Board Bulletin for October 21, 2022
The Fulton County School Board met on Thursday, October 20, 2022 for its regularly scheduled Board meeting at the South Learning Center. Following are highlights of some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online. Other topics discussed or approved are available via BoardDocs. Summaries of Board actions can be found here and Board policy updates can be found here.
Dr. Mike Looney began his remarks with an update on the district’s safety efforts. Installation of Flock Safety camera systems at every school is currently in progress. He noted the district has seen a positive impact as a result of the exterior door alarms recently installed at every school. Additionally, Dr. Looney recognized several schools that received Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) recognition. PBIS is an intervention system to increase positive behavior for both students and staff. Click here for more on the recognitions. As the redistricting process continues throughout the district, Dr. Looney concluded his remarks by encouraging the public to visit the Redistricting page on the FCS website, where they can find more comprehensive information about the process, including a recent episode about redistricting on Dr. Looney's show, "Let's Talk Schools."
Bridge to Success Update
Deputy Academics Officer Dr. Gyimah Whitaker and Montreal Bell, director of Federal Programs, co-presented an update on the Bridge to Success plan, Fulton's three-year comprehensive plan and transformational investment to mitigate the disruption of COVID-19. Dr. Whitaker specifically discussed the dropout prevention program called In-School Academies, which came to fruition while staff were exploring how to design an intervention to address chronic absenteeism and prevent students from dropping out. Beginning in November 2019, staff examined the district's existing approaches to the challenges students faced and the practices which could increase the rate of graduation for students with complex needs who remain enrolled at their home school. The result was the creation of the In-School Academy innovation.
In-School Academies are intensive targeted programs which offer: 1) credit recovery, 2) full-course completion, 3) work-based learning, and/or 4) targeted interventions. This multi-pronged approach allows students to receive the offering best suited for their situation, learn at their own pace, and do so within schedules that can accommodate work or other needs. Early data shows this approach is successfully meeting the needs of our students. Among the many highlights Academics is monitoring, data shows unique environments can serve two profiles of students - the student who wants to accelerate on the path towards graduation, and the student who wants to regain the opportunity to graduate on time with his or her peers. While the focus on dropout prevention is at the heart of this administration, Dr. Whitaker believes In-School Academies will assist us in regaining that pre-COVID traction, decreasing the number of student dropouts, and increasing our graduation rates even more.
Ms. Bell's presentation focused on additional program updates, including priorities that were addressed with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan. A survey of community members, parents, and school and district-based staff posted on the FCS website in September indicated stakeholders' priorities are: 1) safe environments for face-to-face instruction, 2) recover from learning disruption, 3) establish transformative approaches to literacy instruction, 4) develop leaders through high quality professional development, 5) expand existing program options for students, staff and parents, and 6) ensure district operations. This feedback will be used to determine if changes need to be made moving forward.
Please visit fultonschools.org/bridgetosuccess to learn more about the Bridge to Success plan and stay abreast of program updates. Additionally, stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback regarding the Bridge to Success by emailing ARP_ESSER@fultonschools.org.
Superintendent's Contract Amendment
The Board approved the extension of Superintendent Mike Looney's contract through October 2025.
At the last Board meeting, Dr. Looney brought forward a recommendation for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 instructional calendars based on the Board-approved calendar parameters. Board members shared some of the feedback they gathered at their monthly community meetings before voting to accept the calendars for first read. Please note, the calendars have been revised to better align the district’s spring break with that of other metro Atlanta school districts. We encourage stakeholders to stay engaged during this process. The calendars are set for final approval at the November 17 Board meeting. See the full list of Board-approved parameters and more calendar highlights here.
FY 2024 Budget Calendar
The budget calendar for Fiscal Year 2024 has been developed, and the dates outlined for the process can be found here. Please check out the FCS Budget Services Department website for updates.
Honoring Board Member Gail Dean
Several officials honored Gail Dean, who was participating in her last Board meeting after resigning her post as District 3 Board member last month. Fulton County proclaimed October 11, 2022 "Gail Dean Appreciation Day" in a proclamation read by Commissioner Liz Hausmann. Hapeville City Councilmember Mike Rast extended a proclamation of recognition and Board Vice President Kimberly Dove read a proclamation on behalf of the City of College Park. The presentation ended with the reading of a letter from Mayor Rusty Paul of the City of Sandy Springs expressing his gratitude for Dean's service. Ms. Dean's last day as a Board member is October 31.
Let's Talk Schools
Check out our weekly series, Let’s Talk Schools, hosted by Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney, as he chats about all things FCS. This week, Dr. Looney talks with Yalanda Bell, executive director of Academic Programs and Dr. Gyimah Whitaker, deputy chief academic officer, about how FCS students can get a jump on college AND career success through our Middle College program. Click here to watch.
To find out what is going on at Fulton County Schools, be sure to check out the special News section of the district's website for the latest and greatest FCS happenings.
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