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News to Know for the Week of October 15-18, 2019

Special Observances for October

  • National Principals Month, is celebrated in October as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate principals for their hard work and dedication.


Save the Date

  • Fulton County Schools Cafes will celebrate National School Lunch Week from October 15 - 18 in recognition of the National School Lunch Program.

    The national theme, “School Lunch: What’s on Your Playlist?” spotlights how today’s school cafeterias are serving up healthy menu items that kids want to eat, with increased choice and customization. Throughout the week, FCS cafés will have special guest servers, coloring contests, giveaways, free samples on “Try It Tuesday,” and a chance to win the Grand Prize at the end of the week.

    “Our healthy and well-balanced school lunches offer students fruits and vegetables, whole grains and milk, and meet federal nutrition standards limiting fat, calories and sodium,” said Alyssia Wright, Executive Director of Fulton’s School Nutrition Program.

    Each year, nearly 7.6 million school lunches are prepared for more than 91,000 Fulton County students. The federally funded national program has been serving the nation’s children for more than 70 years, since President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act of 1946.

    Parents can view FCS’ menus on the School Nutrition page of the district website which also includes nutritional content.

    The “School Lunch Playlist” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Follow the fun using the hashtags #NSLW19, #SchoolLunchPlaylist and #SchoolLunch.


  • As part of their Parent University, Johns Creek High School PTSA has planned October events that address students’ mental and emotional wellness: a presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 16 by Dr. Jeanine Jannot, author of “The Disintegrating Student.” Later that month, the PTSA will begin a three-part conversation on the documentary “Race to Nowhere” dealing with systemic pressures and how to tackle them. These events will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 23; Thursday, Nov. 21; and Friday, Dec. 6.


  • Chattahoochee High School will welcome a group of 18 French students and two teacher chaperones on October 16, for a 12-day cultural exchange program at the school. Earlier this year, Chattahoochee students were paired with exchange partners from Lycee Saint Jean Hulst High in Versailles, France just outside Paris. The students began connecting with their exchange partners via Whatsapp and social media to prepare for their exchange partners’ arrival this fall. French students will experience life as a typical American teenager—attending school with their exchange partners, participating in extracurricular activities, and spending the weekend with their host families. The French students will also explore regional history and culture on local field trips to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta History Center, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. This unique partnership between Chattahoochee High School and Lycee Saint Jean Hulst provides an immersion experience, practice for language skills, and a chance to build lasting international friendships. The exchange was organized with the support of Forum Language Experience, an educational travel company that specializes in fostering long-term cultural exchange partnerships between schools in the U.S. and Europe. In the spring 2020, 10 Chattahoochee students will travel to Versailles, France to stay with their exchange partners for a reciprocal experience and will explore French history and culture while touring Paris.


  • Ridgeview Charter School is recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month in several ways, most notably by incorporating Latin music into their music concert programs. Preceding the Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m. band concert, they will host an Hispanic Heritage Dinner from 5 – 6 p.m. The orchestra and chorus concert will be presented Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. The chamber orchestra, a smaller, advanced ensemble, will perform a Latino piece at the school’s closing celebration, Hispanic Heritage Assembly, on Friday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.


  • The Aerotropolis Atlanta Education Collective will hold a Career Expo October 18 from 10 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center. Students from Banneker, Creekside, Langston Hughes, and Westlake High Schools will join Clayton County students for this event. Students in the 11th and 12th grades will utilize their completed YouScience Reports to pre-determine their career pathway exposure. Over 20 businesses will provide an overview and interactive exhibits of these career pathways: Aerospace, Logistics, Food-Agri, Business, Multimedia Production, and Bio-Life Science. For more information contact [email protected] or call 404-349-2211. Businesses can register online at


  • Oakley Elementary will hold its First Annual PTA Color Run October 19 at the school. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race kicks off at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.


