School Board Watch Blog: November 2015

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the November 19th regular session 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 be there live tweeting. Follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Items of Interest:

  • Donation Acceptance Request: Hamilton County Commission is now required to receive approval from School Board members when using discretionary spending funds left over from last year on Hamilton County public schools. This month, the administration is requesting the acceptance and approval for a donation of $3194.03 from the commissioner discretionary bond fund to purchase a Paxton Door security system for Hixson Middle School. No additional funds are being requested from HCDE.
  • Naming of new Middle Valley Elementary School: In June, construction began on the new Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School. When complete, the new school will serve students from the current Ganns Middle Valley and Falling Water Elementary Schools. District 3 School Board member Greg Martin is asking that the name “Ganns” be removed from the school title. If approved, the new elementary school will be renamed Middle Valley Elementary School.
  • Demolition of North Grandstands at East Ridge High: The School Board is scheduled to approve the demolition of the North Grandstands on the football field at East Ridge High School. The demolition will cost $84,680.00 and will be carried out by Modern Day Wrecking.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

On the consent agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the board is scheduled to approve:

Education and Leadership Support

Field Trips

  • Falling Water Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Hixson High School, and Hixson Middle School will participate in arts and culture related field trips.
  • Sequoyah High School and East Ridge High School will participate in career and technical education related field trips.
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High School will participate in sports related field trips.

Business and Finance

1. Bids

  • Request for approval for the contract with SchoolMessenger as the new emergency notification company in Hamilton County when the contract with Blackboard Connect expires on December 31, 2015, (funding source: General Funds for $85,000.00).
  • Request for approval to furnish and install the Cooling, Freezing, and Warming Equipment for Ooltewah High, Hixson Elementary, CSLA, and Wolftever Creek Elementary to the Hamilton County School Nutrition Program, (funding source: School Nutrition Budget for $23,514.59).
  • Request for approval for the demolition of North Grandstands on the football field at East Ridge High School by Modern Day Wrecking for $84,680.00.
  • Request for approval of the utilization of architectural/engineering and design firms on an “as-needed basis” for HCDE projects, (funding source: these services are considered “Professional Services” and do not require to be bid or quoted).
  • Request for approval of the purchase of additional MecLab Mechatronics Training Systems, (funding source: CTE Perking Grant for $9,995.00).
  • Request for funding Geometry with Agile Assessment for The Howard High School ESOL students, (funding source: Title III for $8,443.00).
  • Request for approval for the contract with Reading Plus, (funding source: Federal Title I budget for $6,000.00).
  • Request for the increase of funds for the contract between STARS (Students Taking a Right Stand) and Hamilton Department of Education, (funding source: Tennessee Department of Education for $3,300).
  • Request for approval of lease agreements and security charges for graduation 2016 at UTC McKenzie Arena, Tivoli Theatre, and Memorial Auditorium, (funding source: Hamilton County Board of Education for $41,640.00).
  • Request for approval for the purchase of motor fuel from Sweetwater Valley Oil, (funding source: Warehouse Inventory Fund for $26,336).

2. Financial Reports

  • The monthly financial statement compares actual year-to-date expenditures to the original adopted budget and the year-to-date amended budget through November 19, 2015.

3. Donation Acceptance Request

  • The Administration is requesting acceptance and approval for a donation of $3194.03 from the Commissioner Discretionary bond fund to purchase a Paxton Door security system for Hixson Middle School. No additional funds are being requested from HCDE.

4. Budget Amendments

  • Federal and Self-Funded: The School Improvement Grant for Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Charter School (CGLA) will increase funds by $14,068, the School Improvement Grant for the iZONE District will increase funds by $59,539, and the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) will increase funds by $102,838.

Human Resources

  • Full-Time School Nurses HCDE is in need of three additional positions due to increases in health care procedures that require the support of a school nurse.
  • All certified and full-time classified employees were given an opportunity to vote on one of two calendar options for the 2016-17 school year. A total of 2,188 votes were submitted, and a request for the approval of Draft #1 for the 2016-17 school year has been submitted.

