Welcome back for the 2021-2022 school year!
The 2021-22 school year starts on Monday, August 9, for thousands of children in Fulton County.
The Fulton County School System (FCS) continues to be the fourth largest school district in Georgia with a projected 2021-22 enrollment of approximately 90,400 students. The system includes 108 schools – 59 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 21 high schools, 10 start-up charter schools, and one full-time virtual school.
After more than a year of pandemic-related disruptions and remote learning, FCS is excited about returning to the classroom. Here are the Top 10 new items parents, students and our community should know as we start the new school year. More information about additional updates can be found on our FCS News Website.
Our Top 10 List of New Things
More details about the Top Ten are available below this infographic
More Details About Our Top 10 List
1) COVID-19 and School Operations. With improved numbers and expanded access to the COVID-19 vaccine, we are excited to welcome everyone back to school. FCS will return with face-to-face instruction as the default option for all students in August 2021. However, the pandemic is not over, and we must all do our part to remain vigilant. In order to facilitate the safest learning environment possible, COVID-19 health guidelines will continue to be followed, with face coverings recommended for students and staff but not mandated in our schools and administrative buildings. Masks are required by the federal government on all public transportation, which includes school buses. We will continue to promote general health and hygiene practices and physical distancing, including maintaining 3-6 feet where practicable. Parents are requested to submit positive COVID-19 test results for their students via the online Parent Portal found on the FCS website. The district will continue to monitor data and collaborate with healthcare officials to determine how best to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for students, staff and visitors.
2) Building the Bridge to Success. Fulton County Schools is focused on connecting COVID-19 re-entry to our future. The district received more than $168 million dollars of federal funding in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to help schools recover from COVID-19. Combined with the CARES I, CARES II and smaller related CARES grants, FCS will implement a multi-year program to address the impact of the pandemic on lost instruction and learning, and centers on ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families. The program encompasses the district’s FOCUS plan, a collaborative initiative founded on existing effective practices for academic recovery. FOCUS addresses the universal needs of all students while driving targeted resources and strategies to the students with the greatest necessities. A major plank of this effort is its literacy initiative, which specifically addresses and transforms the district’s approach to literacy instruction. As part of the initiative, FCS will add K-2 literacy coaches in each elementary school. FCS will also implement High Dosage Small Group Tutoring, which consists of having a single tutor with a student over a school year in math or reading. High dosage tutoring can double the amount of learning students typically gain during the year. New Curriculum Mapping will provide teachers with the information they need to fill in any learning gaps for students whose learning may have been impacted by the pandemic. The plan also leverages opportunities for enhanced assessment while minimizing testing burden on students and provides leaders, teachers, and families with resources and training so they can understand and use their students’ data for instruction and support.
3) Three new schools are opening in August 2021: Fulton County Schools' Global Impact Academy (GIA) and Innovation Academy (IA), and Fulton Academy of Virtual Excellence (FAVE). GIA and IA are STEM-focused high schools offering instruction in engineering, health science, and information technology. FAVE is Fulton County Schools’ first-ever virtual school and will serve students in grades 3-11 in a 100% online environment. The instruction will be a blend of live, online lessons (synchronous) and self-directed lessons (asynchronous) from Fulton County teachers. In addition, a replacement building is opening for Crabapple Middle School.
4) Attendance Policy. FCS has implemented a new attendance notification process. Parents/guardians will be notified more often on absences, regardless of whether a student is excused or unexcused. Families will be notified of student absences via daily robocalls. Students who accumulate multiple absences will receive letters to notify them of missed learning time, and staff will follow up with supportive interventions. Parents/guardians can monitor their child’s attendance using Infinite Campus. More detailed information about our attendance policy can be found here.
5) Late Start Days. On these days, classes start one hour later than usual for students so that faculty and staff can participate in Professional Learning opportunities and work together to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. Buses continue to operate on the regular schedule during late start dates; however, parents also can choose to transport their child to school by the scheduled later start time. Students who arrive early will participate in supervised activities until the school day begins.
6) ‘Start with Hello’ Campaign. FCS remains focused on identifying the needs of students and then developing resources that raise awareness, educate and provide intervention where needed. This year, the district will implement ‘Start with Hello,’ a program that promotes connectedness. With the pandemic creating isolation due to disrupted social interaction, FCS seeks to help students reacclimate with their peers through student success skills. Clubs and other relationship-building activities also are encouraged. Additionally, the FCS Office of Student Discipline will work with the FCS Police Department on a ‘Stop the Violence Campaign.’
7) Bill of Rights. The Fulton County Board of Education is committed to its stakeholders and strongly believes that their voice matters. Students, teachers, and parents across the district created a student, teacher and parent/guardian Bill of Rights. These documents are intended to support an environment of reciprocal accountability, and outline tenets for each of the groups.
8) Breakfast/Lunch Fees. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains critical our students receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has waived fees so all students will continue to receive meals at no charge for the 2021-22 school year, allowing school nutrition professionals to focus on nourishing children for success.
9) Here Comes the Bus. As a reminder, parents and students are encouraged to sign-up for our ‘Here Comes the Bus’ app. The free service allows students and parents track their bus to determine when it is scheduled to arrive at their bus stop. Alerts notify parents when the bus is just a few blocks away, offering safety for students and peace of mind for parents.
10) FCS News Website. All the latest FCS news headlines and feature stories have been consolidated into one easy-to-navigate website. Be sure to bookmark this site and visit regularly to find: Daily Updates, Academic News, Sports News, Music & Arts News, School Board News and more.