K-12 Strategic Action Team



Chair: Janna Dresden, professor and director of UGA College of Education’s Office of School Engagement

Staff facilitator: Tim Johnson, FC-CIS executive director

Contact: 706-369-9732, www.fc-cis.org, tim.johnson@fc-cis.org

Meeting schedule: As needed (held summit March 17)

Description: Public agencies, private entities, neighborhood leaders and others work together for better outcomes for children and youth in school. The Professional Development School District (PDSD) partnership between the College of Education and the School District is a national model (and we’re working with other UGA colleges & schools to establish analogous partnerships); this work continues. The Strategic Action Team was established to identify challenges and opportunities, to develop and implement plans, to leverage resources, and to work across systems to improve educational outcomes for all children and youth in Athens. Because of the continuing work of the PDSD addressing the classroom, the other collaborative partners have focused more on issues outside the schools being addressed through other Strategic Action Teams. On March 17, we re-convened the K-12 SAT for a Summit to review previously identified solutions. There will be future meetings in neighborhoods to engage more family representatives, then the SAT will meet again to identify next steps.

Outcome goals: Higher educational success for all students.

Examples of accomplishments: Creation of Classic City High School, 21st Century Community Learning Center after school programs, Athens Community Career Academy, Communities In Schools site coordinators, School Attendance Panels, Homeless Education Program, Rites of Passage, mindfulness classes for teachers, J.J Harris Charter Elementary School (and the Professional Development School District), comprehensive sex education, Family Solutions services in two schools, Road Trip Nation, and others. Model technology School District. Largest reduction in the achievement gap of any School District in Georgia. CCSD has the National Superintendent of the Year.

Examples of new/developing initiatives: All of the above. Neighborhood Leaders are key to engaging their peers. As Clarke County School District Charter model is implemented, it includes a focus on building capacity at the neighborhood level, which requires support from multiple sectors. Funding is needed for Communities In Schools site coordinators in the schools, as well as for sustaining the Neighborhood Leaders program.


Examples of solutions for needs as identified by the SAT and the current status of the solution
Solutions                                                                    Current Status of the Solutions

Expand service learning opportunities (UGA partnership) UGA workshops provided; International Baccalaureate incorporates in 6th-10th grades; 4 Amercorps workers placed by UGA Office of Service Learning in CCSD; school gardens; CMS summer chefs; and more
International Baccalaureate Program In place for all 6th-10th graders, all four middle and two large high schools are certified.
Additional school social workers Existing social workers continue but more are needed
Professional Development School District (PDSD) PDSD (partnership between School District & UGA College of Education) is in place and recently received award as best in US
Roadtrip Nation program Initiated with funding from national AT&T Foundation
CIS Site Coordinators Funding is needed
Effective after school programs Title 1 after school at all levels, 21st CCLC in elementary & high schools; WIT at UGA offers programs at two sites
Books for Keeps In place, distributes 12 books at school-year end to every student in every elementary school with over 90% free & reduced lunch participation
Elementary art mentoring Not done yet
Meaningful use of 21st Century technology CCSD is model technology district in partnership with Ga DoE. Most students will have take-home devices
Mindfulness for educators, parents, children and youth Being done on very small scale, needs to be expanded.
Classic City High School Performance Learning Center Continuing though not completely PLC model
Homeless Education Program In place
Coordinate field trips at all levels Experience UGA is in place and providing annual field trips for all grades
Connect CCSD with UGA arts & humanities Willson Center and Professional Development School implementing
Provide support for family engagement in schools Every school has a family engagement center and every school has a designated family engagement specialist
Establish Charter School District Initiated by Superintendent & BoE; community support crucial
Community Career Academy In operation
Student Wellness Plan Ongoing; health added as priority to CCSD strategic plan
Community mental health services in schools UGA Counseling group and Family Solutions group at Clarke Central; more needed; more needed
Anti-bullying strategies in place Safe & Welcoming Schools (College of Ed) and Georgia Conflict Center are providing programs in some schools and District-wide training
Computers into homes More than 1,400 computers distributed; most CCSD students have a take-home device
Expand UGA partnerships with other colleges/programs Many schools & colleges have engaged with coordination through our UGA Partnership Committee; Community Engagement Fair held
Rites of Passage Continues but on limited basis due to funding issues
Peer Court In operation, very successful
College & Career Success office In Career Academy; CCSD added a college encouragement staff position
Teachers as Advisers In place
Increase dual enrollment Dual enrollment has dramatically increased, especially among groups that had low participation before, largely through the Career Academy
Neighborhood Leaders as college ambassadors NLs received training and have done this but on a limited basis


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