Possible pay boosts for teachers from state and awards highlighted the agenda of the Carroll County Schools Board of Education monthly meeting held Thursday night at the system’s Performing Arts Center.
There was no response during the usual public input portion of the meeting that usually leads off the sessions, since no one, other than a few members of student groups who were recognized for recent achievements and a lone member of the local press, were in attendance.
However, system teachers will be pleased to learn, according to Cowart who stays in close touch withy local legislators, that a $2,000 pay boost is being proposed by state officials for public school educators, as well as a $1,000 pay bump for non-certified personnel.
“We are looking to do something from the system level as well, and that could possibly be up for discussion at the next meeting or soon thereafter following the end of current legislative session,” Cowart said.
Other business during the January board session included:
• recognition of Mrs. Jennifer Earnest, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) educator at Sand Hill Elementary School, was recently recognized with the Student Life Impact Award from Scaly Adventures. the organization seeks to recognize the achievements and excellence in the field of education, particularly in the STEAM learning.
• Central Middle School won first place, Bay Springs Middle second, and Temple Middle third at recent Middle and High School District Academic Competition.Villa Rica High won first place, and Mount Zion High and Central High placed second and third, respectively.
• The Central High Wrestling Team won the 7-AAAA Championship, and Villa Rica High claimed the Region 7-AAAAA title.
• Carroll County Schools is currently conducting kindergarten registration for the 2022-23 school year, and Pre-K registration is scheduled for February 21-March 4.
• Carroll County Schools will participate in the West Georgia Community Foundation’s “On the Table” event on February 9 that will be held in various locations throughout the county. the school system will host discussions in each cluster of schools. The locations and times will be sent out soon.
• Upcoming Dates of Importance include January 17, MLK Observance (schools closed); February 1, Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic; February 10, Chamber of Commerce Gala; February 14-18, Winter Break; February 21, Board Work Session; and February 24, Monthly board Meeting.
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES-GEORGIAN
Bay Springs Middle School and Central Elementary School are the two most recent Carroll County Schools to earn National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Certification. Central Elementary will hold its National STEM Certification event on January 31st. The following is a list of Carroll County Schools that are STEM certified.
District STEM Certified Schools
National STEM Certified Schools
International STEM Certified School
Bay Springs ElementaryBay Springs Middle School was recently named a Nationally STEM Certified Campus by the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE). BSMS has now joined an elite group of certified STEM campuses in Carroll County that have earned this prestigious recognition for implementing 21st-century learning and STEM strategies that transform school culture and maximize student achievement. Only 2% of schools in the nation are nationally STEM certified.
In addition to BSMS becoming a NISE National STEM Campus, six teachers also earned their individual STEM certification: Lauren Cramer, Brittany Miller, Megahn Hill, Whitney Whitfield, Rachel Tucker, and Diane Trantham. Also, Principal, Brad Corbett, and Assistant Principal, Keisha Mitchell are National STEM certified administrators.
“We are proud of Bay Springs Middle School’s commitment to making STEM education a priority for our students,” shared Scott Cowart, Superintendent of Carroll County School System. “Providing premier opportunities and real-world experiences directly connects to the district’s initiative of encouraging students to be future-focused.”
Dr. Marissa Prather, Director of Professional Learning and Middle Schools added, “Partnering with the National Institute for STEM Education enhances instructional practices to prepare students to think outside the box and have a growth mindset. It is a pleasure to help lead our schools through the STEM certification process knowing the many long-term benefits 21-century learning has for our students as they prepare to be enrolled, employed, enlisted, and engaged in our community.”
The district continues to be a leader in STEM education with 10 District STEM certified schools, 9 Nationally STEM certified schools, and 1 Internationally STEM certified elementary school. Carroll County School System is one of only three districts in Georgia to have a District STEM certification process and the only system in the state with a STEAM certification process.
Central ElementaryCentral Elementary School was recently named a Nationally STEM Certified Campus by the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE). CES has now joined an elite group of certified STEM campuses in Carroll County that have earned this prestigious recognition for implementing 21st-century learning and STEM strategies that transform school culture and maximize student achievement. Only 2% of schools in the nation are nationally STEM certified.
In addition to CES becoming a NISE National STEM Campus, five teachers also earned their individual STEM certification: Andrea Brown, Casey Chadwick, Courtney Chastain, Kate Nicholson, and Rosemary Thigpen. Also, Principal, Matthew Huckeba, and Assistant Principal, Venus Swatek are National STEM certified administrators.
“STEM education is a priority in Carroll County,” shared Scott Cowart, Superintendent of Carroll County School System. “Having the opportunity for even our youngest students to have access to hands-on, real-world experiences encourages them to be goal oriented and have a growth mindset. These practices will serve as a strong foundation for creating a lifelong love of learning.”
Dr. Marissa Prather, Director of Professional Learning and Middle Schools added, “Integrating science, technology, engineering, and math into premier experiences to engage students helps prepare them for advanced opportunities in a variety of career fields. I am grateful to help lead the innovative and creative instructional practices that make our district premier.”
The district continues to be a leader in STEM education with 10 District STEM certified schools, 10 Nationally STEM certified schools, and 1 Internationally STEM certified elementary school. Carroll County School System is one of only three districts in Georgia to have a District STEM certification process and the only system in the state with a STEAM certification process.
School Certification RequirementsThe National Certification for STEM Education (NCSE) recognizes individual school campuses for their commitment to — and growth in —teachers’ implementation of 21st-century and STEM strategies. Evolving from STEM professional development and curriculum created at Rice University, the National Institute for STEM Education certification process integrates the most recent research and best practices in STEM, 21st-century learning, and professional development.
