Return to Headlines

News to Know for the Week of February 10-14, 2020

Special Observances for February


  • African American History Month is observed the entire month of February. It was created by Carter G. Woodson in the 1920s. In 1976, the month-long celebration was established as a time to reflect on the history, teachings, and achievements of African Americans. For more information visit


  • Take Your Family to School Week is February 16-23. For over 120 years, the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) has been encouraging families to get more involved in their children's education. Click here to learn more.


  • National Parent-Teacher Association Founders' Day is February 17. It is an occasion to recognize the work of the PTA and to rally together with other parent groups to pledge anew their commitment to children. Sponsored by the National PTA, learn more at


  • President's Day is observed on the third Monday in February. It combines the observances of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. This year it will be celebrated February 17. Fulton County Schools will be closed.



Save the Date


  • Camp Creek Middle will host "For the Love of Reading," a community event, February 12. The event is part of the English Language Arts (ELA) initiative "Putting Romance into Reading, In Love with ELA."

    South Fulton Mayor William Edwards, District 3 Councilwoman Helen Willis, and members of the city's fire rescue team will visit the school to "show their love for literacy." These community leaders will read to the students in the media center.

    The desired outcome of "For the Love of Reading" is for students to meet and greet their community leaders and gain exposure to career paths, all while fostering a life-long love for literacy.


  • A. Philip Randolph's PTA will hold a Fun Run February 12. The goal is to raise $10,000 for classroom libraries and to support teacher classroom needs. The literacy goal is that 85 percent of 3rd graders will be proficient readers by 2022. Classroom libraries will provide a huge variety of book options to help make this goal a reality. Classroom libraries also encourage students to read more and assist teachers in developing fluency and comprehension with scholars, thus improving proficiency. Anyone can contribute to the school goal of $10,000 by visiting FUNRUN.COM and selecting Randolph to donate. The event will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 1:45 p.m. during all Specials classes.


  • Webb Bridge Middle will hold their first annual "We Have Decided" Leadership and Wellness Summit on February 13 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Forsyth Conference Center 3410 Ronald Regan Blvd Cumming, GA. Rapper SaulPaul will deliver the keynote and perform, and workshops will be offered on wellness-related topics. There will also be a presentation by the LRJ Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve mental wellness and suicide prevention.


  • In an effort to continue the conversation on the importance of early learning for children up to 5-years-old, FCS' Early Learning department will offer a series of community events that will feature the documentary, " No Small Matter," followed by a panel discussion. The film explores early childhood education through poignant stories and humor, laying out the evidence for the importance of the first five years of learning. After each viewing, the subsequent panel discussion will provide information on local resources that support young children and families. Event locations are provided below:


Thursday, February 13 6 PM to 8 PM South Learning Center
4025 Flat Shoals Road
Union City GA
Tuesday, February 18 6 PM to 8 PM North Learning Center
450 Northridge Pkwy
Sandy Springs GA
Tuesday, March 3 6 PM to 8 PM Teaching Museum South
689 North Avenue
Hapeville, GA
Tuesday, March 9 6 PM to 8 PM Johns Creek High School
5575 State Bridge Road
Johns Creek
Tuesday, March 17 6 PM to 8 PM North Learning Center
450 Northridge Pkwy
Sandy Springs GA
Wednesday, March 18 6 PM to 8 PM Teaching Museum North
793 Northridge Pkwy
Sandy Springs, GA


  • Langston Hughes High, in partnership with the South Fulton Arrow Youth Council, will host the Inaugural South Learning Community Literacy Festival February 15 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  The Literacy Festival will feature a Young Authors Showcase, Poets Café, Literacy Workshops, and a Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee is for Grades 3-5 only. A highlight of the festival will be a "live" Black History Museum. The festival will be held at Langston Hughes High School and is open to students Pre-K through 12th grade. To register visit:


  • The candidate declaration phase for the 2020 School Governance Council (SGC) elections process ends February 26.

    Each FCS principal has received information on eligibility guidelines. Voting takes place March 17-24. If needed, run-offs will take place March 26. Winners will be announced March 27. School Governance Council enable parents, staff, students, and community leaders to work together on school strategic plans.


  • Oakley Elementary will host a Black History Quiz Bowl February 28 at 8 a.m. Students in grades 3-5 will put their Black History knowledge to the test as they compete against each other via an online platform.

    The hour-long event will enhance the students' academic competition skills and help them develop deeper knowledge of African American history.



Awards and Honors  


  • The Georgia Department of Education recognized Fulton County Schools high schools with these distinctions:

    Banneker High was named an Advanced Placement Expansion School. The distinction highlights AP schools that experience 25% growth in AP participation over a one-year period (May 2018-May 2019) and also have minimum of 25 students taking AP exams in May 2018. AP STEM Schools recognized include Banneker High, Creekside High, Langston Hughes High, and Westlake High. These schools had a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP STEM courses: AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A, and AP Computer Science Principles.


  • The Tri-Cities High cosmetology team, headed by Jazasnette Turner, advanced from regional to state competition at SkillsUSA. Marisol Rodriguez won 1st Place in Cosmetology Esthetics. The purpose of Esthetics competition is to evaluate a contestant's preparation for employment.


  • Itzel Corral won 1st Place in CPR/First Aid. The competition is meant to evaluate each contestant's ability to react positively in simulated situations demanding First Aid and CPR intervention and to recognize excellence and professionalism in the student's first aid skills.


  • Riverwood International Charter senior Neha Devineni has been named one of Georgia's top two youth volunteers winning Prudential's Spirit of Community Award for her outstanding volunteer service. The Spirit awards are the nation's largest youth awards program. Neha's leadership was recognized through her global nonprofit organization that she founded years ago, ASA.

