Cherokee County School Board Sets Legislative Partnership Priorities

Cherokee County School Board Sets Legislative Partnership Priorities

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, approved its annual Legislative Partnership Priorities (read online here), which outline its position on major education-related issues likely to be considered by the Georgia General Assembly in the upcoming legislative session.

The majority of the priorities are largely unchanged from those set last year, with the addition of a request for the General Assembly to consider bringing back a career-track diploma with course requirements that better prepare students for technical college and/or directly entering the workforce.

The School Board’s requests for the Cherokee County legislative delegation to consider are:

  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by requiring any changes to the State’s education funding formula to fully restore “austerity budget cuts” or provide for the equivalent in new state revenue… thereby empowering local School Boards to: address continued student population growth in Georgia; maintain a 180-day school calendar for students; reduce class sizes to State-funded maximums; and, replenish annual reserve fund balances. Locally-earned Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula funding was fully provided to local school districts by the Georgia General Assembly for 15 years with initial funding beginning in 1986-87 and continuing thereafter until 2002. Since 2002, $205.2M ($3.9M this year and $84M over the past five years) of statutorily-required QBE formula funding earned by CCSD has gone unfunded through austerity budget cuts… all during a time when CCSD student enrollment increased by more than 53% (14,527 students). 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts and their employees by addressing cost-prohibitive premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for participation in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP)… thereby empowering local School Boards to provide competitive, affordable and responsible health and benefit packages to their employees. Develop a statewide strategy for State Health Benefit Plan cost containment … rather than continuing to pass annual premium increases along to local school districts and their employees. State-level policy planning and budgeting, and the appropriation of necessary funding in this regard, are critically needed to address immediate and future healthcare needs of educators, noncertified staff and educational system retirees. Between FY2008 and FY2017, State appropriations for non-certified health insurance premiums have been systemically reduced and are slated for total elimination. Non-certified employees most often represent local school district’s’ lowest wage-earners and have been the most negatively impacted by the State’s recent actions in this regard.  SHBP is currently projected to operate with an annual deficit of more than $55 Million in FY 2018, signifying probable continued premium increases under current policy and planning. Extraordinary employee health care costs (in the form of significantly higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for deductibles, annual maximums, reduced credits and co-insurance expenses) continue to erode the quality and competiveness of the overall compensation package developed by local school districts for its employees.  While CCSD had approximately 350 fewer non-certified employees participating in SHBP in FY2016 compared to FY2009, employer contributions increased over $7M (from $3.6 to $10.7M) during that same time period. CCSD has been forced to privatize custodial and grounds services and increase the use of part-time/ temporary workers for non-certified staffing as cost-reduction measures. The annual cost of providing health insurance for a non-certified employee has risen from $2,000 in 2010 to $9,000 in 2016 a $7,000, or 450% increase! And with an additional $100 per employee per month increase effective Jan 2017, the cost of providing health insurance for a non-certified employee will increase to $846.20 per month and more than $10,000 per year. CCSD benefit costs for non-certified employees are projected to be $11.7M for 2016-17; up from $10.7M in 2015-16; $8.2M in 2014-15 and $7.5M in 2013-14. Local school systems cannot continue to absorb these extraordinary costs. 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by ensuring proposed legislative initiatives strengthen provisions for the local control and management of schools . . . thereby empowering local School Boards to fulfill their Constitutional authority and responsibility to involve their local constituency, develop locally derived educational policy and oversee continued performance improvements among their students. CCSD FACTS: CCSD and its highly-respected School Board has garnered multiple State and National awards relative to student achievement gains and innovative educational programs. Through a model of determining a visionary Mission Statement, a prioritized listing of Major System Priorities and collaborative, governance-based policies, the CCSD School Board has a transparent and proven ability to guide its schools in exemplary teaching and learning. 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by developing statutory provisions to further insure workforce readiness skills and preparation by high school graduates for transitions directly into careers or secondary-level career educational opportunities by providing students in Georgia with an alternative diploma option in the area of Technical/Career Preparation. 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by implementing statutory provisions designed to address continued erosion of the State’s tax base through exemptions from the sales and use tax, income tax and other State taxes. 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by opposing the continuation and/or expansion of existing programs that directly or indirectly use public funds to pay private school tuition for students or provide tax incentives for their parents. 
  1. Partner with K-12 public school districts by insuring timely, state and local access to all federal funding allocations.

The School Board hopes to meet next month with Cherokee County’s legislative delegation to review the priorities.

“I want us to be proactive in this process,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said.

Prior to the Regular Meeting, the School Board held a public hearing for input on 2016-17 school year attendance zones; no one came forward to speak.  A formal boundary redrawing process was not needed this year, as the only attendance zone adjustments planned are for neighborhoods not yet under construction that will be assigned to Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy.

The School Board also:

  • Recognized Woodstock ES teacher Pam Morgan as the 2017 Georgia Art Educator of the Year;
  • Recognized five CCSD high school students for appointment to the Model Atlanta Regional Commission;
  • Recognized CCSD School Nutrition for winning the Georgia Golden Radish Award at the Gold level;
  • Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Cherokee Day Training Center and Northside Hospital-Cherokee;
  • Presented the “trailer” for the CCSD-Cherokee Retired Educators Association annual oral history video project, “Learning from Legends: Retired Educators Share Their Wisdom,” in celebrated of Retired Educators Day on Sunday, Nov. 6;
  • Set Feb. 11, 2017 as the date for its next School Board Training session;
  • Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;
  • Approved out-of-state travel;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;
  • Approved special lease agreements;
  • Approved granting right of way to the Georgia Department of Transportation for an intersection improvement and signal/crosswalk upgrade at the main entrance of Cherokee High School on SR 140/Marietta Highway;
  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of Brad Orth as Supervisor of Staffing; he currently works as a solutions consultant for Kronos Incorporated and previously served as Chief Information Officer for the City of Salem, Va.; and,
  • Reviewed a timeline for the upcoming AdvancED (SACS-CASI) accreditation renewal external team visit to CCSD.

