Fulton County Schools Homework Policy Examples

Dr. Scott Muri

I had the opportunity to talk last week with Dr. Scott Muri, Deputy Superintendent of Academics for Fulton County Schools (FCS) in Atlanta, Georgia. I knew that FCS was moving aggressively towards personalization, but I had never been quite sure how they saw competency education fitting into their strategy. (Although one definition of personalization includes competency-based progressions, in my opinion schools can be highly personalized without being competency-based: They can focus on completion rather than proficiency, they can pass students on with Cs and Ds, and they can personalize within age-based cohorts without opportunity to move beyond their grade level.)

When I asked Dr. Muri about their approach to competency education, he replied, “How can one  think about personalization without looking at competency education?  One is embedded in the other. If you don’t have a competency-based infrastructure, there is no way of knowing if your personalized approach is resulting in students learning.”

FCS is a public school district that is physically bisected by the City of Atlanta and its school system, Atlanta Public  Schools. It is a majority-minority district with 45 percent of the 96,000 students from low-income families (mostly in the central and southern portions  of the district). FCS has been moving down the path to technology-enabled personalization for two years. Muri described the effort as “daunting, but if not now, when?”

With the support of Gartner, FCS started their journey by exploring  the different ways schools can be personalized. They then developed a highly detailed roadmap to guide their work. (You can find FCS’s briefing on personalization and the Personalized Learning Roadmap on their website.)

Their schools are in different stages of building up capacity. For example, 25 of their elementary and middle schools have been using “standards-referenced grading,” in which standards are used to report out what students have learned. (As always, it’s important to understand the difference between standards-referenced grading and standards-based grading. According to Marzano Research Labs, the difference is in standards-referenced grading, standards are used as a reference for reporting; in standards-based, the school has put into place the structures and supports to make sure students are actually proficient in the standards.)

They’ve invested in blended learning by developing a Fulton Virtual School that provides courses to students in virtual labs staffed by paraprofessionals in each high school. They’ve also been expanding the ability of students to accelerate beyond their grade levels. Some fourth and fifth graders are taking middle  grade math  through the virtual school. FCS also is supporting their teachers to become more adept at using education technology tools and working in the blended environment.

At the secondary level, FCS has revamped summer school so that it is entirely targeted to students’ learning needs. Once students demonstrate proficiency, they can receive credit for the course. This means that some students may be in summer school for just a day or two, while others continue on to complete courses. If students started at a much lower academic level, they can also use the summer to advance towards their grade level.

FCS is starting to put together the infrastructure for competency education. With the goal of creating a consistent understanding within and across schools about proficiency and performance levels for each standard, FCS is working with Marzano Research Laboratories to develop proficiency scales and exemplars. One of the challenges for big districts is how to create consistency, given the number of schools and teachers. FCS is addressing this by creating an online capacity to help teachers discuss what mastery looks like. The calibration process will still require that teachers talk together about student work, but they’ll have a starting point that will hopefully reduce variation.

As a charter district, FCS has a lot of freedom to redesign their operations. (They are required to use Georgia standards, students must take the state assessments, and teacher/principal evaluation must use the Georgia evaluation instrument). Muri emphasized that the district is not bound by the element of time. They have flexibility in scheduling, calendars and defining credit. They can also explore the traditional mix of pre-teaching, instruction, and remediation so that instead of waiting for students to not succeed, schools can begin to provide enrichment upfront to students that may take longer or need substantially more support to succeed.

FCS is now beginning to explore how they might re-engineer the district to support a personalized, competency-based system. As far as I know, few of the districts that have converted to competency education have done much in the way of re-thinking districts roles. (One example of a district that has is Pittsfield School District in New Hampshire). FCS is now starting to think about the culture and structures that need to be in place to support students, educators, and schools. They are trying to do it in a way that other large districts can draw on their solutions.

(Disclaimer: I played an adviser role in Fulton’s efforts to develop a Personalized Learning Roadmap.)

After-School All-Stars Atlanta

Contact Information:                Dr. Walt Thompson - Executive Director

After-School All-Stars Atlanta

P.O. Box 3980

Atlanta, GA 30302-3980

(404) 413-8365 (voice,office)

wrthompson@gsu.edu

www.afterschoolallstarsatlanta.org

Mission:  To provide opportunities for young people to participate in educational, sports, cultural and community enrichment programs during after school.