Board Policy

Second and Final Reading

  • Food Service Employee Health Policy – the purpose of this policy is to ensure all food service employees notify the “Person In Charge” if they experience any conditions (ex. diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, sore throat with fever, or lesions) listed so that the appropriate steps are taken to prevent Foodborne illness or communicable diseases

Board Matters

  • Request from District 3 asking that the name Ganns be removed and the school be renamed Middle Valley Elementary School.

Events/Announcements

  • November 25-27, 2015 – Thanksgiving Holiday (schools and central offices will be closed)
  • December 10, 2015 – Board of Education work session board room 5:00 PM
  • December 17, 2015 – Board of Education quarterly session board room 5:00 PM
  • December 17, 2015- Last day of classes before winter holidays

School Board Watch Blog: October 22, 2015

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the October 22nd regular session 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 be there live tweeting. Follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Items of Interest: At the last School Board Work Session, board members discussed the future construction of two new schools, the construction of an East Hamilton School and a new k-12 building for the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts have been approved by the board. The construction is to be funded by the County Commission and will cost around $45 million for the East Hamilton Middle School and $50 million for the new CSLA. The new Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School remains on track to open next school year and the expansions at Sale Creek Middle/ High, Nolan Elementary, and Wolftever Elementary are also moving forward.

The following committees were also assigned by the new school board chairman, Jonathan Welch, during the last work session:

  1. Finance Committee: David Testerman as chairman and Donna Horn, Rhonda Thurman, and George Ricks will join.
  2. Conference and Consultants Committee: Donna Horne as chairwoman and David Testerman, Rhonda Thurman and George Ricks will join.
  3. Technology Committee: Karitsa Mosely as chairwoman and Joe Galloway, Steve Highlander and Greg Martin will join.
  4. Policy Committee: Greg Martin as chair and Karitsa Mosely, Joe Galloway, Steve Highlander and David Testerman will join.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

On the consent agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the board is scheduled to approve:

Educational and Leadership Support

1. Field Trips

  • Red Bank High School, Hixson High, Ooltewah High School, Sale Creek Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and East Hamilton School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • Hixson High, East Hamilton School, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in Career & Technical Education field trips.
  • Central, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, East Hamilton, East Ridge, Normal Park Museum Magnet School, and Ooltewah High School will participate in arts and culture related field trips.
  • Lakeside Academy, East Hamilton, Hixson High, Hunter Middle School, Loftis Middle School, Lookout Valley Middle/High School, Sale Creek Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, and Soddy Daisy Middle School will participate in club related field trips.
  • Soddy Daisy High School will participate in a JROTC field trip.

Business and Finance

1. Bids

  • Contract Extension for Routine Roof Repairs & Replacement (funding source: Operating/Maintenance and Capital Projects Budgets for an additional twelve- month period)
  • Purchase of Rosetta Stone Language Learning Suite (funding source: Title III federal budget for $19,800.00), purchase of TruScore Testing & Analysis Test for 3000 students (funding source: CTE Perkins Grant for $27, 295.00)
  • Contract with Reading Plus for Brainerd High, Orchard Knob Elementary, and Woodmore Elementary (funding source: SIG Grant for total of $28,500) and for Calvin Donaldson, Red bank, and The Howard School (funding source: Federal Title I budget for $ 23, 381).
  • 2015- 2016 Contract Amendment Orange Grove Center, INC (no additional funds are needed), Speech/ Language Services Private and Homeschool Amendment (no additional funds are needed)
  • Emergency approval for a steamer for Spring Creek cafeteria (funding source: School nutrition budget for $15, 289.00), approval for Uras Agee to start purchasing food supplies for Brainerd High Bistro (funding source: Brainerd High School Internal Funds for $26,309.35), Emergency/Early Approval for the purchase of a replacement control board for chiller at Woodmore Elementary (funding source: maintenance for $22,574.20)

