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FCS Community Update for March 19, 2021

FCS Community Update


March 18 Post-Meeting Update

The Fulton County School Board met on Thursday, March 18, for its regularly scheduled Board Meeting at the South Learning Center. 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.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Schools will return to face-to-face instruction on April 15 and April 16. More information about the change can be found below in the COVID-19 Update.

Superintendent’s Report
During his remarks, Superintendent Mike Looney acknowledged “Georgia School Board Appreciation Week,” highlighting the district’s gratitude to our School Board and the work they do for Fulton County Schools. While thanking the Board members, Dr. Looney gave examples of how they have championed the needs of our students, employees and the community. Among other things, Dr. Looney commended them for leading the school system through a global pandemic, their commitment to flexibility and innovation, and their resolve to protect the district’s sound financial standing. Click here for more information about the Board’s impact on Fulton County Schools. In his closing remarks, Dr. Looney also recognized Patrick Burke, who recently resigned as Chief Operating Officer after more than 20 years with the district to accept a job with Gwinnett County Public Schools. Each Board member then took a moment to thank Mr. Burke for his exemplary leadership, devotion, and dedication to Fulton County Schools.

COVID-19 Update
In a twice-monthly report, Chief Talent Officer Ron Wade shared that COVID-19 numbers are trending downward in Fulton County. Over the past year, FCS has focused on a sustained effort to keep schools operating safely. It has expanded cleaning and disinfecting measures, enforced safety protocols, invested in new technology resources, transparently reported COVID-19 data, and closely coordinated with the Fulton County Board of Health on contact tracing. The district also has provided special employee leave flexibility to those who have contracted COVID-19 at work or who must quarantine because of work-related exposure. With the dedication of teachers, non-instructional staff and school leaders, along with the resources provided by the Fulton County Board of Education and taxpayers, we have been proactive in our efforts to keep teaching and learning the priority of Fulton County Schools while keeping schools a safe and healthy place. 

As a reminder, all schools will transition to remote learning on certain days beginning next week (March 22-26) so that staff can voluntarily attend special COVID-19 vaccination clinics hosted by FCS and the Fulton County Board of Health. FCS Project Vaccinate, which begins March 22 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is the latest step FCS is taking to support employees and our community throughout the pandemic. Approximately 3,500 employees are registered to get vaccinated at the event. With shots being completed in fewer days, FCS will remain in remote learning April 12-14, but will return to face-to-face instruction for April 15-16.

Remote Learning Meal Kits
The FCS School Nutrition department will provide free Meal Kits for face-to-face students to take home while they participate in Remote Learning during the referenced vaccination days. 

  • Elementary schools will distribute Meal Kits on Friday, March 19, for face-to-face students. 
  • Middle schools will distribute Meal Kits on Tuesday, March 23, for face-to-face students. 
  • High schools will distribute Meal Kits on Wednesday, March 24, for face-to-face students. 

Virtual learners will receive their weekly Meal Kit on Wednesday, March 31, at their regularly scheduled distribution site.

Budget Update
As Board members begin the formal process for reviewing budget data, Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef presented the first of several updates on the proposed FY 2022 budget, which included a review of federal funds and self-supporting programs (CARES Act, Title I, Title VI-B, pre-kindergarten, school nutrition, and retirement services/pension). He began by recognizing a major milestone in the district’s financial history – paying off its final outstanding general obligation bond backed by the FCS property tax digest. As part of the budget presentation, revenue forecasts included an additional $75 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CARES Act II), the majority of which will be used to cover costs related to student learning recovery and supporting employees. FCS is expecting additional funding once the Georgia Board of Education votes in late March on the third phase of the CARES Act. Among other revenue highlights, FCS is projected to fully fund its pension plan by FY2025. The next budget presentation will be given April 15, with public hearings held in May. The Board’s final budget adoption vote is scheduled for June 8. See the full presentation here.

AP World History Textbook Adoption
During the 2020-2021 school year, FCS reviewed resources for textbook adoption for AP World History. Fulton County Schools hosted two Vendor Fairs virtually for AP World History resources where vendor presented information and provided resources for participants to review digitally. Based on participant feedback, the following publishers have been selected to be reviewed by all teachers and the public from March 22, 2021 to April 23: “1200 Update Ways of the World with Sources for the AP Modern Course (Bedford, Freeman & Worth)” and “World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Since 1200 (Savvas, formerly Pearson).” Please visit the Textbook Adoption Website to view more information and provide feedback.

Sesquicentennial Celebration
This year, Fulton County Schools is celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary. To mark this occasion the Communications team, together with the FCS Teaching Museums, is creating a series of 12 videos chronicling our rich and storied history. Chief Communications Officer Brian Noyes shared the second video in this series, which honors current students and features interviews with FCS alumni.

“South Fulton Educators Day”
City of South Fulton Mayor William “Bill” Edwards presented the Board with a proclamation acknowledging the hard work and dedication of South Fulton educators. He also proclaimed March 18, 2021, as ‘South Fulton Educators Day’ in the City of South Fulton.