State School Superintendent Visits Georgia Cyber Academy District Office

Maria Blencowe

Mr. Woods along with Dawn Scott, Georgia Department of Education Family Engagement Specialist and Paige Pushkin, Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education presented Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) with a commemorative platter naming GCA as a Family-Friendly Partnership School.

The Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School initiative was created by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in 2010 to assist Title I schools, families, and communities as they work together to create welcoming environments that lead to increased student achievement.  The initiative included an annual award to schools identified as having family-friendly, welcoming environments.  In May of 2017, GCA was one of five Title I schools identified by the GaDOE as a finalist for the Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership School (FFPS) Award.  The FFPS awards program was phased out at the beginning the 2017-2018 school year and transitioned to an initiative that provides support to schools which invest time and resources in improving their welcoming environment. The new initiative includes a two-year professional development program which includes online discussions, school site visits, and professional development with site visiting teams and community leaders designed to assist in addressing the selected schools’ identified goals and areas for improvement.  In November of 2017, GCA was one of five schools selected to participate in the first cohort of this new initiative and the September 4th visit was the culmination of GCA’s participation in the two-year program.  

During the visit, Mr. Woods, Ms. Scott, Ms. Pushkin as well as Executive Director, Lauren Holcomb of the State Charter School Commission of Georgia had the opportunity to view GCA’s before and after improvements, various welcoming aspects of the school environment, visit online classrooms to greet the students and experience online teaching in action.  Additionally, the school’s Family Engagement team shared the school’s FFPS goals and their implementation progress.  The visit ended with a presentation from Mr. Woods in which he expressed his appreciation for the commitment that GGA has to parent and family partnerships and commended GCA for providing a welcoming environment to all students, staff, families, and the community. 

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