Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the April 11, 2018 School Board Meeting

Published on: 4/12/2018

​​​260 Day Employees Work Calendar Change! Twelve Month Employees will now be on a 250 Day Work Calendar Policy GARH and Administrative Regulation GARH-R(1) – Employee Leaves and Absences, Policy GBRB and Administrative Regulation GBRB-R – Professional Personnel Time Schedules, and Policy GBRK – Professional Personnel Vacations have been modified to reflect the change in annual work days of a twelve-month employee from 260 to 250. The changes align with other Georgia school districts and support District goals for employee recruitment and retention. This change was presented for first read at the March Board meeting and approved on Wednesday, April 11th.

CCRPI Report! The Board was provided with a report on the district’s College and Career Ready Performance Index from School Year 2016-17. Under the district’s Georgia Flexibility Options SWSS/IE2 performance contract, each school is expected to annually improve the CCRPI score by at least 3% of the difference between the SY 2015-16 score and 100. Some key points from the report include:
 - The district’s Overall score was 66.9, representing an improvement of 2.4 points compared to last year.
Overall scores also improved at both the state and comparison group level. The district outpaced the state gain of 1.4 points, while the comparison group achieved similar improvement, with a gain of 2.3 points. The state and comparison group Overall scores reached 75 and 68.8, respectively.
The district’s middle grades score rose by more than 5 points, and for the first time surpassed the elementary grade band score with a total of 65.5 points. 
- W
hile the district’s Overall score remains below both the state and comparison group in elementary grades, the district exceeded the state and comparison group gains.
For the third consecutive year, the district outperformed its comparison group in grades 9-12 in both the Core and Overall scores.  In SY 2016-17, the district earned higher scores than the comparison group within both the Achievement and Achievement Gap components.
The majority of schools met or exceeded their annual 3% improvement target for the Core Score without Challenge Points, including Bloomingdale, Brock, Butler, Garden City, Gould, Haven, Hodge, Howard, Pooler, Pulaski, Southwest Elementary, Thunderbolt, West Chatham Elementary, White Bluff, Windsor Forest Elementary, East Broad, Ellis, Garrison, Georgetown, Isle of Hope, Rice Creek, Coastal, DeRenne, Hubert, Myers, Southwest Middle, STEM, West Chatham Middle, Beach, Johnson, New Hampstead, Savannah Arts, the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High, Woodville-Tompkins, and Tybee Island Maritime.
Among the 12 schools with Overall scores below 60 in 2014, 2015, and 2016, three exited 360 status by achieving an Overall score of 60 or higher in 2017 – Haven, Southwest Middle, and West Chatham Middle. 

For the full report click here:

School Climate Report!
The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) implemented the School Climate Rating system as an extension to the annual CCRPI report beginning in SY 2013-14. The GADOE climate rating system currently includes school-level data within four climate domains: (1) School Climate Surveys (2) Student Discipline (3) Safe and Substance-Free Learning Environment and (4) School Wide Attendance. 

The district target is to improve the percentage of schools earning a School Climate Star Rating of 3 or more to 78% or higher by SY 2019-20.

CCRPI School Climate Star Ratings SY 2016-17 – Key Points:
Eighty-two percent (82%) of schools earned a climate star rating of 3 or higher – a gain of 18 points compared to last year.
The district surpassed the 2020 target, and exceeded its comparison group by 9 points.
Median overall climate scores ranged from 81 among high schools to 90 among elementary schools.
The number of schools earning a 5 star rating increased from one to six.  Five-star schools include Gadsden, Pooler, Williams, Coastal, Tybee Island Maritime, and for two consecutive years, Early College.
The number of schools earning a 2 star or less rating was reduced by half, dropping the number from 20 to 10. The remaining 10 sites include Brock, Gould, Low, Thunderbolt, East Broad, Isle of Hope, Mercer, Myers, The School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High, and Savannah Classical.

