CCMS shuts down 6th Grade in response to COVID-19

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CCMS Clear Creek Middle, Grade

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Starting today, Gilmer County Schools has shut down the 6th Grade of Clear Creek Middle School to attempt to stem a rise in numbers of positive cases within the grade level.

Grade, Shanna Downs, Superintendent

Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs

Those numbers are coming from both students and staff according to a letter from Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs stating that they would be closing due to the increase.

Effective until November 4, 2020, students will be at home with learning devices as a part of the distance learning platform that the school has had in use since the early spring outbreak of the virus. However, it is not exactly the same program as the school system has since improved and evolved their distance learning programs with added software and procedures.

Since August, some students have already been a part of the virtual classrooms and students in school have received instructions on using Google Classroom as well.

At this time, Downs states that all of the system’s other schools and grade levels will keep operating as they have been, remaining open for students.

In a letter to parents, Downs said, “Recognizing the challenges closures pose for many families in our community, we are making this decision with a heavy heart but for the greater good. Our priority is always the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

As of last Friday, October 16, 2020, the school system had 7 students absent with positive tests for COVID-19 and 133 students quarantined for possible exposure.

According to the school system’s website;

  • 4125 – Students enrolled in GCSS

  • 7 – GCSS Students Absent with a Current Positive COVID-19 Status

  • 133- GCSS Students Quarantined for Possible Exposure

  • 526 – Total Number of GCSS Employees

  • 7- GCSS Employees Absent with a Current Positive COVID-19 Status

  • 32 – GCSS Employee Who Has Been Exposed and is Quarantined or Reporting to Work as an Essential Employee*

The Board of Education is holding meetings this week as their regularly scheduled monthly meetings. FYN will update new stories if new information becomes available.

Employee from February incident out on bond

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Mary Elaine Newberry, bond

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – February saw a threat and incident at the Gilmer Schools’ Transportation Depot as a single woman allegedly walked into the facility with a firearm. Now, nearly 150 days later, Mary Newberry has left the detention center on bond.

Allegedly the woman behind the incident, she faces felony charges of Aggravated Assault and Carrying a Weapon in School Safety Zone among others, according to information on the Sheriff’s website for the Detention Center. She also face misdemeanor charges of Simple Battery, Pointing or Aiming a gun at another, and Loitering at or Disrupting Schools.

CCMS Clear Creek Middle, bond

Clear Creek Middle School in Gilmer County 

Posting the bond late last week after it was set by Superior Court Judge John Worcester, she has been placed under 15 conditions according to documents filed with the Clerk of Superior Court.

Those conditions include the bond payment, house arrest, “no contact” orders with a 500-foot distance for witnesses and alleged victims, “no contact” orders including a 500-foot distance from properties of the Gilmer County Charter School System, restrictions on employment with any school system, ankle monitoring, restrictions from firearms, voluntary searches, and other restrictions against committing crimes in general.

In addition, the documents do reference a reasoning as for the bond coming now. The documents stated that both parties “have reached a consent agreement (due to the alleged present physical health conditions of the defendant at the request of the Gilmer County Jail) to the amount of bond and the conditions of bond for the Defendant…”

The alleged incident occurred on the afternoon of February 27, 2020, around 1:30 p.m. and caused the nearby Clear Creek Middle School to go into a “precautionary lock-down.”

As Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs reported at the time, there were no injuries from the incident.

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