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News to Know for the Week of March 2-6, 2020

Special Update

 

Coronavirus Reminder - Fulton County Schools is aware of the statements made by the CDC regarding the potential threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. As we are updated by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), we will continue to follow the lead of local, state, and federal agencies. The GDPH has provided us with information via this link for you.

Please be aware that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is asking school officials, as well as childcare centers and workplaces, to prepare for a possible outbreak. Currently, there are no confirmed cases in Fulton County, or Georgia. FCS is working closely with local and state health officials in the event cases progress to our region. Additionally, in response to the CDC's public comments that were recently shared in the media, we wanted to provide information about our coronavirus (COVID-19) planning.

  • We are reinforcing the importance of healthy hygiene with our students and employees
  • Should a confirmed case occur, we will immediately inform our school community
  • FCS has a plan to address a potential pandemic, including a Continuity of Learning component
  • In the event of a school closing, we can convert instruction to a digital format to ensure continuation of instruction

Currently, we are reviewing our existing pandemic plan and making the necessary revisions to respond to COVID-19 scenarios. The plan is fluid and sections will be updated as new information becomes available. FCS's response plan addresses the specific activities necessary to keep schools open and operating while providing a clean and safe environment during an outbreak and the essential functions that must be performed by FCS, if schools are closed. While the full impact of an outbreak cannot be predicted, planning for operations under such conditions can lessen the impact of the event on our students, staff, facilities and mission. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority.

 


 

Observances for March

 

  • March is Middle Level Education Month. It is a time to encourage middle level schools to schedule local events focusing on the educational needs of early adolescents. Sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, you can learn more about this celebration by visiting www.nassp.org.

 

  • Youth Art Month (YAM) & Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM) March is Youth Art Month and Music in Our Schools Month. The YAM 2020 theme is "Take a Journey Through Art," and the MIOSM 2020 theme is "Music Changes Lives." The month-long celebration begins with a statewide art exhibit at the Georgia Capitol. Many schools will host art shows, concerts, performances, special exhibits, and community activities to celebrate YAM and MIOSM. This is a time when our FCS arts educators highlight the wonderful and meaningful work our students in the arts are doing. Both YAM and MIOSM recognize arts education as a viable factor in the total education curriculum that develops citizens of a global society.

 

  • National Education Association's Read Across America Day is March 2. This is a day to celebrate the importance of reading by having caring adults visit schools as "guest readers" to share books with children. Observed every year on or around Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2, the day is sponsored by the National Education Association. For more information visit www.nea.org. To learn how a Fulton County Schools (FCS) media assistant celebrated reading by creating a fantasy world for young readers, visit www.fultonschools.org.

 

  • National School Social Work Week is March 1 - 7. The week is designed to honor school social workers and highlight the work they do to meet students' social, emotional, physical, and environmental needs. Sponsored by the School Social Work Association of America, more information can be found here.

 

  • National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is March 2 - 6. The week brings focus to the importance of the first meal of the day each year, and the 2020 campaign theme is "Out of This World." This national initiative reminds the entire school community that school breakfast for those who take advantage of it provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students. School nutrition professionals and students will be encouraged to show their enthusiasm for school breakfast during this week as the district celebrates with a special breakfast for lunch menu. There will be coloring contests, giveaways, celebrity servers, free samples of locally grown grapefruit during "Try It Tuesday," and a chance to win a prize at the end of the week.

 

  • March 2 - 6 is also Exceptional Children's Week.

    Exceptional Children's Week (ECW) is an annual event celebrating children and youth with exceptionalities and the professionals who serve them. The week is sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the world's largest membership organization for special and gifted teachers, teacher/educators and preservice teachers. The CEC initiated ECW to educate the public about children with exceptionalities and garner support for Special Education. Since its inception, this week has served to spotlight the capabilities of children and youth with exceptionalities and the programs that support them in their communities. The 2020 theme is "Vision 20/20 - See My Abilities." Fulton's Services for Exceptional Children (SEC) is a specially designed instruction in the least restrictive environment, students with disabilities have access to a rigorous curriculum that is meaning, challenging and is aligned to grade level standards.

