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M. Ann Levett, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Savannah-Chatham Co.
Public School System

208 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 395-5600


Driving Directions:

208 Bull Street
(Admin. Offices)

2 Laura Avenue
(Board Meetings)

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All Rights Reserved
SCCPSS > Divisions > Communications > Board Briefs
Board Brief – Highlights from the January 17, 2018 School Board Meeting

Snow Make-up Days Approved
As a result of dangerous weather conditions associated with Winter Storm Grayson, students of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System missed three instructional days during the start of the second semester of the 2017-18 School Year. The following days have been approved by the Board for use as weather make up days due to the emergency school cancellations associated with Winter Storm Grayson:

Monday, February 19, 2018 and Tuesday, February 20, 2018
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUVRXV7011E2


Shuman Elementary Turnaround Plan Approved
The Board approved a resolution to maximize operational flexibility through the School Improvement Process for Shuman Elementary that will lead to improved student outcomes and greater levels of performance on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) at Shuman Elementary School.

Comprehensive operational flexibility includes, but is not limited to, the areas of budget, staffing, recruitment and retention incentives for high performing staff, scheduling, calendar and bell time options, disciplinary rubrics, assessment, credit recovery and professional learning, as well as other operational procedures which may be considered through the governance structure of the Turnaround Reform model.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV966E9C64

College Entrance Exam Report
At the Informal meeting of the Board of Education, the Division of Academic Affairs presented a report on the latest scores our students have earned on College Entrance Exams. Over 1,000 Class of 2017 SCCPSS students took the SAT. The district’s average combined SAT score was 978, compared to 1,050 for the state and 1,060 nationally.


737 Class of 2017 SCCPSS students took the ACT. For the third consecutive year, the district earned an average ACT Composite score of 18.7. The national average rose by 0.2 points over last year, recovering to the 2015 average score of 21.0. The state also improved over last year, rising by 0.3 points to 21.4. The full report can be accessed here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNVCW6EB400

2019 Budget Planning Underway!
The Finance Division updated the Board on work underway to formulate the 2019 SCCPSS budget. Staff projections are taking place this month. The budget calendar will be presented next month with stakeholder input presentations and surveys being launched in March.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNVHJ6F4909

Strategic Waivers Update!
The SWSS/IE² performance contract period runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021. The Waivers system allows limited flexibility from Title 20 Laws and State Board of Education Rules. In exchange, each school must annually increase its score by 3% of the gap between their baseline year score and 100 and is required to show a trend of improvement, 3 out of 5 years, to be seen as meeting contract requirements. The district’s Division of Data and Accountability updated the Board on the district’s progress in meeting the goals set forth in the SCCPSS contract with the state.

For the 2016-17 SY (year one of five in our contract) 73% of SCCPSS schools are meeting the goal. Broken down by school level 73% of Elementary Schools are meeting goal, 75% of K8s are meeting goal, 88% of Middle Schools are meeting goal and 64% of our high schools are meeting goal.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNVHP6F4C26

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for December was announced! Congratulations Matthew Hawbaker, 5th grade student from West Chatham Elementary School!
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV5K6E9BF1

Recognizing Million Book Challenge Donors!
This year, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools launched the "Million Books Challenge" with the goal of providing a class library for every classroom in grades K-5! As of January 8, 2018, 480 libraries have been delivered to schools out of 786 needed. That’s 61% of the goal met! The Superintendent continues to recognize community partners who have helped us progress in meeting this goal. Recognized at the January Board meeting were: LOVE Mentors, Groves High School, Chatham Parkway Subaru, YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Robert Lacey Lodge #722.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV5Q6E9BF6

Three SCCPSS Schools Exit State Focus List!
The Georgia Department of Education has announced the list of Georgia schools that have exited "Focus" status - three Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools have made the improvements necessary to exit the Focus list which represents the lowest-performing 10% of Title I schools based on achievement gap data.

Congratulations to the following SCCPSS schools no longer meet the definition of a Focus school:

Butler Elementary

West Chatham Middle School

Thunderbolt Elementary School

*Thunderbolt Elementary closed at the end of the 2016-17 School Year and students now attend the new School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary School.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV5T6E9BF9

SCCPSS Featured as a GA Best Practices District!
SCCPSS has been chosen as a featured district to present at an upcoming conference on Georgia Best Practices regarding innovative strategies for raising the Graduation Rate and decreasing the Dropout Rate.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV5W6E9BFC

COMMUNITY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT – National Museum of the Mighty Eighth SCCPSS has a valued partner in the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth and has enjoyed the benefits of this partnership since 2010. Character Counts!, an annual Anti- Bullying Seminar, and so much more - we are fortunate to have such a valued partner in the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth and we thank them for their commitment to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System!
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNW2W703069

An Officer and a Hero!
In the early morning hours of January 12th, Campus Police officer Arthur Bryant assisted Metro officers rescue a citizen from a fire on the city’s west side. We want to commend Officer Bryant for his heroic actions!

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV656E9C03

Policy First Read!
The following items were presented to the Board for consideration:

Policy IBB & Administrative Regulations IBB-R, IBB-E(1) and IBB-E(4)
Charter Schools have been modified to align the policy and regulation with the State Board Rule. Revisions to the policy and regulation include the following:

  • Removal of references to exhibits
  • Removal of charter school governing board details
  • Corrections to language and references

Exhibits IBB-E(1)-(4) – Charter Schools will be removed from the Board Policy as the criteria will be posted to the District’s public website.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUP25J7F76F6

Administrative Regulation Updated!

Board Regulation JBCCA(2)-R: Unsafe School Choice Option has been modified to reflect changes in the amended State Board Rule and to align the language with the revised policy that was approved by the Board on November 1, 2017. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUP25K7F7AC2


Board Business!

Election of Board Officers:
In accordance with Article VI of the Board’s Bylaws, officers shall be elected at the first meeting in January of each year. Those elected to positions are:

Vice President – Larry Lower

Vice President Pro-Tempore – Michael Johnson

Secretary – Mary Davis-Brown

Assistant Secretary – Brenda Taylor

The Superintendent serves as Treasurer and Secretary Ex-Officio to the Board. The Chief Financial Officer serves as Assistant Treasurer. Each term is for a one-year period.

Board Committee Appointments:
The Board President announced Committee Appointments for 2018. A complete list can be found here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV6N6E9C14

Board 2018 Calendar of Meetings Approved!
The Board approved the 2018 Calendar of meetings. The next meeting of the Board of Education will be February 7, 2018. The complete calendar can be found here:
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV6R6E9C17

2017-18 Audit Plan Revised
At the Audit Committee Meeting on December 7, 2017, the Audit Committee approved a revision to the 2017 – 2018 Audit Plan to add 40 days for internal audits involving Charter Schools.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV6X6E9C1D

Retrofitting Buses for AC
The Board approved a bid by Thermo King of Southeast Georgia, Inc. in the amount of $176,149.00 to retrofit 19 buses with air-conditioning. The installation of the air conditioning is to maintain a level of comfort for students during the warmer months of the school year in an effort to reduce any possible heat related illnesses.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV8L6E9C52

Transportation Roof Replacement
The Board approved a bid from Delta Metals, Inc. for in the amount of $175,000 to replace the roof on the Transportation Mechanic’s Shop and Tire Shop.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV8P6E9C55

Operation Beacon Tier III Clearance Process Update
Chief of Human Resources, Ramon Ray provided an update for the Board of our Tier III Clearance Process. As of December 31, 2017 – 791 applicants had undergone background screening with 750 cleared, 15 denied and 26 pending from the month.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV996E9C67

Property Matters!
The Board approved the sale to Chatham County of the old Wilmington Island Library for the amount of $10. The Board purchased the Frank G. Murray Community Center, located on the campus of Islands High School, from Chatham County for the amount of $10.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUNV996E9C67

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AUVSYT740B9E

Personnel Moves
SCCPSS welcomes a new Executive Director of Accountability, Assessment & Reporting! We welcome Joseph Austin to the Division of Data and Accountability! Mr. Austin was approved on the Board Appointments agenda during the January 17 Board meeting contingent upon successful completion of new hire requirements.

