CCSD Bus Drivers Headed to State Road-E-O!

CCSD Bus Drivers Headed to State Road-E-O!

CCSD school bus driver Christine Minter, who drives routes for the Etowah Zone, won first place at the 38th annual CCSD BusRoad-E-O competition and will represent the District at the statewide competition on June 6 and 7.

UPDATE: CCSD school bus driver Christine Minter, who drives routes for the Etowah Zone, placed sixth in the 40th Annual Georgia Pupil Transportation Safety Competition!  In the Special Education division, Paige Waters and Debbie Prater placed fourth!

Cherokee County School District school bus drivers are headed to State competition this month!

CCSD school bus driver Christine Minter, who drives routes for the Etowah Zone, won first place at the 38th annual CCSD Bus Road-E-O competition and will represent the District at the statewide competition on June 6 and 7.  Two CCSD school bus drivers also will compete in the State event’s Special Education division: Paige Waters and Debbie Prater.

Eighty-eight CCSD bus drivers competed in the District event, which included driving, pre-trip inspection and written tests.  Mary Stout and Max Woodall tied for second, and Jerry Thornton placed third.

#CCSDfam


CCSD Piloting Bus Tracking System for Parents at Three Schools

Category : CCSD

The Transportation Department began testing the Versatrans My Stop system earlier this school year with selected individual parents, and that pilot now is ready to expand on March 5 to three schools.

The Cherokee County School District is expanding its pilot of a new system that allows parents to track their child’s school bus on a smart phone or computer!

The Transportation Department began testing the Versatrans My Stop system earlier this school year with selected individual parents, and that pilot now is ready to expand on March 5 to three schools: Arnold Mill Elementary School, Johnston Elementary School and Mill Creek Middle School. The School District’s goal is to expand access to the system to all CCSD parents at the start of next school year.

“Providing real-time bus information to parents is an important service we have worked toward for the past two years,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower. “Knowing whether a bus is on schedule gives parents the option  of keeping their children indoors as long as possible on cold mornings and eliminates the worry that comes with not knowing where the bus is when it’s running late. We appreciate the work our Transportation Department and Office of School Operations has put into this project to better serve our students and families.”

Look for this Versatrans My Stop logo in your device’s app store to ensure you download the correct app.

My Stop offers parents the ability to track their child’s school bus through CCSD’s website or the Versatrans My Stop mobile app. The GPS-based system shows parents the location of their child’s bus on a map of its route for 15 minutes prior to its scheduled arrival at the bus stop both in the morning and in the afternoon. The system also alerts parents of how many minutes away the bus is from the stop, which provides an even more accurate report than the map image.

Schools will have access to an “arrival board” online, similar to screens at an airport, so staff there will have complete and accurate information about all buses. The My Stop system will improve efficiency by providing parents with the most timely information possible and by eliminating the need for school staff to prepare and send notifications if a bus is delayed.

Parents only will have access to the route for their child’s home address, and access to the system’s tracking information is limited to the 15-minute window before their child is scheduled to be picked up from the stop in the morning or dropped off at the stop in the afternoon. Access accounts only can be set up by parents who have their child’s student ID. Only parents with children at one of the three pilot schools will be able to access the system beginning March 5, and they only will be able to see information for their children’s routes at those schools.

Parents of children who attend the pilot schools will be provided with additional information and can contact the front office of their child’s school with any questions. More information will be shared with all parents prior to the start of next school year, so they will be able to use this new system.


CCSD Celebrates Third Annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week Breakfast!

CCSD school bus driver Sonny Carmichael salutes the crowd with a wave of a celebratory muffin, as he is recognized for 52 years of service.

Watch a video from the celebration here!

The Cherokee County School District Transportation Department on Tuesday celebrated its third annual Bus Driver Appreciation Week breakfast.

School bus-themed decorations graced tables and walls.

The School District’s 500 bus drivers, monitors, specialists, technicians and administrators were treated to breakfast provided by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at CCSD’s bus shops in Holly Springs and Woodstock.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read gave sponsor remarks, thanking bus drivers for their service. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Transportation Director Jim Georges also shared messages of appreciation. School Board members attended at both locations to show their appreciation.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower speaks with school bus driver Kay Saunders and thanks her for taking care of students each day.

“Our school bus drivers carry the most precious of cargo, and they do so with great pride and professionalism,” Dr. Hightower said. “We value our school bus drivers and invest in continuous training to assist them in maintaining safety at all times. We hope that everyone in our community will join us in thanking school bus drivers for all they do to care for our children!”

Everyone in attendance received a gift bag, with gifts provided by community partners including Chick-fil-A restaurants of Cherokee County, Roly Poly in Towne Lake, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center and Waffle House. Credit Union of Georgia and Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q provided door prizes.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Community Development Officer Janet Read praises CCSD’s school bus drivers for their commitment and love for children.

CCSD bus drivers every day transport 29,000 students along routes totaling 20,000 miles. In addition to the District’s event, many CCSD schools and PTAs organized special activities to thank bus drivers for all that they do.

School Board Vice Chair Mike Chapman, center, and School Board Member Patsy Jordan, herself a former school bus driver, right, talk with bus driver Louisa Vital before the breakfast.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provided a small gift with a sweet message for bus drivers at the breakfast, which the organization sponsored.

CCSD Transportation Director Jim Georges thanks school bus drivers for their hard work and diligence in transporting thousands of students to and from school.

