August In Focus Featuring Superintendent Robert Avossa
The summer break is winding down, and in just two weeks, nearly 93,200 students will head back to our 100 schools. Are you ready? We are!
While our students enjoyed a two-month vacation, our school leadership teams have been hard at work getting ready for their return. Our teachers also are invigorated and excited for the new year to start. For many of them, the summer months were spent working on their own development, such as curriculum trainings and workshops or college graduate programs. These opportunities help them be better prepared to work with our students and guide their learning.
As you and your children return to our schools, you may notice a few differences. Beginning this school year, Fulton County Schools has adopted a new organizational model for our schools called “Learning Communities.” There are four of them -- Northwest Learning Community, Northeast Learning Community, Central Learning Community, and South Learning Community.
Organized geographically, the learning communities allow a decentralized approach to school management and provide schools the opportunity to work more closely together and align resources. Each is managed by an area superintendent and supported by an executive director. While this sounds different, you won’t really see a change in your school’s day-to-day activities. The Learning Communities are how we organize our management structure to better support our schools.
You’ll also hear more about implementation of our Charter System, which officially went into effect in July. The first year of the five-year charter will focus on developing School Governance Councils for 20 schools -- called “Cohort 1” -- throughout the school system. These schools will be a model for others to observe as they elect students, parents, teachers and staff, and community members to serve on their governance councils. If your school is part of the first cohort, it will hold elections in late fall and training for members will occur during in the winter.
These events are a few months away, so for now, we’ll turn our focus to preparing for the first day of school, which is Monday, August 13. As a reminder, school hours, bus schedules, and breakfast/lunch information are located on the school system’s website, www.fultonschools.org, or at your child’s school. Your school might also have already posted school supply lists on their website as well as details about dress codes and other important back-to-school information.
We’re excited to have your children return to us and look forward to another great year. I hope you’ll take advantage of the many opportunities to be involved -- we need you and your support to make your child’s academic life as successful as it can be.
Each learning community has a dedicated staff who will work to provide services and support to their schools. Listed below are staff members and additional information for each learning community.
Northwest Learning Community
Dr. Victor Shandor, Area Superintendent
Margaret Pupillo, Area Executive Director
Cathy Thomas, Professional Assistant
Susan G. Baker, STEM Specialist
Chris Clayton, Humanities Program Specialist
Kedra Fairweather, Behavior Specialist
Kimberly Jenks, Exceptional Children Specialist
LaToya Miley, Title I Lead Data Support Specialist
Alyssa Swan, Title I Lead Math Specialist
Shana Welson, Title I Lead English Language Arts Specialist
The Northwest Learning Community consists of 24 schools with a 2012 enrollment of 24,935 students. In anticipation of the new school year, this community has held a principal and support team retreat. Schools in the Northwest Learning Community are:
||Birmingham Falls ES
||Cogburn Woods ES|
|Crabapple Crossing ES
||Creek View ES
||Hembree Springs ES|
|Lake Windward ES
||Manning Oaks ES
|Mountain Park ES
||New Prospect ES
||Roswell North ES|
|Summit Hill ES
||Sweet Apple ES
||Elkins Pointe MS
||Webb Bridge MS
South Learning Community
Dr. Donald Fennoy, II, Area Superintendent
Dara Wilson, Area Executive Director
Adriane Kilgore, Professional Assistant
Elaine Bolton, Humanities Program Specialist
Creseda Moore, STEM Program Specialist
Julie Schneider, Behavior Specialist
Yolanda Williams, Special Education Program Specialist
Calandra Brown, Title I Lead Math Specialist
Jackie Burns, Title I Lead Math Specialist
Jennifer Warfel, Title I Lead English Language Arts Specialist
Tunisia Pullins, Title I Lead English Language Arts Specialist
Heavenly Montgomery, Title I Lead Data Support Specialist
Shawanna Arnold, Title I Lead Data Support Specialist
The South Learning Community consists of 27 schools with a 2012 enrollment of 23,042. The South Learning Community plans to provide world class customer service; raise student achievement through high expectations, teamwork, and accountability; and concentrate on implementation of Common Core. The South Community is excited about the new Banneker High School and welcomes new principals at Feldwood ES, McNair MS, and Langston Hughes HS. South Learning Community Schools are:
||Evoline West ES
||Harriet Tubman ES
|Liberty Point ES
||Love T. Nolan ES
||A. P. Randolph ES
|S.L. Lewis ES
||Seaborn Lee ES
||Stonewall Tell ES|
|Bear Creek MS
||Camp Creek MS
|Ronald McNair MS
||Langston Hughes HS|
Central Learning Community
Karen Cox, Area Superintendent
Rob Anderson, Area Executive Director
Deidra Griffin, Professional Assistant
Patrice Torrence, Professional Assistant
Stephanie Haga, STEM Program Specialist
Lisa McDermott, Humanities Program Specialist
David Marquez, Behavior Specialist
Sherry Peterson, Exceptional Children Specialist
Janita Ford, Title I Lead Math Specialist
Easter White, Title I Lead English Language Arts Specialist
Carla Austin, Title I Lead Data Support Specialist
The Central Learning Community consists of 23 schools with a 2012 enrollment of 17,741. Central Learning Community schools are:
|Conley Hills ES
||Dunwoody Springs ES
||Hamilton Holmes ES|
||Heards Ferry ES
||High Point ES|
|Ison Springs ES
||Lake Forest ES
||Mount Olive ES|
|Oak Knoll ES
||Spalding Drive Charter ES|
|Paul West MS
