Board Briefs: School Board Approves Plan to Relieve Cherokee HS Overcrowding

Board Briefs: School Board Approves Plan to Relieve Cherokee HS Overcrowding

The School Board on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, approved a plan to relieve Cherokee High School overcrowding by using the neighboring Canton Elementary campus.

The unanimous vote followed several months of public input meetings to hear from the community, which informed the recommendation presented to the School Board by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.

“These are kids th

at we love.  These are teachers we respect,” Dr. Hightower told the School Board as it prepared to vote.  “This is really the first tough decision in regard to attendance areas that we’ve had to make in recent years.”

Dr. Hightower earlier this school year announced that while Cherokee High School doesn’t meet “critically overcrowded” standards due to mobile classrooms and other solutions already in place, more significant action was needed to relieve the campus.

The plan approved by the School Board will expand Cherokee High School for next school year to include the neighboring Canton Elementary School STEM Academy campus.  The plan not only will alleviate overcrowding at Cherokee HS, but also will reduce CCSD operating costs by $1.5 Million over five years.

Canton ES STEM Academy students will be consolidated into Knox Elementary and R.M. Moore Elementary Schools, which both offer plenty of capacity to accommodate more students (520 students will move R.M. Moore ES, and 270 to Knox ES).  The District will make both campuses STEM Academies; R.M. Moore ES will retain its Title I services that support schools with higher populations of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (while Knox ES will not see enough of a demographic shift to qualify as Title I, students in need will continue to receive extra services).  The entire

proposal approved Thursday is online here.

While some Canton ES STEM Academy parents and teachers lobbied for a plan to keep the school intact, that plan would have increased operating costs without a funding source, which Board members said made the decision all the more challenging.

“We did not take this lightly.  We have looked at every single option,” School Board member Patsy Jordan said, speaking directly to a group of Canton ES STEM Academy teachers in the audience.  “Just remember that the love and grace you have for those kids, that will be the winner in the end.”

Now that the Board has selected a plan, Dr. Hightower said his staff will begin meeting with staff at the affected schools (he has committed that all staff will remain CCSD employees, noting enrollment is up and continues to rise) and map out a timeline and all actions steps needed in order to complete the project for an August opening with the new configuration.

Dr. Hightower also repeated his pledge that this plan is a “phase one” of a larger effort to solve overcrowding for Cherokee High School, which ultimately will require construction o

f an additional high school.

While that estimated $70 Million-plus construction project is not feasible until the next Education SPLOST referendum in 2021 due to borrowing constraints, Dr. Hightower said his staff will explore renovations that could be made to the Cherokee High School campus once the school begins using Canton ES and moves mobile classrooms offsite.

The Board heard the Superintendent’s recommendation that students not be required to make up the three days missed so far due to inclement weather, to which there was no objection.  Employees are required to make up missed work time, and information now will be shared with them about that process.

The Board on Thursday also approved a new Partnership Agreement with the Atlanta Braves Baseball Club that includes many exciting opportunities, such as bringing base

ball into the classroom to teach STEM concepts and bringing high school sports marketing and sports medicine students to SunTrust Park to learn about possible careers.

“We know a lot of our fans come from Cherokee County, so we’re really looking forward to working with the School District, students and staff,” Braves Director of Community Affairs Ericka Newsome Hill said.

The Board, in approving the monthly personnel recommendations on Thursday night, accepted the retirements of three longtime principals: Jan Adamson of R.M. Moore Elementary School, Elliott Berman of Sequoyah High School and Dr. Ann Gazell of Indian Knoll Elementary School.

“We have been very privileged to have them as leaders,” Dr. Hightower said.

Following

approval of the personnel recommendations, Dr. Hightower also introduced his new Executive Administrative Assistant, Renée Coleman, a 19-year CCSD employee, whose previous roles have included administrative assistant to the Assistant Superintendent of School Operations and the Deputy Superintendent.