CCSD school bus drivers were treated to breakfast today as a celebration of School Bus Driver Appreciation Week at both the Holly Springs and Woodstock bus garages. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta sponsored the event.

CCSD school bus driver Thomas Thorpe picks up a Chick-fil-A biscuit and coffee at the Bus Driver Appreciation breakfast, sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

School Board Member Patsy Jordan, a former school bus driver, takes a seat behind the wheel to check out one of CCSD’s new smaller buses for its preschool program.


CCSD Hiring More Bus Drivers for 2017-18 School Year

The Cherokee County School District’s award-winning transportation fleet is accepting applications for more school bus drivers. Video: http://bit.ly/CCSDBusDrivers Apply online: http://bit.ly/CCSDjoinus #CCSDfam


Board Briefs: School Board Unanimously Approves 2016 Legislative Program

The School Board on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, approved its 2016 Legislative Program, which is published annually to inform the community as to how the Cherokee County State Legislative Delegation could better assist the Cherokee County School District.

The 2016 Legislative priorities outlined in the Program, which was unanimously approved by the School Board, ask the State Legislature to:

  • Fund the existing State educational funding formula to fully restore “austerity budget cuts”;
  • Address skyrocketing premiums and out-out-pocket expenses for participation in the State Health Benefit Program;
  • Support local control and management of public schools rather than supporting State takeover plans like the Governor’s proposed “Opportunity School District” Constitutional Amendment;
  • Correct evaluation models for teachers and administrators to allow greater emphasis on observation of their performance by trained administrators and supervisors;
  • Stop the erosion of the State’s tax base through tax exemptions for private companies;
  • Oppose the continuation and/or expansion of programs that use public funds to pay for private school tuition and/or provide tax incentives; and,
  • Undertake no modifications to Federal funding access and availability that would delay or reduce local school districts’ earned allocations.

School Board Member Clark Menard thanked the Superintendent and his staff for adding the last priority, which he had requested. Mr. Menard said he is frustrated by State Legislators’ proposals to take away the local control of a school board’s ability to accept Federal funds for such needs as Title I schools, which have higher percentages of low-income students, and outstanding teachers who qualify for grants.

“There’s nothing more local than a school board,” Mr. Menard said, as to who should make the decision whether to accept Federal funds.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo agreed, and also spoke to the recently unveiled proposals from the Governor-appointed Education Reform Commission that would continue to shortchange public schools the State funding they are owed through the existing funding formula by reconfiguring the formula with a lower starting point.

“It’s convenient to say ‘we’re going to fully fund a new formula,’ but to not start it out at the funding levels we’re currently owed,” Dr. Petruzielo said, noting the State “austerity budget cut” for CCSD currently totals $11 Million. “I think it’s irresponsible, and the quality of education is going to be in direct correlation with the lack of full funding. People like to say ‘You can’t fix a problem by throwing money at it,” but I’m here to say that I’ve been a superintendent for 25 years, and I don’t remember anyone ever throwing money at me. I’ve had to fight and claw for every dollar that our children were owed.”

Dr. Petruzielo’s passionate advocacy for public education resulted in a special moment at Thursday’s meeting when two Woodstock High School students, Brittany and Sydney Gunter, spoke during Public Participation to thank him for his 50 years of service as an educator and present him with a U.S. Flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.

Woodstock High School students Sydney, left, and Brittany Gunter present Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo with a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in appreciation of his 50 years of service as an educator and his advocacy for public education.

Woodstock High School students Sydney, left, and Brittany Gunter present Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo with a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in appreciation of his 50 years of service as an educator and his advocacy for public education.

During its regular meeting, the School Board also:

  • Recognized CCSD Transportation Department for earning ASE Blue Seal of Excellence… becoming one of the first school systems in the State to obtain this prestigious level of National certification. A list of all recognized employees is posted online;

    The CCSD Transportation Department was recognized at the School Board Meeting for earning ASE Blue Seal of Excellence… becoming one of the first school systems in the State to obtain this prestigious level of National certification.

    The CCSD Transportation Department was recognized at the School Board Meeting for earning ASE Blue Seal of Excellence… becoming one of the first school systems in the State to obtain this prestigious level of National certification.

  • Recognized CCSD High School Seniors named 2016 National Merit and National Achievement Semi-Finalists: Matthew Wang of River Ridge HS, Mackenzie Joy of Sequoyah HS and Paula Ruiz of Woodstock HS;
  • Recognized Georgia School Public Relations Association (GSPRA) Publication Award-winning CCSD staff members;
  • Presented a “trailer” with excerpts from the first “Learning from Legends: Retired Educators Share Their Wisdom” video record, a new collaboration between CCSD and the Cherokee Retired Educators Association inspired by the StoryCorps national oral history project and the annual observance of Retired Educators Day;
  • Approved monthly financial reports;
  • Approved out-of-state and overnight student field trips;
  • Approved monthly update on capital outlay projects;
  • Approved monthly personnel recommendations including appointing: Abbey Philpot, currently an assistant principal at Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy, as the new Principal of Clayton ES; Jennifer McIntosh, currently a teacher at Clark Creek ES STEM Academy, as a new assistant principal at Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy; and Dr. Susan McQuade, a teacher at Boston ES, as a new assistant principal at Macedonia ES; and,
  • Met in Executive Session to review a personnel matter and a student discipline matter; upon returning to open session, the Board voted to uphold the tribunal’s decision in regard to the student discipline matter. Next School Board meeting: 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 2015

Nest School Board meeting: 7 p.m. December 3, 2015