School Board Recap: May 2016

The May 19th School Board Meeting began with presentations recognizing students across the county for their academic achievement and participation in JROTC and health science units. HCEA and the East Ridge Alumni Association presented to School Board members during the delegations portion of the meeting, which allows the public to address the board directly.

During the regularly  scheduled meeting, board members approved all agenda items which included spending $913,600 on stadium repairs for schools across the county including: East Ridge High School, Tyner Academy, The Howard School, Hixson High School, Ooltewah High School, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, and Lookout Valley High School. The board voted unanimously to pull these funds from part of the school system’s fund balance. Board members were adamant that this decision was not making sports a priority over academics but that it was addressing a liability and safety issue for students and community members.

At the end of the meeting, the board also voted to approve of the Interim Superintendent’s salary of $160,000 annually with benefits. Further, they discussed the current job description for the new Superintendent. None of the board members voted to make any changes to the current description and they voted unanimously to authorize a RFQ to be placed for a Superintendent search firm which will allow the firms to submit bids for service.

Next month there is a Budget Work Session scheduled for June 9th at 5:00pm and a regularly scheduled School Board Meeting on June 21st at 5:00pm. We hope to see you there!

 

School Board Watch Blog: May 2016

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the May 19th regularly scheduled session of the Hamilton County School Board Meeting. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton County School Board Meeting Room at 3074 Hickory Valley Road and is set to begin at 5:30 PM. We will be there live tweeting. Follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Hot Topics:

  • Second and Final Reading Board Policy 4.301: Field Trips and Excursions – This revised policy requires teachers to consider various factors when selecting field trips. The policy adds guidelines that must be followed when planning and conducting trips and excursions. For school field trips (day and overnight), groups must be accompanied by at least one certified employee for every fifteen students.
  • Second and Final Reading Board Policy 6.409: Child Abuse and Neglect – This policy requires that if an offense occurs on a trip outside of the county, the report should be made to local Department of Human Services and law enforcement, as well as the Department of Human Services and law enforcement where the child resides.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

On the consent agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the board is scheduled to approve:

Field Trips:

  • Brown Middle School, Central High School, CSAS, East Hamilton, Hixson High School, Ooltewah High School, Sequoyah High School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, and Lakeside Academy will be attending career and technical related field trips.
  • Hixson High School and Ooltewah High School will be attending sports related field trips.
  • Ooltewah High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and Soddy Daisy High School will be attending camp related field trips.

Bids:

  • Total Building Maintenance for Normal Park Upper School Re-roofing for $331,291.00 (Funding source: Hamilton County Department of Education)
  • RG & Associates to purchase toilet partitions for Calvin Donaldson Annex for $3,629.00 (Funding source: Capital Projects Fund)
  • Electronic Controls, Inc. (ECI) of Chattanooga, TN for control upgrades at Red Bank Elementary School for $120,623.00 (Funding source: Capital Projects Fund)
  • Callahan Mechanical Contractors, Inc. for Sequoyah High School HVAC renovation phase 2 for $387,400.00 (Funding source: Capital Projects Fund)
  • Contract for the Instructional, Library, Office Materials and Supplies (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budget)
  • Contract for P.E./Athletic Equipment & Supplies (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budget)
  • Contract for Science Equipment Materials & Supplies (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budgets)
  • Contract for Chartered Coach Service for student field trips (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budget)  
  • Contract for Instructional Computer Software Contract (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budget)
  • Contract for German Reading & Teaching Materials Contract (Funding source: Operating and Schools Budget)
  • Contract for Medical/First Aid Equipment & Supplies (Funding source: Operating and School Budgets)
  • Purchase of Tennessee ACT vouchers SY 2016-2017 for $176,757.50 (Funding source: BEP funds)
  • Renewal of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Maintenance & Support contract for $15,438.36 (Funding source: General Purpose Fund)
  • Harland Technology Maintenance & Support Contract for ScanTools Scanner for $25,000.00 (Funding source: General Purpose fund)
  • IBM SPSS Software Maintenance Subscription & Support Contracts for $36,000.00 (Funding source: General Purpose fund)
  • Renewal of the UNICOM Systems SPSS Software & Support Renewal $12,570.00 (Funding source: General Purpose Fund)
  • Purchase of Pearson Assessment Order Justification for $35,204.25 (Funding source: Exceptional Education Department)
  • Renewal of the Chattanooga State Graduation Diploma Completion Program Funding Title I School Support Funds for $184,879.00 (Funding source: HCDE)
  • Approval to purchase a new chillar at Hixson High School for $112,896.00 (Funding source: Capital Projects)

