The Cherokee County School District began the 2012-13 School Year on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 and, as in the past, first-day operations were extremely well-planned, smooth and successful.
Enrollment reached 38,222 on Aug. 1 at CCSD’s 42 schools, according to preliminary attendance reports. The School District anticipates enrollment will continue to rise over the course of the school year… with first-day enrollment 410 students higher than last year.
The School District’s 4,500 employees, including more than 2,300 teachers, are now back at work on CCSD campuses and support facilities throughout Cherokee County; and the School District’s fleet of 350 buses began their daily transport of approximately 70 percent of the student population through 1,500 daily bus routes.
August 1 was also opening day for the School District’s newest campuses, Clark Creek Elementary School and the replacement Ball Ground Elementary School. Clark Creek ES on Hunt Road off Highway 92 in southwest Cherokee County welcomed 873 students for the first day of classes. With 135,000 square feet of space, this facility helped to relieve overcrowding at Boston and Oak Grove Elementary Schools and was designed to eventually accommodate 1,250 students. The new/replacement Ball Ground ES on Valley Street in downtown Ball Ground welcomed 525 students for the first day of classes. With 146,000 square feet of space, this facility replaced the existing campus, which was too small and outdated, and with the capacity for 1,200 students, the school will serve the northwest Cherokee County area as it continues to see population growth. Construction on these two projects was funded using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenues.
The start of this school year also marked the launch of the first phase of CCSD’s Cherokee Academies initiative, which increases academic choice within the School District. Four schools, Ball Ground ES, Canton ES, Clark Creek ES and Holly Springs ES, opened as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academies; and two schools, Hasty ES and Oak Grove ES, opened as Fine Arts Academies. Two of the School District’s existing options for academic choice have undergone name changes: CrossRoads MS/HS is now ACE (Alternative Choices in Education) Academy, and Polaris Evening School is now Polaris Evening Program.
Policies related to environmental/temperature concerns are being followed at all campuses, including: limiting the time students spend on school buses, allowing students to bring bottled water on school buses; and following guidelines for rescheduling and cancelling outdoor athletic/band/extra-curricular activities, when necessary, due to high temperatures.
“Our successful opening day today is evidence of the consistent dedication by CCSD staff to ensure that all of our students experience a positive school year in a safe environment so they can excel academically beginning on day one,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo.
As Clark Creek ES Principal Dr. Jennifer Scrivner observed: “It went fabulously well. Students were very excited and thankful for a new school building, and we heard lots of positive comments from parents, especially about our assembly with falconer Buster Brown bringing a redhawk, our mascot, to the school.”
The Clark Creek Elementary School celebrated the opening of its building and the first day of school with special assemblies featuring its mascot, the redhawk, and Buster Brown of the Georgia Falconry Association. Clark Creek ES is one of four STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academies to open in the Cherokee County School District this school year. Brown, left, presents an illustration of a RedHawk to Principal Dr. Jennifer Scrivner.
Students at Clayton Elementary School were greeted on the first day of classes by many familiar faces, but none more familiar than that of the Clayton Cougar! Campbell Cato and Evan Cato, children of Matt and Heather Cato of Canton, are all smiles as they head back to school.
Creekland Middle School PTSA member Teresa McCraven, left, delivered a back-to-school gift for every member of the school’s staff that included a bag of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies and a note that says: ‘Welcome Aboard! Here’s to a year of smooth sailing at Creekland Middle School!” Principal Dr. Deborah D. Wiseman said she appreciates the Creekland Middle PTSA and “the support they continuously give to our students and staff.”
Indian Knoll Elementary School with its PTA and Partner in Education, Public Super Market in Hickory Flat, hosted a ‘Boo-Hoo Party’ for parents dropping their children off for the first day of kindergarten. The breakfast event included donuts and fresh fruit, the reading of a children’s book by Principal Dr. Ann Gazell, the introduction of PTA officers, giveaways of bags of Hershey’s Kisses and plenty of tissues for tears and sniffles. After walking their kindergartener, Hayden, to class, parents Mike and Monica Sengbusch enjoy the breakfast with younger son, Tristan.
Mountain Road Elementary School welcomes students back to school for the first day of classes. Kindergarten teacher Vicki Walker teaches students Hayden Galambos and Preston Reddick.