 

  • School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia is March 16 - 20. The weeklong observance calls attention to the contributions of local boards of education.

    The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) sponsors the celebration. The mission of the GSBA is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia's elected boards of education. For more information visit gsba.com.

 


 

Save the Date

 

  • We Want to Hear From You - In an effort to continue the conversation on the importance of early learning for children up to 5-years-old, FCS' Office of Early Childhood Programs will offer a series of community events that will feature the documentary, "No Small Matter," previewed here, followed by a panel discussion. The film explores early childhood education through poignant stories and humor, laying out the evidence for the importance of the first five years of learning. After each viewing, the subsequent panel discussion will provide information on local resources that support young children and families. Event locations are provided below:

 

DATES TIMES LOCATIONS
Tuesday, March 3 6 PM to 8 PM Teaching Museum South
689 North Avenue
Hapeville, GA
Tuesday, March 9 6 PM to 8 PM Johns Creek High School
5575 State Bridge Road
Johns Creek
Tuesday, March 17 6 PM to 8 PM North Learning Center
450 Northridge Pkwy
Sandy Springs GA
Wednesday, March 18 6 PM to 8 PM Teaching Museum North
793 Northridge Pkwy
Sandy Springs, GA

 

 

  • Fulton County Schools will be recognized by United Way with the Impact Award Wednesday, March 11. FCS is the 2020 "Child Well-Being Community Impact Award" recipient, signaling that the district is making significant impact in the lives of children and the community through programs, services, system changes, and initiatives.

    United Way of Greater Atlanta and South Fulton United partners will present the award at the Impact Center.

    United Way's Vanessa Roussell, County Engagement Director for NE Region Dekalb and South Fulton Counties said "Congratulations! Thank you for your major contribution to the health and well-being of South Fulton."

 

  • North Springs Charter High will host the 10th annual STEAM Showcase, sponsored by the Sandy Springs Education Force (SSEF), on Wednesday, March 11, from 6 - 8 p.m. at North Springs Charter High, 7447 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. The event will feature dozens of cutting edge, hands-on science, tech, engineering, arts & math exhibits - including surgical robotics, gaming software, interactive engineering building systems, Augmented Reality, artificial intelligence tools, Virtual Reality mini-golf, and more. Also, attendees can learn about SSEF's STEAM initiatives in the 11 public schools in Sandy Springs. For information, visit https://bit.ly/2VeWtlT.

 

  • FCS' "Southside Showdown" Art Competition is Tuesday, March 17 at the High Museum. The Southside Showdown is an event in which students from five South Fulton High Schools meet at the High Museum 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA for a day of art competition. Each student participates in two events (one individual and one team event) vying for prizes and scholarship money.

    "This competition is organized to serve South Fulton Schools and is an amazing opportunity for students to not only win scholarships and art supplies, but also a chance for students to see what their peers are doing artistically," said Mary Breazeale, Langston Hughes High Fine Arts Department Chair.

    Local artists serve as judges and Art Education students from Georgia State University serve as session leaders. Every student in attendance gets a goody bag full of informational materials, swag from art colleges across the state, and an event shirt and lunch, all at no cost to the student.

    "The FCS Southside Showdown at the High Museum gives our students a platform to display their creative and artistic abilities," said Elizabeth Epps, FCS Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator. "Not unlike traditional academic or athletic competitions, the Southside Showdown gives our students an opportunity to showcase their skills and experiences. The Showcase is a place for students to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone. All of this can be lifechanging for our students especially if they aspire to be in the creative industries where new ideas and ways of thinking are essential to success. Competing as a group or individual is a great motivational tool and this experience gives them a look into the possibilities of careers in the creative industries."

 

  • The 13th Annual Hovercraft Competition will be held at Northview High Saturday, March 28. The competition dates to 2007 when Joseph Buffington, Banneker High Engineering Instructor, organized the event. Students built the first leaf blower hovercraft in engineering classes. The competition shows middle and high school students how to embrace technology and engineering. Last year, Northview High took first place in the competition.

