Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the May 9, 2018 School Board Meeting

Published on: 5/10/2018

​Early Learning Plans for East Broad K8!
At the Informal meeting of the Board of Education, Interim Chief Academic Officer Aretha Rhone-Bush presented a proposal for an Early Learning Center at East Broad K8. Research clearly shows that learning begins at birth and the preparation for learning starts well before birth. To solve the employment and education crises facing poor and minority children in America, we must first ensure that all children have access to high quality early education. The first step to ensuring that poor and minority students grow up to become successful and healthy adults is to provide teaching and learning experiences at an early age. This approach also serves to improve low-performing schools, decrease dropout rates, and reduce violence and poverty.

To assist the district in meeting the need for early learning opportunities, several efforts have been made to address the growing demands. Three new Pre-K units have been added in the last several years. An Early Learning Center has been established at Port Wentworth School, and new PreK units may be added this fall (August 2018) as an immediate strategy to meet anticipated needs of the Eastside.

An additional Early Learning Center is critical to serve targeted areas of need. The proposal for East Broad calls for an Early Learning Center with Wraparound Services and Measurable Outcomes. Find out more here:

In support of Early Childhood Education, the Board adopted a resolution for the continued development of the East Broad Early Learning Center proposal that would provide for the full implementation of the program by school year 2019-2020. Read the Resolution:

Budget Process Update
Also at the Informal Meeting of the Board, Chief Financial Officer Larry Jackson presented an update on the Budget Process and information about a change in the way Community Based Programs can seek funding from the Distrtict. The annual budget process will no longer include a direct funding mechanism. Starting July 1, 2018, services offered by community-based programs will be solicited through the purchasing competitive bidding process as outlined in Board Policy DJE. Learn more here:

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for April was announced! Congratulations Sara Shi-Nicole Rivera, a 7th Grader from Georgetown K8!

CTAE Graduation Rate!
Newly released numbers show Savannah-Chatham County Public School students involved in CTAE (Career, Technical and Agricultural Education) programs achieved a graduation rate of 96.4-percent in the last school year. That is higher than the state of Georgia’s 96-percent which was announced as an all-time high for the state in December.

SCCPSS Once Again Boasts Five AP Honor Schools!
Five Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools have been named Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools for 2018. The 2018 AP Honor Schools are named in six categories, based on the results of 2017 AP courses and exams. The five schools recognized include: Jenkins High School, Johnson High School, Islands High School, Savannah Arts Academy and Woodville Tompkins Technical & Career High School. Read more here:

Student Media Festival to Recognize Students from 16 SCCPSS Schools!
Student Media Festival 190 SCCPSS students from 16 schools at all levels were awarded District recognition and advanced to state level competition in the Georgia Student Media Festival this month. The student work was done on 68 projects in five different production types, including Animation, Audio Podcast, Live Action, Sequential Stills and Web Site. All 190 students will be honored at the SCCPSS Student Film and Media Festival being held at the Yamacraw Performing Arts Center the evening of WednesdayMay 16, 2018. Learn more here:

Heard Science Olympiad Winners Recognized!

Congratulations to the Heard Elementary Science Olympiad team! The "Molecular Mavericks" made up of mostly 5th grade students placed first overall in a four-county area at the recent regional Elementary Science Olympiad. The Heard Elementary team will now move on to the State Science Olympiad competition which will be held this Saturday, May 12th!

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 12th grader Christopher Washington and 9th grader Rio Washington ofNew Hampstead High School.

Student Report:

Professional Report:

Board Approves Contract for Human Resources Tool to Improve Efficiency
The Board voted to approve a contract with Performance Matters/TalentEd, in the amount of $149,672.50 to provide software licenses, services and training for the sole purpose of planning, simplifying and managing processes to be used by staff. The agreement will be for a one-year contract term with options to renew. The solutions and software tools will assist the Division in automating the employee evaluation process, monitoring and tracking professional development activities, attracting and hiring top educators; simplifying onboarding, recordkeeping, contract renewals and absence management.

Policy Adopted!

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.

First Reads!

