Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 3/25/22

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REMINDER: CCSD Conducting Communications Surveys

The Clarke County School District is committed to strengthening communication with all of our stakeholders as we work to provide the best possible education for our students. Based upon the feedback CCSD received in a recent survey, the district is now working with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) on a comprehensive review of our communication efforts to assist us in better meeting your communication needs.


As part of this communications audit, CCSD is administering the SCoPE (School Communications Performance Evaluation) Surveys dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of our communication with staff, parents/families, and our community.


Beginning Monday, March 21, click on the appropriate links below to get started. The surveys will take less than 15 minutes to complete. The deadline is April 1.


SURVEY LINKS


Family Survey: https://bit.ly/3pXxLox

Community Survey: https://bit.ly/3CAPpDs

Staff Survey: https://bit.ly/3t6BvWS

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Donation of Bikes to Help Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary Students Learn How to Ride

Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary kindergarten students will be able to learn to ride bicycles thanks to a generous donation of 25 child-size bicycles and a trainer’s bike to the school’s physical education program.


Recently, a school parent in collaboration with SORBA Athens and nonprofit Bike Athens helped raise $5,000 to purchase the brand-new bicycles and helmets to be used for implementation of All Kids Bike, a nationwide initiative aimed at promoting learn-to-ride programs in public schools through kindergarten PE classes. Ms. Tonya Herbert, PE teacher at OAES, underwent training modules that will help her implement the program at the school.


The bicycles were delivered to OAES on March 18 by Bike Athens executive director Scott Long and colleague Irene Ivie.


“Amazing things can happen when we harness the power of school and community partnerships,” said OAES principal Dr. Bipul Singh. “It warms my heart when I see parents and community members take initiative to create opportunities for our students to have extraordinary experiences.”


Currently, the bikes are designed to help students learn to balance and propel themselves using their own two feet; however, Long offered his support in retrofitting them with chains and paddles when students are ready to move to the next level of training. SORBA Athens has also expressed its willingness to share its expertise with biking trails to maximize students’ biking experience.

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Student Artists Present Works to School Board Members

As part of School Board Appreciation Week and a further celebration of Youth Art Month, at the March 17 Board of Education meeting, several of our student artists and their teachers presented each of our board members with a piece of art depicting their school building.


Here are the works from our fantastic artists.

•For Greg Davis, District 1: From Winterville Elementary second-grader Charlotte Watwood and art teacher Carlin Brownlee.

•For Kirrena Gallagher, District 2: From Coile Middle seventh-grader Luis Barron Aguirre and art teacher Rosaria Bang.

•For Linda Davis, District 3: From Clarke Central senior Ava Sims and art teacher Amanda Price.

•For Patricia Yager, District 4: From Barrow Elementary fifth-grader Garrett Lopp and art teacher Rita Foretich.

•For Kara Dyckman, District 5: From Chase Street Elementary fifth-grader Jack Rows and art teacher Krista Dean.

•For Mumbi Anderson, District 6: From Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle seventh-grader Flora Lomax and art teacher Samantha George.

•For LaKeisha Gantt, District 7: From Alps Road Elementary fifth-grader Ava Bishop and art teacher Isabel Scarano.

•For Nicole Hull, District 8: From Cedar Shoals High senior Nancy Suarez-Gonzalez and art teacher Laura Lee Johnson.

•For Tawana Mattox, District 9: From Fowler Drive Elementary third-grader Camila Lopez Rodriguez and art teacher Libby Hale.

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CCSD Celebrates Youth Art Month with Online Gallery


March is Arts in Education Month, recognized across the country as Youth Art Month, Music in our Schools Month, Theatre in Schools Month, and Dance in Schools Month.


Once again this year, our student artists and art teachers have contributed to our online CCSD Youth Art Month Online Exhibition, which can be found at the link below.


We hope you enjoy the work of our fabulous artists who have continued to make art through our unique times. CCSD is proud to be part of a great Arts community here in Athens.


Click here to view the exhibition.

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Future CMS Health Center Spotlighted by UGA News Service

This week the University of Georgia online news service UGA Today spotlighted the upcoming school-based health center at Clarke Middle, which will open under a pilot phase this fall in a temporary location as construction on the new CMS begins with completion slated for 2024.


This will be the latest investment in the Athens-Clarke County community by the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and will be structured similarly to the Hilsman Health Center, increasing access to various health and wellness services for our students, families, and staff. During the pilot phase of the new clinic, the CMS and Alps Road Elementary communities will be served, and eventually services will be offered to all of CCSD.


“Keeping students and staff healthy is our top priority,” said Lawrence Harris, CCSD’s Chief of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships. “A school-based health clinic allows us to provide medical services on-site, reducing students missing instructional time. Additionally, this reduces the strain of other health care providers as we are able to divert some of the medical needs to be solved on-site rather than filling their medical offices and waiting rooms. This partnership also will hopefully decrease hesitancy in the future for students accessing medical care when they are adults, as there does exist a social and cultural aversion for some.”


Click here to read the full story.

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Cognia Special Review Update

The Clarke County School District has released the findings from the latest Cognia Monitoring Review Report, which indicate continued progress toward full accredited status. The district’s accreditation status remains Accredited Under Review, but Cognia noted that the district has made meaningful strides in initiating the directives identified in its December 2020 site visit.


