We are well into the month of October and the first nine weeks of school have been completed. The newness of the school year is behind us, classroom routines are in place, and the focus on teaching and learning is clearly observable in each of our schools.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers, staff, and administration for your willingness to do the critical work required for our school district to achieve its vision of becoming "world class." The magnitude of this work can be humbling, but in our determination to see it through, all of our students will benefit.

Looking at the October calendar, I won't say we have a "busy" month ahead as we can look or feel busy without actually accomplishing much. Instead, I will say that October is filled with many important events and activities. Some of these include:

1.     Georgia Pre-K Week - Last week was the 25th Anniversary of Georgia Pre-K Week and Paul J. Blackwell Learning Center was full of excitement and activities. Each year, Pre-K Week brings together people from across the state to celebrate the importance of Georgia's Pre-K program and the lives of Georgia's youngest learners.

2.     Interim Assessments - Students across all grade levels are participating in their first round of interim assessments. These assessments allow the school district to check systemically on student learning and provide teachers with information for re-teaching and following up with students. Also of critical importance, interim assessments prepare students for the format and types of questions they will see on the Georgia Milestones Assessments at the end of the school year (end of the semester at ECCHS).

3.     Early Release/Parent Conference Day – Wednesday, October 11 is an Early Release Day for all Elbert County Students. All students in grades PK-8 will be released at 1:00 p.m. ECCHS students who are car-riders or drive their own vehicle may be released at 12:15 p.m. All bus riders at ECCHS will be released at 1:00 p.m.

Following the release of students, all schools will dedicate the afternoon, from 1:00 until 6:00 p.m., to parent-teacher conferences. Teachers will be contacting parents to schedule meeting times, but parents may also contact any Elbert County school to request a conference. Successful conferences provide parents and teachers the opportunity to work together as a team in order to help students. Thank you to all parents who are actively involved in their child’s education.

4.     REACH Georgia Scholarship Program - Our school district is entering Year 2 of participation in the REACH Georgia Scholarship Program. The REACH Georgia Scholarship Program – REACH, Realizing Educational Attainment Can Happen, aims to provide Georgia’s eligible, academically promising middle school students with the support needed to graduate high school and enter college. Scholars are identified in the fall of their 8 th grade year and receive academic and social support from 8 th grade through graduation. They receive a $10,000 scholarship funded in part by the state legislature and in part by Elbert County’s supporters. Signing Day for this year’s REACH Georgia Scholarship recipients will take place in the Elbert County Middle School Auditorium on Wednesday, October 11 at 11:00 a.m. More great information about the program is available at www.reachga.org .

5.     National Principals Month – Under the coordinated efforts of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the American Federation of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, October is designated as National Principals Month. It gives us a great opportunity to say “thank you” to all Elbert County School District principals. The key to student success is a great school, and one of the most important keys to a great school is a great principal.

Other important dates and events include:

  • Friends Helping Friends Club Basketball Game at ECCHS – October 10 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Fall Break - October 12-13
  • National Fire Prevention Week – October 8-14
  • Red Ribbon Week – October 23-27
  • NCAA Clearinghouse Meeting at ECCHS – October 23 at 6:30 p.m.