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3/20/20 Message from the Superintendent

Posted On: Friday, March 20, 2020

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Dear #CCSDfam, 

I have never been as proud to serve as your Superintendent as I have been this week.

Our CCSD community always rises to overcome challenges and meet needs, whether it’s a family devastated by a house fire or a student who can’t afford eyeglasses.  And our students and educators always impress me with their daily hard work that has resulted in admirable academic, athletic, and artistic accomplishments.

But this week, as you know, has tested every part of our great School District’s operations, as well as the resiliency and patience of every one of us.

In this test, you have exceeded expectations – in a way no exam or evaluation could ever measure.

To our community as a whole, I say “thank you,” as you are again showing your strength and care.  Our nonprofit community partners, who never let us down, are doing more than ever before.  And so are you ... in just a few days, you’ve already given $17,000 to our #CCSDserves fund to distribute to-go meals for our kids in need – an amazing total. 

To our employees, I say “thank you,” and hope that those words are being repeated throughout our community by everyone reading this message.  You are working hard – creating lessons for a digital world, making to-go meals for hungry kids, cleaning our schools, keeping payroll running … doing your best and then more.  You are “clocking in” at 6 a.m. and not stopping until after midnight.  You are calling kids, video-conferencing with kids, and praying for kids.  And many of you are doing this while also taking care of your own families.  You, and what you are doing, matters – a whole lot.

To our students, I say “thank you,” and hope you know we recognize this isn’t easy for you.  Do not worry if you can’t figure something out on your own … ask your teacher for help.  We all want you to succeed.  We know you miss your friends, the special moments now cancelled, and the care you feel at school each day.  We miss you, too, and hope every day that we’re one step closer to overcoming this challenge.  

To our parents and families, I say “thank you” – you are taking on more than has ever been asked of you as far as your children’s education.  Please know that we don’t expect you to be a teacher.  Our teachers will continue to create lessons, answer students’ questions and help them through this time.  The posted teacher “office hours” are when they are to be solely focused on responding to your emails, but you always can reach out to them … please just be patient for a response.  Please don’t be stressed out by other families’ successes – everyone is coming to this situation with different skills and stresses.  I doubt I could do this perfectly as a parent, much less copy all the extra ideas I’m seeing on social media.  Our teachers know that this isn’t easy for you, and that I expect us all to be patient and extend grace.   
That really is what is most important during this challenge: to be patient with each other and extend grace.  We are all in this together.

Thank you for everything, 

Dr. Brian V. Hightower
Superintendent of Schools

Technology support: If you are without a computer for your child to use to complete Digital Learning Day assignments, please email your child’s teacher.  We have limited additional technology available for students who missed Friday’s check-out process.  Receiving this technology will require coming to the school with your child at a specific time that will be set by the school’s Principal and technology specialist.  If your child already is using a CCSD laptop and you experience issues with the device, please contact your child’s teacher so he or she can request support from our Technology department.  Comcast is offering free Internet access, and information is posted on our resource page at https://www.cherokeek12.net/content/bulletin-board 

Canvas support: If you are having issues accessing or using Canvas, please first check our webpage at https://www.cherokeek12.net/Content2/canvas for answers; if you still need assistance, please email our Canvas help desk staff at canvas.support@cherokeek12.net    

#CCSDserves To-Go Meal Distribution: In addition to expanding sites to include Creekview HS and River Ridge HS starting on Monday, we are adding a site at the shopping center at 551 Marietta Road, Canton, 30114 (between Scott Mill Road and Harmon Circle), where distribution will take place at noon on Mondays.  The full list of sites and schedule of delivery times is posted at http://bit.ly/CCSDserves    

New way to support #CCSDserves: In addition to opening online donations this week at http://bit.ly/CCSDgiveonline, you now also can transfer unspent funds in your child’s account to help those in need.  Use the form online at http://bit.ly/CCSDpayfwd choose “Pay It Forward” and email it to us.

MUST Ministries food pantries at CCSD Schools: MUST Ministries will be distributing food from its food pantries at Cherokee HS, Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy and Oak Grove ES Fine Arts Academy to families already served by those programs.  If you are not already participating in one of those schools’ food pantries, please contact MUST (https://www.mustministries.org/) about picking up food from its main food pantry in Canton.

Other information and resources: We are continuously updating our webpage at https://www.cherokeek12.net/content/bulletin-board with information and resources.

#SafeCherokee #CCSDfam

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