Return to Headlines

FCS Governance and Flexibility Launches First Conference

In preparation for a successful 2018-2019 school year, the Fulton County Schools’ (FCS) Governance and Flexibility leadership team held the first annual School Governance Conference, “A Seat at the Table” on July 21 at Georgia State University. Seventy-three schools were represented by nearly 200 attendees who gathered to learn best practices for supporting individual schools. Each FCS school has a school governance council (SGC) consisting of parents, teachers, community members, school employees and the principal, and these councils are an integral component of FCS’ charter system. The councils are responsible for setting and monitoring their schools’ strategic direction as well as budget recommendations, involvement with principal hiring process and performance feedback, and Title I committee interface (where applicable). The conference created the opportunity to bring representatives of each council together to share ideas and offer supplemental resources to enhance their effectiveness.

Packed with up-to-date information, the conference kicked off with FCS Governance and Flexibility Director Scott Hetherington conducting an Oprah-style interview with Superintendent Jeff Rose, followed by breakout workshops on various topics. The workshops addressed common concerns such as leveraging charter system flexibilities, how to locate helpful resources, effective leadership, and how to execute plans – all promising to hone skills for veteran council members as well as strengthen those of newly-elected members. One session featured a panel of community business and nonprofit partner representatives who shared what partners look for and expect from schools with whom they collaborate.

School Governance Facilitator and conference organizer Jan Jackson reported that their team met their goals for creating an event that would inspire, equip and empower the participants to have a better understanding of their role in shared governance. Some attendees requested more training to extend the learning from the conference.

Social response from participants was immediate and continued to grow over the course of the day, culminating with a top trending hashtag #LeadingDifferently, nationally, on Tweet247.

A short video summarizes the event in FCS’ “Fulton on the Move”.

Hetherington concluded, “We were inspired by the enthusiasm we witnessed at the conference, seeing council members from across the district gathering to connect. New members left feeling emboldened to serve, and returning members reaffirmed their purpose in their SGC. This event validated our belief that we’re doing the right work to help our schools operate with our guiding principles of clarity, great culture, and clear communication.”