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InVenture a Great Experience for Elementary Students

Source: Cobb County Schools

 

This year, the Georgia Tech InVenture Challenge was open to elementary students for the first time. Students from four elementary schools — Cheatham Hill Elementary School, Due West Elementary School, Mountain View Elementary School and Murdock Elementary School — competed and explained their innovative inventions on campus. Students created useful new products like the Cold To Go, which keeps ice cream cold in a portable container.

The InVenture Challenge introduces young students to the world of engineering and entrepreneurship, and pushes them to be creative, out of the box thinkers and problem solvers. Nancy Ernstes, a gifted teacher at Cheatham Hill Elementary says of the experience, “This process really relates well to all of our standards, and we like for students to collaborate and come up with real world ideas.” She says the challenge enables the young inventors to believe that their ideas are powerful and can change the world.

(See more at: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=9604#sthash.GGP5attJ.dpuf)

 

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Cobb Schools Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

 

“This is the week we recognize the remarkable contributions of our teachers, among the best in the country,” Superintendent Ragsdale said as Teacher Appreciation Week kicked off in Cobb.

“Our teachers are doing great work, and they should be celebrated every day for the excellence we see in Cobb classrooms. I want to say thank you to all of our teachers for their dedication, their expertise, and the great work they do with students every day. The success of our school district is a result of the work our teachers are doing.”

May 4-8 marks Teacher Appreciation Week, which is being celebrated through hashtag #thankagateacher, as well as through statewide notes of appreciation.

 

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Cobb Schools’ KiDtalk Contest First of its Kind

The Cobb County School District is running a student contest that is the first of its kind. Designed to give students the forum to share their groundbreaking ideas to an audience of their teachers, the contest invites students in all grades and of all ages to record a “talk” that focuses on great, innovative, and interesting ideas from the minds of kids.

Called KiDtalk, the K is for Knowledge, the I for Innovation and the D for Deeper Learning. Knowledge, Innovation and Deeper Learning are three essential components of teaching and learning for Cobb students, according to Director of Instruction and Innovation, Melissa Morse. “This is a perfect combination of engaging student learning, using relevant social and video platforms to keep the connection real for students and letting student voice inspire. Our students love the challenge of high-level learning and the KiDtalk contest is the perfect forum for students of any age to make their thinking relevant and their insight be heard.”

KiDtalk is inspired by the hugely successful online presentation forum known as TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment and Design) which feature innovative thinkers and leaders from around the world, sharing their ideas and expertise, free of charge. The power of TED Talks is unmatched and this innovative contest with student voice at its heart puts the power in the hands of those who know student learning best: the students themselves.

Seventh grader, Justin Johnson, recorded the KiDtalk model. He says KiDtalk is the perfect forum for Cobb students. “It’s a great way for us, the students, to have teachers and all grown-ups, really, understand where we’re coming from, what we’re saying, how we can impact our community and our world.” Johnson is breaking new ground in teaching and learning through his pioneering presentation about KiDtalk. The emphasis in Cobb Schools’ classrooms is on student learning engagement and taking it to newer, deeper levels. Through the simple question of “Why not?” students are encouraged to embrace the theme that allows them to aspire, inspire and achieve through video recordings they make to tell their story.

For Justin Johnson, the opportunity to record his own KiDtalk is a dream come true. “I’m so excited to be able to record my own talk, and to hopefully get my peers excited about deeper learning and student engagement. Asking “Why not?” is something kids do all the time… why not put it to good use?” Johnson says he’s hopeful his peers will want to enter not only for the fun of the contest but also to practice presenting and speaking on video, just like the global leaders found on TED Talks.

The contest is open to all students in Cobb County Schools (grades K-12). The videos are limited to a maximum time of 10 minutes. Students can submit their videos until May 11, 2015, when online voting begins to determine the top ten videos submitted. From that top ten list, a panel of judges picks the overall winner of the best KiDtalk in the district. The winner is the special guest and featured student speaker joins one of the country’s foremost authorities on student aspirations and voice, Dr. Russ Quaglia at the 2015-16 Cobb County School District Teacher Kick-off.

 

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Relay for Life & Cobb Schools team up

Relay Captain, K-12 Math Supervisor Michelle Mikes (in blue) with her Relay team and CCSD supporters

 

Cobb Schools’ Relay for Life team celebrated a weekend of caring with fundraising and photos!

“We have the best employees — they always put their heart into the Relay campaign, and as a district, we are showing how much we care for our community through these acts of support,” said Michelle Mikes, K-12 Math Supervisor and CCSD Relay Team Captain.

“The luminaria dedication ceremony is always especially meaningful and emotional for everyone. Cobb staff are showing their support for loved ones through personally designed luminaria bags, and we hold fundraising events throughout the year. Our staff has been tremendous again this year, raising almost $7,000 for Relay. Thank you to everyone who contributes and volunteers at Jim Miller Park.”

The CCSD team attended the annual event atJim Miller Parkthis weekend. The event continues to bring supporters in the fight against cancer together for a walk that honors survivors and lives lost to the disease.

