August 1, 2015
Parents’ Right To Know
Dear APS Parents and Guardians:
Welcome back to the 2015-2016 school year. All schools are required by federal law under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965(ESEA), to let you know about your child’s teachers’ qualifications. We want you to know that it is your right to request the following information about your child’s teachers’ training and credentials:
Please know that the staff at your child’s school is committed to helping your child reach his or her highest academic potential throughout their school career. That commitment includes making sure that all of our teachers and paraprofessionals are highly skilled and are providing quality instruction to your child.
If you wish to request information concerning your child’s teachers’ qualifications, please contact your child’s principal, by phone or email, using the information provided on your school’s website.
APS Pilots Online Enrollment System Beginning July 6
Atlanta Public Schools is piloting during July 6-10, 2015 an online enrollment system that parents can use to enroll new students online, when and where it is most convenient for them, and in just a few minutes. Parents will have the ability to enter the student’s enrollment information and securely upload documents before visiting the school to finalize enrollment.
The online enrollment system allows parents to pre-populate their child's enrollment information and confidentially upload scans or PDFs of forms like birth certificates or immunization records to create their preliminary enrollment record. The system also uses the information to determine the student's neighborhood school and can forward it directly to the school or enrollment site. Parents will then visit the school or enrollment site to complete the process and present residency documents and student documents, such as certified birth certificates, social security cards and immunization records, to staff to review and confirm their authenticity.
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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights include the right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Also, upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
For more information about Student Records and disclosures, including directory information, please refer to the Student Handbook, and Board Policy JR and Administrative Regulation JR-1(R).
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Dear Sutton Middle School Parents, Staff, Students and Community:
I am extremely excited and humbled to be named as the new principal Sutton Middle School. It will be my goal to serve the students, staff, parents and community of the school in a manner that is collaborative and supports the excellence that epitomizes Sutton Middle School in academics, arts, athletics and extracurricular activities.
Over the next few weeks, I look forward to getting to know personally the students, staff, parents and community of Sutton Middle School. I will be arranging for both group and individual meetings so that I may listen to you and understand the vision you have for the school and students. In addition, I look forward to you getting to know me and my philosophy in collaboratively working as a staff and community to support the growth of all students.
My career in education spans 29 years and encompasses teaching experiences in elementary, middle and high school. My administrative experiences include both middle and high school settings. My privilege to have worked in a variety of schools and settings allows me to lead in a manner that understands the needs of students of many different backgrounds both nationally and internationally. As I begin this new leadership journey, I cannot emphasize how invigorated, enthusiastic and excited I am to work in such an amazing school.
On a special note, I am the proud parent of an 18-year-old daughter, Megan. She will be entering her first year of college and I look forward to being both a middle school principal while simultaneously being the parent of a college freshman. It is my hope to share my experiences of being a parent of a recent high school graduate and new university student, so I can provide support to our parents as they progress through this wonderful complexity we call schooling!
My sincere thanks and appreciation to the number of staff and administrators who are serving at Sutton Middle School during this transition, especially Mr. Buck Green, who has extended himself in every way possible to assist with my transition. I am indebted to each of them.
As the summer progresses, I will be arranging for a mechanism of ongoing communication regarding my transition to Sutton Middle School. I will post on the web site my email once it is created as well as the opportunities that will be available to meet with me both individually and collectively. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter @SuttonPrincipal. I will be providing ongoing information and resources to help prepare us for the upcoming year and beyond.
Again, I look forward to this new opportunity and becoming part of the Sutton Middle School community.
Sincerely, Gail Johnson, EdS