December 6, 2021

Exciting School Year at Centralhatchee Elementary!

(Centralhatchee, GA) — Centralhatchee Elementary started the new school year by opening the doors to show off the exciting new additions to the school.

Thanks to the Heard County SPLOST funds, Centralhatchee Elementary received a new bus entrance, new parking, and a newly paved car rider entrance. SPLOST funds also provided our students with tables and chairs for two STEM labs.

Students and parents were excited to see the improvements as they toured the school on Open House day to meet the teachers and learn about the upcoming school year.

Parents were also pleased to see that their children are protected with the newly installed S.H.I.E.L.D. security system. The S.H.I.E.L.D. security system can be activated throughout the building in case of an emergency.

When activated, the system compartmentalizes the school, sets of an alarm, and notifies 911 within seconds. This security system was also funded by local SPLOST dollars.

Another new addition this school year is the free breakfast program. Students in the Heard County School System receive a nutritious breakfast each morning when they arrive at school.

Our students love the breakfast! One student said, “I can’t wait to get to school and eat a biscuit! Can I have one more?” What a great way to start each day!

Soon after Open House, students enter Centralhatchee Elementary to begin a great new school year full of exciting learning opportunities. Each morning as students walk into the school, they are greeted by their teachers and upbeat music in the hallways. On any given day, you may find students and teachers doing the Cupid Shuffle in the hallway as students make their way to class.

Fifth grade students are also on Safety Patrol making certain that all of the students find the way to their classrooms safely. Our fifth grade students also operate the school store which sells pencils, erasers, and much more. Mornings at Centralhatchee Elementary are very busy!

CES Students enjoy a special Brave pep rally (Photo: Centralhatchee Elementary on Facebook)

Once students get settled in each day, they eat breakfast and prepare for a great day. Afterwards, all students participate in Braves Time, which is a personalized learning time established to meet each student’s individual learning needs.

Students may be working on advanced math or reading skills, while others may be working with a teacher in a small group to reteach concepts. Learning during this time is not only personalized, but it is hands-on and engaging. Many of our students are working in a Google Classroom on their chromebooks.

Braves Time is just one of the many ways that students at Centralhatchee Elementary are engaged in learning. Each week, students have the opportunity to participate in art, physical education, music, STEM, and technology classes.

Mr. Askew, the new music teacher, has students excited about music this year. Each grade level will learn to play a different instrument! The third grade students have already started playing ukuleles. Other instruments that students will learn to play include kazoos, orff instruments, guitars, keyboards, recorders, and cajons.

At Centralhatchee Elementary, we believe that it is important to expose students to a variety of learning opportunities in order to develop well rounded students that will one day develop into productive citizens.

Genius Hour is another way that our students develop skills and interests in activities that aren’t usually offered in schools. Two to three Fridays out of each month, students participate in Genius Hour. Each nine weeks, students change Genius Hour groups to expose them to another unique learning opportunity. Every teacher has a Genius Hour group. Students learn a variety of skills in the groups, including Spanish, Zumba, cooking, crafts, STEM, robotics, engineering, magic tricks, volleyball, home economics, kickball, board games, and much more!

Students end the year by developing a community project. Students in each grade level work together to do something that will benefit our community. Past projects have included planting flowers at the new City Hall, donating to the Humane Society, collecting books for the Centralhatchee Library, and donating gift baskets to the veterans in the local nursing home.

CES Principal Dawn Bennett spends time with some students (Photo: CES on Facebook)

In an effort to create more opportunities for our students, our school recently applied for and received a $5000 grant from KinderMorgan.

These grant funds will be used to purchase more chromebooks for students in the lower grades.

Centralhatchee Elementary was also one of twenty-eight schools in Georgia to be selected to participate in an elementary agriculture pilot program.

We are privileged to take part in developing Georgia Elementary Agriculture Standards, which will go hand-in-hand with our agriculture focused STEM program.

With the support of Georgia Power and their affiliates, Centralhatchee Elementary and the four other Heard County schools, will begin their pursuit of STEM certification to meet the increasing demands of producing employable graduates. It is critical that our students learn the skills that will be needed to be successful as they enter the workforce.

We, along with the other Heard County schools, are grateful to Georgia Power for the recent donation of over $33,000 to begin the implementation of STEM programs in every Heard County school.

Recognizing and celebrating our students is an important part of the school culture at Centralhatchee Elementary. Students are recognized at our monthly assemblies, in the school newsletter, on the morning announcements, and on social media.

Students are also recognized when they are selected as Students of the Month. One student in each class is selected to eat with the principal each month. Students are selected based on their character and how they treat others in their classroom.

In addition, teachers give Shout Outs to students for exhibiting exceptional behavior. When a student receives a Shout Out, the parents are called with the good news, the student’s name is announced on the morning announcements, they receive a “My principal thinks I’m great!” sticker, a prize, and a selfie with the principal.