Board Brief – Highlights from the December 6, 2017 School Board Meeting
Principal Andrea B. Williams Memorialized with Renaming of Spencer Elementary School

Principal Andrea B. Williams passed away unexpectedly on November 8, 2017. As a 34 year employee of Savannah-Chatham Public Schools, she provided an immeasurable contribution to the growth of our school district. Principal Williams was also an integral part of Spencer Elementary and the surrounding community, serving as principal of the school since 2007. Her contributions to the school climate, operations, and academics guided the school to its current success.

Based on those contributions, an exception to Policy FDC regarding the naming of facilities was requested of the Board and granted prior to approval of the renaming of Spencer Elementary School. It will now be known as Andrea B. Williams Elementary School. The exception to policy was required to establish the renaming of the replacement Spencer Elementary school in time for the opening of the new facility, which is scheduled for January 2, 2018, when staff return from winter break.

The request was supported by the Spencer Elementary School Council, PTA, staff, members of the community and district staff as a way to commemorate and honor the deep connection the Williams family has with the school, and the service of Andrea B. Williams.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNS55EF882

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJPE4612EA5
 
Charter School Reports
As required by state law – each of the District’s five Charter Schools submitted annual reports to the Board to show progress and adherence to the goals within their individual charters. Each report can be accessed through the links below:

Coastal Empire Montessori Charter:
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNVJ5F0AC0
Oglethorpe Charter School:
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNW65F24F4
Susie King Taylor Charter: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNWK5F3319
Savannah Classical Charter: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNWP5F3D35
Tybee Island Maritime Academy Charter: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNZ65F4B0E

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for November was announced! Congratulations Quateria Williams, 7th grade student from East Broad K8 School!

Million Book Challenge Success!
Jacob G. Smith Elementary School and Savannah Arts Academy were recognized for being the first schools in the Elementary/K8 and Middle/High Divisions to meet the district challenge of collecting 12,000 books for the Million Book Challenge. Congratulations to staff and students!
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRB5EF868

Georgia Assistant Principal of the Year!Coastal Middle Assistant Principal Latashia Thomas has been named a winner of the Hal Beaver Georgia Outstanding Assistant Principal Award by the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRD5EF86A

Sports Accolades
Twelve schools and individuals were recognized for success in athletics in both middle and high school grades this fall. Football, Volleyball, Cross Country and Softball were some of those included. Congratulations to all! See the complete list of those honored here:
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRF5EF86C

Student and Professional Senate Reports!
Reports from our Student Senate as well as our Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year were presented.
 
Student Senate Report
This month the student report was given by 12th Grader Javonte Middleton, and 11th Grader Regina Slater of Jenkins High School. Read more:
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRJ5EF86F

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRM5EF872

Appearances Before the Board:

Georgia Power representatives appeared before the Board to present $1,000 New Teacher Grant Awards to three SCCPSS teachers. Thank you Georgia Power!

Portman’s Music
owner, Mr. Jerry Portman, appeared before the Board to make a donation of musical instruments to students who were selected as recipients. Those receiving instruments are:

- Alan Carlyle (Georgetown K8) – Trumpet
- Ava Holcey (Georgetown K8) – Flute
- Kaylee Lucas (Largo-Tibet ES) – Alto Sax
- Jeffery Betke (DeRenne MS) – Alto Sax
- Jesus Hernandez Pena (Brock ES) – Trombone
- Chike’ Hill (Southwest MS) – Trombone
- Nykolas Gibbons (DeRenne MS) – Trombone
- Kalia Lee (DeRenne MS) – Flute

City of Savannah Budget Director Melissa Carter appeared before the Board to present information on proposed Fire Fees. The fees, if assessed under the City’s 2018 Budget, would create additional operating expenses for the school district.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach appeared before the Board to show support for a collaborative partnership with the school district that would support Early Childhood Education!

REGULATION UPDATE:

The following item was presented to the Board for information:

Regulation JBC-R – School Admissions is being modified to include additional information regarding the criteria for Choice Programs. Choice Program Admissions Criteria will be removed from the Board Policy Manual as the criteria for Choice Programs is posted annually to the District’s website and shared widely with all schools. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRV5EF87A

Savannah Classical Academy Charter Receives Extension

The Savannah Classical Academy Charter School (SCA) has served the students of Savannah-Chatham County is currently in the final year of their existing Charter. During this period, SCA has had difficulty adhering to the material terms of its charter, including failure to meet the accountability expectations set forth for academics and student performance. The Georgia Department of Education District Flexibility and Charter Schools Division placed SCA on probation and requested that SCA create a corrective action plan to address its deficiencies and comply with its charter.

GaDOE has approved that corrective action plan and SCA has begun its implementation by providing additional professional development to teachers, realigning curriculum to the Georgia Standards of Excellence, and engaging outside academic specialists and charter consultants.

In order for SCA to demonstrate the school is in full compliance with its Charter terms and that all components of the corrective action plan have been implemented with fidelity, additional time is required. Petitioners requested and were granted an additional year on their current charter to do so. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNRX5EF87C

Legislative Priorities

The Board of Education voted to adopt their 2018 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES (GOALS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

The proposed priorities for the 2018 Legislative Session include:
 - Fair and Equitable State Accountability System
 - Consistency in the State Accountability Model (CCRPI)
 - Early Childhood Education: Specifically an increase Pre-K program funding to address early childhood education.
 - Legislative Implementation Process: Specifically that effective implementation of new initiatives brought about by legislative action should include sufficient time for planning, budgeting, and implementation.
 - Support Increased Funding for the State Health Benefit Plan and the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.
 - Reform Tax Credit Program (QEE)
 - Elimination of Austerity Reductions
 - Education Technology: Specifically increased state contribution for local education technology and staffing needs to improve and enhance classroom instruction

For more information and details on these Priorities, please follow this link: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNS35EF880

Budget Transfers

Budget transfers were requested and approved for construction and technology expenditures. Those items included:

 - An Academic Affairs request to transfer $130,000 from a computer equipment account to support the purchase of Unify/Performance Matters and our Early Warning Detection System. This Digital Data System will allow leadership, teachers, and staff to determine progress made on those key indicators of student success. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATKPYR663BEB

- A request for the transfer of $120,000 for realignment of funds to cover the cost of the roof replacement project at Myers Middle School. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATRVDL7EB53B

- A request to transfer $120,500 for realignment of funds to cover the cost of the dock renovation project at Oatland Island.
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNUC5EF8C9

- A request that $200,000 be transferred from an ESPLOST II Unallocated Account to purchase audio enhancement equipment for all band and chorus classrooms, classroom projector replacements, laptop battery replacements, and to complete the Library Media Center Commons initiative from ESPLOST II. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJPS9631E23

ZONAR Device and GPS Kit Service Renewal

The Board approved annual recurring service fees in the total amount of $178,141.92 for services related to use of the devices which continue to provide drivers the means for performing pre and post trip inspections of the school buses, the ability to electronically record any mechanical defect with buses, locate any of the equipped vehicles, and also serves as the time and attendance resource for school bus drivers and monitors, allowing for drivers and monitors to clock in and out from their buses. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJPT763775B

Policy Adoptions!

Policy DCI – Budget Amendments and Transfers
has been modified to update dollar amounts for approval authority and to update transfer language. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJQ4Y652BC8

Board Policy JBC: School Admissions has been modified to align the policy with the State Board Rule. Revisions to the policy include the following:
 - Documenting enrollment requirements
 - Adding kinship caregiver to the list of persons that may enroll eligible students
 - Enrolling children of military families http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJQ4Z652E0C

Quarterly ESPLOST Update!

