CCSD Honored with 15 State Awards for Public Relations

CCSD Honored with 15 State Awards for Public Relations

The Cherokee County School District won 15 awards from the Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA), as announced at the GSPRA 2016 Annual Conference on Dec. 6, 2016 in Augusta, a record total and including a “Best in State” top honor!

The Annual Publications, Photography & Electronic Media Contest recognizes outstanding work produced by Georgia schools, school systems, post-secondary institutions, educational agencies or education-related associations.

“Communication is necessary for a successful School District, and we’re so pleased to be recognized at this level for what we do day in and day out to keep students, parents, staff and the community at large informed,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “The past year was very significant for communications for us, with our rebranding campaign, the launch of our new website, our first marketing campaigns and the expansion of internal newsletters among other initiatives.  We appreciate the kudos from our State’s school public relations professional organization and will continue working daily toward improving our communications.”

The awards won by CCSD are coordinated and facilitated by the Division of Public Information, Communication and Partnerships and represent collaboration between and among multiple departments:

Best in Category, Image/Identity Package

Gold Award, Image/Identity Package

  • Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools
  • Bobby Blount, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Barbara Jacoby, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning
  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Gold Award, Internet Website (www.CherokeeK12.net)

  • Bobby Blount, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Tim Feltner, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Susan Campbell, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Barbara Jacoby, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning
  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Gold Award, Marketing Campaign (#WeAreCCSDTeachers) Here’s a link to the video included in the campaign.

  • Barbara Jacoby, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Gold Award, Newsletter: Connection Points

  • Bobby Blount, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Tim Feltner, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Debbie Childress, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Robby Carmichael, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Esther Brenneman, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Derek Brock, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Christina Clayton, Division of Technology and Information Services
  • Chris Saxon, Division of Technology and Information Services

Gold Awards (3 Awards), Photography (“Let Me Win”; “Welcome Home”; AGUA Aquaponics Lab)

  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Awards (2 Awards), Excellence in Writing (Teacher of the Year profiles; “You Are a Superhero”)

  • Barbara Jacoby, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Award, Newsletter: Accolades

  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Award, Newsletter: District Delegate

  • Penny Dempsey, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Award, Social Media

  • Barbara Jacoby, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning
  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning
  • Penny Dempsey, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Award, Special Purpose Publication: Financial Facts

  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

Silver Award, Special Purpose Publication: Ready to Learn

  • Carrie McGowan, Division of Public Information, Communications and Strategic Planning

A special award also was presented to one of CCSD’s parent leaders: Lisa-Marie Haygood of Cherokee County, President of Georgia PTA, who received the 2016 Outstanding Leadership in School-Community Relations Award.  The award, which is not necessarily presented annually, is the highest honor the Association awards to a non-public relations professional.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, left, congratulate Lisa-Marie Haygood of Cherokee County, President of Georgia PTA, who won GSPRA’s 2016 Outstanding Leadership in School-Community Relations Award.

Ms. Haygood has long been one of CCSD’s most vocal cheerleaders for public  schools. Starting from her days as room mom for her daughter’s kindergarten class, and rising through the ranks of the Cherokee County PTA and then District-level PTA, she always has been a go-to parent for advocating on behalf of children and the public schools they attend.  She took her advocacy efforts to the next level when she became President of the Georgia PTA last year and led the successful advocacy effort to defeat the Amendment One plan for Stake-takeover of public schools.

The award-winning staff members and Ms. Haygood will be recognized by the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board at the Jan. 19 meeting of the School Board.

“Let Me Win,” a photo from CCSD Special Olympics Awareness Games of CCSD Special Education Supervisor Sheryl Gould and Matthew Taylor, won a Gold Award in the GSPRA contest.

 

This photo of Canton ES STEM Academy student Alexis Reed working in the school’s AGUA Aquaponics Lab won a Gold Award in the GSPRA contest.

“Welcome Home,” a photo of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant E-6 Lyle Judson hugs sons, Ryan, and Dominic, in a surprise reunion at Indian Knoll ES upon his return from a deployment in Africa, won a Gold Award in the GSPRA contest.

 


CCSD 2017-18 Kindergarten/First Grade Registration Set for March 23 & 24

The Cherokee County School District has set the dates for 2017-18 registration for kindergarten and first-grade students who are entering school for the first time.

