CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

CCSD Teacher Named Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Category : CCSD

monarch butterfly

A Cherokee County School District teacher has been named the Georgia Conservation Teacher of the Year!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy Discovery Science Lab teacher Karen Garland has won the state title and a $1,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The award, made possible with funding from The Environmental Resources Network, is given annually to one third- through fifth-grade public or private school teacher in Georgia who demonstrates exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences.

Karen Garland

Ms. Garland will use the grant to begin the “Campaigning for Pollinators” project, which was inspired by her students’ idea to convert a monoculture of grass outside their school into a healthy habitat for pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

“Clark Creek Elementary is dedicated to fostering all students’ innate curiosity by empowering them to be independent problem-solvers through a variety of opportunities,” Ms. Garland said. “Through this approach, students see how classroom subjects relate to the real world.”

Through the project, students will design the garden, plant native perennials and record the species observed to a citizen science database. Students will share the responsibilities of watering, weeding, and gathering data. A field guide of butterfly host and nectar plants will be created for use in the media center. As part of the school’s STEM Day in May, students will grow and distribute milkweed (the only host plant for monarch butterflies) and educational brochures to the community.

“We love that Mrs. Garland’s project is student-driven. Third-graders saw butterflies flying overhead, but they never stopped since there was nothing there for them to eat or drink,” said Linda May, DNR Environmental Outreach Coordinator. “The students understood the importance of pollinators and wanted to help, so they thought of ways to provide suitable habitat at their school.”

The judges were impressed by the project’s cross-curricular creativity, student collaboration across grade levels and in-kind donations. The project also will be funded with donations from Lowe’s, Cherokee County Master Gardeners, Save Our Monarchs and Monarchs Across Georgia.

Ms. Garland will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Nov. 16 Board meeting.

#CCSDfam


Woodstock HS Earns Prestigious State STEM Certification!

Category : CCSD

STEM Georgia logoWoodstock High School is the first high school in the Cherokee County School District to earn prestigious State STEM Certification… and only the 12th high school in all of Georgia!

A Georgia Department of Education State STEM Certification Team visited the school Wednesday to make the final determination as to whether the school had achieved the high standards required for the elite designation. The Team unanimously gave the school its seal of approval.

“The certification committee could not stop praising the efforts of Woodstock High School and the opportunities our students have to be part of such a rich experience,” Principal Mark Smith said.

Woodstock High School is the first high school and only the second school in CCSD, following Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, to earn this distinction.

“For Woodstock High School, this is the culmination of several years’ worth of planning and implementation on the part of our teachers, parents, business partners, and students,” Principal Smith said of the accomplishment. “Moving forward, this will allow our students who choose to follow one of our STEM Pathways to be officially recognized by the State as having completed a certified STEM Pathway.”

The path to State STEM certification is a complex, multi-year process requiring strong evidence of meeting and exceeding standards in areas such as math and science instruction, technology integration, teacher collaboration, STEM competitions, and business partnerships.

Principal Smith and the school will be recognized for earning this State honor by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Board’s Nov. 16 School Board meeting.

“This is an amazing accomplishment that the entire Cherokee County community can be proud of, and for which so many deserve kudos and thanks for their efforts and support,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We knew that Woodstock’s team was leading the charge on high school STEM education, and this recognition is an extraordinary validation that we’re on the right path in preparing students for the STEM careers of today and tomorrow. The lessons learned through this process have evolved into best practices that all of our schools can adopt. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!”


CCSD School Named Finalist for Top Statewide STEM Education Award!

STEM Education Awards logoA Cherokee County School District school has been named a finalist for a top statewide STEM education award!

The Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative have selected Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy as a finalist for its 2017 Georgia STEM Education Awards.

The Georgia STEM Education Awards recognize schools, programs, and companies in a range of categories for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education in Georgia. Clark Creek ES STEM Academy is a finalist in the STEM Certified School category. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on November 3 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.

“We’re so proud to see Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy recognized at the state level for its achievements in teaching and learning,” Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “A Title I school, Clark Creek serves children who face challenges many of their peers do not, so the school’s ability to exceed schools statewide in the crucial area of STEM education makes this honor that much more impressive. Congratulations to the entire school community!”

