Greene Notes

News & Notices for Team Tigers - November 2022

From the Superintendent

Greetings GCSS Team,

I hope you all had a restful Thanksgiving Break and are ready for the final push to conclude the first half of the year. We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, and I would like to start by giving a shout-out to several groups of staff for their impact on our school system and community. The first is our GLISI* Base Camp and Leadership Summit group led by Dr. Tom McClendon, who are tackling big questions that will have an impact in our next strategic plan and envisioning innovative ways for us to better serve our students and their families. I also thank our ESOL teachers for the great work they're doing in moving students forward in English Language Proficiency. Our CCRPI results, which you'll read more about below, show that we are doing a great job serving our Hispanic families, and I'm looking forward to seeing our ESOL Program's continued success. Finally, I would like to say a big thank-you to all teachers and staff for all the ways in which you reached out to, engaged, and involved parents during Family Engagement Month. Parental involvement is truly the key to our students' success, and I encourage you to continue those efforts.

In conclusion, I congratulate our Adapted Sports Special Education 3v3 Basketball team for winning first place at the Area 5 tournament in Athens earlier this month and proceeding to the State Games in January. Go Tigers! I encourage everyone to come out and support our JV and varsity Basketball teams as their seasons crank up for the winter. As always, thank you to each and every one of you for all the ways in which you educate, inspire, challenge, and support our students. Let's finish 2022 strong!

*Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement

Please help us get the word out about Parent University!

We are excited about the continuation of our new Parent University program, with the next session on Saturday, Dec. 3rd! Parent University is designed to equip parents with tools & knowledge to help their children succeed in school, with sessions on deck for next month like FAFSA and the College Admissions Process, Read to Succeed, Student Behavior & Academic Success, and much more. The program is part of the district’s parent engagement initiative and aims to involve parents as partners in education.

Registration for the next session is currently open, and we are sending out flyers and posting advertisements online and in the local newspaper to encourage parents to sign up. Please help us spread the word to parents and encourage them to attend! There are multiple ways to register available, including:

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GCPS wins School Bell Award from GAESP for innovative RISE reading program

Greene County Primary School has received the School Bell Award from the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP) for its innovative work in reading comprehension with second and third grade reading students through the RISE Program (Reading Inspires Students to Excel).

Each year, the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals grants awards that highlight exceptional practices in Georgia schools. The goal of the RISE program was to take students who are below grade level in reading and raise their reading level by as much as two grade levels through intensive, small-group tutoring in vocabulary, comprehension, and other goal areas that make up a well-rounded reader. Throughout the course of the program, the RISE teachers for each goal area evolved and adapted their lessons based on the students’ progress in order to design an individualized learning plan for each student. Another important element of the program was a literacy partnership with the parents’ students, who participated in a family RISE night at the school to learn the reading strategies taught in the RISE classrooms in order to practice at home with their children.

The results show success: at both the second and third grade levels, roughly two-thirds of students who entered RISE grew to reading on grade level after just 8 weeks of the program. Click here to read more about the GCPS RISE Program and the School Bell Award on our website.

GCCA receives grant funding for Early Childhood Education Pathway

The Greene College & Career Academy was recently selected to receive a Workforce for Georgia grant from the Georgia Power Foundation. GCCA CEO Mr. John Ellenberg wrote the $50,000 grant in August for a proposed Early Childhood Education CTAE pathway at the GCCA.

Through Workforce for Georgia funding, the Georgia Power Foundation seeks to invest in building or sustaining capacity at career academies and CTAE programs to better serve students and instructors and in program alignment of educational and training pathways to meet workforce needs of businesses in local communities. The ECE pathway at the GCCA will help Greene County to continue to develop homegrown talent and begin to help address the statewide teacher shortage.

