CCSD High Schools Earns State Recognition for AP Programs!

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.

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:

Registration is available online:…

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!


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.