At the work session, Mr. Haddow presented a hiring update to the board. A little over 50 teachers have been hired by GMSD this year. Ken Hoover pointed out that last year, only 16 or so teachers had retired from the district. Mr. Haddow did say he was somewhat concerned that 5 teachers resigned last year from Dogwood to take positions with private schools. But a number of new teachers were hired this year to meet the district's growing needs. And even more teachers are needed. This need prompted a budget amendment request to fund five additional teaching positions. Two of which are immediately needed at Farmington and Houston Middle where the teacher-student ratio is within the maximum bands.
Mr. Bland followed with a presentation on student enrollment. See pictures below for detailed information:
Natalie Williams updated the board on upcoming legislative items including potential bills to elect superintendents, replace EOC scores with ACT, pilot a voucher program in Shelby County, amend last year's law requiring periods of unstructured physical activity, and change the grading scale for school district. She also informed the board about other issues involving a possible waiver of TN Ready scores again this year and an additional loss of state funds due to another reduction of the CDF (cost differential factor) in the BEP formula.
Ms. Fisher gave the chair's report where she thanked the HHS football team for helping out at the beginning of school, and she reported on the TSBA summer conference. Mr. Bland gave a report on bullying in GMSD. There were 18 reported incidents of bullying last year; 8 of which were deemed founded. Mr. Jones gave the financial reports seen here and here. Mr. Manuel reiterated the district's growth plan presented during the work session and noted that GMSD is a growing district where projected enrollment is expect to exceed our current facilities.
Josh Cathey's report on operations detailed how the district is changing to meet its growing needs. He anticipates an updated 5 year facility plan to be presented at the September meeting. During the summer, the district was able to complete a number of projects at each school. More details below:
Houston High School
- Choir room updated to relocate risers and desks
- Cafeteria reorganized to look more like a food court & added 3 TVs with cafe menus on the screen
- Auditorium received a new projection system
- Parking lot repaved and drainage improved
- Sidewalks added to connect the campus walkway to Wolf River sidewalks
- Jumbotron scoreboard installed at athletic field
- Added new modular classrooms
- Improved exterior lighting
- New roof, rooftop A/C units, modular classrooms
- Replaced skylights
- Replaced energy management system
- Added preschool playground
- New middle school expansion project under construction
- Two new parking lots
- New ceiling grids, tiles, and lights for front facing classrooms
- Added a live feed video of construction
Kate Crowder presented GMSD's Advocacy and Promotion Plan developed with Mr. Manuel and Ms. Fisher based on the district's strategic plan. It essentially outlines opportunities for community engagement. She discussed establishment of stakeholder committees on topics such as foreign language opportunities, school calendar planning, and analysis of class ranking system. She also identified some key issues where public input and awareness is needed: transitioning exceptional children, promoting on-line registration, and developing a web presence for the preschool program. Regarding facilities, Mr. Manuel explained that district planning encompasses two possibilities: option A—acquisition of GES & GMS or option B—build a new school. September 1st is the date that GMSD should have an answer as to whether Shelby County Schools will negotiate on the transfer of GES and GMS. Under option A, the recommendation is to hire an outside consultant. Under option B, the recommendation is to follow similar community engagement that took place before the Riverdale expansion where design decisions were driven by parents, teachers, administrators, and students. Other areas for community engagement opportunities include training the school board to answer questions about on-line registration, having board members accompany Mr. Manuel on public speaking engagements, establishing focus groups & committees headed up by board members on topics such as the crash my classroom initiative, the legislative breakfast, etc.
The consent agenda items were approved:
Revision Policy IP 4.605 Graduation Requirements
New Policy SP 6.415 Student Suicide Prevention
Revision Policy IP 4.605 Graduation Requirements
Revision Policy SS 3 2021 Continuity of Operations Plan
2016 GMSD Stop Loss Insurance Renewal
Grants - 08.15.16 Board Meeting
BUDGET AMENDMENT - 7
BUDGET AMENDMENT - 8
BUDGET AMENDMENT - 9
Ms. Williams proposed that a resolution be written to allow school districts to forego current requirements to publish notifications in the newspapers of RFPs, RFQs, and surplus property sales. Josh Cathey indicated that GMSD was exempt from these publication requirements due its use of APEX, a preferred bidder program. After some tedious discussion of wording, the motion passed.
Next school board meeting will be September 19th at City Hall.