AP/Dual Enrollment Info Program is Tuesday
Students in Grades 8-11 along with their parents are encouraged to attend an information session on Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Tuesday, October 24 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program will be held in the Monroe County Fine Arts Center.
Monroe County Family Connection Needs Your Input: Please Complete this Survey
Monroe County Family Connection is currently administering a community needs assessment. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MonroeFCP.
Monroe Messages
Newsletter of Monroe County Schools
MCBOE Recognizes MCMS REACH Scholars
Congratulations to Monroe County Middle School students who are the first REACH Scholars of Monroe County Schools.  They are pictured above signing their contracts for the scholarship program.  
 
The following students are selected to be 2017-2018 REACH Scholars: Trenton Casler, Johanna Tafolla, Hannah Colvard, Mackenzie Hancock, and Johona Braswell. 
REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Georgia, is a mentoring and scholarship program designed to ensure Georgia's academically promising students with academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school and college prepared for work. Governor Nathan Deal launched REACH in 2012 and is Georgia's first public-private needs based scholarship opportunity.  REACH Scholars are pictured with their families below. 
REACH Scholar recipients must sign a contract committing to maintaining strong grades, remain drug and alcohol free, meet with their REACH mentor regularly, maintain good attendance and behavior, develop educational and career plans and graduate from high school. School Counselors recommend students for the REACH Program each fall, followed by an interview process conducted by local business and community leaders.  REACH Scholars are pictured below with (l-r) Assistant Superintendent Alicia Elder, Student Services Director Dr. Marcy Hunt-Harris, Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman, MCMS Principal Dr. Efrem Yarber, City of Forsyth Mayor Eric Wilson, MCBOE Chairman Nolen Howard, and Assistant Superintendent Jackson Daniel. 

It was a Great Week of Homecoming Activities!
Don't miss this week's Monroe County Schools Highlights Reel!  You'll see students, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, counselors, volunteers, school resource officers, media specialists, bus drivers, community members, and parents celebrating our students with lots of school spirit this past week!
MCBOE Recognizes KB Sutton Teachers for
Grant Awards Totaling $17,500
The Monroe County Board of Education recognized KB Sutton Elementary teachers at the Tuesday night meeting. Through the EcoLab Grant Program, the teachers attained $17,500 in grant funds to support classroom activities.  Grant winners are: Porscha Amest, Alisa Helms, Candice Lewis, Marquita Self, Misti Sikes, Julie Spence, Glennisha Watkins, and Kellie Eaton.
ESPLOST Referendum Information: Election Day is November 7: Early Voting Open Now

What is an Education SPLOST (ESPLOST)?

An Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) allows local school districts the option to ask voters for ability to levy and collect a one percent sales tax to help fund school facility and equipment improvements. It can be used to pay for capital projects or to retire debt, but cannot be used to pay operating expenses such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are enacted by referendum.

When is the ESPLOST vote?

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is an early voting period from Monday, October 16 to Friday, Nov. 3.

Would the proposed ESPLOST be a tax increase?

NO! This is NOT a NEW tax. If approved, the sales tax would remain at its current level. A "yes" vote would simply extend the current 1-penny sales tax for education for an additional five years, or until $23 million has been collected - whichever comes first. Collection of the ESPLOST extension would begin only after the current ESPLOST ends in March, 2019.

Why do we need to extend our current ESPLOST?

The Monroe County School System has made many improvements in school facilities with the previous ESPLOST. If the citizens approve extension of the current ESPLOST, the Board will continue its current level of maintenance and improvements to its school buildings, facilities and grounds, infrastructure systems such as technology, HVAC, and transportation.

Why an ESPLOST?

The education SPLOST is not a property tax. It provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements that everyone, not just property owners, contributes to. Additionally, the sales tax is paid by everyone who shops or stays in Monroe County, including our numerous visitors on Interstate 75.

What will the school system do with the money raised from the ESPLOST extension?

The Board of Education will continue current levels of maintenance and upkeep to ensure all school facilities are clean, safe and modern.  A major project will be improvements to Mary Persons High School. This will include construction of a new annex building which will extend life of our flagship school in its current location for many years. Other funds will pay for renovations and improvements at all schools, safety and security equipment, upgrades to instructional technology, school buses, and textbooks and other instructional resources.