Dr. Hightower also was granted approval by the Board to serve as a Superintendent Consultant/Education Fellow for the Education Research & Development Institute, an opportunity extended to select superintendents to gain their input on research and trends in education.

The School Board also:

• Recognized Clayton ES, Woodstock MS, Sequoyah HS and Bascomb ES for CCRPI Progress and Achievement awards;

• Recogn

ized Knox ES as a Common Sense Certified School for Digital Citizenship;

• Recognized CCSD Lead Nurse Jami Stefano as a finalist for the March of Dimes 2017 Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards;

• Recognized the 2017-18 Reinhardt University/CCSD Mathematics Tournament winners;

• Recognized State and Regional Champions from Creekview HS for Softball and Cross Country, Etowah HS for Softball and Volleyball and Sequoyah HS for One Act Play;

• Approved the renewal of a Partnership Agreement with the Cherokee Soccer Association

• Approved

monthly financial reports;

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

• Approved a resolution to certify the closeout of construction for the new Dean Rusk MS;

• Approved special lease agreements;

• Dr. Hightower announced that no bids were submitted meeting the Board’s minimum price for the sale of the Downtown Center at Historic Canton High School.  As a result, CCSD will retain the building and use it for the Special Education department, which currently is housed at the former Buffington Elementary School;

• Heard a

presentation on the CHOICE program, a Special Education Department program to assist at-risk high school seniors in graduating on time by providing them with additional support and resources.  The program, which began in 2013-14, has been expanded annually and, last year, boasted a 98% success rate;

• Heard a presentation on plans to begin Course Extension, a new program to allow high school students who fail a unit and, as a result, fail a class and jeopardize graduating on time, to retake that unit using an individualized online course, during a 10-day period.  This new opportunity allows students to pass a class without needing to retake the entire class over nine or 18 weeks.  The program will begin in January, bo

th before and after school, for select students (initially, 50 at each high school) in seven diffe

rent literature, social studies and math classes.  The cost will be $40 per student per unit, with hardship waivers available; and,

• Met in Executive Session to review three student discipline cases.

• School Board Member Rick Steiner was not present for the meeting.

Next meet

ing: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 18, 2018


School Board Hears from Parents on Cherokee HS Overcrowding

The School Board on Thursday, November 16, 2017, heard from five parents during a public hearing on potential solutions to overcrowding at Cherokee High School.

The hearing, which was attended by a small crowd of parents and teachers, followed two rounds of community meetings to gather input in response to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower’s decision to trigger an Attendance Area Review process.

“This is really a phase-one piece of a multi-year plan,” Dr. Hightower said of addressing overcrowding at Cherokee HS.  “While we have only seen an increase of 50 students this fall over last year’s enrollment, infrastructure continues to be severely taxed… and enrollment is expected to continue to grow north of 3,000 – sooner than later.”

While Cherokee HS doesn’t meet the “critically overcrowded” standards due to mobile classrooms and other fixes already in place, Dr. Hightower announced earlier this year he would ask the School Board at its Dec. 14 meeting to approve a mitigation plan to take effect next school year.

The process began with a dozen possible solutions, including those as far-reaching as countywide redistricting, which have been narrowed through public input and staff review.  Parents at Thursday’s hearing spoke only to two of those solutions:

Option 1. Cherokee HS expands to include the neighboring Canton ES STEM Academy campus; Canton ES STEM Academy students are consolidated into Knox ES and R.M. Moore ES, with STEM programs added to both of those campuses and R.M. Moore ES retaining Title I services (while Knox ES will not see enough of a demographic shift to qualify as Title I, students in need will continue to receive extra services).  This option will reduce CCSD operating costs by $1.5 Million over five years.

Option 2. Cherokee HS expands to include Canton ES STEM Academy campus; Canton ES STEM Academy students relocate to the ACE Academy campus (the 30-year-old Teasley MS building on Knox Bridge Highway); ACE Academy students move to the former Tippens ES (50-year-old building on Glenwood Street in Canton, which will need significant renovations before that move can occur).  This option will increase CCSD operating costs by $3.49 Million next year, and $5.1 Million over five years.

