FCS Board Bulletin for November 17, 2023
November 17, 2023
The Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) met on Thursday, November 16, 2023, for its regularly scheduled Board meeting at the South Learning Center. The full agenda is available online. All items approved are available via BoardDocs. Meetings are streamed live on the district’s homepage. Recordings will be available within 48 hours.
Dr. Mike Looney began his report by expressing gratitude and thanks to the Board for their leadership and recognized the district-level leadership team, school-based leaders, and Fulton County Schools (FCS) employees for the tremendous work they do to support students. He also reminded community members there are many resources if they need help this holiday season including local churches, the Salvation Army, and many other community assistance services.
Bridge to Success Update
Director of Federal Programs Montreal Bell provided a Bridge to Success update focusing on Program and Compliance information and provided details from the expenditures from ESSER III – the American Rescue Plan. More than $98 million in funds have already been expended. Ms. Bell explained each round of ESSER funding had specific requirements, one of which was to reserve 20% of all ESSER dollars to address learning loss using evidence-based interventions. For FCS, this meant more than $33 million needed to be reserved for this requirement. The district has already spent 23% of the total allocation on the initiatives dedicated to this work, which includes ‘Every Child Reads,’ FOCUS (a systematic approach to accelerate students through an equitable lens), and textbook adoption.
Another requirement of the ESSER III grant is that the district solicit and receive feedback from stakeholders. The focus of the most recent survey was updated to get additional feedback on the district's implementation of the Bridge to Success plan and strategic measures that should be implemented to sustain support for students, families, and staff. The overall response to the survey noted satisfaction with implementing the initiatives and continued support for these priorities. Finally, focusing on all aspects of student safety was the top priority indicated in all response groups while support for high dosage small group tutoring, literacy coaches, and dropout prevention efforts were the highest-rated areas that need to be considered for sustaining support. See the full presentation here.
2025-2026 Instructional Calendar
Before providing feedback on the 2025-2026 version, the Board of Education requested that Dr. Looney revise the approved 2024-2025 instructional calendar including shifting the first workday of 2025 to January 6 and the first day for students to January 7, 2025. Additionally, the Board asked Dr. Looney to shift the 2024-2025 spring break to the week of April 7-11, 2025.
The Board praised the feedback provided by staff, students, and parents during the recent round of community meetings and thanked the calendar committee for their work up to this point. The Board of Education provided significant feedback about the 2025-2026 version including, but not limited to, the following:
- Considering additional student and staff breaks in October and March
- Shifting the start date of the second semester (January 2026) to ensure staff receive two full weeks off for the winter holiday
- Incorporating more opportunities for teacher workdays and professional development for staff
- Maintaining the 190-day work calendar for teachers
Board members emphasized the calendar is still in the proposal stage and expressed their appreciation for the feedback they received through emails, phone calls, and in-person at their November community meetings. The draft calendar can be viewed here along with a comparison to the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 calendars.
New Hires and Promotions
The following individual was approved for a new position at the November 16 meeting:
- Earleana Smith | Principal, Love T. Nolan Elementary School
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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