The National Institute for STEM Education is more than a certifying body. NISE is a support system for campuses seeking to improve their implementation of STEM practices. With the support of an experienced STEM leadership coach, Dr. Marissa Prather, campuses craft and implement a STEM Action Plan to become an even stronger 21st-century STEM campus.
Teacher Certification RequirementsThe National Institute for STEM Education offers the STEM Teaching Certification and provides a flexible pathway for teachers wanting recognition—and support—for further refining their instruction by integrating high-yield STEM and 21st-century learning strategies. The National Certification for STEM Teaching (NCST) recognizes STEM professionals for their expertise in education.
Participants are guided through the development of a portfolio that demonstrates proficiency across 15 fundamental Teacher Actions essential to STEM learning. Teachers increase knowledge of STEM instruction and are applying these skills in their classrooms. Once enrolled, participants are guided through the development of a portfolio that demonstrates proficiency across 15 teacher actions essential to STEM learning.
NISE certification is competency-based, therefore teachers are required to demonstrate proficiency through their portfolio, self-evaluation, documentation, and examinations of student work.
Although a weather advisory that is predicting some portions of northern Georgia will receive as much as 10 or more inches of snow, forecast models by the National Weather Service in Atlanta showed Friday afternoon that only the far northern tip of Carroll County should get any frozen precipitation if any precipitation, and it will be minimal.
At least, that is what the meteorologists were stating in print and over the airways.
No matter what falls from the skies here this weekend, however, Carroll County government officials are staying apprised of the latest winter weather advisories and warnings that are being issues for all areas of the state, particularly the west Georgia region. The following statement was sent to the Times-Georgian on Friday afternoon:
“Carroll County officials joined in the latest National Weather Service (NWS) Special Weather Briefing Friday afternoon to discuss the continued probability for possible winter precipitation this weekend. Confidence is continuing to increase for a significant winter storm across North Georgia, beginning late Saturday night — with impacts being felt into Monday. Freezing rain (ice) and/or snow very likely north of I-20, possible for areas just south of I-20. Amounts continue to be dependent on the track of the “surface low” and how far south and west the “wedge” (cold air damming) progresses. Winter Storm Watches (Warnings) will likely be expanded later today into tonight. Limited impacts are also forecast now for Cleburne and North Randolph County, Alabama
“”Wind gusts Sunday and Sunday night could be as high as 30 miles per hour which could impact any ice coated tree limbs and power lines. Minimal to no impacts generally along and south of a Columbus to Macon line. This forecast will be refined as we get closer to Saturday evening. Please monitor this situation this weekend and make preparations prior to Saturday evening for a possible winter weather event. We will keep you updated with the latest briefings throughout the weekend.”
However, should the local area get any amount of snow or ice that could possibly hamper driving, the operation of city and county schools would not be affected on Monday since schools will be closed for the annual Martin Luther King Day Observance.
A few major snow and ice storms have hit Carrollton and Carroll County in the last 20 years. Longtime residents may remember “Snowmageddon” that occurred on January 28, 2014 in which a moderate snowfall of less than 3-inches still managed to shut down Atlanta and many of the surrounding areas.
And then there was the “Storm of the Century” in 1993 that spawned all kinds of severe weather during the March 12-14 period that still holds the record for the costliest winter storm ever recorded in the United States with more than $8 billion in damages. Fifteen deaths in Georgia were attributed to the storm. In the Carroll County area, businesses and schools were closed for three days, and grocery shelves were stripped of the usual “essentials” of milk and bread and numerous non-food items such as flashlights and batteries.
But even though the folks who are paid to predict the weather say that west Georgians should be aware, but not overly concerned about another “Snow Jam” here, check store shelves, especially those milk and bread counters, to get the most accurate read on how much stock area citizens put into weather forecasts when it comes to snow, sleet and ice.
“Yes, I know a lot of Yankees laugh at us southerners when it comes to snow,” one food shopper said Friday, “but don’t quote me on that. I was a Boy Scout, so I am going to be prepared.”
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES-GEORGIAN
Ben Chambers has been named by the Carroll County School System 24STRONG Team as a communications specialist. Chambers will be serving at the district level and will report to Charity Aaron, Director of Partnerships and Communication.
“We are very excited that Ben is joining our Communications Team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in marketing, community engagement, and strategic planning,” shared Aaron.
Chambers’ duties will include managing multi-platform marketing campaigns, district promotions, events, and activities. Additionally, he will serve as the liaison between school administrators and the Director of Partnerships and Communication.
Scott Cowart, Superintendent of Carroll County School System commented, “Adding this position to our communications team provides us with the opportunity to strategically plan for growth in our schools and the communities we serve. We are passionate about being a leader in innovation and creativity as we engage with Carroll County families. Ben’s background in working in education coupled with his strong community relationships will continue to advance our communications initiatives and will support the district’s vision of being premier.”
Chambers is a seasoned communications professional with 20 years of experience in local public service. He most recently served as the Director of Public Relations and Information for West Georgia Technical College.
Additionally, he is actively involved in a number of organizations, including the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Partners Advancing Student Success.
Chambers holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Shorter College, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) certification as a public information officer and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training on incident command and emergency management for higher education.
He is a Bowdon native, and he and his wife, Allison, have two daughters.
“My family and I are proud of our roots in the community, and I am excited to join the Carroll County Schools team,” Chambers said.
“Effective communication is essential in continuing to build premier schools. We are going to work hard to enhance the great work that is already being done while we identify and implement new strategies to better connect with parents, students, and community stakeholders,” he noted.
24STRONG is the the school system’s initiative to be unified in its direction, culture, values, beliefs, processes and practices to ensure all students receive a premier educational experience in the system’s unique communities..
The Carroll County Schools currently serve more than 15,000 students in schools located in Bowdon, Carrollton, Mount Zion, Roopville, Temple, Villa Rica and Whitesburg.