Goals:  To offer a quality, high performing program with collaborative leadership in which students get better grades in conduct and school, more opportunities for academic and personal growth, and enhance peer relations and emotional adjustment.

Target Audience:  Middle Schools

Type of Services/Programs/Activities:  After-School All-Stars Atlanta provides comprehensive after-school programs that are fun for kids and also keep them safe and help them achieve success.  This program improves kids’ lives by nurturing their minds, bodies and spirits through programs that incorporate independent learning, academics and enrichment activities.  Programming falls into five structured and organized categories, each led by a State Certified Teacher:  Academic Remediation and Enrichment, Cultural Enrichment, Technology, Recreation, and Parental Involvement. 

Academic Component:  The academic component falls into three categories: independent learning, project-based learning, and enrichment. 

Family Component:  Each semester, After-School All-Stars hosts a “Family Night” (as opposed to a “Parent Night”).  The Family Night is an opportunity for students to perform and for the parents to learn about the importance of after school programs.  The families enjoy their student’s performance and also a hot nutritious meal.

Program Fees:  none

Number of Programs:  22 (10 in APS, 1 in Fulton County Schools, 9 in City of Atlanta Centers of Hope, 1 at City of Refuge, 1 at Atlanta Mission). 

Current Number of Programs Provided in APS:  10 (After-School All-Stars began providing after school programs in 1999 in selected elementary schools as enhancements to already existing after school programs; the middle school strategy started in 2002).


                                                             Afterschool Classe' LLC

Contact Information:                JANICE MAYCOCK - President             

                                                6411 El Caudillo Ct.

                                                770-964-4487

                                                classe4u@aol.com

                                                www.afterschoolclasse.com

Mission:  The mission of AfterSchool CLASSÉ is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that enhances academic achievement, leadership skills, cultural awareness; promotes positive behavior and improves social, physical and creative skills through stimulating and challenging activities.

Goal (s):

  • A World Class after school program that provides an environment where students explore, develop and improve academically, socially and creatively.
  • A program that targets the “whole” child’s potential and abilities which enables success for all. Plus, provide an outlet for children to have wholesome FUN!
  • To promote critical thinking and analytical skills
  • To improve oral and written communication skills

Target Audience:  K-5

Type of Services/Programs/Activities: 

 

Afterschool Classe Offers:

  • Ample supervised time for students to work on homework assignments.
  • Choices of challenging games and activities
  • Leadership / Character / Etiquette
  • Experimental Learning and Service Learning Projects
  • Nutritious snacks.
  • Examples of Enrichment activities.

Chess

Drama

Discover Architecture

Arts and Crafts

STEAM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)

Karate

  • Individual tutoring available.
  • Outside play, Physical fitness activities
  • Cultural / International Awareness
  • Special Events and Programs

Academic Component: (state specific content)

Staff will utilize curriculum from Kidz Read and Math

K’Nex Education (STEM)

Spelling Bees and Math Quiz Bowls

Essay Contests

Family Component:  Parents will be encouraged to participate in the parent club, volunteer as tutors, chaperones, participate in parent-student night activities, provide resources for program activities and engage in parent workshops.

Program Fees:  (1) Registration   (2) Weekly (3) Occasional Activity fee   (4) Drop-In fee

Number of Programs: (How many schools can you provide a program in) - 6

Current number of programs provided in APS:  4

                        Number of years providing services in APS:  12

If you are not providing a program in APS, respond to the following:

Experiences in providing services and/or programs to children

Additional information:

AfterSchool Classe′ LLC is the First Nationally Accredited after school program in Atlanta Public Schools.  Highlights of our program includes: Art Displayed at Hartsfield-Jackson  International Airport.  Invitation and visit to Mayor Kasim Reed’s Office.  International Skype collaboration with the Greengates Independent School in Mexico City, Mex.  Visit to Washington DC. General Mills BoxTops for Education Hero of the Month.
 