A quarterly update on the District’s multimillion dollar ESPLOST construction projects was provided to the Board that included ESPLOST II highlights and updates on progress of ESPLOST III plans. For the full report, follow this link. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ATJNUV5EF8DA

Beach High Auditorium Project Progress! The Board approved the selection of J.W. Robinson & Associates, Inc. as the firm to design the auditorium project for Beach High, pending final contract negotiations to be approved by the Superintendent.

PERSONNEL MOVES!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEES!

Mercer Middle: Christian Pantin – Interim School
Principal

Shuman Elementary: Evanita Wallace-Lewis – Interim School Principal

Hodge Elementary: Kimberly Dozier – Interim Assistant Principal

Low Elementary: Patrick Barnes – Interim Assistant Principal

WINGS Elementary: Sylvia Jenkins – Interim Assistant Center Leader

Board Brief – Highlights from the November 1, 2017 School Board Meeting

Postsecondary Accelerated Options

At the Informal Meeting of the Board, members received an update on the District Accountability System’s, Goal 1, Objective C which seeks to increase the number of students meeting high school graduation requirements necessary to be successful when entering post-secondary education and/or the workforce.  Some of the numbers shared include:

v  In SY 2016-17, 1,891 students successfully completed one or more AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses.  The district’s completion rate of 21% was above the SY 2019-20 target of 20%.

v  The percentage of PAO completers increased by 3 points compared to last year, representing 285 additional students who completed one or more AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses.  

v  While most PAO completion is within the Advanced Placement option, participation in dual enrollment has more than doubled over the past three years.

Read the entire report here:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFS3L6FF076

Operation Beacon Update!

Also at the Informal session, Board members received an update on district’s Operation Beacon Volunteer Program.  The numbers as of late October included 3,135 volunteer applicants!  The program provides a simple 3-step process for signing up as a volunteer and offers a method for background clearance that supports student and staff safety.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit the district’s website or call the SCCPSS Office of Communications at 912-395-5538.  To view the Board report, please follow this link:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFS3M6FF4B8

Superintendent’s Gala for the Arts Planned!

Board members received information regarding the Inaugural Superintendent’s Gala for the Arts planned for Friday, December 8, 2017.  The Gala will highlight student performances at the new Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Garrison School for the Arts, followed by a dinner held at Savannah Station.  Funds raised will support Arts programs at schools across the District! 

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFS3N6FF76B

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for October was announced! Congratulations Camren Holmes, 9th grade student from Jenkins High School!

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TMK77ED55

National Student Astronaut Challenge

Congratulations are in order for Isle of Hope K8!  Their student Astronaut club called the “Fiddlernauts” has qualified two teams to move forward to National competition in the NASA Student Astronaut Challenge for 2018.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TMP77ED59


School Nurses Awarded Automated External Defibrillators

Hesse K8 School, New Hampstead High School, Bloomingdale Elementary School and Coastal Georgia Comprehensive Academy are safer places for staff and students thanks to the hard work of their school nurses.  Each of the schools were selected to receive a new automated external defibrillator (AED) by the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation. The nurses recognized include:

·         Sara Breeden and Holli Rhodes of Hesse K8

·         Latoya Bonilla and Kanitha Black of New Hampstead High

·         Jeanette Braxton of Bloomingdale Elementary

·         Sheri Neidlinger of Coastal Georgia Comprehensive

 

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TMR77ED5B


 

Children’s Book Festival Young Writer’s Contest

Five SCCPSS students were named winners in the Savannah Children’s Book Festival Young Writers Contest. The challenge was to write a poem that celebrates the works of this year’s featured authors.

 

In the Kindergarten – 2nd Grade level SCCPSS had both the first and third place winners:

·         1st Place: Jacob G. Smith 2nd Grader Keating Taylor won for his poem entitled “What’s Up”

·         3rd Place: Savannah Classical Academy 2nd Grader Alexandra Mackowiak was recognized for her poem entitled “With a Little Magic Dust”

 

In the 3RD – 5TH GRADE Level:

·         1st Place: “My Dream” Chloe Cipoletti, 3rd Grade, Savannah Classical Academy

 

In the 9TH – 12TH GRADE Level SCCPSS had two winners:

·         2nd Place: 11th Grader Rashamel Sallen of the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High for the poem “Only in My Heart"3rd Place: 9th Grader Dominique Cooper, also from Savannah High, was recognized for the poem entitled “Poem!!”

·        3rd Place: 9th Grader Dominique Cooper, also from Savannah High, was recognized for the poem entitled “Poem!!”

 

Student and Professional Senate Reports!

Reports from our Student Senate as well as from our Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year were presented.

Student Senate Report: This month the student report was given by Antonio Taharka and Zyare Orr of Savannah Early College. Read more:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TMU77ED5E

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TMW77ED60

American Education Week Celebrated!

A Proclamation was read recognizing November 13–17, 2017, as the 96th annual observance of American Education Week.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFTHU77819D

Retired Educators Recognized!

The Board proclaims November 5, 2017, as “Retired Educators Day” and calls upon the citizens of Savannah-Chatham County to observe that day in an appropriate manner honoring retired educators. http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFTJG779888


Policy First Reads!

The following items were presented to the Board for consideration:

Policy DCI – Budget Amendments and Transfers has been modified to update dollar amounts for approval authority and to update transfer language.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TN477ED66

Board Policy JBC: School Admissions has been modified to align the policy with the State Board Rule.  Revisions to the policy include the following:

·         Documenting enrollment requirements

·         Adding kinship caregiver to the list of persons that may enroll eligible students

·         Enrolling children of military families

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TN677ED68

Construction Update!

The Board approved the transfer of funds to begin the replacement of the roof over the Myers Middle School locker rooms.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TPJ77ED94

 

ESPLOST PROJECTS!

General Contracting Services for the Culinary Arts Lab at Savannah High School:  The Board voted to approve a $994,274 bid from RL Construction Group, Inc. of Savannah to construct the new Culinary Arts Lab as part of the Career Academy at Savannah High.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TPN77ED98

 

Design Professional Services for the Replacement of White Bluff Elementary School: The Board approved the selection of James W. Buckley & Associates, Inc. as the firm to design the replacement school for White Bluff Elementary pending final contract negotiations to be approved by the Superintendent. 

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TQ977EDAB

 

Design Professional Services for Jenkins High School Replacement Project: The Board approved the selection of Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung International, Inc., as the firm to design the replacement school for Jenkins High pending final contract negotiations.  

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASFTM9780176

 

Thunderbolt Facility to be Used for Film Offices! The Board ratified a contract/facility use Agreement that will allow Gemini Pictures, LLC to use the former Thunderbolt Elementary School as a film production office for personnel and equipment, camera test space, screening room, lab and other similar uses in connection with the filming and/or recording of scenes in connection with the Picture. The company will pay the district $26,000 a month to do so.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ASGT6G75D674

Policy Adopted!

Board Policy JBCCA(2): Unsafe School Choice Option has been modified to reflect changes in the amended State Board Rule.  The policy was also updated to include the transfer guidelines included in the State Board Rule for victims of violent criminal offenses.    

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AS8TPQ77ED9A

New Technology Approved! The Board approved the Division of Academic Affairs establishing a contract with “Performance Matters” to provide a Unify Data Suite complete solution that will allow staff to use connected data to make informed meaningful learning decisions. This Early Warning Detection System will allow SCCPSS teachers and administrators to track student readiness in regards to attendance, discipline and academics to enable our educators to provide support based on the specific needs of the student, thus helping to make data matter more meaningful and intentional.

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PERSONNEL MOVES

Dr. Jacob Wilson has resigned from his position as Principal of the School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary.  We wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Pamela West has retired from her position as Center Leader of WINGS.  Congratulations on her long career and we hope she has a wonderful retirement!

Darrell Boazman has been hired as the new Senior Director, Operations – Construction.  Welcome!