 

School Board Member Clark Menard was absent.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, December 1, 2016


School Board Takes Stand Against State “Opportunity School District” School Takeover Plan

Here is a printable factsheet about OSD.

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, September 1, 2016, took a stand against the State’s “Opportunity School District” school takeover plan by unanimously approving a resolution opposing the constitutional amendment on ballots this fall.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said she’s “proud” that the Board stepped up even though CCSD currently has no schools on the so-called “failing” list that would trigger a takeover by a Governor-appointed czar should the amendment pass.

“The big part of this in my mind is that as a member of this School Board our job is to protect the children of Cherokee County,” Ms. Cromer said.  “And I see no benefit in this to them.”

The School Board has heard staff presentations over the last year outlining how the amendment could potentially affect CCSD, especially as the metric used to trigger takeover is constantly changing and targets Title I schools that serve the community’s most at-risk students.

Board members also have raised concerns about the amendment usurping local control, as it removes the oversight of the locally elected School Board and would seize assets communities have voted to fund through sales tax collections.

Here is the language of the resolution:

“WHEREAS, on November 5, 2015, the Cherokee County School Board (“School Board”) unanimously approved its 2016 Legislative Program which included as a priority, “Align current and future legislative initiatives (e.g., Governor’s proposed Opportunity School District Constitutional Amendment) with State Constitutional provisions regarding local control and management of public schools, rather than usurping locally-elected School Boards’ authority;” and,

WHEREAS, the School Board supports the authority of the State’s local boards of education to manage and control the operation of the local public schools, opposing any legislation that attempts to override the constitutional authority of locally-elected boards to make educational decisions for their communities; and,

WHEREAS, in November 2016, a State Constitutional amendment will be included on the ballot, which would, if approved, give the State authority to take control from certain Georgia schools and create a State-operated school district; and,

WHEREAS, if approved, local control will be eliminated and schools that have been determined as “failing” by the State may be placed into an “Opportunity School District;” and,

WHEREAS, if approved, the administration of schools placed in the “Opportunity School District” would be overseen by a State-appointed Superintendent, to be confirmed by the Senate, with authority to waive State board of education rules, regulations, policies, procedures or provisions; and,

WHEREAS, if approved, facilities of qualifying schools shall come under control of the “Opportunity School District,” where the “Opportunity School District” Superintendent may repurpose the facility for use by an education service provider; and,

WHEREAS, if approved, qualifying schools may be subject to any of the following intervention models, as determined by the “Opportunity School District” Superintendent:

(1) Direct management of the qualifying school by the “Opportunity School District;” or,

(2) Shared governance of the qualifying school by the “Opportunity School District” and the local board of education pursuant to a contract in which the local board of education operates the school and the “Opportunity School  District” Superintendent has the authority to direct changes to be made at the school; or,

(3) Reconstitution of the qualifying school as an “Opportunity School District” charter school in which the “Opportunity School District” works in collaboration with the State Charter Schools Commission to build capacity of petitioning governing boards and charter school applications to establish a charter that will be approved by the State Charter Schools Commission; or,

(4) Closure of the qualifying school which is not enrolled at full capacity and reassigning the students to a non-qualifying school within the local school system. School closure shall be the intervention of last resort; and,

WHEREAS, if approved, the total allotment of state and federal funds to the local school system in which a qualifying school is located will be calculated as otherwise provided in enabling legislation of this title with an ensuing reduction equivalent to the amount of funds appropriated to any such schools; and,

WHEREAS, other state takeover efforts (e.g., Louisiana and Tennessee) have not proven to be successful and have not improved student achievement results; and,

WHEREAS, taking away local control, diminishing resources, and making efforts to shift the governance of local schools, will do just the opposite for the successful outcomes of Cherokee County School District students, and will not result in the needed infusion of state resources for the full support of Local Educational Agencies; and,

WHEREAS, ensuring real opportunity for every student means providing struggling schools with resources that attract the best faculty and staff, improved access to health and social services, and enhanced supports for academic enrichment opportunities;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Cherokee County School Board opposes creation of a state-run school district, otherwise known as the “Opportunity School District,” and that we commit to fully educate our community about the issues raised by this proposed Amendment.”

The School Board also heard a presentation on the process underway to develop an instructional framework for CCSD, which will create standards for how teachers design instruction and assess student learning.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower told the Board that, while they’re hearing about many projects underway to improve CCSD, “as far as impacting the classroom, this will have the most impact.”

The School Board also took the following action:

  • Heard a presentation on The Smile Run to be held on October 8 at First Baptist Canton in memory of late Ralph Bunche Center preschooler Christian Egner, with proceeds to benefit the Center;
  • Recognized Sequoyah HS Marketing Teacher Kari Palmer for winning an international entrepreneurship education program award;
  • Recognized students Lukas Freeman of Creekview HS and Chandler Stevenson of Freedom MS Students for Georgia 4-H Achievements;
  • Approved a proclamation in honor of Constitution Week;
  • Approved a proclamation recognizing September as National Attendance Awareness Month;
  • Approved renewal of a Partnership Agreement with the City of Ball Ground and a new Partnership Agreement with Raising Giants baseball program;
  • Approved the final reading of technical modifications to School Board Policies; School Board Member Clark Menard successfully proposed adding the lack of available locker space to the list of indictors that a school is overcrowded;
  • Approved the issuance of a Tax Anticipation Notice;
  • Approved monthly financial and Education SPLOST reports;
  • Approved out-of-state travel;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;
  • Approved special lease agreements;
  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of Andy Hall as an Assistant Principal at River Ridge High School where he currently serves as a Teacher on Special Assignment;
  • Continued planning for required annual School Board Member training;
  • Approved a contract with Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. for Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2017; and,
  • Met in Executive Session for Board Self-Evaluation.

