School Board Members Visit Schools for First Week Peek!

School Board Members Visit Schools for First Week Peek!

While Cherokee High School students hurry past on their way to class, Principal Todd Miller points out to School Board Chair Kyla Cromer some of the renovation projects that were completed over the summer at CCSD’s largest high school.

School Board members visited schools across the Cherokee County School District this week for a “first week peek”!

School Board Member Rick Steiner gets a hug from student Aiden Carr during his tour of Bascomb Elementary School.

During their visits, School Board members toured the school with the Principal, observed teaching and learning in classrooms, visited with staff from various areas of operations and enjoyed a surprise hug or two from students.

School Board Member Clark Menard’s visit included an appearance on Woodstock High School’s live student news show; here he’s pictured in front of the show’s green screen with students Hailey Hovda, left, and Kharli Major.

“These visits were an excellent opportunity for us to see how well prepared our schools are for the start of the year,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said. “Teachers were engaging the students in learning, and we had a wonderful time visiting with them all.”

School Board Vice Chair Mike Chapman, center, as he tours Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy with Principal Rodney Larrotta, left, and CCSD Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson, stops for a photo with pre-kindergartners and teacher Megan Little, left, and paraprofessional Molly Elkins.

Board Chair Cromer visited Cherokee High School; with Vice Chairman Mike Chapman at Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy; and Board Member John Harmon at Indian Knoll ES, Patsy Jordan at Avery ES, Clark Menard at Woodstock HS, Kelly Poole at Mill Creek MS and Rick Steiner at Bascomb ES.

School Board Member John Harmon snaps a selfie with students in teacher Rebecca Wooten’s class during his visit to Indian Knoll Elementary School.

“Our School Board cares about our students, our teachers and staff and our schools,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “While they may be most associated with their role as thoughtful policy makers and responsible stewards of our community’s resources, these School Board members were called to serve because of the kids and the opportunity to make their futures brighter. We appreciate their service and their commitment to our CCSD family.”

School Board Member Patsy Jordan, center, smiles for a photo with students during her visit to Avery Elementary School.

School Board Member Patsy Jordan checks out the school garden at Avery Elementary School during her tour, as CCSD Chief Information Officer Bobby Blount looks on.

School Board Member Kelly Poole, center, stops by the gym to see PE classes in action at Mill Creek Middle School during her visit.

School Board Member Rick Steiner listens to teacher Melinda Martinez, right, during his visit to her classroom at Bascomb Elementary School. Looking on are Principal Kathleen Chandler, third from left, and CCSD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Nicole Holmes. Students pictured include Leslie Delgadillo, left, and Ferrial Phillippe.

School Board Member Clark Menard visits with Introduction to Engineering Technology students and teacher Karen Zayance at Woodstock High School.

School Board Member John Harmon’s visit to Indian Knoll Elementary School included time with PE teachers Coaches Scott Barber and Jason Bermudez and their students.

School Board Member Kelly Poole, center, tours Mill Creek Middle School with Principal Dr. Kerry Martin and CCSD Chief Human Resources Officer Rick Beaulieu.

School Board Member Patsy Jordan, center, smiles for a selfie during her visit to Avery Elementary School with Principal Dr. Lisa Turner, right, Assistant Principals Michelle Whitmire and Matt Harper, right, and CCSD Chief Information Officer Bobby Blount.

School Board Vice Chair Mike Chapman, left, listens to Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy with Principal Rodney Larrotta, right, during the tour, as CCSD Deputy Superintendent Trey Olson looks on.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Woodstock High School without a selfie with Principal Mark Smith, left, so School Board Member Clark Menard joined in.

Board Chair Kyla Cromer and CCSD Chief of Staff Mike McGowan, right, listen to Cherokee HS Principal Todd Miller explain some of the changes made in the school media center.

School Board Member Clark Menard is interviewed for Woodstock High School’s live student news show by student Hailey Hovda.

Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller, left, and Assistant Principal Neil Howell show School Board Chair Kyla Cromer the courtyard students may use during lunch periods. The school’s PTSA helped fund the project, which gives students another choice for eating and socializing during lunch.

CCSD Teacher Named to Georgia Professional Standards Commission Board

Category : CCSD

Beth Townsend

A Cherokee County School District teacher has been named to an important State education board!

Beth Townsend, a Sixes Elementary School special education teacher, was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate to serve on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission Board.

“The PSC is a very important organization for ensuring our State’s public schools employ highly qualified teachers who are committed to educator ethics,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We are honored one of our teachers was selected for this role, as our School District is dedicated to the same mission. We know Ms. Townsend will represent herself, her school, our District and our profession well!”

Ms. Townsend will serve on the Educator Ethics Committee, one of two standing committees for the 18-member Board, which sets rules and standards for educators, certifies educators and holds educators accountable for meeting rules and standards.

The Committee meets monthly to review referrals from the Commission’s Ethics Division and make recommendations regarding probable cause and whether to take action, such as to issue a reprimand; or deny, suspend, revoke, or reinstate certificates, permits and licenses. The State will pay Ms. Townsend’s expenses to serve at the monthly Committee meetings in Atlanta.

CCSD Posts High School Varsity Football 2017-18 Schedule

Category : CCSD

Love the Friday Night Lights? It’s almost that time of year in Cherokee County… with high school varsity football kicking off next week. Here’s a schedule to keep and share with your fellow fans. Games begin at 7:30 p.m. and it’s $8 at the gate. #CCSDfam


CCSD Starts 2017-18 School Year With Record 41,213 Students

Category : CCSD

UPDATE 8/4/17: The Cherokee County School District’s enrollment today reached 41,774 students… which is an increase of 369 students from last school year’s Day Four.  Today’s total remains under the peak-enrollment projection of 42,299, but enrollment has increased by 561 students since the first day of school.