Conferences and Consultants:

  • ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence for $6,660.00 (Funding source: Federal Title II Private School Budget Allocation)
  • 2016 Institute for CTE Teachers for $34,620.00 (Funding source: Perkins Grant)
  • Girls Inc. of Chattanooga for $9,750.00 (Funding source: 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program Grant)
  • A+ Educators for $7,152.00 (Funding source: Federal Title II Private School Budget Allocation)
  • PROPEL for $16,834.00 (Funding source: Federal Title II Private School Budget Allocation)
  • Staff Development for Educators Differentiated Instruction Conference (SDE Differentiated Instruction) for $26,639.00 (Funding source: Federal Title II Private School Budget Allocation)
  • Contract with Shirley C. Kilgore for $3,000.00 (Funding source: Federal Title I budget)
  • Staff Development Workshops for $11,200 (Funding source: Federal Title II)

Financial Reports:

  • The presentation of the monthly financial statement compares actual year-to-date expenditures to the original adopted budget and the year-to-date amended budget through March 31,2016.

Budget Amendments:

  • Federal and Self-Funded Budget Amendments: Transfers between line items for Title II Part, Teacher & Principal Training & Recruiting, Safe Schools Grant, Title III English Language Acquisition, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 4, Dalewood Middle), Focus Schools, and IDEA Part B. The Carl Perkins Vocational Grant has a net increase of $62,033 as well as transfers between line items.
  • General Operating Budget Transfers- board approval is needed to amend the FY16 General Purpose Operating Budget for the attached transfers between accounts.

Grant Application Request:

  • Request for the acceptance and approval Federal Programs that will support 53 schools in Hamilton County. The funds will be used for: programs for students in poverty, students with english as a second language, and special education for students 3-21, in addition to paying for teacher and principal professional development totalling $24,144,245 (Funding source: U.S Dept. of Education).

Human Resources:

  • This is a request for two and one half new positions for the 2016-17 school year: one half-time, no benefits Assistant at Middle Valley Elementary School and two full-time certified positions to open the Mechatronics Akademie for 11th and 12th grades in August of 2016.

Board Matters:

  • Ratification of Renaming of Music Room at Sale Creek Middle/High School: The committee of stakeholders of Sale Creek Middle/High School recommends that the music facility at Sale Creek take on the name of the Ernestine Eldridge Music Room. Ernestine taught music and physical education at Sale Creek School for 25.5 years and coached basketball and volleyball for 15 years and is well known to her dedication to her profession.

Second and Final Reading of Board Policies:

  • Board Policy 4.301 School Field Trips and Other Excursions: requires teachers to consider various factors when selecting field trips. The policy adds guidelines to be followed in planning and conducting trips and excursions. For school field trips (day and overnight), groups must be accompanied by at least one certified employee for every fifteen students.
  • Board Policy 6.409 Child Abuse and Neglect: requires that if an offense occurs on a trip outside of the county the report should be made to local Department of Human Services and law enforcement, as well as the Department of Human Services and law enforcement where the child resides.

First Reading of Board Policies:

  • Board Policy 1.108 – Nepotism: Request to revise the current board policy regarding nepotism in order to comply with current state legislative directives which includes declaring relationships to elected officials.
  • Board Policy 5.203 – Non Renewal: Request to revise the current board policy regarding nonrenewal to add that notices of non-renewal shall be delivered to employees within 5 business days following the last instruction day of the school year.
  • Board Policy 5.302 – Sick Leave: Request to revise the current board policy regarding sick leave in order to comply with current TCRS regulations regarding sick leave bonus payments at retirement.
  • Board Policy 6.701 – Solicitation and Fundraising: Request to revise current board policy regarding solicitation and fundraising in order to accurately define fundraising activities and to include regulations regarding online fundraising.