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 13, 2016;  6 p.m. Strategic Work Session


Board Briefs: Board Hears Positive Report on CCSD Finances

2016-17 Student Advisor and Student Delegates

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower welcomes the 2016-17 Student Advisor and Student Delegates to the Cherokee County School Board at the Aug. 11, 2016 School Board Meeting. From left to right, front row: Meghan Hines, Etowah HS; Kayla Brader, Woodstock HS; Parker Quarles, Creekview HS; second row: Julia Kochansky of Cherokee HS; Jordan Mason of River Ridge HS; Isabelle Riddle of Sequoyah HS; back row: Student Advisory Joseph Henderson of ACE Academy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, August 11, 2016, devoted its strategic work session to an update on the financial state of the Cherokee County School District, and the Board heard very good news.

The School District has received a “clean opinion” on its most recent financial audit, with no findings, which means that the finances and accounting all are in proper order and following best practices. The State also has issued its letter of acceptance, which closes the process.

The School District’s overall financial position continues to improve as the county recovers from the recession, with local property tax collections expected to exceed projections by approximately $3.5 Million, which will increase reserves. Intentionally increasing the reserves “savings account” is one way that CCSD is strategically improving its credit rating from the already positive Aa2 and AA levels, as rated by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, to the top AAA rating.

“We’re in much better shape than we have been,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, noting he and his staff are meeting with county government leaders to discuss possibly adjusting the tax collection timeline to further improve CCSD’s financial position as it relates to the timing of the annual infusion of local tax dollars into the operating budget.

The School Board then reviewed more detailed plans for the five-year renovation plan to begin if the Education SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) renewal is approved by voters in November. The renewal of the penny sales tax is focused on: retiring bond debt from school construction; building new classrooms and learning spaces at three schools; continuing to fulfill technology infrastructure and instructional needs; acquiring land for future school construction; purchasing 35 replacement school buses; and major renovation projects at more than two dozen schools.

In addition to reviewing a detailed list of those renovation projects, the School Board heard plans to install artificial turf in all of CCSD’s high school stadiums, which will save $1.6 Million in grass field maintenance costs over the lifetime of the turf… about $110,867 in savings a year that could instead be spent on teaching and learning in CCSD classrooms.

The installation of artificial turf, which already has been completed in other metro school systems such as Cobb, Forsyth and Fulton counties, offers other benefits in addition to the savings, such as fewer injuries to students, faster recovery time after rain and increased usage opportunities by multiple athletic teams and marching bands for both games and practices.

If the Education SPLOST is approved in November, the turf installation would likely take place the summer of 2018; while Etowah HS already has turf that was installed by its school foundation, it would receive a needed resurfacing as part of the project. Additionally, new restrooms would be installed at the Etowah HS and Sequoyah HS stadiums to replacing outdated facilities.

School Board Member Clark Menard said he appreciates the thought put into developing the Education SPLOST plans.

“Paying down the debt and increasing our bond rating will have a direct impact on being able to meet our financial obligations,” Mr. Menard said, adding he sees the value in projects like the turf installation that reduce maintenance and operating costs. “It’s not sexy. It’s not a great big high school. But it provides some real return for our operating fund.”

The School Board also heard another installment in a series of staff presentations on the negative impact the Governor’s Opportunity School District Constitutional Amendment, which will be on the ballot in November, would have on CCSD if approved by voters.

The Amendment would allow the State to take over so-called “failing schools” and turn operations of the schools and their assets paid for with local monies over to for-profit private operators overseen by an appointed statewide czar — despite the fact that the metric (CCRPI) used to issue this label is based on a faulty barometer of achievement.

“How can the State seriously consider overriding local control of a community school based upon a metric that changes each year,” Dr. Hightower said. “They’re using a metric that’s seriously flawed, and this is as high-stakes as it gets.”

School Board Members spoke up in agreement with Dr. Hightower’s concerns; and at the Sept. 1 meeting, the Board likely will consider adopting a resolution opposing the Constitutional Amendment.

“This really bothers me,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said of the potential for State takeover of local schools. “Our schools are working their tails off… the students are working, the teachers are working, the parents are working.”

School Board Member Mike Chapman said it’s a smack in the face to anyone who supports local control of their community schools, but the ballot language is deceptive.

“The language is all motherhood and apple pie, unicorns and rainbows,” he said. “It’s crazy what’s going on here and counter to everything we talk about [as conservatives].”

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

• Recognized Georgia PTA Outstanding School PTAs and Award Winners;

• Recognized Johnston ES as a National Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School and Media Specialist Angel Ginn as a National Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educator;

• Recognized CCSD Technology Project Specialist Sandi Adams as a National Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert Award winner;

• Recognized Creekland Middle School’s Sixth-Grade Academic Bowl Team for Nationals win;

• Recognized the 2016-17 Student Advisor to School Board, Joseph Henderson of ACE Academy, and Student Delegates;

• Approved renewal of Partnership Agreements with Cherokee County Council of PTA and Cherokee County YMCA;

• Approved the first reading of technical modifications to School Board Policies;

• Approved monthly Education SPLOST report;

• Approved out-of-state travel;

• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

• Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;

• Approved special lease agreements;

• Approved monthly personnel recommendations; and,

• Began planning for required annual School Board Member training.

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 1, 2016


Board Briefs: School Board Updates Mission Statement, Motto

2015-16 Judy Johnson Scholarship Winners

Sequoyah High School senior Erin Wehunt, left, and Cherokee High School senior Megan Johnson, right, were recognized by CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer, center, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, far right, and the School Board as recipients of the 2015-16 Judy Johnson Memorial Scholarship presented by CCSD’s School Nutrition Association.

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, July 21, 2016, approved the second reading of School Board Policy changes, which included the establishment of an updated mission statement and a new motto.

The new mission statement is: “We, the School Board of the Cherokee County School District, are committed to educating the emerging generation through learning environments designed to increase the performance of all students.” The new motto is: “Educating the Emerging Generation.”

The Board also approved monthly personnel recommendations, which included the appointment of Donna Bertram, a longtime CCSD teacher and administrator most recently serving as Assistant Principal at Carmel Elementary School, to lead Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy as its next Principal. She is succeeding Dr. Dianne Steinbeck, who will serve in a grant writer role for the CCSD Office of Educational Programs.

Julie Peppers, a longtime CCSD teacher most recently assigned to Bascomb Elementary School, was appointed to fill the newly vacated Assistant Principal spot at Carmel Elementary School.

