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The Bibb County School District Newsletter

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June 14, 2021

District Celebrates Graduations for Class of 2021

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The Bibb County School District celebrated 2021 spring commencement ceremonies May 26-28. All ceremonies were held at the Macon Coliseum. For pictures and videos from the graduation ceremonies, visit www.facebook.com/bibbschools.


A total of 1,158 students graduated from the District's six high schools. Among those graduates, the District recognized 8 REACH Scholars, 8 Georgia Scholars, a Gates Millennium Scholar, a Griffith Scholar, and more!


Official graduation portraits of the graduate with his/her principal may be purchased through Creative Pro Studio at (478) 957-6606 or online at http://store.creativeprophoto.com.

District Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students, Staff

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Anyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Georgia. Vaccines are not required, but are strongly encouraged for the upcoming school year. Staff and students who have not been vaccinated will be required to quarantine if identified as a close contact for COVID-19; those who have been vaccinated will not be required to quarantine. Staff who must quarantine will be required to use their own sick days.


Below are some helpful resources to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations.


Please see below for updated COVID-19 procedures for the Bibb County School District as of June 3, 2021. These procedures should be considered flexible, with the understanding that the District will continue to update these procedures as we approach the next school year and receive additional guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and CDC.


  • Wearing a mask is highly encouraged.
  • No masks are required outdoors.
  • Masks are extremely recommended in highly populated places like school buses.
  • Volunteers are allowed to come into the buildings.
  • The District will highly encourage volunteers to wear a mask.
  • Parents are encouraged to make an appointment for visiting schools.


Group Sizes

  • Class sizes are back to normal. Students should take precautionary measures – hand washing, wearing masks (highly recommended) and socially distancing 3 feet in hallways.
  • Buses are back to normal loads. Masks are highly recommended.
  • Students may eat in the cafeteria; however, modifications to meal schedules will be made to create smaller groups.


Extra Measures

  • The District will continue to use the temperature kiosks to check temperatures of those entering buildings; however, temperatures will not be recorded.
  • Everyone is working from the building. Working from home is not an option.
  • The District will highly encourage individuals to be vaccinated if they meet the age criteria.
  • The District will avoid large gatherings and stagger events using virtual options when possible.


Quarantines

  • Quarantine time is 10 days asymptomatic.
  • If staff members are quarantined, they will have to use their own sick days.
  • Staff members and students who are vaccinated will not have to quarantine.
  • There will be a code for student absences due to quarantines. Instruction of quarantined students will take place asynchronously through Canvas. There will be no Hi-Flex model.

Graduates Visit Former Elementary Schools

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On May 20, graduating seniors in the Class of 2021 who attended Alexander II Magnet School and Sonny Carter Elementary School visited their former schools. They were applauded by students, teachers and parents. This annual tradition at elementary schools throughout the District helps young students visualize their goal of successfully completing high school.

Summer Meal Program Running Through July 2

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Children in Bibb County can receive school breakfast and lunch at no charge through the District’s summer meal program. The program, available Monday through Friday, will run from June 7 – July 2 and will serve more than 35 locations around the community.

Meals will be delivered at various locations throughout Macon-Bibb County. There is an additional opportunity to pick up meals through the curbside or walk-up options on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Central, Howard, Northeast, Rutland, Southwest and Westside High Schools. The District’s summer meal program will also provide meals to several summer camps in the community.

The program is available to all children under 18, and those older than 18 if they have a state-defined mental or physical disability. For more information on these options and to view locations, CLICK HERE or call 478-779-2600.

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff Joins Heritage Students Virtually

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When U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff visited Heritage Elementary School earlier this year, he said he'd join fifth-graders there for a video call at a later date. May 11 was that day!

Thomas Cote's class led the way, asking the recently-elected Senator questions about serving in public office. One student even asked why he wanted to become a Senator.

"I wanted to become a Senator because I thought the state of Georgia needed a change in the philosophy and approach of the people who are representing us in office," he said.

The District would like to thank Sen. Ossoff for his visit, as well as these students for representing us well!

Finalists Named for District Teacher of the Year

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The finalists for the District's 2022 Teacher of the Year were announced with surprise visits to each finalist's school by Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr. and others. These individuals were chosen from among the school-level winners from across the District, and the District winner will be named at Convocation in July.