Kathleen Taylor has been appointed Interim Principal at Low Elementary where she has been serving as Assistant Principal. Congratulations to Ms. Taylor!

Board Brief – Highlights from the October 4, 2017 School Board Meeting

Graduation Rate Sets a New Record!
The Georgia Department of Education has released SY 2016-17 graduation rates for the state of Georgia. SCCPSS improved its cohort graduation rate by more than one point over last year – rising from 83.2% to 84.3% and established a new record high for the district. This also places the district ahead of the state average for the third year in a row!

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARLTAC76681E  

Naming of the Garrison Performance Hall – Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts
Policy FDC, Naming Facilities, states that "before adopting a name for a facility, the name shall be presented to the Board at one meeting and voted on by the Board at the next meeting." A team was appointed by the Superintendent to provide three proposed names for the new performing arts addition constructed at the Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts. The following proposed names were presented at the September 6, 2017, School Board meeting:

1. Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

2. Garrison Performing Arts Center

3. Ben Tucker Performing Arts Center

The Yamacraw Indians were the original settlers of the Savannah area before James Oglethorpe arrived and negotiated with Tomochichi and the Yamacraw to move their village up river. The Board adopted the recommended name at the October 4th Board Meeting.

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Hurricane Irma Impacts Reviewed!

At the Informal Session Wednesday, Board members received an update on the affect Hurricane Irma had on District Operations. SCCPSS played a vital role in assisting the community with evacuation and emergency operations, in addition to planning and implementing the shutdown and re-opening of more than 55 school sites and facilities.

SCCPSS buses were used to evacuate thousands of Chatham County residents. STEM Academy @ Bartlett provided the Southside Fire Department use of the gym for housing & staging for critical workforce. The Pt. Wentworth Police Department used Mercer Middle School as a staging area. Groves High School was used as a temporary shelter; and the Woodville-Tompkins Annex served as Joint Operations Center.

Inspections of our facilities after the storm passed generated 464 storm related work orders, reports of 71 trees damaged, and required the replacement of over 668 ceiling tiles. Once repairs were completed and power restored to our facilities - environmental testing was completed. In addition, all buses were cleaned and sanitized before school resumed on Monday, September 18, 2017.

Some food had to be discarded due to spoilage at sites that lost power. Overtime was paid to staff that worked throughout the storm or in the recovery period to prepare schools for staff and student return. Total cost to the district was $892,297.11 of which FEMA reimbursed $787,915.93, leaving a cost to SCCPSS of $104,381.18. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of every employee who assisted in the evacuation and reopening of our school district!

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARBLJK559E89

Sharing the Good News!

Superintendent’s Student of the Month for September was announced as 1st grader Yasli Mazariegos of Largo-Tibet Elementary School!

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State Superintendent Student Advisory Council - Three SCCPSS students have been selected to be part of State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2017-2018 Student Advisory Council. Throughout the school year, these students will meet with Superintendent Woods to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom. The SCCPSS students chosen are:

Bernard Bentley of Hesse K8 – 8th Grade
Alivia Rukmana of Savannah Arts Academy – 11th Grade
Claire Few of Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School – 11th Grade

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SCCPSS School Nutrition Program Wins Multiple Awards - The SCCPSS School Nutrition Program has been named a Best Practice Award Winner by the Georgia USDA and a USDA Regional Winner for 2017 in the category of Promoting a Healthy School Environment. In addition – the District’s School Nutrition Program has once again been recognized with a Golden Radish Award at the Silver level for our Farm to School efforts!

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Million Book Challenge Donations!
Two donations to the District’s Million Book Challenge were announced. Georgia Power has donated $1,000. Ms. Swan Seiler was at the Board Meeting to present a check to the Superintendent. An anonymous donation of $3,200 was also announced – the first of three installments to add up to $9,600 towards purchasing classroom libraries for our schools!

Student and Professional Senate Reports!
Reports from our Student Senate as well as from our Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year were presented.

Student Report: This month the student report was given by 12th Grader De’Asia Wilson and 11th Grader Damyia Albury or Groves High School.

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Professional Report:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARBLEK558BBF

Celebrating Your Work!

School Bus Driver Appreciation!
Savannah-Chatham County Public School bus drivers are a vital part of our public school system traveling over four-million miles each year as they transport more than 25,000 students each day to and from school and school sanctioned activities. The Board of Public Education for the City of Savannah and County of Chatham does hereby proclaim the week of October 16th - 20th, 2017, as the observance of School Bus Safety Week and October 16th, 2017, as School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in recognition of the contribution drivers and other school transportation staff make to our public education system, and we encourage all citizens to recognize school bus drivers and support program staff for the services they provide.

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National School Lunch Week!
The week of October 9-13, 2017, has been proclaimed National School Lunch Week within the District and all residents are encouraged to become aware and concerned about their children’s and their own nutrition habits in hope of achieving a more healthful citizenry for today and for the future.

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National Custodial Workers Day!
Educational Support Professionals who are custodial workers provide a clean environment for students to learn in, while those in maintenance departments provide safe surroundings for students and staff alike. The Board of Public Education for the City of Savannah and County of Chatham, recognizes and proclaims October 2, 2017, as the National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day.

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Policy Adoptions!

Board Policy BA: Update of Strategic Goals has been modified to align the goals with the changes to DAS-REMI.

The current strategic goals are as follows:

GOAL 1: To Ensure all Students are College and Career Ready.

GOAL 2: To Provide a Supportive Learning Environment that is Conducive to Teaching and Learning.

GOAL 3: To Maximize Family and Community Engagement that Contributes to the Advancement of Student Success.

GOAL 4: To Build Professional Capacity in Order to Achieve a Premier Student-Focused Workforce.

GOAL 5: To Maximize Resource Stewardship and Fiscal Responsibility by Ensuring District Resources are Used Efficiently, Effectively, Economically, and Equitably

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Policy IHB - Homework Board Policy IHB: Homework is being revised to include changes to homework requirements for grades K-2. Homework for grades K-2 will not be counted for grading purposes.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARBLGR558C0E

Policy DJE: Purchasing has been modified to update the competitive process requirements. Competitive Pricing for purchases ranging in dollar amount from $0 - $2499 – can now be determined by ABC Book; valid statewide contract; or two (2) written quotations which may include catalog or website pricing if pricing cannot be obtained from ABC Book awarded vendors.

From $2,500 to $29,999 - ABC Book; valid statewide contract; or three (3) to five (5) written quotations obtained and filed by Purchasing Department.

$30,000 and up - ABC Book; valid statewide contract; sealed bid or Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

**Sites may continue to purchase up to $4,999 in commodities such as office supplies and library books by listing awarded Bid/RFP numbers.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARBLGT558C10  

Charter Renewal! The Board voted to approve the Charter Renewal Petition for Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School. It establishes a 5-year charter term serving students in grades K-5.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARLRUV6FBEFA

Capital Improvements!
The Board received an update on Capital Improvement projects and ESPLOST fund collections. As of July – $42,880,889.60 has been received from ESPLOST III – representing seven months of 60 in ESPLOST III funding. There are a number of Capital Improvements underway at many of our schools. These include:

Beach High Field House
Savannah Arts Window Replacement
ADA renovations at Windsor Forest High, STEM Academy @ Bartlett
Islands High Greenhouse Addition
Windsor Forest High Construction Lab
School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High Culinary Arts Lab
Woodville Tompkins Hospitality Lab
Re-roofing at a number of facilities

Plus much more! Read the full report here!

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ARBLHG558C25

Board Brief – Highlights from the September 6, 2017 School Board Meeting

Great Start to the Year for Transportation!

At the Informal Session Wednesday, Board members received an update from Transportation staff on how staff plans to improve service for our families. A review of the 2016-17 school year looked at four main factors: On Time Performance, Transportation Routes, Bus Safety and Reliability, as well as Customer Satisfaction.

