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Both a process and A DESTINATION

Building excellent and equitable schools is a never-ending, cyclical process of evaluation and action to disrupt barriers to success.

Build for the long-run

Change isn't realized through a singular moment. Change happens when a vision is collectively pursued by a team of passionate leaders over an extended period of time.

In FY19, our impact grew wider and we gained 7 new district partners. Beyond that, our impact deepened as we continued to nurture long term partnerships with districts across Georgia.

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"I don't believe there is a quick fix to leadership. I think developing leaders in a school district is a process, not an action. You can't just send a group this year and think it's going to be fixed."

Floyd Fort  |  Superintendent of Pelham City Schools

Build leaders that grow leaders

When Floyd Fort became superintendent of Pelham City Schools in 2013, he made a commitment to grow leaders, starting with teachers in the classroom. As leaders grew, impact deepened.

Base Camp and Leadership Summit is embedded into the district's leadership development initiative. Each year, Pelham City selects they select a new team of passionate teachers and leader to visit the mountain. The team evaluates data and develops a strategy to build on the progress made the year prior. The leaders then return home prepared to spark impact within their school and team, and ultimately, their students.

And as a result, Pelham City has seen excellent gains since their first BCLS cohort in two of their identified goals: math and literacy.

Percent of Students on or above grade level in reading

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Percent of Students Developing Learner & Above in Math

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BUILD TOWARD EXCELLENCE AND EQUITY

Organizational and individual excellence cannot be achieved without a sincere and intentional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Central to our mission to build excellent and equitable schools is the importance of every student, parent, teacher, leader and community member being welcomed and represented in their school community.

Attention to and respect for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) requires districts to determine how culture, climate, policies, dispositions and practices affect people differently. In FY19, we offered support to two district partners in this important work.

Alongside selected individuals from district and community, GLISI facilitators established trust, engaged in data collection and analysis, and provided research resources and tools to build customized, responsive DEI plans.  Forsyth completed their plan in FY19 and Paulding launched their efforts and will complete the work in FY20.

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The “why” for the importance of DEI planning is succinctly expressed in the voice of our partners:

“We want our students and staff to have a high level of cultural understanding so that they can understand the diverse needs of the community, create a diverse environment for our students and make it equitable too.”

Jennifer Caracciolo  | Director of Communications Forsyth County Schools

*Quote found in article by Kathleen Sturgeon of Appen Media Group, March 2019.

“When the conversation began regarding equity and experiences, I was humbled and became painfully aware of my privilege as people in the room began to share their leadership stories. The conversation regarding equity didn’t stop that day, and neither did my curiosities. The reality that I was confronted with—that I carry privilege as a white woman—has changed my life and how I feel about leadership."

Michaela Hicks, Teacher  |  Paulding County School District