Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 8/12/22

Board of Education Announces Dr. Robbie Hooker as Sole Finalist for Superintendent

This week, the CCSD Board of Education formally announced Dr. Robbie Hooker as the sole finalist for the position of Superintendent. A highly respected leader with ties to CCSD and more than a decade of administrative experience in Clarke County schools, Dr. Hooker currently serves as the Superintendent of Social Circle City Schools, a position he has held since 2019.


The Board approved Dr. Hooker as the sole finalist at its Thursday, Aug. 11 meeting, and, pending final approval of the Board later this month, Dr. Hooker will assume full responsibilities for this role Oct. 10.


Click here for the full press release.

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Board of Education Approves Hire of New Chief of Student and Family Supports

During its Thursday, Aug. 11 meeting, the Clarke County Board of Education approved the hire of veteran educator Dr. Jennifer Scott as the Clarke County School District’s new Chief of Student and Family Supports.


Dr. Scott, who is in her 25th year with CCSD, has extensive experience in supporting and engaging students, families, and communities at both the school and district level. She currently serves as an Executive Director of Leadership Development, a role she has held since 2019, overseeing and promoting the professional growth and development of principals at seven of the district’s 14 elementary schools. In her new role, she will oversee the Division of Student and Family Supports, a merger of the Division of Student Support Services and the former Division of Community Engagement — including the areas of family and community engagement, school nursing services, school psychology services, school social work, migrant education, and student registration.


Click here to read the full press release.

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Board of Education Approves Hire of New CEO of Athens Community Career Academy

During its Thursday, Aug. 11 meeting, the Clarke County Board of Education approved the hire of Wesley Mellina as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Athens Community Career Academy (ACCA).


Mr. Mellina, who has served as the academy’s Workforce Development Coordinator since 2018, brings to his new role extensive experience in promoting workforce development opportunities for students and helping students develop and prepare for their post-secondary plans. As CEO, he will work with CCSD’s high schools, students, and families to develop personalized plans for accessing college and career programs, and collaborate with the local business community to develop internships and experiences while promoting economic development.


Click here to read the full press release.

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New School COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine Clinic Dates Announced

CCSD is pleased once again to offer COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities at our schools this school year on a rotating basis and has announced the first set of dates, times, and locations.


Testing


Our testing clinics will begin Monday, Aug. 15, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Clarke Central High School and from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Clarke Middle School. All tests are free, optional, and offered as a convenience to students, staff, and families. No appointment is necessary. However, registration is required.


Please click here for the full list of upcoming testing dates, times, and locations, links to the required consent forms, and other information.


Vaccines


Our first on-campus vaccination clinics will be on Monday, Aug. 22, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Clarke Central High and from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Clarke Middle. Students, family members, and staff may receive the first, second, or booster dose at any clinic. Appointments are not required. A parent or 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.


Click here for the full list of upcoming COVID vaccination opportunities and more information.

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Roark Recognized for State Nurse Administrator Award

Amy Roark, CCSD’s Director of School Nursing, was recognized at the Thursday, Aug. 11 Board of Education meeting for receiving the 2022 Georgia School Nurse Administrator of the Year award earlier this summer.


Ms. Roark attended the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) conference in Atlanta on July 1, where she was presented with the award.


“I am very honored to receive this recognition and happy that it places CCSD in a very positive light across the country for school health success,” said Ms. Roark, who is in her eighth year with CCSD and seventh as Director of School Nursing. “School health leaders across the country now know about the Clarke County School District. I'm most proud of the fact that all students in Clarke County have access to a school nurse every day. When I started in 2015, we had 12 nurses serving 21 schools. Now we have a full-time nurse, every day, in every school. I'm also extremely proud of the amazing CCSD school nursing team. They are rock stars!”


For more information about CCSD Nursing Services, click here.

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Cedar Shoals, Coile Students Named National Agriscience Fair Finalists

Twelve CCSD students — seven who were at Cedar Shoals High and five who were at Coile Middle last school year — have been named National Finalists in the 2022 National FFA Agriscience Fair.


National FFA Agriscience Fair participants are FFA members in grades 7-12 that were selected as a winner in their state’s agriscience fair. The participants must conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture and food science industries and present their findings to a panel of judges with a display and a report. National Finalists, those whose projects are ranked among the top 10 in the country, are selected in six different categories and six different divisions to compete for National Agriscience Fair awards.


The students will present their projects virtually to judges in September, and award winners will be announced on stage in October during the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana.


