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News to Know for the Week of January 27-31, 2020


The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) released the 2019 Single Statewide Accountability System Award (SSAS) Schools. The schools listed were Greatest Gains and Highest Performing Award Winners.

GOSA used College Career and Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) data from the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years to determine Greatest Gains and Highest Performing SSAS awards. Each award category has a Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze tier. Greatest Gains schools must earn a three-year average CCRPI Progress Score in at least the 93rd percentile. Highest Performing schools must earn a three-year average CCRPI Content Mastery Score in at least the 93rd percentile.

Fulton County Schools SSAS schools are: 

  • Alpharetta High
  • Autrey Mill Middle
  • Barnwell Elementary
  • Birmingham Falls Elementary
  • Cambridge High
  • Chattahoochee High
  • Crabapple Crossing Elementary
  • Creek View Elementary
  • Dolvin Elementary
  • Findley Oaks Elementary
  • Lake Windward Elementary
  • Milton High
  • Northview High
  • Northwestern Middle
  • Northwood Elementary
  • River Eves Elementary
  • River Trail Middle
  • Roswell High
  • Shakerag Elementary
  • State Bridge Crossing Elementary
  • Webb Bridge Middle
  • Westlake High

For more information on the GOSA visit



Save the Date


  • Fulton's first Early Childhood Awareness Summit will be held on Wednesday, January 29 from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Atlanta Metropolitan State College at 630 Metropolitan Parkway SW, Atlanta, Georgia. The summit will open with breakfast and networking followed by a welcome from FCS Superintendent Mike Looney. Presentations will be given by Fulton and early childhood education leaders in a panel discussion. This event will provide resources and incentives for parents as well as partnership opportunities for community stakeholders.


  • Spalding Drive Elementary will hold a Career Fair, sponsored by the Sandy Springs Education Force, on Friday, February 7, 8:30 – 10 a.m. All grades will have the opportunity to hear from parents and area business professionals about their careers.


  • The candidate declaration phase for the 2020 School Governance Council (SGC) elections process begins February 3rd. Each FCS principal is receiving information on eligibility guidelines. February 26 ends the candidate declaration phase. Voting takes place March 17-24. If needed, run-offs will take place March 26. Winners will be announced March 27. For more information…


  • Wilson Creek Elementary presents “Frozen KIDS” on March 31, April 1 and 2 at 6:30 p.m. Call 470-254-3811 or visit the school to purchase tickets: 6115 Wilson Road, Johns Creek, GA.



Awards and Honors 


  • Advanced art students from Riverwood International Charter and North Springs High participated in the North Fulton High Visual Art Competition and Exhibition. Several students took top placements. From Riverwood, Zoe Osborne placed third overall. Chloe Capes and Luna Ramirez each placed second in grade level competitions. From North Springs, Ori Gal placed second for his grade level.


  • Elkins Pointe Middle Orchestra Director, Seth Gamba presented at the largest instrument music teachers’ conference in the world the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic on January 18. The title of the session, “Rehearsing the Middle School Orchestra” was to support the book of the same title for which Gamba is the co-author.


  • Four Roswell High students represented their school and took top honors in the Annual Fulton County Schools Technology Competition. Evan Reese and Sophia Bradford won first place for Video Production, Joshua Davis won second place in Mobile Apps, and Helen Garcia-Arroyo won second place in Animation.


  • Two Cambridge High drama students, Cielo Balicas and Kat Pattillo won the Thespian MusicalWorks competition, a competitive event for the state theatre association, Georgia Thespians. The students wrote an original musical including the script and musical score then submitted a recording of the music. Their piece, 10,080 minutes, will be workshopped with a professional stage director, musical director, actors and will be staged as a featured performance during the Georgia Thespian Conference, also known as "ThesCon." ThesCon will take place February 6-8 in Columbus, GA. The work is eligible to compete at the International Thespian Festival this summer.


  • The Findley Oaks Elementary robotics team, the Falcon Botinators, won first place for Innovation at the First Lego League Super Regional Competition in December at Mill Creek Middle in Woodstock. The team consisted of 10 fourth and fifth graders, Aengus Breslin, Anay Bahukhandi, Anjali Rallabhandy, Jackson Pendergrass, Catherine Ji, Ray Claret, Sheehan Banka, Allen Liu, Jay Pekky, and Mark Ma.

    Their project involved the creation of a plant wall. Competition entrants were tasked with a challenge: “What if you could build a better world? Where would you begin?” Students had to develop an innovative solution to a problem they’ve identified while, guided by the FIRST Core Values and then displaying their work at the tournament. Additionally, competitors had to create an autonomous robot and not only program it but figure out successful strategies for it to accomplish 20 tasks. The Botinators named their robot Bob the Builder and added color-coded motion sensors to aid the team in enabling it to accomplish its required missions.