On-Time Performance improvement plans call for Site Administrators to ensure school staff develop and execute a seven (7) minute loading and departure process. Transportation Staff will adjust routes as necessary, as well as develop and implement a maintenance schedule to ensure the timely and effective repair of all busses. In addition, Transportation will continuously assess routes and identify potential over laps to reduce routes and improve efficiency. In addition, plans have been put in place to reduce the age of our fleet and validate inspections and continue seeking feedback from our staff and families to improve customer service.

Board members commented that they have already seen a difference. Several commented that they have received positive feedback from their constituents and received zero to very few complaints compared to previous years. The change was credited to the hard work of Transportation Staff to make improvements for the 2017-18 School Year!
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REPORT ON GMAS, EOG & EOC

The Academic Affairs division presented the Board with a report on GMAS End of Course and End of Grade assessments from the last school year.

Some highlights include:

In ELA and Math Content Mastery:

  • Brock achieved the greatest one-year improvement with a gain of 7 points
  • West Chatham and Garrison made the most improvement over the past three years, with gains of 8 points from 2015 to 2017.

 

In ELA and Math Content Mastery Cohort Data: 

  • Brock, Isle of Hope, and Tybee achieved double-digit gains compared to last year.
  • Bloomingdale, Butler, Hodge, Garrison, Georgetown, Isle of Hope, and Tybee improved their 2017 proficiency rate by 10 or more points compared to 2015.
  • Garden City and Garrison achieved double-digit gains compared to last year.
  • Bloomingdale’s annual increases have resulted in a three-year gain of 21 points.

In meeting or exceeding Proficiency in the ELA Content Area:

  • Beach, Early College, Woodville-Tompkins, DeRenne, Hubert, Southwest, STEM, and Hesse achieved double-digit gains over last year.

In meeting of exceeding Proficiency in the Science Content Area:

  • Johnson, STEM, and Godley Station achieved double-digit gains over last year.

Sharing the Good News!

2017-18 SCHOOL OPENING UPDATE - On Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, students from across Savannah-Chatham County made their way back to the classroom in eager anticipation of the start of another successful school year. September 6th marks the 24th day of what we are anticipating will be another outstanding school year for our students and staff.

Our student enrollment continues to maintain levels near the 38,000 mark. Based on the 2017-18 tenth-day enrollment count (August 16, 2017) the District now serves 37,339 students. As is typical for the start of the year, schools saw varying levels of enrollment differences; however, the highest grade level increases are reflected in the K8 and High School levels. We have been shifting resources, to include movement of staff where warranted, to best meet the needs of our students and effectively manage teacher to pupil class size ratios.
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Superintendent’s Student of the Month for August was announced as 8th grader Madeleine Pelli from Garrison School for the Arts!

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQBQGG68B4F4

 

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Finance team was recognized for having received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for their work on the District’s annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016. This certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

PTA Awards - Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools and the Savannah-Chatham PTA Council have made great strides in growing positive engagement efforts between parents and our schools. This effort was recognized through numerous awards during the Annual PTA Conference in Atlanta last month.
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The Million Book Challenge was launched this year with the goal of providing a class library for every classroom in grades K-5! The Million Book Challenge is a way to provide literacy support and reinforce the importance of reading. Since the launch of this initiative, we have been fortunate to receive support from many partners in the community. At Wednesday’s Board Meeting three of those Community Partners were recognized for making $500 donations to the effort. Those businesses are:

Bank South

Savannah Schools Federal C. U.

Armstrong College of Education

In addition, Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett was recognized for making a personal $500 donation. Another surprise donation in the amount of $5000 was given by Mr. Kevin Jackson and his wife. Mr. Jackson is the CEO of EnviroVac - The Clean Company. Though the $5000 donation was made personally, his company also donated 8 Samsung Galaxy tablets to students who have donated the most books to the drive.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQNLZR59006C


Student and Professional Senate Reports!

The start of the school year means the return of reports from our Student Senate as well as from our Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year.

Student Report presented by: Chloe Lynch and Shevin Smith of Islands High
http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQBQR4693919

Professional Report presented by: TOTY Cindy Jeffries and ISPY Marlowe Bruccoleri

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQBQR8693C11

First Reads!


Board Policy DJE: Purchasing
has been modified to update the competitive process requirements. Competitive Pricing for purchases ranging in dollar amount from $0 - $2499 – can now be determined by ABC Book; valid statewide contract; or two (2) written quotations which may include catalog or website pricing if pricing cannot be obtained from ABC Book awarded vendors.

 

From $2,500 to $29,999 - ABC Book; valid statewide contract; or three (3) to five (5) written quotations obtained and filed by Purchasing Department.

 

$30,000 and up - ABC Book; valid statewide contract; sealed bid or Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

**Sites may continue to purchase up to $4,999 in commodities such as office supplies and library books by listing awarded Bid/RFP numbers. Policy changes are not final until approved by the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Board Policy BA: Goals and Objectives has been modified to align the goals with the changes to DAS-REMI. Policy changes are not final until approved by the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

The current strategic goals are as follows:

GOAL 1 To Ensure all Students are College and Career Ready.

GOAL 2 To Provide a Supportive Learning Environment that is Conducive to Teaching and Learning.

GOAL 3 To Maximize Family and Community Engagement and that Contributes to the Advancement of Student Success.

GOAL 4 To Build Professional Capacity in Order to Achieve a Premier Student-Focused Workforce.

GOAL 5 To Maximize Resource Stewardship and Fiscal Responsibility by Ensuring District Resources are Used Efficiently, Effectively, Economically, and Equitably

Policy IHB - Homework Board Policy IHB: This policy is being revised to include changes to homework requirements for grades K-2. Students in grades K-2 are encouraged to read 20 minutes each day as well as complete assigned math practice items. Homework for grades K-2 is not to be graded. Policy changes are not final until approved by the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQBQRV695F75

 

Administrative Regulation IFAA-R, Exhibit IFAA-E(1), and Exhibit IFAA-E(2) - Textbook Selection and Adoption - Regulation IFAA-R, Exhibit IFAA-E(1), and Exhibit IFAA-E(2) were modified to align the regulation and exhibits with the state board rules included in the revisions to Policy IFAA that was adopted at the August 9, 2017 Board Meeting. The term “Instructional Materials” has been substituted throughout for the previously used term “Learning Materials.”

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQNM3M594B4B

Proposed naming of facility: GARRISON ADDITION PERFORMANCE HALL - In accordance with Policy FDC and Administrative Regulation FDC-R, Naming Facilities, a team was appointed by the Superintendent to provide three proposed names for the new performing arts addition constructed at the Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts. The name will be voted on at the October Meeting of the Board of Education.

The suggested names are:

1. Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

2. Garrison Performing Arts Center

3. Ben Tucker Performing Arts Center

SCCPSS Attendance Proclamation Chatham County Commissioner Chester Ellis appeared before the Board to present the District with a Proclamation recognizing the District’s efforts to improve attendance for all students which increases the levels of student success.

Update of District Accountability System (DAS-REMI) 2017-18 (goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) was approved to align with the approved new goals. The District Accountability System - Reporting, Evaluating, and Monitoring Instrument (DAS-REMI) provides the framework for the school system’s strategic planning process. It incorporates the Mission and Vision statements, Guiding Principles, and Strategic Goals as approved by the Board of Education for the City of Savannah and the County of Chatham. Supporting each of the Board’s strategic goals are one or more objectives with specific measures and performance targets. The objectives specify what the Superintendent and District staff will be focusing on to accomplish each of the Board’s strategic goals.
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RFP 18-02 Balanced Literacy Implementation - The Board approved a contract with Scholastic, Inc. to provide the Division of Academic Affairs with a Balanced Literacy program that will engage and motivate students while helping to master foundational reading skills. Four bids had been received with Scholastic being determined by the evaluation committee to have the most responsive proposal at a cost of $861,629 pending final contract negotiations. The program will also include a comprehensive reporting tool for teachers and administrators to track student proficiency and progress as required by the GaDOE Tiered System of Supports.

