CCSD Connections

A Monthly Parent Newsletter - January 2022

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Superintendent's Message

Dear CCSD Family,

You may have seen the joke making the rounds on social media that "2022" is pronounced "2020 too."

While pandemic and political headlines do feel like déjà vu, so does the good news: our students started school on time last week, and the outstanding work by our teachers and staff to teach and support every student continues.

Every day offers each us of a fresh start, and January reminds us of this opportunity -- from its New Year's resolutions to winter's preparing of the earth for spring.

At last night's School Board meeting, we reviewed the annual progress report for our Blueprint five-year strategic plan. This report card, which is posted online here, notes our successes and areas for improvement ... and makes clear we are committed to that further improvement.

For example, we've raised our high school graduation rate more than 15 percentage points since 2012 to 90.8%, which is higher than the State average and the second-highest in metro Atlanta. But our goal to be reached by 2024 is 93%, so although we're on track, we're not at the finish line.

We celebrate our accomplishments -- from the individual student to the district overall -- but we do not rest on our laurels. We remain dedicated to continuous improvement.

During last night's School Board meeting, we also shared important updates including the announcement that we will expand i-Grad Virtual Academy next school year from Grades 9-12 to Grades 4-12. You can read more about this and other presentations from the meeting in the Board Business Briefs recap posted online here.

We're expanding this school choice option in response to the positive feedback from current students and teachers, and the interest among some families to continue online learning after our current Digital Learning pandemic response program ends in May.

i-Grad Virtual Academy enrollment is application based, with the focus on a student's ability to succeed through online learning. The application period will open next month, and more information will be sent to all parents on Feb. 1.

Also, as winter weather is upon us, please be reminded that it may impact school operations. More information on our school closure decision process is posted on our website here.

I wish you and your family success and happiness in 2022.

Thank you,

Dr. Brian V. Hightower

Superintendent of Schools



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CCSD Announces 2022 School Teachers of the Year

The above collage shows just a few of CCSD's school level Teacher of the Year winners.

Congratulations to CCSD's 2022 School Teachers of the Year winners!

Every fall, each CCSD school is asked to select its own Teacher of the Year. These school-level winners now are eligible for the honor of Cherokee County School District 2022 Teacher of the Year. See the list of all the honorees here.

The Districtwide competition will be judged by a panel of retired educators and community partners based on applications submitted by the school-level winners. Four CCSD Finalists then will be announced by the Superintendent of Schools. They, along with all school winners, will be honored at the Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration in the spring ... at which the CCSD 2022 Teacher of the Year will be announced. The overall CCSD winner will be entered into the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.

“Each one of these honorees has been selected by his or her peers in recognition of their excellence as educators – they are the best of the best,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “The School Board joins me in thanking them for the dedication, innovation and care they show every day in the classroom and throughout our community that earned them this award. We appreciate you and look forward to celebrating you in the spring!”

The annual Legacy Makers celebration, and gifts presented to the honorees, are sponsored by Presenting Sponsors: Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram of Canton. Additional financial and in-kind sponsorship opportunities are available; interested businesses and organizations are encouraged to please contact Penny Dempsey at or 770.479.1871.


CCSD Congratulates District Spelling Bee Winners

Creekland Middle School eighth-grader Huck Wallace correctly spelled “reggae” and then “resplendence” to claim the title as the county’s top speller for the second year in a row at the 2022 Cherokee County School District Spelling Bee Wednesday night at Cherokee High School. Miller Inthirathvongsy of Clark Creek ES STEM Academy (fourth grade) captured second, and Isabella Melo-Moreira of Arnold Mill ES (fifth grade) placed third.

Thirty students put their spelling skills to the test in the annual competition, which went nine rounds over 90 minutes before a winner was decided. Spellers tackled tricky terms like "smellfungus," "dyspeptic" and "abracadabra."

All three students will advance to the regional Georgia Association of Educators bee, which will be held at Etowah HS on Feb. 26. State winners (March 18 competition) advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C. in June.

Read more and see the names of all the school winners here.



CCSD 2021 Holiday Service Projects Video

CCSD Celebrates Holidays by Helping Those in Need

CCSD schools celebrated the holiday season by giving to others and serving the community through volunteering. Thank you to all the teachers and staff who coordinate these opportunities for meaningful service learning! We hope you enjoy this slideshow of a few of the many outstanding activities.



Please check your school’s website and social media for school event information.

Jan. 17: CCSD schools and offices closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jan. 17: 6 p.m., State Farm Arena, CCSD Educator Appreciation Night at the Atlanta Hawks. Info at

Jan. 21-22, 25: 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., River Ridge HS, River Ridge High School theatre program presents "G2K Footloose." Tickets: $7.

Jan. 28-29: 7 p.m. (also a 2 p.m. matinee on 1/28), Woodstock HS, Woodstock High School theatre program presents "James and the Giant Peach," an interactive kid-friendly show. Tickets: $8 adults; $6 students and seniors.

Jan. 28: 12 to 4:30 p.m., CCSD Special Education Virtual Job Fair -- please see the details below.

Feb. 10-11: 7 p.m., River Ridge HS, Academy Street Theatre Group presents "The Last Day of School." Tickets: $5

Feb. 10-13: 7:30 p.m. (and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on 2/13), Creekview HS, Creekview High School theatre program presents "Xanadu, Jr." and "Legally Blonde, Jr." Tickets: $15 adults; $12 students.


CCSD on Friday, Jan. 28, will host a virtual job fair for applicants for Special Education positions for next school year including: board certified behavior analysts, educational audiologists, occupational and physical therapists, physical and health impairment teachers, school psychologists, Special Education facilitators, speech language pathologists and vision teachers. These positions offer competitive compensation packages with outstanding benefits, a great balanced work calendar and schedule, professional development and opportunities for advancement, and a wonderful work environment and team. Interview appointments are available from 12 to 4:30 p.m. Make your appointment online now – see the instructions at Be sure to also complete the application and reference process: visit then click Jobs @ CCSD and apply for the position you’re seeking. Questions? Please contact CCSD Recruiter and 770.704.4256. Join the #CCSDfam!


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