MES GO Team
What is the GO Team?All school systems in the State of Georgia were required in 2016 to select a new operating model. As a result, beginning July 1, 2016, Atlanta Public Schools became a Charter System. At that time, Local School Councils were replaced with Local School Governance Teams or "GO Teams", and now have a more defined structure and decision-making authority. The GO Team is a school-level council with the power to make certain kinds of decisions for their school, including researching and drafting a Strategic Plan for the school, creating priorities for, reviewing and approving the school budget for the upcoming school Financial Year, and providing input on school and district ideas. Each school GO Team has specific duties and responsibilities, as well as intended benefits, as defined and designated by APS, and each GO Team member must attend both online and in-person GO Team training. Click here for a list of FAQs about APS GO Teams, and here for the 2018-19 APS GO Team Handbook. Click here to discover information about APS GO Teams, including the 2015-2020 APS Strategic Plan, as well as information about our APS Charter system, individual schools' GO Teams, and Cluster Plans for each APS Cluster, including our Grady Cluster.Each APS school's GO Team has the authority to fulfill the following responsibilities: (a) Approve the school strategic plan and updates and monitor its implementation; (b) Develop innovative ideas for school-level flexibility through the School-Based Solutions process; (c) Provide input into school-based curriculum selection and accompanying instructional materials; (d) Give feedback on and approve the annual school budget recommendations; (e) Make suggestions regarding school operations decisions that support the school strategic plan; (f) Participate in the selection of a new principal, in the case of a vacancy; and (g) Offer annual feedback on principal performance to the Associate Superintendent. The GO Team is also responsible for the following duties: (a) Communicate GO Team work to stakeholders, including students, parents, community members, faculty, and staff; (b) Participate in an annual assessment of the GO Team’s performance and results; (c) Meet a minimum of six times each fiscal/school year (July 1 - June 30), beginning July 1, 2016; and (d) Abide by state Open Meetings and Open Records lawsGO Team MembershipEach GO Team has the following membership structure: (a) Three (3) parents/legal guardians elected by the parents/legal guardians of the school; (b) Three (3) non-supervisory instructional staff elected by the full-time employees of the school; (c) Two (2) community members nominated by the principal and approved by the voting GO Team members. Full-time Atlanta Public Schools employees are not eligible to serve in community member seats on GO Teams. There will be no exceptions; (d) One (1) Swing Seat member nominated by the principal or the elected GO Team members and approved by the remaining voting GO Team members. Swing Seat nominations may be teachers, instructional support staff members, parents, business partners, and general interest community members; (e) One (1) student appointed by the principal based upon input from the team (voting on the school strategic plan and school-based solutions only; at high schools only); (f) The principal serves as an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the GO Team; and (g) For schools with multiple campuses or student enrollment over 1,200 students, an Assistant Principal or Program Administrator may serve as an additional ex-officio (non-voting) member of the team.MES GO Team MembersCongratulations to our two new MES GO Team members, elected in the April 2019 election! Randy Fink will replace Catalina Sibilsky in the Parent member role, and Mrs. Marva Nelson will replace Ms. Valerie Taylor in the Instructional Staff role. Both are two year terms. Congratulations to both new members, and a HUGE thank you to Catalina and Mrs. Taylor for their hard work, dedication, and contributions to the MES GO Team during their terms.
- 3 Parents/Guardians (elected by MES Parents-Guardians)
- 3 Instructional Staff (elected by MES Staff):
- 2 Community Members (nominated by Principal, approved by GO Team):
- Christi Feeney- Secretary 2018-19; Chair of Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee 2018-19
- New member search ongoing; Mrs. Sofianos will make a recommendation to the GO Team, and the team will elect the incoming Community Member in Fall 2019.
- 1 Swing Member (filled by Parent/Guardian, Instructional Staff or Community Member, depending on GO Team needs):
- Liz Davis- Community Member, filling Swing Seat role.
- Incoming new swing member; TBD. Search for a new Community Member/Swing Seat is ongoing. Mrs. Sofianos will make a recommendation to the GO Team, and the team will elect the incoming Community Member in Fall 2019.
- 1 Principal:
- Audrey Sofianos (ex officio- non voting- member)
MES GO Team Meeting Schedule for the 2018-19 school year:
Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings take place in the MES Main Campus Auditorium. Agendas and minutes for each meeting are attached; all attachments have been approved by motion and vote of the GO Team unless specifically indicated to be drafts pending approval. Regular meetings of the GO Team will be held at least six times per year at such times and places as the GO Team will determine; meetings for the 2018-19 school year (subject to change), are scheduled for:
- August 8, 2018, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm
- September 12, 2018, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm*
- October 16, 2018, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm*
- November 13, 2018, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm (MES Media Center)*
- December 3, 2018, MES Community Survey Work Session at 3:00 pm (MES Media Center)
- January 22, 2019, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm (MES Media Center)*
- February 6, 2019, Strategic Planning and FY20 Budget Work Session at 6 pm
- February 7, 2019, Strategic Planning and FY20 Budget Work Session at 2:30 pm
- February 27, 2019, GO Team Meeting and Strategic Planning and FY20 Budget Work Session at 6:00 pm (MES Room 120C)*
- March 5, 2019, Special GO Team Meeting- vote to approve FY20 Budget at 7:30 am (Media Center)
- April 9, 2019, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm (MES Room 120C)*
- May 15, 2019, GO Team Meeting at 6:00 pm; new Parent and Instructional Staff members welcomed to the GO Team; thanks to our outgoing members.