    ASA has a dual meaning: it translates as "hope" in Sanskrit and is also an acronym for Aspire, Serve, Achieve. ASA supports and raises funds for Georgia children in poverty. In addition to its presence in Georgia, Neha's organization has chapters in Texas, Michigan, and India. She also developed the Riverwood United Alliance, a club that aims to bridge the gap between students of distinct cultures.


  • The girl's cross-country team at Cambridge High will be honored for the "three-peat" state championship wins, during intermission of the Atlanta Gladiators hockey game on Tuesday, February 11 at 10:35 a.m. The recognition will be held at Infinite Energy Center 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth, GA. This will be the first celebration of excellence during a game.



 Cool Kids (and Schools and Staff) Doing Cool Things


  • Eleven students from Riverwood International Charter spent their MLK Day off at the 19th annual ADL (formerly called Anti-Defamation League) No Place for Hate® Summit at Agnes Scott College in Decatur. The annual event focused on ways to build more inclusive communities and included over 150 students from public and private high schools and organizations across the southeast region. Attendees represented a range of racial, religious, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds.

    The students, representing Riverwood's No Place for Hate® and Be the Voice clubs, attended the required sessions and joined small group breakout groups. They discussed topics ranging from bias and hate to identity and ally-ship. They also brainstormed ways to make schools more welcoming and inclusive environments. Two Riverwood students, Denis Flores and Luigi Camacho, assumed leadership roles at the event serving as peer leaders addressing students and introducing speakers. Both students had attended the summit in prior years as Riverwood representatives.

    A Q&A session was held with former Georgia state lawmaker and 2018 gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, on her personal experience with bigotry.

    This was Riverwood's second visit to the ADL No Place for Hate Summit. The Riverwood attendees were Amanda Andrade; Tess Berman; Luigi Camacho; Denis Flores; May Fluker; Halli Friedman; Fernanda Guerrero; Aahil Lalani; Giselle Montalban; Emily Negrete; and Miriam Zetina. The students were accompanied by Lorraine Benitez, Riverwood Spanish teacher and sponsor of the No Place for Hate® and Be the Voice clubs.

    Riverwood student, Tess Berman, commented, "At the ADL No Place for Hate Summit, I learned that I am not alone in the fight against hate and prejudice and that if we all work together, we can make real change. I now feel more comfortable and have the skills to confront stereotypes effectively."

    ADL is a leading anti-hate organization founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry.


  • Findley Oaks Elementary donated $1,000 of the proceeds from their annual Fun Run to Esther Jackson Elementary to help fill their classroom libraries. In the past, Findley Oaks has donated a portion of their event revenue to hurricane relief and decided again to contribute to a worthy cause. This year they decided to donate to another FCS school with needs similar to their own. They were directed to Esther Jackson, a school in their learning community. "What an amazingly generous gift from Findley Oaks Principal Camille Christopher and her community!" said Esther Jackson's Principal Nikol Boyd.


  • North Springs Charter High's business department, partnered with EverFi, a community engagement platform, to expose students to careers in the financial industry in both study and hands-on experience. Led by North Springs CTAE teacher Kimberly Daniel, who wanted to provide a more hands-on business learning experience, the students studied five online modules of the New York Stock Exchange Future Investor's Program. They learned the rules of the stock market, digital citizenship, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, personal investing, and more. Once the study was completed, the students went to the Sandy Springs offices of InterContinental Exchange to see corporate financial offices and observe how the world of finance works. The students joined junior executives for three rounds of the Stock Exchange Game, a free card game created for students that mimicked day trading. A panel discussion followed afterward in which students could ask questions about how they got into the business, learn different roles of the employees and departments. EverFi sponsored the trip.

    The students noticed there was a deficit of minority presence at the session they attended, which sparked an interest to start a club at North Springs called Minorities Who Trade. The club is open to everyone but encourages minorities to explore the world of investing and finance. An EverFi representative will be assisting the club's development, and there will be opportunities for essay writing for college scholarships.



In Case You Missed It


  • Tri-Cities High hosted Mrs. Naomi King, widow of Rev. A. D. King, brother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for a discussion on the Civil Rights Movement. Mrs. King told students about her family's history. She, her husband, and children were in their home in Birmingham, Alabama, shortly before it was bombed in 1963.

    Mrs. King recalled that Rev. Martin Luther King told her "the more we are abused, the more we have to forgive."

    Students stood in line to ask Mrs. King questions about the movement. "A lot of people don't know about my husband and his contributions," Mrs. King said. "He and Martin were close, and he did anything Martin asked."

    Challenging students to be the best they can be, she urged them to "think outside the box like Martin Luther King, Jr. and dream, because dreams open doors of possibility."


  • FCS's department of School Nutrition's annual January Tackle Hunger Canned Food Drive met their goal and surpassed last year's donation total of 1,000 canned food and non-perishable items. School cafés and the Administrative Center office collected donations which amounted to 2,720 cans that were donated to the Fulton County-based Atlanta Community Food Bank and North Fulton Community Charities. The Atlanta Community Food Bank runs School Mobile Food Pantries every month at three Fulton County Schools: Banneker High, Asa Hilliard, and Brookview Elementary.


  • Flu Season Update - Georgia is currently experiencing widespread flu cases as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health. According to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting flu and spreading it to others. The AAP states that the flu can cause 10 days of fever and lead to serious complications even for healthy kids. Therefore, we are sharing this information to remind us to take precautions and to work together to help prevent the spread of flu. To ensure the safety and health of students, staff and parents, we encourage you to take proactive measures that can help reduce the spread of flu and other communicable illnesses. For more information, please visit: