinroth
Principals of Oakland Meadow School
1993-2002 Michael D. Weinroth
2002-2008 Carol Quinn
2008-2011 David Ashton
2011-Present Sara Clifford
School Colors: Black and Gold
School Mascot: Black Knight
For more than 40 years, Oakland Meadow School— formerly called Oakland Center— has served Gwinnett County Public Schools’ students with special needs. The original Oakland Center located at 950 McElvaney Lane in Lawrenceville was built in 1977 and opened its doors in January of 1978. The opening of this facility was met with great enthusiasm by parents and staff serving Gwinnett County children with moderate to severe disabilities.
Oakland Center originally served as a diagnostic placement center for students with disabilities and also functioned as the office site for all GCPS itinerant personnel. In 1982, Gwinnett County Public Schools built a new elementary school which it named Benefield Elementary School. This school was built and attached to Oakland Center so that the two schools shared a campus. A unique feature of the campus was that all students attending both schools used the cafeteria located in Oakland.
Another interesting postscript relating to Oakland Center’s unique history involved a study in 1983 by the Center for Social Policy, a Washington, D.C. based agency. They were contracted by the U.S. Congress to identify exemplary special education practices throughout the country and report these back to the President, Congress and all 50 state departments of education. Agency personnel were directed to Gwinnett County to observe various programs. During their visit, they were informed of the unique relationship between Oakland Center and Benefield Elementary. When personnel from the Center for Social Policy made their final report to Congress, they highlighted the fact that nowhere, to their knowledge, had a school been built onto an existing special education center. While special facilities are routinely built onto existing regular schools, the opposite had never occurred.
In 2006, Dr. Quinn and the faculty of Oakland Center prepared for a move to a new facility, located at 590 Old Snellville Highway in Lawrenceville. In preparation for the move, a new school name was proposed and approved by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. The new name, Oakland Meadow School, paid tribute to the history associated with the schools that formerly held the “Oakland” name as well as the meadow where the new school was being built.
Oakland Meadow School opened in August 2007 in a new state-of-the-art facility in Lawrenceville. At this time, the new facility also became the site for the North Metro GNETS (Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Supports) program. This program supports the needs of students (K–5) with social, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Like its former facility, the new school shares a campus with an elementary school, Winn Holt Elementary School, allowing Oakland Meadow students in the North Metro GNETS program the opportunity to benefit from interactions with students in general education.
Oakland Meadow School continues to serve students from across GCPS and Buford City Schools who are significantly medically fragile and meet eligibility for the SID/PID Program. Students served in the SID/PID classrooms at Oakland Meadow School have medical needs that are more complex and require a higher level of care than SID/PID students who are served through the local school. OMS has a registered nurse on staff at all times that continually trains and supports staff involved in student care.
Oakland Meadow School also houses several itinerant departments and programs that provide both site-based and outreach services to meet the unique instructional needs of GCPS students served in special education from ages 3 through 22.
Overview of Programs & Services at Oakland Meadow School
Programs Serving Students Daily at Oakland Meadow School
Medically Fragile Program (Pre-K-22)
North Metro Program (K-5)
Transition Program for students in the SID/PID Program (post high school)
Programs/Services at Oakland Meadow School
Audiology Department (Supporting and testing students across the district)
Pre-K ARENA Assessment Team (Assessing 3 and 4-year-old students)
Itinerant Programs Serving Students Across Gwinnett County
Adapted Physical Education (APE)
Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH)
Homebased Program (HB)
Hospital Homebound Program (HHB)
Orthopedically Impairment Program (OI)
Vision/Hearing Technicians (Vision/hearing screenings/3rd grade mass screening)
Vision Impairment & Orientation and Mobility (VI and O&M)
Our Vision and Mission
The vision of Oakland Meadow School is to be exceptional at providing all students with an individualized education and the necessary supports to be successful in college, career, and life. The school’s mission is to provide research- based, innovative, and individualized learning opportunities for all students to acquire the knowledge and skills to be successful in life.
Oakland Meadow School is a part of the Central Cluster and our students and staff are proud to be Black Knights. At OMS, we provide our students in the SID/PID program with sensory rich learning experiences that utilize the latest technology in order to provide access to the general education curriculum. Our students and staff presume competency at all times and utilize a variety of augmentative and alternative communication to allow students to express their wants, needs, and ideas. All of the students at Oakland Meadow School participate in project based learning opportunities as well as in school field trips. Students also have the opportunity to participate in clubs on a monthly basis that are led and supported by numerous staff members.
The staff at Oakland Meadow School are also committed to building relationships with the families of the students that we serve. Our school hosts numerous events throughout the school year such as Bingo Night, Movie Night, the Family Valentine’s Day Dance, the Storybook Parade, Muffins with Moms, and Donuts with Dad. Oakland Meadow School also connects with community members by hosting an annual Veteran’s Day Breakfast, inviting stakeholders to events such as our Art Walk Night and opening our doors for community members to view projects created by our students that showcase their learning across content areas.
Oakland Meadow School is committed to its students, their families, and its staff members. As a special entity school, Oakland Meadow is able to support and serve students with special needs throughout Gwinnett County.