In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the April 19, 2018 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 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed by HCDE through their Facebook page and the recording will be posted here on the UnifiEd blog afterwards.


View the full agenda and supporting documents >


Hot Topics:

    • Members of the APEX Project steering committee will present the board with a printed report discussing initiative findings, equity priorities for our school district, and the strategies for ensuring equity for all our students.


  • Board approval is recommended for the FY2019 Budget presentation to the County Commission. The proposed budget is $385,407,677.00 for General Purpose School Fund, $27,282,021.00 for the Federal Projects Fund, $21,351,629.00 for the Food Service Fund, and $6,215,411.00 for the Self-Funded Projects Fund.
  • Board Policy 3.501 Wellness Policy- First Reading: The 2010 Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act requires each Local Education Agency (LEA) participating in the National School Lunch Program or other child nutrition programs to review our local school wellness policy annually. Current policy is being revised to include the promotion of healthy food choices and nutrition throughout the school and cafeterias, the marketing of healthy foods, and the encouraging of healthy snack options given to students during classroom celebration, parties, and student birthdays.



Recognitions, Presentations, and Delegations:

  • The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program promotes recognition and appreciation for excellence in teaching in three categories: Grades PreK-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Justin Robertson, Chief Schools Officer, will recognize Samantha Eaton, Jeanne Manley, and Nader Mohyuddin as the 3 Hamilton County Teachers of the Year.
  • April 2018 as the 33rd National School Library Month. Special recognition will be given to school library programs and the role of school librarians in education through the formal recognition of April 2018 as “School Library Month.”
  • American Heart Association will present Allen Elementary and Westview Elementary plaques for the top two schools for Jump Rope for Heart, recognizing the principals and physical education teachers at both schools.
  • The principals and STEM coaches at Woodmore Elementary and STEM School will be recognized for the STEM Cart Teams, a partnership between Nolen and Woodmore where students had learning experiences and were a part of the first ever local race.
  • HCDE will recognize the Signal Mountain Middle High School Mock Trial Team for being declared the winner of the Hamilton County competitions and going on to finish first, second, fourth, and seventh at the State competition. They were the only team to beat the two-time defending state champion in preliminary rounds and finished in sixth place. This is the first time a SMHS team has ever placed in the top ten at the state level. They will also give special recognition to the students on the team for individual awards.
  • Tron Wilder will present to the board regarding the Kindergarten Start Date Policy.


Field Trips:

  • Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Lower School will send students to complete research at 4H Camp.
  • Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, and Red Bank High School will participate in music related field trips.
  • East Hamilton School will send students enrolled in AP courses to Florida to explore the education and training required for marine science professions.
  • Hixson High School, Ooltewah High School, Red Bank Middle, East Hamilton Middle High, and Tyner Academy will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Ooltewah High School and Red Bank High School will participate in JROTC related field trips.
  • Soddy Daisy High School will send members of student council to attend the TASC State Convention.
  • STEM School Chattanooga Robotics Team will participate in the FIRST Robotics World Championships.
  • Sale Creek Middle High School will compete in the ISEF Science Fair.
  • Spring Creek Elementary will send members of the GLOBE team to compete in the Southeast Regional Student Research Symposium.
  • Hixson High School will send students to compete in the FBLA National Conference and the HOSA International Leadership Conference.



Board approval is sought for:

  • The contract for air monitoring services for asbestos projects with costs ranging from $150.00 to $1380.00 depending on services and clearance status, with funds to be provided by the Capital Projects Fund.  
  • The furnishing and installation of HVAC electronic controls at East Lake Academy totalling $140,000.00 with funds to be provided by the 17/18 Capital Projects Fund.
  • Bid approval for various vendors and their products for the School Nutrition Program for SY 2018-2019 with funding to come from the School Nutrition Budget.
  • The approval of the School Annual Publishers for SY 2018-2019. Annuals are funded by advertising sales, community contributions, and souvenir book sales directly to students and other interested parties.
  • The approval of a Cooperative Agreement regarding Metro Nashville Public School’s contract with Beacon Technologies (a wiring contractor) for more timely completion of several current safety/security projects. MNPS would grant permission to HCDE to purchase products and services directly from Beacon Technologies and HCDE would agree to be financially responsible for all orders placed against the contract and hold MNPS harmless against any claims from HCDE orders.
  • The approval to purchase from Cengage Learning, Inc. for the National Geographic Reach Program. This would total $71,977.10 for programming for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade English language learners at Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills Elementary, East Lake Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, Orchard Knob Elementary, Red Bank Elementary, and Spring Creek Elementary. The funds will be used to provide curriculum resources for up to 525 students and 20 teachers and participation in professional development for teachers and instructional leaders. The funding for this purchase will be allocated from the Title III budget.
  • The purchase of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s easyCBM, a product providing a complete menu of assessments, meeting the needs of Mathematics, Reading, & Language screeners and progress monitoring for grades K-8. This would total $127,750.00 per year with funds coming from the General Purchase Budget.  
  • The purchase of a replacement box truck for the Warehouse Department totalling $76,150.00 with funds coming from the Warehouse Budget.
  • The ratification of emergency/early approval for the Spring Creek Elementary boiler room fire and replacement.
  • The ratification of emergency/early approval for the purchase of the Being a Writer Curriculum. The sets for Orchard Knob Elementary and Woodmore Elementary will be paid for using funds from the Model Partnership Grant ($27,900). Sets for the other elementary schools in the Opportunity Zone (Barger, Hardy, Calvin Donaldson, Clifton Hills, and East Lake) will use funds from the Title I budget for the Opportunity Zone ($80,250). The total expenditure will be $108,150.