For the complete report on School Climate ratings follow this link:

Safety & Security Funding Overview

At the Informal Meeting of the Board, Campus Police Chief Terry Enoch provided Board members with an overview of safety and security enhancements for our schools and what the enhancements would cost. The Chief detailed some steps that have already been taken, such as the use of security aides, launching a school visitor management system, and the construction of school vestibules. Chief Enoch also provided a forward planning list of short range priority items for consideration in the implementation of a comprehensive security plan.

Budget Process Update

Also at the Informal meeting, Chief Financial Officer Larry Jackson provided an update to the Board on the Budget Process.  Budget Priorities include:

- Compensation Plan –Year 3 (Cost of Living Adjustment)
Security Enhancements
24/7 Central Fire Monitoring Station
Contribution to School Food Services
School Wellbeing and Support Staff
Purchase of 18 modular classrooms at Godley Station
Athletic Fields Treatment Program

The recommended budget is expected to be presented on May 7th.

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for March was announced! CongratulationsKerrington Gilliard, a senior at Savannah Early College!

Community Spotlight Technology Grants
 – Senator Lester Jackson was recognized for his efforts during the 2017 Legislative Session to secure technology grants in the amount of $700,000 dollars that benefitted Haven, Hodge and Brock Elementary Schools. The “Technology Tools for Teachers” grant was distributed through the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the OneGeorgia Authority.

American Red Cross Youth Heroes - Five SCCPSS students have been named American Red Cross Youth Heroes in recognition of their volunteer activities addressing community needs within Southeast and Coastal Georgia. The award winners are: Eighth Grade student Laurel Lingenfelter of Stem Academy; Ninth Grade student Rio Washington, Eleventh Grade student TyJuan Maynor, and Twelfth Grade student Matin Bahmanabadi of New Hampstead High School; and Eleventh Grade student Nicholas Fields of Savannah Early College.

Gates Scholarship Program Finalist! New Hampstead High School Senior Christopher Washington has been named a finalist for the prestigious Gates Scholarship Program. On April 20th, Christopher will find out if he is one of the 300 Gates Scholarship recipients who will be guaranteed a full ride to college. We want to wish Mr. Washington luck and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition!

Johnson High AD of the Year! Johnson High School Athletic Director Ashley Tremble-Hamer has been named the Region 3-AAA Athletic Director of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Director’s Association following a vote by her peers.  Just a few of the things Ashley did to deserve this award include:

·         Serves as Class 3-AAA Region President

·         Serves as the Johnson High School advisor to Cheerleading, Cross Country, and Track

·         Serves as Game Manager for SCCPSS Football games

·         Served as one of the hosts for the Memorial Health Holiday Classic Tournament 

We are also proud of her contributions to the Johnson High Lady Atomsmashers who won the State 3-AAA Basketball Championship this year!

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.

This month the student report was given 9th grader Hanna Bemis and 11th grader Seth Porras of the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High. 

Student Report:

Professional Report:

First Reads!

Board Policy JAA – Equal Educational Opportunities and Board Policy JBC – School Admissions have been modified to ensure married students and pregnant students are eligible for enrollment in the regular school program, provided they meet all criteria required of other eligible students, and are not discriminated against. It is recommended that Board Policy JQF – Married Students and Board Policy JQE – Pregnant Students be removed from the policy manual as the criteria will be incorporated in Board Policy JAA – Equal Educational Opportunities and Board Policy JBC – School Admissions.

Board Policy JBC(1) and Administrative Regulation JBC(1)-R – Homeless Studentshave been modified to align language in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.


Regulation Changes!

Administrative Regulation IFAA-R – Textbook Selection and Adoption has been modified to clarify various aspects of textbook selection and adoption.

Administrative Regulation IFBGA-R(0) – Electronic Communications has been modified to support the latest changes in technology and further establish expectations regarding the use of email communications.

Exhibit GBU-E(1) – Professional Personnel Ethics – Code of Ethics for Educators will be replaced by the updated Code of Ethics for Educators document dated January 1, 2018.

