December 16, 2022

A Holiday Greeting from Superintendent Trent North

Dear Douglas County School System Employees and Families,


Happy Holidays! I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the teachers, support staff, administrators and families who make our school system an extraordinary place to work and learn. I  value your commitment to our students throughout the year. Everything you do helps support our mission of helping our students reach their potential. 


We take great pride in our employees and families partnering together.  Each of you play a tremendous role in the success of our students and our school system. Because of your contributions, our students are receiving an exceptional learning experience in a safe and supportive environment. Because of you, Douglas County students will graduate high school prepared for a lifetime of success. 


On behalf of the board of education and myself, we wish you all a safe and restful holiday break. We look forward to your return in January as we work together to finish the 2022-2023 school year strong! 


Warm Wishes,

Trent North


Local Heroes Bring Holiday Cheer

On Thursday, police officers from throughout the county got an opportunity to give back to the community through the Douglas County School System’s annual Shop with a Cop event. 

The event, which was made possible by donations from several community sponsors, allows students to select Christmas presents for themselves and their families while accompanied by local police officers. 

“I really want to thank Captain Walter Willaims for his hard work, because he’s really got a drive to do this,” said DCSS Chief of Police Tracey Whaley. “We’re so thankful for our partners from local agencies who have shown up to help our students shop and for those who’ve helped fund this event for us.”

Each year, students are chosen by their schools’ counselors. This year, 89 students were allowed to spend up to $200 on items like clothes, shoes, toys, and other necessary products. 

While shopping, students were accompanied by officers from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Douglasville Police Department, Douglas County 911 dispatchers, and local Georgia State Patrol officers.

“Within their allowance, clothes are the first priority, and the officers are instructed to help students shop there first because that’s important with it being wintertime,” said Williams. “But after that, they’re free to purchase toys or other things that they would like for fun.”

For Williams, helping to lead the event holds special significance for him. As a child, he grew up in low-income housing, and it brings him joy to help students who may face similar situations as he once did around the holidays. 

“I grew up in low-income housing, and Christmastime was always a hard time for us,” said Willaims. “I’m not saying anything bad about my childhood, but a lot of these kids aren’t able to get certain things or their parents can’t afford them. This program helps these kids know Christmas and enjoy Christmas, and it helps ease the burden for these families.”

Along with helping students and their families, Williams and Whaley both added that the annual Shop with a Cop event showcases each local agencies’ commitment to serving the community in any way possible. 

 “We’ve partnered with several local agencies,” said Whaley, “and it shows that everyone is vested in serving the community any way that we can and not just from a safety and security aspect.”

BEES Tome Society Supports a Worthy Cause

Tome Society is a student literary organization that sponsors reading activities and competitions based on the “It List,” a list compiled by the society of clean, entertaining, and encouraging literature for children and young adults.

Beulah Elementary School's Tome Club meets weekly for book discussions and to complete projects for competitions. They are also all about giving and serving others. Each year the club at BEES seeks to give back to the school and community in some way. This year the club sponsored a school wide drive to collect for homeless families.


The club collected soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, winter hats and socks. The outpouring of kindness and support is an amazing example of the generosity of what is like to work together to serve those in need. Parents and community members donated items daily during the two week drive.


Club members sorted, counted and packed the items for distribution at their weekly meeting. “We were thrilled that we were able to give so many items to the homeless. There were enough donations to support two organizations,” said Ms. Lori Blevins, club sponsor.  

All items donated will go to either the Good Samaritan Center or to the Douglas County Boys and Girls Club’s annual drive for the homeless.

Five REACH Scholars Celebrated During Signing Ceremony 

During a Statewide REACH Signing Event, Douglas County School System welcomed five students to the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Georgia program, a needs-based scholarship designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education. The program’s mission is to increase the academic persistence and achievement of Georgia’s academically promising middle and high school students and increase college access and success.

Aubrey Capers of Chestnut Log Middle, Liliana Hilario-Olguin of Chapel Hill Middle, Abel Perez of Factory Shoals Middle, Bryson McCoy of Mason Creek Middle and Denny Trejo-Balderas of Yeager Middle School all signed contracts committing to the scholarship program.  

Mitzi Teal, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Douglas County, coordinates the REACH program for the school system. She stated, “As a part of the program, the students signed contracts to maintain a certain grade point average, remain crime, drug, and behavior issues free, and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate high school. Their parents or guardians also signed contracts to support their students through their education. When these scholars graduate from high school, they will receive up to a $10,000 scholarship — $2,500 each year for up to four years — to be used at a HOPE-eligible Georgia two or four-year college. Many colleges match this scholarship, and some double match it, providing scholars additional resources for their college education.” 


REACH became Georgia’s first public-private needs-based scholarship opportunity. It is locally owned and operated, allowing community members to have a stake in student success. Community members supporting REACH Scholars ensure students maintain their grades, attendance, and behavior and have the college and career support and preparation they need. 100% of funds raised go to college scholarships.

 For more information about Douglas County’s REACH program, please contact Mitzi Teal, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Douglas County, at 770-651-2039.