    Schools are limited to two hovercrafts. Materials are four electric or battery-operated leaf blowers or fans of any combination, pvc pipes, plywood, lexan sheeting, vinyl, screws, nuts, and bolts. Constraints are 4ft. wide X 6 ft. long. The challenge is to navigate the length of a basketball court while supporting one driver and moving in between cones in a figure 8 configuration.

    For more information contact Paul Platt or Steve Sweigart.

 


 

Awards and Honors

 

  • Creekside High's JROTC Seminole Battalion, under the direction of Col. George Fields, underwent a JROTC Performance Assessment (JPA) conducted by the United States Army Cadet Command and the Fulton County Schools District Army Instructor. The purpose of JPA is to gather data and information on instructors and cadets at a point in time to inform the Army JROTC program at large of the improvements made from the last school visit in 2016 to the current visit in 2020.

    The Cadets demonstrated proficiency in briefing goals and objectives for the Battalion, conducting drills, and maintaining their electronic portfolio with directed requirements and milestone events. Instructors also maintained a portfolio that was subject to inspection.

    Outstanding JROTC programs are designated as an Honor Unit with Distinction or (HUD). This recognition requires the program to receive a score of 95 or higher on the JPA. The Creekside Seminole Battalion scored a 98 out of a possible 100.

    For their outstanding performance, the Fulton County District Army presented the Creekside High Seminole Battalion with the "Warrior Brigade" Certificate of Excellence February 26, for Superior Performance during the JROTC JPA visit.

 

  • FCS art students from seven schools will have art on display this month at the 2020 State Capitol Art Exhibit, co-sponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association and the Office of the Secretary of State. The Annual Capitol Art Exhibit is the state-wide kickoff for Youth Art Month and the largest student exhibit in the state. The purpose of the exhibit is to share with legislators and the public the exceptional, creative ability of Georgia's students. A reception with art on display from students in school districts across the state will be held Wednesday, March 4, from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Sloppy Floyd Building 1 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW, Atlanta, GA. State Legislators and State School Superintendent, Richard Woods will be in attendance to meet and greet student and parents.

 

Art Teacher School Student Student
Dana Munson Riverwood HS Sola Quarterman Michelle Brannan
Katie Argentina Sweet Apple ES Talia Saburov Sarah Bien
Drew Brown Milton HS Ananya Gambhiraopet Sarah Green
Melissa Nail Alpharetta ES Sydney Vidmar Paul Ruz Flores
Allison Elder Birmingham Falls ES Lillian Katula Hudson Lee
Sahirah Wade North Springs HS Ashley Costley Jillian Guye
Heather Meyer Riverwood HS Claire Compton Caroline Shutley
Melanie Painter Milton High Lorin Tady Emma Eliasen
Gina Steffensen Crabapple Crossing ES Shriya Hariharan Leo Miltiades
Jennie Dumont Riverwood HS Karina Spataru-Toma Zoe Osbourne
Brent Green North Springs HS Kanoa Teixeira Sydney Kerber
Lynn Hatcher Milton HS Abigayle Banich Maura Chandler

 

  • The River Trail Middle Chess Team recently placed in the top three at the regional Georgia Middle Schools State Qualifier Chess Tournament and are clear to advance to state finals. Players Rishitha Kamsli and Ray Dhavala each earned two victories, Tanish Potula and Bhavin Shah each earned three victories. River Trail's MVP, Vaishnavi Tammali, went undefeated.

 

  • Alpharetta High Robotics Club member and junior Aditya Singh has qualified to be a state finalist in the FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC) having won the Dean's List Award. Aditya will advance to the FTC World Championships in Houston, TX in April.

 

  • Three FCS students became finalists in the Georgia Association of Educator's District Four Spelling Bee. First place winner Arushi Cumer of River Trail Middle, second place winner Samy El-Zahabi of State Bridge Elementary, and third place winner Aryan Batchu of Wilson Creek Elementary. Arushi and Sami qualify for the state competition and will compete on Friday, March 13 at Georgia State University.