Legislative Update!

A legislative update was provided regarding the 2018 Legislative Session.  The session closed on March 29 and the Governor now has 40 days to take action on bills that make it to his desk.  For a report on legislative action, please click the link:

The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) 2018 Legislative Positions

The Board took action and adopted GSBA 2018 Legislative Positions

Board President Jolene Byrne has been appointed the delegate, with District 1 School Board Representative Julie Wade serving as alternate, to represent the Board during the Georgia School Boards Association’s (GSBA) Delegate Assembly on June 8, 2018 in Savannah.

Early College High School Week!

The Board has proclaimed April 9-13, 2018 as Early College High School Week to recognize the valuable contributions of our Early College High School. Early College focuses on enabling youth underrepresented in higher education (i.e., low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color) to earn postsecondary credentials, thus bridging America’s achievement gap.  90 percent of students graduate with at least some college credit, and 30 percent graduate with a diploma and college credential in hand.  This college credit is earned tuition free, at a time when one year at a public four-year college costs an average $17,800 (including tuition, fees, room, and board)!

National Autism Awareness Month!

The Board has proclaimed the month of April 2018 National Autism Awareness Month within the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. Autism Awareness Month aims to make the public more aware about this widespread developmental disability and the issues which arise in the autism community

GMA Financing for School Buses! The District has recently purchased 42 school buses from Yancey Bus Sales and Services, LLC.  The Board approved financing 31 of these buses for $3,360,955 through the Georgia Municipal Association’s Lease Pool Program.

Summer Feeding Program 2018 Approved!  The School Nutrition Program has again been offered the opportunity to provide meals for the City of Savannah Recreation Department’s Summer Feeding Program.  It is anticipated the program will provide an estimated 90,000 meals over a thirty-eight (38) day period. The program dates will be from May 29, 2018 through July 20, 2018.  The School Nutrition staff will prepare and deliver the lunches from Savannah High School and Gadsden Elementary School.  The City of Savannah will reimburse the School Nutrition Program $3.45 per meal to provide the services.

Personal Responsibility Education Program Grant Funding 
- The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers seek to enter into an agreement with the Georgia Department of Human Services through its Division of Family and Children Services for reimbursable grant funding up to $90,000 dollars to support Personal Responsibility Education Programming.  The Board approved the resolution to enter into the contract.

Star Charter Start-up Petition Denied

The Star Charter School submitted a New Start-up Charter School Application on January 8, 2018, for the establishment of a single gender school that will serve grades K-3 in the first year of operation and expand to grades K-5 by year three with an enrollment of 270 students. 


The District has conducted a review of the application and reviewed its recommendation with Charter Petitioners. The document maintains the basis of a single gender school in operation under a Local Educational Agency (LEA), which places the Board at legal risk and is not consistent with state and federal statutes. As a result, prevailing legal requirements have not been met in this application. In addition, administrative staff have outlined a number of key concerns with the application and requested that the Board deny the application.

ESPLOST Technology Update!  $12,000,000 in Technology Funding!

The Board received a report on the district’s five year Academic Technology Plan under ESPLOST III.  Some highlights:

·         Approximately 70 classrooms are expected to be outfitted with digital learning devices through mini-grants each year.

·         Approximately 15 Learning Commons are expected to be outfitted with technology and functional furnishings per year.

For the full report:

Budget Adjustment

The FY 2018 budget as adopted included $1,000,000 for the QBE Midterm Adjustment.  This was based on the anticipated increase in the average FTE count and historical increases in the Governor’s budget.  The preliminary allotment sheets, based upon the House’s budget proposal, shows a decrease in QBE earnings of $395,853. Systems with declining enrollment Do Not lose State Funds in the Amended Budget (Hold Harmless). In accordance with Board policy DCA, FY 2018 budgeted revenues and expenditures must be adjusted at this time reduce the initial anticipated increase.

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