Report on Use of Audits – As part of Strategic Goal 5, Objective G, the Board was provided a summary report of the various internal and external audits and program reviews used by the District as tools for continuous improvement.

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQPPA65C1785

CHARTER RENEWALS!

The Board approved Charter Renewals for Oglethorpe Academy and Tybee Island Maritime Academy.


Oglethorpe Charter Petition
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Tybee Maritime Petition

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQBRDH6BD6A7

 

Approval of Contract Change Order

The Board approved a contract change order under RFQ C14-06 for Design Professional Services for the Islands Complex Planning and Design. The contract was awarded to Thomas and Hutton for master planning and design of a multi-phase athletic/physical education and site improvement project. The project encompasses Islands HS, Coastal MS, and Marshpoint ES. The initial phases of the project were funded via ESPLOST II. The final phase of the project includes a football/soccer field and field house. This project is included in the approved ESPLOST III program and funding is now available. The contract is for the amount of $245,500.

Congratulations!

Lesley Taylor, Principal of May Howard Elementary School, was promoted to Interim Director of School Improvement, Elementary Governance at the August 9th meeting of the Board of Education. Tahisha Wright was appointed the new principal of May Howard.

Resolution to Recommit!

The Superintendent and Board recommitted to using good governance practices.

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Board Brief – Highlights from the August 9, 2017 School Board Meeting

No Change for Backpacks! Policy remains unchanged SY 17-18...
Discussion surrounding the district’s requirement for student backpacks took place during the Informal Session of the Board meeting on Wednesday. Board members voiced concerns received by parents regarding the use of clear or mesh material. The Superintendent agreed that while student safety remains the guiding factor for the policy, a review of current practice is in order and that a group comprised of district staff and parents will examine the issue for possible revisions. Because the new school year has started, the Superintendent says the intention at this time is to honor the current regulation while the review takes place.

Great Start and Enthusiasm for the Million Books Challenge!
The District’s "Million Books Challenge" for grades K-5 is gaining ground as schools everywhere are taking in books to support reading and literacy! In support of the Balanced Literacy plan, the Million Books Challenge presents a call to action for the community to support our schools and donate new or gently used books. Our goal is to provide a class library for EVERY teacher in grades K-5! Join in and make a donation. Drop books at your school or bring them to the Academic Affairs Division in Central Office located at 208 Bull Street in Savannah.

Reading and Math Readiness!
At the Informal Session Wednesday, Board members received a report from the Academic Affairs team on Reading and Math Readiness from SY 2016-17. Read the full report here: DAS Reading and Math Readiness. Some highlights include:

  • Students in grades 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 met the annual improvement target in Reading Readiness with gains of 1 to 6 points compared to last year. 
  • Grade level cohort data in Reading Readiness shows 3-year gains of 22 percentage points for the 2015 Grade 2 cohort, 14 percentage points for the 2015 Grade 3 cohort, and 7 points for the 2015 Grade 6 cohort. 
  • Math Readiness rates rose from 2016 to 2017 in all grade levels, with one-year gains ranging from 2 points in grade 7 to 6 points in grade 5. 
  • Math Readiness Grade level cohort data show gains of 6 and 9 percentage points among the 2015 Grade 2 and 2015 Grade 6 cohorts, respectively.
  • Nearly all elementary schools met their annual improvement target for Math Readiness across all grade levels combined, with only three sites not progressing from the prior year. Elementary schools with double-digit gains include Butler, Garden City, Gould, Howard, and Pt. Wentworth. 
  • The Academic Affairs School Improvement Team in partnership with the School-Based Academic Coaches will continue developing, refining, and implementing a comprehensive school improvement plan, which focuses on differentiated planning, observation, modeling and support.

GREAT WORK! Sharing the Good News!

Six SCCPSS Art Teachers received grants from the Landings Art Association for their creative and innovative proposals for programs that will benefit more than 1,200 area Kindergarten through 5th grade students. Congratulations to each of the following teachers who were awarded $300 dollar grants:

Hyungsook Lee, Butler Elementary School
Clemencia Niles, Gould Elementary School
Megan Peigelbeck, Isle of Hope K-8
Elizabeth Harper, Pooler Elementary School
Mary-Beth Whitecotton, Southwest Elementary School
S. Jessica Ruffner, Pulaski Elementary School

Groves High School has been named a 2017 National Beta School of Merit. The prestigious honor is an indication of the school’s dedication to academic excellence and commitment to celebrating student achievement. Groves High School offers National Beta to all eligible grades, providing student experiences in leadership development and service involvement.

DeRenne Middle School has secured the services of a Chinese teacher to begin a World Languages Program this year. The teacher comes to the District through a partnership with Savannah State University’s Confucius Institute.

Maintenance & Operations Employee of the Year Recognized! Mr. Stephen Rasche, our Maintenance & Operations employee of the year has worked for the SCCPSS Maintenance Department for 10 years as an HVAC Maintenance Mechanic and provides technical service to 21 school kitchens located throughout the district. His duties also include technical service to the Central Zone Electrical and Plumbing Departments. Mr. Rasche was nominated by his peers for his commitment to our school system and outstanding technical work. Congratulations!

2017-18 Promotion Guidelines Updated

Promotion and Retention – Promotion Guidelines Exhibit IHE-E(3) was modified to provide updated promotion guidelines for the 17-18 School Year. In our work to directly align local reading and math assessments with the Georgia Milestones, a consolidation plan that expands the NWEA MAP (Measurement of Academic Progress) into one platform has been implemented to better assess reading and math. This means the previous Dibels, mClass Math, and the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) have been eliminated. The annual proficiency targets for math and reading have been updated and posted to Exhibit IHE-E(3):

http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=APUS2K6DAC48

ESPLOST Progress!
The Board has awarded a contract to Ben Hill Roofing and Siding to replace the roof at Garden City Elementary School at a cost of $885,130.00.

Board Brief – Highlights from the July 12, 2017 School Board Meeting

Sharing the Good News!

COMMUNITY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT! Parker’s was recognized as a valuable community partner for contributing to our district through the company’s "Fueling the Community" program. The generosity has resulted in thousands of dollars raised for Savannah-Chatham Schools over the past few years. In May of this year the company presented checks that were earmarked for many schools across the district - the total amount raised was $20,000 dollars!

HEALTHY SCHOOLS! Both Pooler Elementary School and Shuman Elementary School were recognized for having made the list of America’s Healthiest Schools for 2017! The two schools have made enough progress in efforts to promote nutrition and physical activity that they have each been awarded the 2017 Bronze National Healthy Schools Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

EDUCATOR OF DISTINCTION! Woodville Tompkins Culinary Arts Instructor Carl Dyson-Bosier, was recognized for having been selected a "Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction" by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Each year student members of NSHSS are invited to nominate the educator who has made the most significant contribution to their academic career.

AWARD RECOGNITIONS! Four BOE Campus Police Award recipients were recognized for their dedication and commitment to safety in our schools. Mildred Patterson has been named the 2017 Crossing Guard of the Year, Margaret Kemp the 2017 Civilian of the Year, APO Kenneth Ware was recognized as the 2017 Officer of the Year, and Deputy Superintendent Vanessa Miller-Kaigler was named the winner of the 2017 Leadership Award. Congratulations to all!

New Charter School – Susie King Taylor Community School
At the Informal Session Wednesday, Board members received an update from staff of the new Susie King Taylor Community School on their preparations for opening day of the 2017-18 SY. The Charter Petition was approved by the Board on November 9, 2016, that included an anticipated opening in the fall of 2017. The school reports 180 students enrolled with 36 on the waitlist. Renovations to their facility are reported as "on track" with most tasks due to be completed by the end of next week. Furnishings and supplies have been ordered and are on their way.

The school, located at 1709 Bull Street in Savannah, will employ 10 classroom teachers and is led by School Director, Dr. Latrisha Chattin. The school’s opening ceremony is scheduled for August 3rd.