Five parents spoke at Thursday’s Public Input Session, with two favoring Option 1; a husband and wife favoring Option 2; and one focusing on the need to build a new Cherokee High School as soon as possible.

“To think of any other scenario is not feasible,” parent Andy Slanina said of Option 1, adding that he would like to see the savings generated by the plan used to make further improvements to Cherokee HS until a new campus is constructed.

Donnamarie Alcott also said she sees Option 1 as the “only logical and fiscally responsible option.”

Two parents, Kurt and Alexandra Stark, spoke to their desire to see Canton ES STEM Academy stay intact under Option 2, to preserve its strong sense of community.

Parent Jonathan Kessler spoke to the need for the School Board to build a new high school instead of continuing with temporary “Band-aids.”

Dr. Hightower said he is committed to doing just that — as soon as funding is available.  Due to aggressive school construction over the last 15 years in response to Cherokee’s population explosion, CCSD does not have the borrowing capacity to build a new high school, which would cost at least $70 Million, until after the 2021 Education SPLOST renewal at the earliest.

The Cherokee Innovation Zone during those 15 years received $140 Million in new construction including the replacement Canton ES, Hasty ES, Knox ES, Liberty ES and the replacement Teasley MS, a classroom addition at R.M. Moore ES and two rounds of improvements to Cherokee HS since 2002 that alone total nearly $15 Million.

Melissa Whatley

The Board also approved monthly personnel recommendations on Thursday that included recognizing the retirement of longtime employees Joy Mabrey, who began teaching in 1953 and later managed the teacher resource center, and Debbie Childress, who is retiring as Supervisor of Instructional Technology after 42 years as an educator.  The appointment of Melissa Whatley, longtime Executive Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, to Coordinator of Human Resources Services, was approved as well.

The School Board also:

  • Recognized Woodstock High School for earning State STEM Certification;
  • Recognized Cherokee High school Senior Emily Costello for achieving a perfect ACT score;
  • Recognized CCSD School Nutrition for winning the Georgia Golden Radish Award – Platinum Level for practices in support of Farm to School initiatives;
  • Recognized CCSD Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine of Woodstock Middle School;
  • Recognized Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy Teacher Karen Garland for being named the Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year;
  • Recognized River Ridge High School Career Pathways teacher Judi Haggerty for being selected for a State leadership program;
  • Recognized the Creekview High School Army JROTC program as State Champions at the Georgia State Raider Championship;
  • Recognized CCSD staff for Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA) Publication Awards;
  • Recognized State and Regional Champions from Cherokee High School’s Varsity Softball team and Etowah High School’s One Act Play cast and crew;
  • Approved the renewal of a Partnership Agreement with the Cherokee County Board of Elections & Registration;
  • Approved monthly financial reports;
  • Approved surplus of Police Department property;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved 2017-18 School Improvement Plans;
  • Approved special lease agreements;
  • Approved 2018 Legislative Partnership Priorities; and,
  • Approved annual update of Five-Year Strategic Plan.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, December 14, 2017.


School Board to Hold Public Input Session on Attendance Areas on Nov. 16

The Cherokee County School Board will hold a Public Input Session on 2018-19 Attendance Areas at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 in its auditorium at 1205 Bluffs Parkway, Canton 30114.  The purpose is to hear from the community about possible solutions to Cherokee High School overcrowding.

The School Board will hear from as many as 15 speakers, who each will be allotted a maximum of 3 minutes.  Auditorium doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with a sign-up sheet for the speaker slots in the lobby.

We suggest that any groups working together to advocate for a specific solution designate a spokesperson to speak on the group’s behalf; the entire group is welcome to stand behind the spokesperson at the podium.  We also suggest speakers bring a copy of their remarks to give to CCSD staff, so the remarks can be copied and shared with the Board for further review.

The Board’s Policy for public participation in meetings is posted here; we would ask anyone planning to attend and participate in this input session to review these guidelines, as they also apply to any signage citizens bring… additionally, signs that block others from viewing the meeting will not be permitted.

