News & Notes for Parents in the Greene County School System
From the Superintendent: A great start!
We have had a great start to the school year! However, we have also experienced greater-than-usual absenteeism in the first weeks of school, and while much of that may be due to illness, our mission is to encourage better attendance moving forward as we enter the fall season.
While school may be filled with textbooks, curriculum and a whole lot of academic learning, GCSS is just as focused on the day-to-day growth of your child – the kind of growth that helps them develop into confident, independent and kind learners. This is why we say Every Day Matters. Did you know that absenteeism in the first thirty days of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year? Students who miss 2-4 days in the first or second months of school go on to miss nearly a month over the course of the school year. Check out this flyer for tips on actions you can take every day at home to help your child be present and on time to school every day. If your child has been out sick, we encourage you to contact their teacher(s) to help them make up missed work.
As you help your child arrive at school on time each day, we know traffic flow changes during drop-off and pickup can be a challenge. This year, we want to remind all car line drivers to keep their phones down and heads up. Ensuring the safety of our campus is a shared responsibility and the well-being of every student and staff member is paramount. Help us maintain school safety by adhering to your school site’s visitor and volunteer guidelines, exercising caution while driving in parking areas and quickly reporting any unusual or concerning behavior to a teacher or school official. We’re in this together! School safety is a shared responsibility.
If you’re looking for a way to be a greater part of our district and school community, we’re looking for you too! We’re looking for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and bus drivers! Lend a helping hand by applying today at www.greene.k12.ga.us/apply.
As September unfolds, our consistent routines will soon become synonymous with accomplishment for our students. Let’s remain steadfast in our commitment to attendance, safety and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. Here’s to a year of growth, learning and shared dedication!
Dr. Chris Houston
2023-2024 Teachers of the Year
Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Teachers of the Year! First grade teacher Cameron Shuler is Greene County Primary School’s Teacher of the Year, sixth grade math teacher Ashley Bridges is Anita White Carson Middle School’s Teacher of the Year, and Greene College & Career Academy Early Childhood Education pathway instructor Laura Ringer is Teacher of the Year at Greene County High School. Click here to read more about these outstanding educators' stories on our website.
Video: Lunchtime fun at Greene County Primary School turns musical!
GCPS Classroom Spotlight: Literacy Lab
Kindergarten students had a blast in Mrs. Ansley's Literacy Lab recently, learning all about insects, including naming the body parts of insects, and exploring the life cycles of various insects. Students learned and sang songs that helped them remember content-specific vocabulary. Students made models of different insects using playdoh, as well as making and labeling a diagram of an ant. They finished the week by sequencing the life cycle of a butterfly. What a great way to combine learning about nature with research, vocabulary, and writing skills! 🦋🌿✏️
CMS Classroom Spotlight: S'mores in ELA class!
Students in Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Geller’s ELA class recently enjoyed making s’mores as a way to wrap up their reading unit and because they earned a classroom reward. Students read three parts of a story “How to Make S’mores” and worked on making inferences from the story. The story was about a girl who moved to a new country (America) and had to figure out how to make new friends and handle new situations. She had never tried or even heard of s’mores before! In addition to making inferences about the events in the story, students also discussed positive ways to handle new situations. Students had fun making s’mores, journaling, and even sitting around the “campfire” while Mrs. Geller read scary stories!
GCHS Spotlight: GCCA Early Childhood Education Pathway
Early Childhood Education is the newest pathway at the Greene College & Career Academy. It provides hands-on learning opportunities for students who are interested in education and services or working with children in another occupation. Topics covered in the courses include human growth and development (prenatal-age 12), appropriate and optimal care, safety, health, and wellness for children, and preparation for classroom teaching through a practicum.
The Early Childhood Education I recently class had two guest speakers. Ms. Bailee Adams, the Speech-Language Pathologist for CBJ Preschool, came to speak to the students during their career unit. She talked about her role as an SLP, what she does on a daily basis at the Pre-K, and inspired the students to have fun and be kind in whatever career they choose to pursue. Ms. Kathy Arena, Greene County's representative from the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, came to speak about professionalism, focusing on the Code of Ethics for teachers. Thank you to Ms. Adams and Ms. Arena for visiting the ECE class!
