September ABOE Board Chair and Superintendent Remarks Committee of the Whole Meeting (September 10, 2012)
EXCERPTED REMARKS FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
·Congratulations! to students who spent the summer completing the remaining requirements for graduation.On 9/6 those students had a chance to celebrate and APS Summer Commencement.Vice Chair Byron Amos represented the School Board at Therrell High School for this momentous occasion. Very best wishes to the graduates and their families.
·A reminder that October 15, 2012 is Hispanic Heritage month.Events will take place across the country to honor contributions from individuals across the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Spain and South America.APS members, Parents and Community are encouraged to check neighboring schools for information about Hispanic Heritage month activities that will take place in their schools.
EXCERPTED REMARKS FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
I I join the Chair in congratulating the 2012 APS Summe Commencement Class. As all graduations are a fun event and an honor well earned by the Graduates.
n our earlier Work Session today we heard two updates; Financial Update (Chuck Burbridge, Chief Financial Officer) and a description of the Tiered Intervention and Support Services that we are providing or intend to provide (by John O’Connor, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services).Each presentation is posted online and is accessible via our main website:www.atlanta.k12.ga.us.We will also make presentations available to Parents and Partners for Schools Academic Center currently housed at Kennedy Middle School – a wonderful resource for all APS Parents district-wide.
Let me share briefly where we are on the accreditation of our High Schools; thanks for the tremendous work by the School Board and the efforts led by Dr. Alexis Kirijian’s Organizational Advancement Team.I am very hopeful about the news expected to come from SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) in the next month or so.Last fall SACS moved APS from the Accredited Probation status to Accredited on Advisement, which is one step below full accreditation.The Board was given six required actions to fulfill…it has spent the last year demonstrating sustained progress for the required actions and showing additional progress on the remaining two required actions.I became actively involved with the Board on Required Action 3 – Alignment of Board Policies, as was requested by SACS. I have participated in conference calls every other month with SACS representatives to provide updates on our progress and to respond to any questions they had at the time.This has been a long process and we are on schedule to submit a progress report to the accrediting agency by September 30, 2012.The Board has already had a chance to review a draft of that report. After the report is submitted we expect to receive SACS’s final determination in 4-6 weeks.Again, we are very hopeful that the school system and our high schools are back on the path to full recovery of our accreditation status.Thank you again to Board members for your hard work and to Dr. Kirijan and Staff for your dedication and diligence during this process.
Let me (now) talk to you a little bit on engagement because we certainly heard the community’s demands for more communication and more engagement both from the system and from the Board.We certainly intend to do better.The public deserves and certainly can expect, much improved more accurate and timely information from our organization.Associate Superintendent Steve Smith and his team are leading our communication and community outreach efforts but they really cannot do this work alone, they need your help.For starters we are conducting a school-by-school communication survey.To identify the most effective methods of communicating with specific school communities – one size does not fit all.We want to know if you’d prefer to have news about your school, or school district, the paper messages that are sent home, email, twitter, robo-calls, posters, flyers, television or some other means of communication and outreach; that survey is ongoing and we expect it to close on September 21, 2012.Printed copies are being made available to every school and links to the survey are on all school websites as well as the districts website.In the meantime we are excited about several changes that are taking place already.These changes are intended to keep people more informed and more engaged. We have three weekly TV shows; APS News 22 and APS Perspectives are available to everyone online 24/7 through YouTube and on Comcast, channel 22 daily.MYAPS News (the third show) is available to all employees on MYAPS internet or via email.We are providing more communication support to schools; in every school we now have a trained communications ambassador.That person manages the schools website, sends robo-calls, produces school videos and manages social media…We have a new office of External Affairs; it is going to be the focal point for all of our external and stakeholder services.That means if you have a meeting opportunity for APS Leaders, if you are interested in becoming a partner or simply need information as a concerned citizen all you need to do is contact the Office of External Affairs at 404-802-2826 or via email at email@example.com...
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