This is the second time for Clark Creek ES STEM Academy to be named a finalist for these awards, having previously been recognized in 2016. The school, led by Principal Joey Moss, also recently was honored as the Georgia winner of the 2017 Program Excellence Award presented by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.

In 2015, Clark Creek ES STEM Academy earned the prestigious State STEM Certification… only the 11th elementary school in Georgia to earn this commendation, and the first in Cherokee County.


CCSD Teacher Wins State Career Education Grant

Category : CCSD

Celebrating the grant are, from left to right, Freedom Middle School Careers teacher Amanda Whitmire, Learning Blade Vice President Joshua Sneiderman and Freedom MS Principal Sheila Grimes.

A Cherokee County School District teacher has won a State career education grant valued at $2,000!

Freedom Middle School Careers teacher Amanda Whitmire has been selected for the Learning Blade Middle School Grant Program: a partnership between Thinking Media/Learning Blade and The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

She is one of only 54 recipients selected statewide, and the sole winner from CCSD.

The program introduces more than 100 STEM careers and technologies to students through a literacy based format through which they solve problems, increase their STEM career knowledge, and learn about new career options.

“I believe Learning Blade will not only enhance student achievement, but also support college and career readiness,” Ms. Whitmire said.

PHOTO: Celebrating the grant are, from left to right, Freedom Middle School Careers teacher Amanda Whitmire, Learning Blade Vice President Joshua Sneiderman and Freedom MS Principal Sheila Grimes.


CCSD High Schools Earns State Recognition for AP Programs!

Category : CCSD

Cherokee County School District’s high schools all have earned State recognition for outstanding Advanced Placement (AP) programs!

Each of CCSD’s six traditional high schools has earned recognition from the State as a 2017 AP Honor School for commendable student performance and participation on AP exams. CCSD’s high schools all have been named to the State’s AP Honor List each of the last seven years.

“This recognition is a testament to the extraordinary dedication of our AP students and teachers,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We are so proud of these students for challenging themselves with these rigorous courses and equally impressed by our AP teachers’ ability to successfully instruct them on a college level. These courses can earn college credit for our students, which we know their parents appreciate, but they also expand their knowledge and, as research shows, better prepare them for college and career success.”

Schools can earn AP Honor School recognition in as many as six categories. CCSD high schools earned recognition in all four categories for which its schools were eligible. All of CCSD’s high schools continued their presence on the AP STEM Schools and AP STEM Achievement Schools lists, with all for the first time being named AP Humanities Schools (an increase from four schools last year) and four schools won a place on the Merit School list (an increase from three schools last year).

AP Merit Schools: Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS and Woodstock HS
AP Merit Schools are those with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50 percent of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher. There are 69 Merit Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP STEM Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP STEM Schools are those with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science A). There are 204 AP STEM Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP STEM Achievement Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP STEM Achievement Schools are those with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses, and at least 40 percent of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher. There are 128 AP STEM Achievement Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP Humanities Schools: Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS
AP Humanities Schools are those with students testing in all of the following AP courses: at least one ELA course, two social sciences courses, one fine arts course and one world language course. There are 149 AP Humanities Schools in Georgia for 2017.

AP in CCSD
CCSD was one of 10 school districts in Georgia recently named to the national AP District Honor Roll in 2016, its fourth consecutive year to earn national distinction for its AP participation and achievement. With a passage rate of 70% among the 4,784 tests administered in the spring of 2016, CCSD exceeds the State average of 58% and the National average of 57%.

AP in Georgia
The AP program in Georgia is 16th in the nation for the percentage of students earning the highest AP exam scores (3, 4, and 5) and is one of just 17 states to exceed the national average. Georgia has seen a 7.7 percentage point increase since 2006 in the percentage of graduates scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam.

AP/College Board
AP courses and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP courses are one of several ways Georgia students can access college-level learning opportunities while in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams are often eligible to receive college credit.


Registration Open for LEGO Build Contest at Holly Springs ES STEM Academy on March 3

Love LEGOs? Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy will host a community LEGO Build Contest on Friday, March 3, 2017.

The LEGO Build contest is for children in second grade through adults and is sponsored by Cobb EMC. The event is limited to 40 registered participants per group (see Registration Form for groups), and there’s still plenty of room.