The input session is a public hearing; Board Members will be listening and taking notes, but not responding to comments.  Citizens who are unable to attend can share their input with Board Members by using the contact information posted here.  The Board welcomes direct public input until its vote to approve a solution at the 7 p.m. Dec. 14 regular meeting in the school board auditorium.

Next week’s Public Input Session follows two rounds of public input meetings held by CCSD staff with parents, employees and others from the community (the initial presentation is online here).  Following the first round of four meetings, four possible solutions discussed by the community were closely reviewed by CCSD staff.  More detailed information including each plan’s financial impact was presented by CCSD staff during the second round of two meetings; that presentation is available online here.


Cherokee High School Senior Earns Perfect ACT Score!

Category : CCSD

Emily Costello

A Cherokee County School District senior has achieved a perfect score on the ACT!

Cherokee High School senior Emily Costello earned the top composite score of 36 on the college entrance and placement test during its September administration.

On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score!

Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead, according to ACT. The exam includes English, mathematics, reading and science sections; each section is scored on a scale of 1-36, and the composite score is the average of the four.

In addition to this accomplishment, Emily is currently one of the top 10 students in the Cherokee HS Class of 2018, an All-County Swim Team member and four-time State qualifier, and a Georgia Music Educators Association All State Band and District Honor Band selection, playing first chair oboe.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Alpha-Gamma Service Club, Student Government Association and Marching Band, serves an attorney for the school’s Region Champion Mock Trial team, and is one of the founders and event managers for this years’ TedxYouth event at Cherokee High.

A Superintendent’s Key Scholar, Emily earned the University of Georgia Merit Award, was selected for the Governor’s Honors Program as a sophomore in Music (Oboe) and Science, is a member of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, and serves as a junior counselor for Georgia Tech Women in Engineering (TEC) Camp.

Emily will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board Meeting on November 16, 2017.

#CCSDfam


Board Briefs: School Board Hears Update on Cherokee HS Overcrowding

The School Board on Thursday, October 19, 2017, heard an update on meetings gathering community feedback on potential overcrowding mitigation plans for Cherokee High School.

While the campus doesn’t meet CCSD’s definition of “critically overcrowded” due to solutions already implemented, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said he’s committed to asking for the School Board’s approval in December of a plan for alleviating overcrowding beginning next school year.

The School District held a first round of Attendance Area Focus Group meetings in the Cherokee Innovation Zone earlier this month, with two follow-up meetings scheduled for next week (7 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 at Cherokee HS) to provide detailed information in response to parent questions.

Three plans were reviewed with parents at those meetings, the details of which are posted online here; a fourth possibility floated by Canton ES STEM Academy parents also will be examined at next week’s meetings.

“We don’t necessarily like any of these plans because they affect students and staff who haven’t done anything other than keep waking up to go to school each day,” Dr. Hightower said.  “No matter what plan we choose, it will be a change for some of our students and staff.  What we’re tasked with is finding the plan that has the least negative impact on our programs, operations and budget.”

The three plans presented by staff so far are:

1. Cherokee HS expands to include the neighboring Canton ES STEM Academy campus; Canton ES STEM Academy students are consolidated into Knox ES and R.M. Moore ES, with STEM programs added to both of those campuses and R.M. Moore ES retaining Title I services (while Knox ES will not see enough of a demographic shift to qualify as Title I, students in need will continue to receive extra services).

2. Cherokee HS expands to include Canton ES STEM Academy; Canton ES STEM Academy students relocate to the ACE Academy campus (the 30-year-old Teasley MS building on Knox Bridge Highway); ACE Academy students move to the former Tippens ES (30-plus-year-old building on Glenwood Street in Canton, which will need significant renovations before that move can occur).

3. Cherokee HS splits, with ninth-graders relocated to the ACE Academy campus; ACE Academy students move to the former Tippens ES.
Under all three plans, no CCSD staff would be reduced despite some potential consolidation, as due to retirements and enrollment growth districtwide, new hiring is needed every year.