2. Conference and Consultants

  • Contract with Franklin Covey Client Service, INC for East Ridge Elementary- this program provides opportunities for high-quality professional development for principals, teachers, and other staff (funding source: school based Federal Title I budget for $14,249.00)
  • Chattanooga Police Department services for Brainerd High School – this service will provide a safe learning environment for teachers and students who need to earn required credits to promote to the next grade level and/or graduate. (funding source: School Improvement Grant III for $22,000)
  • Southern Regional Education Board for Dalewood Middle – this contract will provide teachers with a framework to address the needs of middle grade learners using literacy across the curriculum (funding source: iZone/School Improvement Grant III for $17,125)
  • Public Education Foundation and Principal Leadership Academy – this program provides training, mentoring, and support to assistant principals interested in moving into a principal role (funding source: general funds for $50,000)

3. State Financial Reports –The monthly financial statement compares actual year-to-date expenditures to the original adopted budget and the year-to-date amended budget through August 31, 2015.

4. UTC: An Interdisciplinary CubeSat Research and STEM Education

  • This grant awards UTC with $354,045 to utilize a CubeSat standard platform to enable undergraduate students to conduct research of important technological problems related to the space and sciences and to encourage continued study and practice in engineering, math, and science fields. This program will help students and teachers transition into rigorous Tennessee Academic Standards.

5. UTC: Improving Coach Approachability and Athlete Perceived Norms Toward Reporting Concussion

  • This grant awards UTC with $315,126 to enhance coach approachability and the development of safe concussion reporting environments through the use of transformational leadership training. This program will also be used to influence athlete attitudes and behaviors toward concussion reporting through personalized normative feedback and by building team consensus surrounding positive concussion reporting behaviors.

6. Budget Amendments

  • Federal and State Funded – Title I Improving Basic Programs with transfers between line items and a net increase of $1,490,373, ESEA Consolidated administration with transfers between line items, Title II Part A Teacher & Principal Training & Recruiting with transfers between line items and a net increase of $200,659, Safe Schools Grant with transfers between line items and a net increase of $10,990, Title III English Language Acquisition with transfers between line items and a net increase of $22,300, Family Resource Centers with transfers between line items, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 2) with transfers between line items, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 4, Dalewood Middle) with transfers between line items, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 3) with transfers between line items, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Year 2, East Lake Academy) with transfers between line items, IDEA Preschool with transfers between line items and a net increase of $56,480, IDEA Part B with transfers between line items and a net increase of $113,446, IDEA Discretionary Grant with transfers between line items, Coordinated School Health with transfers between line items, Volkswagen Teacher Training & Development Self-Funded Program totaling $5,445, and Maintenance Recyclables Self-Funded Program totaling $6,874
  • General Operating – Board approval is needed to amend the FY16 General Purpose Operating Budget for the attached transfers between accounts

Campus Support

  • Sale Creek Middle / High School addition – bids were received by Hamilton County Purchasing Department and the bid of Dillard Construction is considered at $10,499,029
  • Additional buses are needed to serve Ooltewah Middle and High, Hunter Middle and Central High
  • A compliance report for 2015/16 is requested in order to certify that the school system is in compliance with Tennessee statutes and State Board of Education rules and regulations

Board Policy

  • Food Service Employee Health Policy – the purpose of this policy is to ensure that all food service employees notify the “Person In Charge” if they experience any conditions (ex. diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, sore throat with fever, or lesions) listed so that the appropriate steps are taken to prevent Foodborne illness or communicable diseases

Administrative/ Business Matters

  • Update on Facilities Committee Meeting

 

 

School Board Watch Blog: September 2015

In this edition of UnifiEds School Board Watch Blog, well take a look at the agenda for the September 24th quarterly Hamilton County School Board Meeting. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton County School Board Meeting Room at 3074 Hickory Valley Road. The Board Meeting is set to begin at 5:30 PM. We will be there live tweeting. Follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Items of Interest: 