 

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Contact Information:                Missy Dugan - President/CEO

                                                1275 Peachtree St. NE Suite 500

                                                Atlanta, GA 30303

                                                404.527.7100

                                                mdugan@bgcma.org or cwilliams@bgcma.org

                                                www.bgcma.org

Mission: BGCMA saves and changes the lives of children and teens, especially those who need us most, by providing a safe, positive and engaging environment and programs that prepare and inspire them to achieve Great Futures.

Goal (s): Students develop attitudes towards their learning abilities, Increase students’ academic achievement, Increase parental engagement and satisfaction, increase positive behaviors, Guide students and parents into middle and high school after-school program enrollment to continue their academic support

           

Target Audience: K-5th graders

Type of Services/Programs/Activities: Academic Enrichment, Arts, Healthy Lifestyles, and Character and Leadership Programs

Academic Component:

Science & math will be enhanced through fun activities including the NASA summer camp, robotics, math club and kids’ College math computer aided program

English Language Arts/Reading will include activities such as spoken word, Story Cove, Book Club, Journalism, Drama and Kids’ College reading computer-aided program

Creative Thinking skills will be encouraged in all program areas including Inventors’ Workshop, Chess and word games

Performing and Visual Arts activities such as dance, band, martial arts, painting, drawing and crafts will allow the students the opportunity to discover and improve some of their special individual interests and provide creative outlet to build self-discipline skills

Family Component: Parents are required to attend quarterly events and provide at least 4 hours of community service time to the program.

Program Fees: One time membership fee of $50

Number of Programs: varies, depending on funding

Current number of programs provided in APS: 1

                        Number of years providing services in APS: 4

If you are not providing a program in APS, respond to the following:

NA

 

                                                          East Lake Family YMCA

Contact Information:                   Diane Armstrong-Stuckey         

                                                   Regional Program Director

                                                   275 East Lake Blvd

                                                   Atlanta, GA  30317

                                                   404-373-6561

                                                   dianea@ymcaatlanta.org

                                                   www.ely.ymcaaltanta.org

Mission: The YMCA After-school program is to provide quality services for all children to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically in a safe environment.  Family and community involvement are strongly encouraged to support program goals.  Reasonable fees are available to accommodate the entire community.

Goal (s):  To assist children in reaching their full potential in school and socially through fun educational activities, games and recreational exciting fun.

Target Audience:  Children attending the school being served in need of after school services.

Type of Services/Programs/Activities:  After school program held in the school, which provide fun and educational activities for children.

Academic Component: (state specific content) Homework assistance and academic enrichment fun activities

Family Component: Scheduled family fun nights and special events for the entire family

Program Fees: (Do not have to include the amount.  State the type of fees: registration; weekly and/or activity) Registration fee and Weekly fee

Number of Programs: (How many schools can you provide a program in) As many as need

Current number of programs provided in : 13 years

                        Number of years providing services in APS

If you are not providing a program in APS, respond to the following:

Experiences in providing services and/or programs to children

 

                                  E.A.S.Y  “ Enriching After School Youth”

Contact Information:                 Deborah V. & Jimmy Neason, Co-Founders

                                                 Deborah V. Neason, Program Director

                                 . 

                                                 404-452-6596

                                                 EASYinc123@yahoo.com

                        

:  Our mission is to SIMPLY enrich the lives of children through Caring, Playing and Learning.

Goal (s): The goals of the E.A.S.Y School Age Care Program will focus on three main components of what we believe is crucial to the academic and social development of the  “whole child”.  Age Care Program’s philosophy is through the combination of caring, play and learning, children’s lives will be enriched through Experiential Learning and Project Based Activities.  Age Care Program will foster daily objectives/goals to make learning easy and enjoyable for all children.  We will promote the power of caring for oneself and others by providing children with hands-on and real life experiences as well as understanding and appreciation of diverse people and cultures.  In addition, we believe that play creates an atmosphere and learning environment that is fun, non-competitive, enjoyable and the link to true life long learning.

