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August 29
September schedule of CCS Open Houses and parent meetings







PTO Meeting – 5:30 PM

Open House – 3:30 – 6:00 PM; parents will be able to pick up progress reports



Open House/PTO/Title I Parent Meeting
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Bunker Hill


Open House & Progress Reports

4:30 – 6:30 PM



Title I Information Night
6:00 PM

Jacobs Fork



Open House for Tarheel and Pirates Teams – 6:30 PM

Open House for Bears Blue Devils, and Mountaineers Teams – 6:30 PM

Maiden E


Open House/PTO/Title I Meeting – 6:30 PM

Maiden M


Open House – 6:30 PM

Mill Creek


Open House and PTO meeting

6:30 PM

Mountain View


PTO/Open House/Musical Constitution Performance



PTO – 6:00 PM



Open House and Title I Parent Meeting
Session 1 5:30 - 6:15 PM
Session 2 6:30 – 7:15 PM

Sherrills Ford


PTO/Curriculum Night 6:30 PM




Partners in Print

Leadership Symposium/PTO 6:00-7:00 PM



Open House
5:30   Senior Parent Meeting

6:30   Open House Assembly in gym

7:00-8:30 Parents visit their student’s teachers



PTO/Open House – 6:30 PM

August 28
BHHS Seniors Receive Graduation Challenge

20140828_142525_resizedThe 2015 graduating class of Bunker Hill High School (BHHS), before posing for their senior picture, were given a challenge by Principal Dr. Jeff Isenhour.

“Make a commitment to walk across that stage,” Isenhour emphasized, referring to the CVCC Tarlton Complex.  “All of you have to be in that auditorium at the end of the year,” he stressed.

The seniors who were gathered in the gymnasium were treated to a video that contained snippets from the BHHS 2014 graduation ceremony.  Isenhour referenced the large number of Junior Marshals participating in last year’s ceremony and related his expectations that, now that they are seniors, all of them would be honor graduates next June 12th.  “Others among you still have the opportunity to move into honor designation if you work hard,” he said.

Isenhour offered an additional challenge.  “I expect an increase in the number of 2015 graduates attending four-year colleges.  He reminded the 173 seniors that the entire BHHS faculty and staff is committed to helping students attain their college and career goals.

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The students then gathered on the football field and formed the number 15 to designate their graduation year.  Senior Casey T. had one request prior to taking the field.  She wanted Isenhour to take a selfie with the entire class in formation.  And, he obliged.

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August 25
First Day of School At Mountain View Elementary

It was smooth sailing at Mountain View this morning, August 25th, as students reported for their first of 180 days of instruction for the 2014-2015 school year.  Students and staff had big smiles on their faces as they welcomed each other.

Although attendance numbers will not be available until later in the day, Principal Dyanne Sherrill said that 802 students had registered as of last Friday.  “We have students in every available space – and then some,” she said.

Below are snapshots from around the Mountain View campus this morning.

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buses Parkinglot Sidewalk
Breakfast4 Breakfast2 Breakfast3
Quest Pledge Anchors2
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August 22
Buses Roll: Keep Safety First!

August 22nd is school bus pickup day for all three school districts in Catawba County.  According to Catawba County Schools Transportation Director Cecil Davis, 271 student transports are on the road Friday afternoon.

Bus drivers assembled at Maiden High School in the morning to pick up their school bus manuals and to participate in refresher training.  They then carpooled to the district office to retrieve their assigned buses.

Dr. June Atkinson, state superintendent of public schools, spotlighted school bus safety earlier in the week.  "Student safety is top priority for school bus drivers and school transportation staff," she said. "We want our students to arrive at school safely and to be delivered home safely. That is why every North Carolina motorist should always remember to stop completely for the school bus's flashing red lights and extended stop arm, and to watch for students around bus stops."

Motorists who pass a stopped school bus can face a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  If they pass the stopped bus and hit someone, they can be charged with a Class 1 Felony.

Let’s work together to obey the traffic laws and keep our students safe!

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Buses3 Buses5
August 22
Blackburn’s Hefner Accepts An Icy Challenge

Ice BucketMany of you have probably seen video of people in all walks of life taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Not to be outdone, Blackburn principal Brian Hefner braved the frigid water dump.

While most folks pay it forward by challenging three of four additional people to take the dare, Hefner upped the ante significantly.  He challenged Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman and all the Catawba County Schools principals.

The ALS Challenge seeks to raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

You can see Hefner’s icy bath on Blackburn’s home page at the following link:


August 22
QUEST Launches on August 25th

DSCF0121As elementary schools held open houses this week, parents had the opportunity to learn about CCS’s new before-and-after school program called QUEST.  Operating hours are from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and the program is offered in each elementary school.

Deborah Ferguson, CCS QUEST director, outlined the programs goals.

  • To provide a safe, secure, well-supervised program of care for children in kindergarten through sixth-grade
  • To provide well-qualified staff interaction with all children
  • To equip our sites with the materials and experiences children need for academic, social, and emotional success
  • To provide activities that are safe, fun, and educationally enriching
  • To provide for lots of physical activity both inside and outside
  • To provide quiet time each afternoon for homework, reading and inquiry

To learn more about QUEST call 828.695.2684.

