The primary rationale for Fulton County Schools' pursuit of charter system status was to improve student performance through greater flexibility with appropriate levels of accountability. Given this purpose, school leaders and School Governance Councils have the opportunity to develop concepts that will meet the school's identified need and drive sustainable improvements in student achievement. In the development of its charter system framework, Fulton County Schools included a process by which schools would develop and submit proposals to waive district and/or state law or policy in order to implement a school-based solution. These proposals are known as Requests for Flexibility (RFF).
School Governance Councils can submit RFFs once per year through the district-managed process. The process for submitting RFFs includes a presentation of the proposal to the school community, a 2/3 vote of the School Governance Council, and final approval by the Superintendent.
The objectives of the process are to ensure:
- The proposed intervention is aligned to the school's needs;
- School community support for the proposal; and
- District support for the proposal.
Lake Windward's RFF
To further develop students' critical thinking skills and academic achievement, the Council requested a waiver to add up to four additional teacher professional development days to the school calendar. This will provide professional learning opportunities to increase teachers’ implementation of rigor in the classroom and incorporate professional development on use of transformational technology in the classroom. This waiver was approved by the county in 2015-2016.