In this edition of UnifiEd School Board Watch, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the April 16th regular session of the Hamilton County Schools Board of Education. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton County School Board Meeting Room at 3074 Hickory Valley Road. The Board Meeting is set to begin at 5:30 PM. We will be there live tweeting, follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Items of Interest:

1. Approval of FY 2016 Budget – The School Board will hold their last work session to discuss the SY 2015-16 Budget and is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget during the regular session. The budget calls for a $34 million increase that will go towards raising teacher salaries, providing more educational technology and infrastructure support, and putting art and foreign language teachers in elementary schools. If approved, the Board will officially present the budget to the County Commission for approval in May.

2. Public Comment Policy – Chairman George Ricks has agreed to waive the current Public Comment Policy requiring community members to gain approval to speak to the board 72 hours prior to the meeting until the School Board schedules a work session to discuss the topic. This will allow the public to speak at the regularly scheduled meetings without prior approval from the board.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

On the consent agenda* for Thursday’s Meeting the board is scheduled to approve:

Education and Leadership Support

  • Field trips scheduled for the following schools: Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, East Hamilton Middle/High School, Hixson High School, Ooltewah High School, Ooltewah Middle School, Red Bank High School, Sale Creek Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Soddy Daisy High School, and Central High School
  • Approval of the following special courses applications to the State Department of Education for SY 2015-16: Facing History and Ourselves, Intro to Athletic Training, Intro to Film, Comparative Religions of the World, HS Math 101, Yoga-Physical Educ., English 101, Mythology, Adv. Strength and Conditioning I, II, III, IV, Hip Hop Culture-English Lang. Arts, Geographical Study of The Civil War, The Presidency, Heritage German I, II, III, IB Lang. and Lit. I SL/LHL, Modern History through Film, Modern History through Music, Intro to Self-Advocacy, Planning for Transition, and Focus on Adulthood
  • Adoption of Math Instructional Resources as recommended from the Mathematics Textbook Adoption Committees (estimated total cost of $4,079,680 for textbooks/programs)

Business and Finance

1. Bids

  • Recommended contract extensions for various maintenance contracts for: treating HVAC systems, propane fuel, aluminum walkway covers/canopies, relocating portable classrooms, and heating fuel
  • Contract to furnish HP printer cartridges (Academic Suppliers and My Office Products)
  • Recommended approval to contract for Scholastic Book Fairs
  • Purchase of cosmetology equipment for Brainerd High School (Burmax Company Inc $65,628.35 and Sally Beauty Supply, LLC $65,268.00)
  • Recommended approval to use Giant Steps for musical Equipment repair and replacement parts for SY 2015-16
  • Recommended approval of School Annual Publishers for SY 2015-16
  • Recommended approval of Life and Long Term Disability Insurance renewal (providing a savings of $179,323.80)
  • Recommended contract awards for the School Nutrition Program for SY 2015-16

2. Conferences and Consultants

  • Staff Development for Educators (SDE) Differentiated Instruction Conference for Collegedale Academy worth $11,840 (Funding Source: Federal Title II Private School Budget)
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals (NASEP) Conference for Orchard Knob Elementary worth $1,674.50 (Funding Source: Federal Title I Budget)

3. Financial Reports

  • Monthly financial report comparing proposed budget to actual expenditure through February 28, 2015

4. Budget Amendments

  • Federal and Self Funded Programs: 21st Century Learning Community Centers (line item transfers), Race to the Top (line item transfers), Carl Perkins Vocational Grant (line item transfers), PEF – Standards Improvement Grant Self-Funded Program (increase of $2,825)
  • General Operating: Transfers within the FY 2015 Operating Budget (no additional funds requested): PreK Teachers No Benefits, PreL Substitute Teachers, Social Security, Medicare, Travel-Mileage, Instructional Supplies & Materials, Equipment, Educational Assistant, Retirement, LTD, and Maintenance/Repairs Equipment

5. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report received from the County Government as a matter of record for the minutes.

6. School Activity Fund Audit Report received from the County Government as a matter of record for the minutes.

Campus Support

  • Tuition Rates for SY 2015-16: $3,243 for out-of-county students (2.14% increase) and $8,215 for out-of-state students (2.07% increase)
  • Second and Final Reading of Board Policy 5.201: Suspension/Dismissal of Tenured Teachers – The revised policy requires written notice including reason for suspension and an explanation of the evidence but will give the employee the opportunity to respond to the director at a face-to-face meeting if requested within five (5) days.

Human Resources

  • New Position Request – two (2) JROTC positions to be filled April 20 and end on June 9, 2015 (temporary/no benefits) in order to reinstate the Army funding that will support the positions at Ooltewah High School and Central High School for SY 2015-16

Board Matters

  • Approval of Hamilton County Board of Education Schedule of Sessions for SY 2015-16

Auxiliary Services

  • Gann’s Middle Valley Bid Approval – Bids for construction of the new Gann’s Middle Valley School will be opened on April 30, 2015

Administrative/Business Matters

  • First Reading of Board Policy 5.301: Emergency and Legal Services – The revised policy will provide clarification for Emergency Leave allowing an immediate supervisor to grant a certified employee emergency leave during the workday for a maximum of three (3) hours for sudden, unexpected occurrences demanding immediate attention. Leave beyond three (3) hours requires the employee to use personal leave, sick leave, or leave without pay.

Board Matters

  • Zero Tolerance Suspension Appeal – Parent requesting the Board review their child’s zero tolerance suspension appeal decision

**(Consent Agenda) These items are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Board and will be approved by one motion. If any Board member objects to including an item on the consent agenda then that item shall become a separate action item for discussion.