In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the July 19st, 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:

  • The Chairman of the board, Dr. Highlander, will discuss the the results of the performance evaluation for the Superintendent. All members of the board gave a 1 to 5 ranking, 1 meaning significantly below expectations and 5 meaning significantly above, of the Superintendent in areas of Strategic Planning, Student Achievement, Staff and Personnel Relationships, School Leadership, Post-Secondary Opportunities, Business and Finance, and Board Relationship.
         These scores were then totalled and averaged. Dr. Johnson received an average score of 4.39 from Galloway, 3.50 from Highlander, 3.94 from Mosley-Jones, 4.44 from Lennon, 4.00 from Robinson, 3.50 from Smith, 2.78 from Testerman, 2.06 from Thurman, and 4.50 from Wingate giving him an overall average of 3.68 out of 5 from the board.
         Dr. Johnson also provided the board with a self-appraisal detailing his work over the past year including the development of the Future Ready 2023! Plan, an external audit of all facilities, a 10 year capital needs and building plan, new training initiative for teachers, learning communities, and so forth. View a copy of the Superintendent’s self-appraisal, as well as individual board member evaluations of the Superintendent with comments,


Recognitions, Presentations, and Delegations:

  • The Director of Exceptional Education will present to board outlining the Exceptional Education Department three-year plan for Inclusion.
  • Jeanette O’Markhail from HCEA will present to the board.


Field Trips:

  • Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts will send students enrolled in musical theatre and acting to New York for professional exposure to the art form and master classes.
  • Ooltewah High School will send students of the volleyball team to compete in 3 tournaments.
  • Red Bank High School cheerleading team will participate in a team building activity.
  • Central High School will send members of the marching band to camp.



Board approval is sought for:

  • The purchase of dual purpose paper for the Warehouse Inventory totalling $ 83,320.00 with funds to be provided by the Warehouse Inventory Funds.
  • The first agreement amendment with Stellar Therapy Services for the 2017-2018 school year. This agreement is to provide Speech and Language, Occupational and Physical Therapy services as required by Individual Education Plans and supervised by Exceptional Education Administrators. This amendment is needed to address a Speech Language position that was not included in the current contract. No additional funds are needed or requested for this amendment.
  • The agreement with the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Unit and the agreement with the Silverdale Correctional Facility and Hamilton County Jail. The purpose of these agreements is to establish working procedures between the Hamilton County Department of Education and any County-Operated Detention Center in the provision of services to eligible children with disabilities, who are detained or incarcerated in county or city-operated detention centers. This is to provide free appropriate public education in compliance with Federal and Tennessee State laws and regulations. No funds are needed or requested with these agreements.
  • The MOU with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee for Project SEARCH. 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 renewal with Book Systems Inc. for Atriuum Support, maintenance solution, and Lexile Enhancement Service. This web-based automation system meets the library needs in the county as well as provides students and faculty with easy access to their school’s online catalog. Having this web-based automation system allows teachers, students, and parents to also have home access to their school’s online library catalog and educationally appropriate websites. This will total $31,795.00, which will be funded through a self-funded program.
  • The utilization of the services of architectural, engineering, and design firms on an “as-needed basis” for HCDE projects for the 2018-2019 school year. The list of firms is presented annually to the board for approval.
  • The replacement of a compressor on the Red Bank Elementary Chiller totalling $28,423.00 with funding to be provided from maintenance funds.
  • The replacement of a compressor on the Soddy Daisy High School Chiller totalling $24,877.02 with funding to be provided from maintenance funds.



  • Board approval is sought for the consultant agreement with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) for a total of $65,000.00 funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. TNTP is a nationally recognized leader in teacher recruitment and retention and will support the District in conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the current state of recruitment, selection, and staffing efforts in the District. They will also evaluate the District’s HR IT systems as well as the data and tools used in talent acquisition decision making processes. From the evaluation, TNTP will provide the District with both short term and long-term recommendations of specific improvements that can be made to the District’s recruitment, selection, and staffing processes and systems.


Budget Amendments:

  • Board approval is needed for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY 2019 for the following budget amendments:
  • Title III Immigrant Grant, totaling $17,020.00
  • Priority Schools State Grant, totaling $670,384.00
  • IDEA Discretionary Supplemental Funds, totaling $20,707.00
  • National Science Foundation/Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, University of Louisiana, Lafayette sub-grant, totaling $7,700.00
  • CTE Perkins Reserve New Skills For Youth Grant, totaling $75,000.00
  • Community Donations-Schools Self-Funded Program, totaling $2,948.00
  • HR Planning Projects Self-Funded Program, totaling $65,000.00
  • Benwood Foundation Self-Funded Program, totaling $100,000.00


Administrative, School, and Board Matters:

Board approval is sought for:

  • Special Courses for 2018-2019.
  • A grant application from UTC for a fundamental reliability analysis of Si FinFETs and Nanowires through ionizing radiation effects spectroscopy to be funded by NSF for $511,728.00. This is to provide K-12 students with hands on experience in the STEM field.
  • The appointment of an employee to serve as a trustee for the Certified Sick Leave Bank an employee to serve as a trustee for the Classified Sick Leave Bank. These employees will each serve a three-year term.
  • The acceptance of a donation from Commissioner Discretionary bond funds for the reimbursement of an additional $4,000.00 to purchase Chromebooks for Hillcrest Elementary. The original allocation was $7,950.00.

Legal Services: A total of $20,000.00 in legal fees was paid in the month of June to Benett & DeCamp, PLLC.




  • August 2: School Based Administrative In-service #1
  • August 3: School Based Administrative In-service #2, Kindergarten Kick-Offs, Registration Day for Students-No Classes
  • August 4: Parent University Back to School Kick-off at First Tennessee Pavilion 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • August 6: School Based Administrative In-service #3
  • August 7: School Based Administrative In-service #4
  • August 8: First Day of School
  • August 16: School Board Meeting