The Board also took the first step toward expanding its social worker program to meet the explosive student enrollment growth experienced by CCSD over the last two decades by hiring a third social worker: Dr. Tara Quinn-Schuldt, who has worked as a social worker in Carroll County’s school system for 13 years.

Partnership Agreements with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and East Cherokee Baseball both were renewed, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower praised the Farm Bureau, which was represented at the meeting by longtime staff member, Shirley Pahl.

“We truly value all that you and the Farm Bureau do to teach our students about agriculture and opportunities to pursue careers in that field,” he said, noting the numerous greenhouses, school gardens and programs made possible in CCSD with the Farm Bureau’s support.

School Board Vice Chair Patsy Jordan, a former classroom teacher, spoke of how the Farm Bureau’s “amazing” professional development programs for teachers gave her great tools to use in the classroom.

“I’m so appreciative for everything you do,” she said.

Ms. Pahl thanked the Board for its support and noted more help from the Farm Bureau is on the way to CCSD schools, such as through a new partnership with Indian Knoll Elementary School and a $1,000 grant for a Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy teacher’s school garden project.

“We really enjoy teaching the children about the importance of agriculture in their lives,” she said. “We have fun… and we hope the children are benefitting.”

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

• Recognized Bascomb Elementary School and Principal Kathleen Chandler as winner of 2016 Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals’ “School Bell Award”;

• Recognized Macedonia Elementary School Media Specialist Jennifer Rice as the Regional Library Media Specialist of the Year;

• Recognized five Woodstock High School students and their coach for earning second place at the 2016 TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) Best in Nation Competition

• Recognized Georgia Positive Athlete Award winner Katie Beckham of Woodstock High School, the statewide honoree for volleyball;

• Recognized Cherokee High School senior Megan Johnson and Sequoyah High School senior Erin Wehunt as recipients of the 2015-16 Judy Johnson Memorial Scholarship presented by CCSD’s School Nutrition Association;

• Approved ballot language for the Education SPLOST renewal vote called by the School Board for Nov. 8;

• Approved monthly financial reports;

• Approved authorized school fundraising activities for the 2016-17 school year;

• Approved out-of-state travel;

• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

• Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;

• Approved the annual establishment of a tribunal hearing panel for certified employees;

• Approved the annual contract with Ninth District Opportunity for Head Start and prekindergarten programs; and,

• After meeting in Executive Session to review real estate and student discipline matters, returned to open session and voted to reverse a student discipline decision.

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. Aug. 11, 2016 with a Strategic Work Session at 5:30 p.m.


Board Briefs: Board Approves Annual Budget, Calls for Education SPLOST renewal

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, June 16, 2016 unanimously approved the Superintendent’s 2016-17 Annual Budget, which reduces class size, improves student services and further restores reserves, all without increasing the millage rate.

The Annual Budget, which includes a $359 Million day-to-day operating budget, fulfills School Board members’ top priorities, such as hiring 68 additional teachers to address student growth and further reduce class size, offering competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain the best workforce possible and investing in instructional resources and technology.  The millage rate remains steady at 19.45 mills.

“This is a long process – six months in the making – and we appreciate all of your work,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer told Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and his senior staff, who annually conduct a comprehensive, zero-sunset budget review.

The School District operates on a balanced budget with no operating debt, and Dr. Hightower emphasized that while the State government has reduced its “austerity budget cut,” CCSD still is not receiving $3.9 Million in State funds owed to its students; and while the local property tax digest is improving, revenue remains at 2007 levels… despite the increase of thousands of students since then.

“We are still coming out of the Recession,” Dr. Hightower said, noting that ineffective programs and spending continually are cut, and any proposed new spending is closely reviewed prior to approval.

The Board during its meeting also called for an election on Nov. 8 to continue the current 1-percent Education SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), which funds school construction, renovation and repairs; technology; land acquisition; school buses; and retiring bond debt for another five years.

The plan calls for continued use of the Board’s longtime system of bonding future Ed SPLOST revenue, which has been necessary to keep up with the community’s explosive population growth.  Specific projects planned include classroom additions for Woodstock Middle School and Mill Creek Middle School and an additional gym/multi-use space for Woodstock High School… all of which are needed to offset overcrowding.

“I also will continue to drive my staff to look for land because we’re going to continue to grow,” Dr. Hightower said.

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

  • Recognized Johnston ES Principal Amy Graham as a “Top 10 in 10: Young Professionals to Watch” Award Winner;
  • Recognized Woodstock ES Assistant Principal Rachel Wasserman as the Georgia 2016 National Distinguished Assistant Principal;
  • Recognized Carmel ES and Liberty ES for winning international Character.org awards recognizing effective strategies to develop positive character in students;
  • Recognized Creekview High School Army JROTC Dual Exhibition Team as Regional Winners, State Champions and Nationally ranked competitors;
  • Recognized Liberty ES as the CCSD 2015-16 Elementary Science Olympiad Winners;
  • Recognized CCSD’s 2015-16 Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition Winners;
  • Recognized Creekview HS Team America Rocketry Challenge competitors and UAS4STEM National competition qualifiers;
  • Recognized CCSD’s Georgia PTA Reflections Winners;
  • Recognized State and Regional Champions from Creekview HS and Etowah HS;
  • Approved the first reading of School Board Policy changes;
  • Approved a hairnet bid as part of the School Nutrition cooperative program;
  • Approved the annual request for State assistance with developing a new/replacement Five-Year Facilities plan;
  • Approved special lease agreements;
  • Approved a $235,000 low bid from Womack, Lewis & Smith for construction of security foyers at eight elementary schools, the first phase of a three-phase project;
  • Approved out-of-state travel;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved monthly capital outlay projects;
  • After meeting in executive session, approved monthly personnel recommendations, which included the appointment of George Brown as Coordinator of Vehicle Maintenance.