||Sandy Springs MS|
|North Springs HS
||Riverwood Charter HS
||Crossroads South HS
||Crossroads South MS|
Northeast Learning Community
Dr. Will Rumbaugh, Area Superintendent
Andre Wright, Area Executive Director
Connie Michel, Professional Assistant
Jeralyn Keel, Professional Assistant
Abby May, STEM Program Specialist
Amy Booms, Humanities Program Specialist
Lila Brown, Exceptional Children Program Specialist
Priscilla Cole-Matthews, Behavioral Program Specialist
LaToya Miley, Title I Lead Data Support Specialist
Alyssa Swan, Title I Lead Math Specialist
Shana Weldon, Title I Lead English Language Arts Specialist
The Northeast Learning Community consists of 24 schools with a 2012 enrollment of 22,770. Two main priorities for the coming year are to incorporate Common Core curriculum standards within daily instruction; and to implement the new teacher evaluation system. In preparation for the new school year, the Northeast Learning Community held a principal and staff retreat in June. The Northeast Learning Community looks forward to learning the families and schools they serve and wants them to know their role is to help students succeed as they pursue educational achievement within this community. Schools in the Northeast Learning Community are:
|Abbotts Hill ES
|Esther Jackson ES
||Findley Oaks ES
|Medlock Bridge ES
|River Eves ES
||State Bridge Crossing ES|
|Wilson Creek ES
|Autrey Mill MS
||Haynes Bridge MS
||Holcomb Bridge MS|
|River Trail MS
||Taylor Road MS
||Johns Creek HS|
||Crossroads North HS
||Crossroads North MS|
Please extend a warm welcome to our new principals for the 2012-2013 school year. Principals are already in schools working with their staff and preparing for students to return on August 13.
Lori Bolds, McNair Middle School
Jennifer Couch, Hapeville ES
Debra Doss, Creek View ES
Richard Fowler, Woodland MS
Eric Hollinhead, Langston Hughes HS
Tiffany Hutchens, Medlock Bridge ES
Dr. Rako Morrissey, New Prospect ES
Harvey Oaxaca, Lake Forest ES
Maisha Otway, Hillside ES
Dr. Norman Sauce, Barnwell ES
Dr. Trici Smith, Feldwood ES
As students return to school, please remember to observe the following:
- Watch for school bus signals and do not attempt to go around buses that are loading or unloading students.
- Notice school crossing guards and follow their instructions to keep students safe.
- Children often get excited and do not think about other vehicles. Look for students as they may not be looking out for you.
- Observe posted speed limits around schools.
All Fulton school bus drivers are CPR ready and can provide assistance if students are in distress.
Thank you for helping us keep students safe.
Tips for a Happy First Day
The first day of school can be anxious for students as well as parents. Below are a few tips for a fantastic first day!
Before the first day:
Attend sneak-a-peek to meet teachers and locate your child's homeroom.
Purchase necessary school supplies.
Prepare/purchase school uniforms or school clothes.
Be sure an affidavit of residence is on file and that all other paperwork has been completed.
The day before the first day:
- Have supplies and clothes ready the night before.
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Answer any questions your child may have to reduce anxiety.
Fantastic first day:
- A healthy and nutritious breakfast.
- Plenty of time to catch the bus, walk, or carpool.
- Ask questions or directions if necessary.
- Instructions for after school (bus, walk, carpool, or after-school program).
- Keep a good sense of humor and have a fun day!
School Nutrition Healthy Choices
This fall, the Fulton County School Nutrition Program is meeting new federal nutrition requirements for school meals, ensuring that meals are healthy, well-balanced, and provide students all the nutrition they need to be healthy and succeed in the classroom. As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and USDA requirements, school meals will now meet additional standards requiring age-appropriate calorie limits and portion sizes, as well as larger servings of vegetables and fruits. Students will also have to choose a serving of a vegetable or fruit as part of their complete lunch meal.
Fulton County school cafeterias have already been practicing many of the nutrition standards newly mandated by the federal government, including serving no trans fats, limiting saturated fat, offering more whole grains, and serving fat-free and 1% milk, legumes, and dark green and red/orange vegetables.
Also, the student paid meal price has increased by $0.10 district-wide. Lunch at elementary schools is $2.20, while lunch at middle and high schools is $2.45. Meal Benefit Applications, meal prepayments options (MyPaymentsPlus.com), and all meal price and menu information can be found at the School Nutrition website: www.fultonschools.org/dept/schoolnutrition.
Charter System Update
Additional information is now available regarding Fulton's charter system status. Please click here to see a list of the 20 schools that are part of Cohort One. Updates and information will be added to the Charter System website on a continual basis.
Local schools welcome volunteers. Volunteers may serve as mentors, read to students, assist teachers, and offer other types of assistance. It is rewarding and heart-warming to see the difference committed volunteers can make in a child's life. Consider volunteering at your local school; it is a wonderful way to help students achieve.
Please be reminded that SchoolDude, a web-based facility rental application, is now live. Those who wish to schedule the use of a school facility can complete the process online. To learn more about leasing school facilities, go to the "Quick Links" listing on www.fultonschools.org and select "Facilities Rental."
A Hope To Dream
Ashley Furniture Homestore founded the A Hope To Dream Program in 2010 to help provide mattresses for children in need. For every mattress the company sells, five dollars is donated to the program. If you know of a child (ages 3-16) who needs a mattress set, please click here to refer a child or to learn more about the program.