The fourth possibility suggested by some Canton ES STEM Academy parents also calls for Cherokee HS to expand to include Canton ES STEM Academy, with Canton ES STEM Academy students relocating to the ACE Academy campus.  But under this plan, ACE Academy — which serves students expelled from CCSD’s traditional high schools, as well as some who choose the program for its “work-at-your-own-pace” schedule -– would share the Canton ES STEM Academy building with the Cherokee HS freshmen.

Dr. Hightower emphasized Thursday night that the Cherokee Innovation Zone has received a lion’s share of CCSD construction funding over the last 15 years, totaling $140 Million, including construction of the replacement Canton ES, Hasty ES, Knox ES, Liberty ES and the replacement Teasley MS, a classroom addition at R.M. Moore ES and two rounds of improvements to Cherokee HS since 2002 that alone total nearly $15 Million.

“We have not ignored the Cherokee Zone in the past nor are we going to in the future,” Dr. Hightower said.  “What we’re talking about now is a necessary stop-gap – we remain committed to building a new high school to serve north Cherokee.  We now have the property to do it in Ball Ground or in Sutallee, and we also would love to find some land between Cherokee High and Woodstock.  What we need is the $70-plus Million to build the school, which due to aggressive school construction for the last 20 years to keep up with explosive growth, we won’t be able to borrow for another six years when our community renews the Education SPLOST.”

Dr. Hightower noted that, depending on the plan approved by the School Board, there may be opportunities to renovate and expand portions of the Cherokee High School campus while it’s still occupied… which can’t occur now due to the lack of available open space unused by portables or as parking for staff and students.

The School Board also:

• Recognized Woodstock HS senior Katherine Relick for achieving a perfect ACT Score;
• Recognized CCSD high school seniors named 2018 National Merit Semi-Finalists;
• Recognized Woodstock HS junior Anna Fournaris and Creekland MS seventh-grader Brayden Fuentes for being named to the State School Superintendent’s 2017-18 Student Advisory Council;
• Recognized Clayton ES PE teacher Anne Cross as State “Fire Up Your Feet” award and grant winner;
• Approved a proclamation in honor of Retired Educators Day;
• Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with Brenau University, Cherokee Chorale, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc., North Central Georgia Learning Resources System, Waste Management and WellStar Health System;
• Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
• Approved monthly financial reports;
• Approved special lease agreements; and,
• Approved monthly personnel recommendations.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, November 16, 2017.  There will be a 6 p.m. public input session on the Cherokee HS Attendance Area Plans.

student stands and leads the Pledge

Sequoyah HS Student Delegate Teddy Campbell leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the School Board meeting.

student shakes hands with school board members during recognition

Creekland MS student Brayden Fuentes is congratulated for her selection to the State Superintendent’s 2017-18 Student Advisory Council.

student shakes hands with school board members during recognition

Woodstock HS student Anna Fournaris is congratulated for her selection to the State Superintendent’s 2017-18 Student Advisory Council.

The Superintendent and School Board congratulate students named as National Merit Semi Finalists.

Karen Hawley at podium speaking to school board.

Karen Hawley speaks on behalf of the Retired Educators group after the School Board approved a proclamation.

Clayton ES PE teacher Anne Cross is recognized as a state winner and grant winner of the “Fire Up Your Feet” award for encouraging student fitness.

student shakes hands with superintendent.

Woodstock HS student Katherine Relick is congratulated by Superintendent Dr. Brian Hightower for her achievement of scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT.


CCSD Schedules 2nd Round of Attendance Area Focus Group Meetings

A second round of Attendance Area Focus Group meetings to review possible solutions to Cherokee High School overcrowding has been scheduled to provide information responsive to audience questions.

The public meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, and Thursday, Oct. 26, at Cherokee HS.

Miss the first round of meetings? Here’s the staff presentation: CCSD 2017 Attendance Area Focus Group Meetings Presentation.