The finalists are:


  • Lacey Barnes, Burdell-Hunt Elementary Magnet School
  • Chef Stuart Hardy, W. S. Hutchings College and Career Academy
  • LaTanya Clark, Northeast High School
  • Marissa Rondina, Rutland High School
  • Cindy Quan Hong, Springdale Elementary School


Additionally, Burdell-Hunt's Myesheia Yarber was recognized as the District's Counselor of the Year, and Rebecca Erwin of Porter Elementary School was named the District's Media Specialist of the Year. Congratulations to all these outstanding educators!

District Students, Teacher Win Golden Eagles

United Way of Central Georgia 2021 Golden Eagle Awards

Recently, several District seniors were recognized as Golden Eagle Award winners by United Way of Central Georgia. The following students were recognized with these prestigious awards in their respective categories:

  • Xavianna Syphrett, Southwest High School, Winner, Citizenship
  • Jordan Rashad Ray, Central High School, Winner, Drama
  • Kenny Randall, Northeast High School, Winner, English Literature
  • Jamaina Canosa, Howard High School, Winner, Journalism/Marketing/Communications
  • Eunice Chon, Howard High School, Winner, Social Science
  • Sabrina Rutledge, Rutland High School, Runner-Up, Citizenship

Additionally, Howard High School teacher Corey Roper received the Sylvia W. McGee Award. Congratulations to all these individuals for their continued success!

Valedictorians, Salutatorians Enjoy Chat With Dr. Jones

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Recently, the District’s valedictorians and salutatorians were honored at a luncheon. This gave these 12 young women the opportunity to connect with each other as well as Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr.

“I really enjoyed speaking to our valedictorians and salutatorians about their educational journeys,” Dr. Jones said. “We never know what challenges students are going through while they’re in our schools. I left thoroughly impressed by our seniors, their strength of character and their resilience.”

Learn more about the District's valedictorians and salutatorians here: https://www.smore.com/465qj

District Joins Macon Violence Prevention

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On June 10, Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr. and other District leaders took part in the announcement of the Macon Violence Prevention program at Rosa Parks Square. Led by Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller, this community partnership initiative will seek to use various community resources to stop violent crime in our community.

"When I think about our students who get up in the morning and have to go to a bus stop, they should be able to get to a bus stop safely," said Dr. Jones, noting that safety needed to continue throughout the school day. "Students do not learn when they're worried about their safety."

For more information about the MVP program, visit www.maconviolenceprevention.org.

'Wonder Twinzz' Host Book Event at MLK

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Sgt. Latricia Gittens and her twin sister, Felicia Kim, also known as the 'Wonder Twinzz,' are proud employees of the Bibb County School District. With Gittens serving in the Campus Police Department and Kim serving as a classroom paraprofessional at Westside High School, they have a lasting impact on the students and staff within the District. They recently released a motivational children’s book, Mirrors, which aims to inspire young girls everywhere.

On May 20, they hosted a reading of their book at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and provided each student in Mrs. Bellaire's fourth-grade class with a Mirrors mask and t-shirt. They also donated their book to the school's library.

To read more about the 'Wonder Twinzz,' visit https://www.wondertwinzz.org/.

STEAM Olympics Summer Program Underway

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The STEAM Olympics summer program for elementary and middle school students began June 7 across the District! During the first week students (pictured here at Carter Elementary) were taking pretests for math and reading. They also participated in virtual art enrichment activities!

Check Out These Mental Health Tips

Mental Health Awareness Month - Kylah Castlin
May was Mental Health Awareness Month, and Project AWARE clinician Kylah Castlin has provided some tips for maintaining positive mental health for adults and students alike. This issue is a priority in the District, and initiatives like Project AWARE are a huge part of that.

REACH Graduates Honored for Success

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The first graduating class of REACH Georgia Scholars in Bibb County was recognized with a breakfast at W. S. Hutchings College and Career Academy. They were joined by Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr., as well as Dr. Lori Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent for Federal Programs and District Effectiveness, among others.

"We couldn't be more proud," Dr. Rodgers said. "Everyone in our School District has contributed to the REACH Scholarship in some way. You have more people behind you than you'll ever know."

The REACH Scholars were selected during their eighth grade years based on merit and need. If these students meet academic and character requirements throughout high school, they receive a $10,000 scholarship, with part funded by REACH and part by the local district. Additionally, this class of scholars amassed more than $220,000 beyond REACH.

"I will make sure that all of your effort that you put inside me will be put into use in college," said Kennedy Randall, also the valedictorian at Northeast High School.