 

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Cobb Named a 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District

Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees.

The Cobb County School District is thrilled to be recognized for its important commitment to sustainable practices. This award celebrates the district’s longstanding dedication to reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of all who enjoy teaching, learning and working in our schools, and effective environmental education. Cobb schools are recognized for their leadership in environmental stewardship, health and sustainability and for inspiring everyone in the district to aim high.

Cobb County School District’s excellence in sustainability is well recognized in the U.S. Department of Education’s Three Pillars of environmental achievement:

  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. Provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale says, “As one of only 14 districts of the over 13,000 nationwide, it is a distinct honor to receive this award. This is reflective of our District’s commitment to building and maintaining schools that are both healthy and economically efficient.”

Deputy Superintendent, John Adams, oversees district operations. He says, “This is a significant achievement for our district and one that we all greatly appreciate.”

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. Within Cobb County Schools, Big Shanty Intermediate School is also recognized as a Green Ribbon School.

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement.”

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of 81 total selectees includes 52 public schools and six private schools. The list of all selected schools and districts as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 81 honorees can be foundhere. More information on the award can be found here. More about Cobb County Schools can be found here.

(Source: Cobb County Schools) 

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Cobb County School District is giving our students Office for FREE

 

In order to help students prepare for success, Cobb County Schools is providing Microsoft Office 365 to every student free of charge. With Office 365, your child will now have access to the latest version of Word for writing;

Excel for spreadsheets; PowerPoint for presentations; OneNote for organization and note taking; and much more!

  • Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs plus 5 mobile devices.
  • Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software.
  • Office 365 subscription lasts for as long as your child is a student in Cobb County Schools and the program continues.

Your child will need his/her new Office 365 account information to sign in. You will receive your new account information via email after you accept the terms and conditions.

Parents of Cobb County students should have received an email with installation instructions. If you haven’t received this email or have questions, please contact your child’s school.

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Cobb Schools’ Hiring Fair 2-6pm TODAY

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Set up and last minute preparations are underway on site at McEachern HS for Cobb County Schools’ Hiring Fair for certified teachers. Overwhelming response prompted a venue change to accommodate the expected numbers, according to Kevin Kiger, Executive Director of Employment. “We have so much interest in coming to work for our district that we are moving the event to McEachern High School to handle the volume of applicants. The larger capacity of McEachern allows us to give applicants a better experience and the event a touch of Cobb. Right now, we have more than 1,500 people registered to attend. It’s amazing!” Potential candidates have been in contact with HR from across the country.

It’s the first hiring fair in 8 years for Cobb County Schools. “This is an amazing district in which to work. As the 2nd largest school system in the state we offer teacher candidates a great place to live, work and play,” said Kiger. “This tremendous response is not only a sign that there is a healthy job market for employment in education but also a sign of Cobb’s well-known reputation for excellence. Our teacher support programs are second to none and our staff development and New Teacher Institute provide the professional foundation for a long and successful career in education.”

Kiger says several hundred new, certified teaching positions will be available at all levels of instruction. The Educator Hiring Fair puts teachers face to face with school administrators in a relaxed, personal setting giving both the opportunity to talk directly about teaching and learning in the diverse, dynamic district. Cobb County schools have more than 111,000 students, in thriving, suburban neighborhoods. The Cobb County School District is the county’s largest employer, with more than 13,500 employees.

“All schools will be attending the Hiring Fair,” according to Kiger, “so it’s an ideal time for potential members of the Cobb teaching family to make a great first impression on principals, who will be there to meet the candidates first hand and to set up interviews. It’s still a competitive market; we’re looking for the best educators in the state to join the Cobb team.” Kiger adds that new hires will benefit not only from the opportunity to work with what he considers the best school district in the Southeast but also from the support of the well-respected and highly-regarded teaching staff. “Our mission is Creating and Supporting Pathways for Success and our teachers do that every day – it’s evidenced by our educators’ commitment to the district focus: One Team, One Goal: Student Success. Our teachers are the key to putting our students on a pathway to success now and in the future.”

Kiger says if potential teacher candidates need more incentive, they can consider that Cobb teachers are consistently recognized as leaders in education. Over fifty percent of the teachers in Cobb County hold advanced degrees and approximately one hundred teachers are National Board Certified. CCSD’s commitment to 21st century digital and multimedia learning is well-known, with technology-rich classrooms, the latest education technology in the hands of every student and teacher as well as personal laptop computers for teachers to support cutting-edge classroom instruction. “It just doesn’t get any better than teaching in Cobb,” Kiger says, “so we’re very excited to meet the next group of exemplary educators who are ready to join the Cobb family!”

More information about teaching for Cobb County Schools can be found at http://www.teachcobb.com/index.html.

  Cobb County School District Educator Hiring Fair
TODAY: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
2-6pm
McEachern High School,
2400 New Macland Road Powder Springs, 30127

 

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Celebrating Success: Governor’s Honors Program

The Cobb County School District has the highest number of Governor’s Honors Program student finalists in the state. Ninety-seven students from 15 Cobb County High Schools have been selected by the state to participate in the 2015 Governor’s Honors Program.