Construction Update! Beach High Field House
The new Field House for Beach High School is one step closer to the start of construction with the Board’s approval of bid C17-19 which names Dabbs-Williams General Contractors, LLC, as the company tasked with the construction of the field house. The project was approved for the negotiated total project cost of $801,325.00. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSN76D650E

2018-19 SY Calendar Approved! The District now has next year’s academic calendar approved. The 2018-19 School Year calendar was approved by the Board and includes a school start date of Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Teachers would return on Thursday, August 2, 2018. The calendar is responsive to input received to move the start date back and is almost a week later than the traditional "First Thursday in August". It also designates four emergency make up days in the event conditions create the need for the recovery of lost instructional time and includes a Holiday for All on Monday, November 12, 2018, in observance of Veteran’s Day which falls on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Other SY 18-19 Calendar Highlights Include:

  • 180 student instructional days
  • Completes the first semester before the winter holiday break
  • Aligns with the Georgia Department of Education testing windows
  • Includes strategically placed staff planning days for teachers
  • Includes a staff planning day after the Winter Break
  • Provides four designated emergency make up days
  • Provides eleven paid holidays for all staff including November 12 in observance of Veteran’s Day
  • Provides a three day Thanksgiving Break
  • Includes a thirteen day Winter Break for students
  • Provides a full week of Spring Break that starts immediately after St. Patrick’s Day

CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSP76D652D

SY 17-18 STARTS AUGUST 3 – School Registration: Don’t Wait!

We are quickly approaching the start of the new school year and we would like to remind our new families who have moved to the area, or existing families who have had a change of address that will require their children to attend a different school, to register before the first day. Additional registration opportunities include:

LOCATION: Whitney Administrative Complex, Professional Learning Center
2 Laura Avenue, Savannah, GA
DATES: July 12, 13, and 14, 2017: 8:00am-4:00pm
Saturday, July 29, 2017: 9:00am-1:00pm

LOCATION: Live Oak Public Library, Southside Branch
14097 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA
DATE: Saturday, July 29, 2017: 9:00am-1:00pm

PERSONNEL! Welcome Personnel Moves and New Positions!

Lydia Taylor: Interim Assistant Principal, Stem Academy at Bartlett

Benjamin Wanager: Interim Assistant Principal, Beach High

Mel Whitehead, Teacher Specialist - Performing Arts, Academic Affairs

Janet Junco, Teacher Specialist for Balanced Literacy, Academic Affairs

SEND US YOUR VOLUNTEERS!
The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System is looking for volunteers to donate their time at our schools. Volunteers provide valued resources and experiences for our students and create connections that strengthen our schools. SCCPSS seeks to organize and capture our volunteers’ enthusiasm for education and passion for serving our schools.

The District is launching "Operation Beacon" as a new focused initiative to increase the number of volunteers who are currently working with our schools. Volunteering provides a wide array of opportunities in school operations that range from classroom helpers to tutors and mentors, to extracurricular activities and special events. We have opportunities to volunteer your time or expertise in nearly every area of interest!

In support of this initiative, SCCPSS will host six Volunteer Information Sessions the week of July 17th to share more details on the volunteer program. The schedule of sessions is as follows:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
9:00am to 11:00am – Southwest Middle School, 6030 Ogeechee Road, Savannah
5:30pm to 7:30pm – Hodge Elementary School, 975 Clinch Street, Savannah

Thursday, July 20, 2017
9:00am to 11:00am & 5:30pm to 7:30pm – BOTH sessions to be held at:
Woodville Tompkins Lower Campus, 402 Market Street, Savannah

Saturday, July 22, 2017
9:00am to 10:30am & 10:30am to Noon – BOTH sessions to be held at:
Johnson High School, 3012 Sunset Blvd., Savannah

Policy Adoptions!

Policy IDCH and Administrative Regulation IDCH-R were modified to align the policy and regulation with the state rules for dual enrollment to include High School Freshman and Sophomore students. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSP26D6528

Policy CK Professional Learning Opportunities has been modified to align the policy with the new requirements for professional growth related to the teacher evaluation system. All school system personnel shall have access to professional learning opportunities that will lead to professional growth and the expansion of professional competencies (Classified Personnel) beginning the 2017-2018 school year. Professional Learning Communities will be required in all schools/departments. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSNY6D6526

Policy EEE Wellness has been modified to comply with rules of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The associated regulation has been modified to comply with the Food and Nutrition requirements. Part 3, Physical Activity, remains under further review. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRTCG70E2DC

Policy First Reads! The following items were considered and the applicable policies will be up for adoption during the August 9 School Board Meeting.

Board Policy IFAA: Textbook Selection and Adoption has been modified to align the policy with state board rules. In the interest of transparency, in accordance with HB 739 O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1017, each local board of education shall establish a review and recommendation process for any locally approved instructional materials and content that are adopted or used by the local school system. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSKV6D64C4

Board Policy IHF: Graduation Requirements has been modified to update the language for students with an Individual Education Program. CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSKY6D64C7

Regulation IHA-R(1) Grading Systems has been modified to include additional information under Computation of Grades related to bonus points for all approved Honors Courses. Additional discussion surrounded the inclusion of homework as a component for grading progress in subjects. The Regulation will be discussed further during the School Board’s next Academic Excellence Committee Meeting.

CLICK HERE: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/sccs/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=ANRSL56D64CC

“Board Brief – Highlights from the June 21, 2017 Special Called School Board Meeting”

BOARD APPROVES FY 18 BUDGET!  Includes Pay Raises for ALL Staff!

BUDGET APPROVED WITH NO INCREASE TO THE MILLAGE RATE – FY18 Millage Rate maintained at 16.631 mills

 

The approved budget for the 2017-18 School Year includes funding for a two percent cost of living adjustment for all staff.  Additionally, the FY 18 Budget supports year two of the District’s Compensation Plan which includes the following components:

 

·         All eligible employees will receive a step increase for their 2016-17 year of service.  Forty percent of this step increase is paid by the State. The remaining sixty percent will be paid with local funds. 

 

·         Some teachers will also receive an additional increase to close the local supplemental pay gap.  Local funds will be used to close the local supplemental pay gap. Individual increases needed to close the gap will depend on a teacher’s current placement on the teacher pay scale.

 

·         Local funds will also provide financial incentives for new teacher hires, teachers in critical content areas, and incentives for staff retention at certain locations.  The amount of supplemental pay will vary depending on individual positions and work locations. 

 

·         Finally, the budget provides funding to restore longevity steps (years of service) to employees who lost them during the recession.  This is being paid entirely through the use of local funds.

 

What will your pay increase be?  All eligible employees will receive at least the longevity step increase and the two percent cost of living raise.  The cost of living raise for hourly employees will be a 2% increase in the base hourly rate.  Some employees may receive additional increases or supplements depending on their position/work location.  New pay scales for Teachers and Classified employees will be posted by Tuesday, June 27, 2017, on the district’s website at www.SCCPSS.com.

QUESTIONS? Call Karen Sikes in the Human Resources Division at 912-395-1008.

 

Personnel Moves: A number of personnel moves were approved by the Board on June 21, 2017.  Some highlights are listed below.  Join us in congratulating the following employees!

Dr. Deborah Jones is retiring from her position as Principal of Gadsden Elementary School.  We thank her for her many years of service to Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools!

 

Dr. Renee Bryant-Evans will be joining SCCPSS as Interim Principal of Gadsden Elementary School.  Welcome Dr. Bryant-Evans!

 

Lesley Jordan, previously Assistant Principal at the Esther F. Garrison School for the Arts, named Interim Principal at Hubert Middle School.

 

Timothy Brown, Groves High teacher, named Interim Assistant Principal at The School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High.

