Four-Year Graduation Rate Increases For Third Consecutive Year in Cobb

The four-year graduation rate for Cobb County School District high schools improved to 78.2 percent in 2014, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education, marking the third consecutive year the school district’s overall graduation rate has increased. Since 2011, the graduation rate has steadily increased 4.65 percent. Cobb schools’ graduation rate also exceeds the state graduation rate (72.5 percent) by nearly six percentage points. The 2014 graduation rate exceeds the district’s Strategic Plan target of 76.9 percent, as well as the state Department of Education’s target of 76.5 percent on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).

The U.S. Department of Education defines the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who entered high school four years earlier (including adjustments for student transfers). This uniform calculation method allows for accurate and comparable data across all 50 states, improving transparency and accountability. In the past, states measured graduation rates using inconsistent methods, resulting in incomparable sets of data.

“I am thrilled to see continued improvement in our graduation rate,” said Interim Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “Our teachers are working continuously using innovative teaching methods to encourage students to stay in school and increase their achievement level. Of the many indicators that measure how well we are doing as a school district, graduation rate is one of the most important. Ensuring that students graduate on time and are prepared for success is our ultimate goal. It is great to see that we are performing at a high level in that regard.”

Ehsan Kattoula, the District’s Director of Accountability and Research, said he, too, was pleased with the improvement in graduation rate.

“The steady improvement we’ve seen in Cobb high schools’ graduation rates is certainly a point of pride for the District,” he said. “We rate very well as a district by almost any comparison.”



Cobb Graduation Rate















Grad Rate Chart

















Cobb Community Honors Teachers of the Year at Annual ‘Give Our Schools a Hand’ Pep Rally


The 26th anniversary celebration of ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ culminated with the community pep rally Oct. 28 at Roswell Street Baptist Church. Teachers of the Year from all Cobb County and Marietta City schools, as well as local postsecondary education institutions, began their day with a special breakfast provided by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

By 11 A.M., the auditorium was jam-packed with hundreds of students, teachers, family members and friends cheering for the arrival of the honorees. Star 94 DJ and emcee Marino welcomed the Teachers of the Year into the pep rally to uproarious applause. The honorees were ushered into the auditorium with music from the Allatoona High School Marching Band and cheerleaders from high schools across Cobb County. Prior to the awards, Bachman introduced ComPAny, the performance troupe from the Pebblebrook High School Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, which amplified the crowd with a medley of contemporary pop songs.

Representatives from community partners the Ed Voyles Automotive Group awarded a one-year lease on a new car to each of the District-level winners and Marietta city winner. Each CCSD Teacher of the Year was individually greeted and awarded a commemorative plaque by Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. See below for a gallery of images from the pep rally. Thanks to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and all of the community partners who honored Cobb County educators at the ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ event.







Austell Elementary Student Wins District Bus Safety Poster Contest

Janett Enriquez















Janett Enriquez, a fifth grader at Austell Elementary, won first place in the Bus Safety Poster Contest for Cobb County School District  in grades 3-5.

Hillgrove High School to Host Free Concert Honoring Veterans



In commemoration of Veterans Day, the Hillgrove High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) will host a free concert featuring the United States Naval Academy (USNA) Gospel Choir on Saturday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. The Gospel Choir will travel toAtlanta, GAto perform several public concerts and visit area schools to honor all active military and Veterans. This concert also serves to introduce students to the opportunities available to them by attending the US Naval Academy. The concert will be held at Hillgrove High School in the Joseph B. Boland Theater. Doors open to the public at 6:00 p.m. with general admission seating. The Midshipmen will be available immediately following the concert to answer questions and talk about life at the Naval Academy.

 The United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir, under the direction of Ms. Karla Scott, is an upbeat inspirational musical ensemble.  Comprised of midshipmen from various places, races and creeds, the Gospel Choir is reflective of the diverse interests and ethnicities within the Brigade of Midshipmen. Throughout the year, the USNA Gospel Choir maintains an active schedule and regularly performs not only at the Naval Academy but throughout the nation at churches, schools, and community centers.  The Gospel Choir is a wonderful part of the Naval Academy family. Not only does it allow its members to express their faith in song, but it also provides the public an opportunity to witness the diversity and talents of today’s Brigade of Midshipmen. It is with honor, pride and distinction that the Gospel Choir represents the United States, the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and the Naval Academy.

The Hillgrove NJROTC program was established in 2009 and serves to prepare high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. Classroom instruction is augmented throughout the year by community service activities, drill competition, field trips, marksmanship training, and other extra-curricular activities.

Frey Elementary Raps into Red Ribbon Week

 October 27-31, Frey  Elementary will be observing Red Ribbon Week like no other school. The theme this year is “Look what you can be when you A.I.M. H.I.G.H. and are drug free!” In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs and promote the College and Career Readiness initiative sponsored by the State and Federal Departments of Education, Frey is combining Red Ribbon Week and Career Week.

