See where your 2018 school board candidates stand on education issues in Hamilton County!

 

At the heart of our community organizing work at UnifiEd is the mission to empower Hamilton County community members to use their voice to drive change. In this election year, our goal is to provide the information and channels you need to cast an informed vote for the school board candidate who shares your values and vision for excellence in our schools. We invited candidates to share their vision with voters in two ways:

Click on a name to view that candidate’s responses.

 

District 3 Candidates

Miracle Hurley

Joe Smith

District 5 Candidates

Karitsa Mosley Jones

Challenger Ann Pierre has not responded to the questionnaire.

District 6 Candidates

Michael Henry

Jenny Hill

District 8 Candidates

Tucker McClendon

Incumbent David Testerman has not responded to the questionnaire.

District 9 Candidates

D’Andre Anderson

Dr. Steve Highlander

 


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April 2018 Schoolboard Watch Blog

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.

 

Bids/Contracts:

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.

 

Operations:

  • 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.

 

Events/Announcements:

  • 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

March 2018 Schoolboard Watch Blog

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the March 22nd, 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 PM. We will live tweet @UnifiEdHC, follow along at #HCSchools.

 

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click here.

 

Hot Topics:

    • Dr. Marsha Drake, Chief Equity Officer, will give a presentation to the Board on the Equity Task Force.
    • James Johnson from the NAACP will address the Board regarding equity in Hamilton County Schools.
    • Sheriff Jim Hammond, Ron Thomas, and Christine Essex will all address the Board regarding school safety.

 

 

 

Recognitions, Presentations, and Delegations:

  • HCDE will recognize Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts for being named a National Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme based schools. They will be recognized and receive a National Magnet School of Excellence Merit Award during an awards ceremony held at Magnet Schools of America’s 36th National Conference.
  • HCDE will recognize a recent Collegiate High graduate as a 2018 Prudential Spirit of the Community Award winner. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the largest youth recognition program in the United States based exclusively on volunteer community service.
  • HCDE will recognize a student from Washington Alternative School as the winner of the EPB Black History Poetry Contest out of the 327 received entries. The student and her teacher will receive a prize and were honored at a March banquet.
  • A student from Lookout Valley Middle High School will be recognized for being named a Horatio Alger Tennessee State Scholar. This award is given to students from every state that experienced challenges, but ultimately overcame them to become successful business and civic leaders.
  • The Signal Mountain Middle High School Mock Trial Team will be recognized for being declared the District 5 competition winner. This means they will advance to the State final where they will compete among 16 teams from across the state.
  • HCDE will recognize the Tyner Academy African American History Quiz Bowl Team for winning the AFAM History Bowl. The competition is an annual event sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Chattanooga. The Tyner team will now compete in the national competition in Florida this summer
  • The Chief Schools Officer will give a presentation to the Board on the reorganization of the Curriculum and Instruction Department.
  • Claire Stockman will address the Board on Related Arts Lead Teachers in HCDE.

 

Field Trips:

  • Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Thrasher Elementary, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper, East Hamilton School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in music related field trips.
  • East Hamilton School, Tyner Academy, Ooltewah Middle School, Ooltewah High School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, Soddy Daisy High School, East Hamilton School, Red Bank High School, Sale Creek Middle High School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, and Brainerd High School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts will send members of Destination Imagination to compete in the DI Global Finals.
  • Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper will send students enrolled in eighth grade to Washington, D.C. for learning opportunities that coincide with eighth grade American history curriculum.
  • Normal Park Museum Magnet will send students enrolled in eighth grade to Georgia for hands-on science learning.
  • Sale Creek Middle High School will send students enrolled in art to SCAD and complete their portfolio.
  • Members of the Signal Mountain Middle High School mock trial will travel to Nashville to compete in the mock trial state competition.
  • Signal Mountain Middle High School will send students to Germany to learn about the German culture in a German school.
  • Members of the Soddy Daisy High School forensics teams will compete in the state forensics tournament.
  • Soddy Daisy High School, Sale Creek Middle High School, and Hixson High School will participate in JROTIC related field trips.
  • Signal Mountain Middle High School had members of youth in government attend the YMCA Youth in Government Conference in early March.
  • Students in the Soddy Daisy High School forensics team will compete in the district forensics tournament.
  • Students at Sequoyah High School will compete in the HOSA State Conference
  • Students at Loftis Middle School will compete in the TSA Leadership Conference.
  • Students at Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts will attend the VEX Worlds for Robotics Observation.
  • East Hamilton Middle School will send students to compete in FBLA State Conference.

