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FCS Community Update for June 9, 2021

FCS Community Update


June 8 Post-Meeting Update

The Fulton County School Board met on Tuesday, June 8 for its regularly scheduled Work Session at the North Learning Center. Following are highlights of the some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online.


Board Approves FY 2021-22 Budget

Continuing a long history demonstrating strong financial stewardship of taxpayer supported public education, the Board of Education approved the FY 2021-2022 budget proposed by Superintendent Mike Looney. Following several months of public presentations and detailed reports on specific funding sections, federal programs and revenues, the budget as presented by Chief Financial Officer Marvin Dereef reflected total appropriation amounts, including budgeted salary schedules, all provisos, School Allotment Guidelines, and a five-year capital program budget and cash flow.

The recommendations were set forth using guidance from the Board-approved budget parameters and meet the goals of achieving a revenue neutral budget while maintaining a low millage rate. A final vote on the millage rate, currently the lowest among metro Atlanta area school districts, is expected to be held in July.

The total appropriation amount for all funds is $1,621,765,475. More details on the approved budget can be found here.


Superintendent’s Report 

FOCUS Summer Learning Program
Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones updated the Board on the FOCUS Summer Learning program, the first step in a multi-part investment FCS is making to accelerate learning for our students following the pandemic. Efforts will continue in the fall with federal funds (CARES/ARP) used to support a charge by Dr. Looney to expand literacy programs, as well as supporting small group tutoring and extended learning throughout the school year.

Specifically concentrating on the number of students enrolled in summer school, data pulled from the district’s student information system, Infinite Campus, encompassing Summer Learning Session 1 and Session 2 shows approximately 17,000 students enrolled with approximately 11,000 attending face-to-face. Of note, 4,217 unique students attended face-to-face summer school who did not attend face-to-face school this past year.  A staff of 1,600 is working at 39 summer school locations throughout the county and Fulton Virtual School. The first session of summer school ends June 24. The second session is July 1-22. Registration for Session 2 will close June 18. See the full presentation  here.


Full Capital Plan 2027 Approved, including Facility Plan
Chief Operations Officer Noel Maloof presented the entire Capital Plan 2027, including the facility plan that includes the school construction, renovations, and facility projects planned for 2022 to 2027. He also recapped the technology, safety, transportation and furniture/equipment plans presented at the April 21 board meeting and May 4 board work session, with the School Board adopting the full Capital Plan 2027 afterwards.

For several months, district staff and school leaders have been meeting with internal and external stakeholders to identify the district’s most urgent capital needs. They also engaged third-party experts to provide objective assessments to aid in developing the needs and proposals within Capital Plan 2027.

A key component of the plan provides upgrades in safety and security, including upgraded video cameras, access controls and door intercoms, and new ballistic vests and communication radios. It also calls for continued investments in technology to ensure students are supported with the leading technological resources for learning. Because of previous investments, provided by SPLOST, Fulton County Schools was able to address students’ learning needs during the pandemic.

The facility plan includes a recommendation to replace several schools as well as explore an educational model that would convert some existing schools to a K-8 grade structure. Other highlights include renovations for 36 schools and two administrative buildings; elementary school media upgrades similar to those in middle and high schools; modifications to adjust or expand CTAE and special needs programs; theater audio-visual systems upgrades and stadium artificial turf/track replacements at some high schools; and artificial turf installation on high school practice fields.

District-wide improvements also are included, such as IT cooling systems and generator backups, LED lighting, and facility utilization to leverage existing space and address teacher professional development needs. High school stadiums will be evaluated with renovations planned as needed. Finally, the facility plan includes flexibility to address unanticipated capital issues or other situations with a yet-to-be-determined outcome, such as GDOT project mitigations or impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complete Capital Plan 2027 presentation, including the facility master plan, is posted here. The School Board will formalize a resolution calling for a five-year extension of the one-penny education sales tax, SPLOST, to fund the $1.2 billion plan at the June 17 board meeting.


Continuous Achievement Update

Deputy Chief Academic Officer Dr. Gyimah Whitaker presented the Continuous Achievement update for this school year. The Continuous Achievement Framework for Advancement allows each child to progress in English language arts and math at his or her appropriate instructional pace and depth, expanding and compacting the curriculum as appropriate. The framework is implemented in all elementary and middle schools and includes a process for advancement in the current grade level and an acceleration process which allows a student to advance above grade level. Included in the update was an overview of the policy, analysis of longitudinal data for elementary and middle schools, data dashboard implications, enhanced math pathway highlights, and next steps for our district. The full presentation can be found here.


Thank you video

Thank you to our Professional Learning department and our community partner North Point Church on creating a wonderful video thanking FCS teachers, leaders and staff for their hard work during this challenging school year. Watch the video here.