 The culminating event will be the Closing Ceremonies at 1:00pm on Friday October 31.  One of Frey’s former students will present a professional music performance for the student body on an outdoor stage. Principal Jason Cathey will debut a professionally produced recording of the “Frey Rap,” written and performed by Frey staff and students. Then at 1:30, as the performances are concluding, a Georgia State Patrol Helicopter will fly over the school and land in the soccer field adjacent to the stage. The event will be spectacular and will hopefully leave an indelible mark on the students about the power of healthy choices.

Cobb Students Celebrate STEM on Manufacturing Day
STEM Manufacturing Day

STEM Manufacturing Day

Career, Technical and Agricultural Education students from Kennesaw Mountain High School celebrated Manufacturing Day on October 3rd while visiting a local manufacturing company.  Students had a first-hand opportunity to see STEM in action while visiting, Win-Tech, Inc in Kennesaw.  Over 100 students visited the facility and saw a product start as raw material and advance through each manufacturing stage.  These students were exposed to several career paths during the video and tour.  Students learned about the importance of a solid math foundation in careers related to manufacturing.   They also learned about important employability and technical skills needed to be a success in these fields.

 Chattahoochee Technical College and Georgia Tech representatives were both on site and discussed post-secondary options related to fields such as engineering, manufacturing, logistics, mechanics and business management.  The field trip was sponsored by Win-Tech, Inc, Georgia Tech, Chattahoochee Technical College,  and the Cobb County Career, Technical, Agricultural Education Department.

Cobb Schools Win Big at Marietta Chalkfest

Three of our Cobb schools took first place awards in the school competition sponsored by the Cobb Marietta Museum of Art. Congrats to Kennesaw Mtn. HS, Tapp MS and Hollydale ES! Each of these winning schools will receive a visit from a profesional artist to their schools. Students will also receive certificates. The winners are featured in order in the photos below.





King Springs Elementary School To Become Dual Campus in 2015

To relieve overcrowded conditions at a school that continues to grow in popularity and enrollment, King Springs Elementary School in Smyrna will provide a dual campus arrangement for its students beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

King Springs’ special needs preschool, kindergarten and first grade students will relocate to the former Brown Elementary School located at 3265 Brown Road, approximately two miles from King Springs’ current campus. This location will be known as the King Springs Primary School and will house approximately 310 students.

Brown Elementary School closed following the 2012-2013 school year and its student population now attends the new Smyrna Elementary School that opened in 2013. Since that time, Teasley Elementary School’s K-1 primary students have occupied the former Brown facility while major renovation construction is ongoing at the main Teasley campus. That construction will be complete in the summer of 2015 and Teasley’s primary students will move back to the main campus. Shortly after, King Springs’ primary students will begin moving in.

Approximately 550 second-through-fifth grade students will remain at the main campus on Reed Road in Smyrna, which will be called the King Springs Intermediate School. Most importantly, King Springs will continue to operate under one principal and will be identified as one school with two separate campuses.

The capacity of the campus on Reed Road is 558 students, but King Springs currently has 868 students enrolled. The school currently uses 12 portable classrooms to accommodate the additional students. Under the new plan, all of the portable classrooms will be eliminated.

“While change is always challenging, we are excited about gaining more room for our students and staff,” said Principal Linda Keeney. “Once everyone has a chance to adjust, I believe that our students, parents, and teachers all will appreciate the additional space. We know how well it has worked out for Teasley, and we believe that King Springs will have a similarly positive experience.”

Parents were informed of the decision in a September 26 letter from Ms. Keeney, and many parents attended a parent forum at the school on Sept. 30, 2014 to discuss the move. The response from King Springs’ parents has been overwhelmingly positive. King Springs is a 2012 Georgia School of Excellence, and a 2014 National PTA School of Excellence.


LaBelle Elementary Counselor Receives State Award
Emily DeVane (left) presents Courtney Waller (right) with the Georgia Coordinator of the Year Award for the Pennies for Patients Campaign

Emily DeVane (left) presents Courtney Waller (right) with the Georgia Coordinator of the Year Award for the Pennies for Patients Campaign

Emily DeVane from the Georgia Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society visited LaBelle Elementary School to kick off the Pennies for Patients Campaign. She surprised the school counselor,  Courtney Waller, with the Georgia Coordinator of the Year Award! The Pennies for Patients Campaign raises money to support research and finding a cure for blood cancers.

Courtney lost her twin sister, Kim, to Hodgkins Lymphoma several years ago.

College Credit Now Summit Oct. 23 at North Cobb High

CCN Invitation Poster  NC 2014 page 1

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