How much money will be raised and how long will this sales tax be in place?

The ESPLOST extension will last for five years (April 2019 to March 2024) or until a collection cap of $23 million is reached -- whichever comes first.

Why is the school system proposing to sell bonds in the ESPLOST extension?

By issuing bonds, the school system will be able to immediately undertake the improvements and expansion of Mary Persons High School. Without bonds, the school system would need to delay this project for several years. Currently, interest rates are most favorable. Issuance of bonds also helps to avoid construction cost inflation.

Nickel Named to State Parent Advisory Council
Congratulations to Mrs. Vickie Nickel, a Monroe County Schools' parent!  She has been named to the Georgia State School Superintendent Parent Advisory Council (PAC).  She is one of 37 parents chosen from across the state to provide feedback to State School Superintendent Richard Woods and his leadership team.  She will represent Monroe County in a two year term on the council.  Mrs. Nickel is an integral member of the school and local community, having been actively involved with Monroe County Schools for over five years.  She is a PTO leadership team member and serves on the school council at K.B. Sutton Elementary School.  As the Executive Director for Monroe County Family Connections, she has great insight into our community and a great platform for sharing information about our schools with others.  Ms. Nickel is very knowledgeable of the inner workings of our school system and has creative ideas for parent and family engagement.  She is self-motivated, a team player and will be an asset to the State School Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council. Mrs. Nickel and her husband, Greg, are parents to two KBS students, Max and Sam.
Congratulations Southern Rivers Energy Grant Winners!  Teachers Awarded Almost $4000
Congratulations to four Monroe County Schools' teachers!   Each teacher was awarded Southern Rivers Energy grant this week.  The four grants total almost $4000.  Misti Sikes, Media Specialist, at KB Sutton Elementary will use the grant funds to purchase GoPro Cameras and WeVideo software for the KBS news crew.  Annie Dyke, Special Education Teacher at Monroe County Middle School, will use the funds to purchase materials and food for instructional units with her students.  Elizabeth Selman, Art Teacher at Hubbard Elementary School, will use the funds to purchase 3D pens for art projects.  Misti Tonn, Instructional Coach for TG Scott Elementary School, will use the funds to coordinate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities for the school.


MP Access Department MixedBag Fundraiser
The Access Department at MP is doing a Mixed Bag Designs catalog fundraiser. Students will use the proceeds  to buy groceries for cooking instruction, go see a play at the Rose Theatre, host a Holiday social for their families, and to go to Prom!
Available items include tote bags, purses, and home & garden items. Mixed Bag products are afforable, attractive, and durable!

Orders can be placed with any student or staff member for the MP Access Department or you can order online at MixedBag using the code  242287  at checkout. Orders are due October 27. Checks should be made payable to MPHS.
Message from Monroe County Schools Nurses:  Trick-or-Treat Safely this Halloween
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Though it's not an official holiday,
 Halloween is much beloved by children and adults alike. What could be more fun than trick-or-treating, apple bobbing, or costume parties?
To make sure treats are safe for children, follow these simple steps:
  • Snacking: Children shouldn't snack on treats from their goody bags while they're out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out - don't send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it.
  • Safe treats: Tell children not to accept - and especially not to eat - anything that isn't commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies: If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn't present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.
  • Choking hazards: If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
Bobbing for apples is an all-time favorite Halloween game. Here are a couple of ways to say "boo" to bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.
  • Reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
  • Try this new spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out lots of apples from red construction paper. On each apple, write activities for kids, such as "do 5 jumping jacks." Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string. Let the children take turns "bobbing" with their magnet and doing the activity written on their apple. Give children a fresh apple for participating.
If your idea of Halloween fun is a party at home, don't forget these tips:
  • Beware of spooky cider! Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. To stay safe, always serve pasteurized products at your parties.
  • No matter how tempting, don't taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contain uncooked eggs.
  • "Scare" bacteria away by keeping all perishable foods chilled until serving time. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings.
  • Bacteria will creep up on you if you let foods sit out too long. Don't leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).