Board Briefs: School Board Hears Plans for Relieving Cherokee HS Overcrowding

 

 

Etowah HS student delegate Katie Bishop leads the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The School Board on Thursday, September 14, 2017, heard plans for a public review of options to relieve overcrowding at Cherokee High School.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said he and his senior staff have been closely monitoring Cherokee High School enrollment, which now tops 2,600 — and developing options to provide relief.

While the campus is not “critically overcrowded” due to solutions already implemented, the Superintendent has committed to gathering public input to make a recommendation for School Board action… to take effect in the 2018-19 school year.

“This is a transparent process,” Dr. Hightower said.  “We will hold meetings that are open to the public, and we want to hear from everyone who has an opinion or concern about the possible solutions.”

Not only is the campus now home to 14 mobile units with 28 classrooms and 22 floating teachers, but 700 students crowd the cafeteria for each lunch period.  Only 196 students – a fraction of the 458 seniors – are able to park on campus (no underclassmen have the opportunity); and hallways, restrooms and other infrastructure cannot comfortably accommodate any further growth.

“Unfortunately, due to our School District’s decades of rapid growth coupled with a tax base that cannot generate enough revenue for us to ‘pay as we go’ with construction, we have a ‘mortgage’ to pay off from our aggressive building and major renovations plan… and not enough borrowing capacity to fund construction of a new high school ($70+ Million) in the next five years,” Dr. Hightower said.

While Dr. Hightower already had advised the School Board of his plans to include construction of a new high school campus to relieve Cherokee HS, which will take approximately three years to build, in the 2021 Education SPLOST referendum, he said Thursday that he strongly believes a solution is needed now.

“If we were two years from a solution, I might say we could do double sessions or another solution that would only involve Cherokee High School’s campus,” Dr. Hightower said.  “But we’re not in that kind of timeframe.”

To begin the recommendation process, Attendance Focus Group Meetings will be held Oct. 9-12 (a detailed schedule is below).  These meetings are open to the entire community: parents, employees, volunteers, partners, neighbors.  At these meetings, the Superintendent’s staff will share current data, projected growth and possible solutions.

The most important factors the Superintendent will take into consideration when reviewing these solutions are whether the changes will negatively impact teaching and learning and whether the recommendations will be fiscally responsible.  He will make a recommendation to the School Board at its November meeting, with a vote scheduled for the December meeting.

“No matter what options are considered during the process, I want our employees to know they will not lose their position with CCSD because of the solution the School Board chooses.  You will have a home,” he said.  “We’re in growth mode, and we need all the teachers and staff we have… and we’ll need more as we continue to grow.”

Several possible solutions already are being floated by parents in the community involving various schools in the Cherokee Innovation Zone, including ACE Academy.  All would require a shift of students or programs… and would need additional analysis as part of this input process.

The schedule of meetings is below – the public can attend any and all meetings, all of which are from 7 to 9 p.m.:

Canton ES STEM Academy: Oct. 9

Knox ES: Oct. 10

R.M. Moore ES: Oct. 11

Cherokee HS and ACE Academy: Oct. 12 at Cherokee HS auditorium

Also on Thursday, the School Board voted to advertise the CCSD Downtown Center, which is the name used for the offices at the Historic Canton High School building, and adjacent larger corner parking lot for sale.

The School Board also:

