Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $996,246)
Fulton County Schools (FCS), located in metro Atlanta, Georgia, is committed to providing safe and secure learning environments. Under the leadership of the Fulton County Board of Education, the district invests in both securing physical buildings as well as offering prevention and intervention strategies that focus on the social, emotional, and mental health of the district’s 90,000 students and 14,000 staff. With funding from the STOP School Violence grant, the district will hire four School Community Facilitators (SCFs) who will implement restorative practices and conflict resolution programming in four high schools and their six feeder middle schools in the county’s most violent communities. SCFs will receive evidence-based, trauma-informed training to support students with challenging behavior. They will help agencies facilitate school-based mental health, gang prevention and intervention, substance abuse, and anger management sessions. Further, SCFs will foster relationships with key community partners, like Communities in Schools of Atlanta, for case management support. The primary outcome for the grant is that students and staff feel safer at school. The primary goal is to reduce the number of discipline incidents in participating schools related to student and group fights that result in out-of-school suspension days and expulsion. By providing additional resources in schools that have high numbers of office discipline referrals for physical assault and group fights, SCFs can address adverse student behaviors at the lowest possible level per the Student Code of Conduct & Discipline Handbook to prevent students from resorting to more aggressive and violent behavior to resolve conflict. Through this grant, FCS will foster a more collaborative and authentic approach with students, parents, staff, and community members for violence prevention, thus building district capacity to ensure school safety.