Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Highlights from the November 1, 2017 School Board Meeting

Published on: 11/1/2017

​​​At the Informal Meeting of the Board, members received an update on the District Accountability System’s, Goal 1, Objective C which seeks to increase the number of students meeting high school graduation requirements necessary to be successful when entering post-secondary education and/or the workforce.  Some of the numbers shared include:

v  In SY 2016-171,891 students successfully completed one or more AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses.  The district’s completion rate of 21% was above the SY 2019-20 target of 20%.

v  The percentage of PAO completers increased by 3 points compared to last year, representing 285 additional students who completed one or more AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses.  

v  While most PAO completion is within the Advanced Placement option, participation in dual enrollment has more than doubled over the past three years.

Read the entire report here:

Operation Beacon Update!

Also at the Informal session, Board members received an update on district’s Operation Beacon Volunteer Program.  The numbers as of late October included 3,135 volunteer applicants!  The program provides a simple 3-step process for signing up as a volunteer and offers a method for background clearance that supports student and staff safety.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit the district’s website or call the SCCPSS Office of Communications at 912-395-5538.  To view the Board report, please follow this link:

Superintendent’s Gala for the Arts Planned!

Board members received information regarding the Inaugural Superintendent’s Gala for the Arts planned for Friday, December 8, 2017.  The Gala will highlight student performances at the new Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Garrison School for the Arts, followed by a dinner held at Savannah Station.  Funds raised will support Arts programs at schools across the District!

Sharing the Good News!

The Superintendent’s Student of the Month for October was announced! Congratulations Camren Holmes, 9th grade student from Jenkins High School!

National Student Astronaut Challenge

Congratulations are in order for Isle of Hope K8!  Their student Astronaut club called the “Fiddlernauts” has qualified two teams to move forward to National competition in the NASA Student Astronaut Challenge for 2018.

School Nurses Awarded Automated External Defibrillators

Hesse K8 School, New Hampstead High School, Bloomingdale Elementary School and Coastal Georgia Comprehensive Academy are safer places for staff and students thanks to the hard work of their school nurses.  Each of the schools were selected to receive a new automated external defibrillator (AED) by the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation. The nurses recognized include:

·         Sara Breeden and Holli Rhodes of Hesse K8

·         Latoya Bonilla and Kanitha Black of New Hampstead High

·         Jeanette Braxton of Bloomingdale Elementary

·         Sheri Neidlinger of Coastal Georgia Comprehensive


Children’s Book Festival Young Writer’s Contest

Five SCCPSS students were named winners in the Savannah Children’s Book Festival Young Writers Contest. The challenge was to write a poem that celebrates the works of this year’s featured authors.


In the Kindergarten – 2nd Grade level SCCPSS had both the first and third place winners:

·         1st Place: Jacob G. Smith 2nd Grader Keating Taylor won for his poem entitled “What’s Up”

·         3rd Place: Savannah Classical Academy 2nd Grader Alexandra Mackowiak was recognized for her poem entitled “With a Little Magic Dust”


In the 3RD – 5TH GRADE Level:

·         1st Place: “My Dream” Chloe Cipoletti, 3rd Grade, Savannah Classical Academy


In the 9TH – 12TH GRADE Level SCCPSS had two winners:

·         2nd Place: 11th Grader Rashamel Sallen of the School of Liberal Studies at Savannah High for the poem “Only in My Heart"3rd Place: 9th Grader Dominique Cooper, also from Savannah High, was recognized for the poem entitled “Poem!!”

·        3rd Place: 9th Grader Dominique Cooper, also from Savannah High, was recognized for the poem entitled “Poem!!”


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.

Student Senate Report: This month the student report was given by Antonio Taharka and Zyare Orr of Savannah Early College. Read more:

Superintendent’s Professional Senate Report:

American Education Week Celebrated!

A Proclamation was read recognizing November 13–17, 2017, as the 96th annual observance of American Education Week.

Retired Educators Recognized!

The Board proclaims November 5, 2017, as “Retired Educators Day” and calls upon the citizens of Savannah-Chatham County to observe that day in an appropriate manner honoring retired educators.

Policy First Reads!

The following items were presented to the Board for consideration:

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

Construction Update!

The Board approved the transfer of funds to begin the replacement of the roof over the Myers Middle School locker rooms.



General Contracting Services for the Culinary Arts Lab at Savannah High School:  The Board voted to approve a $994,274 bid from RL Construction Group, Inc. of Savannah to construct the new Culinary Arts Lab as part of the Career Academy at Savannah High.


Design Professional Services for the Replacement of White Bluff Elementary School: The Board approved the selection of James W. Buckley & Associates, Inc. as the firm to design the replacement school for White Bluff Elementary pending final contract negotiations to be approved by the Superintendent.


Design Professional Services for Jenkins High School Replacement Project: The Board approved the selection of Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung International, Inc., as the firm to design the replacement school for Jenkins High pending final contract negotiations.


Thunderbolt Facility to be Used for Film Offices! The Board ratified a contract/facility use Agreement that will allow Gemini Pictures, LLC to use the former Thunderbolt Elementary School as a film production office for personnel and equipment, camera test space, screening room, lab and other similar uses in connection with the filming and/or recording of scenes in connection with the Picture. The company will pay the district $26,000 a month to do so.

Policy Adopted!

Board Policy JBCCA(2): Unsafe School Choice Option has been modified to reflect changes in the amended State Board Rule.  The policy was also updated to include the transfer guidelines included in the State Board Rule for victims of violent criminal offenses.

New Technology Approved! The Board approved the Division of Academic Affairs establishing a contract with “Performance Matters” to provide a Unify Data Suite complete solution that will allow staff to use connected data to make informed meaningful learning decisions. This Early Warning Detection System will allow SCCPSS teachers and administrators to track student readiness in regards to attendance, discipline and academics to enable our educators to provide support based on the specific needs of the student, thus helping to make data matter more meaningful and intentional.


Dr. Jacob Wilson has resigned from his position as Principal of the School of Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary.  We wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Pamela West has retired from her position as Center Leader of WINGS.  Congratulations on her long career and we hope she has a wonderful retirement!

Darrell Boazman has been hired as the new Senior Director, Operations – Construction.  Welcome!

Kathleen Taylor has been appointed Interim Principal at Low Elementary where she has been serving as Assistant Principal. Congratulations to Ms. Taylor!

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