In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the March 16th 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:

  • iZone and Strategic Plan Update: Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly will give an iZone update at the start of the school board meeting. Beginning last year, HCDE created a Strategic Plan draft for the 2017 year and Dr. Kelly will also give an update on its progress. This plan had a detailed focus on better supporting iZone schools.

Recognitions and Presentations:

  • Student School Board Member D’Andre Anderson will give a presentation on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) participation in two conferences this school year. He will show a video and provide a summary of the highlights of the 15th Annual Student SPEAK Out Conference and TSBA SCOPE Conference.
  • The principal at Lookout Valley Elementary School will recognize the Robojackets Robot Team who won first place in the Project Presentation in the Regional Competitions, first place for the Champion’s Award in the Super Regional Competition, second place for the Champion’s Award in the Georgia State Tournament, and will attend the World Competition in May.

Delegations:

  • The Band Director at Signal Mountain Middle/High School will be representing Hamilton County performing arts teachers to address the board regarding securing funding and support for Performing Arts in Hamilton County Schools. While performing arts classes require money for instruments, equipment, music, props, lighting, audio equipment, transportation, uniforms, costumes and assistant instructors, Hamilton County does not currently provide any funding for these programs.

Field Trips

  • CCA will send students to the Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Tri-Star Conference.
  • Collegiate High will send students to attend the Southern Regional Honors Council Conference.
  • Soddy Daisy High School will participate in the JROTC field trip.
  • Lookout Valley Middle/High School and Signal Mountain Middle/High School students will travel to Washington, D.C. for a capital tour and study of American history.
  • Soddy Daisy High School Student Council will participate in the 2017 TASC Convention.
  • CCA musical theatre, acting, and vocal students will travel to New York City for professional exposure and master classes with Broadway professionals.
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High School, East Hamilton Middle/High School, Ooltewah High School, and Sale Creek Middle/High School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Soddy Daisy High School Forensics Team will compete in the National Qualifier Forensics Tournament, Smoky Mountain Forensics Invitational, and the District Forensics Tournament.
  • Ooltewah High School will send chorus students to perform at Dollywood Amusement Park.
  • Soddy Daisy High School will participate in the TSSAA State Wrestling Tournament.
  • East Hamilton School will participate in a music related field trip.
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High and CCA will participate in a music related field trips.
  • Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School, CSAS Lower, and East Lake Academy will send student to conduct field study at 4H Centers.
  • Soddy Daisy High School band students will participate in the TN Tech Honor Band.

Bids:

  • Board approval is requested for the Knox County Procurement Division to award Presentation Solutions, Inc. for printing systems and supplies including installation, setup and, initial on-site training.
  • The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN) recently merged with the National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Company (National IPA).The combined merger will aim to provide a more robust contract portfolio to education institutions and government entities and it is recommended that HCDE authorize the school system to continue participation with the merged entities National IPA/TCPN since it received good service from TCPN before the merger.
  • It is recommended that HCDE authorize the school system to participate in the Goodbuy Cooperative Purchasing Program to allow qualified members to purchase goods and services in an efficient, cost effective, and competitive procurement method. Any agreements may be terminated by program members at any time with written notice to Goodbuy.
  • Lee McDade is requesting approval of the amendment to the tabulation sheet for furnishing and installing cooking equipment for various schools. A mistake was made on the original tabulation sheet the Gas Combi Oven, Double Stack, Convotherm Model C4 ED 6.20GS awarded to Strategic Equipment, LLC. The tabulation sheet showed a strategic unit price of $26,467.17, but the correct unit price should be $28,467.17.
  • Approval is sought to purchase texts and resources from Pioneer Valley Books in excess of $10,000 to better support early literacy instruction. Funding for these purchases will be provided through the General Purpose account and Federal Programs.
  • Emergency approval is sought for the partial re-roofing of the Orchard Knob Middle School 6th grade wing. The existing roof has extensive leaks and is beyond repair and the replacement needs to occur as soon as possible. The recommendation is to accept Porter Roofing for the amount of $165,400.00.
  • It is recommended that fuel and gasoline for the school system is purchased from Sweetwater Valley Oil Company totalling $13,932.00.

Business and Finance:

  • Approval is being sought for teachers and administrators to attend the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD Empower 17) conference in Anaheim California to learn and exchange information in curriculum and instruction. Administrators may be participating in this conference, in addition to teachers, which would make the attendance for HCDE collectively exceed $10,000.00.  Funding sources for this request might include, but are not limited to, Federal Title I, and Federal Title II.
  • The Principal at Orchard Knob Middle School is seeking to enter into a contract with Dr. Shirley Kilgore to aid in professional development for staff. This would be a total of $4,500.00 from their school based School Improvement Grant budget.
  • Approval is being sought for Teachers, Administrators, and other staff members to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio Texas to learn and exchange information in the field of educational technology. The potential addition of administrators and other staff members participating in this conference would make the attendance for HCDE collectively exceed $10,000.00.  Funding sources for this request might include, but are not limited to, General Purpose, Federal Title I, and Federal Title II.