National Finalists from CCSD include:

  • Sylvia Brittian and Katherine Smith, Coile — Animal Systems Division 2
  • Amelia Hembree and Delia McElhannon, Cedar Shoals — Animal Systems Division 4
  • Derrick Brown (graduated in May) and Nizia Ortiz, Cedar Shoals — Environmental Services and Natural Resource Systems Division 6
  • Marilin Cruz-Morales and Ashley Marroquin-Gonzalez, Cedar Shoals — Food Products and Processing Systems Division 4
  • Jamaria Finley, Cedar Shoals (graduated in May) — Social Science Division 5
  • Patricia Rodriguez-Gonzalez, Coile (now a ninth-grader at Cedar Shoals) — Power, Structural and Technical Systems Division 1
  • Derriana Smith and Chizoba Emegwam, Coile (both now ninth-graders at Cedar Shoals) — Social Science Division 2.

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Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council Application Period Now Open

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, Aug. 26.


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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Kirby Smart Family Foundation Grant to Benefit CCSD Students

This week, CCSD community partner Family Connections-Communities in Schools (FC-CIS) was awarded a $2,500 grant by the Kirby Smart Family Foundation at the foundation’s annual Giving Day celebration.


The grant is for the FC-CIS site coordinators at Alps Road and Gaines elementary schools as well as the Neighborhood Leaders for each elementary school prosperity zone to help provide basic needs for children younger than high school age. (NCAA recruiting regulations bar the foundation from supporting high school-age students.)


Alps Road Elementary and Gaines Elementary FC-CIS site coordinators Tamara Ware and Rodney Robinson — who also work for CCSD as Family Engagement Specialists at their respective schools — were on hand along with FC-CIS executive director Tim Johnson to accept the grant from University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart and his wife, Mary Beth Smart.

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CCSD Students Participate in Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp

Six CCSD students participated this summer in the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp for Young Men in Atlanta after being selected by their principals. Started by the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, the annual summer camp program is open to males ages 14-18 who are being raised in a single female-headed household.


The program discusses and teaches “principles of manhood” and helps young men realize their potential and envision and prepare for a robust and productive future. Its goals include:


  • educational enrichment, including college preparation, career exposure, and leadership development
  • one-on-one mentoring, including conversations with positive role models, building adult communication skills, and fostering community relationships
  • global service, including cultural, global, and philanthropic awareness.


In addition, the camp also includes a Single Mothers Enrichment Summit that the mothers of the campers participate in.

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Clarke Central Students Visit Costa Rica, Panama

Twelve students from Clarke Central High visited Costa Rica and Panama in June along with Spanish teacher Dr. Lynne Sparks, and the group enjoyed “the adventure of a lifetime,” ziplining, visiting volcano hot springs and pineapple farms, monkey sightseeing, snorkeling, and more.


Click here for more photos from the trip.


Dr. Sparks is planning another group trip to Spain and Gibraltar. Students interested in attending or parents and guardians interested in their students attending are invited to attend a virtual meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Limited spots are available for the trip, and those who are interested in information are asked to RSVP to the Zoom meeting here. For those who can't attend the informational meeting, trip information will be provided by Dr. Sparks.


Meeting ID: 816 214 6778

Passcode: 9vBvz5

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CCSD Staff, Families Asked to Provide Input on Academic Calendars for 2023-24, 2024-25

CCSD’s Academic Calendar Committee is seeking input from families and staff on the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 calendars.


To share your thoughts, please take our 10-15 minute survey by clicking this link or by scanning the QR code below.


All families and staff are invited to complete the survey by Monday, Aug. 15.

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Parents, Guardians Asked to Review Approved 2022-23 Code of Student Conduct

Parents and guardians of CCSD students are asked to review the 2022-23 Code of Student Conduct. From the main district website, the code can be accessed from the “For Families” tab at the top of the page. In addition, all schools will have paper copies of the code available in the coming weeks. Printed copies will be available in the front office of each school.


The Code of Student Conduct was approved by the Board of Education at its July 14 meeting, and we ask that you let us know that you have reviewed the code by submitting your signature through the QR code found on page 2 of the document.

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Family and Community Engagement Updates

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"



Community Schools Updates


  • The Community School Organizers (CSOs) are currently working on planning community forums in Rolling Ridge, Parkview, Rocksprings, Columbia Brookside, Sycamore Drive, and Bethel Homes to meet parents, discuss issues and concerns, and cultivate positive relationships. The group will include teachers, counselors, school social workers, and principals/assistant principals.
  • There will be forums in all areas where CCSD serves students to continue building strong communication, gather data, and link community support to students and families. Our focus on the whole child will always be a priority based on data from each cohort school and areas where we will remove barriers to student success.


Please contact your CSO to give feedback and share the impact or support needed to value and empower the whole child. We are Better Together.

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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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