Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 4/29/22

CCSD to Offer At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Through CCSD’s partnership with the Department of Public Health, we are pleased to have secured at-home/over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for all of our families who are interested in receiving one.


These tests are being delivered to schools this week, and school nurses and principals are working on a distribution process for the next several weeks. If you have any questions about how to receive a test, please reach out to your school nurse. Click here for a list of school nurses and their contact information.


As a reminder, we are continuing to offer free COVID testing opportunities at rotating school sites every week day through the end of the school year. Any student or family member that has completed an online consent form may receive a free COVID test.

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Family Fun Day a Success

CCSD’s Division of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships would like to thank everyone — our dedicated staff, all of our vendors, and especially our families — who turned out Saturday, April 23, for our spring Family Fun Day event at Holland Youth Sports Complex.


The event gave families a free and fun opportunity to learn more information about various organizations serving the youth of Athens-Clarke County and enjoy various performances along with tasty food and treats and offerings from many other vendors.


Click here for more photos from the event. We look forward to seeing everyone again in the fall for another Family Fun Day!

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Barrow Elementary Teacher Receives Award from KACCB

Barrow Elementary teacher Sara Clarke was selected as the Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB) Community Member of the Year and was honored at the Green Life Expo and Awards Ceremony last week. The award recognizes a community member as an environmental steward of litter prevention and abatement or community greening/beautification.


"It was wonderful to win an award for doing something that I love," said Ms. Clarke. "I’ve been working with kids in the gardens at Barrow for 18 years — first as a parent volunteer, later as a paraprofessional, and then as a teacher. I’m thankful to be a part of Barrow Elementary every day. I’m grateful for the opportunity to nurture others both in the gardens and in the classroom."


Ms. Clarke was nominated by fellow Barrow teacher Jan Mullins, who noted her role in building out the school’s gardens and working with parents, staff, master gardeners, and University of Georgia volunteers to revitalize the grounds following a previous school renovation.


“Sara is passionate about gardening and composting and the beauty of grounds, schools, and public spaces,” said Ms. Mullins. “She not only teaches and reaches kids; she organizes and inspires volunteers to come help out. And during the summer and school breaks, she comes over to the school weekly to water and weed, pick vegetables, or have kids pick them and have tastings. In inspiring others, she is changing not only our school, but our community and beyond for years to come.”

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Barrow Media Specialist Receives UGA Alumni Award

Barrow Elementary media specialist Andy Plemmons was recognized recently as a recipient of the University of Georgia Mary Frances Early College of Education Alumni Award for mid-career educators. Mr. Plemmons, a 20-plus-year veteran educator, received the award in 2021, but a formal ceremony was delayed until last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Andy is an instructional leader in our school, and our students’ educational experiences are enriched because of his knowledge, skills, curiosity, and innovation,” Barrow Elementary principal Ellen Sabatini said in her letter of support for Mr. Plemmons. “He spreads his passion for teaching and learning to his colleagues through ongoing collaborative projects in the media center. Every project that Andy leads becomes one that is memorable and meaningful for students, teachers, and families. Our teachers are always eager to work with him and become further inspired in their work. Our families regularly communicate their high regard for Mr. Plemmons.”

Andy Plemmons - 2021 Mid-Career Alumni Award Recipient (Practitioner)
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Community volunteers sought for Clarke Central Landscape Beautification Project

The Clarke Central High beautification committee is developing a landscape beautification project on campus and is seeking volunteers to help with planting from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 14.


The beautification project at the school’s main entrance on Milledge Avenue was initiated through a generous grant from the Rotary Club of Athens. The school beautification committee has connected with multiple community organizations that have donated or drastically discounted all of the designs, plants, and supplies for the project. Landscape architects Josh Koons and Kayla Bare of Koons Environmental Design are leading the design and direction of the project. In addition to the Rotary Club and Koons Environmental Design, other project sponsors include Cultivation, LLC, TOPO Industries, and Keep Athens Clarke County Beautiful.


Numerous members of the Rotary Club, CCHS local school governance team (LSGT), and school families have volunteered for planting on May 14, and mulch will be added on May 21 with the help of the CCHS JROTC and student volunteers. Those interested in volunteering for the May 14 planting can sign up here.

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Meningitis Vaccine Booster Clinics Scheduled

The Clarke County School District is again partnering with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to offer MCV4 (meningitis) vaccine booster clinics to CCSD students.


Students who attend any CCSD high school can attend either one of the booster clinics:


  • Tuesday, May 3, 9-11 a.m., Clarke Central High School
  • Wednesday, May 18, 9-11 a.m., Cedar Shoals High School


No appointment is necessary. As a reminder, the MCV4 vaccination is required by Georgia state law for students to attend school.


For more information, contact:

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Library PLAY Card Coming Soon

All CCSD students will be issued a free PINES Library Access for Youth (PLAY) Card account in May 2022 as part of a collaboration between the Clarke County School District, Georgia Library PINES, and the Athens-Clarke County Libraries — Aaron Heard Resource Center, Athens-Clarke County Library, Lay Park Community Center, Pinewoods Library, and Winterville Library.


The PLAY Card account will provide each CCSD student with free materials (books, magazines) and online resources from the public library to help your child succeed in school, along with fun resources to support a lifelong love of reading.


Click here for more information.

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Updates from the Department of Community Schools

Clarke Central Students Take Part in College, Career Fair

Last week, Clarke Central High students attended a college and career fair on campus to support them with connections to post-graduation opportunities. The career opportunities showcased ranged from EMS, police, firefighter and military service, leisure services, and local radio station MEU.


“The students gave exceptional feedback after the event,” said Ms. Latanja Clark, Clarke Central’s Community Schools Organizer (CSO). “Building these community partnerships brings awareness of exceptional career options for students at CCHS so they can finish strong.”

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Athens Community Career Academy Opportunities

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Educator Career Fair

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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, May 12, 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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Volunteers Sought for AthFest

Local nonprofit AthFest Educates is seeking volunteers for its 2022 AthFest Music & Arts Festival, June 24-26.


Proceeds from the festival make it possible for AthFest Educates to award grants to support K-12 music and arts education in our community. To date, AthFest Educates has awarded over $532,000 in grants to CCSD schools and local non-profit programs. Volunteer shifts are generally four hours long and include a volunteer T-shirt, free parking during your volunteer shift, and snacks during your volunteer shift.


Learn more and register to volunteer here.

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YWCO Seeks Girls Club Counselors

The Athens YWCO Summer Girls Club is accepting applications for camp counselors June 1 through July 15.


Girls Club offers programming for girls that is fun, educational, and relevant to them. The camp is aimed at empowering campers to "dream big" and not limit themselves. The goal of the camp is to introduce campers to the skills they need to strive for their goals, and also help them develop the skills. Additionally, they want to provide campers with role models from their own communities.


Camp leaders want their staff to reflect the diversity of their campers, and bilingual speakers are encouraged to apply. In addition to looking for classroom counselors, specialty counselors for dance, music, and physical education are being sought.


For more information, contact Becky Galvin directly at 706-354-7880 or bgalvin.ywco@gmail.com.

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