Board Bulletin for November 9, 2022
The Fulton County School Board of Education met on Tuesday, November 8, for its regularly scheduled board meeting at the North 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.
Superintendent Mike Looney began his report by recognizing November 7-11 as National School Psychology Week. The week highlights and shows appreciation for the work of school psychologists and the school-based services they provide in promoting student success. A former U.S. Marine, Looney also paid tribute to Veterans Day, coming up on November 11.
In Dr. Looney’s safety update, he reported the district has begun the process of installing Flock Safety Cameras in all schools. So far, seventeen cameras have been installed in seven schools. Also, the district has successfully completed the installation of exterior door alarms at all schools.
Board Fills District 3 Seat
The School Board announced Katherine “Katie” Gregory as the individual selected to fulfill the remainder of Gail Dean’s unexpired District 3 term. A unique district, District 3 is split by the City of Atlanta and includes portions of College Park, East Point, Hapeville and Sandy Springs.
Gregory currently is chair of the School Governance Council (SGC) at Hapeville Elementary School and has dedicated her time to supporting the school, its programs, and the Hapeville community, including taking an active role with the school’s PTA, the Hapeville Main Street’s Board of Directors, and as a member of Tri-Cities Church in East Point. A graduate of the University of Alabama with a chemical engineering degree, Gregory serves as vice president of McGuireWoods Consulting in Atlanta.
She was named the seat’s finalist after the Board conducted an extensive process to solicit, vet and appoint a qualified candidate. A swearing-in ceremony will be held in December, with Gregory’s term officially beginning in January 2023 at the same time as newly elected board members Kristin McCabe, Michelle Morancie and Lillie Pozatek. Gregory’s term will expire in December 2024.
Graduation, SAT and ACT Results 2022
Zone 7 Superintendent Kibbey Crumbley and Shamona Harrell, coordinator of Secondary School Counseling, shared great news about our district’s 89.3% graduation rate and the growth seen in participation rates of students taking the ACT and SAT. These gains were made possible by the hard work of our students and staff, and through the exceptional supports FCS offers to all students to help them grow and improve their post-secondary opportunities.
Dr. Crumbley shared that the overall graduation rate grew by 1.6 points from 87.7% in 2021 to 89.3% in 2022 and the graduation rate is 5.2 points higher than the overall graduation rate for Georgia of 84.1%. Additionally, there was strong graduation growth in our subgroup populations including Black and Hispanic students, English learners, and students with disabilities.
Although nationally and statewide there was an overall decline in students’ SAT and ACT scores, Fulton students continue to score well above the state and national averages. FCS students outscored the state and national average ACT score for the sixth consecutive year, while also showing a 60% increase in the participation rate. The 2022 results also showed growth in SAT participation and an increase in the percentage of graduating seniors taking the SAT by seven percent.
Ms. Harrell highlighted some of the reasons for the increase in scores and test participation rates, including test prep support that helps students improve their SAT and ACT performance. Currently, the district provides all high schools district funds to assist with establishing test preparation opportunities for their students. Additionally, the PSAT is given to students in grades 9, 10 and 11. The results during the earlier grades help identify areas where students can improve to earn a higher score in their junior year and be more competitive for national merit scholarships to become more prepared for the SAT. Click here to see the full presentation.
Superintendent’s Redistricting Recommendation
Deputy Chief Operations Officer Yngrid Huff presented the superintendent’s final recommendation for redistricting. Blending the extensive research conducted by the district’s planning staff with the community feedback received over the past few months. Ms. Huff shared Dr. Looney’s recommendation for new attendance zones going into effect next school year.
- For North Fulton, the redistricting impact has been reduced by focusing only on the elementary schools experiencing the most overcrowding. Attendance zones for middle schools and high schools are not being changed.
- For South Fulton, there are two outcomes: (1) relief for schools with the most overcrowding, and (2) the creation of neighborhood-focused attendance boundaries due to the discontinuation of the former Achievement Zone.
If approved by the School Board in December, all new attendance boundaries will go into effect with the 2023-2024 school year. Students who are going into fifth grade, eighth grade, and 10th-12th grade can choose to remain at their current school if their parents provide transportation. Families impacted by the change will be notified by U.S. mail in January 2023.
Click here to see the North Fulton redistricting final recommendation. Click here to see the South Fulton redistricting final recommendation. For more information on the redistricting process, visit our website at fultonschools.org/redistricting.
This month, staff presented drafts of the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 instructional calendars. Each calendar draft aims to honor the instructional calendar parameters voted on by the Board in September 2022. After careful consideration, the board has accepted the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 calendar drafts for action next week.
Of note, Fulton has presented a calendar that provides one of the longest summer breaks for students and staff in the metro Atlanta area and has adjusted the instructional calendar parameters to ensure alignment of spring break with metro Atlanta districts (April 1-5 in ’23-’24, March 31-April 4 in ’24-’25). Additionally, FCS will continue to offer a full week-long holiday for Thanksgiving.
As FCS continues to aim for full instructional weeks in both calendar versions, the following list highlights each instructional calendar draft:
Proposed 2023-2024 Instructional Calendar
- 175 total instructional days (S1: 84, S2: 91)
- Pre-Planning begins on July 31, 2023
- First Day for students August 7, 2023
- 7 Professional Development days (includes pre-planning)
- 8 Teacher Workdays (includes pre- and post-planning)
- Last day for students May 23, 2024
Proposed 2024-2025 Instructional Calendar
- 177 total instructional days (S1: 88, S2: 89)
- Pre-Planning begins on July 29, 2024
- First Day for students August 5, 2024
- 5 Professional Development days (includes pre-planning)
- 8 Teacher Workdays (includes pre- and post-planning)
- Last day for students May 22, 2025
New Crisis Alert System
As FCS continues to lead the way with safety and security in both capacity and capabilities, Director of Safety & Security Paul Hildreth presented a recommendation from the district’s Safety Committee for a wearable alert notification system, called Centegix. Also known as “Crisis Alert,” Centegix allows for immediate staffing alerts as well as immediate lockdown alerts by all staff and teachers wearing a Centegix badge. With the push of a button on the wearable CrisisAlert badge, an alert instantly reaches administrators and responders. CrisisAlert is unique for its ability to deliver precise alert location, immediate audio and visual incident notifications for campus-wide incidents, and 100% full campus coverage. When staff and students feel safe and secure, they can get back to focusing on their goals: learning and academic achievement.
The district will work with Centegix to develop a robust training program, immediately beginning with an initially small group of test sites at Riverwood International Charter School, Ridgeview Middle School, Heards Ferry Elementary School and the Administrative Building. The remaining schools would be rolled out for installation and training with the goal of the total system going live in February 2023. To see the full presentation, click here.
ARP Budget Update
Director of Certified Federal Programs Montreal Bell updated the Board on the budget for the ESSER III funds (American Rescue Plan) also known as ARP funds. The district’s overall budget for the American Rescue Plan was $168.9 million. Ms. Bell provided details on expenditures for the FCS Bridge to Success plan, the expanded programs initiative, and funding allocated for student safety and textbook adoption. She also outlined FY23 expenditure details that reflect personnel and benefit costs for staff that support the Bridge to Success initiatives. The complete ARP financial report, as well as more information on the district’s Bridge to Success plan, can be found at www.fultonschools.org/bridgetosuccess.
New Hires & Promotions
The following individual was approved for a new position at the November 8 meeting:
- Maribel Bell | Executive Director of Student Support
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