In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the September 15th 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 live tweet @UnifiEdHC, follow along at #HCSchools.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click here.

Hot Topics:

  • UnifiEd Executive Director, Jonas Barriere, to address the School Board: The school board will be updated on UnifiEd’s new campaign to create policy to include community members in the Superintendent selection process. Community members will also speak in support of this new campaign.
  • Vote and Selection of Superintendent Search Firm: The School Board Interviewed all 3 Superintendent search firm candidates, Coleman Lew and Associates, McPherson Jacobson LLC, and the Tennessee School Boards Association. A discussion of the interviews and a vote will take place during this meeting to select the search firm.
  • Second and Final Reading of Board Policy 5.205 – Retirement: The Board will pay a bonus of $20 per unused sick leave accrued by a teacher at the time of his or her retirement. If the teacher submits their notice on or before February 1 and completes the remainder of their contract, the bonus will be $40 (the bonus was only $30 in the previous policy).
  • First Reading of Board Policy 6.309 – Zero Tolerance Offenses: The zero tolerance policy now includes a provision that if a student is under the influence of any drug including any controlled substance or legend drug, he or she shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The director of schools shall have the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.
  • Updated Wellness Policy: In order to ensure that all schools offer a healthy, safe, and a supportive environment for students, Hamilton County Schools shall implement the CDC’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) approach to managing new and existing wellness‐related programs and services in schools based on State law. This includes the creation of a School Health Advisory Council, a commitment to nutrition, nutrition education, commitment to physical activities, and assessments of wellness policy. 

Field Trips

  • Ooltewah Middle School will participate in a band related field trip.
  • Ooltewah High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, East Hamilton School, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, Chattanooga High, Center for Creative Arts, East Lake Academy, Hixson High School, East Hamilton High School, Soddy Daisy High School, Hixson Middle School, Normal Park Museum Magnet School, Soddy Daisy Middle School, and Calvin Donaldson Academy will participate in academic related field trips.
  • Ooltewah High School, Sale Creek Middle/High School, Sequoyah High School, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in JROTC related field trips.

Bids:

  • Approval sought to furnish and install a serving line for Brown Middle School and East Ridge Middle School totaling $59,407.10 and $53,672.94 respectively.
  • Approval sought to approve the sale of a surplus vehicle 2008 Chevy Impala for $507.
  • Approval sought to approve a contract to furnish Freon for the maintenance department.
  • Approval sought to renew the contracts for DecisionEd Software Maintenance Subscription & Support and IBM Cognos Enhanced Consumer Support to the Multiyear Renewal for a period of October 2016 – September 2018. This totals $161,860.00.
  • Approval sought to order TruScore Testing & Analysis-Test for 3,000 students in the amount of $29,800.00 from Ring Publications, LLC dba MasteryPrep.
  • Approval sought for a contract with Orange Grove Center, Inc. for the 2016-2017 school year for Work Training Placement services. Funds will be disbursed in 10 equal installments and will not exceed $30,000.00 for up to 10 students.
  • Approval sought from Principal at East Ridge High School for a contract with Agile Mind Educational Holdings Inc. – Intensified Algebra for a total of $20,720.00 from the Title I School Support budget.
  • Approval sought approval from Principal at East Lake Academy for a contract with IXL Learning for a total of $10,530.00 from their school based Federal Title I budget, and from Principal at Tyner Middle Academy for a contract with IXL Learning for a total of $5,023.00 from their school based Title I budget.
  • Approval sought from the Principal at Hixson Middle School for the contract agreement with Mastery Connect for a total of $7,900.00 from their Federal Focus school’s grant budget.
  • Approval sought from the Principal at Bess T. Shepherd, for the contract with Reading Plus for a total of $5,666.64 from their school based Federal Title I budget.
  • Approval is sought for the contract and scope of work with the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University for year 4 of the 1:1 Technology Pilot. The NCSU contract and scope of work are in fulfillment of a requirement.  No HCDE funds are required.
  • Approval of STARS contract for $13,000.
  • Emergency approval sought to subcontract foundation repairs at Westview Elementary to address safety concerns and expedite the project. The schools recommends the Dwyer Companies in the amount of $135,700.00.
  • Early approval sought for the purchase of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s EasyCBM for this school year out of the general purpose budget for $127,750.00 per year.