The March 2022 report follows the Cognia Monitoring Review Team's virtual site visit, which was conducted Dec. 2-3, 2021.


Click here to read the full press release.

Click here to read the full March 2022 Cognia Report.

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FFE Award Nominations Now Open

The Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County is now accepting nominations for its 2022 teaching and staff awards. The opportunity to honor deserving teachers, administrators and staff members runs through March 29.


The mission of the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education is to encourage, recognize and reward excellence in the Clarke County School District. The FFE has an endowment of over $1 million, and the income from the endowment and funds raised each year provides approximately $45,000 in awards and grants to CCSD teachers, administrators, and students annually.


For more information about the 2022 awards, click here.


To nominate a teacher, administrator, and/or staff member, you can do so here.


For further information, please contact FFE director Catherine Neace at director@athensffe.org.

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Updates from the Department of Community Schools

Building Connections

From attending the Morton Theatre's showing of “Harriett Tubman” with CCSD eighth-grade students to learning the modern technique of fifth-grade math at Howard B. Stroud Elementary, Community School Organizer Tamaine Jordan is building connections and relationships with the students and the community from all aspects.


Within the Four Pillars of the Community Schools concept, Collaborative Leadership and Practices focuses on building a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility using strategies such as site-based leadership teams and teacher learning communities.

Apply to Be a Part of VILLA

Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy (VILLA), a new, annual program developed by the Georgia School Board Association (GSBA), is coming to CCSD next month and will offer CCSD parents the opportunity to learn more about the school district and its operations.


The program will cover:

•CCSD’s governance model and the role of school board members

•the school district’s strategic priorities and day-to-day operations

•discussions regarding curriculum, instruction, finance, and human resources

•visits to elementary, middle, and high school and district offices.


The 2022 VILLA program is open to 42 participants (two from each CCSD school). Parents of current CCSD students are invited to apply. Parents are asked to complete the VILLA application or contact your school’s principal. Participants will be notified of their selection for the class. The first meeting will be April 13 at the district office, 595 Prince Ave., Athens. Meeting times will be announced at a later date.


For more information or questions, please contact Heather Penland at penlandh@clarke.k12.ga.us or Soraia Felgenhauer at felgenhauers@clarke.k12.ga.us.

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Mark Your Calendars for CCSD Family Fun Day

CCSD’s Division of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships will again host the spring Family Fun Day event on Saturday, April 23, from 2-5 p.m. at Holland Park, 250 Vincent Dr., Athens.


Come learn about the different organizations serving the youth of our community and enjoy free food, games, and music, along with a pop-up park, vendors, and prizes. The event will be held at the youth baseball/softball fields at the back of the complex.


For more information, contact Alex Borges, Family and Community Engagement Specialist, at borgesa@clarke.k12.ga.us.

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Clarke Central FFA Spring Plant Sale Set for March 30 - April 2

Clarke Central High School FFA Spring Plant Sale Promo
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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, April 14, 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

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YWCO Summer Girls Club

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UGA Special Collections Family Day Set for March 26

The University of Georgia's Special Collections Libraries will host its Family Day event Saturday, March 26, from 1-4 p.m. at the special collections building, 300 South Hull St., Athens.


The event is free and open to the public and will highlight the new exhibit. "Frankie Welch’s Americana: Fashion, Scarves, and Politics." Explore the exhibit with gallery games and activities. Get crafty and make your own scarf design.


Free parking for off-campus visitors is available in the Hull Street Deck. For more information, contact Jan Hebbard at jhebbard@uga.edu or 706-583-0213.

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Children’s Author, Inspirational Speaker Coming to Athens-Clarke County Library

Chris Singleton, a former professional baseball player who turned to inspirational speaking following the death of his mother in the racially-motivated mass shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, will be speaking at the Athens-Clarke County Library, 2025 Baxter St., at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 31.


Singleton, who also has become a best-selling children’s author with books geared toward ages 6-9, will be signing 100 free copies of one of his books, available first-come, first-served. Singleton’s inspirational speeches are geared toward children of all ages.


The event is free and open to the public.


Click here to learn more about Chris Singleton.

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International Street Festival Set for April 9

The University of Georgia's annual International Street Festival (also known as ISF or Street Fest) was created in 1999 and promotes internationalization and cultural awareness within the Athens community. The free event is student- and family-friendly and boasts an attendance of 3,000-5,000 visitors each year.


The 2022 festival will be held Saturday, April 9, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Tate Student Center Plaza and Lawns.


Click here for more information.

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Georgia Museum of Art to Host Italian Renaissance Fest

The Georgia Art Museum at the University of Georgia, 90 Carlton St., Athens, will host a free Family Day Renaissance Fest on Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.


Discover the exhibition “Wealth and Beauty: Pier Francesco Foschi and Painting in Renaissance Florence” and attend the Renaissance fair, complete with special sword demonstrations, face painting, interactive gallery experiences, and other family activities. Complete an art activity at home using the free Family Day To-Go art kit. Kits will available for pickup starting at 10 a.m. April 9 through the end of day Sunday, April 10, while supplies last.


Click here for more information.

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Dunta Robinson Foundation 3D Champs Program

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