CCSD Connections

A Monthly Parent Newsletter - May 2022

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Superintendent's Message

Dear CCSD Family,


We’re finally here: May, the month when we celebrate all our students have accomplished.


We will celebrate our Class of 2022’s achievements over their time with us, culminating in their graduation ceremonies. Thanks to our venue’s capacity and generosity, students can bring as many guests as they would like, and the ceremonies also will be livestreamed. The details are in the calendar later in this newsletter.


We will celebrate our younger students with traditional awards days and honors nights, and new memories will be made at field days, class parties and senior walks.


We have so much to celebrate.


We’ve reported our highest ever SAT and ACT scores, which measure our students’ success against their peers nationally. Our students are more prepared for college success than ever before, as indicated by the fact that 96% don’t need a single remedial class. Our students have more opportunities to prepare for careers than ever before, with an impressive array of Career Pathways and industry certifications now available. Our accreditation – the gold standard for quality schools – has been renewed for five more years, with our highest score ever.


Just as we have so much to celebrate, we have so many to thank.


Earlier this week, I shared my annual National Teacher Appreciation Day message with you. I asked you to please not only thank our teachers, but to extend trust and respect to them as well. They deserve all that and more. Our support staff and school and district leaders, likewise, are the best of the best. We recently learned our CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Leslie Hicks of Knox ES STEM Academy has been named the regional winner – just another example of how our #CCSDfam excels.


As you may have read in our message to you, last month our School Board approved my recommendation to award one-time bonuses to all of our employees, which is above and beyond the Governor’s generous gift. Our School Board approved that recommendation, and I hope they will approve my second, which is to award pay raises to teachers and staff for next school year, again above and beyond the Governor’s plan, to continue to recognize their hard work.


I also have incredible respect for our parents who entrust their children to our care each day, and our taxpayers who invest in CCSD to ensure we provide the best possible education to each child. As part of my recommended budget this month, I also will propose that the School Board reduce the millage rate to help mitigate the expected increase in most families’ property taxes due to rising home values.


It's a difficult decision, for I would love to pass that windfall fully on to our teachers. But I’ve also heard from CCSD families who will be burdened by rising tax bills, like the dad who told me, even though he makes a good living, he’s worried about paying his bills. So I have looked to find balance, just as I do in all of my decisions.


Thank you for your support over the past year, as we strived to continue to improve ... as evidenced by our accreditation review results!


I can’t wait to see the Class of 2022 walk across the stage … and to see all they will do to make our community and world even better.


Thank you,


Dr. Brian V. Hightower

Superintendent of Schools

END OF YEAR ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

Tuesday, May 24: Digital Learning Day for all CCSD students due to the Primary Election and use of schools as polling sites. Bags with a breakfast and lunch for students will be available for pick up at all schools that morning at no charge; order forms will be emailed to all parents on Friday, May 20.


Friday, May 27: Last day of school. There will be early dismissal for middle and high school students. After School Program will not be offered at elementary schools. See the dismissal schedule times online here.


SUMMER MEALS: The CCSD School Nutrition Summer Feeding program will continue this summer thanks to continued USDA waivers and grant funding and support from local nonprofit, MUST Ministries, a CCSD Partner. The program begins June 6, with distribution on Mondays of bags containing five breakfasts and five lunches for the week. The distribution sites will be at Cherokee High School's North Campus and Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy; children do not need to be present for parents to pick up bags. MUST Ministries volunteers will run their usual routes using CCSD to-go meal bags. Meals also will be provided to students attending CCSD's Thrive summer school program for select rising ninth-graders. While the USDA funds will reimburse CCSD for most expenses, an estimated $8,400 in community support will be needed, as donations were needed last summer, to cover remaining costs and meet rising needs. A donation page has been set up at https://bit.ly/CCSDdonate22 to allow for community donations.


MEALS FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR: The USDA has not extended grant funding to allow for CCSD School Nutrition to provide breakfasts and lunches to students at no cost to students and their families for next school year. CCSD will return to providing meals at no cost or reduced cost only to families who qualify based on income. Please complete the online free and reduced price meal form at www.lunchapplication.com by May 31 to allow for a seamless continuation of free meals when classes start; families will need to complete the application again in August to continue eligibility through the entire school year. Paid meal prices will remain at 2019-20 rates with no increases. You can check you school meal account balance online here.

THANKS TO THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR

TOP STORIES

ACCOLADES

MORE GREAT #CCSDfam NEWS

WHO IS CCSD?