  • Bus Safety Week is October 21-25. The theme for 2019 is “My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation.” It is a time for schools to highlight safety in transportation and celebrate bus drivers. National School Bus Driver Appreciation Day is Monday, October 22, and students and parents across Fulton will honor drivers with handmade cards, signs, and special treats. FCS was the first to add three-point seat belts on their propane-powered school bus fleet, purchased since 2017.

    Preceding the week long celebration, Fulton County Schools will host its annual Bus Road-e-o on Saturday, October 20. The event aims to continue the professional development of Fulton’s bus drivers by improving and maintaining their driving skills in a fun competition.   


  • Red Ribbon Week, a reminder to stay drug free, is October 23-31. The theme this year is “Send a Message. Stay Drug Free.” Fulton County Schools counselors, psychologists, and social workers are sending a message to students by providing buttons, pins and information on making healthy and safe choices. Students will be able to participate in campaigns to bring awareness, from wearing certain color clothing to video contest to canned food drives (“I CAN, You CAN, Be Drug Free”). 


  • Students from Bear Creek, Camp Creek, Elkins Pointe, Holcomb Bridge, Hopewell, Renaissance, Sandy Springs, Taylor Road, and Woodland Middle Schools will become REACH Scholars October 23, 10 a.m. at REACH Georgia Signing Day. The event will be held at the North Learning Center 451 Northridge Parkway, Sandy Springs. REACH Georgia is a needs-based scholarship program that begins in 8th grade. Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach through high school and must maintain good grades, behavior and attendance through middle and high school. Those who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.


  • Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 26 when FCS affinity partner, Sandy Springs Education Force (SSEF) will hold the sixth annual Footprints for the Future 5k/10k Road Race. Proceeds from the race and sponsor contributions support SSEF’s targeted literacy programs in Fulton County Schools in Sandy Springs such as “Reading Buddies” and Mini Libraries. Both races are run on a USTAF Certified Race Course and are certified AJC Peachtree Road Race Qualifiers with awards given for all age categories and special Overall and Masters awards. For the second year, the races will begin at the City Springs Green and the race routes through the heart of Sandy Springs. Registration includes a t-shirt and a SWAG bag of giveaways from sponsors and community supporters. Awards will be presented in multiple categories including a trophy for the school with the highest representation of attendees. Sign up today at: Post-race entertainment includes a DJ, sponsor booths, demonstrations, snacks and a 1k fun run for young children and families. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes in advance of Halloween. As a special bonus, the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s Health and Well-Being Council will present their free Fall Fun Health Fest on the Green.


  • October 31 is a costume day for many schools in Central Learning Community elementary schools but with a literary twist. Heards Ferry, Woodland, Ison Springs and High Point celebrate Storybook Character Day by dressing as their favorite book character. Spalding Drive holds a Storybook Character Parade.


  • Centennial High School will host Raising Resilient Kids - A Community Symposium 2019, Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in partnership with Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Georgia PTA. The community is invited to a day of workshops, discussions, and seminars designed to support families in their desire to raise successful, resilient, and healthy people.

    Keynote Speakers include a teenager who will share his struggle with addiction and path to recovery and a mental health expert about the addition recovery process. A free continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Workshop and presentation topics include Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Vaping, Signs of Depression, Suicide Awareness, Anxiety, Bullying, Recognizing your Child’s Needs and Help Managing Social Media, Positive Parenting Techniques and skills, Helping the Special Needs Child, Study Habits, Looking Beyond Your Test Scores, Goal Setting, College Process, Alternative Career Paths, Financial Literacy, and more. Click here for more information.


  • The Legacy of Excellence Awards, a recognition luncheon for Fulton County Schools teachers, principals, professionals, and partnerships of the year, is Friday, November 1 at 11:30 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Link here for more information.


