Fulton County School System is ready to open August 8
The 2016-2017 school year starts on Monday, August 8, for thousands of children in Fulton County. A back-to-school focused news conference was held today by Fulton County Schools Superintendent Jeff Rose and Deputy Superintendents Rob Anderson (Academics) and Patrick Burke (Operations). The entire news conference can be viewed at vimeo.com/174682238.
The Fulton County School System continues to be the fourth largest school district in Georgia with a projected 2016-2017 enrollment of approximately 96,500 students – an expected increase of about 800 students from the previous school year. The system includes 105 schools – 59 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and 10 start-up charter schools.
New Elementary Schools. Three new elementary schools open this fall – Esther Jackson Elementary School (1400 Martin Road, Roswell), Vickery Mill Elementary School (1201 Alpharetta Street, Roswell), and Wolf Creek Elementary School (4440 Derrick Road, Atlanta).
Esther Jackson Elementary is reopening on its original site on Martin Road after being temporarily relocated during its construction to the school now known as Vickery Mill Elementary. Wolf Creek Elementary is now the official name of “Derrick Road Site” elementary school.
Charter Schools. Two new charter schools open this fall – Fulton Academy of Science & Technology (FAST) and Skyview High School. FAST is envisioned as a school that focuses on design thinking and problem-solving with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school will begin with kindergarten through seventh grade and grow to K-8 as students move on to the next grade level. Skyview High School aims to serve high school students who have dropped out or are in danger of dropping out. The school’s primary focus is on underclassmen who, after successfully completing their remediation, are returned to their original school to complete their high school program and graduate with their original class.
New Programs and Curriculum Offerings
Achievement Zone. Two years ago Fulton County Schools established an “Achievement Zone” to provide additional supports and resources to students in the district’s most challenged schools. The Achievement Zone is a geographic area that makes up Banneker High School and its feeder elementary and middle schools. The 10 schools within this area experience a greater rate of mobility, more poverty and a higher risk of community crime as well as more limited academic supports for struggling students.
As a strategy to drive improvement, schools in the Achievement Zone will follow a different school day and calendar year during the 2016-2017 school year. For these schools, the school day will be extended by 30 minutes and 12 student release days are built into the calendar, allowing teachers and staff more time for professional development that targets their students’ diverse academic and socioeconomic needs.
The schools making up the Achievement Zone are Banneker High School, McNair Middle School, Woodland Middle School, Bethune Elementary School, Brookview Elementary School, College Park Elementary School, Feldwood Elementary School, Heritage Elementary School, Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School and Love T. Nolan Elementary School.
Personalized Learning through Mobile Devices. Fulton County Schools’ personalized learning concept is the unique way its schools customize instruction so that every student’s educational needs, diverse skills and specific interests are met. One way this is accomplished is through instruction with mobile learning devices. The district is continuing a large-scale device roll-out to schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Fulton uniquely uses a marketplace model where schools can choose from Apple iPads, Microsoft Surfaces, Dell Latitudes, and Dell Chromebooks to design their personalized learning technology plans. Since its start, approximately 17,000 student devices and 1,600 teacher devices have been deployed to 24 schools. By the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 65,000 devices total will be issued to students and teachers in all Fulton schools. The device roll-out plan calls for middle schools and high schools to issue one device per student, and in elementary schools, classroom sets are used to foster collaborate learning among students.
CBI Expansion at Four High Schools. Fulton County Schools will begin the year with four new community-based instruction (CBI) programs at Creekside High School, Johns Creek High School, Milton High School, and North Springs Charter High School. The new CBI programs provide high school students with disabilities the opportunity to learn academic, community, daily-living, and career skills within the communities where they currently live, work, and shop. Over the summer, Fulton modified all four buildings to ensure campus accessibility and provide renovated and appropriate classrooms, home-living centers, sensory/therapy rooms and restroom facilities. CBI programs already are in place at Alpharetta, Banneker, Cambridge, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Langston Hughes, Roswell, and Tri-Cities high schools, and expansion will occur during the 2017-2018 school year at Westlake, Northview, and Riverwood high schools.
Training for New Social Studies and Science Curriculum Standards. Fulton County Schools will implement the state’s revised social studies and science standards in 2017-2018, but teachers will spend the current school year preparing for the changes. The revised curricula were adopted by the Georgia Board of Education in Spring 2016.
Additional PreK Classes. Four new Pre-K classes have been added to elementary schools in the district. Sweet Apple and Stonewall Tell will now have one class and Findley Oaks and Hillside will have two classes each. Districtwide, Fulton County Schools now offers 1,750 pre-kindergarten spaces to students.