Staff Spotlight: School Social Workers

Laquinta Welbon

Hello! My name is Laquinta Welbon, School Social Worker here in Greene County. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work from The University of Georgia. I enjoy kickboxing, fishing, movies, and spending time with my family. I do not have children but have found my place in Greene County with the students who I have come to love as my own. Initially, I had no idea that social work would be the profession to consume me, but it is one that only God could have built me for. Since experiencing my own traumas and hardships as a child, I knew I belonged in a position where I could inspire, nurture, and encourage young people. Social work is not simply a job for me; it is undoubtedly my passion and calling. My ambition as a social worker is to be the voice for the voiceless, aid to the less fortunate, and hope to the faithless. It is a position not without loss and contention, though the wins and rewards far exceeds all else. It has highlighted the importance of mental health and its certainty in the lives of our students and community. I hope that getting to know me urges others to learn more about who we are as social workers and what we do.

Ci'Erica Maxey

My name is Ci’Erica Maxey. I am a mother of two lovely children Sandy (12) and Collin(18 Months). I received my undergrad from Kennesaw State University with a B.S. Human Service with Concentration in Case Management. I furthered my career with a graduate degree in Social Work from Walden University. What made me want to become a social worker? Well, it was not my first choice. I actually wanted to be a teacher and was on track to become one, then I took a Social Work class and my professor was very encouraging with the willingness to want change, and her ability to help people expired me. I have always been the helper in the family and with my friends. I love the flexibility; portability, being able to heal and problem solve, and help make the world a better place encouraged me to be a social worker. After taking time to assess my life and talk with God, I knew my calling was in social work and helping people. I knew I liked Greene County because of the dedication they have to help the children.

GCSS 2022 College & Career Performance Readiness Index (CCRPI) scores released

Georgia’s 2022 College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) results were released by the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday, Nov. 16th and show that while the Greene County School System is still recovering learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the gaps in many areas have already been closed and surpassed, and in all areas, the GCSS is closing COVID learning gaps faster than the state overall.

The 2022 CCRPI is a limited measurement compared to prior years, and the Georgia Department of Education has announced that 2022 will be a new baseline year and 2022 scores should not be compared to scores in previous years. This is the first year that the CCRPI has been calculated since 2019. Summative district and school scores are not calculated, but each school received scores in Content Mastery, Readiness, and Progress. Scores in the Closing Gaps area were not calculated, and Progress was calculated only in the area of Progress Towards English Language Proficiency, which calculates the number of ESOL students who gained at least 1 level toward English Language Proficiency. In this area, the GCSS received a score of 88.47.

“Greene County Schools does a great job of serving our English Language Learners, which primarily come from our Hispanic families and make up approximately 13% of our student body,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Houston. “We are excited to see this success of our EL program and looking forward to seeing it grow.”

In Readiness, all schools in the district received high marks in the Beyond the Core area, which reflects schools’ offerings in fine arts, world languages, computer science, dual enrollment and advanced placement courses, and CTAE pathway completion. GCPS received a score of 99.5%, and the middle and high school scores came in over 95% and 93%, respectively.

Greene County High School’s 2022 combined graduation rate is 88.3%, over 3 points higher than the state’s combined rate of 84.7%. The school’s 2022 four-year graduation rate came in at 86.3%, over 2 points higher than the state’s 84% four-year graduation rate but 5 points lower than the school’s 2021 rate of 91.3%. GCHS’s 2022 five-year graduation rate, which includes students who may have needed credit recovery or been enrolled in non-traditional programs, was higher at 92.1% and 6 points higher than the state’s 85.9%.

In the area of Content Mastery, Greene County Primary School scored a 61.1 overall, less than two points below the state elementary score of 63, and the school’s mastery score in mathematics of 80.2 beat the state score by nearly 15 points.

“Our 3rd grade math scores tell you what’s possible: a proof of concept,” said Superintendent Houston. “We have all the right parts in place–great teachers, resources, and materials–and we’re confident that because we’re doing all the right things, we’re going to show incredible progress going forward.”

CCRPI reports for the GCSS, other school systems, and the State of Georgia are available at

New Clear Bag Policy for GCHS Athletic Events

Effective immediately, Greene County High School will implement a clear bag policy at all sporting events. This policy will be similar to policies in place at college and professional stadiums and coliseums. There will be no entrance into sporting events without an approved bag.

The following types of bags are permitted inside of GCHS sporting events:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12x6"x12"
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5"x6.5"
Coaches and athletes are not subject to the Clear Bag Policy.

Equipment bags, team backpacks, bat bags, etc. are permitted.