 

New Position Request:

  • The office of Teaching and Learning is requesting to upgrade a current Program Director
    position to a Director 1 position, a Middle School Director of Teaching and Learning. This position will serve under the Director of Teaching and Learning and will focus on curriculum development and provide instructional support for Middle Schools across the Learning Communities. The Middle School Director will directly supervise ELA, Math, and Science content specialists, as well as support the instructional coaches assigned to all Middle Schools. This is a budget neutral change.

 

Bids/Contracts:

Board approval is sought for:

  • The purchase of musical equipment repairs and parts from Giant Steps, a local vendor, covering the 2018-19 school year.
  • The sale of surplus pianos at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts to Jazzanooga totalling $2000.00.
  • Furnishing and installation of 4 wheel chair lifts replacements at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts totalling $121,092.00 with funds provided by the 2017/18 Capital Projects Fund.
  • Furnishing and installation of kitchen equipment for the School Nutrition Program with prices varying from $3,159.00 to $8,529.00 depending on unit cost with funds to be provided by the School Nutrition budget.
  • The bids and contracts for commodity processing for the School Nutrition Program for the 2018-19 school year. Prices vary depending on comedy with funds to be provided by the School Nutrition Budget.
  • The purchase of an Access Control System from Central Technologies, Inc. The system will control entry into the school and require visitors to press a button to gain access to the building. It will also allow the teachers and staff to enter the building with a card or fob. Cost for initial implementation is $141,339.92 for the equipment and $162,133.00 for
    the installation with funding to come from the fund balance and the proceeds from the sale of the former East Brainerd Elementary.
  • The two computer training centers, the New Horizon Computer Learning Center and ONLC Training Center, as recommended by the Information Technology Department. These centers provide focused and relevant training, the classes are instructor led or
    attendees have the option to learn at their own pace, and both centers are Microsoft
    Certified and have resources for iOS training (MAC). HCDE would receive an educational discount for classes offered.
  • The purchase of a Visitor Management System from Raptor Technologies.  The visitor management system will perform sex offender registry checks on individuals as they come into the school and can also perform background checks as needed.  Embedded in the system is an emergency notification system that and it also replaces the paper log of visitors currently in place at schools. Cost for initial implementation is $118,760.00 and  there will be recurring annual maintenance costs of $40,500.00. Funds will be provided by the general purpose budget.
  • The purchase of motor fuel totalling $30,960.00 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 II, Diversity Innovation Grant, totaling $35,523.00
    • Work Based Learning Grant, totaling $25,000.00
    • National Science Foundation—Project Inspire, with a net increase of $1,104.00
    • Read to Be Ready Summer Grant, with an increase of $295,700.00
    • Nursing Services Self-Funded, with an increase of $300.00
    • Benwood Foundation Self-Funded Program, with transfers between line items
    • Ochs-Oakes Award Self-Funded Program, totaling $2,250.00
  • Additional Approval is sought for:
    • The amending the FY18 General Purpose Operating Budget for transfers between accounts in the Chief Equity Office, Accountability and Research Department, Chief of Schools Office, Chief of Staff Office, Mail Room and Receptionist Office, and the Innovative Program Department. These amendments reclassify existing budget appropriations between these various accounts.
    • The receiving of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Hamilton County which covers the financial statements for the Hamilton County
      Board of Education as a discretely presented component unit of Hamilton
      County. The audit report indicates that the financial statements fairly present the
      financial position of the discretely presented component units.
    • The appropriation of the unassigned fund balance of $320,000.00 to purchase and install an access controlled door management system for the HCDE Schools currently operating without this security measure.
    • The appropriation of the unassigned fund balance of $118,760.00 to purchase a visitor management system for HCDE Schools.