Public Comment at GO Team Meetings:
Opportunities for public comment shall be provided at least four (4) times in a school/fiscal year and noted on the meeting agenda. *Public comment was invited, as indicated in the Agendas posted prior to the meetings, at the following six MES GO Team meetings during the 2018-19 school year: September 12, 2018 (comments made), October 16, 2018 (no comments made), November 13, 2018 (comments made), January 22, 2019 (comments made), February 27, 2019 (no comments made) and April 9, 2019 (no comments made) (each meeting indicated with an *asterisk*in the above meeting schedule).
Public comment opportunities are available for GO Teams to hear from interested members of the community. GO Team members will not provide responses or engage in direct conversation during meetings. Each GO Team may determine a consistent method for receiving public comments and for parents and other citizens to sign up to address the team, provided that the team offer at least 20 minutes of time to the public to make comments, when available, and that the public receive at least 2 business days’ notice of the protocol for signing up to speak. The Morningside Elementary School (“MES”) GO Team hereby provides notice of its Public Comment protocol to the MES Community. The MES GO Team welcomes and encourages citizens to attend its meetings to become better acquainted with the programs of MES and the role of the GO Team. Unless otherwise provided by law, the GO Team meetings are open to the public. Citizens are welcome to attend the meetings but must refrain from interrupting or distracting the GO Team proceedings. For those people wishing to provide comment, designated time periods for public comment are identified on each agenda. Public comment is planned as an official agenda item of every regular meeting of the Morningside GO Team. Please refer to each published agenda to confirm the time periods, but it is anticipated that there will be two 10-minute time periods during each meeting for the public to offer comment. The first period is scheduled for 6:05 to 6:15 pm and the second period is scheduled for the final 10 minutes of the meeting. A sign-up sheet will be available at the door and must be used by any person who wishes to speak during the public comment period. Each member of the public will have two (2) minutes to speak. At the close of the two (2) minute period, the speaker will be asked to take their seat so that others identified on the sign-in sheet can be provided with an opportunity to speak. The public comment period is designed to gain input from the public. It is not for immediate responses by the GO Team to the public comment presented. At the end of each public comment period, the period will be closed and the GO Team will move on to the next agenda item. If there are questions or information that you for the GO Team, you may also contact one or more of the GO Team members before or after the meetings.
MES GO Team's Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee ("FECAC")
Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee. The Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee keeps the community informed of matters within the GO Team’s area of responsibility, including progress on the school’s strategic plan, budget, and School-Based Solution proposals. The Family Engagement & Communications Committee will participate in an annual meeting for the school community, led by the principal, to provide a report on the school’s performance. This committee will also be responsible for gathering input from the school community about School-Based Solution proposals to be submitted by the GO Team, or any major school initiatives or changes that would require public comment. The Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee will be chaired by a member of the GO Team designated by the GO Team Chair. The Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee will be composed of the Committee Chair, the principal (or his/her designee), and at least one (1) additional member of the GO Team. The GO Team may add additional non-GO Team members to serve on the Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee. The non-GO Team members of the MES FECAC were established via a request for participation sent to the general public via the MES Digital Dolphin in Fall 2018.
