CCSD Connections

A Monthly Parent Newsletter - August 2022

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Superintendent's Message

Dear CCSD Family,

Thank you for helping us achieve our most successful start ever to a new school year!

I truly believe that we are more successful as a school district when all of us -- students, parents and families, teachers and staff, community partners and volunteers -- work together.

We offer many different ways for parents and families to become more engaged with supporting our students, teachers and staff and schools.

We invite you to participate at the school level such as by joining the PTA, attending school events, serving on School Council and supporting extra-curricular programs.

At the district level, we offer various engagement opportunities including two I'll highlight here.

The first is our VILLA (Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy) parent academy. This six-session program offers parents the opportunity to learn more about our school district and how to be more involved at the district level. More information, including a link to apply by Sept. 6, is online here. Thank you to Credit Union of Georgia for sponsoring the costs associated with this program.

The second is our Parent University, presented in collaboration with Cherokee County Council PTA (the organization that oversees all of our schools' PTA units) and Northside Hospital Cherokee. Through Parent University, we offer a series of sessions open to interested parents and family members on a variety of topics to help you better support your student. You can choose to attend all of the sessions we offer throughout the year or just the sessions that focus on issues that most interest you.

The first Parent University program will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, at Woodstock City Church. The evening will include a National Alliance on Mental Illness presentation focused on recognizing the signs of mental health challenges and how to seek help. Breakout sessions, with CCSD staff and community partners including Northside Hospital Cherokee and Highland Rivers Behavioral Health, will provide information on related topics such as crisis response, conflict resolution and the impact of social media. As other sessions are planned for the rest of the school year, we will share information with you about those as well.

I look forward to all that we will accomplish together this year!

Dr. Brian V. Hightower

Superintendent of Schools

Two Reminders:

Please complete the Back-to-School Gateway for online first-day forms as soon as possible so we have current emergency contact information for your child.

As the USDA has not extended its pandemic relief program, we can only provide meals at no cost or reduced cost only to families who qualify based on income. All families who think they may qualify for free or reduced-price meals are asked to please complete the online application at Completing this application also helps eligible students qualify for SAT, ACT and AP test scholarships and college application fee discounts.




With Great Care

CCSD recently celebrated school nurses with the presentation of the annual CCSD School Nurse of the Year Awards! The 2022 CCSD School Nurse of the Year award was presented to Etowah High School Nurse Cathy Alexander. She received prizes including an iPad, $100 gift card, engraved plaque and honor banner, with the cost of gifts sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Learn more here.



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Meet the New District Leaders

The School Board recently approved two new leaders to support districtwide operations.

Matthew Shettle, above left, was appointed as a director for capital improvements. This second director position was added for this school year to assist with major projects, such as the upcoming construction of new campuses for Cherokee High School and Free Home Elementary School. Mr. Shettle has 23 years of experience, including most recently serving as Cobb County Schools’ SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) construction and program manager, and has led more than 40 major school renovation projects.

Mark Johnson, above right, was appointed to fill the School Nutrition coordinator role that includes dietitian responsibilities. Mr. Johnson has 17 years of experience, including most recently serving as nutrition coordinator for Atlanta Public Schools’ school food service provider, and is a registered and licensed dietitian.




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

Aug. 12: CCSD's Varsity Football season scrimmages continue Aug. 12, with regular games starting Aug. 19. The schedule is online here.

Aug. 13: 8 a.m., Etowah River Park, Chick-fil-A Moo've It 5K Run benefitting the Cherokee County Educational Foundation and Cherokee County Special Olympics.

Aug. 18: 7 p.m., School Board Auditorium at Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility, Cherokee County School Board Meeting.

Sept. 5: All CCSD schools and offices closed for Labor Day.

Sept. 19-23: All CCSD schools closed for fall break.


CCSD Offering New Paid Internships for Select Roles!

The Cherokee County School District is offering a new paid internship program for school psychologists and speech language pathologists! This is an excellent opportunity for students who are nearing completion of their school psychology or SLP graduate degree program. Minimum requirements are posted in our online job listings. These positions offer competitive compensation packages with full pay and outstanding benefits, a balanced school calendar, a wonderful work environment and caring team, and the opportunity to transition to a full-time position with CCSD. Join the #CCSDfam & apply now: visit and click Jobs @ CCSD and select any of the listings that note paid internship. Questions? Contact CCSD Recruiter and 770.704.4256.


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