Policy EBB – Safety
Policy EBB has been revised to include Board priorities for school safety and security measures to include operational, staffing, and functional goals. A second read will be offered during the June 6, 2018, Board meeting. Read the suggested policy revisions here:

Policy IFCD – Volunteers
The Board reviewed policy and regulation updates that provided greater clarity for the process of screening volunteers and defining disqualifying offenses. Feedback and input was provided for further revisions. A second read will be offered during the June 6, 2018, Board meeting.

Read the suggested policy revisions here:

Legislative Update!

Board members were provided an update on actions taken by the Georgia State Legislature this year.

Governor Nathan Deal has increased the revenue estimate for FY '19 and most of that increase is going to K-12 education to end the austerity cut to the QBE formula! Locally that equates to $2,830,629 dollars in additional funding compared to FY '18.

Other budget changes of interest:

•$26.7 million was added to fund the projected need in dual enrollment and effective July 1, 2018

•Implement a 15-credit hour per student per semester cap.

•$16 million in bonds for school facility safety grants

•Transferred $700,000 from school improvement division to the Chief Turnaround Officer for five district effectiveness specialists

•Increased the per student amount in pupil transportation for new FTE enrollment to $903,377 (it was at $230,255)

•$15 million in bonds for school buses

The distracted driving bill, also applies to school bus drivers. So as to prohibit actions which distract a driver while operating a motor vehicle. The driver of a school bus shall not use or operate a cellular telephone wireless telecommunications device.

For more information on Bills passed by the Legislature check here:


EIII Project Schedule Updated!
On December 7, 2016 the Board approved an ESPLOST III Project Schedule. As the program progresses the schedule is updated to show individual project time requirements and sequence of projects. The resulting Program Schedule is more detailed and provides overall project timelines that are not represented on the December 7, 2016, Project Schedule.

Johnson High HVAC Replacement Progress!
The Board approved a bid from Mock Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc in the amount of $2,900,771 for the replacement of the HVAC system at Johnson High School.

Low Elementary Cost Savings!

On April 6, 2016, the Board approved the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of $25,319,883 to JE Dunn Construction Company d/b/a Rives E. Worrell Company for the construction of the new Low Elementary School. Construction is complete and all costs have been finalized. In accordance with the Contract, all savings between the final cost and the GMP are to be returned to the Owner. The final cost for the project is $25,109,923, so $209,960 of project savings in the GMP is being credited to the District.

Sign to be Installed Near the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High

The City of Savannah seeks to obtain approval for the installation of a sign on property to which the Board of Education owns fee simple title specifically located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Capital Street in Savannah, GA. The Board agreed to grant the City license to construct the sign for the sum of $10.

Summer Learning Opportunities!
Academic Affairs staff gave a presentation on Summer Learning Opportunities to the Board. The presentation outlined both Summer School plans and Summer Camp Opportunities for SCCPSS students. Learn more here:

Teacher Appreciation Week!
To recognize the valuable contributions of our teachers, the Board of Education proclaimed May 7-11, 2018, National Teacher Appreciation Week!

School Nurses Celebrated!
This year, the theme for National School Nurse Day is "School Nurses: Advocates for 21st Century Student Health." To recognize the valuable contributions of our school nurses, the Board of Education proclaimed Wednesday, May 9, 2018, as National School Nurse Day.

Personnel Moves!

McRae Mangum will be the new Center Leader for the W.I.N.G.S. Program.

Brian Dotson will be the new Interim Principal of Hubert Middle School.

John Sutlive will be the new Interim Principal at Rice Creek School.

Erica Swindell-Foster will be the new Interim Principal at East Broad K8.

Kathleen Taylor will be the new Interim Principal at May Howard Elementary.

Tahisha Wright will be the new Interim Principal at the School of Humanities at Low Elementary.

Troy Brown will be the new Principal for Godley Station K8.

Susan Ambrose will be the new principal at A.B. Williams Elementary.

Sylvia Wallis will be the new principal at Marshpoint Elementary.

Alonna Curry will be the new principal at Heard Elementary. 

Paige Cooley was named Budget Director.

Congratulations to All!​

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