Registration will be held at all CCSD elementary schools 3:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, 2017 and 9 a.m. to Noon Friday, March 24, 2017.

Flier: CCSD Registration for 2017-18 KindergartenFirst Grade Set for March 23 – 24

Spanish translation: CCSD Registration for 2017-18 KindergartenFirst Grade Set for March 23 – 24 – SPANISH

Want to learn more about CCSD’s outstanding kindergarten program? Read the new edition of CCSD’s “Ready to Learn” brochure.

For information regarding documents needed for registration, please see the Student Enrollment section on the Forms page.

Children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 in order to be eligible for kindergarten, and 6 years old on or before September 1 to be eligible for first grade, according to Georgia law.  If your child does not meet these criteria, you might check with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) for information on 4-year-old programs.

Additionally, the School Board’s Admission/Enrollment Policy may be viewed in the CCSD Online Policy Manual .

 


CCSD Makes AP Honor Roll for Fourth Consecutive Year as Students Continued to Exceed National Average

Cherokee County School District high school students not only continue to beat State and National averages on college-level Advance Placement (AP) exams, but CCSD also has earned national recognition for its AP achievement for the fourth consecutive year!

The School District is one of only 10 school districts in Georgia named to the College Board’s elite AP Honor Roll for 2016, and this was CCSD’s fourth consecutive year to earn the prestigious distinction.  With a passage rate of 70% among the 4,784 tests administered in the spring of 2016, CCSD exceeds the State average of 58% and the National average of 57%.

“Preparing students for college and career is our primary mission, and this recognition affirms that we’re delivering on that promise,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “I’m especially pleased to see both the number of courses offered and the number of students participating increase, as research shows the significant positive impact this rigor has on students’ future success.”

The AP program has grown significantly in CCSD, with AP courses and exams currently offered in 30 subjects… up from 26 last year.  The number of exams taken by CCSD students increased by 16% from 2015, and has risen by more than 80% in the last five years.

The AP Program allows high school students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on an AP exam to earn college credit in high school and, subsequently, to exempt those courses in college.  Studies show that students who participate in AP courses are more likely to earn higher scores on the SAT and ACT and to complete their college education…. AP exams were administered to 22% of all CCSD high school students in 2016. Passage of AP exams places students at an academic and financial advantage, studies show, as they can both begin classes in their major sooner and avoid tuition costs for exempted courses.

Selection for the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data (from 2014 to 2016).  To qualify for the elite list, school districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams passed by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

All of CCSD’s high schools additionally have been named Georgia AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or AP STEM Achievement High Schools in recognition of outstanding student passage and participation levels and the variety of course offerings.

Principals annually review these scores with teachers, department heads and Data Management Teams to evaluate improvement strategies, including use of College Board preparatory materials and sharing best practices among teachers.

“Continuous improvement is more than a catch-phrase for us — it’s what we do, and new initiatives like our Instructional Framework standards for teaching and assessment will only further enhance our ability to build on successes like this,” Dr. Hightower said.  “I’m so proud of the team effort that makes such achievements possible, from the students and teachers in the classroom to the vast support network of staff, volunteers, partners and parents.  Congratulations to you all!”


Four CCSD Schools Honored by Gov. Deal for Outstanding Academic Performance

Four Cherokee County School District schools have been honored by Gov. Nathan Deal for outstanding academic performance!

E.T. Booth Middle, Woodstock Middle and Sequoyah High all have received Silver Awards for “Greatest Gains,” while Bascomb Elementary received a Bronze Award for “Highest Performing.”

“I congratulate all of the students, teachers and administrators in Georgia’s award-winning schools who worked tirelessly toward these accomplishments,” Gov. Deal said.  “The bright minds of Georgia’s students are the state’s most precious resource and I commend the schools that are exceeding expectations in preparing their students for future success.”

To earn “Greatest Gains” awards, schools must earn a three-year average CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) Progress Score that ranks in at least the 93rd percentile.  Only 139 schools in the State received a “Greatest Gains” award.

To earn “Highest Performing” awards, schools must earn a three-year average CCRPI Achievement Score in at least the 93rd percentile.  Only 130 schools in the State received a “Greatest Gains” award.

Winners receive a certificate to display at their school.  Sequoyah High and Woodstock Middle also were recognized last school year.

