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Board Briefs: School Board Approves Leasing Gym to County

Posted On: Friday, August 17, 2018

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, approved leasing Hickory Flat Elementary School’s former gym to the Cherokee County government to use for community recreation purposes.  

The Cherokee County School District has maintained the original gym since the school community opted four years ago to discontinue its use in favor of the modern, air-conditioned gym.  When the Cherokee County government recently inquired with CCSD staff about possibly leasing the facility for community use, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower recommended the School Board approve such an agreement.

Through the agreement, which the School Board approved unanimously, the county government will pay $1 a year for the next 50 years to lease the gym, and, in exchange, will be responsible for its maintenance.  

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer spoke during the meeting about false rumors that had circulated about possible demolition of the gym.

“That was never part of our plan,” Ms. Cromer said of demolition, noting the gym remains in good condition and holds many memories for the community.  “We’re very happy and proud to approve this agreement.  We were never going to tear it down.”

Prior to the regular meeting, the Superintendent of Schools and his Office of Curriculum & Instruction staff shared its annual Trends in Education presentation with the School Board as part of its strategic work session.

The session focused on new initiatives underway by the division, which oversees classroom instruction, student assessment and all other education programs and services.  

Highlights included: 

•    The standards-based report card being piloted for first- and second-grade classes at R.M. Moore and Sixes Elementary Schools.  Instead of letter grades such as “S” for Satisfactory, the new reports provide parents with a better understanding as to what knowledge their children have mastered, and what needs more attention. 

•    The expansion of the Special Education department’s CHOICE program, which provides greater support for select high school students at risk of not graduating on time, to all high schools following the milestone of reaching 100% success with last year’s participants;

•    A project that will allow parents access to the State’s database of all State testing data for their child;

•    The start of monthly “digital learning days” for all grades in all CCSD schools to increase blended learning.  These days also will test and refine the planned use of the Canvas learning management system next school year for continued instruction during inclement weather school closings;

•    The expansion of the high school course/unit credit recovery program, which allows high school students to retake a portion of a failed class as opposed to the entire class;

•    The revamp of the Senior Project to the Senior Capstone, a shorter project that is more focused on student growth without the need for a final product.  Students will spend one semester, instead of the whole year, either exploring a post-secondary plan (college or career); or solving a real-world problem; or focusing on leadership skills.  The project still will involve research and culminate with a presentation to a board of community representatives; and,

•    The continued review of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs to increase high school student participation and completion of Career Pathways, and ensure course offerings are aligned with industry needs.
The School Board also:
• Recognized CCSD’s 2018 Special Olympics State Winter and Summer Games Gold Medal Recipients;

• Recognized Etowah High School for earning the Model Professional Learning Community at Work Honor from Solution Tree;

• Recognized Clark Creek ES STEM Academy as recipient of 2018 SSTAGE (Student Support Team Association for Georgia Educators) Star Award for Promising Practices at the Elementary School Level;

• Recognized CCSD seventh-graders who achieved Grand or State recognition through the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP);

• Recognized State and Regional champions from the Sequoyah HS and Woodstock HS track teams;

• Recognized CCSD’s Georgia PTA State-level award winners;

• Recognized the 2018-19 Student Advisor to School Board and Student Delegates;

• Approved a new Partnership Agreement with LGE Community Credit Union, which formalizes the organization’s financial sponsorship of several special CCSD events for students and begins several new programs including the opportunity for high schools to raise funds through a school spirit credit card;

• Approved the renewal of the Partnership Agreement with American Legion Posts 45 and 316 and their Auxiliary Units, which includes new tenets including the introduction of a special graduation cord to be presented by the Legion to graduating seniors who are entering military service;

• Approved monthly financial reports;

• Approved the annual local plan for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education programs and Fiscal Year 2019 funding application;

• Approved out-of-state travel and out-of-state and overnight field trips;

• Approved special lease agreements;

• Approved monthly capital outlay projects report; and,

• Approved monthly personnel report.
Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018

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