 

Operations:

  • 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.

 

Opportunity Zone:

  • The Opportunity Zone Office is requesting new positions, 9 FTEs and 11 half FTEs, to serve Brainerd High, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, Orchard Knob Elementary, and Woodmore Elementary.  These positions will focus on academic improvement and support services in current Priority status schools.

 

Administrative, Business, and Other Matters:

  • Board Policy 1.803 Tobacco Free Schools- First Reading: This would revise current policy that prohibits all tobacco products and uses on school property to include electronic cigarettes and associated paraphernalia on all HCDE owned or leased property and vehicles.
  • The Administration has agreed to accept the donation of $30, 392.00 from Commissioner Discretionary bond funds to help assist with the constriction of the Normal Park Lower School Gymnasium.  
  • Board approval is recommended:
    • To award the bid to replace the track at Soddy Daisy High School to Baseline Sports Construction, LLC totalling $1,093,000.00 with funds to be provided by the 2017/18 Capital Projects Fund.
    • To utilize a list compiled by Justin Witt for architectural, engineering, and design firms to be used for services on an “as-needed basis” for HCDE projects.
    • To sign and execute all closing documents for the real estate closing of the Old East Brainerd Elementary school property for the purchase price of $4,500,000.00.
    • For the submission of the special course application to the State Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year.
    • To award tenure to the teachers who have satisfactorily completed their probationary period and met the evaluation score requirements.
    • For the architectural contracts for our upcoming projects based on the State Fee curve for the following projects:
      • East Hamilton Middle School: TWH Architects, A Michael Brady Company Inc with a contract amount of $2,270,367.00
      • Harrison Elementary: Franklin Architects with a contract amount of $1,514,613.00
      • Howard High Stadium and Track: Barge Design Solutions with a contract amount of $478,096.00
      • Snow Hill Elementary Addition: Neuhoff Taylor Architects with a contract amount of $539,113.00
      • Tyner Middle High & CSLA: Derthick, Henley, & Wilkerson Architects, PLCC with a contract amount of $2,298,266.00
  • Legal Services: A total of $22,358.81 was paid in the month of February for legal fees to Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC, the Markel Firm, and Wilson Reporting Agency (Court Reporter).

 

Events/Announcements:

  • March 23, 2018: Report Cards
  • March 26, 2018 at 6:00 p.m: Community Listening Tour at East Ridge High
  • March 27, 2018 at 6:00 p.m: Community Listening Tour at East Hamilton High
  • March 30, 2018: Spring Holiday
  • April 2-6, 2018: Spring Break
  • April 11, 2018: Kindergarten Pre-Registration
  • April 12, 2018: Budget Work Session
  • April 19, 2018: Budget Work Session and Regular Board Meeting

School Board Recording: January 18, 2018

Please watch the meeting by clicking the “play” button on the video below!

January 2018 School Board Watch Blog

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the January 18th, 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 PM. We will share the livestream video of the meeting on Facebook and post the video on this blog after the meeting.

 

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click here.

 

Hot Topics:

  • Second and Final 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.
  • Budget Calendar– The School Board will be presenting the budget calendar for FY2019.

 

Recognitions and Presentations:

  • The Hamilton County Department of Education will recognize seven students as National Merit Semi Finalists. These students qualified for recognition based on their performances on the Preliminary SAT.
  • The National Council for the Social Studies will recognize Erin Glenn for winning the annual “Outstanding Middle Level Teacher of the Year”.
  • Dr. Bryan Johnson will present a retreat follow-up to the Hamilton County School Board.

