In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the December 21st, 2017 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:

  • Superintendent, Dr. Johnson, will be requesting a new position be created for Chief Equity Officer. In order to improve student achievement and increase efficiency and effectiveness, Dr. Johnson will recommend that the Director of Student Services position be elevated to Chief Equity Officer. This role will take a more comprehensive approach to the alignment of student support resources and the assurance of equitable education access for all students. The Chief Equity Officer will oversee all equity efforts as well as student services, social workers, counselors, EL services, homeless services, and potentially Special Education. This shift would finalize the necessary Chief Officer shifts to complete a C-suite of district leaders responsible for the various functions of our school district.
  • First reading of Board Policy 6.203: School Admissions– Due to changes in state law referencing the provision of social security numbers, it is necessary to revise the current policy on School Admissions. The revised policy no longer requires any student entering school for the first time to present their social security numbers.
  • Second and Final reading of Board Policy 4.205: Magnet Programs– The current policy for magnet school programs is being revised. The revision allows for all students who attend a Hamilton County school or reside in the Hamilton County school zone to have the opportunity to apply for or attend a magnet school.
  • Second and final reading of Board Policy 5.304: Extended Leaves of Absence for Certificated/Classified Personnel– The current policy is being revised to include maternity leave and a new approach to absences longer than eight weeks. The new policy will provide clarification to frequently asked employee questions as well as emphasizing timelines for submission of leave paperwork and documentation. The major addition to the policy reads: “if an employee needs to extend leave beyond the eight-week leave period, the employee must formally request an extension from Human Resources no less than 30 days before the expiration of that eight-week leave period, unless the notice period is waived by the director of schools upon receipt of a certified statement by a physician.”


Recognitions and Presentations:

  • The Principal at Signal Mountain Middle High School will recognize members of the 2017 girls’ cross country team for placing at the 2017 Cross Country State Champions and the 2017 Region Champions.
  • The Principal at Tyner Academy will recognize the 2017 football team, the Tyner Rams. The Rams represented Hamilton County in the TSSAA 2A State Championship game finishing as State Runner-Ups.
  • Presentations will be given by Justin Witt, updating the architect selection for current projects, and Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, updating the calendar.
  • Byron Roberts, Quarterback Club President at Sale Creek Middle High School will be addressing the board.


Field Trips:

  • Central High School, East Hamilton School, Soddy Daisy High School, Ooltewah High School, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Red Bank High School, and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper will participate in music related field trips
  • Members of the Ooltewah High School dance team will attend the Magic City Competition in Alabama.
  • Students from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper will travel to Madrid, Spain for language immersion and cultural enrichment.
  • Ooltewah High School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, Soddy Daisy High School, and East Hamilton School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Soddy Daisy High School will send members of the Environmental Club to compete in the NOSB Hurricane Bowl.
  • Ooltewah High School will sent members of the Model UN Team to attend the Model United Nations Conference in November of this year.
  • Students at Red Bank High School will attend the Student Television Network Convention in Nashville.
  • Students from The Howard School will travel to Washington, D.C. to see first-hand the history of our democracy and will share their experience with underclassmen upon their return.



Board approval is sought for:

  • The sale of surplus vehicles, 15 in total, with sale values varying from $111.86 to $1,700.00.
  • The purchase of an online student registration system ans magnet lottery system from PowerSchool. The online registration system will allow parents to complete the required forms for school registration online through multiple devices. A 3 year contract will total $266,325.89 with funds to be provided by the General Purpose budget.
  • The partial re-roof of Hunter Middle School totalling $1,122,335.00 with funding to be provided by the 2016/17 Capital Fund.
  • The purchase of a truck with an 11ft. dump bed to replace the current truck that was taken out of service. The truck purchase will be in the amount of $58,500.00 with funds provided by the Maintenance Equipment fund.
  • The purchase of COGNOS, a data reporting and collection solution, as an add-on for the finance, human resources and payroll software for the district. This 3 year contract purchase will be from PowerSchool Group, LLC with a 1 year total of $83,525.08 with a 3% increase each year. Funds will be provided by the General Purchase budget.
  • The purchase of a Torque Certification Kit and Verus Edge Workstation from Snap-On Industrial, a division of IDSC Holdings, LLC, for a total of $33,487.51 with funds to be provided by the CTE Perkins Grant. These materials will be used to certify students in receiving their Snap-On Industry Certification.
  • The first amendment to the contract with Momentum Behavior Analysis for the 2017-18 school year to provide Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services to students with disabilities. The amendment is to extend the agreement until the end of the 2017-18 school year. The services will not exceed $35,000.00 with funds to be provided by the Exceptional Education General Purpose funds.
  • The first amendment to the agreement with Stellar Therapy Services, LLC to provide Speech and Language, Occupational, and Physical Therapy services. The amendment is to cover additional staffing needs of three full time unfilled SLP positions that has been vacant all school year. The amendment is for an additional $370,000.00 for the 2017-18 school year making the new total not to exceed $2,359,972.00 with current GP, IDEA, and Self-Funded funds to be used. No additional funds are requested.  
  • The contract for Psychological and Assessment Services with Stellar Therapy Services, LLC for a school psychologist. The total will not exceed $40,796.00 to be paid from IDEA, Part B funds during the 2017-2018 school year, with no additional funds requested.
  • The purchase of motor fuel totalling $14,552.00 with funds provided by the Warehouse Inventory Fund.