 


Board Briefs: Board Approves Two New Partnership Agreements with Community Organizations

Aramark Scholarship Winners 2016

The Aramark Scholarship Committee selected the following winners for a total of $6,000 in scholarships, who recently were recognized at a Cherokee County School Board meeting: Cherokee HS: Nishi Patel and Logan Willis; Creekview HS: Peyton Heath and Alyssa Powell; Etowah HS: Elizabeth Joann Dillard and Aaron Torres; River Ridge HS: Kaila Banker and Pierce Livesay; Sequoyah HS: Madison Evans and William “Will” Garrett Sanders; and Woodstock HS: Connor Booz and Bree’ara Murphy.

Highlights from regular meetings of the Cherokee County School Board

May 19, 2016: Strategic Work Session & Regular Meeting

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, May 19, 2016 spent its work session reviewing the Superintendent’s 2016-17 Annual Budget, which calls for reductions in class size and improvements in services for students without the need for a millage rate increase.

The tentative Annual Budget, which includes a $359 Million day-to-day operating budget, was approved to be tabled for a month of public review prior to an adoption vote on June 16.  The Executive Summary of the budget and annual Financial Facts report, a quick read on CCSD financial issues, both are posted on the CCSD website at www.cherokee.k12.ga.us.  Public hearings will be held at 11:30 a.m. June 7 and 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. June 16 at the Historic Canton High School/School Board Auditorium.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer praised the Superintendent and his staff for incorporating all of the Board’s major budget priorities: maintaining 180 instructional days; continuing to reduce class size; improving classroom technology access; increasing budget reserves (to $48.8 Million… a positive for financial stability and credit ratings); offering competitive compensation and benefits; providing more resources for support services; and considering more innovative models like the Cherokee Academies.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower during the budget presentation highlighted an impressive list of operational enhancements, such as the hiring of 68 additional teachers to address student growth and further reduce class size, as well as the adoption of new math instructional resources for all grade levels and the appointment of three teachers on special assignment to serve as District “content coaches” to assist schools with using the new Grades K-12 resources and online tools.

“We’re not just going to throw resources at the schools,” Dr. Hightower said, as to why content coaches are important to the adoption’s success, noting that, in addition to the new content coaches, he also is recommending the appointment of four teachers on special assignment to pilot an assistance program in selected schools to provide teachers with better academic intervention and remediation efforts for at-risk students.

Other budget highlights include recommendations to:

• Increase the starting pay for beginning teachers to $42,250;
• Provide annual longevity step raise for all eligible employees;
• Provide a 1% cost-of-living raise to all eligible employees;
• Utilize one additional school social worker to reduce the caseloads of the existing two social workers;
• Add a school nurse to serve students attending ACE Academy;
• Add three additional technology specialists to provide hardware and software technical assistance to teachers and support personnel;
• Add 14 new bus drivers and two new bus attendants to address continued increases in student ridership, improve efficiency and reduce ride time for students;
• Continue to allocate one-half teacher allotment at each high school… dedicated to credit recovery/helping students stay on track for graduation;
• Expand the school entry door security system that was successfully piloted this year to include card “swipe-in” access for employees at critical playground and mobile classroom area entry ways;
• Construct school front hallway security foyers at eight pilot elementary schools;
• Prepare the original Dean Rusk Middle School for occupation by Sequoyah High School (January 2017); and,
• Repair/realign the bus drive at Macedonia Elementary School.

Assistant Superintendent for Financial Management Kenneth Owen said, although the State “austerity budget cut” was reduced to $3.9 Million and the Local property tax digest is improving, revenue continues to lag behind pre-Recession levels.

“We’re so glad to see property values again rising, but they’re still $4.2 Million less than what we got in 2007, and here we are 5,400 kids later,” Mr. Owen said.

As a result, CCSD will need to continue to address class size reduction, additional new instructional materials adoptions and other budget priorities in future budget cycles.

The Board during its regular meeting also approved the refinancing of some of CCSD’s bond debt from school construction projects, which will save $3.3 Million in interest over the next seven years… which, at more than 6% interest savings, is twice the standard goal level of savings.

“This makes those dollars go that much further… we’re really, really happy with the results,” Bryce Holcomb of Citi Group, CCSD’s bond underwriter, said of the refinancing pricing, which was conducted Thursday morning.

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

• Recognized CCSD’s School Nutrition Association for Winning Georgia Gold Scroll Award;

• Recognized Etowah High School as Region 5AAAAAA GEMC Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award Winner and River Ridge High School as 7AAAAA GEMC Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award Winner;

• Recognized 2015-16 Regional Science and Engineering Fair Winners;

• Recognized 2015-16 Social Studies Fair Regional and State Winners;

• Recognized 2015-16 Star English Learners and Star ESOL Teachers;

• Recognized State and Regional Champions: Cherokee HS wrestling and track, Creekview HS girls soccer and Woodstock HS boys and girls swimming;

• Recognized Recipients of Aramark 2016 Education Scholarships;

• Recognized Cherokee HS Senior Bailee Gilbreath as recipient of the 2016 Oak Leaf Church Scholarship;

• Recognized Free Home ES Principal Karen Carl as a 2016 Georgia Distinguished Principal;

• Approved the renewal of a Partnership Agreement with the Cherokee County Health Department and a new Partnership Agreement with the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research;

• Approved selection of a bond underwriter and financial advisor and authorization to select bond counsel;

• Approved out-of-state travel;

• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

• Approved monthly capital outlay projects;

• Approved monthly personnel recommendations;

• After meeting in executive session, voted to modify a student discipline decision to allow the student transportation to school, 5-2, with Board Members John Harmon and Robert Rechsteiner dissenting.

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. June 16, 2016


Board Briefs: Board Approves Two New Partnership Agreements with Community Organizations

Category : Board Briefs

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, May 5, 2016 recognized a full house of outstanding students and approved two new Partnership Agreements with community organizations.

 

The School Board maintains District-level Agreements with more than 80 Partners, which range from local businesses and civic groups to institutions of higher learning and nonprofit organizations that support students in need.

 

The Agreements approved Thursday are with CURE Childhood Cancer and MUST Ministries.

 

CURE Childhood Cancer is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research and through support of patients and their families.