For more about the Class of 2021 REACH Scholars, click here: https://www.smore.com/4qekw

Kennedy Randall's Story

YouthBuild Students Help Construct Habitat Home

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Macon Area Habitat for Humanity and Bibb County Schools celebrated the dedication of a new home in Pleasant Hill for Habitat. This new home was built through a partnership between the two organizations and the YouthBuild Program. On May 25, Macon Habitat and Bibb County School District staff and board members gathered together with the new homeowner and their family to dedicate the home and thank the many partners that helped with construction.

YouthBuild is a pre-apprenticeship program that provides an opportunity for youth ages 16-24 to develop educational and occupational skills. SOAR Academy in Macon-Bibb County was awarded the YouthBuild Grant in February 2019 and the District was one of only two grantees in Georgia to receive the grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Since the start of the program, more than 62 participants have enrolled in the YouthBuild program. Over 30 participants are currently active in the program, many of whom will be graduating with a high school diploma or GED by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. To date, several students have received their high school diplomas and are working toward securing job opportunities following their graduations.

Join Our Team!

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CLICK HERE to apply today!

Campus Police Honored During Police Week

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The District recognized members of the Campus Police Department during National Police Week May 10-14. Seen here, Campus Police Officer Angelo Bellamy works with the students at Ingram-Pye Elementary as part of their grade-level reading program. The students there made him cards for National Police Week and to thank him for his dedication!

Leadership Symposium Begins with Scavenger Hunt

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As a kickoff to Leadership Symposium, Principals and Assistant Principals participated in a Scavenger Hunt based on the efforts of OneMacon 2.0! They visited partnering organizations to learn more about our community and the resources available to students.


During Leadership Symposium, leaders also spent time participating in individual workshop sessions to learn more about finance, supporting students through personalized learning, monitoring data effectively and more. This year's theme as we prepare for 2021-2022 is Tier 1 Strong!

Appling Assistant Principal Receives Mentoring Award

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Congratulations to Dr. Latonia Butts, Assistant Principal at Appling Middle School, for receiving the Valdosta State University Mentor Educator Award. She was nominated by Westside High School assistant principal Dr. Barbara Bazor, who had Dr. Butts as a mentor while she completed her Tier I Leadership Certificate.

"With her guidance, I am empowered and have a renewed commitment to my profession, as well as a revived mindset willing to also invest in developing the next leader, just like what my mentor has done to cultivate me," Dr. Bazor said.

State Requiring Meningococcal Vaccines for Rising Juniors

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Per the Georgia Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 2021, children 16 years of age and older, who are entering the 11th grade, must have received one booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday. This vaccine has no relation to COVID-19.

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that affects the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can cause shock, coma and death within hours of the first symptoms.

If your teen has not been vaccinated against meningococcal disease, we strongly recommend getting your 11th grader, aged 16 years or older, vaccinated before starting the 2021-2022 school year. Getting MCV4 (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) now will not only help protect your child against the ongoing threat of meningitis, it will also meet the new school entry requirement.

Ask your pediatrician or local health department about other shots your child may need including:

  • the human papillomavirus (HPV) series
  • the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis shot (Tdap or Td booster)
  • an annual flu vaccine; and
  • catch-up immunizations, including chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and hepatitis B.

If your child does not have health insurance or their health plan won’t cover these vaccines, call your local health department and ask about getting no cost or low cost vaccines. For more information, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/vaccines-children or call (800) 848-3868.

District Signs Agreement with Coca-Cola

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Recently, the District signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Central Georgia Technical College and Coca-Cola. This partnership, made possible through the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, is part of our commitment to being a part of workforce development in our community.

“We recognize the impact that we have, but we also recognize that this is a team effort,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones Jr.

The MOU will create a pathway through Bibb's Career, Technology, Agricultural Education (CTAE) and W. S. Hutchings College and Career Academy for warehouse distribution. Upon completion of this program, students will have the opportunity to interview for employment at Coca-Cola in Macon.

Panda Statues Find Homes at Vineville Academy

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As part of a partnership with The Society Garden, chainsaw artist Chap Nelson carved a panda bear on May 18 to be painted and donated to Vineville Academy of the Arts. Students and teachers gathered around as he worked on the gift. He also donated a larger panda bear carving!
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Bibb County School District

Vision:

Each student will demonstrate strength of character

and will be college or career ready.


Mission:

The Bibb County School District develops

a highly trained staff and an engaged community dedicated

to educating each student for a 21st century global society.