FCS Community Update for December 2, 2020
December 1 Post-Meeting Update
The Fulton County School Board met Tuesday, December 1, for their scheduled Work Session at the North Learning Center. Following are highlights of some of the more highly-discussed topics, with the full agenda available online. Additional information and reminders regarding community forums for the proposed K-8 Model, the K-2 textbook adoption process, and registration for FCS’ new STEM high schools are included after the Board update.
Board Members Sworn In for New Terms
School Board Members Gail Dean and Katha Stuart were issued oaths of office after being reelected to the School Board for another four years in June 2020. Mrs. Dean represents District 3 and begins her sixth term and Mrs. Stuart, representing District 1, was sworn in for her second term. District 3 represents College Park, East Point, Hapeville and Sandy Springs, while District 1 represents Alpharetta, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell. Franchesca Warren, who was elected to fill the District 4 post of retiring Board Member Linda Bryant, will be sworn in at the December 10 meeting at the South Learning Center.
Dec. 11 Deadline Reminder for Commitment Survey
As a reminder, December 11 is the deadline for parents to decide whether they want their children to attend school in-person or virtually for second semester beginning in January 2021. Similar to the process followed in first semester, parents are being asked through a commitment survey to decide which model they want for their child(ren). If parents do not complete the survey by the deadline, their child(ren)’s placement will default to the learning environment they were in as of December 14. The decision will remain in effect for the first nine weeks of second semester so that schools and teachers can allocate resources and plan accordingly.
Superintendent Mike Looney shared a brief COVID-19 report. According to CORE, the organization that provided free testing on November 29, there were just under 1,000 total tests conducted at the school system’s North Learning Center and South Learning Center sites. Each site reported about 500 tests were performed, and around 90% of results had been delivered by noon on Tuesday, December 1, with additional results being reported throughout the day. Of the approximate 1,000 tests, 64 positive cases were reported and contact tracing has begun. Since the test sites were open to the general public and because patient privacy is protected, the identity of the individuals is known only by CORE and the Fulton County Department of Health. The school system was not given specific information about whether the individuals were FCS staff or families.
Virtual School and Program Evaluation Updates
Dr. Gyimah Whitaker, Deputy Chief Academic Officer, gave an overview of a potential Virtual School being developed as an option for students, while Jhanelle Adams, Coordinator of the Program Evaluation Department, explained the school system’s process for evaluating the effectiveness of district programs and other research efforts. Video of all presentations can be found on the district’s website.
Important Reminders and Updates
Dec. 7 Online Community Forum set for K-8 Model
On Monday, December 7, Fulton County Schools will host the first of three online community forums to share the K-8 proposal and to collect input. The online forum will be held 6-8 p.m. and will be hosted using Microsoft Teams, the same program students use to sign in for virtual classes. The other two forums are set for January 11 and January 25, also between 6-8 p.m. on Microsoft Teams.
The proposed plan calls for the replacement Conley Hills Elementary School and Hapeville Elementary School, both in the Tri-Cities High School cluster, to become kindergarten through eighth grade schools. The online community forums also will gather information for drawing potential attendance boundaries to fill the Conley Hills and Hapeville campuses and balance the enrollments of surrounding schools, should the K-8 model be adopted by the School Board later this year. More information is posted here.
FCS is hosting an online Reading/Language Arts textbook adoption review for grades kindergarten through second grade. Due to gathering restrictions caused by the pandemic, there are no school sites displaying the materials, but they are available virtually. In addition, three FCS administrative locations are housing materials for in-person, socially-distanced review from now until January 22 (excluding the winter break). For questions and availability, please contact 470-254-4943 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The School Board will take the community’s input into consideration before deciding whether to adopt the materials in March 2021 so they can be in place for the 2021-2022 school year.
Deadline for STEM Magnet Schools is December 15
The December 15 application deadline is drawing closer for two new STEM magnet high schools opening in August 2021. Global Impact Academy (GIA) in Fairburn and Innovation Academy (IA) in Alpharetta are recruiting for their inaugural student bodies of ninth and 10 grade students. Both schools have an academic focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with specific course pathways offered in engineering, healthcare and information technology. Students currently in 8th or 9th grade with STEM interests are encouraged to check out the schools to determine if they could be a good educational fit. More information is available at www.fultonschools.org/apply.