Students are also recognized when they master the sight word list or their math facts. Sight Word Masters and Math Masters receive a shiny medal for their hard work! For those students that seek an additional challenge, they can join the Mastery Club by successfully mastering challenges in a variety of categories such as social studies, science, math, language arts, and the miscellaneous category. Examples of the challenges include naming ten countries that border the Pacific Ocean, label the major bones of the human skeleton, and count to 20 in French.

The Academic Team is another way that students can demonstrate their academic excellence. Melissa Jones, one of our Centralhatchee teachers, leads our Academic Team to compete against other schools in a trivia-like academic competition.

This year’s team members are Levi Miller, Tennyson Rice, Eli Boyd, Ollie Calhoun, Makayla Bedley, Lily Cantrell, Abby Mattocks, Helen Butzon, Madison Gladney, and Luke Miller.

Thanks to our community sponsors, each student at Centralhatchee Elementary started the school year with a free school shirt embossed with the school theme, Braves ROCK! Students can proudly wear their school shirts on field trips, spirit Fridays, and other school events.

The sponsors that provided the free shirts include the Town of Centralhatchee, Mike and Barbie Crockett, Heard County Concrete, Barronton Automotive, Stephens Accounting, A to Z Storage, Tenaska, Lewis and Carol Thomas, Keith Marlow, AG Propane, DT Farms, Centralhatchee Parkway Baptist Church, and Hannah Electric. We thank them for their generosity.

The first month of school ended with the Heard County High School band, football players, and cheerleaders greeting the students as they entered the school. Students were given glow bracelets and necklaces at the “Let’s GLOW Braves” pep rally in the darkened gym.

Coach Tim Barron cheered our students on as he led them in a chant to crush the opposing team. Each student was then given a free ticket to get into the game at Centralhatchee Elementary night at the Braves game in Staples Stadium. Students had a great time cheering on the Braves!

Over 300 special visitors joined us on September 6th and 7th as we honored them at our annual Grandparent’s Day. Grandparents enjoyed a snack, toured the school to see student work, and then visited the book fair. Students also enjoyed dressing up and participating in homecoming week festivities the week of September 17th.

October began as an eventful month with Georgia Pre-K week. The pre-k students had visitors come read to them throughout the week. Mrs. Sandra Deal, the first lady of Georgia and Senator Matt Brass were just a few of the readers to join us. Our annual Fall Festival was held on October 20th. Adults and children from the area joined us to play games, play on the inflatables, have their faces painted, ride on a hay ride, and play Bingo. A great time was had by everyone that attended!

Students from the University of West Georgia came to Centralhatchee Elementary in October to teach STEM and social studies lessons. Students had the opportunity to use virtual reality headsets to experience far away places using the power of technology.

Students could be heard exclaiming, “Man, that’s so cool!” and “Did you just see that?” Thanks to the virtual reality headsets from the University of West Georgia, students were able to experience things that they had only dreamed of.

Students celebrated Halloween with a costume contest and a book character pumpkin design contest. Winners of the pumpkin contest included Hudson Arp, Ellie Jones, Carter Hardman, Mary Katherine Akers, Meredith McRae, Eli Boyd, Makayla Downing, and Daniel Lohr.

Bus Safety Week was also held in October. Each grade level gave the bus drivers cards, posters, and gifts to recognize them for keeping our students safe. A bus safety poster contest is held each year and this year, one of our students, Bayne Rice, won the Division 1 poster contest and was recognized at the monthly Board of Education meeting. We have some talented students at Centralhatchee Elementary!

We ended the nine weeks by recognizing our Most Improved Readers in each class: Andi Cook, Carter Howland, Kylie Kilgore, Barrett Rodgers, Brandon Boyd, Garrett Hendrix, Josh Franklin, Makayla Downing, and Brylee Vinson.

Each nine weeks we hold a drawing for students that have had perfect attendance. One student in each grade is drawn to receive a $25 gift card. All students with perfect attendance each month are entered into the end of the year drawing for $100 or a bicycle.

The winners for the first nine weeks were Shaylin Lapalme, Bryce Boyd, Mason Eidson, Greleigh Causey, Alex Haggard, and Dakota Ray.

Each of the three Heard County elementary schools joined together at Heard County Elementary School to honor our veterans on November 9th. Students waved American flags, chanted “USA,” and gave veterans flowers to recognize them for their service to the country.

Our student council representatives led the school in a can drive to collect food for our community. Collection bins representing Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn were set up in the entrance to collect the cans. The team with the most cans was represented by teacher Brittany Dorsey.

To celebrate, students gathered in the gym to cheer on Mrs. Dorsey as she “pied” the representatives of the losing teams, first grade teacher Tammy Brown and Coach Heath Horn. The assembly ended with entertainment for the students as the staff bowled with a frozen turkey. Coach Horn won a free turkey and was crowned the Turkey Bowling King!

Centralhatchee Elementary students are always learning new things and having fun experiences. Come join the fun by volunteering or visiting us!

Upcoming events include the Centralhatchee Christmas Parade on December 1st at 4:30, the Centralhatchee Christmas Program on December 17th at 6:30, and our family Valentine’s Dance on February 11, 2019.

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