School Board members and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulate the VILLA Class of 2019 upon completion of the parent academy program.
The Cherokee County School District’s third annual VILLA Program, which encourages and celebrates parent engagement, saw record participation this year.
NOTE: A gallery is posted here with more photos from the program.
The award-winning parent academy program began two years ago in CCSD as a pilot initiative developed with the Georgia School Boards Association and with the support of Cherokee County School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, who championed the idea during her re-election campaign. CCSD’s VILLA program this month earned GSBA’s inaugural Leading Edge Award, which recognizes innovative practices by governance teams and school districts.
In response to the program’s popularity, this fall, for the first time, a morning session and an evening session were offered to expand enrollment … with 37 parents completing the program and graduating at the School Board’s November meeting!
“We greatly appreciate the growing number of parents who want to learn more about our School District and how they can better support our schools and our students,” Ms. Cromer said. “Parent engagement is critical to our success, and the School Board and I see VILLA as an important way for us to foster that engagement.”
VILLA (Volunteer Instructional Leadership Learning Academy) is a free six-week program that offers participants the opportunity to learn more about the public schools in their community. Topics including school operations, governance, funding and accountability are covered in classes that feature presentations by CCSD staff and question-and-answer sessions with the School Board and Superintendent of Schools, as well as a field trip to schools. The program concludes with a dinner and graduation ceremony.
Costs associated with the program are funded through the generous sponsorship of Credit Union of Georgia, a CCSD Partner.
Class size is limited, with participants selected by application (the 2020 application window will begin in May); classes are held in the fall and culminate with graduation at the School Board’s November meeting.
VILLA class members participate in a hands-on activity to learn more about how students study STEM in CCSD schools.
Sequoyah HS Assistant Principal Peter Vajda, right, and School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, left, lead the VILLA class on a tour of the school as part of the field trip.
VILLA class members watch Dean Rusk Middle School students participate in a STEM lesson.
VILLA Class of 2019
Ashley Nettles Davey
James Pugh, Jr.