Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 2/18/22

- YouTube

The District Teacher of the Year, Ms. Tanya Hudson, from Chase Street Elementary, was recognized this week at the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.


Ms. Hudson opens students' eyes to the magic of learning through the pages of books. She believes in the power of stories to engage and inspire. Please click here to view this appreciation video and join us in wishing her good luck as she competes in the state competition!

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Updated Mask Requirements

We are pleased to see a continued drop in our school and community positivity rates for COVID-19. All schools are well below 5% and have been for several weeks. We are hopeful that these trends will continue.



As a result, beginning February 28, 2022, masks will be optional on all CCSD campuses. Visitors will be welcomed back to school campuses by appointment. We ask you to contact your student’s school before visiting.

  • Mask wearing on school buses will continue to be determined by the directive from the Centers for Disease Control. At this time, masks are required on all buses per this directive.
  • If any specific school(s) should experience a sustained increase in positivity, mask-wearing may be reinstated at that location for a temporary period.
  • Schools may request that masks be worn at large events or gatherings.


Click here to read the full update.

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2022 REACH Scholars Announced

Seven middle students were awarded scholarships through REACH Georgia (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen), a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program providing students a framework of support (educational and financial) to aid their successful journey through high school and beyond.


Congratulations to the 2021-22 cohort of REACH Scholars!

  • Carlos Flores, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School (Flores also was recognized for achieving the district’s top score)
  • Brianna Wilson, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle

  • Tanya Calderon, Coile Middle

  • Cesar Castro, Coile Middle

  • Deylin Vilchiz, Coile Middle

  • A'Mauriya Barnes, Clarke Middle School

  • Kamaurie Lovelyhall, Hilsman Middle


"We are incredibly proud of our students who make this commitment to their future when they sign as REACH scholars,” states Tessa Barbazon, CCSD’s Director of School Counseling and Social-Emotional Learning and REACH coordinator for the district. “The REACH program and the support it offers our scholars not only makes college financially possible but provides the academic and social-emotional assistance to ensure each of these amazing students finds success."


As part of the students’ recognition, each school hosted a signing ceremony, similar to college athletic signing ceremonies. Students and their families signed a “contract” agreeing to satisfy the program requirements.


Visit the CCSD Facebook page to view photos of the 2022 REACH cohort.

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2021 Clarke Central Graduate and JROTC Cadet Awarded the "Medal of Heroism"

On August 3, 2020, four friends (current and former JROTC cadets) were suddenly swept away by rising waters on the Oconee River. Flash flooding, brought on by heavy rain caused by hurricane Isaias, caused a tranquil 3-to-4-foot wading pool to rise 8-to-12 feet in a matter of seconds.


All four young men were swept away by the swift current and fought to stay afloat. After a frantic search, one cadet was found floating face-first and unresponsive. JaKolbie Jones helped pull his friend's lifeless body from the river and started CPR. After administering CPR for over five minutes, the young man regained consciousness.


The JROTC cadets credited the CPR classes taught in JROTC for preparing them for such an emergency. At Clarke Central's annual JROTC Ball held last week, JROTC Cadet JaKolbie Jones was awarded the "JROTC Medal of Heroism," our nation's highest JROTC award.


"JaKolbie is Clarke Central's first recipient in 52 years of CCHS JROTC, and we couldn't be prouder of him," states Lt. Col. Dave McMickle, Clark Central's Senior Army Instructor.

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Celebrating Black History Month: The Civil Rights Trail

The fight for American civil rights spanned decades, cities, and states – from Topeka, Kansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma and Birmingham, and all the way to Washington, D.C.


Chart the course of the Civil Rights Movement through the Civil Rights Trail that begins with the site of school integration and takes you to the scene of Bloody Sunday and finally the Supreme Court of the United States. Discover the trail, experience the movement, and explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

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Be Pro Be Proud Tour at Athens Community Career Academy

Join WorkSource NEGA, the Athens-Clarke County Chamber of Commerce, and the Athens Community Career Academy as we welcome the Be Pro Be Proud Georgia Tour to Clarke County. Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is bringing a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to Georgia's skilled workforce.

  • Wednesday, March 2, 2022
  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Athens Community Career Academy
  • 440 Dearing Ext.
  • Athens, GA
  • RSVP to boatwrightsusan@gmail.com by February 21
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Parent University: Strategic Plans

The CCSD Division of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships will have its latest installment of Parent University via live zoom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 23.

In this session, hosted by Emily Boness, Strategic Projects Director for CCSD, learn what a strategic plan is and how it guides an organization's work; make connections between a strategic plan and data, and review our strategic plan. Click here for meeting information. After the event, the recording will be posted to the district's YouTube channel.
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Updates from the Department of Community Schools

School site visits: The Department of Community Schools recently visited some of our schools and their family resource centers. Three teams comprised of Community School Organizers and Family Engagement Specialists met to reflect on the important work being done at the schools and how it relates to communicating with families. Dr. Jamon Flowers from the University of Georgia and Alex Borges and Soraia Santos Felgenhauer of the Department of Community Schools served as facilitators. The groups visited Clarke Central High, Hilsman Middle, Cleveland Road Elementary, Barrow Elementary, Winterville Elementary School, and Howard B. Stroud Elementary.


Casa de Amistad: We’re pleased to announce a family literacy program in partnership with the ESOL/Title III department, Casa de Amistad, and Books for Keeps. This program, scheduled to launch in early March, will provide beginner and intermediate level English classes for our EL community. It will also include a family literacy component where EL parents and community members will meet on Saturdays to learn more about our schools. More information will be sent out to schools and the community as we approach the start of the program.

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CCSD COVID-19 Testing Clinics

CCSD is providing free COVID-19 testing clinics for students and staff. Clinics will be held in schools across the district. Rapid antigen tests (results in 15 minutes) and PCR tests (results in 24-48 hours) will be available. No appointment is necessary, but registration is required.


Testing Clinic Information

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BBQ Fundraiser for Foundation for Excellence

We know we are “Better Together” because of our partnerships with community organizations such as the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County, Georgia. In addition to supplying cash awards for our Teacher/Parapro of the Year programs, FFE awards thousands of dollars to encourage and celebrate CCSD staff.


Support FFE through their BBQ fundraiser. Click here to place an order (deadline March 3) for pickup on March 10. Contact: Tad MacMillan / tadmacmillan@gmail.com / 706-338-1047

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Register for Pre-K and Kindergarten for 2022-23 School Year

Early registration for 2022 pre-k and kindergarten will be held:

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CCSD Connect - Apply for Funding

CCSD Connect is an initiative that seeks to engage community members and civic organizations as active partners in our school district. ARPA funding is available for organizations who want to bring new and innovative programs to our schools and students.


To receive consideration for funding, community organizations and individuals must apply through an RFP process.


Click here to view more information about ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds and for information on a pre-proposal virtual work shop, scheduled for Monday, February 21.

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Board of Education News

The Clarke County Board of Education welcomes community feedback. Here are ways you can share your voice:

  • Contact BOE Members: Click here to view a list of the BOE members and their contact information.
  • Attend a Meeting: Next regular meeting is Thursday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m. (in-person and broadcast on the CCSD YouTube channel).
  • Board Briefs: Click to read the "Board Briefs" overview from meetings.
  • Public Comments: Click here for information on how to sign-up to speak at a regular BOE meeting.
  • Review Policies for Review: View and comment on district policies pending public review.
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Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Fill in this form with your contact and shipping information to order your tests.


Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address;
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests;
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January;
  • USPS will only send one set of 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests to valid residential addresses.
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9th Annual Chess & Community Conference Promo
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