Now is the Time for New Leadership

The time to act is now.

On March 7th, the School Board voted against buying out Superintendent Rick Smith’s contract; the next day, Smith announced his plan to remain in his current role until the end of his contract in 2019. It is time for new leadership. The School Board needs to remove him or he needs to resign. 

We cannot afford to have a school system that fails students, their parents, and this community. Any promise of progress will be an empty one under current leadership. The decline in student performance, the failure to comply with state law in policies to protect students from hazing and bullying, and the silence in response to the tragic assault of an Ooltewah High School student makes the case for new leadership very clear. Now is the time to act and demand a change in leadership.

What can you do?

1. Contact your School Board member and let them know you want them to revisit their decision concerning Superintendent Smith, and advocate for the termination of his contract. Click here to send an email to your School Board members; you can use our form or craft your own message. If you prefer to call, dial 423-217-4400 and select the number that corresponds to your district’s representative.

2. Attend the next School Board Meeting scheduled for March 17th at 5:30pm at the Department of Education (3074 Hickory Valley Road).

3. Join us for a community conversation to talk about the current leadership of Hamilton County schools. Check our schedule for upcoming conversations and let us know what you want to see in new leadership.

 

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 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 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.

School Board Watch Blog: August 2015

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the August 20th regular 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. 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:

  • Second and Final Reading of Board Policy 1.404: Appearances Before the Board: In December, UnifiEd launched a campaign for greater public participation and transparency in Hamilton County public schools. After campaigning for 6 months and building a strong community coalition, Hamilton County School Board voted to revise their Public Comment Policy. The revised policy will allow the public to address the Board by signing up to speak at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the 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:

Eduction and Leadership Support

  • Field Trips are scheduled for the following schools: Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences students are taking college tour trips; a Hamilton County Collegiate High School student is doing a leadership training; Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Ooltewah High School, and Red Bank High School are doing sports related trips.

Business and Finance

1. Bids

  • Contract between HCDE and STARS (Students Taking A Right Stand) – This contract totals $31,500 and will provide training and support in the following initiatives: bullying prevention support, peer mediation training, leadership training, alternative to full suspension, and kindness matters campaign.  This contract is contingent upon approval of the Safe Schools and Safe and Supportive Schools Grants as submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) for SY 2015-16.
  • Contract/Proposal with Agile Mind Educational Holding, Inc. – This contract will provide an Intensified Algebra program for Howard High School and East Ridge High School ESOL students. The $21,3000 of funding will be provided by the federally funded grant for immigrant students awarded to HCDE for the 2015-16 school year.
  • Contract with Reading Plus/Taylor Associates Communications – This contract will provide Bess T. Shepherd, East Side Elementary, and Sequoyah High School with Reading Plus technology totaling $15,375. This program creates personalized learning experiences by combining advances in reading research with a user-centered design to inspire and empower today’s learner (Funding Source: Federal Title I budget).
  • Purchase of Title I Compacts from Channing Bete Company – This contract will provide the following Title I compacts for a total of $23,332.85: Parents Rights in Education – A Guide to the No Child Left Behind Act, School Wide Title I Programs – How and Why They Work, and School Wide Parent Compacts.
  • Renewal of Support and Maintenance with Book Systems – This contract renewal will provide students and faculty with easy access to their school’s online library catalog and educationally appropriate websites totaling $35, 936 (Funding Source: Self-Funded Program).
  • Early Approval to expand the playground design at the East Brainerd Elementary School – The principal and PTA are requesting the early approval to expedite the material fabrication and expansion of the playground at East Brainerd Elementary School totaling $50,000 (Funding Source: County Commission & school donations).
  • Early Approval of the Tyson and Jennie-O/Food Sales East Commodity Processing Revisions – Due to issues with handling the dark meat of the Tyson commodity and Avian flue with the Jennie-O turkey product, the School Nutrition Program is requesting replacement food items for school lunches.
  • Contract Extension for Fencing – This contract will furnish and install fencing for the schools system through A-Affordable Fencing Co. for SY 2015-16 (Funding Source: Operating/Maintenance and Capital Projects Budgets).
  • Purchase of Steam Boiler for CSAS – HCDE will purchase a steam boiler from Hajoca Corporation for a total of $42,523.47 (Funding Source: Capital Projects Fund).

2. Conferences and Consultants

  • A Plus Educator’s, LLC – This will provide teachers from Notre Dame High School, St. Jude Catholic School, and Our Lady Perpetual Help with manageable guidance on aligning and selecting instructional resources based on Current TN State standards totaling $25,910 (Funding Source: Schoo; Based Federal Title II).
  • Mary Jenkins, Consultant – This contract will provide East Ridge Middle School teachers and administrators with a consultant to empower them to incorporate research-based instructional methods and best teaching practices totaling $14,000 (Funding Source: School Based Federal Title I).
  • Dr. Terry Stevenson – This consultant will identify Bible teachers, maintain and enhance the quality and effectiveness of Bible history educators, and improve the overall learning experience of students in these classes (Funding Source: Self-Funding Bible in the Schools Program).
  • Teachers Development Group – This program will empower Soddy Daisy Middle School teachers to incorporate research-based instructional methods and best teaching practices in Mathematics totaling $13,350 (Funding Source: School Based Federal Title I).

3. Financial Reports

  • Monthly financial report comparing proposed budget to actual expenditure through June 30, 2015

4. Budget Amendments

  • Federal and Self-funded: Line item transfers for School Improvement Grant iZone Schools, line item transfers and a net increase of $138,880 for Safe School Climate, ConnnectTN Internet totaling $200,000, IDEA Discretionary Supplemental Grant totaling $20,070, Safety Security Systems Self-Funded Program totaling $85,789, Community Donations-Schools Self- Funded Program totaling $23,565, CLASS (Coalition of Large School Systems) Self-Funded Program totaling $130,245, Benwood Foundation Self-Funded Program with an increase of $900.

Board Matters

  • Naming of a Portion of a School Facility: The school committee at East Hamilton School has voted to recommend the football stadium be named to honor former Hamilton County Commissioner Larry Henry.

Administrative/Business Matters 

1. Change to Classified TCRS Plan: The Hamilton County Commission adopted resolutions changing the retirement plan for County employees from the existing TCRS defined benefit plan to an alternate hybrid retirement plan for classified employees hired October 1, 2015 or later.

2. First Reading of the Following Board Policies:

  • Board Policy 6.600 Student Records –  Due to the new requirements for student records policies under the 2014 Data Accessibility, Transparent and Accountability Act, it is necessary to revise the current policy for student records to comply with the new requirements which limits 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, Transparent and accountability Act, it is necessary to adopt a new board policy regarding student records annual notification of rights. This information will notify parents(s) of students and eligible students of each student’s privacy rights and will be given to the student’s 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, Transparent 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 student’s 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, Transparent 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.

**(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: June 18th Meeting

In this edition of UnifiEd School Board Watch, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the June 18th quarterly 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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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.

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School Board Watch Blog: April 16th Meeting

In this edition of UnifiEd School Board Watch, we’ll take a look at the agenda for the April 16th 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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