Knox ES Earns National Certification for Digital Citizenship

Knox ES Earns National Certification for Digital Citizenship

Knox Elementary School has been named a Common Sense Certified School for Digital Citizenship this week by Common Sense, a national nonprofit organization dedicated “to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology.”

Common Sense logoThe school earned the recognition by preparing students to use digital media safely by avoiding dangers such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of Knox Elementary School for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Liz Kline, Vice President of Education Programs for Common Sense Education. “The school and its staff deserve high praise for giving students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

Leslie Hicks

Media Specialist Leslie Hicks, K-2 Counselor Jenilee Curtis and Principal Tammy Sandell coordinated the school’s certification process.

Jenilee Curtis

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense School,” Principal Sandell said “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we’re providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning.”

They will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the Dec. 14 school board meeting.

Principal Tammy Sandell

Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship resources were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The free resources teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships and respecting creative copyright.

#CCSDfam

 


CCSD Employees Stay Busy During Summer Break

CCSD Transportation Technician Samuel Shelton inspects a brand new bus upon delivery to CCSD. The School District purchased 12 new full-size buses for the 2017-18 school year.

Summer months are far from slow in the Cherokee County School District, as employees, in addition to running summer school and meal programs, stay busy with facility maintenance, professional development and preparing operations for the new school year.

CCSD Facility Technician Eli Gibbs works on a rooftop HVAC unit at Johnston Elementary School. Projects there this summer air-conditioned the gym and upgraded the energy management system.

“Although the majority of students and teachers and other school-based staff enjoy a well-deserved two-month break, summer is a very busy time for our divisions and departments, as they complete significant behind-the-scenes work,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We greatly appreciate the time and energy our employees invest into facilities, technology and training to prepare us for a successful school year.”

Hundreds of teachers, administrators and other staff participated in summer professional development training on topics ranging from more effective classroom use of instructional technology to lesson plans centered on newly adopted reading and writing teaching resources to tools for stronger classroom and school leadership.

CCSD teachers work on a STEM activity during a summer professional development class.

All CCSD school buses were inspected and routes mapped, new technology – including the Canvas learning management system and K12PaymentCenter school meal pre-payment system – began operating, and school nutrition staff prepared to roll out new menu options like the high school grill line!

Facility maintenance crews have been among the hardest working, with a long list of repairs and upgrades scheduled when campuses are emptied for summer break. Projects have included everything from replacing lighting fixtures with more efficient LED choices and updating ceiling tiles to installing new flooring and upgrading HVAC and energy management systems.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower speaks about leadership qualities with Principals, Assistant Principals and other administrators during the Superintendent’s Leadership Symposium event, sponsored by Northside Hospital Cherokee and the Cherokee County Educational Foundation.

Thanks to community partners, Northside Hospital Cherokee and the Cherokee County Educational Foundation, the Superintendent presented a Leadership Symposium professional development program for school and district leaders at which they heard remarks from him and leadership speaker Brian Dodd and attended break-out sessions on new CCSD initiatives led by senior staff.

“We’re focused on continuous improvement in every aspect of our organization to fulfill our mission of educating the emerging generation” Dr. Hightower said. “When school opens on August 1, we’ll be ready and stronger than ever before.”

Debra Murdock, CCSD Executive Director of Administrative Leadership, engages school administrators in a session at the Superintendent’s Leadership Symposium professional development event.

CCSD Transportation Technician Brad Benton replaces an axle on a school bus. All 452 CCSD school buses were inspected this summer by the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

CCSD Maintenance Technicians Tim McFarland (on ladder) and Ty Adams reroute wiring in the Hickory Flat Elementary School Media Center as one of their summer maintenance projects.

CCSD Warehouse staff Wesley Lee, left, and Fred Dubois, right, deliver updated Student/Parent Handbooks to Etowah High School.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy Principal Joey Moss, left, and Assistant Principal Susan Bruno speak with teachers and staff about the upcoming school year and present each with a school spirit wear cap.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy teachers and leaders show off their new spirit wear caps.

