FCS Board Bulletin for February 21, 2024

  • FCS Board Bulletin Header
    February 21, 2024


    The Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) met on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 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.

    Superintendent's Report
    Dr. Mike Looney reminded the public that the FCS Annual Perception Survey is open for students, staff, and parents through Friday, March 15, encouraging folks to please take the survey to help the district increase its participation rate this year. This survey allows parents to tell us what they think about their student's schools and the district. The survey is confidential and anonymous and can be found online. Take the survey now.

    Commenting on safety, Dr. Looney emphasized that nothing is more important than working together to ensure the safety of our students. Though the Board has invested millions of dollars in school safety, he reiterated that FCS has a school safety tipline used for reporting anonymous tips and encouraged folks "if you see/hear something, say something."

    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 $701 million in taxes, which is a collection rate of more than 96%. Dr. Ferdinand expects to reach a 99% 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, most importantly noting that Fulton County saw a significant increase in fair market value. Click here to see the Fulton County Board of Assessors annual report.

    CSI/TSI Update: Conley Hills Elementary School
    Zone 2 Superintendent Dr. Tamara Candis and Principal Dr. Shante' Bates shared an update on Conley Hills Elementary School. Drs. Bates and Candis presented the Board with an explanation on efforts underway to help the school continue to close learning gaps for students by implementing strategies that shape the overall culture and educational experience for students, staff, and families. Dr. Bates shared the many supports in place to assist students, including high-dosage/small-group tutoring, extended learning in reading and math literacy, and math program specialists. To help with staffing, the school has a partnership with Teach for America which allows it to be fully staffed.

    In her presentation, Dr. Bates noted some dips and surges in content mastery over the past three years but illustrated how the school continues to close the gaps. After being identified by the state as a Georgia Comprehensive Support and Improvement School (CSI), scoring in the lowest 5% of the state's Title I elementary schools, the work towards improvement started this summer to ensure the reversal of this trajectory. As a result, students are making progress on iReady Reading and Math, including a 16% increase in students to Tier I on or above grade level reading, and an 11% increase in students to Tier I on or above grade level math. According to Dr. Bates, by May 2024, the goal is to have the number of students performing at the proficient and distinguished levels in ELA, Math, and Science improve by 10%.

    Dr. Bates explained that the school staff has identified all the needs of all students and tiered them for success. The students are then targeted for strategic support for enrichment and intervention. For example, the school will begin to offer Saturday Success Sessions, which focus on providing targeted intervention and enrichment opportunities for students and professional development for parents and guardians in a non-invasive environment.

    Though making progress, the school has not been without its challenges, including student attendance, where 28% of students have been identified as chronically absent. By working with the social worker and school counselor to identify strategic supports for these students and families, the school has a strong Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system to reward student attendance and partnerships with community organizations and Communities in Schools to provide group sessions and student mentoring. Currently, 100% of students eat free lunch, 22 percent of students are classified as English language learners and 19 percent have been identified as students with disabilities.

    Dr. Bates concluded her presentation by ensuring the school maintains a strong focus on ACE: Academics, Culture, and Engagement, while reviewing the data with fidelity and making adjustments to improve teaching and learning. See the full presentation here.

    Policy Revisions Approved
    The Board also took action on several policies important for staff, students and families. Some include policies on safety, visitors to schools, promotion and retention measures for student learning, and enrollment options and withdrawals. Board Policy JBCD: Enrollment Options and Withdrawal established explicit and transparent guidelines empowering parents or guardians to seek a change in school assignment. It also defined a comprehensive open enrollment period where any FCS resident may apply for a school change, contingent on available space, with a clear criterion for space defined as 95% enrollment or below over a three-year projection. Students relocating to a new attendance zone (by choice or redistricting) in Fulton County Schools during spring or summer before their fifth, eighth, 11th, or 12th-grade year can request to stay at their current school until their terminal year at that school. The policy also added flexibility for the children of eligible employees to enroll in any FCS school, subject to space.

    2024-25 Zone 1 and Zone 2 Elementary School Closure
    The Board of Education approved the closure of S. L. Lewis Elementary School to allow a replacement elementary school to be built on the same site and accepted the Zone 1 and Zone 2 Elementary Consolidation and Attendance Zone Redistricting Plan for the 2024-25 school year. The school is slated to open in August 2026. As a result, students housed in the existing facility must be relocated to another school building. Neighboring school communities must also be rezoned to balance enrollment and existing capacity.

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

    • Tracy Neal | Director, Leadership Development

    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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