Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 8/26/22

Come Meet Superintendent Finalist Dr. Robbie Hooker

The Clarke County Board of Education has scheduled a community meet-and-greet with Dr. Robbie Hooker, sole finalist for the position of Clarke County School District Superintendent, and his family on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 3-4 p.m. in the Vernon Payne Meeting Hall at the CCSD administrative offices building, 595 Prince Ave., Athens.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. During the hour, Dr. Hooker will share his goals and vision for the Clarke County School District, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one.

The called meeting during which the Board will vote on Dr. Hooker’s appointment has been rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1, and will take place before the Board’s monthly 6 p.m. work session that evening.

Click here for more information.

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Hilsman Health Center Now Offering Dental Services for CCSD Students, Staff, Families

The Hilsman Health Center, located at 870 Gaines School Rd., Athens, located between Hilsman Middle and Gaines Elementary schools, offers dental services in addition to its other health services and is now accepting appointments with Dr. Merissa Nelms.

The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday (closed from noon to 1 p.m. every day for staff lunch) and Friday from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Call 706-546-7463 to make an appointment.

The first school-based health clinic to open in northeast Georgia, the Hilsman Health Center is a partnership between CCSD and the Athens Neighborhood Health Center and is staffed by a nurse practitioner, dentist, and support staff.

Click here for more information on the center.

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Employee of the Month Nominations Open

CCSD is once again accepting nominations for Employee of the Month!

The Employee of the Month program recognizes and rewards staff members for their service and dedication to CCSD students and families. Parents/guardians, staff, students, and community members can nominate any employee. A selection committee selects a winner for each month September through May, and the winner is announced at the monthly Clarke County Board of Education regular meeting. The September winner will be announced at the Sept. 8 BOE meeting.

Click here to nominate an employee and here for more information on the program.

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Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council Application Deadline Extended

All 11th- and 12th-grade students interested in serving on this year’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council are invited to complete the short online application by Friday, Sept. 2.

Through participation in the council, students will learn about CCSD initiatives and share their perspectives on being CCSD students. All students will also have a chance to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.

The council will meet six times over the course of the year, and students are asked to commit to attend all meetings.

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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, 291 Henderson Extension, 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."

Helping Families, Removing Barriers

Our Community School Organizers continue to remove barriers and build relationships to support our students and parents with the help of our community partners.

Recently, the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity donated a washer and dryer for use at Classic City High School. Also, Cynthia Griffith and Keith Carver from the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia are in partnership with CCSD to provide support to students and families impacted by food insecurities. These recent donations will directly impact Classic City High, Cedar Shoals High, and Gaines Elementary.

Upcoming Family University Sessions Planned

Starting next 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, 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 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, or call 706-613-3025.

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