Better Together

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

Grants Fund New Murals at Fowler Drive, Stroud

Students at Fowler Drive and Howard B. Stroud elementary schools recently had the opportunity to participate in the creation of artworks at their schools under the direction of professional artists David Hale and Broderick Flanigan.


Longstanding Clarke County School District partner AthFest Educates, a nonprofit committed to sustaining and advancing music and arts education for K-12 youth in Athens-Clarke County, awarded Fowler Drive art teacher Elizabeth Hale and Stroud art teacher Troy Authement grants, making this collaboration possible.


Click here to read more, and see photos of the murals and the artists and students at work below.

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First Year of Stroud Strings Program a Success

The first year of the after-school orchestra program at Howard B. Stroud Elementary School recently wrapped up on a successful note, as 10 third-grade students got the chance to showcase what they’ve learned over the course of the school year, performing on their instruments for their families.


The Stroud Strings concert on March 31 capped the first year of a planned three-year partnership between the Clarke County School District, the University of Georgia’s Community Music School (UGA CMS), and local nonprofit AthFest Educates.


Click here to read more about the program.

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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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iliad Literary-Art Magazine Receives National Award

The 2021 volume of Clarke Central High’s iliad literary-Art Magazine was recently announced as one of six literary-art magazines in the nation to receive the Pacemaker Award, the National Scholastic Press Association’s highest award. The awards were announced April 9 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles, California.


It was the second Pacemaker award that the iliad has received, having previously won in 2010. The magazine was also a finalist for the award in 2020.


Read more about the award here, and see the entire 2021 volume of the magazine here.

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Clarke Central, Cedar Shoals Student Journalists Haul in Awards, Honors at State Convention

The student journalism organizations at Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals high schools had strong showings at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s workshop and awards banquet, which was held April 11 at the University of Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education.


Clarke Central’s ODYSSEY Newsmagazine, ODYSSEY Media Group website, and iliad Literary-Art Magazine all received All-Georgia (Best in State) ratings, and those staffs garnered 11 other individual All-Georgia awards along with numerous other “Superior” ratings. Click here for a full list.


Cedar Shoals’ BluePrints magazine and WJAG-TV also received numerous recognitions, including “Superior” ratings for News Website and News Magazine, nine individual All-Georgia awards, and several other individual “Superior” ratings. Click here for a full list.

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Celebrating Winners of CCSD’s Young Scientists Fair

CCSD hosted its 2022 Young Scientists Fair for elementary school students March 26 at Alps Road Elementary. Numerous students from across the district participated in a variety of competitions.


Those included:

  • Science Fair competition — Students conducted independent scientific research in the areas of Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, Engineering, and Environmental Science.
  • Science Olympiad competitions — Students participated in a mini Science Olympiad tournament. They competed against other schools during various STEM-based competitions.
  • Science Art competition — Individual students created art in the areas of Life Science (including Biology), Physical Science (including Chemistry and Physics), Earth Science (including Geology and Astronomy), Engineering, and Environmental Science.
  • Science Invents competition — The science invents competition challenged students to design, explain, and model an invention that solves a problem.


See our Facebook post from this week for all the first-place winners.

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CMS Students Take Interactive Black History Tour of Athens

On Friday, April 15, 35 Clarke Middle students took a Black History tour of Athens, visiting the Historic Chestnut Grove School (1896), Reese Street School (1914), Athens High and Industrial School (1922), Union Baptist/Jeruel Academy School (1886), and Burney Harris High School (1938) while also touring Linnentown and Hot Corner.


Special guests included Deacon Melvin Long, who attended Chestnut Grove; Burney Harris Class of 1970 alum Sandra Johnson, who was a part of the Rowdy Thursday Protest; and Armel Stroud, who attended Union Baptist and taught at both Burney Harris and Clarke Central and was one of the first two Black teachers in Clarke County schools to integrate. Local artist Broderick Flanigan, author Hattie Thomas Whitehead, Athens poet laureate Jeff Fallis, Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Ovita Thornton, Clarke County Board of Education member Linda Davis, and Annie Matthews helped lead the tour.


The tour was made possible by the inaugural $500 Carrie Fischer Siegmund Grant for Classroom Innovation, awarded to CMS teacher Katie Johnson in 2021 by the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County.