  • Cliftondale Elementary celebrates ten years of excellence with a Family Gala November 16 at Westlake High School, at 6 p.m. For more information visit


Awards and Honors


  • Palmetto Elementary’s Kinsley Jarvis is a 2019 STEM Talk Winner. The Georgia Science Teachers Association recently announced the winners of the STEM Talk contest that was designed to give students the forum to share how STEM is impacting their lives. Jarvis is the winner in the Elementary School Division.


  • Martha Alanis of College Park Elementary, has been named the READ CONMIGO Bilingual Educator of the Year. Alanis was recognized for her efforts to promote children’s literacy and inspire a love of reading in students. READ CONMIGO is a program that provides parents and teachers free tools to foster a love of reading. The award will be presented October 18 at 8:30 a.m. at College Park Elementary.


  • Dr. Gyimah Whitaker, Area Superintendent, South Learning Community; Chelsea Montgomery, Executive Director of Counseling, Psychological Services and Social Work Services; Langston Hughes High Principal Charles Chester; Creekside High Principal Frankie Pollock, and Banneker High AP Ramon Garner have been accepted into the Harvard Institute’s Proving Ground Multi-day Summit November 19-22. The initiative is part of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. The learning opportunity will provide strategies toward solving one of the most pressing problems educators face: chronic absenteeism.


Cool Kids (and Schools) Doing Cool Things


  • Langston Hughes High art students, under the direction of Fine Arts Chair Mary Breazeale, will visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens October 17. A scarecrow, created by Langston Hughes students, is on display at the Gardens during the month of October.


  • Mimosa Elementary School’s partnership with CHRIS 180, is up and running. Through this partnership, Mimosa students can receive onsite counseling services from a bilingual mental health therapist who will provide assessments, individual/group counseling and crisis intervention services to students. Support is also provided to school staff in addressing the crisis needs of students who are not specifically CHRIS 180 clients through consultation and coaching.


  • Dolvin Elementary School recently celebrated the opening of its Staff Wellness Room, sponsored by the Dolvin Foundation. The room was outfitted with comfortable furniture, a coffee/tea bar, spa soundscapes, original art, custom-made tables, and a privacy screen for nursing mothers.


  • Sweet Apple Elementary School experienced their first ever Book Tasting event. Reading classrooms were transformed into upscale restaurants and students dove into a variety of nonfiction texts. The students enjoyed an appetizer course of grapes with a side of History and Geography nonfiction books, and an entrée course of cheese and crackers with a side of science and technical nonfiction books. They saved room for the ever-popular dessert course of Oreos with a side of informational magazine and biographies. Students gave rave reviews of the experience offering five out of five stars.


  • Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School parents organized and purchased small stuffed animals for all students in Kindergarten through second grade. Administrators visited each classroom with their mascot, PAWS the tiger, and each child “adopted” a pet as a reading buddy. In order to adopt them, students had to promise to read to them every night for 20 minutes. Many students continue to bring them to school each day to read to them there also.


In Case You Missed It


  • Ridgeview Charter Middle School hosted the annual College Fair for eighth graders and high school students from the North Springs and Riverwood clusters. Participants met more than 40 college representatives and attended informative workshops by collegiate professionals about the college admissions and preparedness processes.


  • A preschool Special Education class at New Prospect Elementary School recently participated in the Student Art Show at the High Museum of Art. The piece created by the students is on display at the museum. Entitled “Flying High”, the work depicts the students flying in a hot air balloon.


  • Flu Season Update - Georgia is experiencing the onset of an early flu season with confirmed cases already reported by local health providers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stressed the importance of children receiving flu vaccines and the danger of flu to children. According to the CDC, a flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting the flu and spreading it to others. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the flu can cause 10 days of fever and lead to serious complications even for healthy kids. Therefore, we are sharing this information to remind everyone to take precautions and to work together to help prevent the spread of the flu. To ensure the safety and health of students, staff and parents, we encourage you to take proactive measures that can help reduce the spread of the flu and other communicable illnesses. For more information, please visit: