Fulton County Schools Explores K-8 STEAM Academies
Fulton County Schools (FCS) is exploring the addition of K-8 STEAM Academies to the district’s school models. STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, allows students the opportunity to develop innovative, integrated curriculums that will enrich the lives of young scholars. Information and feedback meetings have been held with communities where schools have been proposed.
“Students in K-8 schools perform better academically in reading and math in comparison to their peers,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney. “And they make long-term connections with their peers, school and community.”
Additionally, STEAM scholars learn to collaborate, creatively solve problems, and think critically as they prepare for high school and beyond. Through interdisciplinary instruction, high achieving students are developed. These students find solutions by working together and thinking outside of the box.
“I envision a school where students are exposed to a unique and explicit curriculum that includes relevant and authentic hands-on learning,” said Executive Director of Academic Programs Yalanda Bell, who is working to ensure the academies align with the state of Georgia STEAM certification standards for high quality STEAM schools.
“K-8 schools promote consistency and relationship building,” said Chief Operations Officer Noel Maloof. “Beginning with kindergarten, students attend the same school through their eighth-grade year, effectively eliminating the transition from elementary to middle school. Research indicates students in K-8 school settings have better outcomes with improved attendance, increased academic performance, and less exposure to bullying.”
Chief Academic Officer Clifford Jones agrees: “K-8 schools create a greater sense of belonging for students, families and staff,” Jones said.
Schools under consideration for conversion, rebuilding, and/or consolidation are Holcomb Bridge Middle, Haynes Bridge Middle, Camp Creek Middle and Palmetto Elementary. FCS plans to open its first STEAM Academy as early as 2025.
Community meetings are currently underway for citizens to ask questions, learn more and offer feedback. For more information, visit www.fultonschools.org/K8.