How do I become a Faith Partner?
A faith partnership forms when a faith-based organization and a school come to a mutual decision on how they can work together for the benefit of students. When these partnerships begin, great things can happen. FCS Faith Partners are packing backpacks of food, organizing school supply drives and providing after-school and weekend supports for students. Members are becoming Reading and Lunch Buddies, helping with homework and providing classroom assistance.
A message from Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rose
Back in May, we held two Faith Summit meetings during which I challenged you to connect with at least one school leader before the end of the summer. The goals were to discuss the school’s needs and how your faith-based organization could help support those needs.
Now that the summer months are drawing to a close, I want to follow up on the second part of my challenge and share a video that describes why faith/school relationships are important. We have a collective obligation to support the needs of students and families in our community. The school system’s goal is for EVERY school in Fulton County to have at least one tightly-focused faith partnership by 2022.
Please share this video link (https://youtu.be/mae0gM8sL6o) with your congregation, colleagues, and other faith partners. Let them know that this video serves as an invitation for them to join this collaborative effort.
We have been intentional about creating expectations and resources that support schools and houses of worship as they work together. As we build this toolkit of resources, we will post them on our Faith Partners Community Engagement website. We are genuinely thankful for the many partnership projects already in place, and we invite your support in continuing to build more lasting relationships.
If you have any questions about the engagement process, I encourage you to reach out to Samantha Maxey, Director of Community Relations at
Thank you for your partnership and your commitment to our students and families.
Dr. Jeff Rose
Superintendent, Fulton County Schools
Guidelines for Schools and Faith Partners
Public schools are encouraged to develop faith-based partnerships provided there is an under-standing of some concepts related to the separation of church and state.
Here are some guidelines as cooperative relationships are developed:
- Under the First Amendment, public schools must be neutral concerning religion in all of their activities. Mutually beneficial partnerships are encouraged that improve student learning and growth.
- Schools must be open to participation by all responsible community groups. Other community organizations must be given an equal opportunity and are subject to the same secular selection criteria to operate programs in partnerships with schools.
- Diverse faith communities are encouraged to partner with schools.
- A student's grades, class ranking or participation in any school program will not be affected by his or her willingness to participate or not participate in a cooperative program with a faith-based partner. Student participation in any cooperative program may not be conditioned on membership in any religious group, acceptance or rejection of any religious belief, or participation (or refusal to participate) in any religious activity.
- All partnerships and partnership activities must remain secular.
- School volunteers and partners should be reminded that all conversation with students should remain secular.
- Do not pray with students or encourage prayer.
- Do not preach about faith while participating in a partnership activity.
- Do not prohibit a student from speaking about religion.
- A student's religious beliefs will not prohibit that student from being part of a faith-based partnership activity.
- Partnership activities conducted at a faith-based facility may be done so in rooms with religious icons or symbols. However, rooms cannot display any proselytizing materials.
- Space leased by a school from a faith-based organization and used for instructional purposes must be free of religious symbols.
- Faith/school partnerships should be outlined in a Partnership Agreement.