For four weeks during the summer, this select group of students will participate in challenging and enriching educational experiences at Valdosta State University in Math, Communicative Arts, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Technology. Cobb’s list of student finalists offers 15 more finalists than last year, and 11 more finalists than any previous year.

More than 3,000 students statewide, representing 1% of all sophomores and juniors in public, private, and home schools, were nominated last fall. In January, the state selected  approximately 2,000 semi-finalists who were then invited to attended state-level interviews in January and February where panels of judges determined the 679 finalists. Congratulations to our finalists!

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Cobb Schools adding hundreds of new teachers, Hiring fair is April 15

Cobb County Schools

For the first time in 8 years, Cobb County Schools is holding a major hiring fair to recruit new teachers to the District. The District Hiring Fair will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, from 2-6pm at Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080.

“This is an amazing district in which to work. As the 2nd largest school system in the state we offer teacher candidates a great place to live, work and play,” said Kevin Kiger, Executive Director of Employment. “Our teacher support programs are second to none and our staff development and New Teacher Institute provide the professional foundation for a long and successful career in education.”

Kiger says several hundred new, certified teaching positions will be available at all levels of instruction. The Educator Hiring Fair puts teachers face to face with school administrators in a relaxed, personal setting giving both the opportunity to talk directly about teaching and learning in the diverse, dynamic district. Cobb County schools have more than 111,000 students, in thriving, suburban neighborhoods. The Cobb County School District is the county’s largest employer, with more than 13,500 employees.

“All schools will be attending the Hiring Fair,” according to Kiger, “so it’s an ideal time for potential members of the Cobb teaching family to make a great first impression on principals, who will be there to meet the candidates first hand and to set up interviews. It’s still a competitive market; we’re looking for the best educators in the state to join the Cobb team.” Kiger adds that new hires will benefit not only from the opportunity to work with what he considers the best school district in the Southeast but also from the support of the well-respected and highly-regarded teaching staff. “Our mission is Creating and Supporting Pathways for Success and our teachers do that every day – it’s evidenced by our educators’ commitment to the district focus: One Team, One Goal: Student Success. Our teachers are the key to putting our students on a pathway to success now and in the future.”

Kiger says if potential teacher candidates need more incentive, they can consider that Cobb teachers are consistently recognized as leaders in education. Over fifty percent of the teachers in Cobb County hold advanced degrees and approximately one hundred teachers are National Board Certified. CCSD’s commitment to 21st century digital and multimedia learning is well-known, with technology-rich classrooms, the latest education technology in the hands of every student and teacher as well as personal laptop computers for teachers to support cutting-edge classroom instruction. “It just doesn’t get any better than teaching in Cobb,” Kiger says, “so we’re very excited to meet the next group of exemplary educators who are ready to join the Cobb family!”

More information about teaching for Cobb County Schools can be found at http://www.teachcobb.com/index.html.

*Keep on top of what is going on in East Cobb County! Our weekly E-newsletter keeps you informed, for FREE! Sign up for the EAST COBBER E-newsletter by clicking here.

 

Sixteen Cobb High Schools Named 2015 Georgia Advanced Placement Honor Schools

Cobb Thumb

 

All 16 Cobb County high schools were named Georgia Advanced Placement (AP®) Honor Schools by the state Department of Education. The program recognizes Georgia schools that have increased access to rigorous AP coursework, based on the results of 2014 AP classes and exams.

The 2015 AP Honor Schools are named in five categories, based on the results of 2014 AP courses and exams.

New this year is the AP Humanities category, in which schools have students tested in all of the following AP courses: at least one ELA course, two social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.

AP Humanities Schools are those with students who test in at least 1 ELA course, 2 social science courses, 1 fine arts course and 1 world language course. Cobb Schools qualifying in this new category are Allatoona, Campbell, Harrison, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, McEachern, North Cobb, Pebblebrook, Pope, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler.

Two categories honor schools encouraging participation in AP Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) coursework. Allatoona, Campbell, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, McEachern, North Cobb, Osborne, Pebblebrook, Pope, South Cobb, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler were named AP STEM Schools for having students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science).

Allatoona, Kell, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, North Cobb, Pope, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler were also named to the AP STEM Achievement Schools list for also having at least 40 percent of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of three (3) or higher.

AP Merit Schools had at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least half of all AP exams earning scores of three (3) or higher; Harrison, Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, North Cobb, Pope, Sprayberry and Walton high schools met the criteria for the AP Merit category.

Campbell, North Cobb and McEachern were recognized as AP Access and Support Schools for having least 30 percent of their AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African-American and/or Hispanic and 30 percent of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

In all, 609 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools were named by State School Superintendent Richard Woods. The Georgia Department of Education began recognizing AP Honor Schools in 2008.

For more information about our Advanced Learning Programs, visit http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/curriculum/AdvancedLearning.aspx.