FCS Board Bulletin for February 24, 2023
The Fulton County Board of Education met on Thursday, February 23, 2023, 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 reported that members of the Fulton County Youth and School Safety Coalition met earlier in the day to discuss several issues critical to the health, safety, and welfare of young people throughout the county. Among those in attendance were mayors from South Fulton, Alpharetta, Union City and Johns Creek, and police officials from all Fulton County jurisdictions.
Annual Perception Survey
Dr. Looney encouraged parents to take the Annual Parent Perception Survey. This survey allows parents/guardians the opportunity to tell us what they think about their students’ schools and the district. The survey window ends on March 10. Students in grades 4-12 were provided with the opportunity to take the voluntary Annual Student Perception Survey over the past two weeks. Parents can review more details regarding the student and parent surveys here.
Fulton County Tax Update
Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef introduced a presentation from Fulton County Tax Commissioner Dr. Arthur Ferdinand, who reported that so far this year the county has collected $675 million in taxes, which is a collection rate of over 96 percent. Mr. Ferdinand expects to reach a 99 percent collection rate by the end of the collection year in June. Roderick Conley, Chief Appraiser of the Fulton County Tax Assessors Office, then reported on countywide taxes, noting that Fulton County Schools (FCS) saw a seven percent increase in fair market value and informed the Board of several areas of proposed legislation pertaining directly to the district.
FCS Bridge to Success Update
Director of Federal Programs Montreal Bell provided a monthly update on the district’s Bridge to Success plan, a three-year comprehensive plan and transformational investment to help students recover from learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure student achievement, growth, and success. In addition to providing information about the multiple opportunities for students to extend learning at our schools, Ms. Bell said the Summer Learning Program will be offered this year to students in grades 3-12. Details can be found on the summer learning website along with the link to register beginning on March 1.
Ms. Bell also discussed Every Child Reads and the Expanded Programs initiative, which provide students in grades K-12 with innovative learning opportunities including Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) expansion, enhanced learning experiences, dropout prevention strategies, virtual learning expansion, and mobile learning opportunities. Other projects coming out of the Bridge to Success plan include a Middle School Career Expo on February 25 at North Springs High School, the expansion of digital course options and the grand openings of three S.A.F.E. Centers.
As a condition of receiving American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER funds, school districts and the state must participate in the six-month review process. Fulton’s six-month review period is March 2023. To comply with this requirement, stakeholders will be asked to provide feedback using a survey that will be conducted March 13-27. This information will be posted on the FCS website.
Chief Academic Officer Clifford Jones gave an update on the Comprehensive (CSI) and Target (TSI) Support and Improvement schools including staff’s work to identify areas of improvement and the schools’ initial plans to address these areas. Currently, there are 10 schools on the list: five traditional schools, two charter schools, and two alternative schools.
This spring, the district’s intentional, comprehensive approach to support all schools on the CSI list will inform the development of a long-term School Action Plan to ensure students get more time devoted to learning in areas of need, ensure staff receives more training and support in the identified areas of need, and ensure our monitoring practices support and inform on-going growth of students and staff alike.
As part of the process of support, Fulton is working closely with the Georgia Department of Education, including their special education department, to refine plans and strategies for schools on the TSI list. After outlining several key initiatives to address the work being done at all schools on both lists, Mr. Jones concluded by assuring the Board that district staff are working hard to prioritize this work and the vision and leadership of school administrators to take their schools to higher levels of performance. Click here to see the full presentation.
Renewal of RISE Grammar Charter School
After much consideration, the Board voted to accept the staff recommendation for the non-renewal of RISE Grammar and Preparatory Schools’ charter with the district. See the staff recommendations for RISE Grammar here and RISE Preparatory here.
Renewal of KIPP South Fulton Academy
The Board voted to accept the staff recommendation for the renewal of KIPP South Fulton Academy’s charter for a 5-year term and increase the school's enrollment cap to 400 students. View the staff recommendation here.
New Hires and Promotions
The following individual was approved for a new position at the February 23 meeting:
- Nicole James | Director, IT Program Management
Feedback for Ed Specs
In March, the School Board will consider amendments to the district’s educational specifications (“ed specs”) last approved in 2020. Ed specs are a set of guidelines that school districts and architects use to design a building in relation to its academic programming. An informational website (www.fultonschools.org/edspecs) hosts background information and a recorded presentation explaining the proposed amendments. The site also contains a link to a ThoughtExchange survey for collecting comments. Please feel free to share your feedback and opinions before the survey closes on March 1.
Board Community Meetings
Each member of the Fulton County Board of Education sponsors a monthly meeting that is open to the public. These meetings provide an opportunity for community members to have direct conversations with their elected Board representative about local issues and concerns. Find your Board member and view the Community Meeting Calendar.
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