Reminder: GCHS Dress Code Standards
GCHS Parents: Although GCHS students have a different dress code this year than CMS and GCPS, the standards of that dress code are equally as important. All students have the responsibility to wear clothing that contributes to their own health and safety as well as that of others. We expect all students to dress in a positive manner that represents our school and community in a positive light, limits distractions and common issues with dress, and helps maintain a safe and positive environment at GCHS.
Please remember that shirts should cover the midsection, cover undergarments, and not have a low cut at the neckline. Pants should be worn at the waist and no undergarments showing. Shorts, skirts, dresses should be of appropriate length (no shorter than two inches above the student's knees). Hoods, hats, or other headgear may not not be worn over the head or eyes. Footwear that is unsafe for school activities such as Crocs, slides, or any other Croc-like shoes may not be worn.
We believe that high expectations for students and a safe and engaging learning environment prepare students for academic success and their future. Parents, please help us enforce these standards for student dress by evaluating your student's school attire and reviewing the student dress code policies together. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school.
GCSS Athletics to implement security wand screening at events effective Sept. 29
GCSS Athletics will implement the use of handheld security wands to screen attendees at all home sporting events, beginning on Friday, September 29th with the Tiger Football Homecoming game.
GCHS Athletic Director Chad Smith said the new security procedure is being taken in light of recent safety incidents that have happened at athletic events in other school systems: “This effort is just one proactive measure used to help ensure the safety and security of students and staff and to maintain a family-friendly and fun atmosphere for the fans at our athletic events,” AD Smith said. “The process is similar to what is done at sporting venues across Georgia and nationwide.”
The district's clear bag policy will continue to remain in effect. Click here to read more of this story on our website.
Groundbreaking held for new Greene County Elementary School on Meadow Crest Road
Parents, students, faculty and staff, the Board of Education, and many Greene County community members gathered on Tuesday, August 1st to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Pre-K—5 Greene County Elementary School building on Meadow Crest Road. At the ceremony, students who will educated in the new building in just a little over a year had a chance to speak and thank the Board of Education and Superintendent Houston and tell them which parts of the new school they were most excited about, such as the library, theater, outdoor learning spaces, and more.
"When we are united in our ideals and work sacrificially to help others, great things happen," said Dr. Perry Lee, Chairman of the Greene County Board of Education. "The new Greene County Elementary School is just one example of an achievement that will prove our efforts worthy for decades to come."
The new 113,000 square foot facility is expected to educate about 900 students when it opens next year. Click here to read more of this story on our website.
Warning period to begin for speed cameras on Main Street in front of CMS & GCHS
In a joint effort by the Greene County School System and Greensboro Police Department to improve campus safety by enforcing school zone speed limits, Greensboro will be implementing a School Zone Speed Safety Program later this fall. Warning notices will be issued for 30 days to the registered owner of any vehicle that is photographed by the new school zone speed cameras passing through the school zone in excess of the posted speed limit while school is in session and one hour before classes are scheduled to begin and one hour after classes have concluded.
Warning notices do not include fines. However, fines will be issued to drivers who violate the law during the citation phase, which will begin in late October following the 30-day warning period. First-time offenders will be fined $75, and subsequent offenses will result in a fine of $125. The warning period gives drivers the opportunity to check their speed and comply with our school zone safety program before actual citations begin. The intent of this program is to alert drivers to the school zones, reduce speeds, and increase safety for students.
The enforcement locations were chosen based on a traffic study that identified the schools as having the highest number of vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit while school was in session. In the three-day period during the traffic study, there were nearly 800 violators traveling more than 11 MPH over the 30 MPH posted speed limit.
“I’m pleased the City has school zone speed safety cameras near our school," said Superintendent Dr. Chris Houston. "Any countermeasure to get drivers to slow down and be aware of children as they walk to and from school is beneficial.”