2016-17 Tuition Rates:

  • Recommendation for 2016-2017 tuition rate of $3,292 for out-of-county students (in-state of Tennessee) and $8,312 for out-of-state students. Out-of-county proposed tuition increased by $49 or 1.51% compared to last year; while the out-of-state proposed tuition increased by $97 or 1.18%.

Mechatronics Akademie – Memorandum of Understanding:

  • Request for the approval of the agreement with Mechatronics Akademie, an industry skills certification program. The Mechatronics Akademie is a high school partnership program with Chattanooga State Community College, Hamilton County Schools and Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC that will have goals to increase student success.

School Resource Officer (SRO) Program:

  • Request to re-establish the School Resource Officer Program for the period from August 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017.

Apison Elementary – Water Line Right of Way:

  • Eastside Utilities is planning on the construction of a new 24 main water line that will extend past Apison Elementary. Eastside Utilities is requesting a 10 wide permanent easement and a 10 wide construction easement for the purpose of constructing and maintaining the water line.

Daisy Elementary Road and Pick Up/Drop Off Area:

  • Request for the approval for the construction of a new road and pick up/drop off area at Daisy Elementary School for $554,368.78 (Funding source: Discretionary Funds).

Events/Announcements:

  • Budget Work Session: June 9, 2016, 5:00 PM, Board of Education
  • School Board Meeting: June 21, 2016, 5:00 PM, Board of Education

 

HCDE Budget for 2017

In April, the School Board approved the 2017 Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) Budget. The new budget proposes an increase in school spending by $33,793,866 requesting a total of $385,051,862 for Hamilton County public schools. This year, our school system budget is linked to student outcomes focused on system wide priorities including: workforce readiness, improved literacy, and a renewed focus on priority schools. We applaud the school system for dedicating time, resources, and money towards ensuring there are highly effective teachers in the classrooms of our most vulnerable students.

 

FY 2017 Budget Overview

Base Budget Starting Point:                       $351,257,996

Budget for Strategic Focus Areas:             $  33,793,866

Total Requested Budget for FY 2017:       $385,051,862

 

 

 


Workforce Readiness Priorities: In Hamilton County, 94% of students with Career/Technical Education (CTE) concentrations matriculate to postsecondary placements related to their concentration. Currently, 1 in 30 (3%) students complete a certificate. In 3 years, Hamilton County would like to see 1 in 7 (14%) students complete a certificate.

Budget Allocation: $19,166,917


Literacy Across the Curriculum Priorities: In 2015, 45% of our students were reading on grade level. In 3 years, HCDE would like to see 60% of students reading on grade level. In 2015, the average ACT Composite Score was 19. In three years, HCDE hopes the average ACT score moves up to 21 enabling students to qualify for the HOPE Scholarship.

 

         Budget Allocation: $7,205,059


Priority School Focus: HCDE wants to put more focus on priority schools in our county by: extending support beyond iZone schools to all schools near priority status, increase instructional supports tailored to specific priority schools and student populations, strategically recruit and retain highly effective teachers and leaders in priority schools, increase support for the growing English Language Learners (ELL) population, and build connections for students and families to basic medical care through telemedicine and clinic-in-schools program.  

Budget Allocation: $5,713,080


System Wide Priorities: HCDE is requesting an increase in the Capital Maintenance Budget for building repairs and maintenance, contractual increases for transportation plus 2 additional buses and the remaining cost of 4 buses bought last year, and the increase in utilities to pay for increased electricity and water/sewer rates.

Budget Allocations: $1,708,810

 

Hamilton County is at a crossroads for change and the Hamilton County Department of Education is taking a step in the right direction with this year’s school budget by aligning dollars spent with student outcome goals. The Department of Education will present the budget to County Commission for final approval in May. Stay tuned for more information.