By: Mariama Tyler Jenkins
ATLANTA – In preparation for its launch as a charter system, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will hold elections for new local school governance teams online March 8-14, 2016. Candidates can officially declare their intent to serve now through February 15.
On July 1, 2016, APS will begin its five-year contract with the state to become the 33rd Charter System in Georgia. As a Charter System, districts are required to form local school governance teams, called GO Teams in APS, for each school.
“We want to give local school communities freedom and flexibility to decide what changes their schools need to make in order to increase student performance,” said Dr. Donyall Dickey, Chief Schools Officer. “By working collaboratively with our principals, parents, school-based staff and community members, GO Teams are empowered to help improve schools.”
GO Teams, which will replace local school councils required in traditional school districts, will be comprised of nine voting members for elementary and middle schools. High school GO Teams will have 10 voting members, including one student. The teams will include three parents elected by parents/guardians, three instructional staff elected by school-based staff, two community members nominated by the principal and approved by the GO Team, and one swing seat nominated by either the principal or the elected members. The principal will serve as a non-voting member of the GO Team.
These school-level teams have the power to make decisions collaboratively with the principal in five domains: 1) Personnel 2) Finance and Resource Allocation 3) Curriculum 4) School Improvement and 5) School Operations.
This local school governance structure moves some decision-making authority away from central office and gives parents, teachers and community stakeholders a voice in decisions made at local schools. The GO Team is a key component of the APS Charter System operating model, which moves decision making closer to where learning takes place.
GO Team Elections
APS is looking for GO Team members who are focused on student learning and school improvement and who are committed to the success of the whole school. Parent/guardian and instructional staff candidates interested in serving on a GO Team are encouraged to visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/vote
and declare their intent to run for these teams by February 15. APS is also still recruiting community members to serve. These members will be nominated by the school principal and approved by the GO Team. Interested community candidates should visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/vote to share their interest
in supporting schools.
APS parents/guardians, teachers and school-based staff will be able to vote online to elect their school’s GO Team representatives during the week of March 8-14.
For more information about GO Teams visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/vote. For more information on the Atlanta Public Schools Charter System model visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/strongschools.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us