Legal Fees

  • Legal fees were paid in the month of August to Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan
    PLLC and Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams totalling $21,332.30.

Conferences and Consultants:

  • Approval sought from the Principal at East Ridge Elementary for the contract with Franklin Covey Client Service, INC: Leader in Me Symposium, for a total of $6,599.00 from their school based Federal Title I budget.
  • Approval sought from the Principal at Red Bank Elementary for the consultant agreement with Jessica Kaminski for a total of $21,000.00 from their school based Federal Title I budget.

Donations

  • The Administration accepted the reimbursements of $3,400 to purchase a paint machine for Ooltewah High School from Commissioner Discretionary bond funds.

Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs

  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the School Improvement Grant Cohort III for Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Charter School, totaling $33,702.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the Homeless Education Grant, totaling $71,028.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the Title III Immigrant Grant carryover, totaling $2,179.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the ConnectTN Internet, totaling $200,000.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the Read To Be Ready Coaching Network, totaling $5,000.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the Special Education Self-Funded Program, totaling $500.
  • HCDE is recommended to approve the FY2017 budget amendment for the E-Rate Technology Self-Funded Program, totaling $100,000.

General Operating Budget Amendments

  • Board approval is needed to amend the FY17 General Purpose Operating Budget to recognize the increase in the State Final FY17 BEP revenue.

Appropriation of Unassigned Fund Balance

  • Approval is recommended to appropriate unassigned fund balance in the amount of $1,350,000. These funds will be used to purchase and make ready property in Ooltewah, TN to provide a soccer field for the Ooltewah High School girls soccer program.

Grant Application Requests

  • UTC EXCEL: EXploring Clean Energy through hands-on Learning (Funded by NSF for $1,192,081)

Human Resources

  • Request for the title change and promotion of Ms. Karen Glenn, effective retroactively to July 1, 2016, for taking the responsibilities as Title IX Coordinator and Coordinator of STARS. A salary increase to $83,485.86 plus benefits is recommended.
  • Request for one employee to serve as a trustee for the Certified Sick Leave Bank and two employees to serve as trustees for the Classified Sick Leave Bank. Each of these employees will serve a three-year term.
  • Request for a full time I.T. Technician with benefits. Starting salary will be approximately $29,277.77 plus benefits provided by Benwood Foundation for 2016-17 school year.

Updated Policy

  • Wellness Policy: In order to ensure that all schools offer a healthy, safe, and a supportive environment for students, Hamilton County Schools shall implement the CDC’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) approach to managing new and existing wellness‐related programs and services in schools based on State law. This includes the creation of a School Health Advisory Council, a commitment to nutrition, nutrition education, commitment to physical activities, and assessments of wellness policy.

Second and Final Reading of Board Policies

  • Board Policy 5.205 – Retirement: The Board will pay a bonus of $20 per unused sick leave accrued by a teacher at the time of his or her retirement. If the teacher submits their notice on or before February 1 and completes the remainder of their contract, the bonus will be $40 (the bonus was only $30 in the previous policy).
  • Board Policy 6.201 – Compulsory Attendance Ages: The compulsory attendance policy has been revised to clarify provisions regarding compulsory attendance ages.

First Reading of Board Policy

  • Board Policy 6.309 – Zero Tolerance Offenses: The zero tolerance policy now includes a provision that if a student is under the influence of any drug including any controlled substance or legend drug, he or she shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The director of schools shall have the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Ooltewah High School Property Expansion

  • Ooltewah girls’ soccer team has appeared before the board twice in the past several months because of inadequate practice space at the school for the past 15 years claiming the boys’ teams had priority. Parents of the girls’ soccer team began to threaten a Title IX lawsuit if the board did not take action. The board voted to purchase a 5-acre field for $925,000 and will approach County Commission for approval at their next meeting.

North Hamilton County-Bakewell Utility Easement

  • Justin Witt to address the School Board about formalizing the relationship between Union Fork-Bakewell Utility District (UFBUD) and North Hamilton County Elementary to continue water quality testing to eventually have a permanent water source for the community. In addition he will discuss options for future expansions of Ooltewah High School.