Budget Amendments

The following budget amendments for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY 2017 are recommended for approval:

  • Title III, English Language Acquisition, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $3,404
  • Family Resource Center Grant, with transfers between line items
  • IDEA Preschool, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $9,917

Board approval is needed to amend the FY17 General Purpose Operating Budget for the transfers between accounts for health services, exceptional education, and information technology. Additionally, approval is needed to amend the FY17 School Nutrition budget for the transfers between accounts for healthcare, personnel, and equipment.

Administrative and Business Matters:

  • Board Policy 4.210 Credit Recovery-1st Reading: This policy states that the director of schools shall ensure that credit recovery facilitators receive training regarding course organization, online instruction management and related technology. Credit recovery teachers shall comply with all State Board of Education certification requirements. Students will be eligible for credit recovery if they get written consent from a parent/guardian or previously taken an initial, non‐credit recovery section of the proposed course and received a grade of at least 50%.
  • Board Policy 4.211 Work Based Learning Program-1st Reading: This policy states that students shall have access to a system of structured work-based learning (WBL) experiences that allow them to apply classroom theories to practical problems as well as explore career options.  The director of schools shall develop administrative procedures to govern the efficient administration of the WLB program. Such procedures shall include, among other things, a process for evaluation and assessment of the program to ensure that it is of high quality and meets the needs of students.
  • Board Policy 4.606 Graduation Requirements-1st Reading: Graduation requirements are being updated to say that before high school graduation, every student must achieve the specified units of credit, take the required end of course exams, have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct, take the ACT or SAT in the 11th grade, and successfully complete a United States civics test. In addition requirements for early or special education graduation are detailed in the new policy.
  • Board Policy 4.607 Graduation Activities-1st Reading: Policy has been updated to now say that graduation ceremonies and all activities included shall not be religious in nature. The content of any students’ speeches shall not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the school, employees, or the board. Additionally principals shall ensure that students graduating with distinction, state honors, or voluntarily completed at least 10 hours of community service each semester are recognized at graduation.
  • Board Policy 5.117 Procedures for Granting Tenure-1st Reading: A revision is being made to procedure granting tenure. Now the superintendent will recommend persons eligible for tenure at a board meeting with enough time to give notice of non-renewal to each teacher or educator not granted tenure within five (5) business days following the last instructional day of the school year.
  • Board Policy 6.205 Student Assignments-1st Reading: Students, including those in kindergarten, shall attend the school to which they are assigned. Principals shall be responsible for assigning students to classrooms based on records. Additionally, principals shall separate an alleged victim of child sexual abuse from an alleged perpetrator if the abuse allegedly occurred while the child was under the supervision or care of the school.
  • Board Policy 6.413 Prevention and Treatment of Sports Related Concussions-1st Reading: This policy makes arrangements for faculty, staff, athletic directors, and coaches (employed or volunteer) to manidorialy receive training on how to treat and prevent concussions. Additionally, it says a child showing symptoms of a concussion during an athletic activity must immediately be removed from the activity and analyzed by a licensed healthcare professional.
  • Board Policy 6.415 Student Suicide Prevention-1st Reading: All school certified staff must attend a suicide identification and prevention education training. This policy corresponds with and supports other federal, state and local efforts to provide youth with prevention education, early identification and intervention, and access to all local resources to promote health and prevent personal harm or injury.
  • Board Policy 6.505 Students in Foster Care-1st Reading: The Hamilton County School System shall provide all students in foster care, to include those awaiting foster care placement, with a free and appropriate public education. This policy include provisions for placement, enrollment, and transportation of foster students to schools.
  • Legal Services: For the month of February, $19,213.50 was spent on legal services from Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC.

Board Matters:

  • Approval sought for all teachers who satisfactorily completed their probationary period and met the evaluation score requirements in accordance with TCA to be awarded tenure.
  • Interim Superintendent, Dr. Kirk Kelly, is seeking approval for a continuation of a traditional summer four-day work week, which runs Monday through Thursday for 10 hours daily. This schedule would begin the week of May 29, and conclude with July 28 being the last Friday closure and would apply to Central Office employees and school-based administrators. The mandatory Friday closures across the district will result in an energy-based cost-savings (utility and fuel) of roughly $165,000.

Important Dates and Events

  • March 17th, 2017: Teach Professional Development, No Students
  • March 20th-24th, 2017: Spring Break
  • March 31st, 2017: Report Cards
  • April 5th, 2017: Kindergarten Registration
  • April 13th, 2017: Finance Committee Meeting
  • April 20th, 2017: School Board Meeting