FCS Community Update for June 18, 2021
June 17 Post-Meeting Update
The Fulton County School Board met on Thursday, June 17, 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.
District Implements LETRS Program
Yesterday, the Board approved using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for its purchase of a new professional development program known as the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, Third Edition (LETRS). As part of the district’s focus on literacy to address learning disruption caused by the pandemic, the implementation of this program will set FCS on the course for a transformational learning journey regarding the science of reading.
LETRS focuses on the five essential pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, plus writing, spelling, and oral language. Teachers, administrators and district leaders will learn how to teach the concepts, implement instructional routines and activities, and how to differentiate instruction to meet the literacy needs of all students.
Bridge Plan Update
Director of Federal Programs, CARES/ARP Montreal Bell updated the Board on the district’s Bridge project, a multi-year plan using multiple federal funding sources to help address COVID-19 learning disruption and ensure the safety of students, staff, and families. The project consists of five initiatives, including the ‘Every Child Reads’ program, textbook adoption, expanded program options, leadership development and business continuity. Several completed milestones were reviewed and upcoming project milestones were presented. District leaders will continue to provide monthly updates to the Board on the utilization of funds from the American Rescue Plan (APR) and their use in various programs. See the presentation here. For more detailed information on the FCS Bridge plan, click here.
School Board calls for extension of one-penny ESPLOST
The School Board unanimously adopted a resolution that asks voters on November 2, 2021, to approve the extension of the existing five-year education ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax). The decision follows the Board’s approval last week of Capital Plan 2027, which outlines the facility improvements needed throughout the district (including replacement schools) from 2022 to 2027 as well as the technology, transportation, classroom equipment, and safety upgrades necessary to support learning.
Since its inception, ESPLOST has funded 51 new or replacement schools, 63 building additions, and hundreds of systems replacement and upgrade projects throughout Fulton County Schools. The funding was also integral in providing one-to-one devices for students putting FCS in a strong position for remote learning as the COVID-19 pandemic changed instruction. If passed by voters in November, the next ESPLOST would be a continuation of the current sales tax, which has allowed the district to fund capital plans in a pay-as-you go manner, which has allowed the district to pay off all bonded indebtedness. Sales tax collections would continue effective July 1, 2022, allowing for a seamless transition of capital funding so that project schedules are not impacted. Read more here.
Updated Immunization Requirements for Enrollment/Meningococcal Vaccine
Immunization requirements for enrollment into Fulton County Schools were updated to include a new mandate by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Effective July 1, 2021, children 16 years of age and older, who are entering the 11th grade (including new entrants), must have received one booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday. See the updated immunization enrollment requirements here.