Conferences and Consultants:

Board approval is sought for:

  • The CTE Director, twenty-five CTE teachers from various schools, and one teacher on special assignment to attend the 2018 Summer Institute for CTE teachers. At this institute, sessions are centered through Postsecondary Readiness, Career Readiness, and Teacher Readiness. Funding is paid through the Perkins Grant and estimated around $36,875.00.
  • The A+ Educators professional development for Notre Dame High School for a total of $50,000.00 from their school based Federal Title I non-public budget allocation. A+ Educators provides the teacher with manageable guidance on aligning and selecting instructional resources based on Current Tennessee State standards.
  • The A+ Educators professional development for OLPH School for a total of $14,000.00 from their school based Federal Title I non-public school budget allocation.


Budget Amendments:

The following budget amendments for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY2018 are recommended for board approval:

  • Title III, Immigrant Grant, with transfers between line items for instructional support.
  • School Improvement Grant–Partnership, totaling $990,998.00.
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers at East Lake Academy, with transfers between line items for community services.
  • IDEA Part B Grant, with transfers between line items for special education support.
  • Character Education Donations Self-Funded Program, totaling $6,500.00.
  • TN Disability Coalition Self-Funded Program, with transfers between line items for contracted services.

Additional Approval is sought for:

  • The amending of the FY18 General Purpose Operating Budget for transfers between accounts in the Superintendent’s Office, Career and Tech System Wide, Chief Financial Office, Warehouse, Accounting and Budgeting, Chief Business Office, Information Services, Telecommunication, and the Operation and Maintenance of Plant. These amendments reclassify existing budget appropriations between these various accounts.
  • The charging of school fees to students for FY19. School fees vary somewhat from grade to grade within the same building. Fees at each school across Hamilton County range from $5 to $100 per student.



  • There will be a HCDE Bullying Compliance Report through the 3rd quarter for the 2017-2018 school year. There are 154 number of reported confirmed cases for the 3rd quarter total.

Board approval is sought for:

  • The ratification of early approval for the boiler room replacement at Spring Creek Elementary. In November 2017 there was a fire in the Spring Creek Boiler room and a local engineering firm has recommended a total replacement of the building due to the structural damage. The work will need to be completed over the summer to keep from interrupting school operation and cost will not exceed $459, 059.00. Currently, HCDE has received $302, 000.00 in insurance money and is working to receive additional insurance fund.
  • The proposed breakfast and lunch meal price increase for the 2018-19 SY for HCDE employees and visitors. The increase would be $0.25 for breakfast and $0.50 for lunch. No price change is proposed for student meals.
  • Erlanger Health System providing district wide high school athletic trainer services to all high schools. A committee of athletic directors, principals, and a board member met to review the RFP’s for district wide athletic trainer program for all high schools. Based on the proposals submitted and the fact that Erlanger Health System was the low bidder, the committee recommends Erlanger Health System to serve as district wide athletic trainers.
  • A 2018-2019 tuition rate of $3,314 for out-of-county students (in-state of Tennessee) and $8,800 for out-of-state students. Tuition is based on the revenues that are not received since the student resides either out of-county or out-of state. Out-of-county proposed tuition increased by $9 or 0.27% compared to last year; while the out-of-state proposed tuition increased by $230 or 2.68%.Further approval is sought for out-of-county or out-of-state exceptional education students, whose program may require additional support (transportation, attendants, special equipment, etc.), be evaluated for admission on a case-by-case basis.
  • A time extension for the closing of the Old East Brainerd property. The buyer has requested an extension for closing on in order to complete an appraisal and Phase I Environmental study of the site. They have also offered an additional $50,000.00 of hard non-refundable earnest money for the extension.


Exceptional Education:

  • The Exceptional Education Director is requesting the approval of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. The purpose of this agreement is to establish working procedures between Hamilton County Department of Education and Blue Cross Blue Shield to collaborate and cooperate to create a High School Project SEARCH Transition program for eligible students with disabilities. The MOU outlines the roles and responsibilities of the parties as they work in partnership to increase opportunities for students with disabilities. No funds are needed or requested with this agreement.
  • The Exceptional Education Director is additionally requesting approval for the first amendment with Stellar Therapy, for the provision of speech and language services to Private and Homeschool students. The State Department of Education gave LEA’s a small bonus of $292.00 to their 2017-2018 IDEA preschool funds. This contract amendment is for the private school proportional services plan paid for from the IDEA, Part B Grant $395,547.00 and IDEA, Preschool Grant $11,263 not to exceed $406,810.00.


Board and Other Matters:

  • Approval is sought for the textbook adoption of instruction resources as submitted by the Textbook Adoption Committees. Total cost for the textbook list is $4,078,863.00.
  • A parent has requested that HCDE review her child’s level II appeal decision.
  • Superintendent Dr. Johnson will recommend the FY 2018-19 Schedule of Sessions for board approval.
  • Legal Services: A total of $25,193.06 was paid in the month of March for legal fees to Bennett & DeCamp, PLLC and the Markel Firm.



  • May, 2018: Presentation of Budget to County Commission (Usually 1st week)
  • May 4, 2018: Armed Forces Day Parade
  • May 24, 2018: Board Meeting Regular Session
  • May 25, 2018: Last Day of School and Report Cards (Buses will not run)
  • May 29, 2018: Memorial Day Holiday, Central Office Closed