Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the February 7, 2018 School Board Meeting

Published on: 2/8/2018

​Graduation Rate Report! 84.3% - Exceeding the State Average for Three Years in a Row!
Board members were presented with a report on the district’s graduation rate from SY 2016-17 which was filled with good news including:

 The cohort graduation rate continues to improve, achieving a rate of 84.3%. This exceeds the district’s annual performance target and establishes a new record high for the district.

 For the third consecutive year, the district outperformed both the state and comparison group graduation rates.

 School graduation rates ranged from 73% to 100%, with both Early College and Woodville-Tompkins attaining 100% graduation rates. In addition, Islands, Johnson, and Savannah Arts exceeded the district’s 2020 target of 85%, and Beach and New Hampstead exceeded the district’s 2017 target of 83%.

 Groves, Johnson, New Hampstead, the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High, and Woodville Tompkins exceeded their annual improvement targets, with one-year gains ranging from 1 to over 9 points. Beach, Islands, and Savannah Arts maintained their prior year’s graduation rate, while Jenkins and Windsor Forest declined from last year.

 Early College maintained a 100% graduation rate for two consecutive years. 

No Changes to SCCPSS Bell Schedules!
 presentation at the Informal Meeting on the results of a Bell Time Survey conducted with both Internal and External Stakeholders showed the vast majority were satisfied with current Bell Time Schedules. At the Regular meeting of the Board of Education, members approved Bell Time Schedules remaining the same for SY 2018-19 and SY 2019-20. 

2018-19 School Year Calendar Revised
The Academic School Year calendar was presented to the Board for consideration as an informational item. The calendar will be brought back during the March Board meeting for action.

In light of recent weather patterns that have brought about conditions that have caused school closures, Administration has conducted a review of the SY 18-19 School Year Calendar to ensure ample Make-Up Days are included.

The SY 18-19 calendar holds just two designated make-up days per semester. Based on historical events, the number of Make-Up days designated within this calendar are insufficient.

To gain additional days, a modification to the adopted calendar is required that would change the school start date. Options for a modification to the second semester end of school date are not available due to the current graduation schedule and venue location. The attached revised calendar includes Thursday, August 2, 2018, as the recommended school start date. This revision gains 4 days on the calendar:

 Adds October 8 Columbus Day (1) – School Staff/Student Holiday

 Adds two (2) Student/Staff Holidays to Thanksgiving – November 19/20 (makes a full week Nov. 19-23)

 Adds one (1) Student/Staff Holiday to Winter Break – December 20

The calendar maintains strategically placed staff planning days and contains the required 11 paid "Holiday for All" dates. The second semester remains unchanged and still ends school before Memorial Day maintaining the established timeframe for graduation ceremonies. 

2019 Budget Presentation on Enrollment
At the informal meeting of the Board of Education, a report on 2019 Budget Enrollment projections was given. Regular Enrollment is projected using Birth Rates, Cohort Survival (Promote Up) and other factors such as trends relating to population shift and program offerings at each school. Projections currently predict a slight increase in enrollment across all grade levels. 

Sharing the Good News!
The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for January was announced! Congratulations Ana Lilja-Vazquez, 6th grade student from the STEM Academy at Bartlett!

Islands High School Veterinary Science Department recently earned Industry Certification in the specialty area of Veterinary Science, making it the first school in the state of Georgia to earn this distinction!

Godley Station K-8 has been selected to receive the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System Green Ribbon School Award Nomination for FY17. The school will be nominated for the award through the Georgia Department of Education. The school is being recognized for efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and implement effective environmental education experiences.

Community Partner Spotlight: The Savannah Fire Department was recognized as a valued Community Partner for working with the district on fire safety education thanks to a donation from The Hartford in the amount of $20,000. 

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 by Breonna Thomas and Dior Dear of Woodville Tompkins Technical & Career High School. 

Student Report:

Professional Report:

National School Counseling Week Proclaimed!
To recognize the valuable contributions of our school counselors, the Board of Education proclaimed February 5th-9th, 2018, as National School Counseling Week.

Recognizing Excellence!
The SCCPSS Internal Audit Department has been awarded a Certificate of Compliance by the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA) in recognition of the department’s internal quality control system being suitably designed and operating effectively to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with Government Auditing Standards for audit and attestation engagements during the period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

Charter School Success!
The Georgia Department of Education has awarded Susie King Taylor Community Charter School (SKTCS) $675,000 as part of the FY2017 Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant competition.

Regulation Update!
Regulation GCRA(1)-R: Drug Screening of Bus Drivers
 has been modified to align the regulation with the U.S. Department of Transportation Rule. Revisions to the regulation include the following:

• Adding hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone to the drug testing panel 

• Specifying the provider responsible for drug testing

Legislative Update!
The Board was advised of key education legislation to watch during the ongoing Georgia Legislative Session. That legislation includes:

SB 361: Providing for freedom of religious speech for students and faculty members in public elementary and secondary school.

SB 362: Providing for the establishment of an innovative assessment pilot program.

HB 778: It would transfer the CTAE (career, technical, and agricultural education) program from the Department of Education to the Technical Colleges System of Georgia (TCSG).

HB 762: Adds a requirement for "annual age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in grades K-9" be added to the minimum course of study in sex education and AIDS prevention.

SB 355: Would amend the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act to limit in several ways the ongoing collection of a nuclear fee while reactors are being built.

SB 361: The "Coach Small Religious Protection Act" would require each local district to adopt a policy "substantially similar" to one in the bill on student expression of religious viewpoints.

For more information on this and other legislation being proposed follow this link:

ESPLOST Progress!
A number of budget transfers were approved from unallocated ESPLOST II funds to projects at a number of facilities including:

ADA Renovations & Lights Project at STEM Academy

Renovations Project at Charles Ellis Montessori

HVAC & Lighting Projects at Coastal Middle School

HVAC Project at Hubert Middle School

Cooling Tower Project at the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High

HVAC Project at Southwest Middle School

ADA Restrooms Renovation at Windsor Forest High School

2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial and Single Audit Report Approved!
The Board accepted and approved the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Single Audit Report for the year ended June 30, 2017, Management Letter and Response.

Policy Adopted!
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.

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