Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the December 6, 2017 School Board Meeting

Published on: 12/7/2017
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.
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: 
Oglethorpe Charter School:
Susie King Taylor Charter:
Savannah Classical Charter:
Tybee Island Maritime Academy Charter: 

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! 

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.

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:

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:

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report: 

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!


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. 

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.

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: 

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.

- 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 

- A request to transfer $120,500 for realignment of funds to cover the cost of the dock renovation project at Oatland Island.

- 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. 

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. 

Policy Adoptions! 

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

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 

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.

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. 


Mercer Middle: Christian Pantin – Interim School 
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

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