 

The Agreement outlines how CCSD schools can participate in the organization’s efforts to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is the No. 1 cause of death by disease among children; and to raise funds through programs such as its Coins4CURE coin drive.

 

The organization’s mission was brought home on Thursday night, by a moment of silence held by the School Board in memory of Teasley Middle School student Emily Rose Lamanac, who passed away on Wednesday after battling childhood cancer.

 

“What a fitting tribute that our School Board approved this Agreement tonight, as we are grieving the loss of a beautiful life cut short by cancer,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Our schools raise significant funds for organizations fighting cancer, and this Agreement provides them with the opportunity to do more.”

 

The Agreement approved Thursday with MUST Ministries formalizes the District’s longtime support of the nonprofit organization, which has a mission of serving needy families in the community by providing food, clothing, housing and employment services.

 

“Children who do not know whether there will be food in the refrigerator or an eviction notice on the door will not be as successful in school as their peers.  We cannot turn a blind eye to that hardship,” Dr. Hightower said.  “MUST helps our School District and our community ensure these most at-risk children feel assured their basic needs will be met, so they can focus on mastering academic standards that will help them be college and career ready and escape the cycle of poverty.”

 

Through the Partnership, CCSD schools are encouraged to not only continue existing collection drives of food, clothing, toys and other items to benefit MUST, such as the Sequoyah High School JROTC’s longtime and extremely successful Thanksgiving food box drive, but also to expand their efforts.

 

As part of the new Agreement, MUST hopes to help schools develop food pantries on their campuses to help students in need and their families.

 

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

  • Recognized Sequoyah HS seniors Madison Evans and William “Will” Garrett Sanders as recipients of 2016 Waste Management/Pine Bluff Landfill Scholarships;

 

  • Recognized 2015-16 Georgia Scholars;

 

  • Recognized 2015-16 Governor’s Honors Finalists;

 

  • Recognized Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) seventh-graders who achieved Grand and/or State Recognition;

 

  • Recognized Middle and High School Region and State Technology Fair Winners;

 

  • Recognized Etowah High School students Josh Minter, Noah Minter and Gwenevere Wrye as members of the FIRST Robotics Competition Team that won the Peachtree Regional District Chairman’s Award and advanced to International competition;

 

  • Recognized individual Regional golf champion Brady Keran of Creekview HS and Coach Jimmy Thigpen;

 

  • Approved monthly financial reports;

 

  • Approved the annual local plan of improvement for vocational, technical and agricultural education and one-year State funding application for 2016-17;

 

  • Approved out-of-state travel;

 

  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

 

  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations;

 

  • Approved authorizing the development and implementation of the 2016 Education SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) renewal policy and legal requirement; and,

 

  • Approved the 2016-17 Student Discipline Code.

 

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. May 19, 2016 with a 6 p.m. Strategic Work Session

 


Board Briefs: Tentative Plans for Education SPLOST including CCSD Construction Projects

Category : Board Briefs

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, April 21, 2016 took its first look at tentative plans for Cherokee County School District construction projects and other Education SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) expenses for the next five years.

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and his staff during the work session presented an overview of plans for the next Ed SPLOST renewal and associated bonds, which will be put before voters in November.

 

The referendum will seek $115 Million in funding for three school construction projects, major renovations and repairs, continuation of CCSD’s National award-winning technology program, replacement of aging school buses, land acquisition with a focus on a solution for Cherokee High School overcrowding and, “the No. 1 priority”: continued retirement of bond debt from the last 15 years of construction projects.

 

“The growth has returned to the county” Bill Sebring, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services and Facilities and Construction Management, said of the need for continued use of Ed SPLOST, noting there are 21 current residential developments with construction of thousands of homes underway.  “Things are percolating out there, and that’s obvious if you ride around the district.”

 

Assistant Superintendent Sebring outlined the proposed construction projects: a 20-classroom addition at Woodstock Middle, a 24-classroom addition at Mill Creek Middle and an auxiliary gymnasium/multi-use learning space at Woodstock HS; CCSD also will earn $3.5 Million in State funding to help fund this $18.5 Million in new construction.  The Ed SPLOST renewal will fund the purchase of more than 150 school buses between 2018-22, as well as land acquisition in central Cherokee large enough for a high school campus in the area between Cherokee and Woodstock High Schools.

 

Dr. Hightower said CCSD is in a strong position to continue reducing its bond debt using Ed SPLOST revenue, and the Board heard a presentation from its bond underwriters that an upcoming refunding will save the District more than $3 Million in interest.  Should the Ed SPLOST not be approved by voters, the property tax millage rate will be increased by 5 mills in order to make debt repayments.

 

Board Members also heard updates on several major CCSD projects: the proposed adoption of new instructional materials for math classes across Grades K-12, which will provide teachers with a system of integrated text and online resources that eliminates the need to seek out additional resources in order to cover all standards and individualize instruction; and the implementation now underway of a new business management system that increases the efficiency of timekeeping, payroll and personnel operations, which will save CCSD time and money.

 

The Board also approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of a dozen new school and District administrators:

 

  • Renee Bernhardt, Supervisor for Special Education, who currently serves as an Assistant Principal for Teasley MS;

 

  • Tina Farmer, Supervisor for School Nutrition, who currently serves as a grants program consultant for the Georgia Department of Education;

 

  • Debbie Hendrix, Coordinator for Transportation Routing, who currently serves as a CCSD Transportation Specialist;

 

  • Ashley Watson, Assistant Principal for Indian Knoll ES, who currently serves as a teacher at Canton ES STEM Academy;

 

  • Carrie O’Bryant, Assistant Principal for Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy, who currently serves as a teacher at Boston ES;

 

  • Debra Georges, Assistant Principal for Johnston ES, who currently serves as a teacher on special assignment for Hickory Flat ES;

 

  • Elizabeth Spell, Assistant Principal for Teasley MS, who currently serves as the CCSD Graduation Coach;

 

  • Tim Murray, Assistant Principal for Woodstock MS, who currently serves as a teacher there;

 

  • Dr. Krista Webb, Assistant Principal for Creekview HS, who currently serves as a Woodstock HS teacher;

 

  • Jeremy Adams, Assistant Principal for Cherokee HS, who currently serves as a Sequoyah HS teacher;

 

  • Meagan Biello, Assistant Principal for Cherokee HS, who currently serves there as a teacher on special assignment; and,

 

  • Matthew May, Assistant Principal for Sequoyah HS, who currently serves as a teacher on special assignment at Etowah HS.