• Heard Strategic Work Session presentations on “Trends in Education” including topics such as the Canvas learning management system, the Balanced Literacy model, middle school STEM activities and a pilot program to use cameras in classrooms to improve instruction;
• Recognized Woodstock High School Navy JROTC Cadet Lt. Commander Katlyn Deveau as winner of National-level Legion of Valor Award;
• Recognized Georgia PTA State-level award winners;
• Recognized 19 CCSD educators for earning Apple Vanguard certification;
• Recognized 16 CCSD educators for earning Microsoft Innovative Educator Classroom certification;
• Recognized 10 CCSD educators as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts;
• Recognized 31 CCSD schools and their PE and Health teachers for being named to the Governor’s SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Education) Honor Roll;
• Recognized Creekview HS Senior Elhana Kelley for her election to the Area 1 North Region FFA Officer Team;
• Approved a proclamation in honor of Constitution Week;
• Approved a proclamation recognizing September as National Attendance Awareness Month;
• Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with Cobb EMC, Hobgood Baseball Inc., North Georgia Regional Education Services Agency, Piedmont College and Sequoyah Regional Library System; • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips; • Approved monthly financial reports;
• Approved the issuance of a tax anticipation note;
• Approved the surplus of property to be sold at CCSD’s annual surplus auction on Oct. 7 (more information posted here);
• Approved granting an easement to the Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority;
• Approved special lease agreements;
• Approved monthly personnel recommendations; and,
• Approved the annual contract with Ninth District Opportunity Inc.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, October 19, 2017

Creekview HS senior Elhana Kelley is congratulated by the Board and Superintendent for her election to the Area 1 North Region FFA Officer Team.

The School Board recognized PE teachers from CCSD schools that were named to the Governor’s SHAPE Honor Roll.

The School Board recognized CCSD teachers for earning Apple Vanguard Certification as well as those earning Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert certification.

The School Board recognized Georgia PTA State-level award winners for 2016-17, including Model PTAs, Outstanding Principals, Outstanding Units, membership awards, as well as the 2017 Georgia PTA Outstanding School Nurse– Thania Molina from Mill Creek MS.


CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Named Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year!

UPDATE 6/12/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS today was named the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year!  The surprise presentation was made today at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute in Peachtree City.

UPDATE 6/12/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS today was named the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year! The surprise presentation was made today at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute in Peachtree City.

UPDATE 5/8/17: CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee HS has been named the North Central Georgia regional winner by the Georgia Library Media Association and the Georgia Association of Instructional Technology!  She now is a finalist for the 2017 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Award to be presented in June.

Cherokee High School Media Specialist Anne Nechvatal gets a congratulatory hug from social studies teacher Angie Pannell after the surprise announcement that she was chosen as the Cherokee County School District’s 2017 Media Specialist of the Year.

Check out the video from today’s surprise presentation: https://youtu.be/YH2iQajg1PM

The Cherokee High School media center’s transformation from old-school library to a modern, collaborative learning space has earned Anne Nechvatal the honor of Cherokee County School District 2017 Media Specialist of the Year!

Ms. Nechvatal, who sees the center as “the largest classroom in the school,” was surprised with the award on Monday, March 6, 2017 by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board Members in front of an audience of the school’s faculty and her husband. She now will represent CCSD in the State-level competition. The presentation and reception that followed were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower praised Ms. Nechvatal for her dedication to digital learning.

“You’ve turned the media center upside down to make sure it’s relevant for your students and teachers,” Dr. Hightower said, applauding her focus on staying up to date in an “age of information.” “Anne is a shining example of everything we want a media specialist to be.”

Ms. Nechvatal, who was congratulated with a standing ovation, said she was “very honored and overwhelmed” by the surprise. She also was quick to acknowledge the work of her fellow media specialist, Vicki Barbre, noting “this is really her honor as well.”

Anne Nechvatal is congratulated by her husband, Gerry, as part of the surprise announcement that she is CCSD’s Media Specialist of the Year, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Principal Todd Miller look on.

The award process begins with each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder elementary and middle schools) selecting a Media Specialist for the Year. Applications from these honorees then are considered by a panel of retired educators and community leaders, who select the CCSD Media Specialist of the Year.

In addition to Ms. Nechvatal for the Cherokee Innovation Zone (IZ), the other Zone winners are: Creekview IZ – Hollen Pope, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy; Etowah IZ – Denise Lewis, Etowah HS; River Ridge IZ – Keara Rubin, River Ridge HS; Sequoyah IZ – Mia Temples, Hickory Flat ES; and Woodstock IZ – Kimberly George, Sixes ES. They all will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the March 16 School Board meeting.

