FCS Board Bulletin for December 6, 2023

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    December 6, 2023

     

    The Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) met on Tuesday, December 5, 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 Fulton County Schools (FCS) district homepage. Recordings will be available within 48 hours.

    Superintendent’s Report

    Dr. Mike Looney began his report by congratulating the students who completed the semester-long curriculum of the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T) program, hosted by the FCS Police Department. The G.R.E.A.T program is a law enforcement officer-facilitated program that focuses on interactive lessons such as conflict resolution and building community. The curriculum is primarily tailored to elementary students in grades 3-5.

    As we prepare to go into the winter holiday season, it is a good time for us all to remember to self-care and care for others who may be struggling this time of year. December 11-15 is Fulton's "It's Ok to not be OK" campaign week. As students prepare to close out the fall school semester and leave for the holiday break, it is important they understand the common challenges we all face and the resources available to those in need of help or support.

    Our student support team has sent resources and materials to schools to support the campaign along with information on how students can seek help if needed. All Fulton County middle and high schools will be participating in this important week.

    Division Update: Academics
    Chief Academic Officer Brannon Gaskins presented some of the major work being accomplished in academics and provided an overview of the scope and breadth of the work being done to implement the Board and Dr. Looney's transformative vision for the students at Fulton County Schools (FCS). Mr. Gaskins began his presentation by reflecting on the curriculum department, consisting of literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and world language.

    In literacy, through the "Every Child Reads" campaign, 81% of the district's current K-5 teachers are on track to complete their LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training by January 2, 2024. The remainder will complete training later this spring. Additionally, this year, under the leadership of the math department, teachers across the district are implementing new state math standards. In science, FCS continues to support the implementation of 3-dimensional science instruction and celebrates the opportunity to support "science on the go" through the Mobile Learning Center. Mr. Gaskins also recognized additional financial literacy opportunities for elementary students provided by the social studies team and programs offered by the world languages department.

    The academic program department consists of areas that span from early childhood through college and career with programs providing students with multiple opportunities to actively engage in their learning. The career, technical, and agricultural education department (CTAE) provides a robust offering of courses in every zone across the district spanning grades K-12. The early childhood education department provides the initial learning for many of our families and the specials department consists of many areas where students showcase their work and talent. The team leads many districtwide programs designed to enhance traditional learning such as Summer Learning, Special Olympics, high dosage small group tutoring, and the Teaching Museums. Other departments in learning and teaching are the Fulton Virtual program, Junior ROTC, and the instructional technology and media services department.

    The five student services departments work with their partners in learning and teaching to provide teachers and families with prevention and intervention resources for students who may face exceptional learning challenges. This work takes place at every school and in every grade. Mr. Gaskins highlighted some of the work being done by departments in support services, including federal programs, student supports, student discipline, prevention and intervention, services for exceptional children, and the newly created department for attendance improvement.

    At the conclusion of his presentation Mr. Gaskins identified next steps for the division which include further supporting "Every Child Reads" and providing systems and structure to address the middle school academic and achievement gap. See the full presentation here.

    Proposed 2024-2025 Instructional Calendar
    In November, the Board asked that there be changes made to the previously approved 2024-2025 instructional calendar based on feedback from stakeholders. The following list highlights the changes being proposed:

    • December 20, 2024 is the last day of first semester
    • January 3, 2025 will now be a holiday for students and staff
    • January 6, 2025 will now be a teacher workday
    • January 7, 2025 is the first day students report for second semester
    • Spring Break will now be April 7-11, 2025

    Click here to see the proposed calendar.

    Proposed 2025-2026 Instructional Calendar
    In November, a draft of the 2025-2026 instructional calendar was presented to the school Board. Based on feedback received from the community, Board, and calendar committee, changes were made to the draft and were presented to the Board at their December work session. The following list highlights proposed changes to the instructional calendar draft:

    • 177 Total Instructional Days
    • Pre-Planning Begins on July 24, 2025
    • First Day for Students is August 4, 2025
    • Full Fall Break for Students and Staff in October
    • 4 Professional Development Days (includes pre-planning)
    • 9 Teacher Workdays (includes pre- and post-planning)
    • Last Day for Students is May 21, 2026

    Board members emphasized the calendar is still in the proposal stage and that they will be soliciting feedback at their upcoming community meetings. Click here to see the proposed calendar.

    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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