2018-19 Members of MES Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee:
- Christi Feeney- FECAC Chair, GO Team Member (Community Representative)
- Valerie Taylor- Committee Member, GO Team Member (Instructional Staff)
- Sheila Baxter-Holmes- Committee Member, GO Team Member (Instructional Staff)
- Catalina Sibilsky- Committee Member, GO Team Member (Parent/Guardian)
- Emily O'Brien- Committee Member, MES Parent and FECAC Volunteer
- Tatiana Nemo- Committee Member, MES Parent and FECAC Volunteer
MES GO Team 2019 Community SurveyPursuant to the responsibility of the FECAC for "gathering input from the school community about School-Based Solution proposals to be submitted by the GO Team, or any major school initiatives or changes that would require public comment", from January 10-22, 2019 the MES GO Team's 2019 Community Survey was open for all members of the MES Community. The MES Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee formulated the survey, with input and final approval by the full MES GO Team. Responses to the 8 question survey will provide valuable insight as the GO Team identifies priorities and engages in Strategic Plan and Budget discussions for the 2019-20 and 2020-2021 school years. The resulting data has been reviewed by the MES GO Team during a February 7, 2019 work session (see Agenda, posted prior to the meeting, and meeting minutes, above). Click for a summary of the responses to the 2019 Community Survey. Questions? Contact Christi Feeney, Chair of the Family Engagement & Communications Advisory Committee for the MES GO Team.Grady Cluster Advisory Team ("CAT")Each cluster of schools in APS is represented by its own Cluster Advisory Team; MES is a part of the Grady Cluster , and is represented in the Grady Cluster Advisory Team ("Grady CAT"). The Grady CAT is made up of of representatives from each school in the cluster (Grady High School, Inman Middle School, Mary Lin Elementary School, Morningside Elementary School, Springdale Park Elementary School, Hope Hill Elementary School and Centennial Charter School), including an administrator/Principal from each school, a GO Team member from each school (elected by the GO Team) and one or more teachers or other person(s) specifically selected by the school administration. In the event that one of the school's Grady CAT Team representatives cannot attend, they may designated a substitute from the appropriate body (alternative member of the school's administration and/or GO Team, or otherwise designated by the Principal). For an example of the Grady CAT's focus, click here to see the Grady CAT Focus 2018-19 and the 2018-19 Grady CAT Overview.Members of the MES community may attend and observe Grady Cluster Advisory Team meetings*, as the meetings are open to the public. Participation in meetings, however, is intended to be limited to the designated Grady CAT representative(s) in attendance. Grady CAT meetings* are scheduled, and notice sent to all Grady CAT representatives, by our APS Cluster Representative, Travis Norvell, after availability consultation with the Grady CAT representatives. While there is not a comprehensive schedule established in advance for the entire 2018-2019 school year, meeting dates and times are added to the Grady CAT website, as well as here, as they are scheduled and we become aware of them.*MES GO Team Members of Grady CAT:
Grady CAT Meeting Schedule*, 2018-19 School Year:
- Tim Richman, GO Team Member
- Audrey Sofianos, Principal
- Kristin Duncan, Member of MES Instructional Staff
- September 20, 2018 at 7:30am, Inman Middle School- MEETING NOTES
- November 29, 2018 at 4:30pm, Inman Middle School- MEETING NOTES
- January 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm- CAT team workshop at Inman Middle School Media Center- MEETING NOTES
- February 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm- CAT meeting at Inman Middle School Media Center- MEETING NOTES
- March 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm- CAT meeting re: Phase 3- Grady Cluster Long Range Plan, at Grady Media Center. MEETING PRESENTATION.
*Always consult the Grady Cluster Advisory Team webpage for the most up to date meeting schedule and links to all official meeting notes which have been compiled and posted by our Grady CAT Representative, Travis Norvell.
Other Meetings/Items of Interest:
- Atlanta Parent Organizer Fellowship, The Georgia Campaign for Achievement Now (GeorgiaCAN) is offering a part-time, 6-month Atlanta Parent Organizer Fellowship. This is an opportunity to learn the in and outs of organizing and education advocacy focused on the city of Atlanta. There are a few requirements: you must be a city of Atlanta resident and have children or grandchildren in Atlanta Public Schools (this does include charter schools.) The fellowship does include a monthly stipend. If you're interested in knowing more or applying please click.
- Legislative Preview 2019, January 16, 2019, noon- 2 pm at The Blue Room at the Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Southeast. Join Voices for Georgia's Children for its first Child Advocacy Learning Lab (GA-CALL) of the year, giving a legislative preview of what's coming up in the 2019 session.
- Charter System Foundation Governance & Flexibility Workshop, Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 5:00 - 8:00 PM, M. L. King Middle, 545 Hill Street SE, Atlanta.Legislative Preview 2019, Wednesday, January 16, 2019, noon- 2 pm at The Blue Room at the Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Southeast. Join Voices for Georgia's Children for its first Child Advocacy Learning Lab (GA-CALL) of the year, giving a legislative preview of what's coming up in the 2019 session. This event is free and includes lunch.
- GO Team Legislative Workshop: Advocating for Public Schools, Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Center for Learning and Leadership, 130 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta 30303- Are you curious about how the Georgia legislative process works? Wondering what some of the top education issues are this year in the Georgia Capitol? Ready to learn Atlanta Public Schools' Legislative Priorities? Need to know how to contact your legislators? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, join us at our legislative workshop. Erica Long, Senior Policy and Government Affairs Officer, will join us to cover these topics and more to prepare you for the 2019 Georgia Legislative Session. This event is open exclusively to APS GO Team members and is free. Registration is requested.
- CINS 2019 Legislative Update, Tuesday, February 26, 7:00-8:30 pm, Grady High School Media Center, 929 Char Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Charles Allen Dr. NE | Atlanta, GA 30309. Public education is always a hot topic under the Gold Dome. Hear the latest from this year's legislative session and take advantage of this opportunity to engage informally with legislators and education policy experts on issues that affect intown students and schools. Confirmed speakers include State Representative Scott Holcomb, State Senator Nan Orrock, State Senator Elena Parent, Stephen Owens (Georgia Budget and Policy Institute) and Erica Long (Atlanta Public Schools). This event is free and is open to the public. Registration is requested.
- State of the Grady Cluster Meeting, April 17, 2019, 6:30 pm at Inman Middle School Auditorium. State of the Grady Cluster meeting. Bring your questions on the APS Budget, Facilities, Proposed SPLOST Expansions, Annexations, Capacities/Crowding, School Turnaround Progress, and more.