Just The Facts: Building the Bridge to Success
Fulton County Schools Implements New Plan to Bridge the COVID-19 Gap
How do you cross a gap in the road? Build a bridge. That is exactly why FCS has called the strategies for addressing the learning gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions to learning -- “Building the Bridge to Success.” As Fulton County Schools heads into the new school year, touchpoints from many areas of the district will come together to bridge the gap left by COVID-19. The plan focuses on ensuring FCS students recover from COVID-19 learning disruption and record the highest growth averages in the Atlanta metro area.
The three-year innovative plan leverages funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), of which FCS received $168 million, to help schools recover from COVID-19. Combined with the CARES I, CARES II and smaller related CARES grants, FCS will implement the multi-year program to address the impact of the pandemic on lost instruction and learning, and centers on ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families.
FCS will implement many strategies to build the bridge to success, including prioritizing safe environments for face-to-face instruction. In addition to improving and expanding existing program options, a large part of the plan focuses on improving student literacy, specifically addressing and transforming the district’s approach to literacy instruction. The literacy initiative is part of the district’s Every Child Reads campaign. As part of the program, FCS will add K-2 literary coaches in each elementary school.
The district has also rolled out a FOCUS plan, a collaborative initiative founded on existing effective practices for academic recovery. FOCUS addresses the universal needs of all students while driving targeted resources and strategies to the students with the greatest necessities.
Additionally, FCS will implement High Dosage Small Group Tutoring, which consists of having a single tutor with a student over a school year in math or reading. High dosage tutoring can double the amount of learning students typically gain during the year.
Another portion of the program will develop leaders throughout the organization though various methods of professional learning. New Curriculum Mapping will provide teachers with the information they need to fill in any learning gaps for students whose learning may have been impacted by the pandemic.