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Home Schools LIVE BLOG: Board of Education Monthly Meeting, August 11, 2014

LIVE BLOG: Board of Education Monthly Meeting, August 11, 2014

by talkupaps

Thank you for following our live blog of the August 11, 2014 Board of Education  Meeting for Atlanta Public Schools.

View today’s agenda here:

Watch the Board of Education meeting here:



The public can now follow the Committee of the Whole and Legislative meetings via the LIVESTREAM link above.

REFRESH your browser often for updates.

The meeting will begin soon.  Tonight we will update the live blog with highlights from the Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meetings.  We will blog public comment from the community meeting if time permits.

Tonight marks the second meeting for the district’s new superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen.


Angela Smith, Special Assistant to the Superintendent – Flexibility Options Update


Flexibility Talking Points:

  • Slide 0 Cover Page (Meria Carstarphen)
  • Good afternoon.  On behalf of the administration, I would like to take a few minutes to provide you with an update from our presentation last month regarding selecting an operating model through the school system flexibility options.
  • Today, I would like to provide status on the work we are doing focused on school system operating models for district flexibility. In the presentation, you will note that we have outlined a number of different opportunities for all of our communities around the school district to begin having conversations about this very important topic.   The team has developed a schedule of community visioning and engagement sessions.  In addition to the community sessions, all of the taskforce/advisory committee meetings will be open to the public to attend.  We want to give all of our stakeholders several opportunities to provide feedback and learn more about the available options.
  • At this time, I would like to ask Angela King Smith, to come forward and present an overview regarding our progress and high level status for our work focused on district level flexibility.
  • Slide 1 (A. Smith)
  • Thank you Dr. Carstarphen and good afternoon Board. As Dr. Carstarphen mentioned, I would like to review with you our status regarding our work with selecting an operating model for school district flexibility.
  • As you recall from our timeline slide, our project is divided into three areas. Application development 2.  Strategic Planning, and 3. Communication and Stakeholder engagement.  Today, we would like to provide you with status in each of these areas.
  • Regarding Application development of an Operating Model
    • Updated the timeline based on APS BOE meeting schedule
    • Nomination and selection of taskforce members
    • Identified third party organizations to assist in the data collection process
    • NEXT steps: Begin Taskforce meetings the week of August 11th
  • Scheduled APS BOE strategic planning session to reaffirm mission, vision, and core beliefs
  • Regarding communication status
    • Outlined high-level communication plan and strategies
    • Developed plan for website and materials to support communication for this project
    • Developed proposed schedule for community visioning and engagement sessions
    • Developed plan for data collection through survey and polls
    • Next Steps: Website development and launch
    • Community visioning Sessions scheduled to begin the week of August 25th
  • Slide 2
  • As we built out the infrastructure for this process and gathered feedback from community and staff, we want to clarify and or make a few minor adjustments to the information we shared with you last month.
    • First, the November due date outlined from the GADOE falls on a Saturday, to that end, we have communicated with our state representative and we will now adjust our response date to correspond with our November board meeting date. The GADOE will allow us to submit our information following our November board meeting date.  We have adjusted our timeline to reflect that.
    • Second, we had some feedback and questions regarding selecting an operating model vs. flexibility options. We want to emphasize that the district is in fact selecting an operating model through the available options outlined in GA LAW Code (list here…)
    • Third, we have adjusted our naming convention for our taskforce. We have renamed the taskforce to now be called an advisory committee to ensure that the name of this group truly represents the work and intent of this team.
    • Additionally, we outlined opportunities for the community to learn more this decision through a number of different means as outlined by our communication and outreach plans.
  • Slide 3-4 (A. Smith)
  • We have updated the timeline slide to reflect the updated dates and key milestones. We have included more time for community engagement and feedback during the months of August and September
  • Our intent now is to make a decision in September and submit that decision to the BOE in October. We know that this means that our timeline is compressed for developing any documents for the state, however, we wanted to give the community as many opportunities as possible for providing input into this process and learning about this decision.
  • Slide 5
  • As denoted in our presentation last month, This goal of this committee includes the following:
    • Reviewing the elements associated with the state’s recommended flexibility options, including, but not limited to, waivers from Title 20, fiscal impact, school governance implications, accountability and performance considerations, and consequences;
    • building the knowledge base to develop an executive summary for the Superintendent detailing these options and their impact on our school district; and
    • monitoring the district’s drafting of all final documents associated with the Superintendent’s recommendation.
  • Slide 6
  • We have completed the process of appointing or selecting people to the taskforce or advisory committee. The composition of our advisory committee includes individuals from our schools, central office as well as our appointments from our community, neighborhood groups and PTA.
  • Committee meetings will occur weekly on Thursday from 6-8:30pm beginning this week. Outlined here is a schedule of potential topics for each of the meetings.  The meetings will be open to the public to attend.  Visitors and Guests to these meetings have an opportunity to comment by following the outlined procedures.
  • Slide 7
  • Outlined here is a copy of our community visioning and engagement sessions. We want stakeholders including parents, teachers, school staff, community members and students across the district to attend on of 6 meetings.  As your see from the schedule, we plan to host a session in each of our board districts.  Additionally, we have added a at large session on a Saturday for stakeholders to attend.
  • Slide 8
  • Outlined is a copy of our communications plans. Here are some of our plans to support communication and awareness.   These plans include launching our website tonight as a major vehicle for sharing information and providing resources related to this topic.
  • At this time, I will take any questions that you may have regarding the information that I shared with you today regarding the recommended approach and timeline for Atlanta Public Schools. Also, Mr. Lou Este is available take any questions that you may have regarding the state’s work with flexibility options.
  • Thank you for your time and attention. It is greatly appreciated.


Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, Superintendent – Day One APS


Committee of the Whole Meeting 

Minutes approved

3:00pm The BOE has entered into executive session.

6:03pm The BOE has returned from executive session.

The community meeting is now beginning.

Speaker asks that more consideration be given to scheduling events such as open house while religious services are taking place in some communities.

Speaker:  I have driven a school bus for a number of years.  I’ve taken pride in building a relationship with special needs children and parents.  On behalf of them I want to thank you for processing full time drivers and giving them benefits.  These precious kids who need the most care will see an upswing in the continuous care that is so important to them.

Speaker is a cafeteria worker gives highlights about back-to-school activities in the operations department.  Thanks board members and employees who came out to help with the Stuff-The-Bus campaign, kickball game, back-to-school canvassing and other team building events.

City of Atlanta employee also gives highlights about back-to-school activities.  Pledges to give money recently raised to Thomasville Heights Elementary.

Speaker speaks about students from Kennedy Middle being moved to Brown Middle.  Asks why, when others are investing in the area, APS is closing the school.

Parents expresses concern about her neighborhood and the path her daughter must walk to school.  Asks for bus service.

–End of Public Comment–

The Legislative Meeting is now beginning.

The Board recognizes new principals in the district.

The final presentation of the evening is a powerful story of perseverance.  The Board acknowledges Mr. John Moore, APS’ oldest graduate of the Adult Education Program at the age of 82.

Please visit to watch the remainder of tonight’s meeting.

–End of Live Blog–




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