“We’re very proud of this accomplishment,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “These honors are the result of hard work happening in our schools on a daily basis.  These four schools, like many throughout our School District, are making continuous, significant gains in academic achievement, and the students, teachers and staff, parents and partners deserve a huge congratulations.”


Reminder of CCSD Notification System for School Closures

As it’s the season for possible inclement weather, this post is to remind you of how the Cherokee County School District makes decisions about school closures and communicates those decisions.

On the homepage of this website you’ll see a red “Emergency Notifications” button that links you to useful information including our School Closure Decision Process guide.  Our Division of Public Information has produced a new, brief informational video (online here: http://cherokeek12.net/school-closure-decision-process/) to provide the community with information about the decision process.  The video was produced in-house, with animation by Etowah High School teacher Brandon Grummer and voiceover by Teasley Middle School Assistant Principal John Carter.

Should a school closure decision be made, the notice first will be posted on our website’s homepage, Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeGASchools/) and Twitter feed (@CherokeeSchools), and all local and Atlanta media will be notified.

Parents of CCSD students also will receive notice of inclement weather closings by text, email, and/or phone through our School Messenger system.  Email addresses and phone numbers must be current in Aspen/Parent Portal.  To receive the texts, parents must opt-in by texting any one of the following words to the number 68453: subscribe, opt-in or yes.  Parents should receive an automatic response that you’re registered for messages; if not, parents need to contact their wireless provider, as some do not accept SMS messages.

The safety of our students and employees is a top priority; thank you for trusting us with that responsibility.


Five More CCSD Schools Earn National Recognition for Digital Education

Five more Cherokee County School District schools have earned national recognition for digital education initiatives!

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy, Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy, Knox Elementary School, Mountain Road Elementary School and Teasley Middle School all have been named Common Sense Certified Schools for Digital Citizenship by Common Sense, a national nonprofit organization dedicated “to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology.”

The schools earned the recognition by “taking a whole-community approach” to preparing students to use digital media safely by avoiding dangers such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of these schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Jessica Lindl, Head of Common Sense Education. “These schools all deserve high praise for giving their students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

In addition to certifying both schools as a whole, Common Sense also announced that Ball Ground ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Hollen Pope, who coordinated her school’s certification process, has been certified individually as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educator, as has Holly Springs ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Stephanie Gauthia, who coordinated her school’s certification; Knox ES Media Specialist Leslie Hicks, who coordinated her school’s certification; Mountain Road ES teachers Alexis Basel, Kristin Day, Kelly Gilstrap and Frank Graham; and Teasley MS teacher Lee Banks, who coordinated her school’s certification.  Mountain Road ES Media Specialist, Shelley Sheldon, who coordinated her school’s certification process, was awarded individual certification last month.  Both schools and these educators will be recognized for the accomplishments by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board meeting on Jan. 19.

Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship resources were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  The free resources teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships and respecting creative copyright.

Johnston Elementary School in 2016 became the first CCSD school to earn the certification.

Hollen Pope

Leslie Hicks

Frank Graham

Alexis Basel

Kelly Gilstrap

Kristin Day

Stephanie Gauthia

Lee Banks

Shelley Sheldon

 


Two CCSD Seniors Named 2016-2017 Coca-Cola Scholars Program Semi-Finalists

Category : CCSD

A.J. Cox

Two Cherokee County School District high school seniors have been named semi-finalists for a prestigious national scholarship!

Isabelle Riddle of Sequoyah High School and A.J. Cox of Woodstock High School are 2016-17 Coca-Cola Scholars Program semi-finalists.  Only 1,914 students were selected from 86,000 applications nationwide.

Semi-finalists were selected based on their outstanding leadership, a

Isabelle Riddle

cademic achievements, and dedication to their community.

Detailed applications submitted by semi-finalists will be evaluated by a review committee this month to determine finalists.  The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will award 150 college scholarships worth $20,000 each.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers across America and The Coca Cola Company, is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the United States.

“As a premier scholarship provider, we recognize our role in helping young people achieve their college goals,” said Mark Davis, President of the Foundation. “The economy continues to affect many students’ ability to attend the college of their choice, so it is critical we continue to stay the course.  The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation received nearly 86,000 applications this year, and the Semifinalists are truly some of the most accomplished students in the country.”