 

Field Trips:

  • Students from CSLA’s robotics team will attend the VEX IQ Tournament
  • East Hamilton School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and Sale Creek Middle/High School will all participate in youth in government field trips.
  • East Hamilton School, East Ridge High School, and Soddy Daisy High School will all participate in music-related field trips.
  • Twenty-four students enrolled in JROTC at Red Bank High School will attend the 7th Brigade Academic/Rifle/Drill Championships.
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High School and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in science-related field trips.
  • Students from Big Ridge Elementary will travel to Rock Eagle to participate in science.
  • Seventeen students from Hixson High School, East Hamilton Middle School / High School, and Ooltewah High School will participate in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Gatlinburg, TN.

 

Bids/Contracts:

Board approval is sought for:

  • The purchase of a website Content Management System which would encompasses the district website, school websites, and individual teacher pages. The content management system will replace the existing HCDE website content management system. Year one with this system totals $82,240.00 and the two following years will cost $60,040.00 per year. Funds will come from the General Purpose Budget.
  • The purchase of HVAC Gas Packs for CSAS and Ooltewah Middle Schools totalling $124, 916.00 from the Maintenance and Capital Funds budget.
  • The Coalition of Large Area School Systems (CLASS) retainer agreement with Millaps Gowan Government Relations regarding HCDE’s continued membership in the CLASS group. This will total an annual cost of $37,500.00.
  • A payment of $6,789.53 to Chattanooga Electric Supply due to a fire at Spring Creek Elementary.

 

Budget Amendments:

  • Board approval is needed to amend the FY18 General Purpose Operating Budget for transfers between accounts. Requests include transfers for information services, Exceptional Ed. System Wide, and Capital Technology.
  • The following budget amendments for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY2018 are recommended for board approval:
    • Carl Perkins Vocational Grant, with a net increase of $29,249 covering areas such as vocational instruction, student support, and vocational instructional staff support.
    • Flower Fund Self-Funded Program, totaling $8,101 for salaries.
    • Supplemental Salaries Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $38,590 to cover items like instruction and student support.
  • Additional Approval is sought for:
    • Appropriating the fund balance previously committed for Capital Maintenance projects in the amount of $5,000,000.00. These funds will be used for Capital maintenance and repair projects as established in conjunction with County bond funds.
    • Hixson High School’s grant application for a Joint Use Indoor Marksmanship Range (Funded by National Rifle Association for $675,000).
    • Opportunity Zone Schools’ grant application for Teach to One: Math (Funded by UNUM for $200,000 per year for five (5) years).

 

Human Resources:

  • Human Resources will present their proposed revised Differential Pay Plan originally approved at the June 2017 Board meeting. The changes do not impact the budget but re-allocate the funds initially for 2017-18 performance bonuses that are no longer going to be used. In an effort to make us more competitive when seeking the best talent, the district would like to re-utilize the funds for signing bonuses for hard-to-staff subject areas in Title Schools. These include Physics, Chemistry, 7-12 Mathematics, self-contained Special Education classes, and Speech Language Pathologists.

 

Administrative and Business Matters:

  • Two parents have requested the Hamilton County Board of Education review their sons’ zero tolerance suspension appeal decision.
  • Legal Services: A total of $24,418.30 was paid in the month of December for legal fees to Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC and the Markel Firm.

 

Events/Announcements:

 

  • January 29, 2018 – March 9, 2018 – Schools choose one extended day (3.5 School Board Meeting hours) for Parent-Teacher Conferences (SECOND half of Administrative In-Service #6)

 

  • February 15, 2018 – Thursday School Board Meeting

 

School Board Recording: December 21, 2017

The HCDE School Board met on December 21, 2017, to discuss matters concerning the 2017-2018 school year. You can watch the meeting by clicking the “play” button on the video below!

December 2017 School Board Watch Blog

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.