Cool Kids (and Schools and Staff) Doing Cool Things 


  • Evoline C. West Elementary participated in a project that transformed their school, One Book, One Wildcat Family. The initiative was an opportunity to build community around literacy by having all E. C. West Wildcat families read the same book, “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo.

    Principal Jennifer Burton selected the book for the entire student body, Grades K-5, to read. “This book is about friendship and overcoming hardships,” Burton said. “It’s about the community coming together and celebrating diversity. These are all themes that are important to our school.”

    Tunisha Thorne, School Governance Council (SGC) representative for West, loves the program. Her seven-year-old son, Jimmie, a first grader at West, has excelled in his reading due to this literacy project. “There was a lesson plan to follow and we read chapters of the book at PTA meeting,” Thorne said.

    Thorne has also introduced her son to the movie version of the book. Jimmie was quick to point out that the book is not exactly like the movie. “Before this program, I only shared books with pictures with my children,” Thorne said. “Now we are checking out chapter books out of the library. Children can do much more than we think.”

    Principal Burton agrees. “This was successful because families were engaged in learning and discovering together,” she said. “And it was fun! As a child was reading, the parent was too. E. C. West’s normalized excellence is when families are excited about reading and learning together.”



In Case You Missed It


  • Asa G. Hilliard Elementary received 250 coats from the community. Former East Point City Councilman Clyde Mitchell helped organize the project. “It was an amazing distribution,” said Principal Maureen Lilly. “He is such a blessing to our school.” 


  • The Dolvin Elementary Chorus performed the National Anthem January 18 at the Harlem Globetrotters game at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth.

  • Creekside High’s Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) program hosted its annual showcase on January 24. FCS Board VP Linda Bryant participated in the showcase and greeted educators from school districts across the state. AVID showcases provide the opportunity for educators to see an AVID implementation, share best practices and learn more about AVID hands-on. 

    AVID students told showcase participants how the program has helped them develop organizational skills and self-confidence.  Some said that AVID was a family affair, with brothers and sisters signing up for the program after seeing the success of their older siblings. For more information about AVID visit 


  • Medlock Bridge Elementary celebrated its diverse community with Heritage Night in late January with traditional dances and songs from the students’ and families’ countries of origin. Parents and community members also shared displays of culture and history for the community to appreciate. The event was hosted by Medlock Bridge Parent Teacher Organization and organized by parent Virginia Patel.


  • Abbotts Hill Elementary participated in Be THE Voice, a national, student-led, character-building initiative to help curb cyberbullying, raise self-esteem, and help students understand the positive influence of the bystander.

  • The north campus of PEAK Academy (Pursuing Excellence and Knowledge) in Roswell is excited to launch their GivingPoint Social Innovators Academy (SIA) to their students this week. A positive peer growth model school for at-risk students, PEAK North is one of three learning center locations in the Fulton County School system; the others are in Hapeville and Union City. GivingPoint is a nonprofit organization that offers the Social Innovators program to equip students for the real world to become productive citizens. 

    Just under two years old, PEAK North is a thriving program. The school will engage this new entrepreneurial training that provides tools and resources needed to be social entrepreneurs in industries the students are passionate about. 

    Students will participate in workshops, led by industry experts, that are designed to teach the skills needed to launch social impact projects, awareness campaigns, and nonprofit organizations. There will be three group projects: one for middle school and two for high school one for ninth and 10th grades as well as one for 11th and 12th grades. Students will take one day each week to do coursework using the Social Innovations curriculum and focus on their projects.

    Guest speakers will also be invited for some sessions. Students will have the opportunity to determine much of the project. Program Director Julie Schneider said, “We're really excited for this opportunity for the kids to invest in the community and to learn skills outside the ‘norm’ of our coursework.” 

    Staff will be assessing the effectiveness of this program. If it shows value and impact, they will expand to the other two PEAK Academies next school year.


  • Flu Season Update - Georgia is currently experiencing widespread flu cases as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health. According to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting flu and spreading it to others. The AAP states that the flu can cause 10 days of fever and lead to serious complications even for healthy kids. Therefore, we are sharing this information to remind you to take precautions and to work together to help prevent the spread of flu. To ensure the safety and health of students, staff and parents, we encourage you to take proactive measures that can help reduce the spread of flu and other communicable illnesses. For more information, please visit:

  • Text4Help, a program for teens in crisis to anonymously find resources and support, will be expanded to Fulton County Schools middle schools. Initially launched to FCS high school students in 2018 in collaboration with Fulton County Government, the program is an anonymous crisis text line aimed at providing a valuable resource for students seeking support or an outlet to share concerns. The program allows teens facing stress or in crisis to reach a licensed clinician who will respond within three minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One year after its launch, the program will now be offered to students in middle schools. Fulton County Government and FCS were the first in the Southeast to launch the Text4Help program.