 

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

 

  • Recognized Merry Willis, Carmel ES STEM Enrichment Specialist, as recipient of Fulbright Award, a distinguished National honor;

 

  • Recognized CCSD Counselors of the Year;

 

  • Recognized 2016 Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl First-Place District and Regional Winners;

 

  • Recognized 2016 Spelling Bee Winners;

 

  • Recognized Elementary School Region and State Technology Fair Winners;

 

  • Recognized 2015-16 STAR Students and STAR Teachers;

 

  • Recognized Holly Springs STEM Academy as Microsoft Showcase School;

 

  • Recognized 13 CCSD Educators as Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts;

 

  • Recognized State and Regional Champions from Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS;

 

  • Approved monthly financial reports;

 

  • Approved for CCSD financial consultants to prepare, price and tentatively market the sale of general obligation bonds for voter-approved SPLOST purposes;

 

  • Approved out-of-state travel;

 

  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

 

  • Approved monthly update on capital outlay projects;

 

  • Approved special lease agreements; and,

 

  • Approved a School Boundary Map correction.

 

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. May 5, 2016


Board Briefs: Preliminary Budget Information Calls for Continued Class Size Decreases

Category : Board Briefs

The School Board on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at its Strategic Work Session with the Superintendent of Schools reviewed preliminary information that will influence the School District’s 2016-17 Annual Budget.

 

Dr. Brian V. Hightower said he and his staff are preparing the budget for a May presentation to the School Board, with a focus on priorities of: reducing class size, continuing competitive compensation for employees, improving instructional resources and restoring financial reserves.

 

“I feel the strongest about class size,” Dr. Hightower said, noting that he wants to maintain CCSD’s emphasis on using increasing revenue due to the declining State’s “austerity budget cuts” for this purpose.  “I have said that it would take us 10 years to get back to where we were before the Recession for class size, but for us to be this close this quickly, it’s impressive.”

 

The preliminary information presented to the School Board indicates that CCSD could use $2.3 Million of the State’s proposed $7 Million reduction in “austerity budget cuts” to shrink average class sizes to: 20.6 for kindergarten, 21.3 for Grades 1-3, 27.4 for Grades 4-5, 27.1 for Grades 6-8 and 29.5 for Grades 9-12.  This move would lower average class sizes across all grades; the information also noted that it would require an additional $4 Million in reductions to State “austerity budget cuts” to hire the 50 teachers needed to complete the return to pre-Recession class sizes.

 

Dr. Hightower also presented several options for preserving competitive compensation levels for CCSD’s 4,500 employees.  While the Governor has proposed that school districts use the reduction in “austerity budget cuts” to award 3% salary increase to teachers, Dr. Hightower reminded the School Board that CCSD traditionally recommends increases for all employees, not just one group.

 

He said a better solution to provide sustainable salary increases to all employees would be a longevity step increase, which amounts to approximately a 2.5% bump up on average.  Dr. Hightower added that this is in keeping with CCSD’s history of using longevity step increases versus one-time pay hikes in order to “maintain the trajectory” of sustaining competitive salaries.

 

Other major priorities highlighted by Dr. Hightower during the work session and regular meeting included restoring funding to the Office of Educational Programs for instructional materials, beginning with math resources that have not been updated districtwide in many (eight) years; and for support staff to assist teachers and administrators with special programs.  One such program specifically mentioned was Response to Intervention, which aids students who are struggling in class due to academic or behavior issues that could be corrected with more personalized instruction.

 

The Board also approved monthly personnel recommendations including the retirements of three longtime leaders: David Gazaway, Coordinator of Vehicle Maintenance, who retires after 40 years of service entirely to CCSD; Don Corr, Director of Staffing, who retires after 33 years as an educator; and Susan Turner, Supervisor of School Nutrition, who retires after 30 years as an educator.  All three received standing ovations from the audience.

 

As a result of recent promotions and retirements, subsequent personnel recommendations also were announced including:

 

  • Rick Beaulieu, Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Personnel Management, who currently serves as Executive Director of HR Services for Atlanta Public Schools;

 

  • Dr. Adrian Thomason, Director of Personnel – Middle Schools/High Schools, who currently serves as Principal of Creekview HS;

 

  • Cathy Elliott, Director of Personnel – Elementary Schools, who currently serves as a Supervisor in the Office;

 

  • Dr. Jennifer Scrivner, Director of Assessment, who currently serves as Principal of Clark Creek ES STEM Academy;

 

  • Dr. Keith Bryant, Director of School Improvement, who currently serves as Supervisor of Special Education;

 

  • Jim Georges, Director of Transportation, who currently serves as Coordinator of Transportation Routing and Operations;

 

  • Tammy Castleberry, Supervisor of Curriculum, who currently serves as Principal of Macedonia ES;

 

As a result of these changes, several Principals also have been reassigned and Assistant Principals have been promoted:

 

  • Dr. Mark Merges, Principal of Creekview HS, who currently serves as an Assistant Principal for Sequoyah HS;

 

  • Joey Moss, Principal of Clark Creek ES STEM Academy, who currently serves as Principal of Boston ES

 

  • Izell McGruder, Principal of Boston ES, who currently serves as Principal of Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy

 

  • Dr. Carolyn Daugherty, Principal of Macedonia ES, who currently serves as Assistant Principal for Johnston ES; and,

 

  • Rodney Larrotta, Principal of Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy, who currently serves as an Assistant Principal for Cherokee HS.

