FCS Board Bulletin for September 13, 2023

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    The Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) met on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, for its regularly scheduled work session meeting at the North Learning Center. The full agenda is available online. All items approved are available via BoardDocs. Meetings are streamed live on the FCS district homepage. Recordings will be available within 48 hours.

    Superintendent's Report

    Safety Update
    After asking for a moment of silence in memory of the victims of 9/11, Dr. Looney reminded the Board that in compliance with the Georgia Safe Schools Act, last week Fulton County Schools (FCS) conducted an Intruder Alert Drill in all elementary schools. The drills are designed to familiarize students, staff, and the community with ways to protect and prepare against a potential threat posed by an armed intruder. Over the next two weeks, all middle schools and high schools will also conduct the intruder alert drill in accordance with this requirement. Additionally, Dr. Looney highlighted that schools this month are planning content and raising awareness that September is Hispanic Heritage Month and Suicide Prevention Month. He also recognized that September is Attendance Awareness Month, reminding parents and students that attendance is critical to academic success.

    Chief Academic Officer Brannon Gaskins had some exciting news to share with the Board. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) recognizes districts and schools for supporting a positive school climate through the implementation of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework. The recognition system identifies schools that exemplify best practices in the implementation of PBIS. Mr. Gaskins shared that FCS has 26 Distinguished Schools (which is an increase of eight schools from last school year and the highest state designation level) and 24 Operational schools on the PBIS list. All recognized schools will be listed on the state PBIS webpage. Emerging, Operational, and Distinguished schools will receive certificates of recognition from the GaDOE. In addition, Operational and Distinguished schools will receive a letter of recognition from the State Superintendent. See the full list of schools here.

    Operations Division Update
    After introducing his team, Noel Maloof, Chief of Operations, provided a high-level overview of the Operations Division, beginning his report with information on the Transportation Department, whose buses travel an astounding one million plus miles each month in daily routes alone. This year, the district added bus simulators at both transportation hubs, providing drivers with additional training to increase their skills on the road. Parents are urged to download the "Here Comes the Bus" app on our website to track their bus.

    Capital Programs is moving into year two of CP 2027. The district has completed more than $138 million in construction in the first wave of projects. Upcoming projects include major critical systems renovations, media center updates, roof replacements, practice turf replacements, safety and security projects and other facility improvements. The district is also underway building the new Conley Hills Elementary School replacement school, and The Promise Career Institute and is moving forward with the design of other schools, including the S. L. Lewis Elementary School replacement school.

    This year, School Nutrition will host their Student Food Challenge in October. This event is an opportunity for Fulton's own students to have a voice in selecting healthy school meal recipes, empowering them to make nutritious choices while increasing their awareness of dietary guidelines that influence school meals and life-long eating habits.

    Also, this year, the Facilities and Maintenance Department will be placing a large emphasis on preventative maintenance with the additional funding the Board has provided in the budget. This will help reduce breakdowns and ensure our systems are in top shape.

    Each year, Operational Planning conducts student enrollment projections. In the fall, the redistricting and consolidation of schools in the district's southeast area will address an enrollment imbalance and the replacement of the S.L. Lewis Elementary School facility. A series of community meetings will be hosted to gather input from parents and community members. This information will be used to draft a redistricting proposal. The meetings will be held Wednesday, October 11, Thursday, November 2, and Thursday, November 30 at McNair Middle School from 6-8 p.m. The Operations Division will also be hosting "Redistricting 101" on October 2 at 6 p.m. The redistricting proposal will be presented to the Board for consideration in January and once approved, parents/guardians of affected students will be notified during second semester of this school year. See the full presentation here.

    Teaching Museum Update
    Jena Sibille, the curator of the Teaching Museum and Archives, provided an overview of the Teaching Museum and its impact on student learning across the district. The Teaching Museum's 80 programs and other resources support student learning by providing free authentic experiences beyond the classroom. While creating programming with the Teaching and Learning Department, the Teaching Museum also works with community organizations to provide their content expertise.

    The Teaching Museum provides a range of programs for different grade levels, elementary though middle school. While most offerings are available to travel to schools, many of its innovative programs are situated at the museums in their replica rooms. It also manages the Cultural Kaleidoscope field trips, which are a part of the Bridge to Success program, affording every elementary student the chance to participate in a field trip to a cultural institution in Atlanta.

    The Fulton County Schools Archives are housed in the Museum South and has documents, yearbooks, audio/visual recordings, and instructional materials that chart the history of our district and provide a wonderful resource for teachers. These collections tell the story of U.S. history from the late 1800s till today, through the lens of our local communities and schools. See the full presentation here.

    FY2023 Financial Recap
    Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef provided a budget recap of FY2023 with unaudited financial information for the period of July 2022-June 30, 2023. Because the financial information is unaudited, Mr. Dereef reminded the Board the numbers are subject to change. The update specifically highlighted the American Rescue Plan funding, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding, Student Activity Fund, and the General Funds. He reported the district has completed its second year of the American Rescue Plan funding, which supports our Bridge to Success initiatives. For FY2023 the district has had $42 million in expenditures. Since the start of this grant, the district has spent $92 million addressing the learning disruption due to Covid-19 in a transformational way. The grant will expire September 30, 2024, but not without providing noticeable changes to FCS.

    As of August 2023, the district has completed 13 months of Capital Plan 2027. The major source of revenue for the plan is SPLOST funding. Though projected to receive $261.2 million in total now, the district is below the forecast by 1 percent, with $258 million received. Mr. Dereef also announced the district is at pre-covid levels regarding revenue and expenditures in the Student Activity Fund. Districtwide as of June 30, 2023, revenue was $19.2 million and expenditures were $19.1 million. Finally, in his summary of the General Fund revenue, he noted revenue is 3.44% above the budget. Dereef also noted, due to strong financial management throughout the year expenditures remained 3.09 % less than budgeted.  See the full presentation here.

    Instructional Calendar Parameters Update
    Erin King, an analyst in the Continuous Improvement Department and leader of the district's calendar committee, presented an update about feedback gathered from the community and considerations for the Board of Education regarding the 2025-2026 instructional calendar parameters. The presentation included information about the ThoughtExchange that was conducted from June to July 2023. More than 6,000 stakeholders provided over 120,000 inputs into this tool to inform the calendar committee's work. The update to the instructional calendar parameters includes the addition of a fall and winter break and is a first read item this month. The Board will continue to discuss the instructional calendar through December 2023.

    New Hires and Promotions
    The following individual was approved for a new position at the Board meeting:

    • Robert Bailey | Director, Maintenance

    2023-24 Community Meetings with Board Members
    Each member of the Fulton County Board of Education sponsors a monthly meeting open to all members of the community. The sessions provide an opportunity for direct contact with community members and give Board members a chance to listen to local issues and concerns. Click here to see the meeting schedules of all Board members. 

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