The Fulton County School District has begun to see improvements in its three-year Bridge to Success plan, designed to help students recover from the learning loss caused by the pandemic.
Montreal Bell, executive director of the Bridge to Success program, said FCS has deployed funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the CARES I and II Acts to get students and teachers back to school and recover from the impact of the pandemic on learning.
“We’ve tied them all together to try to make sure we have one cohesive plan that will address learning loss, getting back into schools and positioning students and families to be on the best path to recovery after COVID,” she said. she
A safe center is coming to North Springs
Something Bell said North Springs High School will soon have its own Student and Family Engagement (SAFE) Center.
“It will provide students, families and the community as needed with some resources that they may need outside of school,” she said.
FCS is modeling this SAFE center after the one created at Banneker High School. Some examples of needs it will address include providing food and clothing for families in that community. This can give them the opportunity to shop on certain days when they can bring the groceries home to their family. It will also serve as a parent resource center.
“We are working to actively involve our parents and involve them in everything that happens in our schools. That’s why we’re hoping that when we launch our SAFE Center in North Springs, they’ll start telling us what they really need to help them,” Bell said.
Teachers are trained to improve literacy
Last summer, FCS began training teachers and leaders in the district with a literacy program. Everyone must be trained before the funding ends, including new hires, Bell said.
All English Language Arts (ELA) and Language Arts resources are aligned with instruction. Implementation of strategies taught in the literacy program has begun.
FCS has hired elementary school literacy teachers to provide additional instructional and instructional assistance to teachers to ensure they have everything they need to help students read.
Each elementary school also has a specialist who works with students according to their specific needs in a small group learning plan.
Another component of Bridge to Success is the FOCUS plan, which FCS sees as a systematic approach to accelerating student learning through an equity lens. The plan uses targeted resources, such as high-dose small group tutoring, to accelerate student learning and meet their special needs. This involves having one tutor with the student throughout the academic year in math or reading. This can double the amount of tuition that students typically receive in a year.
Preliminary results of FOCUS include high levels of student participation during both summers. Bell said they are using this program to help students get back on track.
CTAE programs are expanding
FCS plans to expand some program options to Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs and virtual learning programs. Students in high-needs areas who need additional academic, emotional, family and community support may be eligible for assistance.
CTAE options will be expanded at Sandy Springs and Ridgeview high schools, so the programs match the offerings at North Springs and Riverwood, Bell said.
“Another thing we’re doing in the high schools is expanding the computer science and robotics education we offer to our students,” she said.
The Enhance Experiences initiative, FCS Kaleidoscope’s cultural program, has brought back the school field trip experience for all students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
“This is an opportunity where we feel it will give students at least one good educational field trip outside of the district so they can enhance your education and see it in a bigger picture and hands-on way,” Bell said. said.
Bell said FCS focuses on the standards needed at a student’s grade level, using extended instruction and high-dose small group tutoring programs to fill in the gaps they are missing.
“Some students have recovered very quickly, but a lot of it depends on the support they have at home, the support they can get at school, and where they are as a student, how focused they are and really not are distracted, and from their ability to learn. Bell said.