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Fulton County school system ready for Monday
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2012 11:25 AM | 1778 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the 2012-13 school year beginning Monday, the 93,500-student Fulton County Schools System is changing the cluster culture, launching its charter system and adding new principals.

Ron Wade, chief talent officer for the system, said at a press conference Tuesday at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs 11 new principals will head up Barnwell, Creek View, Feldwood, Hapeville, Hillside, Lake Forest, Medlock Bridge and New Prospect elementary schools, McNair and Woodland middle schools and Langston Hughes High School.

“We had a selection process that was much more rigorous,” he said about a new screening procedure including writing samples, interviews, presentations and feedback from third-party sources.

Other new hires include four area superintendents and four executive directors for the learning communities — northwest, northeast, central and south — replacing the 14-cluster system.

While the system’s 13,500-plus employees include 642 new teachers, 39 classroom instruction jobs remain open, Wade said.

“Those vacancies tend to trend toward those hard-to-staff areas — math, science, special ed and social studies,” he said. “But we have leveraged our partnerships to make sure those trends do not exist in some of our high-need schools.”

Superintendent Robert Avossa said although there are no employee raises this school year, neither will there be layoffs or furlough days.

“We made those tough decisions several years ago,” he said about budget constraints.

He announced a strategic plan with three goals — 80 percent college readiness for SAT takers, a 90 percent graduation rate and 100 percent career readiness.

In addition, the charter system will kick off in 20 of the system’s 100 schools in October, Avossa said.

“It will provide us the innovation and flexibility we need,” he said about the status approved in May by the Georgia Department of Education. “We know we live in an environment that needs to be customized.”

Deputy Superintendent of Operations Patrick Burke said construction is complete on the new 99-classroom, 2,000-student Banneker and Cambridge high schools in College Park and Milton, respectively.

“It’s been a very active summer,” he said.

Regarding safety and security, Burke asked drivers to accommodate the 800 school buses returning to 1,800 routes and their 78,000 passengers.

“Parents have a very active role to play in the safety and security of our students,” he said, adding parents can sign up for text alerts on school closings and other events by texting Yes to 88544.

 On the web

A closer look

nStudents: about 93,500

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