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

  • Board Policy 4.601 Grading System- First Reading: This updates the current grading policy to reflect percentage of TCAP in student grades for both 3-8 and high school at 15% of the student’s grade. If TCAP raw scores are not received before the last day of school, the results will not be included in student grades.
  • Board Policy 5.114 Personnel Records-First Reading: This updates the current personnel records policy to include a clause stating that no administrator or supervisor may offer an employment reference or a letter of recommendation for any employee or former employee of HCDE unless he or she directly supervised the employee or former employee within the preceding 12 months.
  • Board Policy 6.309 Zero Tolerance Offenses- First Reading: This updates the current zero tolerance offense policy adding in language that states any student who “commits aggravated assault or commits an assault that results in physical contact with any teacher, principal, administrator, any other employee of the school, or school resource officer, shall be expelled for a period of not less than one calendar year.” The director of schools can modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.
  • Board Policy 5.1061 Criminal Records Check- Second Reading: New language has been added to the current policy requiring background checks for volunteers and contractors, as well as updated background checks every five years for current employees, applications, and new employees undergoing initial criminal record checks.
  • Board Policy 5.502 Harassment/Sexual Harassment and Discrimination- Second Reading: This updates the current “investigation and recommendation” section of harassment, sexual harassment, and discrimination policy. The new policy language prohibits the school system entering into, or requiring a complainant to enter into, non-disclosure agreements during or before a settlement for sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault.
  • Board Policy 6.200 Attendance- Second Reading: This policy adds language requiring LEA to adopt progressive truancy interventions for students who are identified as habitually absent. These interventions include conferencing and meetings with parents, referral to a social Social Worker or Trancy Officer, a needs assessment meeting with a student and their family, and, as a final measure, a meeting with the Truancy Board. Truancy Board meetings will occur if a student has 8 or more unexcused absences and did not respond to other interventions. If a parent or guardian does not attend the Truancy Board meeting or the student does not improve in their attendance, the Truancy Board will refer the student to the Juvenile Judge.
  • Board Policy 6.602 Student Records Inspections and Correction Procedures- Second Reading: This policy outlines procedures for parents and students to inspect a student’s educational records and, if needed, submit a correction to their transcript.  Student transcript alterations may only be made when the change is supported by documentation providing an explanation of the reason for the transcript alteration and evidence that the student has earned the grade reflected in the altered transcript.

Recognitions, Presentations, and Delegations:

  • The Director of JROTC will recognize the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the JROTC marching competition, during last May’s Annual Armed Forces Parade. There will be a presentation of plaques provided by the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council (CAVC).
  • Superintendent, Dr. Bryan Johnson, will recognize board members David Testerman and Joe Galloway as they leave the School Board to pursue other opportunities. He, along with fellow board members, will share their accomplishments and words of appreciation for serving the students of Hamilton County Schools.
  • The Chief of Operations will present the report of Readiness and Safety which will give  updates to the departments of School Age Child Care, Auxiliary Services, Transportation, Child Nutrition, Information Technology, and School Security.

Field Trips:

  • Red Bank High School will send students enrolled in JROTC to participate in the Raider
  • Invitational Meet Team Competitions.
  • The East Ridge High School volleyball team will attend camp.
  • The Soddy Daisy High School cheerleading team will attend camp.


Board approval is sought for:

  • The contract to furnish food supplies to Brainerd High School Bistro Restaurant totalling $20,190.48 with funds to be provided by the Brainerd High School Internal Funds.
  • The contract for locker projects with funds to be provided by the Maintenance Budget & Capital Projects Fund.
  • The purchase of Freon for the Maintenance Department totalling $33,500.00 with funds to be provided by Maintenance Budget.
  • The contract with Stellar Therapy for the provision of speech and language services to Private and Homeschool students. This contract is for the private school proportional services plan paid for from the IDEA, Part B Grant, IDEA, Preschool Grant, and IDEA Carry Over Amount not to exceed $441,118.00.
  • The first amendments to the Signal Centers Adult Services and Special Education Services Contracts. These amendments are needed to address the isolation and restraint requirements that is mandated by the State Department. No additional funds are needed or requested for this amendment; current; Exceptional Education General Purpose Funds will be used.
  • The purchase Tennessee ACT Vouchers for all eleventh grade students. This purchase order is for $123,480.00. The State provides funding for the ACT exams through BEP Funds.
  • The contract with We R CPR making them the sole source provider for the certification cards for the American Heart Association BLS Instructors for HCDE for the August trainings.
  • The addition to Snow Hill Elementary School totalling $923,511.00 from with funding to be provided from capital funds.
  • The purchase of motor fuel for the month of July totalling $34,864.00 with funds provided by the Warehouse Inventory Fund.  