  • Elections: This month the the Board will elect a new chairman, vice chairman and a Tennessee Legislative Network (TLN) representative to serve one-year terms. The current chairman is George Ricks (District 4) and the current Vice Chairman is Donna Horn (District 7).  Join us for this months meeting to learn more about the election process and meet the new Chairman and Vice Chairman of Hamilton Countys School Board. 
  • Project Inspire Grant: This grant ensures the continuation of the teacher residency program which places a STEM undergraduate major with a high quality instructor in schools to train for future hire in high-needs areas.  
  • Appropriation of fund balance for computers:  This amendment appropriates $625,000 to purchase computer devices and furniture needed by schools to enhance instructional time and to be ready for the first round of TNReady testing this year. 
  • East Ridge High Stadium: Since the closure of the East Ridge High School Stadium, the Assistant Superintendent would like the board members to consider replacement of the stadium and to conduct a structural review on other existing stadiums of similar age and construction type. 
  • Additional teaching positions: One month into the school year, HCDE is looking to hire 13 full-time teachers, 1 part-time teacher, and 2 assistant principals.  

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

On the consent agenda* for Thursdays Meeting, the board is scheduled to approve:

Education and Leadership Support

1. Field Trips

  • Hixson Elementary, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Brown Middle, and Battle Academy will participate in environmental science related field trips.
  • Central High, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Soddy Daisy High, Ooltewah High, and Signal Mountain Middle/High will participate in arts and culture related field trips.
  • East Ridge High, Soddy Daisy High, Sequoyah High, and Ooltewah High will participate in JROTC related field trips.
  • Signal Mountain Middle/High and East Hamilton School will participate in sports related field trips.

Business and Finance 

1. Bids 

  • Purchase of forklift for warehouse (funding source: Amended General Purpose Operating Budget for $22,295),  ACT Explore and ACT Plan Test Kits for eighth and tenth grade students (funding source: Office of Accountability and Testing for $83,750), contract for Actuarial Study (funding source: Internal Service Fund for $15,000), and motor fuel (funding source: Warehouse Inventory Fund for $26,064).
  • Ratification of early approval to Furnish and install electric convection boilerless steamer at East Ridge High School (funding source: School Nutrition Budget for 12,848.65), hire an additional warehouse helper, and furnish serving lines at Orchard Knob Middle School (funding source: School Nutrition Budget for $65,887) and Sequoyah High School (funding source: School Nutrition Budget for $50,426).

2. Conferences and Consultants

  • Staff Development Workshops for Hixson Middle School – The requested consultant will work collaboratively with administrators and teachers to empower them to incorporate research-based instructional methods and best teaching practices in Reading/Language Arts (funding source: School Based Focus Grant for $16,500). 
  • Teachers Development Group for Hixson Middle School – The requested consultant will work collaboratively with administrators and teachers to empower them to incorporate research-based instructional methods and best teaching practices in Mathematics (funding source: School Based Focus Grant for $13,350). 
  • A+ Educators, LLC for OLPH School – This program will provide teachers with manageable guidance on aligning and selecting instructional resources based on Current Tennessee State standards in Reading and Mathematic (funding source: School Based Federal Title I Private School Budget/Title I Part A 1120 for $25,246).

3. State Financial Reports

  • The fiscal year 2015 State Annual Financial Report is being submitted to the Board in place of the June monthly statement. The report presents the June 30, 2015 year-end results.

4. Contract for NSF Project Inspire Grant 

  • This grant awards HCDE with $432,400 for a five year period to support the continuation of the teacher residency program. This will allow HCDE to place a STEM undergraduate major with a high quality clinical instructor in specific residency site schools to train for future hire in our high-needs areas, particularly in Math and Chemistry classrooms.