More info is on the school website: http://cherokeek12.net/hollyspringses/2017/01/17/lego-build-contest-coming-soon/

Registration is available online:
https://hollyspringselementary.revtrak.net/tek9.asp…


Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Wins International Organization’s Award for STEM Education!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy has received an international organization’s top honor for excellence in technology and engineering education!

The school has been named the Georgia winner of the 2017 Program Excellence Award presented by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and Paxton-Patterson.

Principal Joey Moss

“Through the review process, it was recognized that our school’s technology and engineering education program is truly exemplary among other programs in our state,” Principal Joey Moss said. “Our students are the ones who will have richer lives as a result. Not many endeavors are more important than helping students become technologically literate and learn more about the world around them.”

ITEEA praised the school for the “tremendous amount of work and dedication that is required to design, maintain, and improve quality programs like yours.”
This news follows two consecutive years of top accolades for the school: in 2015, it earned the prestigious State STEM Certification… only the 11th elementary school in Georgia to earn this commendation, and the first in Cherokee County; and last year, the school was recognized as a finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Certified School Outreach Award.

“Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is an outstanding example of innovative academic school choice,” Dr. Hightower said, noting the school is one of CCSD’s six award-winning Cherokee Academies open to all CCSD elementary school students. “Not only does Clark Creek soar like its RedHawk mascot among schools statewide, these achievements are especially remarkable given its Title I status due to the economic challenges many of its students and their families face. We’re so proud of this continued success!”

Principal Moss said the support of the entire school community — including business partners — made the ITEEA recognition possible, and she especially appreciates the efforts of Teresa Bailey, the school’s Odyssey Lab teacher, who prepared the award application and fifth-grade teacher Cindy Reeves.

Teresa Bailey

Cindy Reeves

Ms. Bailey and Ms. Reeves will join Principal Moss in presenting at the ITEEA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas from March 16-18, 2017, and they will be recognized at the Conference’s Program Excellence Ceremony. They will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower at the April 20 School Board meeting.


CCSD Schools Named Finalists in Technology Association of Georgia’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!

stemlogo

Two Cherokee County School District schools have been named finalists for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative’s 2016 STEM Education Awards!

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the Elementary School Award, and Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy is a finalist for the STEM Certified School Outreach Award!

This is the second consecutive year for the schools to be named to the elite list of finalists.

The awards were created, according to the Association, to recognize “outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in Georgia.”

Winners will be announced during the STEM Education Awards ceremony on Nov. 4 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.

“We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of the Collaborative.  “Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state. ”

TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members; TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia.

 


Creekview High School Aeronautics Team Places at National Competition

Creekview HS Aeronautics 1 9 6 16

Team members are, from left to right, Canon Sousa, Andrew White, Nick Garcia, and Aiden McChesney.

Creekview HS Aeronautics 2 9 6 16

The team works together at the National competition.

The Creekview High School Aeronautics Team continued its success at the National level, with a fourth-place overall win at the UAS4STEM Search and Rescue Nationals.

The team of John Abdinoor, Nick Garcia, Aiden McChesney, Canon Sousa and Andrew White earned a spot at Nationals in Muncie, Ind. after finishing third at the Southeast Regional Competition in May.

In its first year, the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ UAS 4STEM competition engages students in the challenge of building, programming and flying a remotely controlled drone in a search-and-rescue scenario.  Upon completing FAA ground school, teams receive materials to build, program and fly their drone, which must be capable of broadcasting live video and establishing GPS position at all times.  After several months of work, students compete regionally in events at which they earn points by presenting their flight plan, flying to waypoints across a search grid and locating items of interest with GPS and video technology.  The 15 top teams from Regionals were invited to the Academy’s headquarters for Nationals.

Despite a rainstorm, the Creekview HS team located all objects in the search area and landed its drone in the National competition.

The team’s drone comes in for its landing.

“We are proud of the perseverance of our Aeronautics Team at this competition,” said team sponsor teacher Tim Smyrl.  “To compete nationally and finish fourth in our first year of competition speaks volumes for our kids and their efforts.  We look forward to competing again next year.”

The team competes also annually in the Team America Rocketry Challenge at which it has earned national and international honors, in addition to the new UAS4STEM program.  The team is offered as an extra-curricular STEM outreach, and several former team members have pursued degrees and careers in engineering and aerospace fields.