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District News

Thomas County Schools help fight childhood cancer CURE photo

The Thomas County School System decided to "GO GOLD" in September which was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Faculty, staff and students wore gold or yellow on Friday, September 3, to share awareness and show support for kids and families impacted by childhood cancer. Each school in the system also participated in Caps for CURE by paying one dollar to wear a hat on Friday. Thomas County Schools raised a total of $2,125.68. The money raised was donated to CURE Childhood Cancer. Sharon Johnson visited the school system recently to accept the check on behalf of CURE. 

Learning the ropes at Hand-In-Hand HnH hung

Kindergarten students in Holli Rossi’s class learned procedures and expectations in various areas of Hand-In-Hand Primary School during the first weeks of the year. Students used problem solving skills and had fun on a scavenger hunt around the school to find the beloved children’s book character, Pete the Cat. Pictured from left to right are Braylon Cole, Skylar Keaton, and Cameron Everett.

Blowing their minds with the wind Tarin

First graders in Cyndi Tarin’s class at Garrison-Pilcher made windsocks as a culminating activity of a two week unit that focused on weather, seasons, and tools used to measure weather. Students visited one of many outdoor learning areas at Garrison-Pilcher to use the windsocks to determine the direction that the wind was blowing.

Williams announces leadership changes for new 2021-2022 school year williams

In July, the Thomas County School Board approved administrative personnel changes for the new school year upon the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Lisa Williams.

Brecca Pope has been named Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. In her new role, she will continue to support the district with a primary focus on human resources.  

Pope has worked with the Thomas County School System since 1999.  She served in Thomas County as a Speech Language Pathologist at Cross Creek, as assistant principal at Hand-In-Hand Primary School, and as assistant principal at Cross Creek before joining the district office administrative team. Pope is currently working on her doctorate degree in educational leadership.

GaDOE Awards $3,754,352 to Thomas County Schools in Second Round of L4GA Literacy Grants TCMS library

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) awarded the Thomas County School System $3,754,352 over four years to advance literacy efforts. During this second round of Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA),  grants were awarded to 23 school districts totaling $22,101,554. 

Curriculum Director Robin Cartright “We are excited to again be awarded the L4GA grant as it allows us to provide literacy opportunities to our students and to our community. Through previous grant awards, we have implemented literacy initiatives and provided books and other texts that have led to stronger readers, and I have no doubt this will continue with the current grant award.”

Dr. Lisa Williams, Superintendent of Thomas County Schools stated, “I commend the extraordinary collaboration among our district and school level faculty in preparing the grant. It’s because of their exceptional teamwork that our system was awarded the L4GA literacy grant. The funds received from the grant will go a long way in helping our system to continue its focus on overall literacy improvement."

As a recipient of the Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant, Thomas County Schools will focus on creating plans for children from birth to 12th grade. Additionally, the school will partner with the community to support early literacy for all local children.

AP Excellence: TCCHS students, teachers earn high pass rates, exam scores AP logo

Thomas County Central High School Advanced Placement program excelled in its 2020-2021 end-of-course exams and overall course success rates.

TCCHS had 146 students test. Of the 243 exams given, the school has the scores for 235 of them currently. To pass an AP exam, one must score a 3 or higher. TCCHS students earned this ranking in 186, or 79.1 percent of its tests: 84 3s, 69 4s, and 33 5s. Also, 39 students achieved AP Scholar status.

“AP scores are a huge hit this year,” Assistant Principal Jim Rehberg, who supervises the school’s AP program, said. “The teachers and students really hit a home run.”

According to the College Board, which creates and coordinates AP content, scores declined last year due to COVID-19 restrictions that impacted instruction. However, despite the rumblings of negative outcomes worldwide, Rehberg said TCCHS defied the odds. For example, the College Board’s AP Score Report lists the global average pass rate for AP Psychology at 53.9 percent and the Georgia pass rate only a few points higher at 56.4 percent; however, the TCCHS pass rate was 88 percent, more than 30 points higher than the world and state averages.

Thomas County Board of Education rolls back school property taxes for 2021 millage rate property tax decrease

The Thomas County Board of Education has tentatively approved a rollback millage rate of 13.804 mills for 2021, a 2.4% reduction from the 2020 millage rate.

The proposed millage rate marks the ninth year in a row that the county board of education has reduced the school property tax rate. Thomas County School’s 2020 millage rate of 14.139 was the 34th lowest out of 180 school districts that can levy a tax, placing it in the bottom 19% of districts in the state.  The state average school property tax rate for 2020 was 16.14 mills.  Since school districts are in the process of adopting millage rates, comparison rates for 2021 are not yet available, but the school system’s proposed roll back rate is expected to once again be among the lowest property tax rates in the state.

TCCHS’ Jackson places at highest level of FBLA competition Bishop Jackson

Thomas County Central High School student Bishop Jackson earned a world ranking at this summer’s 2021 Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference and Competition. A sophomore when he began advancing through the competition ranks, Jackson achieved 10th place in Coding & Programming.

Jackson, now a junior, felt excited about his win and said he was pleasantly surprised with his result.

“I did not expect to place so high, competing against people from all across the world,” he said. “It means so much to me that the judges believed my project stood out among others.”

TCCHS FBLA chapter adviser Nick Haskin said more than 14,000 students and competitors participated in the conference this year. Placing at national competition is a noteworthy feat any year, he continued, but considering Jackson’s grade level at the time, it’s quite an accomplishment.

“Bishop competed against competitors throughout the nation and other nations throughout the world,” Haskin said. “To place at NLC as a senior is extremely hard; to place at NLC against mostly seniors as just a sophomore … Bishop Jackson has achieved quite a feat!”

For his category, Jackson had to create a standalone computer program that quizzes the user about FBLA.