 

 


CCSD Teacher Named to Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2017!

Apple Distinguished Educator logoA Cherokee County School District teacher has been named to the Apple Distinguished Educators Class of 2017!

Woodstock Elementary School teacher Kristen Brooks is the first CCSD educator to achieve this distinguished honor, which Apple began in 1994 to recognize K-12 and higher education pioneers who use the company’s products to transform teaching and learning.

Kristin Brooks

Kristin Brooks

Ms. Brooks and her fellow Class of 2017 honorees were hand-picked from thousands of applicants and join 2,500 visionary educators and innovative leaders worldwide previously named to this elite group. Apple Distinguished Educators serve as advisors, authors and ambassadors for Apple and as advocates for their peers in the classroom.

“Our mission is to educate the emerging generation, and we must continue to advance our teachers’ technology knowledge to best prepare students for future success in our digital world,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Teachers like Ms. Brooks understand that students need to do more than engage with technology – they need to develop a sense of ownership so they can fully benefit from all these tools offer. Congratulations to Ms. Brooks, who I know will continue to share her knowledge with not only her students, but also her peers throughout our District.”

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Brooks created and launched CCSD’s first iPad Lab at Woodstock ES. She is a 2016 Apple Educator, Apple Vanguard Certified, a Certified BrainPOP Educator, OSMO Ambassador and Seesaw the Learning Journal Ambassador, as well as winner of a 2015 PBS Digital Innovator Award.

“Kristen is a true innovator for our students, is a model for other teachers and schools, and she has been a featured speaker at national conferences,” Woodstock ES Principal Kim Montalbano said. “It is exciting to see such a tremendous recognition of her vision and hard work.”


CCSD Named a Top 10 Technology District in U.S. for 12th Time!

The Cherokee County School District for the 12th time is in the nation’s “Top 10” of large school systems effectively using technology in education.

The honor recognizes results from the annual Digital School Districts Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. The survey compares public school districts nationwide and awards Top 10 rankings to those that fully integrate technology into the classroom, and throughout the system’s operations. With this year’s recognition, CCSD has made its 12th appearance in the Top 10 since 2004.

“Effectively using technology is a requirement for success in our world, and we’re focused on ensuring each of our students not only is engaged with technology, but also develops a sense of ownership through usage,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, noting he views technology as a valuable tool for every aspect of operations. “We set a goal to further embrace business technology to improve operations and have implemented successful new systems, with more on the horizon.”

The survey evaluates use of technology in areas including: integration of technology and curriculum and related professional development; infrastructure and networks; leadership and transparency in governance; operational improvements; strategic planning, data management and safety; and communications with students, parents, employees and the community at large.

“Technology is an essential tool for the transformation of education in our country,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education. “The Digital School Districts Survey helps districts measure progress toward transformation and I’m proud to recognize these districts and the work that is represented in their award. Congratulations to all of the award winners and great thanks to all who participated in the survey.”

Winners will be recognized at the National School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in Denver on Saturday.

“The school boards in these districts are recognized for utilizing technology solutions to make their work as a board more transparent and their district operations more efficient,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director & CEO, National School Boards Association. “Their accomplishments demonstrate that innovative approaches can be embraced by any district, regardless of its size or location.”

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. The Center provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insights to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.


Sixes ES Earns National Recognition for Digital Education!

Sixes Elementary School was named a Common Sense Certified School for Digital Citizenship this week by Common Sense, a national nonprofit organization dedicated “to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology.”

The school earned the recognition by preparing students to use digital media safely by avoiding dangers such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of these schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Jessica Lindl, Head of Common Sense Education. “Sixes Elementary School deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

Assistant Principal Clay Gunter and Media Specialist Kim George coordinated the school’s certification process.

Principal Cindy Crews

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School,” Principal Cindy Crews said. “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning.”

The school’s leadership will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the May 4 school board meeting.

Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship resources were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The free resources teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships and respecting creative copyright.


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.