 

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

 

  • Recognized School Board Members for School Board Member Appreciation Week;

 

  • Recognized Dr. Susan Zinkil of Teasley MS as Georgia Middle School Principals of the Year;

 

  • Recognized Bob Van Alstyne of Etowah HS as State of Georgia and Region 5-AAAAAA Athletic Director of the Year;

 

  • Recognized Cherokee County School District Library Media Specialist of the Year Jennifer Rice of Macedonia ES and Innovation Zone winners;

 

  • Recognized River Ridge HS senior Allie Robbins as a Georgia Youth Leadership Award Winner;

 

  • Recognized CCSD’s 2015-16 All State Chorus Members;

 

  • Recognized First Lego League Regional Champions from Canton ES STEM Academy, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy and Woodstock ES;

 

  • Recognized State and Regional Champions from Creekview HS and Etowah HS;

 

  • Approved the renewal of the Partnership Agreement with Waste Management;

 

  • Approved authorization of individuals who can act on behalf of CCSD retirement plans;

 

  • Approved naming Board Member Rick Steiner as the Board’s Delegate for 2016 Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) Delegate Assembly;

 

  • Approved Regions Bank as the bond-paying agent;

 

  • Approved monthly financial reports;

 

  • Approved out-of-state travel;

 

  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

 

  • Approved monthly update on capital outlay projects;

 

  • Approved a special lease agreement;

 

  • Chair Kyla Cromer announced that previously scheduled Whole Board Governance Training on March 24 is canceled, as Board Members already have met or are meeting requirements through other means.

 

Board Member Kelly Poole was not present, as she was chaperoning a school field trip.

 

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. April 21, 2016 with a 6 p.m. Strategic Work Session


Board Briefs: First Meeting with New Superintendent of Schools

Category : Board Briefs | CCSD

Cherokee County School Board February 2016

The School Board on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 heard its first reports from newly appointed Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, who took office this week.

 

Dr. Hightower during his comments thanked the School Board and his staff for the successful transition and shared the new logo for the Cherokee County School District.

 

“We were looking for a brand that would play on our blue ribbon reputation.  We’re very proud of that,” Dr. Hightower said of the inspiration for the logo, which features two shades of blue and a “C” for Cherokee.  “We want people to know when they see these ribbons of blue with a ‘C’ in the middle that we’re talking about an organization of excellence.”

 

His remarks also included an overview of a “State of the School District”-style presentation he made Thursday morning to several hundred business and community leaders at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast sponsored by Chattahoochee Technical College.  School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, who attended the breakfast with several Board members, praised Dr. Hightower’s performance and requested that he share highlights from it with the full Board.

 

The Chamber presentation focused on seven “essential behaviors” Dr. Hightower sees as integral to CCSD success; during the School Board meeting, he spoke to one of those – “Focusing on Teaching and Learning,” noting that he would speak to other tenets at future meetings.

 

Dr. Hightower spoke to his intention to strongly advocate for teachers, adding that one of his first such steps is to direct the Office of Educational Programs staff to review the current standardized tests administered to CCSD students and determine which could be eliminated to reduce testing pressure on teachers and students and their families.

 

“Ask any teacher, and they’ll tell you there is too much testing,” Dr. Hightower said, noting that he is focused on maintaining accountability, but eliminating redundancy.  “Teaching is a profession that was once revered, but now feels devalued and under pressure.”

Also during the meeting, Dr. Hightower reviewed for the Board a revised plan for inclement weather early dismissal.  A letter from Dr. Hightower outlining this plan was shared with CCSD parents by email notification on Friday, Feb. 5, and is posted on the CCSD website homepage.

 

Dr. Hightower said that he and his staff consider school closures, delays in opening and early dismissals due to inclement weather very seriously and routinely review and modify all related protocols and operating procedures so as to continually improve them.

 

As a result of one such recent review, revisions have been made, effective immediately, to the contingency plans for dismissing school early.

 

The revised plan calls for high school, middle school, STEM/Fine Arts and ACE Academy dismissal to begin prior to elementary schools, allowing all high school student drivers to leave campus immediately when early dismissal is ordered.

 

“In doing so, this allows less-experienced high school drivers to clear ahead of pending weather,” Dr. Hightower said.  “This revision also allows there to be older siblings at home ahead of transported elementary school-age students and allows elementary schools a longer period of time in which to contact parents relative to the closure of their After School Programs.”

 

The only exception to this change will be when the dismissal is one hour or less.  In that situation, elementary schools will release first since they have earlier ending times to the school day.

 

“We want our parents to know that we’re doing our best to keep their kids safe,” Dr. Hightower said.

 

The Board also approved monthly personnel recommendations including the appointment of Trey Olson as Deputy Superintendent for School Operations, Personnel and Support.

 

Mr. Olson has served with CCSD for 19 years including as a classroom teacher, school administrator, District administrator and, most recently, as the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Management.

 

“We are very proud of Trey,” Dr. Hightower said, noting that Mr. Olson led CCSD’s Office of Personnel Management through “some of its most trying times” due to State “austerity budget cuts” and Local property tax declines.  “He’s done an outstanding job of that.”

 

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

 

  • Approved a resolution proclaiming March 1, 2016 as “PTA Day in the Cherokee County School District;”

 

  • Recognized Teasley MS as the National Family Partnership’s Red Ribbon Campaign Photo Contest Winner;

 

  • Recognized Woodstock HS teacher Dr. Krista Webb as the Georgia State Society’s 2015 Outstanding American History Teacher;

 

  • Recognized Mill Creek MS sixth-grader Rachel Kim as the Cherokee County winner of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District 2015 Water Essay Contest;

 

  • Recognized CCSD’s 2015-16 All State Band and Orchestra Members, which include students from Cherokee, Creekview and River Ridge HS;

 

  • Recognized State and Region Champions from Cherokee HS Football and Softball and Woodstock HS Softball Teams;

 

  • Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with Aramark Management Services and Cherokee County YMCA;

 

  • Approved monthly financial reports;

 

  • Approved out-of-state travel;

 

  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;

 

  • Approved monthly update on capital outlay projects;

 

  • Approved a special lease agreement;

 

  • School Board Attorney Tom Roach announced the annual board training/retreat will be held at 9 a.m. on March 5 at Reinhardt University; and,

 

  • Approved the 2016-17 Organizational Chart.

 

Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. March 17, 2016