Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 9/2/22

Dr. Robbie Hooker Officially Appointed as CCSD Superintendent

During a called meeting Thursday, Sept. 1, the Clarke County Board of Education formally appointed Dr. Robbie Hooker to be the new CCSD superintendent.


Dr. Hooker, who previously was principal of Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle and Clarke Central high schools and was a classroom teacher in CCSD prior to his administrative roles, is currently Superintendent of Social Circle City Schools. He will begin work at CCSD on Oct. 10.


On Sunday, Aug. 28, the BOE hosted a meet-and-greet session in the Vernon Payne Meeting Hall at the CCSD administrative offices building. More than 100 community members turned out to meet Dr. Hooker and his family and hear from the new Superintendent as he laid out his vision for the future of the district and highlighted the main elements of his "100-day plan" as he prepares to step into the position.

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Participation in Pathway at ACCA Pays Off for 2022 Cedar Shoals Grad

Talese Walton, a 2022 graduate of Cedar Shoals High and former Athens Community Career Academy student, has been announced as one of six recipients of the 2022 Paul T. Martin Hospitality Education Fund. The Paul T. Martin Hospitality Education Fund provides up to $25,000 to individuals interested in pursuing a career in hospitality, event management, music, or the sports management industry. A total of $15,000 was awarded to this year’s recipients.


More than a dozen high school and college pathways are currently offered at the Athens Community Career Academy. Located on the historic H.T. Edwards Campus, ACCA was founded in 2011 and provides CCSD high school students grades 10-12 with career-focused, college-level courses at no cost to students through an established partnership between CCSD and Athens Technical College. ACCA offers state-of-the-art labs, a student-managed cafe, and a student center for students to study, work on group projects, and interact with their peers.


Since the 2015-16 school year, ACCA has saved families over $1 million in tuition dollars and awarded over 40 Technical Certificates of Credit (TCC). During the 2021-22 school year alone, more than 50 students completed high school level pathways, and more than 30 students earned technical certificates of credit. Additionally, last school year, students earned 1,485 hours of college credit and saved their families over $140,000 in college tuition.

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Clear-bag Policy in Effect for High School Sporting Events

A clear-bag policy is now in effect for all sporting events held at Cedar Shoals and Clarke Central high schools.


The policy is similar to those in place at college and professional stadiums and arenas. There will be no entrance into sporting events with an unapproved bag.


The following types of bags are permitted at Cedar Shoals and Clarke Central sporting events:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”.
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A Look around CCSD...

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Throughout CCSD, our students are participating every day in fun and engaging educational activities. Here are some photos from just a few of the things that have happened in the past week in our schools:
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University of Georgia senior football player Kearis Jackson visited with Whit Davis Elementary students during the school's Back to School Assembly and spoke to them about the importance of hard work in the classroom and respecting and listening to their teachers so that they can learn important life lessons. A group of students also performed a skit, as the assembly focused on behavioral expectations for the school year and encouraged all of our Whit Davis Wildcats to "ROAR" — Respect Everyone, Take Ownership, Act Responsibly, and Be Ready to Learn.
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Children's author/illustrator Peter Brown visited with all classes grades K-3 to talk to them about how he became an author and illustrator, read his new book "Creepy Crayon," and do a live illustration demonstration! Also, the school held a "gallery walk" for students and staff to get a look at the recently-completed, school-wide "My Barrow, I Belong" project. Every student and staff member at Barrow completed self-portraits in celebration of all the unique and special members of the school community.

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And at Gaines Elementary, members of the 2022-23 Safety Patrol team were sworn in by a member of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. The Safety Patrol consists of fourth- and fifth-grade students, now given the responsibility of assisting in the daily operation and safety of their fellow classmates. The ceremony was attended by families of patrol members as well as their fifth-grade peers. The Safety Patrol also named their first captain of the year.
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Family and Community Engagement Updates

21st Century After-school Program Registration Open for Elementary School Students

Registration for the 2022-23 21st Century after-school programs is now open for grades 1-5.


Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) offer students a broad array of services, programs, and activities designed to complement the regular academic program. Activities include youth development activities, counseling programs, arts, music, physical fitness, wellness, financial literacy, environmental literacy, career, and technical programs. 21st CCLC programs also offer families opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their child’s education, including literacy and related educational development opportunities.


The program for the 2022-23 school year begins Monday, Sept. 12, and will run Monday through Friday throughout the year. Elementary school students are served at the east side and west side Boys & Girls Clubs locations:


  • East Side — Smilow Boys & Girls Club, 705 4th St., Athens
  • West Side — H.T. Edwards Boys & Girls Club, 440 Dearing Ext., Athens.


Click here for the elementary school student application.


For more information on the programs, click here, or contact:


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'Bridging the Gap' Forums Coming Up

The Bridging the Gap initiative is returning better than ever to support families and students with information, services, assistance, and a focus on the "whole child." Our first two forums, presented by our Community School Organizers (CSOs), will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, at the following times and locations:
  • 10 a.m. to noon — Rocksprings Community Center, 285 Rocksprings Ct., Athens.
  • 12:30-2:30 p.m. — Rolling Ridge Apartments, 100 Rolling Ridge Dr., Athens.


CCSD administrators and support staff will be on hand to listen to families, answer questions, and offer support in several areas. (See the flyer above for more information.)


These are the initial stops. However, the goal is to reach all areas supported by CCSD. We are doubling our partners, and our collaboration is committed to "making good better."

Upcoming Family University Sessions Planned

Starting this month, the department will resume "Family University" — formerly known as "Parent University" — sessions for the community in person at the CCSD administrative offices building, 595 Prince Ave., Athens.


Upcoming sessions include:

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 — "Student Code of Conduct"
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 — "Trauma"
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 — "Restorative Practices"
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How to Address Questions, Concerns

Have a question or concern that you'd like to address? CCSD has put together a matrix of who to reach out to depending on the situation.


Please click here to view this information. You can also go to CCSD's main site at clarke.k12.ga.us, go to the "I Want To" tab at the top of the page, and select “Ask a Question/Submit a Concern.”

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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, Sept. 8, at 6 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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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

CCSD COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Students, family members, and staff may receive the first, second, or booster dose at any clinic. Appointments are not required. A parent/guardian must be present for their student to receive the COVID vaccine at school. A Department of Public Health consent form is required and may be completed at the clinic.


Vaccine Clinic Information

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Registration Open for College Factory's Go Succeed Program

College Factory, a local nonprofit aimed at helping high school students prepare for and reach their post-secondary education and employment goals, has announced registration is open for its 2022-23 Go Succeed program.


The program helps CCSD students set career goals, choose an appropriate educational program, improve reading and math skills, and prepare for admissions and financial aid applications. The 13-week program will be held after school Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, and Classic City high schools starting in September.


For more information on the program and a link to register, click here.

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Broadband Connectivity Project Survey, Speed Test Open through Sept. 30 for ACC Residents

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government is currently researching and assessing internet service throughout the community as part of the SPLOST 2020 Project 22 Broadband Connectivity Enhancement Project.


Part of the research includes a public connectivity and broadband survey available through www.accgov.com/speedtest. Residents are encouraged to take the survey, which is currently live and runs through Sept. 30, at their homes. The survey will help gather information about technology needs, costs related to existing and future Internet services, resident satisfaction with services, and lack of internet options. If a resident is connected to the internet through a broadband connection, the survey will also perform a speed test of their existing connection. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.


Results of the survey will be part of the SPLOST 2020 Project 22 project concept that is tentatively scheduled for discussion by the Mayor and Commission in November and December. Additional community engagement sessions are being planned for September.


For more information on the SPLOST 2020 Broadband Connectivity Enhancement Project, visit www.accgov.com/broadband, or call 706-613-3025.

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