 

  • Chattahoochee High School junior Caelyn DeSouza has been given the National Center for Women in Technology 2020 Georgia Affiliate Winner Award. She was nominated by her teacher Pam Whitlock, FCS Teacher of the Year and Chattahoochee's AP Computer Science teacher, because of her passion and work in the Computer Science field and ability to work with Java and Python computer languages. Her mission is to create amazing projects with technology that will help people all over the world and develop apps for under-resourced children to assist in learning.

    Additionally, Caelyn shadowed Fulton Superior Court Judge Rachelle Carnesale for a day in early February as part of the Student Leadership Johns Creek's Secretary of State Ambassadors program. The group is planning a Judge Forum for the public with over 15 Superior Court Judges.

 

  • Chattahoochee High School Principal Mike Todd has been chosen to present at the National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference, December 8 - 11, in Orlando, FL. He will present on implementing a strategic Response to Intervention program (RTI), a just-in-time instruction plan to assist students who are not making adequate progress in classroom studies and skills deficits, at the high school level as well as on success outcomes.

 

  • Hapeville Charter Career Academy Counselor Aranya Knox was recognized by the 2019-2020 College Board Counselor Recognition Program for her exemplary, innovative and results-oriented work as a professional school counselor. She received her awards during National School Counseling Week, February 3 - 7. Knox will be profiled on the organization's website and joins 15 other Georgia school counselors who were nominated and recognized for this state award.

 

  • Chattahoochee Hills Charter Dean of Middle School, Raymond Edwards, has been given the Illuminator of the Year - Administrative Award. The program recognizes an administrator's use of Illuminate Education, an education technology platform, to positively impact student learning, parent engagement or educator success. Edwards, as an award winner, used one or multiple illuminate products to make a significant, positive impact. Additionally, he shared resources and best practices with the product to promote student and educator success. Lastly, he has demonstrated outstanding leadership around assessment, data and helping teacher make decisions for students.

    Edwards was one of only two Illuminators of the Year and the only awardee to receive the Administrator Award. Winners were recognized at the Illuminate Educate User Conference in Anaheim, CA in late January.

 

  • FCS Nutrition Program has received a donation from All for Lunch Inc. to clear the district's unpaid elementary school meal charges accrued during the school year. All for Lunch, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with the mission of ending school lunch debt and guaranteeing that no child is denied lunch at school due to their inability to pay. 100% of donations raised go to paying off school's unpaid lunch accounts and funding reserve accounts in schools so every child has access to a nutritious school lunch alongside their peers, regardless of their financial situation. "This is a great example of how collaboration with a community partner fosters the district's work towards supporting every student." said Alyssia Wright, Executive Director of the district's School Nutrition Program.

 


 

Cool Kids (and Schools and Staff) Doing Cool Things

 

  • Tri-Cities High senior, Angel Harris has received 1,139,500 dollars in scholarship offers from 14 colleges and universities. Amongst the offers are North Carolina A&T University, Agnes Scott College, Stetson University, and Washington & Jefferson College. Having recently completed more scholarship interviews, it's anticipated that she will reach $1.5 million dollars. Harris is a full-time dual enrollment student at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, has a cumulative GPA of 90.293, and will major in pre-medicine as she aspires to become a Neurosurgeon.

 

  • Creekside High has been accepted into the Hamilton program, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. One student will be selected to perform at the Fox Theater and all students will have a chance to meet and interact with the performers before the show.

    Dr. Maria Pinkston Bazile, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Coach said "local partners are helping the student attendees by providing lunch on the day of the performance. Students are working on a project now about the play."

    The Gilder Lehrman Institute has partnered with the producers of Hamilton on the program. It is part of the institute's mission to improve the teaching and learning of American history. For more information visit www.gilderlehrman.org.

 

  • Tri-Cities High's Visual & Performing Arts Magnet (VPA) presents "Into the Woods" Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8 in the Viola Turner Theater at Tri-Cities High.

