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​​What's new in Fulton County Schools for 2013-2014

The 2013-2014 school year starts on Monday, August 12, for thousands of children in Fulton County. 

At a Glance


The Fulton County School System continues to be the fourth largest school district in Georgia with a projected 2013-2014 enrollment of approximately 95,000 students – an expected increase of about 1,000 students from the previous school year. The system includes 100 schools – 58 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and six start-up charter schools.

 

Personnel and Staffing

 

New Teachers and Principals:

 

By the summer’s end, Fulton County Schools will have welcomed nearly 600 new teachers for 2013-2014. This brings the district’s total teaching force to about 6,600.

 

In addition, as veteran principals have retired or moved to different posts, it’s inevitable that school leaders will shift in Fulton County. The following schools have new principals this year.

 

Windy Bottoms.......................................................................... Birmingham Falls Elementary School
Felipe Jackson..................................................................................... C.H. Gullatt Elementary School
Jennifer Cassidy............................................................................ Esther Jackson Elementary School
Tara McGee................................................................................... Lake Windward Elementary School
Brannon Gaskins............................................................................. Liberty Pointe Elementary School
Don Webb....................................................................................... Manning Oaks Elementary School
Jacqueline Bowens................................................................................. Palmetto Elementary School
Carlene Millen......................................................................................... Randolph Elementary School
Neill Crosslin..................................................................................... Renaissance Elementary School
Kiné Geathers................................................................................... Seaborn Lee Elementary School

Michael LeMoyne............................................................................................ Hopewell Middle School
Sandra DeShazier...................................................................................... Renaissance Middle School
Pammy Darden......................................................................................... Paul D. West Middle School

Glynis Jordan.................................................................................................... Banneker High School
Ronald Maxwell................................................................................................. Creekside High School
Chuck Gardner.................................................................................................... McClarin High School
Eddie Ruiz...................................................................................... North Springs Charter High School
Robert Shaw.......................................................................... Riverwood International Charter School


Renovations, Maintenance and New Technology Funded through eSPLOST

Despite the record rains this summer, construction and cleaning crews are putting the finishing touches on more than 30 school renovation projects while architects finish the designs for the next wave of projects bidding this fall. Some project highlights include the replacement of the PE flooring in 25 elementary schools as well as major projects at nine school facilities with varying scopes that included parking lots, drainage improvements and site work, HVAC, electrical, ceilings and lighting, cabinets and casework, painting, and flooring. Several schools had their group toilet rooms reconstructed, while others had their kitchens and serving lines improved, and others had their roofs replaced.

Also during summer, the Office of Information Technology made great strides to upgrade schools with enhanced wi-fi connectivity. This enhancement is a SPLOST-funded project to prepare schools for mobile learning initiatives. The majority of schools are now updated, and the remainder is slated for completion by December 2013.

New Programs and School Improvement Initiatives

 

Charter System – Cohort 2:

 

Last July, Fulton County Schools became Georgia’s largest charter system. The charter will strengthen the district’s ability to provide flexibility in its operations with the result of increased student achievement.

The first year – 2012-2013 – of the five-year charter focused on developing School Governance Councils for 20 schools (called “Cohort 1”) throughout the school system. These schools became a model for others to observe as they elected students, parents, teachers and staff, and community members to serve on their governance councils.

During the 2013-2014 school year, a second group of schools will undergo the same process. Called ‘Cohort 2,’ these 37 schools are:

Bear Creek Middle School
Bethune Elementary School
Cambridge High School
Campbell Elementary School
Chattahoochee High School
Crabapple Middle School
Dolvin Elementary School
Dunwoody Springs Elementary School
Evoline C. West Elementary School
Elkins Pointe Middle School
Feldwood Elementary School
Haynes Bridge Middle School
High Point Elementary School
Holcomb Bridge Middle School
Ison Springs Elementary School
Johns Creek High School
Lake Forest Elementary School
Langston Hughes High School
Love T. Nolan Elementary School

McNair Middle School
Medlock Bridge Elementary School
Mimosa Elementary School
Northwestern Middle School
Ocee Elementary School
Palmetto Elementary School
Renaissance Elementary School
Renaissance Middle School
River Trail Middle School
Roswell High School
Sandy Springs Charter Middle School
State Bridge Crossing Elementary School
Summit Hill Elementary School
Sweet Apple Elementary School
Taylor Road Middle School
Tri-Cities High School
Webb Bridge Middle School
Wilson Creek Elementary School





















Continuous Achievement Model Revamped:

 

Fulton County Schools is revamping its Continuous Achievement framework, a model for curriculum delivery that guides how reading and mathematics is delivered to students. The model, unique to Fulton County Schools, enables students to be taught at their appropriate instructional level and allows for more acceleration opportunities.

