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Staff Back to School Kickoff Information

Astein Osei

Welcome back to the staff who have been away this summer and thank you to all of the staff who worked this summer to engage learners, provide childcare, maintain and prepare facilities, design curriculum and programs, provide meals, and prepare for the start of the 2022-23 school year.

I am excited to spend time with you on Tuesday, August 30. I look forward to our collective work this school year to see, inspire, and empower each learner to live their brilliance in an environment that centers student voice and experience to create racially equitable learning that energizes and enhances the spirit of our community.

The past couple of years tested all of us individually and collectively as a school community. I believe because of our experiences over the past couple of years, we are better positioned heading into this school year to support our students, families and each other regardless of what challenges may come our way. We are better educators and a better school district because of the experiences we had over the past couple of years. As we get closer to the start of the school year, I ask that you take some time to reflect on your growth as an educator last school year and how that growth will help you sustain and deepen your practice this school year.

I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks and I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

In community,


August 30-31 Back-to-School Kickoff Schedule

Staff at each building will gather together in-person during the keynote address on both Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31, and will be instructed where to proceed after the keynote presentation by their principal or supervisor.

Submit a Question for Tuesday's Q&A

As we prepare to begin the 2022-23 school year, please take a moment to reflect on the previous year and this upcoming year. What comes up for you? What question(s) might you have for the Superintendent? Your questions will provide opportunities to engage our community throughout the year, beginning with a Q&A period during the superintendent's keynote. Please complete the form here or scan the QR code to submit your questions. If you would like your question(s) considered for the back to school kickoff, submit your questions by 4 p.m. on Monday, August 22

Tuesday Morning Session: Restorative Practices

The Indigenous Model of Restorative Practices is a way of being, built on intentional practices of centering values, strengths, and seeking agreements with others through our small interactions, Restorative Conversations, Restorative Circles, and the environments/systems we create. Restorative Practices is self-reflective work that influences the way we build and maintain relationships and communities.

During this time, we will come together in community to:

  • experience Restorative Practices with each other (learn);
  • think about how we can embody a restorative way of being (reflect); and
  • emorace restorative ways or being in our lives (practice)

Wednesday Keynote: Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad began her career as a reading, language arts, and social studies middle school teacher. After teaching in the classroom, she served as a school district curriculum director and was responsible for K-12 literacy instruction, assessments, and professional development. Dr. Muhammad received her PhD in Literacy, Language and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Her research interests are situated in the historical foundations of literacy development and the writing practices among Black communities. Each year she holds a summer literacy institute with Black girls called, Black Girls WRITE! which reflects literacy practices found in nineteenth century African American literary societies. Her work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including Research in the Teaching of English, Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and Written Communication.

Dr. Muhammad is currently an associate professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University. Additionally, she serves as the director of the Urban Literacy Collaborative and Clinic. She strives to shape the national conversation for educating youth who have been underserved. She works with teachers and young people across the United States and South Africa in best practices in culturally responsive instruction. She also served as a school board president and continues to work collaboratively with local schools across communities in the Atlanta area.

Dr. Muhammad is the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award, the 2015 NCTE Alan C. Purves Award, the 2016 NCTE CEE Janet Emig awardee, and the 2017 Georgia State University Urban Education Research Awardee. More recently she was awarded the 2018 University of Illinois- Chicago, Researcher of the Year, and was awarded $750,000 by the U.S. Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in STEM classrooms. Her book entitled, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy was released in 2020.