Budget Amendments:

  • The following budget amendments for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY2018 are recommended for board approval:
    • Title III English Language Acquisition Grant, covering expenses such as teacher supplements, assistants, and benefits, with a net increase of $40,414.00.
    • Title III Immigrant Grant, covering expenses such as bilingual teacher supplements, benefits, and supplies, totaling $18,119.00.
    • Title IV Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment, with transfers between line items for areas such as instructional materials and equipment.
    • Family Resource Centers, with transfers between line items for salaries and education coordinators.
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 5), with transfers between line items for areas such as teacher contracts, salaries, and insurance.
    • Carl Perkins Vocational Grant, with transfers between line items for areas like personnel and insurance.
    • Therapy Services Self-Funded Program, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $360,000.00
    • Special Education Self-Funded Program, for areas like employee benefits and insurance, totaling $1,100.00.
    • JROTC Competitions Self-Funded Program, totaling $6,953.00.
    • Nursing Services Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $25,232.00 for areas such as office and medical supplies.
    • Maintenance Recyclables Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $8,651.00 for materials and equipment maintenance.
    • College Fair Self-Funded Program, totaling $5,347.00.
    • Supplemental Salaries Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $29,121.00 covering areas like staffing and employee benefits.
  • Additional approval is sought for:
    • The appropriation of the fund balance previously committed for Telecommunication in the amount of $2,000,000.00. These funds will be used to convert the current HCDE telephone system from analog lines to VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) for all schools and sites within Hamilton County Department of Education.
    • The appropriation of the fund balance previously committed for Capital Maintenance projects in the amount of $10,280,000.00. These funds are assigned to be used for Capital maintenance and repair projects as established in conjunction with County bond funds.
    • The FY18 General Purpose Budget Mid-Year True Up Amendment: Each year the Finance Department prepares a mid-year budget amendment to account for adjustments made to the District’s General Purpose Fund approved budget. This “true up amendment reflects the changes to the budget but no additional revenue is needed for these transfers between accounts


Administrative and Business Matters:

  • The board will review a student’s zero tolerance suspension appeal decision.
  • Approval is sought for:
    • The operating agreement between Chattanooga State and the Hamilton County Department of Education pertaining to the extension of the STEM lease agreement with Chattanooga State. This agreement will set forth standard operating procedures for students while on campus at Chattanooga State.
    • The agreement with the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Unit. The purpose of this agreement is to establish working procedures between the Hamilton County Department of Education and any County Operated Detention Center to provide free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities who are detained or incarcerated in county or city-operated detention centers.
    • A list of textbook committees to work on selecting curriculum resources. The committees will work over the course of the next three months to bring the best available instructional resources for approval at the April 2018 Board Meeting.
    • The consultant agreement with Jessica Kaminski for a total of $4,080.00 from the Title I School Support budget for the Opportunity Zone. Services will include strategies for teacher support and development of effective math teaching practices, student engagement, best practices for teaching effectively, and bridging the gap for students who are below grade level.
    • A resolution proposed by Vice Board Chair, Karitsa M. Jones, to express the school board’s opposition to the use of public funds in the form of vouchers for private, religious, and non-religious schools. This is in response to the pending legislation that would create voucher programs to allow public funds to pay tuition cost for students to attend private, religious, and non-religious schools. The resolution emphasizes the concern that this will divert funds for public schools and their success.
  • Legal Services: A total of $26,532.27  was paid in the month of November for legal fees to Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC and the Markel Firm.




  • December 21, 2017 – January 3, 2018- Winter Break, Schools closed
  • December 25-26, 2017- Christmas Holiday, Central Office closed
  • January 1-2, 2018- New Years Holiday, Central Office closed
  • January 4, 2018- Teacher Professional Development, School-Based (No Students)
  • January 5, 2018 – Teacher Professional Development, System-wide (No Students)
  • January 8, 2018 – School Reopens
  • January 15, 2018 – Martin Luther King Day, Schools and Central Office Closed
  • January 18, 2018 – School Board Meeting