Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the July 13, 2022 Board Meeting

Published on: 7/13/2022

​District Operational Update

At the Formal Meeting of the Board, the Superintendent shared an Operational Update for Board Members as our schools get ready to welcome back students on August 3rd.  The update included information from each division on preparations for the new school year.  In addition, an update on COVID protocols the district will continue to follow – including the weekly tracking of COVID trends, frequent sanitization and cleaning, and monitoring of CDC and GA DPH guidance.  Masks will remain optional.

School Safety Resolution Approved

The Board approved a resolution urging the United States Congress to pass specific legislation that reduces the risk and severity of gun violence and that the State of Georgia implement commonsense measures that prioritize school/student safety and environments where all students have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

Good News

National PTA Schools of Excellence

We are proud to celebrate five National PTA School of Excellence Award winners! Award recipients include Jacob G Smith PTA; STEM Academy at Bartlett PTSA; Hesse K8 PTA; New Hampstead HS PTSA; and Pooler Elementary School PTA.

National Schools to Watch

Congratulations to the STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle and Coastal Middle who represented Savannah-Chatham Public Schools on the national stage in Washington D.C. at the “National Schools to Watch" conference where each school officially received their re-designation status!

SCCPSS Human Resources Division Recognized

Congratulations to our SCCPSS Human Resources Division which was recently recognized by the Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators (GASPA) for their strategic planning and recruitment efforts taking the Georgia Platinum Award of Excellence-Best in Class in Recruitment-Certified, and earning three Gold Awards for Strategic Planning, Website Development, and Recruitment-Classified. Our Chief Human Resources Officer Ramon Ray was elected President of Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators (GASPA) at the Spring 2022 Conference and assumed the role on July 1, 2022, for a one-year term.

SCCPSS Communications Division Recognized

The SCCPSS Division of Communications recently received ten awards from the National School Public Relations Association – achieving recognition in each category entered and boasting 5-Awards of Merit! NSPRA Publication and Digital Media prizes are awarded according to publication type and size of organization. SCCPSS competes in each category against the largest school districts in the country. Each entry is judged on the overall excellence as well as its quality compared to other entries in the category. Awards were received for campaigns such as Forward to School-Newspaper Insert; Infographic COVID-Protocols; and 2021 ESPLOST Social Media Promotion. The full list is available online at Congratulations to our Communications Team!

Policy First Reads

Policy EDDA and Regulation EDDA – R – Special Use of School Buses (Four Year Review – Changes Recommended) Pursuant to Board Policy BDE-Policy Review, District Administration has reviewed Board Policy EDDA along with the supporting regulation and determined a need for changes. Minor changes to policy language have been provided for proper staff title references. Requirements for approval and use have been better defined for school and departments and for outside agency requests in the regulation.

Policy IHB and Regulation IHB – R – Homework (Four Year Review – Changes to Regulation Recommended) • No Policy Changes • Changes Recommended for Regulation only Pursuant to Board Policy BDE- Policy Review, District Administration has reviewed Board Policy IHB along with the supporting regulation and presented updates for review during the May 11, 2022, Board meeting. Recommendations from Board Members were made to conduct further review regarding the changes to the Regulation. District Administration has conducted this review and now provides the Regulation updates to grade level homework recommendations.

Policy IHF, IHF-R(2), Creation of IHF-(6) -R(1), and Deletion of IHFR(0), IHF-R(1), and IHF-R(3) – Graduation Requirements (Four Year Review – Changes Recommended) Pursuant to Board Policy BDE- Policy Review, District Administration has reviewed Board Policy IHF along with the supporting regulations and determined a need for minor changes to the policy and multiple adjustments to the location of regulations within the simbli program to simplify relevant references to historical graduation requirements. Additional language for the out of country student credit verification process and changes to the CTAE World Language/Fine Art requirements have been included. For reasons stated above, this policy review has resulted in the recommendation for deletion of the following regulations (Requirements are noted in the leading policy). • IHF-R(0) • IHF-R(1) • IHF-R(3) Creation of IHF-(6)-R(1) to replace IHF-R(3) for correct simbli program regulation reference. IHF-R(2) has no changes.

Policy IEDA – Unstructured Break Time (Four Year Review – Changes Recommended) Pursuant to Board Policy BDE- Policy Review, District Administration has reviewed Board Policy IEDA and determined a need to update language due to changes during the 2022 legislative session to O.C.G.A 20-2-323 which addresses scheduling of recess during the academic learning day. Feedback was received and further policy review is underway.

Policy JBCBA and Regulation JBCBA-R - Tuition (Mid Period Review – Changes Recommended) District Administration has reviewed Board Policy JBCBA and Regulation JBCBA-R - Tuition and determined a need for changes to update language references to “Choice" programs (no longer “Specialty") and to clarify current processes regarding tuition payments.

Policy GARH and Regulation GARH-R (1) – Employee Leaves and Absences (Additional Changes to Regulation) • No Policy Changes • Changes Recommended for Regulation only (additional changes required) District Administration has further reviewed Board Policy GARH along with the supporting Regulation. This policy review was presented on June 1, 2022, with no changes to policy language. Updates to the Regulation were offered. District Administration has identified a need for further changes to the Regulation only. The Regulation language has been modified to clarify the timing for the use leave for certain employees (personnel directly related to the support of students) during the academic school year and is now presented for the Board's review.

