CCSD Connections

A Monthly Parent Newsletter - November 2019

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Superintendent's Message

Brrrr ... it feels like inclement weather could happen any day, and we're ready for it with our new Digital Learning Day (DLD) initiative.

Beginning this fall, should we need to close schools due to inclement weather (learn more here about that decision-making process), we'll also call for a DLD so students can continue learning from home.

How will DLDs work? Your child will receive assignments online through our Canvas learning management system. He or she can log into Canvas on a digital device at home -- computer, tablet or smartphone -- using the account information they know from regular use at school. Teachers will design assignments that will allow for learning to continue, but also be appropriate and reasonable, given that we know kids (and some of their parents) want to play in the snow, too. Teachers will maintain "office hours" online, so students can email for help and receive a response. More information about this system is housed on a DLD webpage online here.

Digital Learning Days will help teaching and learning also continue when we need to close schools for other reasons. I am announcing today that we will close school for students and hold a DLD on Tuesday, March 24, the date of the Presidential Primary Election. This decision is made out of concern for the safety of our students, as many schools are used for polling sites, and we are required by current State law (a law opposed by our School Board and me due to safety concerns) to permit this use by the general public.

Another important school operations announcement: we will continue, as we have for the last several years, to hold Early Dismissal for middle and high school students on Friday, Dec. 20, the last day of school before the winter holiday break. Elementary schools, preschool centers and Tippens Education Center will dismiss on time; After School Program will not be offered. Early dismissal will be at noon for Creekland MS, Teasley MS, Cherokee HS, Creekview HS, Etowah HS, River Ridge HS, Sequoyah HS, Woodstock HS, ACE Academy; and at 12:45 p.m. for E.T. Booth MS, Freedom MS, Dean Rusk MS, Mill Creek MS and Woodstock MS.

Reminder: If you have not already, please by Thursday, Nov. 7, take this brief parent survey available online here (and here in Spanish) to help us improve in two Priority Areas -- Family, Partner & Community Engagement and Positive Culture & Climate -- set as part of our new Blueprint strategic plan for continued success.


Dr. Brian V. Hightower

Superintendent of Schools



CCSD Class of 2019 Outscores State, Nation on ACT

CCSD's Class of 2019 earned average ACT scores that topped National averages and, for the second consecutive year, ranked No. 7 overall in Georgia!

The Class scored an impressive overall score of 22.7, exceeding Georgia’s 21.4 and the Nation’s 20.7, on the challenging college entrance and placement examination. The score ranks CCSD fourth among metro Atlanta counties and seventh in Georgia – out of 180 school districts!

“Outstanding ACT scores not only reflect the dedication of our students and teachers to ensuring mastery of knowledge, but also are a reliable indicator that our students graduate prepared for college and career success,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re proud of them and are focused on ensuring each student we serve is future ready.”

Learn more here.



Focus on Career Education: Nutrition & Food Science

Focus on Career Education: Nutrition & Food Science

Check out the latest video in our series highlighting CCSD's Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Career Pathways courses for high school students! This one focuses on the Nutrition & Food Science Program (today's version of yesterday's "home ec") at River Ridge High School; this Pathway is offered at all CCSD high schools. Learn more here about CCSD's Careers programs and the courses available at each high school.


Meet a District Leader: Lyn Turnell

The headlines sharing good news about student and school performance on the ACT, CCRPI and other assessments are especially exciting for Lyn Turnell.

For CCSD's director of assessment, these results not only are newsworthy, they also are an opportunity to improve individualized instruction in the classroom to best serve each student.

While Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower has reduced the amount of testing for CCSD students and strongly believes "students are not data points," he supports limited assessments to help teachers gauge student knowledge mastery and adjust instruction, as well as to guide CCSD budget priorities for more resources and support.

“I have always loved logic games and puzzles, and so I see data and accountability as a large puzzle where we are working to fit the pieces together and help it all make sense,” said Ms. Turnell, who began her career with CCSD in 1996 as a school counselor at Bascomb ES.

Over her career with CCSD, she has served as an elementary, middle and high school counselor and as a teacher and assistant principal at both the elementary and high school levels.

In her role, Ms. Turnell oversees the training of testing coordinators, maintaining test security and analyzing data, and supports schools by meeting with leaders and teachers to offer assistance on how to use performance data to help every student succeed.




Please check your school’s website and social media for school event information.

Nov. 7: 6-7 p.m., Etowah HS, CCSD Dual Enrollment Information Session - open to all interested CCSD students and parents

Nov. 9: 9 a.m. (Preview begins at 7:30 a.m.), CCSD Central Warehouse, CCSD’s Annual Surplus Equipment Auction

Nov. 11, 6-7 p.m., Sequoyah HS, CCSD Dual Enrollment Information Session - open to all interested CCSD students and parents

Nov. 21: 7 p.m., School Board Auditorium at Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility, Cherokee County School Board Meeting.

Nov. 25-29: Thanksgiving Break; CCSD schools and offices closed.

Dec. 5: 6:30 p.m. (Gates open at 5 p.m.), Etowah HS, CCSD Varsity Brands Senior Bowl; Admission is free; financial donations will be accepted at the gate for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dec. 5 and 6: 7 p.m., Creekview HS, Macedonia ES presents "The Wizard of Oz" (Dec. 6 show offers ASL interpretation by Creekview HS students). Admission is $5 adults, $3 K-12 students.

Dec. 20: Early Dismissal Day for middle and high schools; elementary schools, preschool centers and Tippens Education Center will dismiss on time; no After School Program will be offered


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