 

Continuous Achievement for mathematics is going back to its earlier roots of placement and reporting where students were reported as half-semesters using 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, etc. levels. For example, the Continuous Achievement level 2.1 would indicate that a student is working with materials and content for a typical second grade student at the beginning of the school year, while 2.2 would indicate that the student is working at the second semester level of second grade.

Also, the Continuous Achievement levels will be shown on report cards and progress checklists, and the revised reporting and placement model will be phased in over a two-year period with grades 2-4 beginning in August 2013 and grades K, 1, and 5 beginning in August 2014.

The reporting and placement model for reading and English/language arts will remain the same with placement reported as “on-level,” “advanced,” or “accelerated.” Currently, acceleration for the reading and English/language arts curriculum is limited to grades K-5. Acceleration in English/language arts will be rolled out for middle and high school beginning with students entering grade 5 in August 2013. Students entering grade 5 before August 2013 will not be impacted by this change.

 

Harvard University comes to Fulton County Schools:

 

More than 30 schools are beginning a partnership with Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research in their work on The Best Foot Forward Project. This project will explore whether modern technology resources can make the teacher observation process easier to implement, less costly, more acceptable to teachers and principals, and more valid and reliable. Seven schools took part in the pilot study last year, and helped inform the technology choices and research questions for the upcoming study.

School-Based Health Center:

 

Beginning this fall, Lake Forest Elementary School will operate a school-based health center funded by a grant. The school is partnering with West End Medical Center to open the first school-based health center in Fulton County. Only students attending Lake Forest will be treated at the center. The health center is a comprehensive, accessible primary care site that will provide an array of quality health care services. It will be staffed by four medical personnel.

New DVR Bus Camera Surveillance System:

 

A new DVR camera surveillance system has been installed on all 949 school buses, funded by eSPLOST. Also this year, all drivers will participate in a 3.5-hour first aid training course provided by school system nurses. The workshops are one part of a three-part training required of all Fulton school bus drivers: six-hour defensive driving, CPR, and first aid/emergency response training.

 

Literacy Training for PreK Special Education Teachers:

 

The district’s Services for Exceptional Children department has partnered with the Department of Early Childhood Programs to provide additional training in effective literacy instruction to preschool teachers. Instruction will be given to teachers in 12 elementary schools – Campbell, Hamilton E. Holmes, Love T. Nolan, Mt. Olive, Oakley, Palmetto, Evoline C. West, Bethune, Oak Knoll, Heritage, Brookview and S.L. Lewis. This includes 24 Georgia Pre-K classes and 11 preschool special education classrooms that are benefiting from the Striving Readers Grant.

 

FultonConnect:

 

This year, Fulton County Schools is launching FultonConnect, the next evolution of its student achievement management system (previously called SAMS). The system organizes and maintains student information so that teachers can analyze and benchmark standardized assessment data. One component of the system is EasyIEP. This user-friendly program will simplify the look and readability of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities, while also providing built-in support for monitoring the progress data for students. Another component of FultonConnect is Curriculum and Assessment which will allow teachers to access vetted teaching materials and share lesson plans with colleagues across the district.

 

Breakfast in the Classroom/Grab-n-Go Programs:

 

Using grant funds, two elementary schools – Mimosa and Woodland Elementary – will offer ‘Breakfast in the Classroom,’ a program where students pick up a bagged breakfast from the cafeteria and take it to their classroom to eat before the school day begins.

Six middle schools – Holcomb Bridge, McNair, Paul D. West, Ridgeview, Sandtown and Woodland Middle – as well as four high schools – Creekside, McClarin, Tri-Cities, and Westlake – also will offer ‘Grab-n-Go’ breakfasts. This model allows students to pick up a bagged breakfast from the cafeteria or from portable kiosks located throughout the school. The main goal of the ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ and ‘Grab-n-Go’ projects is to increase student access to a nutritious breakfast before the start of the school day.