Policy IKBB – Divisive Concepts Complaint Resolution Process (New Policy) HB 1084 from the 2022 Legislative Session as passed by the House and Senate was signed into law by the Governor of Georgia. The act defines and prohibits “Divisive Concepts" and requires each local board of education, and governing body of each charter school, to adopt a complaint resolution policy containing specific provisions to address complaints alleging violations of the statute. This policy has been designed to adhere to Code 20-1-11 and must be adopted by August 1, 2022. Model language as provided by the Georgia School Boards Association has been utilized in the development of this new policy.

Board Norms and Protocols Approved

The Board is committed to effective governance through self-assessment and continuous improvement that supports cohesiveness and improved performance. The establishment of Board Norms and Protocols as a formally adopted document serves as a best practice for meeting governance standards, and for operation as an exemplary school board.

Georgia Vision Project Recommendations Approved for Inclusion in The Way Forward 2026 Strategic Plan

The Georgia Vision Project for Public Education (GVPE) began in 2009 as a collaboration between the Georgia School Superintendents Association and the Georgia School Boards Association. These groups realized how critically important it is to examine the components of Georgia's educational system to create a comprehensive and coherent vision for public education in the state of Georgia. The Georgia Vision Project supports the work of school boards and school districts for best practices that enhance strategic planning and governance effectiveness. GVPE has recently revised its recommendations. The recommendations have been reviewed by staff for alignment with the 5-year strategic plan and were approved for inclusion by the Board in support of continuous improvement to meet the highest level of governance standards.

EIV School Video Broadcasting Equipment Purchase

The Board approved the transfer of funds from EIV Academic Technology to EIV School Video Broadcasting account for the purchase of school video broadcasting equipment over the next 5 years. The purchase is intended to support the teaching and learning process as part of the District's 5-year EIV technology plan.

Policy Adoptions

Policy BDH and Regulation BDH-R(1) – Suspension of Policies/Waivers (Four Year Review – Changes Recommended) District Administration has reviewed Board Policy BDH along with the supporting regulation and determined a need for changes. Language has been updated to provide an improved implementation process when a use of waiver is requested.

Policy EDCB and Regulation EDCB – R – Bus Conduct (Four Year Review – Changes in Policy and Deletion of Regulation Recommended) District Administration has reviewed Board Policy EDCB along with the supporting regulation and determined a need to include processes concerning bus conduct transportation service suspensions for students with an IEP or 504 Plan. Additionally, based on existing policy language that references the student Code of Conduct and clearly stipulates consequences for behavior infractions, the regulation is now recommended for deletion.

Resolution of Support for MSAP

The Board of Public Education for the City of Savannah and County of Chatham, as part of its effort to promote racial and socioeconomic diversity and inclusion, fully supports and provides authority for the Superintendent to establish new STEM/STEAM magnet school programs at the following schools within the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System:

• Hodge Elementary School (Grades K-5)

• DeRenne Middle School (Grades 6-8)

• Alfred E. Beach High School (Grades 9-12)

Project Lighthouse (Fund 451) Year Two Funding Approved

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System has been awarded the Project Lighthouse grant. Project Lighthouse is a Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant that is for five years totaling $14,772,149. This grant is for the development and design of innovative education methods and practices that promote diversity and increase choices in public education programs.  The Board approved the Project Lighthouse grant funding for year 2 of 5. The grant amount totals $4,157,338 for year two. **The grant amount provided is $4,157,338. This amount consists of two separate allocations. Year 2 allocation of $3,034,330 and a year 3 partial frontload allocation of $1,123,008. The year 3 amount is restricted until January 2023.

Georgia Power Grant Allocation Approved

The Board approved the FY 2022 budgeted revenues and expenditures by $750,000 to align the local budget with the ETE Georgia Power grant allocation as approved by Georgia Power.  On March 22, 2022, Georgia Power Foundation, awarded SCCPSS a three-year grant to support Equity in Education. The award for the first year of the grant is $750,000. The grant funding will be used to implement a K-12 STEM/STEAM track, enhance early childhood learning, and address barriers that impede postsecondary or career success. The administration also will improve alignment to regional workforce needs and expand student learning opportunities that include employability skills and training, transportation, and support to enhance work-based learning experiences. The three schools participating in the grant are Gould ES, Mercer MS, and Groves HS.

Budget Transfer Approved for Portable Student Learning Devices

The Board approved a number of ESPLOST IV Budget transfers to set up accounts for technology enhancements.  Portable student learning devices was included as one of the actions providing for the transfer of funds totaling $12,850,000 from Academic Technology to various EIV centralized school accounts for the purchase of portable devices as part of the District's 5 Year EIV Technology Plan.  This funding will support the purchase of portable student learning devices over the next 5 years. The funding is being allocated based on student enrollment.

Personnel Moves

A number of personnel moves were approved by the Board at the July meeting.  Congratulations to the following:

Renee Bryant-Evans has been named Acting Associate Superintendent of K-12 Transformation.

Arlethia Brown-Hall has been named Acting Principal of the Savannah-Chatham E-Learning Academy.

Julian Childers has been named Associate Superintendent of Secondary Schools.

Bernadette Ball-Oliver has been named Interim Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning.

Christina Connors has been named Interim Head of School for Savannah Early College.

Caroline Gordon-Jelks has been named Principal of Southwest Middle School.

Lesley Jordan has been named Principal on Loan to Academic Affairs.


Board Accountability Committee

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 3:30 PM

Whitney Administrative Complex- Building G, 2 Laura Ave., Savannah

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