School Board Watch Blog: February 2016

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the February 18th 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 be there live tweeting. Follow along on Twitter: @UnifiEdHC, #HCSchools.

Hot Topics:

  • Waiving TN Ready data for Teacher/Principal Evaluations: The Hamilton County Board of Education strongly urges the Tennessee General Assembly and the Tennessee Board of Education to provide a waiver form utilizing the TN Ready data for the use of teacher and principal evaluations for the school year 2015-2016. Gov. Bill Haslam made an announcement providing teachers with the choice to include or not to include student results from the 2015-2016 TNReady assessment in his or her evaluation score. Read more here: https://www.tn.gov/news/37601.
  • Final Reading of Board Policy 3.210: Naming New Facilities: The new board policy will require any citizen, board member, or school personnel who wishes to name a new school facility to submit their request with supporting reasons and a petition with a minimum of 50 signatures from the community representing that school zone. The chairperson for that zone will then send the recommendation to the board for a vote at the next scheduled meeting.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click HERE.

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

Field Trips

  • East Hamilton School, Hixson High School, Lookout Valley Middle/High School, Ooltewah High School, Ooltewah Middle School, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in sports related field trips.
  • East Hamilton High, East Hamilton Middle, and CSAS will participate in career and technical education related field trips.
  • Calvin Donaldson Academy, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Soddy Daisy High School, STEM School Chattanooga, and Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts will participate in science related field trips.
  • Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, and Lookout Valley Middle/High School will participate in creative arts related field trips.
  • Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in club related field trips.
  • East Hamilton School, East Ridge High School, Ooltewah Middle School, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in band related field trips.
  • Red Bank High School and Soddy Daisy High School will participate in JROTC related field trips.

Bids

  • Purchase of toilet partitions for Tyner Middle (funding source: Capital Projects Fund for $17,029.05)
  • Purchase of dual purpose paper for warehouse inventory (funding source: Warehouse Inventory Funds for $75,196.80)
  • Recommended approval of the Benwood Letter of Agreement to support the completion of the Benwood 1:1 Technology Initiative, Dev Dev digital literacy program and the Teacherpreneur Incubator for the period covering March 1,2016 to June 30, 2017 (funding source: HCDE for $431,748)
  • Purchase of motor fuel (funding source: Warehouse Inventory Fund for $19,936.00)

Conferences and Consultants

  • International Baccalaureate Conference/Workshop in Atlanta, GA for Signal Mtn. Middle/High School (funding source: General Purpose Budget for $24,334.52)

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 December 19, 2015.

Budget Amendments

  • Approval is needed to amend the FY16 General Purpose Operating Budget for the attached transfers between accounts. No additional funds are needed.
  • Approval is recommended to appropriate Fund Balance Committed for Education carried forward from prior year to purchase school technology from Committed for Education Fund Balance to Regular Instructional Equipment for $58,507.

Grant Application Requests

  • The Administration is requesting acceptance and approval of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; UTC Talent Search. Talent Search provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. This program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education (funding source: Department of Education for $230,000).

Campus Support

  • Horse Park Road ROW Easement: Hamilton County Government has requested a 30’ wide easement at “Parcel G” located behind Central High School. The easement will allow for wide access roads and will allow access to the future developments at “Parcel G”. Road construction and engineering costs will be the responsibility of Hamilton County Government.
  • East Ridge High School-Cell Tower: Recommendation to enter into a lease with Tower Assets Newco IX LLC for the leasing of property at East Ridge High School for the purpose of installing a telecommunication station and antenna structure. The school will receive a donation of $10,000 and $750.00 per month from the lease agreement. HCDE will receive additional rent in the amount of 35% of the revenue received from each carrier whose equipment is installed on the tower after the second carrier.
  • Ooltewah Elementary Addendum to Deed: Request for the amendment to the existing deed of the Ooltewah School Property. The amendment keeps the language concerning operation of a school, but makes it applicable to the individual owners of the lots instead of the entire property.
  • Selection of Realtor for East Brainerd Elementary: Request to select a realtor that will assist in the negotiation and closing of the property for East Brainerd Elementary.

Board Policy

  • Second and Final Reading of Board Policy 3.210: Naming New Facilities: The new board policy will require any citizen, board member, or school personnel who wishes to name a new school facility to submit their request with supporting reasons and a petition with a minimum of 50 signatures from the community representing that school zone. The chairperson for that zone will then send the recommendation to the board for a vote at the next scheduled meeting.

Board Matters

  • The Hamilton County Board of Education strongly urges the Tennessee General Assembly and the Tennessee Board of Education to provide a waiver form utilizing the TN Ready data for the use of teacher and principal evaluations for the school year 2015-2016.

Events/Announcements

  • Agenda Work Session & Committee Meetings: March 10, 2016, 5:00 PM, Board of Education
  • School Board Meeting: March 17, 2016, 5:00 PM, Board of Education

 

 

School Board Meeting Recap: September 2015

Last night, the School Board voted to elect a new Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Tennessee Legislative Network (TNL) Representative. Donna Horn and Jonathan Welch were nominated for Chairman. Jonathan Welch was elected to replace George Ricks as the new Chairman with a 6-3 vote. Donna Horn and David Testerman were nominated for Vice Chairman. Donna Horn was re-elected as the Vice Chairman with a 5-4 vote and David Testerman was re-elected as the TNL Representative with a 9-0 vote.

School Board Members discussed the the appropriation of funds for new computers which will fill requirements for students taking the new TNReady standardized tests at the end of the school year. They also discussed the need for additional teaching and assistant principal positions after collecting the 10 day and 20 day enrollment numbers from public schools.

The last topic discussed was the decision to go forward with hiring a structural engineer to inspect school stadiums at six area high schools. The vote was a result of continued discussion surrounding the recent condemnation of East Ridge High School’s Stadium. This vote will allocate $10,000 for inspections and allow the district to prepare a timeline for repair.  The School Board Members did not disclose the other six schools included in the inspection, but Lookout Valley High, Hixson High, The Howard School, Ooltewah High, and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences were on previous lists.  Superintendent Rick Smith suggested the demolition of East Ridge’s stadium happen in December after football season is over. The School Board has scheduled a Facilities Meeting for October 15 at 5pm at the Department of Education to discuss next steps for stadium improvements.

The School Board voted unanimously to approve everything in the consent agenda. For more information, read the latest edition of our School Board Watch Blog.

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.

HCDE Public Comment Policy Update

In December, UnifiEd launched a campaign for greater public participation and transparency in Hamilton County public schools.After campaigning for 4 months and building a strong community coalition, Hamilton County School Board voted to revise their Public Comment Policy.

Read more