Additional approval is sought for:

  • The continuation of Reading Eggs, a literacy support program solely distributed by Edmentum, Inc. This program, in cooperation with the local United Way Agency, enhances literacy support for grades PreK through fifth grade and is available to all students enrolled in one of our Hamilton County Schools PreK – 5. Students have access to the program both during and after school. This program totals $316,500.00 for a three-year agreement. A yearly payment of $105,500 would be required each year of the agreement.
  • The contract between HCDE and STARS to provide training and guidance to strengthen the school learning community through student training, peer mediation, early intervention student support, individual school support, and the Kindness Matters Campaign. This contract request is contingent upon approval of the Safe Schools Grant as submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education.
  • The renewal of the fixed-term license for Rosetta Stone, a language learning software, to provide course services for up to 1,000 students and on-demand Professional Development during the 2018-2019 fiscal year totalling $89,099.00 ($89.00 per pupil). The funds will be provided by Title III federal budget.
  • The contract between On Point and Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, and Brainerd High for REACH (Rapport, Emotion, Academic, Character, Health) to Achieve programming oversight, enrichment, and support. This project will address student and family needs ranging from academic support to mental and emotional health. Students will be served with tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment activities selected by administrators and students for optimal engagement. The total requested is $74,993.28 with funds to come out of the Fiscal year 2019 21st Century Learning Community Centers (CLCC) Federal grant.
  • The contract with New Classroom Innovation Partners, Inc. for the purchase of “Teach to One: Math”, a program for math instruction using personalized, blended learning to be used at Brainerd High School. The total amount requested is $100,000.00, which will be funded by the Federal District Priority Schools Grant.

Budget Amendments and Grants:

  • Board approval is needed to amend the FY19 General Purpose Operating Budget for the reclassifying of existing budget appropriations between various accounts including:
    • Community Involvement Employees and Benefits
    • Chief Equity Office Employees and Benefits
    • Information Services Contracts and Licenses
    • General Employee Benefits
    • System Wide Elementary Employee Benefits
    • Communication and Development Employee Benefits
  • Board approval is needed for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY 2019 for the following budget amendments:
  • The School Improvement Grant, with an increase of $1,100,000.00
  • The 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant (Opportunity Zone Schools—Brainerd High, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, and Calvin Donaldson Elementary), totaling $306,980.00
  • Additional approval is sought for:
    • The acceptance of the HCDE- Safe Schools Act Grant funded by TDOE for $1,164,040.00 to maintain law enforcement presences at Hixson and Orchard Knob Middle Schools, strengthen safety vulnerabilities identified by assessments, provide student training in maintaining a cohesive, safe school environment, support safety staff planning sessions, provide and maintain safety-related and character development resources, staff development, and hire part time staff members to assist with maintaining documentation of safety records.
    • The amendment of the FY18 General Purpose Operating Budget to appropriate the additional revenue totalling $4,569,000.00 from the State July Final BEP memo. The difference in BEP revenue is due primarily to three areas – the addition of an RTI (response to intervention) component, the increase in the ELL formula, and growth. The additional funds are being appropriated for these positions and purposes, and also to allocate funds to Capital Maintenance for capital facilities assessment and safety issues.

Board Matters:

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


  • September 3: Labor Day Holiday – Schools and Central Office Closed
  • September 20: Board Meeting Quarterly Session