Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charter System Discussion

Next community forum for Charter System discussion is Oct. 27 at Roswell High School

The next community forum to get information and give feedback on the Fulton County School System’s charter system exploration process is Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Roswell High School (11595 King Road, Roswell). Two sessions will be held – one at 4:30 p.m. for school system employees and one at 6:30 p.m. for students, parents and community members.

Participants will first hear a presentation outlining basic information about charter systems and Fulton’s charter exploration process. Afterwards, they will break into small groups where a facilitator will ask the following question and encourage the group to share their ideas:

Describe the ideal school for your student(s) in the following areas:

Curriculum and Instruction

School Culture

Monitoring Results and Accountability

Use of Funds

Hiring of Teachers and Administrators

Since community engagement is a cornerstone of charter systems, the school system set seven meetings to gather input. Three meetings were set for October and four are planned for November. Similar to the Oct. 27 meeting, each will have two sessions – one at 4:30 p.m. for school system staff and one at 6:30 for students, parents and the community.

November 3

Independence High School at the Milton Center (86 School Drive, Alpharetta)

November 4

Creekside High School (7405 Herndon Road, Fairburn)

November 10

Tri-Cities High School (2575 Harris Street, East Point)

November 11

Riverwood International Charter School (5900 Raider Drive, Sandy Springs)

Why Explore Charter System Status?

Two years ago, the state legislature passed a law allowing school systems to become charter systems. By June 2013, every district in Georgia must decide whether it will become an IE2 (Investing in Excellence in Education) system, a charter system, or publicly acknowledge it is content with its current status.

Fulton County Schools is already a leader in establishing charter schools, with six conversion charter schools and eight start-up charter schools. As a result, each year many additional schools express interest in this innovative approach to education. Becoming a charter system addresses this flexibility systemwide with less burden to individual schools. Additionally, the system studied IE2 in 2009, and it was determined that charter status is more in line with Fulton’s educational philosophy and desire for flexibility.

In August, the Fulton County School System announced that it will study whether to ask the Georgia Department of Education for charter system status. If granted, Fulton will be the first large district in Georgia to become a charter system, which could mean more flexibility in spending, staffing, and innovation in its educational model. It would also grant greater involvement and decision-making authority for parents.

More information on Fulton’s charter system exploration process, including ways to submit feedback online, can be found at