Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the January 17, 2018 School Board Meeting

Published on: 1/18/2018

​Snow Make-up Days Approved 
As a result of dangerous weather conditions associated with Winter Storm Grayson, students of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System missed three instructional days during the start of the second semester of the 2017-18 School Year. The following days have been approved by the Board for use as weather make up days due to the emergency school cancellations associated with Winter Storm Grayson:

Monday, February 19, 2018 and Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Shuman Elementary Turnaround Plan Approved
The Board approved a resolution to maximize operational flexibility through the School Improvement Process for Shuman Elementary that will lead to improved student outcomes and greater levels of performance on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) at Shuman Elementary School.

Comprehensive operational flexibility includes, but is not limited to, the areas of budget, staffing, recruitment and retention incentives for high performing staff, scheduling, calendar and bell time options, disciplinary rubrics, assessment, credit recovery and professional learning, as well as other operational procedures which may be considered through the governance structure of the Turnaround Reform model.

College Entrance Exam Report
At the Informal meeting of the Board of Education, the Division of Academic Affairs presented a report on the latest scores our students have earned on College Entrance Exams. Over 1,000 Class of 2017 SCCPSS students took the SAT. The district’s average combined SAT score was 978, compared to 1,050 for the state and 1,060 nationally.

737 Class of 2017 SCCPSS students took the ACT. For the third consecutive year, the district earned an average ACT Composite score of 18.7. The national average rose by 0.2 points over last year, recovering to the 2015 average score of 21.0. The state also improved over last year, rising by 0.3 points to 21.4. The full report can be accessed here:

2019 Budget Planning Underway!
The Finance Division updated the Board on work underway to formulate the 2019 SCCPSS budget. Staff projections are taking place this month. The budget calendar will be presented next month with stakeholder input presentations and surveys being launched in March. 

Strategic Waivers Update!
The SWSS/IE² performance contract period runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021. The Waivers system allows limited flexibility from Title 20 Laws and State Board of Education Rules. In exchange, each school must annually increase its score by 3% of the gap between their baseline year score and 100 and is required to show a trend of improvement, 3 out of 5 years, to be seen as meeting contract requirements. The district’s Division of Data and Accountability updated the Board on the district’s progress in meeting the goals set forth in the SCCPSS contract with the state.

For the 2016-17 SY (year one of five in our contract) 73% of SCCPSS schools are meeting the goal. Broken down by school level 73% of Elementary Schools are meeting goal, 75% of K8s are meeting goal, 88% of Middle Schools are meeting goal and 64% of our high schools are meeting goal.

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for December was announced! Congratulations Matthew Hawbaker, 5th grade student from West Chatham Elementary School!

Recognizing Million Book Challenge Donors!
This year, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools launched the "Million Books Challenge" with the goal of providing a class library for every classroom in grades K-5! As of January 8, 2018, 480 libraries have been delivered to schools out of 786 needed. That’s 61% of the goal met! The Superintendent continues to recognize community partners who have helped us progress in meeting this goal. Recognized at the January Board meeting were: LOVE Mentors, Groves High School, Chatham Parkway Subaru, YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Robert Lacey Lodge #722. 

Three SCCPSS Schools Exit State Focus List!
The Georgia Department of Education has announced the list of Georgia schools that have exited "Focus" status - three Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools have made the improvements necessary to exit the Focus list which represents the lowest-performing 10% of Title I schools based on achievement gap data.

Congratulations to the following SCCPSS schools no longer meet the definition of a Focus school: 

Butler Elementary

West Chatham Middle School

Thunderbolt Elementary School

*Thunderbolt Elementary closed at the end of the 2016-17 School Year and students now attend the new School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary School. 

SCCPSS Featured as a GA Best Practices District!
SCCPSS has been chosen as a featured district to present at an upcoming conference on Georgia Best Practices regarding innovative strategies for raising the Graduation Rate and decreasing the Dropout Rate. 

COMMUNITY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT – National Museum of the Mighty Eighth SCCPSS has a valued partner in the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth and has enjoyed the benefits of this partnership since 2010. Character Counts!, an annual Anti- Bullying Seminar, and so much more - we are fortunate to have such a valued partner in the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth and we thank them for their commitment to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System! 

An Officer and a Hero! 
In the early morning hours of January 12th, Campus Police officer Arthur Bryant assisted Metro officers rescue a citizen from a fire on the city’s west side. We want to commend Officer Bryant for his heroic actions!

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report:

Policy First Read! 
The following items were presented to the Board for consideration: 

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. 

Administrative Regulation Updated!

Board Regulation JBCCA(2)-R: Unsafe School Choice Option has been modified to reflect changes in the amended State Board Rule and to align the language with the revised policy that was approved by the Board on November 1, 2017.

Board Business!

Election of Board Officers: 
In accordance with Article VI of the Board’s Bylaws, officers shall be elected at the first meeting in January of each year. Those elected to positions are:

Vice President – Larry Lower

Vice President Pro-Tempore – Michael Johnson

Secretary – Mary Davis-Brown

Assistant Secretary – Brenda Taylor

The Superintendent serves as Treasurer and Secretary Ex-Officio to the Board. The Chief Financial Officer serves as Assistant Treasurer. Each term is for a one-year period.

Board Committee Appointments: 
The Board President announced Committee Appointments for 2018. A complete list can be found here: 

Board 2018 Calendar of Meetings Approved!
The Board approved the 2018 Calendar of meetings. The next meeting of the Board of Education will be February 7, 2018. The complete calendar can be found here:

2017-18 Audit Plan Revised
At the Audit Committee Meeting on December 7, 2017, the Audit Committee approved a revision to the 2017 – 2018 Audit Plan to add 40 days for internal audits involving Charter Schools.

Retrofitting Buses for AC
The Board approved a bid by Thermo King of Southeast Georgia, Inc. in the amount of $176,149.00 to retrofit 19 buses with air-conditioning. The installation of the air conditioning is to maintain a level of comfort for students during the warmer months of the school year in an effort to reduce any possible heat related illnesses.

Transportation Roof Replacement
The Board approved a bid from Delta Metals, Inc. for in the amount of $175,000 to replace the roof on the Transportation Mechanic’s Shop and Tire Shop. 

Operation Beacon Tier III Clearance Process Update
Chief of Human Resources, Ramon Ray provided an update for the Board of our Tier III Clearance Process. As of December 31, 2017 – 791 applicants had undergone background screening with 750 cleared, 15 denied and 26 pending from the month. 

Property Matters!
The Board approved the sale to Chatham County of the old Wilmington Island Library for the amount of $10. The Board purchased the Frank G. Murray Community Center, located on the campus of Islands High School, from Chatham County for the amount of $10.

Personnel Moves
SCCPSS welcomes a new Executive Director of Accountability, Assessment & Reporting! We welcome Joseph Austin to the Division of Data and Accountability! Mr. Austin was approved on the Board Appointments agenda during the January 17 Board meeting contingent upon successful completion of new hire requirements.

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