- Esther Jackson
FCS Community Update for June 17, 2022
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June 16, 2022, Post-Meeting Update
The Fulton County School Board met on Thursday, June 16, for its regularly scheduled Board meeting at the South Learning Center. The following are highlights of some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online. Other topics discussed or approved are available via BoardDocs. Summaries of Board actions can be found here and Board policy updates can be found here. Additionally, please find an announcement about First Day Fulton and our inaugural Registration and Residency Day.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney addressed the Board reinforcing the importance of school safety, saying the district is resolved to make sure all school buildings and places of work remain safe. The district will be sharing more throughout the summer as we continue to refine strategies and practices in preparation for the next school year. He also noted Fulton County Schools (FCS) will be closed on Monday, June 20, in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday. On Election Day, some schools currently being used for summer programs will serve as polling stations. Therefore, summer school classes are canceled for students on Tuesday, June 21.
Bridge to Success Update
Montreal Bell, Director of Federal Programs, CARES/ARP (American Rescue Plan), gave the monthly Bridge to Success update, reviewing some of the major highlights, which include providing district leadership staff and schools the training needed to support literacy instruction, expanding the virtual learning platform for students, offering a K-2 virtual option for students in grades K-2, implementing literacy training for district and school leaders, and purchasing new ELA textbooks.
Looking ahead to 2023, Ms. Bell detailed information about the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which include transitioning activities that align to literacy and learning recovery and prioritizing plans for needs beyond ESSER funding. See the full presentation here.
Prior to Ms. Bell's update, Amy Barger, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching, highlighted the progress made to ensure every child in the district can read. The Board demonstrated their commitment to this effort by approving over $6 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to provide the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling) program to teachers, school leaders, and district leaders. Through LETRS, the district is collectively learning how students learn to read and the evidence-based practices that will ensure 95% of students read on or above grade level. By the end of May, 76% of LETRS participants were on track with their learning.
Ms. Barger updated the Board on how many district and school leaders have already participated in the LETRS program and thanked the Board for their significant acknowledgement of the hard work and personal time learning leaders dedicated this school year, which included receiving a completion stipend. See the full presentation here.
Every Child Reads
Clara O'Rourke, Coordinator, Program Evaluation, presented results from the year one needs assessment for the district’s Every Child Reads campaign. The review included a comprehensive K-12 resource analysis and a comprehensive analysis of instructional strategies for grades 6-12. The Department of Program Evaluation presented findings based on teacher feedback that indicated a need to provide additional clarity and guidance. District staff are using the results to continue to improve implementation in year two of the campaign. See the full presentation here.
After months of review and input from teachers and stakeholders, the Board took action on changes to the following policies.
Policy IHF Graduation Requirements
Updated to reflect any new state requirements for graduation and explains the different diploma options for students.
Policy JBD Absences and Excuses>
Revised to align the make-up work section to the new IHA Grading and Reporting Policy and revised documentation requirements to allow for flexibility. In addition, it addresses those students working remotely may not access the network internationally.
Policy JBCC Withdrawals
Adopted a new withdrawal policy that explains the withdrawal process for students and supports for dropout prevention. In addition, it addresses withdrawing students when they travel internationally for longer than 10 days.
Operating Guideline GBRI Professional/Classified Leaves of Absences
Revised to add remote learning day guidance and clarified that personal leave for employees may be taken on critical days only when approved in writing by an employee's immediate supervisor 10 days in advance.
Residency and Registration Day
FCS will host its inaugural Residency and Registration Day on Friday, July 29, offering parents an opportunity to register new students and provide residency verification documents for kindergartners and rising 1st, 6th and 9th graders. Parents are encouraged to complete registration for new or transferring students on Residency and Registration Day to decrease long registration lines at First Day Fulton and on the first day of school. Learn more about the documents needed for residency verification and start the registration process online at www.fultonschools.org/registration.
First Day Fulton
The district's back to school kick-off event, First Day Fulton, will be held on Saturday, July 30 at Banneker and North Springs high schools from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This fun-filled community event will host families across the district providing resources and school supplies as we gear up for another year of learning. Families must sign up online beforehand if they need to register their students at the event. Please keep a lookout for more information.
2022 National Merit Scholarship Winners
Twelve FCS Students have been named 2022 National Merit Scholarship winners. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. See the full article and list of winners here.