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Updates from the Department of Community Schools

J.J. Harris Students Hear from Guest Readers, Interview Superintendent

J.J. Harris Elementary Community School Organizer Alicia Thomas recently arranged for guest readers to come and read to students.


“Our school has truly been geared toward promoting literacy inside and outside of the school, and having guest readers truly showed our students that the district is here to support them and their academic journey,” Thomas said.


In addition to having readers, a few lucky students in Mr. Chris Anani’s fifth-grade class got the opportunity to hold an interview with one of the guest readers — CCSD superintendent and former J.J. Harris principal, Dr. Xernona Thomas. See the full interview here.

April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month

Bilingual and multilingual learners are one of the fastest-growing populations in U.S. schools. In 2021, English Learners represented 9.1% of all K-12 students in the U.S. Sixteen percent of CCSD students are English Learners with 1,284 currently actively enrolled in ESOL classes


The district's Translation and Interpretation Department welcomes any and all feedback and suggestions to improve our accessibility to schools. We are constantly learning and growing toward a more inclusive and accessible English Learner community. Let us know how we can support you!


For more information, contact:


•Ana Camacho - Bilingual Translation & Interpretation Assistant

camachoa@clarke.k12.ga.us

706-546-7721, Ext. 79404


•Katie Greenwood - Bilingual Translation and Interpretation Assistant

greenwoodk@clarke.k12.ga.us

706-546-7721, Ext. 79405

Mark Your Calendars for CCSD Family Fun Day

CCSD’s Division of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships will again host the spring Family Fun Day event on Saturday, April 23, from 2-5 p.m. at Holland Park, 250 Vincent Dr., Athens.


Come learn about the different organizations serving the youth of our community and enjoy free food, games, and music, along with a pop-up park, vendors, and prizes. The event will be held at the youth baseball/softball fields at the back of the complex.


For more information, contact Alex Borges, Family and Community Engagement Specialist, at borgesa@clarke.k12.ga.us.

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Strategic Plan Corner: Community Collaboration

Welcome back to our periodic update on CCSD’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. This week we are taking a deeper look at Priority 2, “Community Collaboration.”


The goal of Priority 2 is to “engage families, community members, and civic organizations as active partners.” This work involves several initiatives, one of which is to implement events, programs, and activities that promote stronger family and community engagement. A timely example of this initiative in action is our Family Fun Day event, which will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Holland Park. Another example is the recent launch of our parent engagement workshop series, VILLA, which provides an opportunity for families to learn about our district operations and decision-making.


Learn more about CCSD’s Division of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships here.


At CCSD, we believe that family and community engagement is necessary to improve student success and well-being and that’s why it’s a priority in our Strategic Plan!

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‘Innovate U’ Summer Program Accepting Applications

Are you a rising ninth-, 10th- or 11th-grade student? Are you interested in developing your entrepreneurship and leadership skills? Are you available in June? If the answer to all of these question is yes, we’ve got an opportunity for you!


“Innovate U” is a four-week, in-person summer program aimed at empowering students to solve business challenges through innovative problem-solving. The program is a collaboration between CCSD and the University of Georgia and takes place on UGA’s campus Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June. The program is free, and transportation is provided.


If you are interested in completing an application please contact Emily Boness, CCSD’s Strategic Projects Director, at bonesse@clarke.k12.ga.us to receive additional information and a link to the online application. The application deadline is April 29.

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Athens Community Career Academy Opportunities

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Feedback Sought on Social Studies Resources

CCSD is requesting stakeholder feedback in the process of adopting new Social Studies resources for grades 6-8 and high school U.S. History. Teams of CCSD teachers have evaluated numerous proposals and have finalized their recommendations to be reviewed by other stakeholders and approved by the board of education.


In this survey, you will have a chance to evaluate the suite (combination) of resources that each grade level/content area has recommended. Electronic access to all materials can be found in the survey, but if you prefer to review physical copies, you can find middle school materials in the front office of all middle schools and high school materials at the front desk of the CCSD district office, 595 Prince Ave., Athens.


The survey will close on Friday, April 29.

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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 and go to the "I Want To" tab at the top of the page.


For further questions, please contact communications specialist Scott Thompson at thompsons3@clarke.k12.ga.us

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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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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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