FCS Board Bulletin for May 10, 2023

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    The Fulton County School Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 9, 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's Report

    Dr. Mike Looney began his remarks by acknowledging National Teacher Appreciation Week and recognizing our wonderful staff members who work so hard supporting our students. A video of the FCS Overall Teacher of the Year, Elise Kreitner of Autrey Mill Middle School, was played and can be viewed on the district's YouTube channel or website. He also highlighted that this is National Nurses Week and that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Following Dr. Emily Bell's presentation highlighting the work of the IT division, Dr. Looney thanked the data team for their diligent efforts. Finally, he thanked the Board members for their continual investment in safety resources, reminding everyone that "If you see something, say something."

    Information Technology Update
    Chief Information Officer Dr. Emily Bell shared the amazing work accomplished by the IT Division team for the 2022-2023 school year. The department had more than 60 goals to improve processes, services, security, and support. Dr. Bell described four key projects with the most scope and impact. Specific accomplishments this year include the public and secured Balanced Score Card and several other dashboards for academic leaders. These tools allow them to visualize high level school profiles and other specific measures that contribute to student achievement. Additionally, the device teams worked to improve their device management program while the network services team worked to ensure Wi-Fi and cellular signal access in all areas of every school. Another milestone included adding enhanced 24x7 cyber monitoring, additional cybersecurity testing, and implementing management tools. Finally, Atlas, a new business solution launched in January 2022, has achieved stabilization and reduction in service costs. See Dr. Bell's presentation and the division's success indicators here.

    Mathematics textbooks for adoption
    Chief Academic Officer Clifford Jones provided information about math textbooks being considered for implementation throughout the district. The textbook adoption process has been ongoing since January, when the Teacher Math Textbook Review Committee first met to review and determine instructional resources from multiple publishers. Those resources were then put forth for public and teacher review, and feedback was captured using a survey. Click here to see the survey results.

    Course proposals for CTAE
    As part of the district’s work to ensure students are college and career ready, the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) department has requested adding 14 new courses to the offerings in both elementary and high schools. These new courses were selected to better engage elementary students in innovative, grade-appropriate career exploration and to strengthen the career pathways for high school students. Mr. Jones explained using broad, career-related standards will add to the portfolio of elementary CTAE courses in the district and will allow for further exploration in a variety of career fields. FCS will continue to have specialized programs, but it will provide the opportunity to create a new specials program for further career exploration.

    Mr. Jones also explained staff is currently working to develop new elementary CTAE offerings. These new offerings will be an overview of multiple careers in each grade level and will allow students to explore areas such as Engineering, Computer Science, Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. Additional careers will be added in subsequent years as the school district continuously improves and develops elementary CTAE programming.

    Proposed Tentative Budget
    Budget Hearing #1 was held right before the Board meeting, allowing the public the opportunity to ask questions about the proposed budget. As a reminder, during the budget development process, the school system works intensively to develop a tentative FY 2024 budget and holds numerous workshops with the Board. After many discussions with staff and gathering input from school leaders and stakeholders, the FY 2024 proposed Pension Fund, School Nutrition Fund and Special Revenue Fund budgets were presented to the Board in detail during the March 23 Board meeting. The Superintendent’s Comprehensive General Fund and Capital Improvement Program budgets were presented to the school Board in detail during the April 13 Board meeting. On May 16, after Budget Hearing #2, the superintendent will present a tentative budget and tentative millage rate and formally request tentative adoption of the budget. Click here to see the tentative budget summary.

    Student Code of Conduct
    Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Dr. Christopher Matthews and Director of Student Discipline Dr. Kevin Scott delivered a presentation about the Student Code of Conduct. The FCS Code of Conduct is both progressive and cumulative. After explaining the Code of Conduct’s discipline process, Dr. Matthews outlined the response model for Tier 1-4 offenses, in which discipline response increases if a student has prior rule offenses and violates multiple code of conduct rules during an incident. It also increases based on the severity of an incident. The top five code infractions from August 2022 to March 2023 were reviewed, with excessive tardies receiving the most infractions.

    They then reviewed the FCS Threat Assessment Protocol Flow Chart, indicating there were 21 Level 3 threats during that period. The highest Threat Level in the Code of Conduct is a Tier 4 offense which results in 10 days of suspension and a referral for a discipline hearing that can result in long-term suspension or expulsion. Supportive discipline management techniques range from replacement or payment of damages to school property to counseling support, to community service. Dr. Matthews then outlined new additions to the 2023-2024 Code of Conduct. Among other rules, he discussed discipline procedures for “swatting” (making a false report to emergency services and forgery) and unauthorized use of A.I. software to submit original work. Additional enhancements are forthcoming. Click here to review the FCS Student Code of Conduct handbook. See the full presentation here.

    New Hires and Promotions  
    The following individuals were approved for new positions at the May 9 meeting:

    • Brian Keefer | Executive Director, Professional Learning
    • Karin Alhadeff | Principal, Vickery Mill Elementary School
    • Cheryl Parker | Principal, Heritage Elementary School 

    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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