Brandon Shannon, Jr.’s teachers describe him as a delightful, generous, brilliant, helpful, hardworking, and kind student. Principal Fhonda Strong agrees, saying that no matter the situation, Brandon gives his all. He comes to class every day prepared to learn WITH a smile on his face and garners respect from his peers and teachers. Brandon also shines at Fairplay as a leader. His leadership in the classroom and hallways extends to the court and field as he excels at basketball and football. His perseverance and dedication exemplify what it means to be a Jaguar. Congratulations, Brandon!

AHS Basketball Preview

Lady Cougars Leaning on Balanced Roster

Alexander High School’s Lady Cougars missed the state tournament last season, but head coach Dallas Smith is hopeful that the lessons learned from last season will help propel the team into the tournament this year. 

“I’m looking forward to a great season with this group. The team culture they have is really something special and I look forward to coaching them every day. They work hard, they battle every day at practice, so we’re really looking forward to this season.”

Entering the season, AHS will lean on returning players Katlin Gould, Tatiana Tanksley, Meghan Ritchie and Nevaeh Clophus to lead a team with a mixture of veteran and younger players. 

“We have three seniors, three juniors, and a handful of underclassmen,” Smith said, “so I’m really excited about this group and all that they bring.”

This year, the Cougars find themselves in a new Region 5-6A that includes county rivals New Manchester, who competed in the Final Four last season, and Douglas County High School. Along with these two teams, the eight-team region will also feature two other teams that qualified for the state tournament last season. 

The Lady Cougars began their season on November 12 with a victory over McDonough. They entered region play on December 6 against South Paulding High School.

Veteran Cougars Eyeing Deep Playoff Run

Last season, Alexander High School’s boys basketball team fell in the second round to eventual state champion Grovetown High School. This season, the Cougars return many key pieces from that team, which has them sitting at No. 2 in the Class 6A preseason rankings. 

“We’re really looking forward to getting started this season. We return a lot of key guys from last year’s team that went 24-5 and won the region championship and finished second in the region tournament,” said Cougars head coach Jason Slate. “WIth the guys coming back, we had a very productive summer. We’re going into this year with high expectations.”

Entering 2022-23, the Cougars bring back Second-Team All-Region performer Braeden Lue, along with All-Region Honorable Mention recipient Noah Melson. 

Beside Lue and Melson, the Cougars will also count on guards Milan Kennedy, Jay’Quan Nelson, Marvin McGhee, and forward Jazzdon Streeter. 

With such a strong returning group, Slate says the team’s goals are high as they prepare for the upcoming season.

“We feel like we have a chance to compete for a state championship this year, and that’s our overall goal. Our guys are working hard, and they’re excited for the challenge of this season,” Slate said. “We’re hoping to continue to get better and hopefully compete for the state title.”

To make the state playoffs, AHS will have to navigate a new region schedule that features two county rivals in Douglas County and New Manchester high schools, as well as two other teams ranked in the top 10 in the state in Langston Hughes and Paulding County high schools. 

The Cougars began their season on November 16 against Cumberland Christian Academy, and they opened their region schedule on December 6 versus South Paulding High School.

Check out The Parent Post

For information on family engagement opportunities and tips on how to help your children succeed in school, take a look at The Parent Post, a parent newsletter that is published quarterly by the Douglas County School System.

Parent Post (English)

Parent Post (Russian)

Parent Post (Spanish)

Come celebrate with the Atlanta Falcons for Freddie’s New Year Day Bash!

As a special thank you for your hard work, join the Atlanta Falcons as they bring in the New Year for the January 1st game vs Arizona Cardinals.


Receive a savings of up to 50% on select seating areas. Inventory is limited and will sell out in the coming days.


Secure your seats below using the PROMO CODE: TEACHER  to unlock the discount


Purchase Tickets >>: Freddie’s New Year Bash

Each ticket purchased will come with a bag of fun 2023 New Year accessories, such as, glasses, glow sticks, and more!

The first 5 counties that reach 150 tickets purchased will win a visit from Freddie Falcon this school year, so be sure to select Douglas County before checkout! 

To purchase more than 10 tickets or if you have any questions, please reach out to Group Sales at

Night to Shine – Now Registering Guests and Volunteers


Night to Shine sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation is a prom experience especially for people with special needs ages 14 and up. The prom will be held in person on Friday, February 10, 2023, for the first time since 2020. 


Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

While we have a distribution list of guests who have attended in the past, we want to reach out to potential participants who might not otherwise hear about it. In addition, this event requires the help of hundreds of people; and we've found that high school students (age 16 and up) and educators/system employees make great volunteers.

Click on the flyer below for more information:

December 16: Half Day for High School Students (for Final Exams)

December 16: Semester Ends; Grading Period Ends

December 19 -30: Holidays (Except 234 and 249)

December 21 -30: Holidays for 234 Employees

December 22 - 27: Holidays for 249 Employees

January 2: Holiday for All

January 3: All Employees Return; Teacher Work Day

January 4: Students Return

January 5: Report Cards (all levels)

January 9: BOE Work Session

January 16: Holiday for All

January 17: BOE Board Meeting

February 2: Progress Reports for Elementary and Middle Schools

February 6: BOE Work Session

February 13: BOE Board Meeting

February 20: Holiday (Except 249 Employees)

February 21 - 24: Holidays (Except 234 and 249 Employees)

Check out the available opportunities in the Community Bulletin Board!
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