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Fulton unveils ambitious goals for next five years


Focus on graduation, college prep and career readiness for all by 2017



October 17, 2012
ATLANTA — Officials with the Fulton County School System unveiled their strategic plan for the next five years; laying out the path they say will have the district compared to the best in the nation.

The gathering at the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta Oct. 9 brought together more than 300 business leaders, state and local elected officials, community partners and top school staff members to hear the details of the plan, which focused on graduation rates, college and career readiness.

"How do you move from good to great?" asked Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa. "Today, we set the direction that will help us build the future."

He said Fulton Schools is already considered among the top districts in Georgia, but Avossa is looking to districts outside the state, including Fairfax County and Montgomery County in Virginia, generally considered the top nationally.

The challenges facing Fulton County Schools are complex, said Avossa. No other school system in the state stretches 80 miles from tip to tip, bisected by a separate school system. The student body is equally diverse, with very disparate needs from school to school.

"On top of this, we [as educators] are being asked to do much more, with much less," said Avossa.

Citing three specific long-term objectives, Avossa laid the groundwork for "Strategic Plan 2017: Building Our Future," for how the district will meet its goal of increasing student achievement over the next five years.

The objectives include: a graduation rate of 90 percent for all students; ensuring 85 percent of Fulton graduates will be eligible for admission to a University System of Georgia college or university; and having 100 percent of Fulton's graduates certified as "work-ready" as measured by testing.

"These are big goals, but they are attainable," said Avossa. "Our strategic plan is focused on improving outcomes for all students, and the only way to do this is to set measurable goals and put supports in place to help our students and staff reach them."

To attain the goals, the plan focuses resources in five areas instruction, people, technology, effective schools and resources to drive improvement.

Fulton's newly acquired status as a charter school system will also facilitate flexibility and innovation within the local schools to support strategic plan goals. For instance, students may be eligible for credit-earning internships. "Seat time" mandates may be waived to allow time for other programs, and student athletes could be waived from physical education classes to take additional academic courses.

To view the details of the Strategic Plan 2017, visit the Fulton County Schools website at www.fultonschools.org.

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