Ms. Nechvatal is a graduate of Oglethorpe University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree; University of West Georgia, where she earned her masters of education degree in school library media; and University of West Georgia, where she recently completed her education specialist degree.

A previous winner of the Creekview IZ’s Media Specialist of the Year Award, Ms. Nechvatal joined Cherokee High School two years ago and since then has focused on updating the media center and its resources to increase benefits to students and teachers. She also serves as the school’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Team coach and judges Senior Projects.

“My mission for the CHS media center is to create a space that is open, accessible and user-friendly; put simply, a place where students want to come,” said Ms. Nechvatal, who previously served as a media specialist at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

Dr. Pam Andes, as graduation coach at the school, sees students benefit from the media center’s resources and additional learning opportunities.

“Our students are waiting for the media center to open each morning in order to spend time here before school begins,” Dr. Andes said. “Students know that she will assist them with any issues in the media center. She truly cares about our students and wants our media center to be second to none.”

Ms. Nechvatal has applied for grants to improve the center and develops activities to increase student traffic, such as the annual Technology “Smackdown” event.

“Building relationships is one of the most important parts of being an effective media specialist. I strive to understand the wants and needs of both our students and teachers,” she said. “I feel like the students are my customers, and I want to offer them the best customer service possible. I try not to ever let them go away empty handed.”

Principal Todd Miller thanked Ms. Nechvatal for all of her efforts that led to the honor.

“Thank you for what you do each day and for turning our media center into a digital learning center,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower, congratulates CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, as Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller looks on.

From left to right, School Board member Kelly Poole, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, and Jennifer Stanley of Northside Hospital-Cherokee, which sponsored by the award presentation and reception, congratulate CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee High School, center, with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower and Principal Todd Miller.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Following the surprise, CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal was celebrated at a reception in the media center with cake, punch and coffee. The presentation and reception were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

 


Cherokee HS Student Wins Georgia’s Most Positive Male Athlete Award

Category : CCSD

Jacob Klebar, Georgia’s Positive Athlete Award Winner, runs with the Cherokee High School Warriors.

A Cherokee High School Class of 2017 graduate has been named Georgia’s Positive Male Athlete of the Year!

Jacob Klebar

Jacob Klebar, a member of the school’s football team who graduated this month and is headed to Reinhardt University on an academic scholarship, will be honored next month at the 2016-17 Georgia Positive Athlete Awards at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The award is presented by Positive Athlete Georgia, a subsidiary of Celebrate Positive LLC, which promotes the benefits of positivity to young athletes around the world. Hines Ward, a former Forest Park High School, University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers football star, formed Positive Athlete with local businessman Scott Pederson.

More than 3,400 students are nominated annually by coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers and parents. Awards are presented for specific sports and regions, with the top award – Positive Athlete of the Year — presented to one male and one female student for the entire state.

In addition to excellence on the field, Positive Athletes must show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.

An injury left Jacob unable to play on the field his junior and senior years, but that didn’t end his membership on the team, as he stayed on the roster and involved in encouraging and coaching his teammates.


Cherokee HS Names Men’s Soccer Head Coach

Category : CCSD

Samer Kaddah

Cherokee High School has named Samer Kaddah as its new Men’s Soccer Head Coach!

A World and U.S. History teacher, Coach Kaddah grew up in Kennesaw and graduated from Kell High School as a four-year soccer starter and three-year captain, who also played club soccer for NASA.

Coach Kaddah played soccer for Kennesaw State University from 2009-2012 while earning his degree in history. Upon graduation, he joined Cherokee High School’s staff as a history teacher.

“Coach Kaddah brings a wealth of background and experience to the position,” Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Jeremy Adams said. “He has tremendous desire to lead student-athletes to be better players and overall people.

Coach Kaddah and his wife, Christina, are expecting their first child this spring.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to build upon a program that has already been established,” Coach Kaddah said. “We have a great group of athletes and coaches, and I think the future is very bright for Warriors’ soccer.”