Two staff members were also honored at Monday night's school board meeting. Dan Haddow introduced Riverdale teacher, Shannon Miller who teaches 6th grade science, He recognized her successful work using the Eleot model, a learner-centric classroom observation tool. And he praised her efforts in working with other teachers to develop this model for grades 3-6. Mr. Haddow said, he was impressed by the level of student engagement in Mrs. Miller's classroom and wanted to re-create it next year during GMSD's accreditation process.
Josh Cathey then introduced Riverdale's plant manager, James Smith. Mr. Smith, a longtime Riverdale employee who was transferred to another school during the year unified SCS took over. When GMSD was formed, the very first thing requested by Riverdale principal Joseph Bond was to return Mr. Smith to the position of plant manager at Riverdale. Mr. Bond told the audience how much Mr. Smith meant to Riverdale and explained how hard he worked to keep the school running. This brought people to their feet giving Mr. Smith a standing ovation.
During the meeting, the board discussed and passed various policy revisions; textbook purchase, and new course offerings at HHS including Chinese, ACT prep, African American Lit, and others. The first reading of the budget passed with little discussion. The 1:1 initiative will expand next year so that all 8th and 9th graders will receive a laptop computer. GMSD approved funding for the City of Germantown to execute the new lease with Apple.
In financial news, the school cafeterias are still losing money despite the Aramark contract. This year's net loss for food services is $196K. Next year, the cafeterias are expected to bring in a small profit. If that doesn't happen then Aramark will compensate GMSD under the contract which guarantees a minimum profit amount.
Natalie Williams gave a legislative report on various bills in the state legislature. HB909 dealing with student transfers appears to be dead for the year. HB1537 that reduces testing in high school passed. The BEP funding bill passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate. The Dyslexia bill is sitting on the desk, stalled for the season. HB2414 dealing with public school bathrooms has been pulled by its sponsor and will not be voted on.
Chair Linda Fisher then reported on various events throughout the district. She recently attended HHS Honors Academy program. At the high school, 495 students took honors classes and 364 took AP classes this year. The average ACT score is 30.57. She also acknowledged Farmington's 40th birthday celebration. And announced the GMSD Stampede 5K set for this Sunday.
But the big news of the night was the Riverdale expansion project.
During the Superintendent's report, Mr. Manuel listed details of the new addition: 18 regular classrooms, 2 SPED classrooms, an art room, a science lab, a STEM classroom, a choir & orchestra room, an outdoor patio, office space, and a gymnasium. The new addition is expected to be substantially completed by May 1, 2017 and fully completed by June 1, 2017. The contract calls for penalties to be assessed if the contractor, Zelner Construction Services, LLC fails to meet the completion dates.
Riverdale wasn't the only capital improvement project that passed last night. The school board also voted to approve the bid for roof replacement at Dogwood. Previously, the board has voted on new rooftop air conditioning units. The roof will be replaced after the A/C installation is complete. Work is expected to begin as soon as school is out.
Also approved was the bid to re-pave the driveways at Houston High School. The big student parking lot on the east side of the school will not be re-paved since it was paved about 7 years ago. The smaller student lot on the west side of the school will also not be re-paved because it will be paved later as part of the state and city drainage improvement project.
Josh Cathey summed up all the capital improvement projects during GMSD's two year existence: window replacement at FES; new gym floor at HMS; parking lot re-pavement at HMS; upgraded air conditioning at HHS, new TV studio at HHS; new astroturf field at HHS; new modular classroom additions at DES and FES; driveway re-pavement at HHS; new roof at DES; new rooftop A/C units for DES; and a new middle school addition at Riverdale. In two short years, GMSD has been able to complete or approve funding for capital projects that had languished on Shelby County Schools deferred maintenance list for years. Mr. Cathey thanked the board for the improvements. And Ken Hoover thanked the City of Germantown for partnering with GMSD to invest in Germantown schools.
Riverdale groundbreaking ceremony will be May 5
Next school board meeting will be May 16
The meeting adjourned at 7:32.