For the second straight school year, the Fulton County Schools district will not be opening a new school or a new facility for an existing school at the beginning of or even during the 2019-20 academic year, which starts Aug. 12.
But there are plenty of new programs and school leaders welcoming students back to school this year.
Shumeriel Ratliff, a district spokeswoman, outlined those new programs.
Student Information System – Infinite Campus: “This will increase efficiency for our teachers and staff as well as provide more transparency for our students and teachers,” she said.
Additional safety and security programs: “CrisisGo is the newly adopted solution for electronic notification of emergency response checklists and emergency communications,” Ratliff said, though the district started using CrisisGo in 2018. “All (district) police officers will now complete adolescent mental health training for school resource officers. This will give them additional skills to recognize signs of mental distress and how to appropriately respond.”
Re-envisioned alternative schools (McClarin and Independence): “These two schools are now flexible learning environments which allow students to take more time to work on a topic if needed, or they can move ahead if they already understand the standards,” she said. “Additionally, students can determine what blend of face to face or line experiences work best for them. These schools will support students who wish to accelerate their graduation plans as well as students who need to get back on track for graduation.”
New math initiative: “We are piloting a new math approach which will increase the number of students prepared to succeed in Algebra I in eighth grade,” Ratliff said. “Six schools have volunteered to participate.”
Phonics Comparison Study: “We are continuing our Phonics Comparison Study, which is investigating two different delivery and training approaches for this important academic focus in kindergarten through second grade,” she said. “Over 128 teachers at 10 schools have completed the two different trainings, and we are gathering data on the long-term student performance in each of the two models.”
In addition to the district having a new superintendent in Mike Looney, 15 of the district’s schools have new principals this year:
Elementary: Adrienne Grainger-Smith, Hamilton Holmes; Latrina Coxton, Love T. Nolan; Estell Cooke, Oakley; Kerri-Ann Williams, Ocee; Antwayne Sanders, Parklane; Marissa Wilson, Randolph; and Susan Walker, Vickery Mill
Middle: Damian Bounds, Elkins Pointe; Joel Peterson, Northwestern; and Latoya Miley, Sandtown
High: Michael Todd, Chattahoochee; Charles Chester, Langston Hughes; Kindra Smith, Riverwood; Shareena Love, Tri-Cities; and Tim Duncan, Innovation Academy.