The pictures are from Clyde Campbell Elementary.

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August 22
COMPASS Academy Prepares to Open Doors

20140822_091739_resizedAs the COMPASS Academy prepares to open at the Sweetwater Early Education Resource Center, Academy personnel and Catawba County maintenance staff have been working diligently to make sure things are ready for the first day of school on August 25th. Catawba County Schools (CCS) is launching the program to continue services that had been provided by the ACT program in Newton-Conover Schools. It is targeted for elementary-age students.

COMPASS is an acronym for Children Overcoming Monumental Personal and Academic Stressors for Success. Program Administrator Sharon Harwood said, “That’s a mouthful, so I like to think of it as a compass pointing us in the right direction, not just geographically but also academically, behaviorally, emotionally, and socially.” The goal is to equip students to return to their home schools.

The Academy will open with nine students; sixteen is the maximum enrollment without hiring additional personnel. Besides Harwood, Teacher Todd Wimberly and Teacher Assistants Diane Ledford and Jonathan Wyant will provide services. CCS Exceptional Children’s Program Specialist Sonya Singletary will assist with behavioral support.

Harwood said the normal school day with start with breakfast followed by a reading and math academic block. After lunch, students will participate in physical education and a rotating schedule of science, cooking, art, and social studies. Students will have the opportunity to participate in clubs on Friday afternoons and these will be based on student interest.

“We are going to begin with a games club,” Harwood said, “a construction club with Legos and Tinker Toys, and a sports club with physical activities. Others will be added as students express interest.” While clubs will be offered each Friday, the period of time students spend in them will depend on how much time they have earned through effort and goal achievement during the week.

Harwood made visits this summer to the homes of every student to outline COMPASS, to lay the groundwork for a strong family-to-school connection, and to stress the importance of regular attendance. After answering questions, Harwood said the students were most excited about being able to bring book bags to school this year.

COMPASS will provide extra support for students who need smaller class settings and well as specific support for individual needs, Harwood said. “We will be integrating life skills and social skills all day long,”

For additional information contact Harwood at 704.736.5385.

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August 19
And, We’re Off!

Teachers returned to work August 19th and many of them participated in informational sessions centered around their individual subject specialties.  Pictured below are various shots from around the district’s first staff day for 2014-2015.


Mary Moren, Student Services coordinator, discusses the McKinney Vento homeless legislation with counselors and social workers

CTE Director Mark Story meets with CTE teachers at Maiden High School.
Child Nutrition

Sandy Helms addresses Child Nutrition employees at Maiden High School auditorium.

Brad Arrowood with Accountability provides elementary school testing coordinators with information on the third-grade BOG testing.

Media Coordinators hear about opening procedures from Media Director, Leslie Black.

Rae Thompson, director of New Teacher Support, talks with arts and PE teachers about the new Assessment of Student Work.
National Boards2

Teachers interested in pursuing National Board certification met with Jeanine Lynch and Regina Propst.

Teachers of Exceptional Children met with Director Amy Wilson in groups at three locations today.

New teacher Autumn Johnson enlists the help of her mother, Cindy, to ready a bulletin board for her 1st-grade classroom at St. Stephens Elementary.

Robert Turner, the new assistant principal at St. Stephens Elementary, assists in distributing supplies.
August 15
CCS Administrators Hold Retreat


Principals, Assistant Principals, and District Administrators gathered August 14th & 15th for their 2014 retreat held on the grounds of the North Carolina Boy’s Academy on Lake Hickory.

The two days featured sessions from Human Resources, Curriculum & Instruction, Exceptional Children, Technology, Accountability, Finance, and Operations.  Legal issues and information about the newly adopted North Carolina public school budget were also shared.

Teachers report back to school on August 19th with students returning on August 25th.

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August 14
Challenger High Celebrates 10th Year

Challenger Early College High School (CECHS) has opened its doors for its 10th year to a new class of incoming freshmen.Challenger-10th-Anniversary  CECHS serves 400 students from Alexander County and Catawba County in partnership with the four school districts, CVCC, the NC New Schools Project, and the NC Department of Public Instruction.

The early college supports project-based and inquiry-based learning while promising each student exposure to life-ready skills, infusion of the Habits of Mind and 21st century Skills, adherence to the early college model, access to the Future Ready Core Diploma with the required university admissions courses, and access to earning an associate’s degree. 

CECHS is the only early college in the state that offers a comprehensive performing arts program and interscholastic athletics program.  Dedicated to economic impact, the school has created over 100 local jobs and contributed to the local government and local revenue beyond a half-million dollars with its total of 419 graduates in ten years, according to the Regional Dynamics and Economic Modeling Laboratory at Clemson University. 

For 10 years running, the Firebirds topped the state and county in academics, attendance, and graduation rate.  Designed around research, the school follows the national early college model offering students a personalized environment, powerful teaching and learning in classrooms, and a pervasive ready-for-college culture that creates pathways and opportunities for life in the 21st Century.

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