February 2018


We're wrapping up the third nine weeks of the school year, and the days are flying by. We, staff and students, are all working to wrap up one year while also planning for the next. Staff members are in the thick of things for the grade reconfiguration and students are preparing for BRIDGE day in March, when their class schedules for future years are set. So next time you see a school system employee or a student, they could probably use a word or two of encouragement. Thank you for everything you do in support of our children!
Reconfiguration Update
Currently, Tift County students will attend six schools if they attend Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our new plan for how our schools will be arranged will cut that number to three. All current primary and elementary schools will become Kindergarten through fifth grade schools, Eighth Street Middle School and Northeast Campus will house sixth – eighth grades and Tift County High School will become a true high school for ninth – twelfth graders.

Our school reconfiguration will be in place for the next school year which begins Aug. 13, 2018. We have approximately four months until the transition, and here’s where we are in the process:
  • As you can see in the photo above, our warehouse is beginning to fill up with new furniture to be placed in school building this summer.
  • Transportation staff members are going through lists of students and their addresses, one by one, to make sure bus routes and zone lines all match up.
  • The recent rain we had has slowed construction a bit at TCHS, but we're still on schedule to be ready this fall.
  • School nutrition is upgrading some of its serving line equipment in the cafeterias and bringing in new seating for our middle and high schools.
Valentine's Day may be over, but we all could still use some advice about love from the real experts-our children! Check out this video of some of our younger students telling it all!
Excellence in Teaching
The 2017-18 Teachers of Excellence were honored at a banquet this month, hosted by the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Rotary Club. The 10 teachers were presented with a plaque, check and dinner. Fantastic entertainment was provided by students in the Tift County Choral Program.

Pictured, left to right, are Rotary Club President Shaundra Clark, Tammy King, Executive Director of Human Resources Kevin Dobard, Laural Mullen, TCFEE President Mike Davis, Jennifer Johnson, Scott Rains, Jodi Roberts, Donna Hobby, Jimmy Cargle, Superintendent Patrick Atwater, Lacy Cargle, Sherry Coarsey and Amy Marshall.
Ask Superintendent Patrick Atwater
We didn't receive any questions for Mr. Atwater this month. This is your chance (he really does read them)! Maybe this will help you overcome any shyness. If you submit a question and we use it in the next newsletter, we will send you a prize pack.

What do you want to ask the superintendent? Send your questions to info@tiftschools.com.
Back in the Day
Some things change, while some things stay the same. The cars parked in front of ESMS (formerly the high school) are about the only things that looks different than this 1963 photo.

If you have any historical photos or memorabilia you would be willing to share with us, please email us at info@tiftschools.com.
Real-World Learning
Forestry students at TCHS recently spent a day applying what they learned in the classroom to the great outdoors. The students, teachers and local agencies conducted a prescribed burn at the Future School Site off Highway 319.
Outside the Classroom
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Students at Tift County High School consistently receive top honors at area SkillsUSA competitions, demonstrating their knowledge in fields such as masonry, construction, welding and more. These students are able to leave high school and immediately enter the workforce.

Read Across America/Dr. Seuss Week
Students throughout Tift County are celebrating reading and Children's Book Author Dr. Seuss this week. The author is known for incorporating silliness into this stories, and students are bringing that silliness to school. These Annie Belle Clark Primary School students had a blast on "Crazy Sock Day".
Standout Students
Kyli Garretson is a third grader at G.O. Bailey Primary School. Based on what Principal Dr. Jamie Dawson said about her, a school full of Kyli clones would be amazing.

Dr. Dawson said while Kyli is definitely smart, she's a Standout Student for a different reason. Kyli is incredibly well-rounded, but the absolute best thing about her is her kind soul. Dr. Dawson said she is friendly to all students and loves to show off her big, beautiful smile. She's willing to help anyone with anything.She also shows leadership potential and initiative to make things happen.

Look out world! Here comes Kyli!
Board Meeting Highlights
  • Carl Nichols and the Young Farmers program was recognized for its continued success and involvement in the community.
  • Len Lastinger, ESMS and TCHS brought recommendations about school uniforms from the Local School Governance Teams to the board. Lastinger was requesting to add gray pants to the acceptable list of colors while ESMS and TCHS wanted to begin requiring the uniforms for next school year. The board did not take a vote on the request and decided to discuss it further at a future monthly meeting.
  • Updates were given from the Property, Curriculum and Personnel Committee meetings including discussions about the reconfiguration plans.
They said WHAT?
"Out of the mouths of babes" is an iconic saying for a good reason. Children generally have no filter, so what they think usually comes out, and it's usually the truth. And much of what they say is hilarious. Educators get a front-row seat for this on a daily basis.

"I wore a new cardigan to school one day. It had an Aztec look and long fabric in the front. I thought I looked really cute. Well, one of my children thought different. He tapped me on my back several times and said, 'Teacher, WHY did you wear a blanket to school?!?'"

If you have a cute story, please share it with us at info@tiftschools.com.
It Takes a Village
Operating a school system of nearly 8,000 students takes a lot of work, and we couldn't do it without the amazing contributions of our community. This month, we want to thank Bojangles. The folks there are huge supporters of our academic and athletic programs, including supplying breakfast at some of our Student of the Month celebrations.

We appreciate all that you do!

If your business would like to become a Partner in Education,
please email us at info@tiftschools.com .

It's time for BIG SCHOOL
Miller Britt received a letter from the Pre-K Center. We hope she always stays this excited about school. Her parents are Cameron and Ashley Britt. Click the image above to watch the video.
Tift County Schools
207 N. Ridge Avenue
Tifton, Georgia 31794  
(229) 387-2400