 

 

ESPLOST UPDATE: The Board approved an accelerated schedule for the new K8 school project on the existing New Hampstead High School site.  Originally included in the ESPLOST III schedule as a Year 2 project, staff recommended accelerating that plan due to continued growth on the west side of the county. The schedule modification for this project will allow the design of the school to occur during the 2017 calendar year and will have no impact on the schedules of other ESPLOST III projects.    

Board Brief – Highlights from the June 7, 2017 School Board Meeting

New Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett expressed her appreciation to the Board and community for providing her the opportunity to serve our school district. The June 7 meeting marks the first Board meeting under her leadership.

BALANCING THE BUDGET! TENTATIVE BUDGET AND MILLAGE RATE APPROVED:

In accordance with law and policy, the tentative adoption of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for All Funds was approved by the School Board during the June 7, 2017, regular meeting. This Budget consists of five components: the General Fund Budget, General Obligation Debt Budget, Special Revenue Funds Budget, Capital Projects Funds Budget, and Other Funds Budget. The tentative budget provides a balanced budget and reflects no millage increase for a total combined millage of 16.631 mills (16.631 mills for maintenance and operations and 0 mills for general obligation bond debt). The budget includes year two funding for the SCCPSS Comprehensive Compensation Plan that provides a two percent cost of living adjustment for certified and classified personnel. There are three public hearings planned to allow input on the proposed millage rate. Final budget adoption is scheduled during a special called meeting of the Board on June 21st at 6:30pm. See the full schedule at the District’s website: www.sccpss.com

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OTIS J. BROCK III ELEMENTARY EXTENDED CALENDAR APPROVED

We’re excited to provide additional learning opportunities for the students of Brock Elementary! The Board approved an extended learning calendar for Brock Elementary School that includes instructional time from July 17, 2017, through June 13, 2018. The change is approved as part of turnaround efforts at Brock that provide for maximum operational flexibility. The NEA National Education Policy and Practice Department confirms that extended learning opportunities (ELOs) reduce summer learning loss and increase academic achievement. We’re looking forward to an early start for Brock Elementary and stellar academic outcomes for all students! (The first day of class for all other SCCPSS schools is August 3, 2017)

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SCCPSS TRANSPORTATION UPDATE:

Year 1 of In-House Pupil Transportation Services Completed!
Deputy Superintendent/Chief Operations Officer Vanessa Miller-Kaigler provided an update and overview of the District’s Transportation Services during the Informal Session of the Board Meeting. The 2016-17 School Year represents the first year of in-house pupil transportation services provided since 1998! The transition process began at the conclusion of the 2015-16 school year and provided only a four month window to transition Transportation to a District-run operation. All divisions within the District were called upon to collaborate on the implementation and in short order launched a major operational department that was listed in the October 2016 issue of School Bus Fleet magazine as the fifty-fourth (54th) largest school bus fleet in the nation and as the fifth (5th) largest district in the state of Georgia!

As a District-run operation, improved efficiencies, stronger customer service, on-time operations, and a commitment to maintenance and safety were all critical factors in maintaining a quality transportation department that serves more than 25,000 students daily during the school year. District staff have improved operational efficiency by reducing the number of bus routes from 370 to 316 during the 2016-17 school year. Proper management of bus routes remains a key focus area that helps the district provide safe, on-time transportation and cost savings.

The need for bus drivers remains a high priority. Currently the District employs 310 drivers, 138 Monitors, and 16 Mechanic Techs. More drivers are needed and recruitment efforts continue through the summer. Rice Creek School Principal Troy Brown was applauded during the presentation for taking on a route of his own this school year and assuming additional "bus driver duty" when the opportunity arose. Special thanks to Dr. Brown for the extra effort saying he was happy to do it because "it gave him extra time with his students".

All Board members were very appreciative of the District’s effort to transition to an in-house operation and stated their belief that the District’s transportation services are headed in the right direction.

FUN FACTS: As of May 19, 2017, buses have traveled over 4,676,661 miles transporting the most precious cargo, over 25,149 students of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, without any serious incidents or accidents. Moving forward Transportation is continuing efforts to hire and train staff, Implement Field Trip and Assetworks Software programs for scheduling and maintenance and looking for ways to train, educate and recognize staff.

SHARING THE GOOD NEWS!

Transportation Director Kecia Ling was named the Transfinder Ambassador for the Year at the company’s Annual Client Summit in Texas last month. When the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education decided to bring transportation operations in house beginning in the 2016-17 school year, district employees had just a few months to prepare. Ms. Ling and fellow employees worked 13-hour days for several months to get the job done assembling a staff and planning more than 300 routes for 26,000 students using the new Transfinder school bus routing and management software system.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH: Our featured Student of the Month representing the month of May is a JaNavis Ling a junior from Islands High School. As a student of the Veterinarian Science Program he has nurtured several animals and shown exemplary skills in this pathway. He is revered as a role model in the department and continues to make positive strides to ensure his academic success. He is also a member of the Islands Future Farmers of America Chapter.

Savannah Schools Federal Credit Union was recognized as a valued community partner. The Credit Union steps up each and every year as a sponsor for the District’s Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year programs providing funds that assist in making those events truly memorable for our staff. In addition to those efforts the Credit Union assists the District throughout the year in honoring the Superintendent’s Student of the Month with a fifty dollar gift card as part of a reward packet given to each student and participates in countless district events such as the Student Success expo. We thank them for their generosity!

New Hampstead High School Student-Athlete Calvin Turner has been named the recipient of the 2017 Ashley Dearing Award. It is one of the most prestigious athletic awards that can be earned in the Savannah area, given to a versatile athlete who plays football, basketball and a spring sport. Calvin excelled as a quarterback, basketball player, and track star during his time at New Hampstead. He graduated this spring and has signed to attend Jacksonville University as an athlete. He is the first student-athlete from New Hampstead to earn the award!

GOODWILL AWARD TO DISTRICT: Ms. Cynthia Barnes, VP Community Engagement Goodwill of Southeast Georgia, appeared before the board to present the SCCPSS with their Community Partnership Award.

POLICY MATTERS ON FIRST READ: Professional Development - Board Policy CK: Professional Development Opportunities has been modified to align the policy with the new requirements for professional growth related to the teacher evaluation system. The policy was reviewed and Board comments were received as SCCPSS Administration will seek to bring this item back during the July 12 Board meeting for final adoption.

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REGULATION CHANGES PRESENTED: Administrative Regulation GBRB-R Professional Personnel Time Schedule was modified to clarify when overtime pay for classified employees is granted. The calculation of pay for overtime would still be based on actual hours worked as defined by Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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RENEWAL OF SUBSTITUTE TEACHER SERVICES

The Board approved the first one year renewal of services for the company "Source4Teachers" to provide Substitute/Temporary Employee Services for the District.

ESPLOST UPDATE CONSTRUTION LAB AT WINDSOR FOREST HIGH SCHOOL!

The Board approved awarding a contract to Holland and Holland, INC to make improvements to the Windsor Forest CTAE Lab at a cost of $367,822. The project consists of conversion of an existing Band Room and auxiliary spaces into a Construction Laboratory suite at Windsor Forest High School.

PERSONNEL MOVES: A number of personnel moves were approved by the Board on June7, 2017. Some Highlights are listed below. Join us in congratulating the following employees!

Aretha Rhone-Bush, previously Executive Director of Middle & Secondary Schools named Interim Chief Academic Officer.

Peter Ulrich, previously Principal of STEM Academy at Bartlett, named Interim Executive Director, School Governance Middle.

Derrick Muhammad, previously Principal of Beach High School, named Interim Executive Director, School Governance High.

Susan Ambrose, previously Principal of Thunderbolt Elementary, named Interim Director, Department of Specialized Instruction.

Jimmie Cave, previously assistant Principal of STEM Academy at Bartlett, named Interim Principal at STEM.

Lisa Linton, previously assistant Principal of Beach High School, named Interim Principal at Beach High.

APPOINTMENTS: Welcome Robert Peters, Jr., our Senior Director of Transportation Services!

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