Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the December 12, 2018 Board Meeting

Published on: 12/13/2018

​College Entrance Exams
At the Informal Meeting of the Board, The SCCPSS Division of Academic Affairs presented a report on the District’s latest SAT and ACT scores. Some highlights of the report include:

Over 1,300 students of class 2018 participated in the SAT, and 663 took the ACT. Nearly 200 more students took the SAT in 2018 compared to 2017, while fewer students took the ACT.

  • Twenty-four percent (24%) of students met the SAT readiness benchmarks in both reading and math, and 21% met the ACT composite benchmark score. Compared to last year, the SAT benchmark rate declined by 2 points, while the ACT benchmark rate declined by 5 points.

  • Fifty-seven percent (57%) of students scored at or above the SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing readiness benchmark of 480, reflecting a 1 point decrease from last year. However, the average score exceeded the benchmark and improved by 2 points, rising from 502 to 504.

  • The district maintained its average SAT combined score at 978, while the national and state averages rose by 8 and 14 points, respectively.

  • The district’s average ACT Composite score was 18.2, reflecting a decrease of 0.5 points from last year.

  • Savannah Arts exceeded the district’s 2022 ACT performance target. Jenkins exceeded the ACT annual improvement target, and Beach and New Hampstead made progress over last year. The remaining schools did not make progress.

For a look at the complete report follow this link:

Safety and Security!
Also at the Informal Meeting of the Board, Campus Police provided their monthly safety and security update. The update included information on new and ongoing school safety enhancement initiatives, including a new Police Records Management System, the Pro-active Behavior Intervention Team and Lunch and Recess with a Cop Initiatives.

Gym Floor Replacement Update
At the Informal Meeting the Executive Director of Maintenance and Operations presented the Board with an update on the replacement of gym floors at 11 schools across the district found to have low levels of mercury detected in the rubberized coating of the floors. Arnold Jackson reported that the replacement of those floors has been divided into three phases and is being conducted as a precautionary measure for the long-term safety of the schools. Work is expected to be completed at all 11 schools by early February at a cost just under $700,000.

As part of the replacement project, at the Regular Meeting, Board members approved a bid of $205,412.50 by Savannah Abatement, LLC to provide abatements of gym flooring needed at eight schools - White Bluff Elementary Swing Site, Hubert Middle, East Broad K-8, Marshpoint Elementary, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle, Georgetown K-8, Southwest Middle, and Gould Elementary Schools gym floors.

In addition, the Board approved a quote of $223,982 from Dynamic Sports Construction, Inc. to renovate and provide rubber flooring to gymnasium floors at Hubert Middle, The STEM Academy at Bartlett Middle, Georgetown K-8, and Southwest Middle Schools.

The Board also approved an Operations staff request that funds totaling $500,000 be transferred from the unallocated/adjustments to budget ESPLOST I account line to cover the cost of the replacement of rubber gymnasium floors at East Broad K-8, White Bluff Elementary Swing Site, Georgetown K-8, Gould Elementary, Southwest Middle, the STEM Academy at Bartlett, Hubert Middle, and Marshpoint Elementary.

Transportation Hubs Discussed for Cost and Efficiency
Senior Director of Transportation Carol Valentine provided the Board with an update on operations and ways to improve efficiency. Current challenges include a lack of drivers which results in longer bus rides and late arrivals. Transportation staff believe cost savings and greater transportation efficiencies will be realized by utilizing a hub system with consolidated stops to transport high school students to Choice programs. The department plans to hold school and community meetings about the plan in the second half of this school year.

Chief Finance Officer Larry Jackson reported to the Board that as of November 26th, the Tax Anticipation Note approved at the October Board Meeting has been paid back in full! The earlier than expected pay off saved the district almost $55,000 in interest.

Sharing the Good News! 

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for November was announced!Congratulations to Liam Clark – a 5th grader from the Pooler Elementary School.

Generous Donation!
Mr. Jerry Portman, of Portman’s Music, appeared before the Board to make a presentation about their program and to donate musical instruments to students who were selected as recipients. Students who receive the instruments are recommended by their band and home room teachers as well as the Performing Arts Supervisor. Priority is given to those students who show the most aptitude, best behavior and ability to follow directions.

Professional Senate Report!
A report from the latest meeting of the Superintendent’s Professional Senate was presented by our Teacher of the Year and Instructional Support Person of the Year.


Policy BA – Goals and Objectives has been modified to align with the 2018-2019 DAS-REMI approved at the September 5, 2018 Board Meeting.

Policies DJE – Purchasing and FG – Facilities Projects Administration have been modified to align with HB 489 which added Georgia Procurement Registry provisions.

Policy JBC(4) – Awarding Units and Transferring Credit has been modified to update language pertaining to accepting transfer credit and grades.


Administrative Regulation JBC-R – School Admissions has been modified to reflect changes for clarity on Priority 1 admissions in Phase 3 of the Admissions to Choice Programs section. Revisions reflect language contained in state code 20-2-293.

Administrative Regulation IHF-R(3) – Graduation Requirements has been modified to update language pertaining to graduation requirements, units of credit required, areas of study, and required procedures for awarding units of credit.

Administrative Regulation IHA-R(1) – Grading Systems has been modified to update language pertaining to the conversion of transfer grades and letter grades to numerical grades for transfer students (grades 1-12).


Board Policy IEDA – Unstructured Break Time recommended changes were reviewed by the Board Wellness Committee on October 24, 2018. The revisions have been reviewed by the Board Attorney and the Superintendent and were presented for first reading on November 7, 2018. The measure passed with some change to language suggested by Board Member Shawn Kachmar during discussion.

Personnel Moves!
Sonji Leach
 will be the new Acting Principal of Beach High School.

Lisa Linton will be the new Assistant Principal at New Hampstead High School.

Falana Polite will be the new Interim Assistant Principal at Hubert Middle School.

Board December/Early January Meeting Calendar


Monday, December 17, 2018 - 4:00 PM
Whitney Administrative Complex Jessie Collier DeLoach Board Room (Building G)
2 Laura Avenue

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 6:00 PM
Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts
649 W. Jones Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Monday, January 7, 2019 - 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Coastal Georgia Center
305 Fahm Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
9:00 AM – Board Workshop: AdvancED Report Compliance Committee

10:30 AM – Informal Board Meeting; Executive Session immediately following

1:00 PM – Regular Board Meeting

Whitney Administrative Complex - Jessie Collier DeLoach Board Room (Building G)

Saying Farewell…The Board bid farewell to three outgoing members at the December 2018 meeting. Board President Jolene Byrne, District 6 Representative/Vice-President Larry Lower and District 8 Representative Ruby Jones were presented with certificates and gifts thanking them for their time of service to the Board.

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