Community Partner Spotlight: Chris Dyches Electrical
Staff Spotlight: Parent Mentor Jacqueline Evans
Jacqueline D. Evans is a Parent Mentor for the Greene County School System. A Parent Mentor is a parent of a child with a disability employed by the school system to use their knowledge and experience to provide their first-hand experience to other families in raising a child with special needs, to encourage positive communication among the parents and educators in order to promote success for all students.
Jacqueline is a mother of 3. She has a child who was diagnosed as having Significant Developmental Delay, and Speech-Language impairment. Jacqueline has worked with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health for more than 10 years. Her goal as a Parent Mentor is to help both families and educators in providing the children the best lives possible.
Jacqueline is here to listen and provide support to all families who receive special services. She’s available to attend IEP’s or other meeting with parents and educational staff as needed. Her goal is to facilitate positive parent/professional relationships within Greene County School System.
Water Safety Resources
From oceans to lakes to streams to swimming pools, water is everywhere: 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in it! And while water can be an irresistible place for kids to explore, play and enjoy splashy fun, it can be risky for those who haven’t yet developed their water smarts. Parents and guardians have a critical role to play in teaching their kids water safety skills – but they don’t have to do it alone! Each year, the YMCA and the American Red Cross teach more than one million kids life-saving swimming and safety around water skills. Please click on the links below to access more information about the water safety and swimming lessons programs offered by both of these organizations.
Water Safety Tips for Parents and Guardians- Make sure kids know to always ask permission before going into or near water.
- Designate a responsible adult to be a Water Watcher and maintain constant visual contact with all children playing in or near the water.
- Water Watchers: make sure you’re not distracted by your phone, a book or other tasks.
- Don’t rely on water toys to protect weak swimmers. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are the only water safety devices certified to protect children.
- Teach children to avoid drains in the pool: drains can cause them to get trapped under the water.
Don’t let kids play breath-holding games. They can easily lose consciousness.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to water safety. These water safety tips can parents or caregivers will help build confidence and a lifetime love of the water!
BOE approves rollback millage rate and FY24 budget
The Greene County Board of Education approved a rollback millage rate for the 5th consecutive year and the Fiscal Year 2024 budget at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, August 17th. At 10.311 this year, the Greene County BOE millage rate is among the 10 lowest school board millage rates in the state.
“This year’s budget planning process faced a number of challenges in the form of unfunded cost increases from the state, such as a 59% surge in the employer-paid cost of health insurance, as well as a decrease in our state funding,” said Dr. Chris Houston, Superintendent. “However, through sound financial management and careful planning, we are pleased to be able to avoid passing that cost along to the taxpayer and instead pass a rollback millage rate, which our BOE has done every year since 2019. I am grateful to our CFO Dean Ware and our finance department staff for their diligent work in once again creating a sound, balanced budget that addresses these challenges and keeps the burden off of our community."
The Greene County School System has won the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Georgia Department of Audits and Account for six consecutive years, every year since the award was established. Click here to read more of this story on our website.
Project Child Find
Child Find is a program created to locate and evaluate children who are suspected of having a developmental delay or disability. The Child Find team provides a free screening and/or evaluation for all children 3 to 5 years of age. We are available and able to provide immediate support services to prepare your child to become a successful student! If you would like for your child to be evaluated, please contact the GCSS Department of Special Education & Student Support Services at 706-453-7434.
Upcoming Events and Important Dates
September 21, 2023
Board of Education Regular Monthly Meeting
The Greene County Board of Education will hold its September Regular Meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room located at 101 E. Third St. in Greensboro. To view Board of Education agendas and minutes, please click here.
September 28, 2023
The GCHS Homecoming festivities will kick off on Thursday, September 28th at 4:30 p.m. with the Homecoming Parade! Come out to cheer on the Tigers as the parade makes its way up Main Street through downtown Greensboro.
September 29, 2023
The Homecoming festivities will continue on Friday with the annual tailgate on the CMS track starting at noon, and the Homecoming Tiger Football game vs. Towns County at 7:30 p.m. This will be an early release day for students and staff at all schools.
Stay connected with us!
Location: Greene County Board Education, 101 E 3rd Street, Greensboro, GA, USA