Target Audience: Ages 5 yrs-13yrs

Type of Services/Programs/Activities: Children that are enrolled in E.A.S.Y after school program will have the opportunity to participate in Science, Math,Art, Reading and Technology, clubs.  The following are some of the programs and activities that will be offered in the individual clubs:  Science- children will explore in science labs & experimentations, Plant & Animal Science ( Visiting Botanical & local gardens and the Atlanta Zoo. Children will fundraise for local homeless pet shelters) “Big Thinkers Science Program will host on site field trips for all students in the program. Power of Wind exploration program will have an annual “ Family Kite Day” to kick off the fall season.  Children will create and design their own kites, families will be invited to participate) Math- children will learn the value of the dollar by researching international currency, banking systems and Wall Street.  Children will visit the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.  Children will learn to play Checkers & Chess (age- appropriate); children will create their own board games that will be used during programming. (Program will have a monthly “ Family Bingo Day” using the bingo boards that the children create.  Children will host the Bingo Games) Art-Children will participate in Pottery & Playdoh, drama, music, Young Artist clubs.  Children will have the opportunity to put on Art Exhibits for family and community members.  Program will have an annual Art Show displaying the children’s artwork.  A silent auction will take place and the proceeds will be donated to the children’s charity of choice, on behalf of the children that participates in E.A.S.Y. after school program.  children will participate in the Helen Ruffin Book club, Hip Hop Flocabulary, foreign language, poetry & creative writing clubs.  Children will operate a recycling mobile book library.  Program will host an annual “ Poetry Reading & Spoken Word” evening (community Poets and families will be invited to participate.) Technology- Children will participate in animation, robotics, social media, photography, computer gaming clubs. Children will have the opportunity to maximize their overall Health and Wellness by encouraging each individual child to participate in at least 60 minutes of active fun play daily. There will be a variety of sports and recreational mini camps and clubs. ( ex. Lacrosse, golf, dance, flag football, swimming, soccer, yoga, zumba, break dancing and more).  All children will have the opportunity to participate in a non-competitive environment.

Academic Component:E.A.S.Y will use the “SMART”approach-enriching Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology.  The Learning Component will include the three focus academic areas needing improvement at Atlanta Public Schools.  Our goal is to have a positive academic impact on the children that are enrolled in our after school program by offering enrichment clubs in , Math and Science through an Experiential Learning Approach.  Children will be offered the opportunities to Learn through Play, which will enable our after school program to assist APS in reaching their goals in Reading (Grades 1-5) to increase reading grade average.  CRCT-to increase the number of students 3rd-5th scoring in the meets/exceeds range of the Reading/Language Arts portion on the CRCT, Math (Grades 1-5) to increase math grade average.  CRCT-to increase the number of students in grade 3rd-5th scoring in the meets/exceeds range of the Math portion of the CRCT.  Science to increase Pre/Post assessments for  Grade Levels K-5th.

Family Component:Our after school program will offer a PG-(Parental Guidance) club.  Parents will have the opportunity to volunteer in different enrichment clubs and after-school groups.  Our program will have a PG display board that will have informative information displayed weekly for our after school parents.  Also, there will be a suggestion box at the sign in/out table for parents to provide feedback on the program.  A monthly newsletter will go out to parents and the school informing them on what’s new and going on in E.A.S.Y after school program.  Parents and families will be invited to come out to our monthly BINGO day, Poetry & Spoken Word Night, Family Kite Day, Children Art Exhibit and much more.  We will kick off our after school program with a Family Meet & Greet Gathering and conclude our program with an annual “ Family Field Day”  families will get together during the first and last week of school and participate in a old school style picnic.  We will solicit the assistance from family members of participants to help with games, food music, and other family fun activities.

Program Fees:  Annual Registration and Activity Fee, Weekly Tuition Fee

Number of Programs: 1st yr. E.A.S.Y. will be offered in one school

Current number of programs provided in : -0-                       

If you are not providing a program in APS, respond to the following:

Experience in providing services and/or programs to children

20+yrs experience in Early Childhood Development & Elementary Education

Resume available upon request

Additional information:  Age Care Program looks forward to

working in conjunction with Atlanta Public Schools.  We are sure to have a wonderful and successful after school year.  Thank you for your consideration!!!!

 

Contact Information:                Elna Poulard - President & Founder

                        Lydia Pierre, Youth Program Coordinator                       

                                                155 Westridge Pkwy, Suite 215

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