UPDATE 8/3/17: The Cherokee County School District’s enrollment today reached 41,723 students… which is an increase of 427 students from last school year’s Day Three.  The total has not yet reached the peak-enrollment projection of 42,299, but has increased by 510 students since the first day of school.

UPDATE 8/2/17: Enrollment reached 41,566 students Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017… which is an increase of 421 students from last school year’s Day Two.  While the total has not yet reached the peak-enrollment projection of 42,299, CCSD increased 353 students from the Aug. 1, 2017 opening of school.

10-day enrollment chart

The Cherokee County School District started the 2017-18 School Year with a smooth and successful opening on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

Enrollment reached 41,213 for the first day of the 2017-18 School Year at CCSD’s 41 schools and centers, according to preliminary attendance reports… 494 more students than last year’s first day (Day 1 of the 2016-17 School Year’s student enrollment was 40,719). The School District anticipates enrollment will continue to rise over the course of the school year to more than 42,299 students.

“It’s an incredible achievement for an organization of our size to consistently operate so effectively not only throughout the year, but even on day one,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “That success happens due to significant planning and hard work behind the scenes. I appreciate all of our employees’ preparations for today, and we’re extremely grateful for the strong support we receive from the families we serve and our partners and volunteers. We’re a family, and we’ve had a great start to what will be an outstanding year!”

The School District’s 4,700 employees, including 260 new teachers, operate CCSD campuses and support facilities throughout Cherokee County; and CCSD’s fleet of 402 buses transport approximately 70 percent of the student population through 1,500+ daily bus routes.

Elementary school students are using new instructional materials for reading and writing classes for the first time in more than a decade thanks to the School Board’s significant investment in these resources. Safety and security is being further enhanced with the second phase of security foyer installations and the recent deputizing of CCSD’s School Police Department officers, who, in addition to their long-held Georgia POST certification, now also are authorized by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office to serve and protect beyond school campuses.

The School District has launched two new technology initiatives to improve operations: the Canvas learning management system, which expands teaching and learning opportunities and gives parents more access to their child’s lessons and progress; and K12Payment Center, a new meal pre-payment account system that enhances internal efficiency while still maintaining online depositing and purchase tracking for parents.

School District policies related to environmental/temperature concerns are being followed at all campuses, including: limiting the time students spend on school buses; allowing students to bring bottled water on school buses; and following guidelines for rescheduling and cancelling outdoor athletic/band/extra-curricular activities, when necessary, due to high temperatures.

Back-to-School Message from the Superintendent: Today’s a Picture Day!

Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower smiles for a picture with Arnold Mill Elementary School third-graders Karter Fife and Kasyn Escobar on the first day of school, August 1, 2017.

Please see the following back-to-school message from Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower:

Today’s a picture day.

The first day of school is one of those special moments, like blowing out birthday candles, opening Christmas presents or holding a newborn baby sister in your arms.

It’s the kind of moment that you share with your family. And it’s the kind you capture with a snapshot for the family album and a copy for grandma, and, these days, a post on Facebook, too.

We see our School District as a family: uniting our students and parents, our teachers and staff and our partners and volunteers.

We have the incredible privilege of being a part of our students’ lives from the time they learn their ABCs to the time they’re ready to leave the nest. It’s a joy to see them succeed, and it’s heartache when they struggle… but we’re there for them and you through it all.

We’ll welcome hundreds of preschoolers and kindergarteners today to their first-ever day of school, as well as children who have moved here with their families from other communities.

They’ll discover a home for learning much like what you remember from your own school days… at least in the most important ways. For while what we call reading, writing and arithmetic may change, and the methods and the tools used to teach them don’t look the same, what’s unchanged is how deeply committed our teachers are to caring for our community’s future by educating your children.

We teach your children the importance of respecting our country and others’ rights, beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance each morning and a quiet time they can choose to use for prayer. While we believe it’s ultimately up to parents to teach their children character, we do our part through Character Education, service-learning projects, kindness initiatives, positive behavior programs and a code of conduct.

We recognize while all children are created equal, some come from challenged households, which is why we strongly support programs to even the playing field in classrooms and to wrap them in community services. It’s a point of pride to tell you that two of the most important nonprofit organizations for serving our students in need – the Service League of Cherokee County and Give A Kid A Chance – are led by our employees. We also partner with a long list of outstanding nonprofits that serve specific needs for our students and their families such as Children’s Haven, Child Advocacy Council and MUST Ministries.

Today, we’ll also welcome the Class of 2018, who just 10 months from now will walk across the stage at commencement for another important picture day.

“Educating the Emerging Generation” is our mission, and we’re focused on teaching the skills our graduates will need to be successful in a technology rich, globally competitive workplace. We’re dedicated to expanding opportunities for academic achievement through Advanced Placement, university partnerships and pilot projects to enhanced Gifted education. We encourage every student to make a Career Pathway a priority, offer an increasing number of industry certified programs and counsel students with the mindset that a college degree is not the only path to success.

We anticipate we’ll grow to more than 42,000 students this school year, and we’re focused on meeting the needs of each of those students, which is why we continue to add more teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria staff to our ranks. We also can use more help, so please consider joining us, if you have not already, as a classroom volunteer or a business partner.

We care about your children. We care about your children’s future. We care about your children’s future success.

And we hope you’ve had a wonderful picture day with many more to come. Please visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed to see some of the back-to-school pictures your neighbors have shared with us.

#CCSDFirstDay #CCSDfam