 

Bids/Contracts:

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.

 

Events/Announcements:

 

  • 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

 

 

School officials must put meat on bones of capital plan

 

UnifiEd commends Hamilton County Department of Education’s new leadership team on its quick work to develop a plan for the $100 million recently granted by the county for capital projects. We appreciate that the plan integrates the priority projects previously identified by the Board of Education and incorporates many of the recommendations of the budget working group report about increased efficiency as a source of cost savings.

We are also pleased to see that the plan takes steps toward reassessing zoning and school usage while calling for a full assessment of capital needs to inform a seven-to-10-year strategic capital plan. In the capital plan adopted by the school board last month, the Department of Education outlined three essential next steps that UnifiEd fully supports — community meetings for affected schools, reassessment of zoning lines and development of a long-term strategic capital plan with an external consultant.

It is clear that given the vast and diverse needs across our community and schools, there must be a community-driven, equitable, and fully funded approach to capital needs in the school system.

That’s why we urge the district to take the following specific actions to make these critical goals become concrete reality.

Outreach and community engagement:
Opportunities for the community to engage with the district in decision-making should be accessible and structured. Access means that the opportunities are promoted across multiple media and communication channels to ensure exposure to many audiences. Structure means community members should have a defined platform for voicing their specific concerns and raising issues not pre-identified by the district. In-person meetings should be interactive and facilitated by a third party, while surveys can draw wider participation to prioritize issues.

Strategic planning:
The current capital plan approved by the school board was not on the meeting’s public agenda, and the report provides few details about the actual investment planned for each affected school. In the future, when plans are shared with the public, there should be accessible and easily understandable information about how estimates and figures were established.

Inclusive decision-making:
To develop and implement better policies that reflect the diverse interests in Hamilton County, we urge the district to develop a community engagement plan that ensures all future initiatives and strategic plans have a focus on equity, inclusion, and shared decision-making.

Future efforts to address potential zoning solutions should include controlled family choice, a commitment to equity, and the elimination of schools with concentrated populations of students living in poverty.

Transparent and accessible information:
All future plans should be comprehensive, easy to understand, and open for community review in advance of decision making.

Our community’s values should be reflected in decisions on how resources are allocated across our schools, and this community has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that all children, regardless of background, have the opportunity to succeed.

We urge our community, elected officials and the school system to consider the importance of a community-driven, equitable and fully funded approach to capital management in our schools. We can easily identify need, but it is much more difficult to build solutions to those needs that are fair to each child and representative of this community’s values. However, these are the factors that will make systemic changes both effective and sustainable in the success of our school system.

 

This editorial was originally published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on November 5, 2017 and signed by UnifiEd Executive Director Jonas Barriere. See the original here >

School Board Recording: October 19, 2017

Please watch the meeting by clicking the “play” button on the video below!

October 2017 School Board Watch Blog

 

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

  • First reading of Board Policy 3.502: Offer Versus Serve– In compliance with USDA regulation changes, the current “Offer Versus Serve” policy is being updated to now exempt all Pre-K students from the policy. This policy outlines breakfast and lunch services that are eligible for federal reimbursements.
  • First reading of Board Policy 6.304:Student Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Cyber-Bullying, and Hazing– The General Assembly has mandated timelines for responding to reports of bullying, so current policy is being revised to incorporate the required deadlines. The policy has now added a section on reported incidents which reads “All allegations shall be fully investigated by a building administrator and/or school official. Investigations must commence as soon as possible but in no event more than 48 hours after the report. Investigations must be resolved within 20 days of the report.”

Recognitions and Presentations:

  • Dan Liner, representing HCEA, Brenna Kelly, representing the Southeast Conservation Corps, and Wayne Brown, President of the Hamilton County Council of PTAs, will all give presentations at the beginning of the school board meeting.