Five More CCSD Schools Earn National Recognition for Digital Education

Five more Cherokee County School District schools have earned national recognition for digital education initiatives!

Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy, Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy, Knox Elementary School, Mountain Road Elementary School and Teasley Middle School all have been named Common Sense Certified Schools for Digital Citizenship by Common Sense, a national nonprofit organization dedicated “to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology.”

The schools earned the recognition by “taking a whole-community approach” to preparing students to use digital media safely by avoiding dangers such as plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of these schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Jessica Lindl, Head of Common Sense Education. “These schools all deserve high praise for giving their students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

In addition to certifying both schools as a whole, Common Sense also announced that Ball Ground ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Hollen Pope, who coordinated her school’s certification process, has been certified individually as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educator, as has Holly Springs ES STEM Academy Media Specialist Stephanie Gauthia, who coordinated her school’s certification; Knox ES Media Specialist Leslie Hicks, who coordinated her school’s certification; Mountain Road ES teachers Alexis Basel, Kristin Day, Kelly Gilstrap and Frank Graham; and Teasley MS teacher Lee Banks, who coordinated her school’s certification.  Mountain Road ES Media Specialist, Shelley Sheldon, who coordinated her school’s certification process, was awarded individual certification last month.  Both schools and these educators will be recognized for the accomplishments by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the School Board meeting on Jan. 19.

Common Sense Education’s digital citizenship resources were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the Good Play Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  The free resources teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships and respecting creative copyright.

Johnston Elementary School in 2016 became the first CCSD school to earn the certification.

Hollen Pope

Leslie Hicks

Frank Graham

Alexis Basel

Kelly Gilstrap

Kristin Day

Stephanie Gauthia

Lee Banks

Shelley Sheldon

 


CCSD Educator Wins Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant!

A Cherokee County School District educator has won a 2016 Georgia Education Technology Innovation Grant from the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium!

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy media specialist Madeline Hall is one of only four winners to earn the $2,500 grant.

hall-madeline

Madeline Hall

The grant will benefit the SMArTE (science, math, art, technology, and engineering) Space Ms. Hall created in the media center.  The project provides design process opportunities for students in all grades to use creativity and inventive thinking to build prototypes, explore questions, experience failure and successes and bounce  ideas off each other.  Ms. Hall works with classroom teachers to align SMArTE Space activities with curriculum and standards.

The Georgia Educational Technology Consortium is an independent nonprofit organization that also sponsors the annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference for educators and the Technology Fair student competition.

georgia-educational-technology-innovation-grants-logo


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.

 


CCSD Educators Selected as MIE Experts

The Cherokee County School District is congratulating nine more of its educators named Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts!

Microsoft MIE ExpertBobby Blount, CCSD Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Information Services; Sixes ES Principal Cindy Crews; Indian Knoll ES Media Specialist Jennifer Lewis; Teasley MS teacher Tammy Lafoon; Woodstock ES teacher Caitlin Crews; CCSD Technology Project Specialist Freda Williams and Instructional Technology Specialists Jim Berry, Susan Dreschel and Lee Patti are joining 4,800 educators in the MIE Expert program worldwide.

Recognized as global leaders in using technology to transform education, MIE Experts are selected by Microsoft to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other as a global community dedicated to improving student outcomes through technology.

Bobby Blount

Assistant Superintendent Bobby Blount

“Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts are inspiring examples of educators applying new ways of teaching and learning in their classrooms that motivate students and empower them to achieve more,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. “We celebrate and support the work they do every day!”

Eleven CCSD employees previously named MIE Experts also were invited by Microsoft to continue in the program: Sandi Adams, Jessica Hemphill, Stephanie Gauthier, Dianne Steinbeck, Lauren Pittman, Karina Bailey, Julie Key, Kimberley Forrester, Lee Coker, Lisa Lougheed and Merry Willis.

Cindy Crews

Principal Cindy Crews

The new MIE Experts will be recognized by the Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools and School Board at the Oct. 13 meeting of School Board.