    "Into the Woods" is a modern-day musical that follows the classic fairytales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. The play has a unique twist that is both mysterious and whimsical.

    A matinee performance of the musical will be performed Thursday, March 5 and Friday, March 6 at the theater. For tickets to any performance call 470-254-8010, Opt. 7 or email: stewartsd@fultonschools.org.

    The VPA at Tri-Cities is directed by Dr. Tiffany Mingo. Director and choreographer Debbie Allen and musician Ken Ford are among the special guests who have visited the program. Last year, the musical "The Wiz" was a major success with all sold-out shows.

 

  • Two Wilson Creek Elementary fifth graders, Aishvarya Prahalad and Rajveer Nadkar, made a significant impact on the City of Johns Creek to add a cricket pitch to Shakerag Park where cricket games could be held. In the summer of 2019, Shakerag Park became the first park in the state to have cricket batting cages. These two students presented a persuasive proposal to the Johns Creek City Council about why Johns Creek needs a cricket infrastructure. Their presentation led to the council approving the budget for the cricket pitch at Shakerag Park and the proposal to build the cricket infrastructure at Cauley Creek Park, another city park. The development of Cauley Creek is set to commence the fall of 2020.

 

  • Tri-Cities High has met their goal of collecting 400 copies of Toni Morrison's novel, "The Bluest Eye." The book will be given to the entire junior class and students in the theater department. A total of 63 donors contributed to the goal. School leaders plan to start the play again mid-March and will distribute the books to the students when they see the play. "The play adaptation of The Bluest Eye was chosen last spring to be performed in this year's theatre season," said Director of Theatre, Jade Lambert-Smith. "When Toni Morrison passed, I became acutely aware of how many of my high school students had never heard of her. When at one time she was required reading for most AP English and literature classes in our country. I am always looking for an opportunity to connect theatre to the other departments here at Tri-Cities. My first year here, we partnered with the English department to perform Antigone. Recognizing a need to increase literacy, I thought it would be wonderful if we could perform the play for some of the student body and then be able to gift them the novel."

 


 

In Case You Missed It

 

  • United States Army Major General Telita Crosland, Deputy Surgeon General, spoke to students and staff at Banneker High February 28. Crosland entered the Army as a Medical Corps Officer in 1993 and is a recipient of The Surgeon General's "A" proficiency designator.

    Crosland has served in a variety of leadership positions including Officer in Charge, Camp Walker Health Clinic, South Korea; Officer in Charge, Bennett Health Clinic, Fort Hood, Texas; and Associate Program Director, Department of Family Medicine, Fort Lewis, Washington. She is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit. Crosland was the speaker for Creekside High's JROTC Banquet February 29.

    Dr. Kim Crosland, FCS Program Specialist, is the sister of Major General Crosland.

 

  • Fulton County Board of Education Approves Name of South Fulton STEM School

    At its February 20 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Education approved the name Global Impact Academy for the new South Fulton STEM School located in Fairburn, GA. The name Global Impact Academy, presented to the board for consideration at its January 14 work session, was nominated by a committee of South Fulton stakeholders including School Governance Council members and elected officials. The name reflects the school district's desire to provide a rigorous environment where students attain the knowledge and skills to positively impact the world.

    Background

    The Global Impact Academy is positioned to be a world-class school that provides students the opportunity to study high-tech, high-demand courses that are college and career focused. Hallmarks of the school include an integrated curriculum with a focus on STEM education and an emphasis on design thinking. Design thinking is a problem-solving process that combines creative and analytical approaches that require the integration of knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines. Students will be supported through robust advisory programs that ensure every student has a guidance counselor, faculty advisor, and corporate mentor.

    Partnerships with Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), will enhance the curriculum. There will be extensive opportunities to engage with corporate, community, and higher education partners through projects, presentations, and internships.

    Construction funded by SPLOST, the Global Impact Academy is one of two STEM-focused schools set to open in August 2021. The North Fulton Campus, Innovation Academy, is in Alpharetta.