School Board Appoints New District and School Leaders

From left to right, Doug Knott, Trey Moores, Sarah Boulineau, Trang Pham, Sandi Harrison, Janet Marotte, Ashley Polito and Hilary Collins.


The School Board recently approved a significant retirement and appointed district and school leaders.


• Liberty ES Principal Doug Knott, a 32-year educator who taught and led for 29 of those years in CCSD including as a teacher and coach, is retiring at the end of the school year. His numerous accolades include Teacher of the Year, Cherokee County PTA Outstanding Principal and leading Liberty to State and National School of Character awards.


• Trey Moores, who has served as director of capital improvements since 2019, has been appointed to serve as CCSD’s next Chief Support Services Officer. Mr. Moores brings 26 years of experience to the role, and his past construction projects have included the Mercedes Benz Stadium and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta support buildings.


• Sarah Boulineau, who serves as CCSD’s purchasing clerk and has 15 years of experience, has been promoted to serve as coordinator for procurement services. Trang Pham, a registered dietitian with 20 years of experience who currently works for Kennesaw State University, is joining CCSD School Nutrition as a coordinator.


• Sandi Harrison, a 17-year educator who since 2019 has served as assistant principal at Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy, will serve as the next Principal for Liberty ES. Ms. Harrison previously served as an instructional lead strategist and teacher for CCSD and has been honored as a school Teacher of the Year. Her post at Hasty will be filled by Janet Marotte, a 17-year educator who currently serves as a teacher at Knox ES STEM Academy, where she was named the school’s Teacher of the Year.


• Ashley Polito, who most recently served as assistant principal at Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy, is the new Principal of Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy. An 11-year educator, she previously served as a teacher and academic facilitator at Clark Creek ES STEM Academy and worked for Fulton County Schools as a teacher and project based learning coach.


• Hilary Collins, a nine-year educator who currently serves as the instructional lead strategist at Creekview HS, will serve as an assistant principal at Woodstock HS.

PARENT RESOURCES

UPCOMING EVENTS

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


May 6-7: 7 p.m., Etowah HS, Etowah High School theatre program presents "Puffs: Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic." Tickets: $10; $7 Thespians/Drama Club members, senior citizens, children 12 and younger.


Through May 7: Woodstock Furniture & Mattress Outlet is sponsoring a Teacher Appreciation Mattress Giveaway. Teachers can be nominated online through May 7. Info: https://www.woodstockoutlet.com/teacher-appreciation.inc


May 17: 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility, Annual Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP) Review stakeholder meetings. Each year, CCSD holds these meetings as part of its federal funding application process. Learn more here.


May 19: 7 p.m., School Board Auditorium at Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility, Cherokee County School Board Meeting.


May 24: Digital Learning Day for all CCSD students due to the Primary Election and use of schools as polling sites. Bags with a breakfast and lunch for students will be available for pick up at all schools that morning at no charge; order forms will be emailed to all parents on Friday, May 20.


May 26: 2 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for i-Grad Virtual Academy. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 26: 4 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for Cherokee HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 26: 8 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for Sequoyah HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 27: Last day of school. There will be early dismissal for middle and high school students. After School Program will not be offered at elementary schools. See the dismissal schedule times online here.


May 27: 4 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for Woodstock HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 27: 8 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for Creekview HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 28: 9 a.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for Etowah HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


May 28: 1 p.m., First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Graduation ceremony for River Ridge HS. The ceremony will be live streamed by the venue online here.


June 2-4: 7 p.m., Cherokee HS, Academy Street Theatre Group (CCSD's Grade 2-12 theatre program) presents "Shrek the Musical." Tickets: $5


June 6 - 24: CCSD High School Summer School. Registration is open online now and due by May 27. Learn more here.

JOIN THE #CCSDfam

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The Cherokee County School District will present a Job Fair focused on hiring support staff for next school year from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at our technology campus at 1020 Keeter Road, Canton, 30114.


We will be accepting applications and conducting interviews during the event for next school year openings for: bus drivers, School Nutrition workers and paraprofessionals. You will be able to meet and speak with people who work in these roles for CCSD. These positions offer outstanding full-time benefits and follow the school calendar. CCSD provides training, including licensing for school bus drivers and safety certification for School Nutrition workers, as well as professional development and advancement opportunities.


You can complete an application and references in advance by clicking on Jobs@CCSD at www.cherokeek12.net and selecting a position that interests you. Thanks to Goodwill of North Georgia for their support in hosting this event. Questions? Contact CCSD Recruiter Lindsay.Bowley@cherokeek12.net and 770.704.4256.

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