January 13, 2023

FSMS Gardening Club Receives McDonald's Golden Grant

Ohio native Leila Serrano didn't grow up with gardening as a part of her school's curriculum. But after seeing her daughter's school begin a program and hearing about the opportunities that it affords students of all ages and abilities, she was soon inspired to begin a gardening club at Factory Shoals Middle School.

The program at FSMS began with a $500 grant from Farm Bureau, and last month, the club received a $1,000 McDonald's Golden Grant to help it continue growing.

"I'm so excited for this grant," said Serrano. "We really want to use this to grow the garden."

McDonald's Golden Grants exist to support programs that fuel students' imaginations and education in their own communities. To qualify, teachers must submit applications to be chosen for one of ten $1,000 grants.


NMHS Author Inspires Teens to Live with Confidence

BEES TOME Society Gives Back During Holidays

New Manchester High School senior Zaki Roshell says being a teen can be like riding a rollercoaster. It’s challenging to enjoy your high school years without a guide. But she’s written a book she hopes will help young people navigate the most challenging part.

Roshell’s “Becoming a CEO of Self-Confidence” is designed to be a guide to self-improvement. As the CEO and founder of Zaki Blaque and Zaki’s Tutu Tops, she is on a mission to encourage young women to embrace their unique style and dare to make a statement.

"Self-confidence is like a muscle," she says. "You must exercise it to build it and make it strong."


Beulah Elementary School's Tome Club meets weekly to talk about books, but the organization also prioritizes giving and serving others within its community.

This year, the Club collected soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, winter hats and socks for the homeless around the holidays.

BEES parents and students dropped off donations for two-weeks in December, and Tome Club members took time to sort, count and pack items for distribution during their meeting.

"We were thrilled that we were able to give so many items to the homeless," said BEES Tome Club sponsor Lori Blevins. "We had so many items that were donated that we were able to bless two organizations."


Classroom Corner

Building a community of lifelong learners every day

MAES Shows Off UGA Pride Before National Championship

ASES Social Studies Night Takes Students Around the World

On Monday, Mason Creek Elementary School's students and staff had a red-and-black-out to support the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Students and teachers all dressed in red and black to show off their Bulldog pride, and the team didn't disappoint their fans.

The Bulldogs defeated Texas Christian University 65-7 to capture their second-consecutive CFP National Championship.

Arbor Station Elementary School students recently took a trip around the world with Social Studies Night.

Over 60 families engaged in cultural activities representing the different cultures of Mexico, France, England, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Sweden, Japan, Israel and the United States.

SWES Students Showcase Talents

Under the direction of musical director Tiffany Rowell, Sweetwater Elementary School students showcased their unique talents and abilities at the school's annual Sweetwater's Got Talent Show.

The contest drew a standing-room-only crowd, as parents, students and staff all came out to celebrate students' unique talents. Along with the crowd, Kascia Polk from Beyond the Front Porch, Chelsey McNeil of 11Alive News, and DCSS Superintendent Trent North were also in attendance as celebrity guest judges.

In the end, third grader Chase Diaz took home first prize with his mime dance to "Rise Up" by Andra Day.

Student Spotlight

Jaylee Moultrie is an outstanding fourth-grade student at Arbor Station Elementary School. As the 2022-2023 Student Council President, she inspires and leads by example. Principal Dr. Emily Felton says Moultrie delivered a ‘What does being a No Place for Hate School mean to me?’ campaign speech. In it, she explained it starts with students. She believes that being a “No Place for Hate” school requires students to reflect on student differences and learn the values and benefits of making friends.

Besides representing Arbor Station on Superintendent North’s Student Advisory Forum, Moultrie participated in Roadrunners and was on the A/B Honor Roll List for the first nine weeks of school. Congratulations, Jaylee!

Kamau Edmondson shines in this week’s Student Spotlight. The 11th-grade Chapel Hill High School Student is polite, prepared, and polished in every way possible. Chapel Hill High Principal Nicole Watson says Edmondson distinguishes himself and has won an honors award as a 10th grader. Edmondson interned with a law firm in Chicago this past summer, and this year, as a Junior, won a spot in social studies as a Governor’s Honors Program nominee. His nomination has moved on to the state level, and he is waiting to hear if he is selected.

Edmondson has a vast knowledge of various subjects, especially history, and he can contribute deep and unique perspectives in speech or writing. His teachers say he treats everyone with respect and care, and he shows the same excellent work ethic that he does in his academic pursuits. These things make him an excellent example to his fellow Panthers! Congratulations, Kamau!

Key Dates

  • January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (holiday for all)
  • January 17: Board of Education Meeting
  • January 28: Douglas County Scholastic Chess Tournament
  • February 6: Board of Education Work Session
  • February 13: Board of Education Meeting
  • February 20: Presidents Day Holiday (except 249 employees)
  • February 21-24: Holidays (except 234 and 249 employees)
  • March 6: Board of Education Work Session
  • March 13: Teacher Work Day
  • March 20: Board of Education Meeting
  • April 3 - April 7: Spring Break

Family Resources

Douglas SEES

DCSS offers several resources for student health, wellness and support through the Douglas SEES website. Visit the link above to learn more about the resources available to students and families.

DCEF Scholarships

The Douglas County Education Foundation has several scholarships open for seniors, and the scholarship portal is open to apply through January 27. Click the link above to learn more about these scholarship opportunities.

PIE Cookbook

Do you have a recipe you're willing to share? Here's your chance, as the Partners in Education of Douglas County is excited to announce their Taste of PIE cookbook fundraiser featuring recipes from community supporters. Click the flyer above to learn more about this opportunity to share great recipes or purchase a copy of the book.

DCSS Family Health Center

DCSS' Family Health Center is a resource for families and staff within the school system. The center is located at the lower level of Burnett Elementary School and offers several services. Click the flyer above to learn more.

DCSS Community Bulletin Board

Looking for a great weekend event, after-school care, or a new activity? Check out DCSS' Community Bulletin Board at the link above to learn all about events and activities occurring in Douglas County.

Douglas County Scholastic Chess Tournament

On January 28, Turner Middle School will host the Douglas County Scholastic Chess Tournament. Visit the link above for more information about the tournament.

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