Field Trips:

  • Brainerd High School, East Hamilton School, and Signal Mountain Middle/High School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Brown Middle School, Loftis Middle School, Lakeside Academy will send members of the Jr. Beta Club and Beta Club to compete and participate in the Tennessee Jr. Beta and Beta Club Conventions.
  • Students from Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, Ooltewah High School, and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper School will participate in music related field trips.
  • Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Sale Creek Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and East Hamilton School will send students to attend Model United Nations Conferences.
  • Battle Academy, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Lower School, and East Lake Academy will send students to study at the Jekyll Island 4H Center.
  • Students at East Ridge Middle School and Soddy Daisy Middle School will travel to Washington, D.C. for a firsthand experience of American history.  
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High School will participate in the Tennessee Theatre Association Conference.
  • Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts will send members of the Destination Imagination Team to Soddy Daisy to participate in team building workshops.
  • East Ridge High School and Sequoyah High School will send students to attend the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Nationals engine competition in Indianapolis Indiana.
  • Spring Creek Elementary will send students to the Rock Eagle Environmental Center to participate in Math, Reading, and Science.

Bids/Contracts:

Board approval is sought for:

  • The reroofing of Soddy Daisy Middle School totalling $1,104,250.00 with funds provided by the 2017/18 Capital Funds.
  • The purchase of doors, frames and hardware for Orchard Knob Middle School totalling $97,850.00 with funds provided by the 2016/17 Capital Funds.
  • The purchase of dual purpose paper for warehouse stock totalling $73,248.00 with funds provided by the Warehouse Inventory Funds.
  • Lease agreements and security charges for 2018 Graduations totalling $51,744.67.

Conferences/Consultants:

Board approval is sought for:

  • ACT Practice Testing and Services from College Prep Alabama LLC. Testing materials and analysis will be provided for 3000 students and professional development services will be provided for teachers. These materials and the professional development will be used to determine where students need additional instruction and support. The cost of these services will be $42,000.00 with funds to be provided by the CTE Perkins Grant

Budget Amendments:

  • The following budget amendments for Federal Grants and Self-Funded Programs for FY2018 are recommended for board approval:
    • Title I: Improving Basic Programs, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $1,856,644.00.
    • ESSA Consolidated Administration, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $97,435.00.
    • Title II: Teacher & Principal Training & Recruitment, with transfers between line items and a net decrease of $33,426.00.
    • Title IV Part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment, totaling $335,167.00.
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 4, East Lake Academy), with transfers between line items and a net increase of $10,000.00.
    • IDEA Preschool, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $4,000.00.
    • IDEA Part B, with transfers between line items and a net increase of $744,577.00.

Grants:

Approval is sought for the following grant application. If the request is approved, a budget amendment will be brought to the School Board for the actual amount awarded:

  • UTC – In Loco Parentis: The Assistant Professor of Psychology is requesting a grant for a research study with Hamilton County schools. This research will study the impact of teachers and school contexts in socializing social-emotional competence and self-regulatory abilities in early childhood. Funds will be provided by the Foundation for Child Development for $225,000.00.

Administrative and Business Matters:

    • Approval is sought for an agreement between Benchmark Physical Therapy and CSAS. Benchmark Physical Therapy has provided an Athletic Trainer Service Agreement so they can provide services and athletic trainers to CSAS. The wording on the Service Agreement has been approved by the Risk Management Department.
    • ABM Custodial Contact 2 year extension-During the September 21, 2017 school board meeting, improvements that ABM made as well as their future plans to provide service was discussed. Some of their improvements and plans include pay increases, transportation for employees, a full time recruiter, and an increase to their management team. Thus, it is recommended that the school board approve the 2 year contract extension.
  • Legal Services: A total of $23,248.90 was paid in the month of September for legal fees to Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC and Markel, Von Kessler & Cox.

 

Events/Announcements:

  • October 20, 2017: Report Cards
  • November 2-5, 2017: TSBA Leadership Conference and Convention – Nashville, TN
  • November 16, 2017: School Board Meeting