FCS Community Update for July 23, 2021
July 17 Post-Meeting Update
The Fulton County School Board met on Thursday, July 22 for a called Board meeting at the South Learning Center. Following are highlights of the some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online.
COVID-19 and related variants continue to be a significant public health concern, and FCS remains vigilant as we prepare for a safe return to our schools for staff and students. Superintendent Mike Looney provided new information about the district’s COVID-19 protocols. He said the strategies and structures that were in place at the end of last year will largely be the same, with some changes, such as mask requirements, temperature checks and quarantine protocols. Looney also stated FCS will be ready to pivot and make adjustments if the data warrants. The district’s default position is to have school in a face-to-face environment. However, the Closing Matrix, with different levels for potential outbreaks if needed, will remain in effect. Click here to see the district’s updated Safety Protocols/Recommendations.
Chief Talent Officer Ron Wade outlined the district’s mandatory procedures for reporting a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. He also detailed the district’s updated COVID-19 quarantine directive. He explained the district is following recommended health and safety precautions and strongly encourages all employees and students (12 years and older) to get vaccinated. Mask wearing remains optional for FCS students and staff, except on FCS school buses, where the CDC directives require masks on all public transportation. The district will continue to promote general health and hygiene practices and physical distancing, including maintaining 3-6 feet where practicable. Due to the nature of COVID-19, FCS guidelines are subject to change based on CDC and/or public health directives. On a positive note, according to a voluntary employee vaccination survey, 81 percent of the more than 9,500 FCS employees who responded are fully vaccinated.
Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones then relayed information about the district’s quarantining procedures, outlining a three-part strategy. All quarantined students will receive asynchronous instruction. Teachers will communicate with quarantined students regularly. Students will be provided a block of 3 tutoring hours with third party partner. Additionally, students will be invited to participate in extended day synchronous activities. See the full presentation here.
Dr. Looney notified the Board of district plans to expand enrollment for the Fulton Virtual Academy of Excellence (FAVE) by 500 students to a total of 1,500. The seats available at FAVE are for the 2021-2022 School Year. When considering registration for FAVE, we ask that families make a year-long commitment to attend the academy. Families interested in registering for an available seat at FAVE, can go to the school’s webpage (www.fultonschools.org/fave) where they will be able to fill out a survey for registration. Families can also email FAVESchoolCounseling@fultonschools.org and a member of the FAVE team will respond.
Finally, Dr. Looney congratulated the nine Fulton County Title I schools were recently named Title I Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education. Click here to see the list of schools.
First Day Fulton
Dr. Looney also provided information on First Day Fulton, Fulton County Schools’ fifth annual Back-to-School Pep Rally. The event is happening Saturday, July 31, in two locations, at North Springs High School and Banneker High School. First Day Fulton is the district's initiative for early registration during the summer. To help save time entering the event, parents are strongly encouraged to sign-up in advance. Online event sign-up closes Wednesday, July 28. Pre-registration is not required to attend.
CORE/FCBOH (Fulton County Board of Health) will be offering free Covid-19 vaccines at both locations. The 2-dose Pfizer vaccine will be available for individuals ages 12 and older. The 1-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be available (for those 18 and older). For those under the age of 18, parental/guardian consent is required and the parent/guardian must be present at vaccination appointment. All Individuals will be given follow-up information about receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the event.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, a mobile clinic of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, will offer school-required immunizations for students ages 4 and up at the Banneker site only. Vaccines will be available to Medicaid-eligible children, or those with no insurance coverage. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with photo ID.
Parents and guardians can receive free food, prizes, and school supplies as they register new students or students changing schools. Entertainment, community vendors, and fun activities are also included. Parents will be asked to bring the last report card or student identification to receive school supplies and be eligible for prize drawings. Click here to register.
Back to School Website
After more than a year of pandemic-related disruptions and remote learning, FCS is excited about returning to the classroom. The district has put together a comprehensive website featuring important information related to Back-to-School. The site includes the Top 10 new items parents, students and our community should know as we start the new school year as well as general information about the district like the school calendar, lunch menus, transportation information and the new attendance policy. See the website at www.fultonschools.org/backtoschool.
Millage Rate Public Hearing
The Board of Education held the first of three millage rate public hearings to fund the FY22 budget with a partial millage rollback to offset increases in property assessments. The proposed millage rate for next year will reduce the current millage rate from 17.796 to 17.590, and if approved in August, will continue to be metro Atlanta’s lowest school tax rate for the 12th straight year. The two remaining millage rate hearings will be August 12, 2021, at the North Learning Center, 450 Northridge Parkway, Sandy Springs, at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The School Board is expected to adopt the final millage rate on August 12, 2021, following the third public hearing. More information on the proposed rates, including the required notice by the Georgia Department of Revenue, is listed on the FCS website at www.fultonshools.org.