5. Safe Schools Grant

  • This grant will award HCDE $156,190 to maintain law enforcement presence at Hixson and Orchard Knob Middle Schools, provide part-time personnel to continue character educator support, enhance learning through behavior support and bullying prevention, and train and support student leadership teams in conflict resolution/peer mediation.

6. Budget Amendments

  • Federal and Self-funded – Title III Immigrant Grant 2015 carryover with an increase of $3,000, focus Schools Grant totaling $97,178, and National Science Foundation Project Inspire with transfers between line items and net increase of $11,588.
  • General Operating – Carl Perkins IV Reserve Self- Funded Program totaling $22,500 and E-Rate Technology Self-Funded Program totaling $100,000.

7. Appropriation of Fund Balance for Computers

  • This amendment appropriates $625,000 from the Unassigned Fund Balance to purchase computer devices and furniture needed by schools to enhance instructional time and to be ready for the first round of TNReady testing this year.

Human Resources

1. Additional Teaching Positions are needed to address several immediate needs based on 10th and 20th day enrollment counts:

  • Big Ridge Elementary: one full-time certified primary teacher 
  • Calvin Donaldson Elementary: one full-time certified primary teacher 
  • East Brainerd Elementary: one Assistant Principal and two teachers 
  • East Lake Elementary: two full-time certified primary teachers
  • East Ridge Elementary: one full-time certified intermediate teacher 
  • Howard High School: one Assistant Principal and one U.S. History teacher
  • Ooltewah Elementary School: one full-time certified primary teacher
  • Ooltewah High School: two full-time certified teachers
  • HCDE District Wide: one half-time certified ESL teacher and two full-time classified ESL interpreters

Campus Support 

Second and Final Reading of Board Policies:

  • Board Policy 6.600 Student Records –  Due to the new requirements for student records policies under the 2014 Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, it is necessary to revise the current policy for student records to comply with the new requirements. These limit access to student records for confidentiality reasons unless needed for legitimate educational interest.
  • Board Policy 6.601 Student Records Annual Notification of Rights – Due to the new requirements for student records policies under the 2014 Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, it is necessary to adopt a new board policy regarding student records annual notification of rights. This information will notify parent(s) of students and eligible students of each students privacy rights and will be given to the students parent(s) or the eligible student at the time of enrollment.
  • Board Policy 6.602 Student Records Inspection & Correction Procedure – Due to the new requirements for student records policies under the 2014 Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, it is necessary to adopt a new board policy regarding student records inspection and correction procedures that will allow parent(s) of students to inspect, review, and request corrections to the students education records upon written request.
  • Board Policy 6.604 Student Surveys, Analyses, and Evaluation – Due to the new requirements for student records policies under the 2014 Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, it is necessary to adopt a new board policy regarding student surveys strictly prohibiting the collection of data regarding student political affiliation or voting history, religious practices, and firearm ownership.

Board Matters 

1. Naming of a Portion of a School Facility – Soddy Elementary Schools committee has voted to recommend that their media be named in honor of former principal, Thomas Jefferson Bond, Sr.

2. East Ridge High Stadium – Since the closure of the East Ridge High School Stadium, the Assistant Superintendent would like the following to be considered: 1) replacement of the stadium including cost, schedule, and scope of work and 2) conduct a structural review on other existing stadiums of similar age and construction type.

*(Consent Agenda) These items are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Board and will be approved by one motion. If any Board member objects to including an item on the consent agenda then that item shall become a separate action item for discussion.

School Board Watch Blog: May 21st Meeting

In this edition of UnifiEd School Board Watch, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the May 21st regular session of the Hamilton County Schools Board of Education. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton County School Board Meeting Room at 3074 Hickory Valley Road. The Board Meeting is set to begin at 5:30 PM. We will be there live tweeting, follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

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HCDE 2015-16 Budget Proposal

Over the past two months, Superintendent Rick Smith has hosted 11 community meetings to share his vision to make Hamilton County the “best school system in the South”. His vision incorporates 4 major components:

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