Ms. Jones went on to report in the Business Meeting that GMSD hosted a legislative breakfast for area lawmakers, created a legislative agenda, participated in weekly phone conferences with legislative reps from the other municipal school districts, plans to attend TSBA Day on the Hill in February and GMSD Day on the Hill in March. Ms. Jones explained that this year's legislative agenda was more of a position statement on the issues rather than a bill watch. But at the request of board members, she would add the appropriate bills to the agenda and wait until after the February 9th legislative filing deadline to bring the agenda back before the board for approval.
Mr. Manuel emphasized that the most important priority this year is the proposed legislation that would label each school district with a letter grade. He said, the proposed law is unclear and lacks transparency on how the TNDOE would arrive at the letter grade for each district. He is concerned that bad grades could be used to trigger vouchers statewide. He added that his objection is not about being held accountable as a school district. But rather, he objects to the lack of transparency in the accountability process.
PTA vs. PTO
Leslie Austin, Classroom Teacher 6-8, Houston Middle School
Amie Bourne, Speech and Language Pathologist, Riverdale Elementary School
William Brock, Classroom Teacher 9-12, Houston High School
Leslie Brommer, Classroom Teacher 9-12, Houston High School
Brianna Gould Classroom, Teacher K-5, Farmington Elementary
Rachel Heberling Classroom, Teacher K-5, Riverdale Elementary
Christine Hingle, School Psychologist, District Office
Jessica Johnson, Classroom Teacher 6-8, Riverdale Elementary
Lori Matthews, Classroom Teacher K-5, Dogwood Elementary
Karen Mills, Special Education Teacher K-5, Farmington Elementary
Ben Schneider, Classroom Teacher 9-12, Houston High School
- New Policy SP 6.505 Students in Foster Care
- FMLA Work Session 12.5.16
- HR 5.305 Family Medical Leave Revised1
- Revision Policy SP 6.503 Homeless Students
- New IP 4.802 Student Equal Access
- Revised IP 4.502 Parental and Family Involvement
- Revised Policy IP 4.600 Grading
- Revised Policy IP 4.602 Honor Roll Awards Class Ranking
- Revised IP 4.700 Testing Programs.02
- Revision SP 6.200 Attendance, Pregnancy and Truancy (2017)
- SP 6.309 Zero Tolerance Offenses Revision
- Revision SP 6.405 Administering Medicines to students (2017revision)
- SP 6.409 Child Abuse and Neglect Revision (2017)
- SP 6.414 Guidance and School Counseling Revision (2017)
- Revision SP 6.416 Students Accident Report - Update 1.17.17 (2)
- Tennessee Abstinence-Centered Legislation
New School Site
When the new school location came up on the business meeting agenda, Mr. Manuel recommended the board approve a resolution authorizing the executive board consisting of Chair Linda Fisher and himself to negotiate an option on one of the four chosen location sites. It would then be brought before the full board to vote on exercising that option and going through with the property purchase. He apologized to the large number of citizens in the audience who might be disappointed that a site was not being selected that night but explained it was best that GMSD secure an option before publicly discussing a proposal to purchase land.
Betsy Landers. who chaired the Site Review Committee, moved for an amendment that would strike Johnson Road Property from the list. Lisa Parker moved to amend Ms. Landers' amendment to add the Crestwyn property to the list. Ms. Parker argued that the Crestwyn property was not properly vetted when it was originally proposed by the mayor and was dismissed due to the opposition of a small but vocal minority of people who did not want their children to go to school on Winchester.
A little history on the issue….. The Crestwyn property was originally proposed by the City administration to be the choice location for the new school. Mayor Palazzolo presented his recommendation to the school board on the Crestwyn property back in September. You can read about that in our 9/19/16 JAM blog. Afterwards, there was a huge groundswell of opposition forcing the school board to review other possibilities. So, a Site Review Committee was formed, made up of community experts in finance, law, engineering, etc. and Betsy Landers was named as its Chair. The Committee released its findings and a public survey followed, all leading to a short list of four pieces of property. The Crestwyn property did not make it to the short list.
Ms. Parker continued arguing in favor of the Crestwyn property pointing out that it would cost less to develop than any of the four chosen properties. She said that the Crestwyn property was estimated to cost $3.7M but the top four sites would each be over $5M. She then listed all the things that could be bought with the million plus savings: 30 new teachers, 1:1 initiative full funding, foreign language in elementary schools, upgrade school bathrooms, dance room at Houston High School, and more…. At one point, Ms. Parker asked a GMSD staff member to cue up her video presentation to drive the point home. But after all her impassioned pleas, Chair Linda Fisher asked if there was a second to Ms. Parker's motion. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Ms. Fisher declared that Parker's amendment failed for lack of a second. Ms. Landers' amendment then passed.
Ms. Eoff thanked Ms. Landers and her committee for their hard work, noting that the committee reviewed over 20 pieces of property. Ms. Eoff went on to compliment the committee's work as being thorough. She noted that each location was fully considered and properly vetted. Afterwards, the board voted unanimously to approve the resolution as amended by Ms. Landers. So, Mr. Manuel and Ms. Fisher are now authorized to secure an option on one of the three remaining locations: Warlick, Reaves, Broer/Shaeffer.